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May report

Our Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday 9th May in the Village Hall.  The meeting was opened by our President, Sarah Pennington, who was pleased to welcome so many members and in particular Barbara Barnes and Bridget Coleman both of whom had recently re-joined.  Angela Brice, our WI Adviser, was also welcomed by Sarah.  She also thanked Beryl Knight for providing the welcome drinks for everyone.

Our Secretary, Linda Aucock, reported that since the last meeting some members had made an enjoyable visit to Leckford Garden Centre for coffee and those who had attended the Spring Group Meeting in Romsey and the Produce Meeting in Timsbury had enjoyed learning about the Wildlife Trust and its work and trout rearing on a Chalk Stream.

Events arranged by Hampshire WI in the near future include the Then, Now and the Future Exhibition at the Discovery Centre from June 9th to 30th and a picnic to be held on 4th August at the Harold Hillier Gardens where the entertainment will be provided by the Silver Beatles.  The Autumn Council Meeting will be on 16th October at the Anvil, Basingstoke and will include a play based on the Suffragette Movement.

Forthcoming local events include a Coffee Morning to be held in the Village Hall to raise funds on the following Saturday.  This year the Area Quiz will be held in the Village on Thursday 21st June.  In order to increase interest at the Gift Stall at the Summer Fair in the Village Sarah suggested that a model of a suffragette might be made.  This was felt to be a good idea.

This year entries for the WI Tent Committee had to be based on one of the past resolutions adopted by the WI nationally.  Barbara agreed to look into this to see what might be appropriate.

It was planned to celebrate the hundredth birthday of the WI in King’s Somborne by holding a tea party on 20th February.  This event is eagerly anticipated.

The formal part of the AGM started with a report from the Secretary.  Linda was able to outline many activities including taking part in the area Skittles Evening and Quiz, enjoying hearing from many varied speakers and several outings.  The book club had been disbanded but more visits were planned instead.  We also take part in all village life to the full.  On a sad note Linda reminded us all that earlier in the year we had said goodbye to Thelma Blamey although many of us are still in touch with her and understand she has settled well into her new home.  Sarah thanked Linda for all her hard work and gave her some lovely tulips as a token of our appreciation.

Tina Pepper had, despite changes to the system, produced a Treasurer’s Report that was clear to us all.  Some suggestions were made on how funds might be increased in the future and these would be considered in due course.

In her President’s Report Sarah started by paying tribute to Thelma and all she had done while President.  She also thanked all the Committee members and in particular drew attention to Linda and Tina’s hard work during the year.  Sarah encouraged everyone to make suggestions for activities etc. so that our meetings could be as inclusive as possible.

Finally the Committee was re-elected unchanged with Sarah continuing as President.

Angela Brice then reported further on the regional activities and encouraged everyone to participate fully in these.

After tea/coffee and more chat this year’s resolution; “Mental health matters as much as physical health.  The NFWI urges all WI members to recognise importance of parity between mental and physical health, and to take action to make it as acceptable to talk about mental health issues as much as physical health issues, and to lobby government for better support for mental illness” was considered. The discussion that followed was led by Angela Brice who gave a history of the funding and development of this section of the NHS and many shortfalls were identified in the discussion that followed, in particular with regard to waiting times.  Accordingly, the motion was carried.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 13th June at 7.30pm in the Village Hall and will be a talk on Windsor Castle.  All are welcome.

Eileen Reynolds

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