Every year each WI produces an annual report, recording what has happened within the WI during the previous year. Our second annual report is shown below:
The 7 member committee met 11 times to plan and co-ordinate our WI activity. Sue Kinnaird and Gina Fitchroy were co-opted on, after Helen Bargery and Gill Chambers stood down. Janet Perkins chaired each meeting supported by Treasurer Lesley Hiley, Secretary Jan Marsden, Sheila Booth and Kate Claisse, as well as Sue and Gina.
Our WI met 11 times on 2nd Tuesday of each month (except August) and had a varied programme.
The stained glass demonstration enthralled members with the colours. December’s meeting heralded the Festive season with an historical depiction of Christmas. The hand on approach, however, was not everyone’s “cup of mulled wine”! At the New Year meeting a member rallied us all to try Tai Chi and gave us a talk on it’s history and benefits. The WI ethos of taking care of the environment was covered by two of our meetings. In February we had an informative talk by Portsmouth Water Company who gave out water saving devices. In March we focussed on recycling textiles. By popular demand we repeated a clothes swap, and there were rag-rugging examples and a competition. April got us singing. The Arun Sounds Chorus lead us in a 3-part harmony – how clever was that! In May, members lead a debate on this year’s WI resolutions by putting the case for and against the issue of Mega Farms. The proposal was rejected at the WI AGM – a point that one of our members had alluded to at our meeting by suggesting that the subject was too complex. A quiz, which tested our knowledge on Famous Women, lightened the resolution mood. June and July tested out two more of the approved WI speakers. The talk on Life in Radio focussed on the marketing aspect to its core listeners – an energetic and informal talk blessed with a few anecdotes on the chat between the listeners and the presenter. To those interested in understanding how we tick, Graphology, proved interesting – and to others it left questions about “the science” still be answered. Our year concluded with an entertaining and informative presentation on “The Novice Beekeeper”. The speaker’s passion for Bees shone through.
Nature’s Way Foods hosted our WI to two enthusiastic talks about salad packaging in Selsey. As one of the largest employers locally it was interesting to see the process from the crop coming into the factory to it leaving in packets.
We went to Highdown Vineyard where the wine tasting, with an extremely informative talk on wine production at Angmering, inspired us to drink more wine, with a better understanding about the different wines.
Montezumas chocolate tasting left us wanting more information and more chocolate! Creating a new chocolate flavour could be a challenge for next year.
North lodge – 16 members went to the Open Evening at our Federation Offices. A tour of the WI wardrobe was one of the highlights where a vast selection of vintage clothing can be hired.
Our committee took up the invite to National Federation WI’s Open Day in London. The visit was recorded by poem in the Buzz and on our website, and with an article in the October WSN.
Hotham Park Country Fayre. This year the craft stall on August 7th was extended to include jam, cake and chutney. The day was threatened by rain, but as the sun came out it proved another successful event where our members worked together and took £422.00.
The Garden Party was the social event of the year. Held at Rowland Rank Hall / Garden on August 21nd the sun shone and we buzzed more than the bees.
The Buzz was named in June this year by members. Our editor, Lesley Guppy, has ensured The Buzz, our own newsletter, has grown from strength to strength. Communicating with members has been a priority this year with such a large WI and we set up a member contact list and a website.
Our own website was launched in March. It’s colourful, informative design has brought in several enquiries about our WI and is a modern medium for keeping everyone and anyone informed about us.
Links with other WI’s
6 members have accepted invitations to other WI meetings. A new WI Regnum, in Chichester, picked our brains about starting up a WI and links are being maintained by sharing information and ideas. Regnum invited our WI to their skittle and pub evening which 7 of our members went along to.
Another credit to us is Our Resolution Proposal. “What no oranges!” proposes that at least the public are warned about the cancer related chemical in some orange flavoured products. June’s WI meeting approved Jack Ayling’s resolution proposal which was endorsed by West Sussex Federation wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, there were so many resolutions to choose from National Federation could not take ours forward to the shortlist.
We are currently embracing the WI’s Love you Libraries campaign voted for at the AGM this year.
In competition we are a WI to be reckoned with. One of our members had the highest individual score at the County Skittle event where 15 of our members took part. 2 members took part in the County Tennis tournament and we had a winner. The County Quiz showed our prowess again, as we came 1st, 3rd and somewhere else with our 3 teams. We were represented by 3 members at The County Show at Ardingly and came away with cream on our faces as all 3 entries made the grade.
There has been a small take up of the County craft workshops with only 1 attended, Calligraphy by 2 members and 2 members went to a Vegetarian Delights cookery class at Denman, our WI College in Oxford.
Within our WI activities include:
Cyber Chicks – 4 members are available to help others improve their IT skills. Some members already had moved forward in what they can do on the computer.
25 members have taken part in 15 walks covering 60 miles this year – making our total over 100 miles! “Reaching parts that may not have been reached before” remains the theme, as we exercise our legs, see places and things we have not been to before, and enjoy the company – oh boy can we talk – I mean walk! Not without incidents, such as almost being rounded up by sheep dogs, chased out of a field by horses and keeping company with cows!
The theatre programme started with a trip in January to The History Boys at Chichester . Since then groups of 10 or more WI ladies and friends have gone to some very varied shows: from the incredible London production of War Horse to the thought-proving satire, Top Girls, and the lively musical Singin’ In the Rain both at Chichester . In October eighteen of us are off to the blood curdling Sweeney Todd. So far, about 25 members have been involved in the Theatre trips.
The craft group has had a great year; from about 20 members it has a mixture of craft obsessed members who attend every meeting, and also ladies who like to dip in and out whenever a craft takes their fancy. Some of the highlights of the last year include a visit to Pallant House and Art Gallery followed by a very pleasant meal, another chance to get to grips with crochet and many evenings spent crafting items for the Bognor Regis WI Hotham Park stall. Every meeting gives members the chance to share their skills or learn something new – and enjoy a lovely cup of tea with a slice of homemade cake.
The book group, with 12 members, runs full to capacity. 8 books have been discussed and they took part in the Bognor Regis Library Book Club Quiz where they came 3rd.
Three cinema trips have been organised on a spur of the moment, as well as a Trip to see High Society with a meal in Littlehampton. The last film seen was Cowboys and Aliens, which those who went found great fun. Plans are afoot to ensure more members can be contacted in time to see the selected films in the future.
This Annual Report reflects on some of the activity and achievements of our WI – which of course, can be different for each one of us – in general however,
Friendships have grown Members have got involved
New skills learnt Ideas discussed and shared
Jan Marsden Secretary October 2011