Our Christmas Celebrations!

TreeTo start the BRWI Christmas Party evening on a festive note, members and guests were offered a cup of mulled wine as they arrived at the beautifully decorated Gordon Hall. President Sue Harris then welcomed members and guests from Bognor Regis WI and Aldwick Revival WI to the meeting before asking Debbie to introduce the entertainment for the evening, namely flautist Frances Benham.

Frances Benham

A rendition of ‘Jerusalem’ helped everyone to warm up their vocal chords, and this was enthusiastically followed by a compendium of carols accompanied by Frances.  There was a hearty ‘Ding Dong’ and ‘Jingle Bells’ and magnificent ‘glorias’ rang out, putting the acoustics of the hall to the test.  There was nothing ‘Silent Night’ about it!  To hear our rendition of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ click here.   

Frances judged our ‘Christmas in 100 words’ competition and the competition results were as follows: Joyce came in at 3rd place; Annie in 2nd; and Debbie took 1st place being persuaded to perform her somewhat controversial poem, which claimed her to be “a right ole misery” with all the “bother and fuss” of the festive season.  (She secretly reassures us that’s she’s not really as grumpy as she makes out!)

Sue brought members attention to the latest copy of West Sussex News where 3 of our members were mentioned in the paragraph re the County Centenary Craft Competition.

To re-energise after all the singing, platters of cheese and biscuits were served, along with mince pies and various other sweet fancies.  Each table was asked to compete in a ‘Festive Film’ themed quiz, and to also guess which committee member had made which of the stunning table decorations adorning each table.


Quizzes were scored and prizes given, and then on to Sue’s secret bottle raffle.  If you had a winning ticket you could choose a bottle bag containing a mystery bottle of… something – no peeking until it was too late!

Then on to the ‘awards’ section, where special service and talents were acknowledged as follows:

  • The ‘Be More Like Stella’ award to Stella, for being an inspirational member and person, always cheerful, supportive and positive.
  • The ’Saving the Day’ award to Joyce, for stepping in at the last minute and taking on the vital role of treasurer.
  • The ‘Eating Out Hero’ award to Lesley, who is stepping-down after masterminding 7 years of monthly meals for the ‘Eating Out’ sub-group.
  • The ‘Craft Queen’ award to Sarah, for her crafting expertise as demonstrated at the summer social, and by her input in leading the Christmas Crafting activities at the November meeting.

Although it was a busy evening full of fun and laughter, there was just time to take advantage of a special photo opportunity, namely:


BRWI Presidents, aka The 5 Wise Women.  From left to right in ascending term order: Janet; Jan; Lesley; Dinah; and our current president Sue.

Each has brought something unique and valuable to the presidency, which has helped BRWI grow into the thriving and vibrant institute it is today.

As Sue closed the meeting with an amusing anecdote from her childhood, Party Bags and the 2020 Programme were distributed.  She gave special thanks to Chris and her team of helpers for organising the evening’s refreshments.

For those who haven’t yet received their copy of the 2020 Programme – have a peek by clicking here!

words & photos: Debbie Brooks

To see Debbie’s full meeting record click on it …. Members Meeting Minutes Dec19

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