President’s Report

President’s Report October 2013 – October 2014

5 years – we have come a long way since that inaugural meeting in October 2009, when about 20 of us, many strangers to each other, and many still here today, met at the Salvation Army Hall.   Our first speaker meeting in January, was hindered by a snow storm – about 10 of us made it through the blizzards and hazardess conditions – I think it is our tenacity, determination to succeed, and sense of responsibility and fun that runs through everything we do.

As Rosemary has reminded us another jolly good year!

With highlights for me being that sunny afternoon lazing in the Lavender fields, actually wearing the skirt I made at our dress making craft group, and our open garden event.

But most importantly it has been hearing so many members comment about the difference our WI makes to their lives – all positive of course! Some taking up new hobbies, some truly being inspired by something and going on to expand their horizons for themselves; many making new friends after moving into the area or retiring from work.   I am pleased that we have welcomed so many new members and that our age range is widening.

I am encouraged by how much we are moving out into the community with our efforts at the Big Bite Festival, holding the cake stall at the 10K, bread making in schools, and last but not least working with MIND at one of their day clubs.

After all, being in the WI is about learning, and by doing so making us better equipped as individuals in the wider community – all in the spirit of friendship and fun. We certainly have had a fair share of that.

We have had challenges, and not always finished what we have set out to do – such as the “faces” some of you made still need completing; our much anticipated speaker letting us down; coping with criticism and sadness in our lives, not really improving on WI History in Quizzes, and mastering the WI systems such as The Moodle!

Still they aren’t important, and I am sure we will succeed or finish what ever we started – the WI is bigger than one person, or one failed activity and Bognor Regis WI is here to stay.

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank each one of you as members of our WI for contributing – it does not seem to matter how much or how little every contribution is helpful – just being here to make up our WI can be enough (although I must admit I have been nagging you about joining the committee).

On behalf of all the members, thanks go to all the committee for their enduring work this last year – I have exhausted them!

Thanks to all of you for taking a lead in our activity groups and Another Dimension Programme – which gives us so much more than a WI meeting – by arranging outings and activities.

Thank you for adding your name to rotas.   Thank you for taking part in our Federation activities – our WI is part of a much larger organisation – the commitment our WI showed to the Organ Donation Resolution discussion this year illustrated how well we incorporate that voice that the WI is known for nationally.   I believe we are a fine example of a WI.

Next year, in the WI centenary year, we will be focussing on the new strap line Inspiring Women Working Together – finding ways to share our skills, celebrate what we can do and how we can learn from each other – all in that ambition of friendship, and giving us the chance to be better citizens.

Future – as we move further on to the following year when West Sussex celebrates its 100 years as part of the WI organisation, maybe some of us can look back into history of WI’s in Bognor Regis – researching from Archives and talking to current and ex members about the history of WI in the area.   Our Bognor Regis WI is now part of that history.

Here is to the future though – our future within the National WI Federation and our future as Bognor Regis WI, which I am sure will continue to be successful.

Jan Marsden

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