Hamsterley WI – Report of meeting held on Tuesday 11th October 2011

WI LogoAnn Richards, President, welcomed everyone to the Annual General Meeting, especially Mrs Tina Bickerdike, County WI Adviser.

Anne Walshaw, Secretary, read out the minutes from last year’s AGM and also reported that the Group Meeting hosted by Hamsterley WI had been enjoyable an enjoyable evening and was well attended.


Janet Embleton gave her report from the Durham County WI Annual General Meeting held that afternoon.  Janet had found the speakers very interesting.  Claire Hopps had given a talk about the Dogs Trust.  It is the largest Dog Charity in Britain and last year looked after 16,000 dogs.  The nearest branch is at Sadberge, near Darlington and it is open to the public every day except Tuesdays.  Sheila Dibnah, widow of Steeplejack and TV Presenter Fred Dibnah MBE, gave her talk about her romance and marriage to the man who was once voted “Britain’s Most Unromantic Man” by a women’s’ magazine.  Mrs Dibnah had members laughing.

Ann Richards asked members if they would like some monthly WI meetings to be held in the afternoon during some wintery months.
Members voted that they would like this to happen.

The next Knit and Natter meeting will take place at the home of Sue Davis, at 2pm on Tuesday, 18 October 2011.  Members are given the option of continuing with their own projects or starting the cushions for the London Olympics made from British Wool.  Sue Davies is able to get supplies of the wool.

Anne Walshaw, as Secretary, read her Annual Report.  It has certainly been a busy year.

Ann Richards was re-elected as President of Hamsterley WI.

Tina Bickerdike, County WI Adviser, talked about her role on the Membership Committee.  She then told us about Adelaide Hoodless, the amazing lady who founded the WI in Canada.  She was a “Women with a Vision”.

A mother of four children, Adelaide Hoodless lost her infant son as a result of drinking unpasturised milk.  She devoted herself to the betterment of education for new mothers.  At this time education was given to farmers and men to cultivate the land, but no education was given to wives and daughters on domestic science.  Her aim was to introduce the same level of science to the operation of the household as was applied to the cultivation and fertilization of fields.  She began speaking at Farmers’ Union meetings on topics of importance to farm women.  From those activities, it was decided to run a parallel organisation of value to rural women.  On 19 February 1897 she held a meeting in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada out of which grew an organisation called the Federated Women’s Institutes (WI) of Canada.  Sadly she died aged 52, but she achieved so much for the benefit of others during her life.

As the WI celebrates its Centenary in Britain in 2015, it has modernised, its campaigns are as strong as ever and it gives a voice to women of all ages.

Members signed the “Love your Libraries” petition.  This is the campaign that our delegates voted for at the national meeting held in Liverpool in June 2011.

The competition was won by 1. Angela Watson; 2. Shirley Wood; 3. Joan McDowall.

Joan McDowall has gained the most points from the competitions over the last 12 months.  Well done Joan!

Betty Jackson won the raffle.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 7pm.
The speaker will be Kendra Hughes, Artistic Director of “HairHaus”.
She will give a talk and hair demonstration on two volunteers.
This meeting is open to everyone, please share the enjoyment with us.
The competition is a photograph of a “Bad Hair Day”.

Janet Embleton

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