Harlow Women's Institute

Member of the Federation of Essex Women's Institutes
Charity Registration Number 228992

Sunday 16 February 2014

February Meeting

The wet and windy weather may have accounted for a slightly lower turnout at last Wednesday's meeting - only 37 members and four visitors.  However, those present appeared to enjoy the afternoon.

The business part of the meeting - minutes, matters arising, reports and correspondence - was completed promptly, and then the President explained that the advertised speaker, Mr Gordon Bailey, was unable to come due to a family bereavement.  We were sorry not to see him, especially in the circumstances, but hope to see and hear him next year.  His place was taken, at short notice, by Anne Small who gave a delightful and very interesting talk on her experiences as an ex-patriot in Papua New Guinea and Kenya.  She and her husband and their three sons spent many years abroad, and we were treated to slides showing various aspects of the life they led.  Members were intrigued and rather horrified by the thought of large monitor lizards at large in the garden, not to mention the smaller geckos running across ceilings.  Anne returns regularly to Kenya as she is involved in charity work there, helping to ease the lives of young girls at school with the provision of hygiene products.   Funds are raised by the sale of beautiful hand-made jewellery, a selection of which was on display at the meeting.  It was a very interesting and informative talk, and Anne was warmly thanked at the close.  Members were able to look more closely at the necklaces and bracelets during the tea interval.

Tea was served, the Raffle drawn, and Birthday flowers presented to eight members.  The competition for a 'found' object (which would have been appropriately in line with the original talk on "Treasures Beneath Your Feet") attracted a broad range of objects from fossils and bottles to leather-working tools.  It was judged by Anne Small who chose a very beautifully preserved fossil imprint of a flower, belonging to Sheila Caulfield, as the winner. 
The next meeting is Members Day on 12 March.  President for the day will be Margaret Bacon and the refreshments will be rather more than the usual biscuits.  The competition is for an unusual or amusing item beginning with the letter T. 

Members are asked to think about the forthcoming AGM in May.  Please consider joining the Committee or, perhaps, 'shadowing' one of the officers to find out what is entailed.  Nomination forms will be available at the April meeting.