Harlow Women's Institute

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

Friday 14 March 2014

Members Day

The March meeting is traditionally known as Members Day and is something of an unknown quantity.  Theoretically, a volunteer President for the day and a Committee organise this meeting in whatever way they choose, so that members attending the meeting have no idea what to expect.  The only information known in advance is the subject of the competition.  In some years, no volunteer President can be found, so that the March meeting becomes a do-it-yourself event of poetry and prose readings and perhaps a short quiz.  However, in 2014 Margaret Bacon nobly rose to the challenge and became President for the day.  She assembled a stalwart team about her who managed the procedures of the day, and who produced a delicious and substantial spread of refreshments, far more extensive than our usual biscuit. 

The competition was for an interesting or unusual item beginning with the letter 'T' and this brought forth a big entry ranging from a teddy bear to a Tardis, via a trivet, tea towels, a teacup and a tribal carving.  The range of entries was immense and the job of the judge difficult. 

The speaker was Emily Yarrow, a singer, who talked about her life and career, and sang many songs from a variety of genres - opera, jazz, cabaret and popular music.  The audience thoroughly enjoyed her talk and particularly her songs.  She was thanked on behalf of the WI by Lorraine Foy. 

After the talk came that abundance of refreshments - such a cornucopia that some members were able to take home 'doggy bags'. 

Before she left, Emily Yarrow was asked to judge the competition.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, she chose a musical instrument - a Tunisian tambour (picture below), which had been entered by Jenny Ford.

The raffle was drawn, Birthday flowers presented to seven members, thank yous were said, and the meeting closed with the singing of the National Anthem.

The general feeling was that we'd been given a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.