Harlow Women's Institute

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

Thursday 14 January 2016


After the (unaccompanied) singing of Jerusalem, the President welcomed us back to the fold like a good shepherd and wished us all a happy and healthy New Year.  This first meeting of 2016 proved quite hectic.  As well as all the usual business, there were subscriptions to be paid, and a quantity of voting to be done.  Firstly, the choice of Resolution to go forward to the Annual Meeting at Brighton in June.  By the end of this month, all the Institutes in Essex will (or should) have sent their members' voting figures to the Federation.  The Federation then collates them, and forwards them to the National Federation headquarters.  Here, the figures received from every county are collated and, finally, a clear choice emerges (we hope) of the Resolution for approval or rejection at the Annual Meeting.  A Resolution, if accepted, may become a major campaigning and educational  activity for the whole of the WI movement.

 The other voting to be done concerned the County's Board of Trustees.  From a list of fourteen, we were required to vote for up to twelve.  Although potted biographies of the candidates are sent out, it can be difficult to form an opinion of someone you may not have met.  However, we managed to fill in our forms adequately.

The business of the meeting was dealt with fairly briskly, and the President then introduced the speaker.  Bob Harding-Jones told us that he had had a number of careers - writer, scriptwriter, comedian and paramedic.  From all of these, he has managed to cull a good selection of humorous anecdotes which kept us entertained for three-quarters of an hour.  At the end of the talk, he was thanked by Belinda Murray. 

After tea, the Raffle was drawn and Birthday flowers were presented.  The competition, which was for the best cracker joke, was very well supported and consequently took longer to judge.  Eventually, the winning joke was selected - "How do you make an apple puff?  You chase it around the garden".  (Groans were heard around the Hall.)

We sang the National Anthem, again unaccompanied, and the meeting closed at 3.50 pm.