Dear Pat and our Sandon WI friends,


Greetings to you all as we resume our meetings for the year,  we hope you have had many pleasant days too, and follow on in a few months with as good a summer as we’re having. (Hoping it won’t change too soon.)


We were very pleased to hear from Pat and catch up with your activities once more.  As we have had a run of beautiful summer days we can say with certainty that we really enjoyed our summer break,  it has been a succession of lovely sunny days, with warmth and no wind.  Cooler this last week, and breezy too,  just a little change from what has become ‘normal’.


I was so pleased after returning from WI last Wednesday (4th)  to receive a call from Val Chiswell.  Pat had mentioned to me that if possible Val would phone me,  and she did, from her cruise ship, the Celebrity Solstice, which was docked at the Port of Wellington, and due to sail within an hour or so.  She told me about the side trips she’d done, both in Australia and New Zealand; it was interesting to hear about the how and where, to other parts.  I appreciate that she made the call, it was very nice to hear from her, in the midst of her holiday.


It was also great to hear about your planned banner with Sandon members to help with making and stitching.  It will be a very special piece for centenary year.  It is especially of interest to me as in January the biennial Quilt Symposium was held here, an eight year interval since the last Palmerston North event, and some of my sisters-in-law came from other cities for it.  Three were doing courses and the others described themselves as the support team.  I loved seeing all the beauty and imagination which went into the making of the quilts, and the number of women about town was phenomenal, There must have been a terrific number of visitors.  We of Milson will await news of progress on your new  banner, we hope the expedition to Billericay was productive and you have the necessary materials to proceed.  The Craft Centre you visited sounded like a treasure trove to supply many wants, besides things crafty. 


Our first Federation organised fixture for the year is Founder’s Day, to take place on 25th February, a picnic in Feilding.  Founder’s Day is the 21st, but the 25th is as close to that as possible.  The Federation AGM is to be 13th April, which will have everyone back in business for the year.


The National fundraising project for Kidney Kids NZ Inc. which began in 2012, was concluded last year.  The total amount raised over 24 months was more than $110.00, but at the time of its conclusion it was found that the Starship Children’s renal unit had been completed and was fully fitted out.  By agreement with Kidney Kids personnel our NEC have agreed to cover travel costs of children with kidney diseases going to camps set up for them, two camps per year, the amount of $20,000 given each year until the fund has been spent. This is now considered to be the best option – equipment bought would have automatically become government property, but this way, children benefit 100%.


After the usual barbecue we begin our year with, we started the business side of the day.  One of our number, Verna Drummond, is in Arohanui Hospice, which is hard for Verna and everyone who knows her.  Verna became ill a year ago and has been trying hard to regain her health,  which is not good now.  Another member Betty Goston, who has been a great strength of Milson's over the years, has had to go into care, which she is accepting well as the Care facility is in Levin and for most of her family it will be much closer for them to visit.  Her husband has been a tower of strength to her and I think has enabled Betty to live in her home for longer than would have been possible otherwise.   Her husband Stan is hoping to have a unit for himself as well, within the complex.

The speaker for the afternoon was a young man   who started his business career in one of our supermarkets, and who has gone on to become an estate agent.  We were particularly interested in him,  young Jeremy Crosland, (all of 23)  as his two grandmothers belong to Milson, he told the members he would be glad to guide them through the process if they were planning to sell their home with a view to moving on.


Milson's AGM will be the next concern for all, and it is a big hope that some women will make the commitment to committee as it will be even harder to limp along for another year, without one.


I prepared more Sandon Web addresses for  members here, as there are such amounts of interesting written material and photos available for those who can go to the site,  to see.  It would be really good to see those members inspired by Sandon’s example.  


The speakers at your meeting on the 12th  will no doubt be interesting, the subject sounds quite intriguing.  Wishing you a happy time there and good guessing when looking at the baby photos of quite a while ago!


With best wishes from all your friends of Milson,

& Pauline


Additional news

Founder's Day was celebrated Wednesday last. 


We seem to have moved away from former days - wherever we were we would have a short time devoted to our founder, Miss Jerome Spencer, with someone speaking on aspects of her life and work.  The activity took place in a big home in Feilding where the couple there are collectors of mostly china and notable crockery, etc, but much else as well.   They have a room given over to commemorative spoons,  ten thousand of them on racks lining the walls.


There were over 50 Manawatu women, all asking about the polishing of the spoons, and who would be taking them over in years to come.  The couple laughed and said they've threatened their daughter with that inheritance (who seriously doesn't want them although a collector herself). 


Mr Bird has a vast table about 6' x 6',  with about 8 layers of shelves going down to the floor, each shelf is completely covered with a cup, saucer and plate set of different patterns from a famous British china factory,  I can't remember just which one, it might have been Royal Albert.  Most every room taken over with a serious collection such as that.  And, the couple manage to live there as well!  


We then went to one of the town's green areas for a picnic lunch which was very nice.