Dear Pat & our Sandon WI Friends,
Pat began her letter to Milson announcing the merry month of May which brought to mind memories of old times and stories, when the May Queen was chosen from teenage girls in a village, maypole dancing on the green, and bluebell woods. When I turned the page of my This England calendar at the beginning of the month I found a Suffolk bluebell wood, and thought of the rambles Sandon members have taken in similar woods near Sandon. It must be a lovely thing to do.
We have been experiencing a large High over most of the country for some time, enjoying the warmth still, although a downpour overnight through the week caused flooding due to blocked drains. Most of the water was gone in 24 hours, and I’m sure farmers in the district would be thankful for the soaking as the ground had been bone dry and they were worried about crops recently sown. The weather will change once the high moves off, winter will be waiting in the wings, but the reprieve has been so lovely.
Our meeting day was summery, so good to arrive and see the friendly familiar faces, two of them, June Crosland and Leonie Fieldhouse, had been models the day before for our annual fashion parade, made possible by Ballentynes.
It is a good fundraiser for Manawatu Federation. Our speaker was representing a personal alarm company. She made a very good presentation. The special sales table, another annual event, was to help boost our donation to National.
This year the Conference is held in Wellington and they will need all contributions and more as it has become so costly to have the National office there. In fact there are plans to sell the office space in town and move out to maybe Lower Hutt, or another nearby suburb.
Another concern at this time is to accurately record all articles made or otherwise prepared for charity giving. Every detail must be recorded, cost of materials, (wool, fabric, everything used) time involved in making, even the amount of material for anything made to be donated, must be included. The Charities Commission is requiring this information which must be done thoroughly. Milson’s recorder is Pheola Robertson. A trial run is being held this year to get the Institutes up to speed, next year it’s really on. The alternative is losing charity status, tax would have to be assessed, and that would close us down. We’ve been told if the worst comes to that, we could not afford to go to court to try to regain our former status. It all sounds monstrous to me, I really can’t understand why the government is taking such a hard line on women who’ve been doing such good work for so long. They must think we’re feathering our own nests, even as our National Executive is planning to move due to costs they cannot afford in the future.
Congratulations from all Milson members to Kay on taking up the Chairmanship of Essex Federation, we can appreciate the workload that such a position holds for Kay, with so many more women and Institutes involved there, than here. There was quite an audible reaction from members as I read out the news, and laughter when told of Kay’s refusal to follow Bev’s example.
Thank you to all for your congratulations to Hugh and me on our Diamond Wedding anniversary last week, we’ve had very special days and many happy times, including the unexpected arrival of our eldest son and daughter-in-law, in time for the celebration last Friday evening.
We wish you a Happy Anniversary too, on the eve of your 98th celebration.
From all Milson members,