Dear Pat and all of our friends of Sandon,                                                                                   11th June 2017.


Apologies for the non appearance of my letter in time for your meeting this month.  My time frame just did not stretch far enough.  


We are feeling the effects of the sun’s increased distance from this southern land now, and although we can sometimes  feel chilly in summer, as was the case this year, I’m afraid old Winter doesn’t believe in the reverse of hot sunny days when he’s in control.  We know though, and sometimes count our blessings that we don’t get catastrophic extremes of weather that some areas of the world are victims of.


This month we held our annual soup luncheon with the usual delicious assortment made by our committee, with assorted bread nibbles.  The speaker for the afternoon gave us an interesting run down on his biking tour of Vietnam.  With his wife and several other couples and singles, the package included bikes, with a bus to carry their luggage and for any help needed along the way.  It seemed amazing that this country which was ravaged by civil war for twenty two years, has become the modern and built up place it now is.  No traffic lights though in the cities the party passed through, so that was rather hair raising with the mass of traffic.


Our young mum Christine Mason is able to spend some time with us during meetings, bringing her delightful nearly 5 month old, Jack.  He’s a lovely little boy, so placid, and growing fast.  The members love to hold him a while and he’s learning to play to the gallery.


Sylvia Claridge our treasurer, (also V. President)  went to Christchurch for the National AGM.  It may take time for Sylvia to prepare her Report as she has commitments that all take time.   A concern for our Movement these days are the demands made by the Charities Services.  There are huge costs involved, which the National Federation has to meet for auditing associated with the work I told you of last year, i.e. counting the cost of materials, time, labour, numbers of, etc.  We must be honest, also pay for it to be proven, evidently!  There is a National Federation raffle currently going the rounds, in an effort to raise the possibly as high as $20,000 cost.  First prize is an Air New Zealand Mystery Weekend.


Further to the change of address for National Federation of N.Z. W.I. – the new leased premises are in Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt,  and the sale of the Wellington office has been completed.  Those of us with longer memories remember fondly the days of Jerome Spencer House, near Parliament Buildings in Wellington,  which had bedrooms which we could book for short stays, there was a part time house keeper, it was like a home away from home.  With compliance costs which included extra fire precautions, it became too expensive to maintain.  After all of that, more recently there would have been earthquake strengthening; that really would have been the finish even if we’d managed the costs of what went before.


Our member of 35 years, Betty Goston, died last week. Betty had been in poor health for some years and in care in Levin, for about three years.  Betty has been a wonderful W.I. member, small in stature but with a huge all-round ability, which was recognised in 1996, with a Good Service Badge, and in 2000 when she received the Gold Honours Award.   Many members fondly remember the Video Days she and husband Stan used to run monthly, giving everyone such an enjoyable day, for a small amount.  ($3.00)  They didn’t bother about their own costs, but each month the collection would be given to the Institute treasurer towards delegates’ expenses for Conference.  They ran this day for 17 years and thousands of dollars were raised over the time. 


 (Stan died in February, and Betty was bereft, although her family of three daughters and a son, are very caring,  Pam, a daughter, lives in Levin and often biked over to be with Betty. Gloria would travel up from Waikanae, son Reg lived in that vicinity too.  Sheryl, the youngest, lives in the South Island so it hasn’t been easy for her to visit.)   


Several women from Manawatu Federation will be going to Waikanae on Monday for what will be a huge gathering. As one who knew her from when she joined, I am able to record her impressive Institute life.


I hope to write more promptly next month, until then, kind regards from your friends of Milson W.I.,