Dear Pat and our Sandon WI friends,


The year is moving on, as it does, now that storm Doris has moved through and away,  you will be enjoying more warmth, less rushing of air??  We certainly hope so.  Our summer has been less than normal and everyone is well over the continual winds, though we did have a perfect week recently, the wags are calling it our summer.  The sun has been coaxed out today which takes the edge off the wind, but really I think we had better cut our losses and hope for a calmer autumn.  It does happen sometimes – until equinoctial winds arrive.


I must refer to two items Pat mentioned in her letter, the beached whales at the top of the South Island, and the bush fires in Canterbury.   They are such dedicated folk who try to refloat the whales, and it happens every summer season.  There have been so many this season, it must be a very hard, sad job, having to bury such numbers.


The bush fires in Canterbury have been a horrific shock, similar to the devastating fires in parts of Victoria and NSW during dry summers.  Eleven, may be more homes were burnt down.  Some people could not get home for several days because of the danger of fire smouldering underground. The one casualty was a helicopter pilot who crashed while flying in water. His loss was very sad and felt deeply.


Bev announced at our Milson meeting last Wednesday that she has to relinquish her presidency of Milson, and there were no other nominations for her office.  She is working on a solution and has something in mind to help us through this barren spot.  It really is not a surprise that Bev now knows she needs much more time to recover properly, and give herself that chance.


Founder’s Day picnic was held at Victoria Esplanade as planned, bright sunshine just as for last year’s event, but unfortunately marred by cold wind, and recent distressing news.  A few days prior we were all stunned to hear of the death of Federation secretary, Lorraine Miles, aged 76.  Lorraine passed away in her sleep.  This has been a severe blow as Bev, having to face reality and step down as President,  had been reassured by the fact that Lorraine would become president.  A special meeting will be held tomorrow for Manawatu Institutes to attend, to sort out solutions.  The National President, Kay Hart, is to attend Federation AGM in early April, and she will be aware of the situation as Bev is in touch with her.


The speaker last week (rather an anti climax now!) has a family business of growing fruit trees, and grafting special and heritage varieties, especially apples,  for a well known plant nursery and  garden centre.  She was very knowledgeable and a most interesting speaker who could have kept going for much longer answering questions, but for the time factor.


I hope you have a happy meeting on Thursday,  and enjoy the friendships and company that goes hand in hand with our meetings.


Best wishes from all the members of Milson WI,

& Pauline



p.s. Tuesday 7th March.  I became aware today that there has been a problem with this email and it has not reached its destination,  consequently I am able to report on the special meeting held on Monday, to discuss events which could have meant difficulties in the running of Manawatu Federation.  There was a good representation by members from local Institutes, and everyone who spoke was able to contribute positively.  It seems we will have the required officers when needed and the AGM should be the usual productive day.