Alnmouth WI, annual meeting

Given it was Alnmouth WI’s annual meeting, and traditionally not one of the best attended in the year, it wasn’t bad at all as a fair proportion of members were there in anticipation of who will be in the chair for our 97th year, but as the ‘ordinary’ meeting was first, this is something we had to wait for until the normal business of the evening was completed.

Janis, our president, started with her usual warm greeting to the members, including Prudence Marks, who was our WI adviser for the annual meeting, before asking us to stand and sing our traditional anthem Jerusalem.

Our secretary, Caroline, then went through various up-and-coming events, including a treasure hunt organised by Longhoughton WI in June, our theatre trip to see Sister Act at the Theatre Royal and our August outing to the Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal exhibition at Bowes Museum.

Janis then presented the joint winners of the monthly competition, Ann Coyne and Caroline, with a voucher.

The next item on the agenda was the 2015 resolution, Failing to Care, an assessment of need in long-term care.

This resolution was put forward by North Duffield WI of the North Yorkshire East Federation and the proposer’s position and overview is well worth studying and can be found at www.theWI.org.uk/resolutions. This will be voted on at the national annual meeting.

After quite a discussion of this very complex issue and also hearing what members, who have personal experience of relatives in long-term care, had to say, it was decided to leave the decision to Janis who is the delegate for our WI, after hearing all the ‘experts’ at the annual meeting.

The annual meeting was then started by Jean, our treasurer, presenting the financial statement which looks pretty healthy, followed by an excellent report of our past year from Caroline reminding us of interesting speakers and demonstrations. Two of the many excellent evenings organised by Celia Collinson, our programme secretary, were Sandra Dickenson, an amazing flower arranger using flowers from her garden, and Dominic Appleby, a Newcastle Street Pastor, who really opened our eyes as to what goes on when most of us are tucked up in our beds.

Finally, before Prudence took over the formal election of officers, etc, Janis gave us her final address before standing down as this year’s president.

She covered most of the year from when she started as a complete rookie right up to date, thanking many members for their guidance and help throughout the year, even learning the words of Jerusalem.

Prudence then asked the proposed 2015/16 committee members to stand, asking all members for a show of hands to confirm they were happy with the duly-elected committee, which was very enthusiastically confirmed. This was followed by a secret ballot for president and we were delighted to learn Janis was unanimously voted to stand for another year.

Pam Muggleton thanked both Prudence for her help in getting us through the annual meeting and also everyone involved in keeping our WI going for another year.

A superb pooled supper finished the evening.

Our birthday girl this month was Pam.