The tiny meeting room on the banks of the Lerryn River became a very colourful place – and a good bit noisier than usual – when Lerryn WI got together on a sunny afternoon last month to celebrate their 70th anniversary.
Current members were out in force, naturally, but they greeted with delight many former members and colleagues as well as the guest of honour, Margaret Johnson, CFWI Chairman.
It goes without saying that a lot of hard work had gone on in the background so that there was an abundance of wonderful food and a reasonably tuneful singing of Jerusalem. There was much laughter, but also some sadness at the good wishes received from ex-members no longer well enough to join the group, and complimentary deliveries of birthday cake were speedily arranged for them.
Lerryn President Alison Ginty hit the right note when she recalled the post-war period in which local women had established the Lerryn WI. Food shortages were still in evidence, and daily life was hard. Lerryn village did not even have mains electricity until 1952, and those women came together to support one another in creating a better life for their families and themselves.
So what changes? In many ways life is much easier today, but the needs are still there – for the support and companionship, the stimulus of fresh ideas and the opportunity to acquire new skills.
When the magnificent cake was cut and the champagne came round, the members were happy to toast the next 70 years!