Lanivet WI’s First Competition: A Resounding Success!

Mary won first prize for her panda painting

At a recent meeting of the newly formed Lanivet WI, a local historian, Andrew, was invited to talk to members and guests and their very first competition reflected the topic: Lanivet. Members were asked to make or bring along something personal that said something about their lovely village.

Andrew received lots of questions from the members and judged the entries. There was a wide range: poems, painting, photographs, craft work and cooking. A painting of a panda won first prize and some readers may wonder what has a panda got to do with a Cornish village but I suspect a few do already know!

For those not in the know, in 1938 London Zoo welcomed its first three resident pandas – baby Ming and adults Tang and Sung. The Second World War brought with it disrupted shipping routes, which had a big impact on the pandas’ food supply. Zookeepers at Regents Park had to go in desperate search of a reliable supplier for the 20 or more kilos of bamboo shoots and leaves the pandas each needed to consume every single day. After putting out a call for help, the zoo found the answer at a plantation in Lanivet, where the British Bamboo Cane Co Ltd was already harvesting up to 40 acres every year. Reports from the time say that Boy Scouts from the village volunteered to harvest and pack the bamboo shoots which were then sent up to Paddington daily by train from Bodmin. 

The winner was Mary with her panda. Sue was second and her photo from 1985 showed a church knitting group making clothes for a charity abroad. In third place was Sharron, who composed a touching poem about a walk through the village.

Linking the monthly competition to the meeting topic will be interesting, especially as an upcoming meeting will be about Laughter Yoga!

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