‘WI Talk’ by Sheila Goldsworthy

Assistant Media Officer and former CFWI Chairman Sheila Goldsworthy writes a wonderful and informative monthly WI column for The Cornishman. Here is Sheila’s February column:

When does the national media take notice of the WI? When one of the most important aspects of the WI is on the agenda, namely the selection of resolutions to be debated and voted on at the National Annual Meeting later in the year. There is an excellent paragraph in this month’s County News giving details of a Resolutions Roadshow saying: “The WI is a democratic organisation and our resolutions process is unique in putting members at the heart of decisions about our campaign activity.”

The history of the WI has always embraced this procedure and no matter how trendy and futuristic the WI may go, we shall always be the envy of other organisations for our altruistic stance. Always ahead of our time, the WI first brought people’s attention to the dangers of disintegrating plastic packaging to livestock and the spoiling of the countryside and beaches caused by non-perishable containers way back in 1971, followed up in 1978 by another environmental resolution on the dangers to marine life over exploitation and pollution.

The Cornwall Federation of WIs has been successful in having several resolutions chosen to go forward to the National Annual Meeting, mainly on social and environmental issues, including one from Whitecross WI in 1936, under the subject of the conservation of the countryside “viewing with alarm all the building taking place around the coasts.” Many will remember how we received plaudits in bringing the subject of AIDS to the nation’s attention.

This year there will be three venues where members can hear the 2022 short-listed resolutions debated, and can receive the necessary information that the link delegate can take back to their WIs. They are Friday 22 April at Chy Noweth an Conteth from 2 to 4pm, Tuesday 26 April at Connor Downs WI Hall from 10am to 12 noon and on Thursday 28 April at Millennium House in Pensilva from 6.30 to 8.30pm. These events will be ticketed but are free of charge.

Speakers in Cornwall are always gratified when they can appear in the CFWI approved list of speakers. This opens the door to enjoy the pleasure of speaking to enthusiastic and friendly WI members, but first they must pass the initiation test! After they apply to be a WI speaker, they are invited to give a brief resume on their subject to WI members at Chy Noweth an Conteth. This “Speakers Audition Day” is ideal to assess the speakers and consider if they would be popular as a speaker in your WI. It is being held at Chy Noweth on Friday 13 May from 10am to 3.30pm.

As a nation we are in no doubt what we are all celebrating this year. A WI member is our Queen! How lucky we are to have such a selfless and dedicated woman as a shining example to the world. Cornish WI members now have a chance to put their own personality on a card to be sent to the Queen from the Federation, marking her Platinum Jubilee, 70 years on the throne. The card should be no larger than A5. Any medium may be used but the card must be flat enough to fit into a C5 envelope. Entries should be sent to Chy Noweth an Conteth. All artwork used should be original. The inside of the card may be blank or contain original wording. The winning entry will be sent to Her Majesty so cannot be returned. Other entries will be displayed at Federation events throughout the year and can then be returned to entrants who have included a stamped self-addressed envelope with their entry. Entry is free and the closing date for entries to be received is Thursday14 April. We have such talented and artistic Cornish members, the card is guaranteed to be stunning! The winner will be announced at the Chairman’s Coffee Morning on 6 May, which is being held at St Erme Community Centre.

We can all do with a little anticipated excitement. Our Federation Treasurer is pleading with us to support the 200+ Club. For just £10 per share, we can be entered into 10 monthly draws. At the moment the prize money is £61.50 per draw, but that rises with the more entries there are. The entry forms are with your WI Secretary, and can be purchased for family members too. It would be so good to look forward each month to a little flutter, when the monthly draw takes place, helping our exemplary WI in Cornwall.

It is really good to see some of our favourite events back on the agenda, namely the Four-Corner Days, or in this case Six! There are three venues and a chance to try two different crafts, namely mouth watering chocolate truffles in a chocolate half egg, origami butterflies and flowers, Assisi embroidery, a Shamballa bracelet, a fabric bookmark and sand cards. What a choice! The venues are, Marshgate Village Hall on Monday 4 April, Probus Village Hall on Monday 11 April and Marazion Community Centre on Friday 29 April (all from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

Don’t forget to buy some chocolate in the next fortnight. Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 21 February until 6 March, and the cocoa farmers in particular are experiencing a very difficult time, so buying that extra bar of tasty chocolate would help the well being of the farmers and us!




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