‘WI Talk’ by Sheila Goldsworthy

Former CFWI Chairman and current Assistant Media Officer Sheila Goldsworthy writes a wonderful monthly WI column for The Cornishman. Here is Sheila’s June column.

June is always a very busy month for members, and this year in particular the organisational professionalism of our WI teams made two premier events so enjoyable for our members, with the NFWI Annual Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall in London and of course the Royal Cornwall Show at Wadebridge.

Although Annual Meetings have been held in different cities throughout the UK, nothing can compare with the atmosphere and panache of the Royal Albert Hall. The resolution on highlighting the urgency of providing training for more dentists especially to care for children’s dental health was passed by a 95.5% majority.

The afternoon discussion concentrated on women experiencing domestic abuse. Former Crown Prosecutor Nazir Afzal gave advice on helping the 4 million abused women, (which included forced marriages). There needs to be a changing attitude and he warned that the acts of abuse must be reported. There was also a question and answer interview with Victoria Derbyshire interviewing Mel B (one of the Spice Girls) who endured years of physical and mental abuse before she had the courage to walk away from the marriage. Actor Timothy Watson also spoke on his role in The Archers in which he played the part of an abusive husband, which he found to be very difficult and an eye opener. It is very satisfying to know NFWI tackles unpleasant and disturbing subjects that affect women.

Our members enjoyed an excellent meeting. The travel arrangements too were first class, which was so well organised for the Cornish members by Kathy Reed, and then on the actual trip by Liz Anderson, who looked after everyone so well, and made sure everyone was happy and comfortable.

At the Royal Cornwall Show everyone was heading in one direction where our Marquee was; of course, a prime target for members to witness first-hand the talent and skill that embraces our membership. The stalls as usual were busy, busy, busy. Everyone found something to purchase and appreciated a cup of tea and the warm and welcoming atmosphere. The competition for the Royal Cornwall Cup, entitled “Sea Fever”, portraying the poem by John Masefield,

The weather for the three days of the Show was good which is always a help, much to everyone’s relief, some whom recalled the third day of the show in1993, celebrating our 75 Anniversary when we were flooded out, but as usual WI members and their families rallied around with their moral and physical support. The show was abandoned, a fact mentioned by Chris Riddle on his retirement speech to Spotlight last week. However not all was lost, because the weather was good on the first day when Princess Anne visited our Marquee and presented the Royal Cornwall Cup to Stoke Climsland WI, who also received the RCS Bi- Centenary Plate. It was a very special occasion, especially as Princess was very interested to learn where Stoke Climsland was situated in our County, and its association with her brother!

There is still plenty of time to apply for the other appealing events this summer for instance, Cornish Nature Day on 5 September, Apple Day on 20 September, Really Useful Day on 27 September. Our Cookery and Craft Sub-Committee has organised an event with the intriguing title of “Shall I Put an Air Fryer in my Trolley?” on 12 September, and there will be a two-hour walk exploring the ‘Secrets of the Luxulyan Valley’ on Thursday 26 September. There are also many diverse competitions to enter. A wealth of entertainment and education awaits the members.

For further details of any of these events contact Chy Noweth an Conteth on reception@cornwallwi.org.uk or 01872 272843

Cornish members have always supported Fairtrade, especially when Fairtrade Days were organised by the WI previously. Fairtrade celebrated its 30th Anniversary on 12 June in Fairtrade Week. Thankfully much more publicity has been given to the struggles the growers endure to produce good wholesome food. There is a very good article in the Western Morning News giving an up-to-date picture of the present problems. The Foundation has been warning that farming communities overseas are being hit hard by the double crisis of climate change and inflation threatening the future of staple crops such as bananas, cocoa and coffee. We can all help by eating another banana, drinking another cup of coffee and eating another bar of delicious chocolate. All excellent for our wellbeing!

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