Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Our 30th Annual Meeting!

On Saturday 20th April, we gathered at Pudsey Civic Hall to celebrate our 30th Anniversary with the Annual Meeting with Lesley Smith of Tutbury Castle, who played Anne Boleyn.

At 10.45am over 300 WI ladies gathered in the ballroom to take care of the morning business duties. Traditionally, we all stood proudly sung Jerusalem before the meeting went ahead and our Chairman Helena Harrington welcomed members, guests and new WIs as well as former chairmen Sheila Loosemore and Joyce Moorhouse. Helena also welcomed Jean Newbound and Yvonne Davis from South Yorkshire, June Renwick of North Yorkshire East and our National Treasurer and representative for North Yorkshire West Stephanie Fort.

We then welcomed our Honorary Treasurer Sue Stothers to the stage, who walked us through our accounts for the year ending 31st December 2012 and explained how this could be improved. As the Honorary Treasurer she also had to present an adoption of the 2012 accounts and ask for a seconder from the floor as well as for the Appointment of the Auditor Jill Foster.

Chairman Helena Harrington gave her anniversary speech to the members. Here is a little piece from her speech. "The Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics last year gave us a lot to celebrate and i know that many of us were able to take part in some way in the celebrations, in our own villages and city centres. I also know that many WI members were part of the teams of 'Welcomers'. This year we have, with the other Yorkshire Federations, another good reason to celebrate. We are 30 years old!" Helena also proposed the idea of a baton much like the Olympic torch being passed around the Federations in the country in
order to connect us and involve everyone in a new chapter.

Following the anniversary speech, the celebratory cake was viewed and cut as a mark of our big birthday, which was passed out to our delegates at the end of our meeting.

Following the cake cutting was another celebratory speech from our WYN Editor/ Denman Representative Gemma Rathbone, who told 'Our Story' to our members. Gemma explained when the first West Yorkshire News came out with the late Eileen Meadmore on the front, who was also the founder Chairman of the West Yorkshire Federation.

We later went on to the launch of the new WI Guide by Assistant Treasurer and Trainee WI Advisor Hayley Mills-Styles. Hayley did a very effective PowerPoint presentation for our members, who seemed to really engage with the new information. Hayley began with how women feel about the Women's Institute and how it has helped women for many years. She went on to explain how to make the most out of events and their WI's through posters and other advertising tools, which could be done through the WI Moodle, which can be found on the National Website. At the end of her presentation, she left our members with inspirational thoughts of the 5 principles they should remember, Creative, Active, Principled, Relevant and Welcoming.

We then had a few speeches from some of our sub-committees. First was Gillian Swift from our Public Affairs Committee, which was recently suspended for 1 year. Gillian went through the Resolutions Conference and explained that we had updates on the More Midwives Campaign, a talk on the updates of the More Midwives Campaign and more information on the newly selected resolution, Save Our High Streets. Here is part of Gillian's speech "Although we have a very good response to this annual conference from you all, it would be ideal if every WI sent a representative so that you all have the benefit of the information first hand in order to make an informed choice when voting at your May meeting."

Continuing the public affairs theme, we had our ACWW representative Molly Hughes, who explained that many of the projects our members have supported have been approved such as many water projects and the chosen project for 2013 is Water for All as water is vital for everybody. Sadly, this was also the time for Molly to say goodbye to ACWW as she has decided to retire. Here is a piece from her speech. " This will be my last report on the work of ACWW as after 20 years i am standing down as ACWW representative due to ill health. I have served on 2 committees at ACWW headquarters in London, firstly the United Nations committee for 6 years, during which time i represented ACWW at Unesco in Paris and also attended the United Nations Commission on the status of women in New York."

It was then time, to start showing our achievements over the past year. First was our 50/50 club announcements for 2013/2014 with our 50/50 Club representative with Yvonne Todd. Yvonne was persuasive in her way of explaining the 50/50 procedure as the cards are only £10 per person and you could win your money back and more. As it was the 30th anniversary, we had 5 draws at different amounts of money the first was £100, £50, 2 draws at £25 and £20.
So we must say well done to a lucky 5 members!
Mary Wells from Nostell at Kinsley WI, who won £100
Board Member Katheleen Hardcastle from Cookridge Crumpets WI, who won £50
Rae Jeffrey from Ossett WI, who won £25
Pat Wright from Bardsey Cum Rigton WI, who won £25
Mary Gilks from Guiseley & District WI, who won £20

We then gave recognition to those institutes celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries with us.
We must say congratulations to...
Pudsey WI for 30 years
Ossett WI for 35 years
Thornhill WI for 35 years
Upton WI for 45 years
Brockholes WI for 50 years
Harden & District WI for 50 years
Morton WI for 50 years
Stocksmoor WI for 50 years
Wilsden WI for 50 years
Standbury & District WI for 65 years
Wadsworth WI for 65 years
Wetherby WI for 70 years
Scarcroft WI for 90 years

After the presentation of the certificates we announced the winners of the West Yorkshire Town & Country Photo Competition. We only gave certificates to the leading ladies at the meeting as some of the participants had so many it was difficult to give out so much, but we must say a big congratulations to all of them.
Well done!
Judy Caunt, who was the overall winner, town category winner, town category first runner up and town category shortlisted entrant.
Deborah Paine, who was the country category winner & category second runner up.
Barbara Lightowler, who was town category second runner up & country category shortlisted entrant.
Joan Jennings, who was category first runner up & both town and country categories shortlisted entrant.
Sheila Hirst, who was country category shortlisted entrant.
Kathryn Ogden, who was town category shortlisted entrant.

We then had the presentation of the cups for the increasing in members. First was the Shakespeare Cup, which is presented for the largest % increase over 30 members, which was awarded to Tea & Tarts WI with a 71.9% increase. Next was the Edward Shaw Cup, which is presented for the largest % increase uder 30 members, which was awarded to Netherton & District WI with a 60% increase.
Well Done ladies!

Before lunch the Federation Secretary, Liz Jones, welcomed the 2013 - 2015 Board of Trustees to the members.

After lunch, we returned to the ballroom of Pudsey Civic Hall and we presented the winners of the Pearls of Wisdom craft competition that was being displayed upstairs in the Woodhall Room through out the day.
The winners were...
1st - Anne Starkey of Clayton West WI, who made a beautiful bag.
2nd - Sylvia Garthwaite of Otley WI, who made a Pearl Anniversary Card.
Member's choice - Walton WI entry.

We then presented our afternoon speaker named Lesley Smith. Lesley is a curator at Tutbury Castle and plays many different women in history to be able to give her talks a sense of life. This time, Lesley gave wonderful and amusing portrayal of Anne Boleyn, who the members have already seen as many of her other historical women.

We hope all our ladies thoroughly enjoyed our 30th Annual Meeting!