President’s address at the AGM

Published by AbingdonFitzharrysWI on

Many years have passed since l was President of this WI the first time around. The world has changed and I have changed. Women’s needs were different, that’s not to say we all still don’t have needs. Friendship, stimulation and much more. More recently the Pandemic changed everything yet again, so we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and start again.
Volunteers receive no pay – but their contribution is priceless. These words are taken from the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic games and I think reflect so much of the WI movement for which we all give of our utmost for the benefit of others. We need every one of you. (I’ll leave the arm-twisting and ‘just one more year’ out.)

Being on a committee can open up a whole new world and is very rewarding. We need to use all the hidden talents lurking among you.
Now the Committee ; Hilary.. Hilary has been the constant steering the ship for the year, having to cope with all my quirky ideas. Her vast experience as a secretary and calm manner has been a comfort. Thank you Hilary.
Judy .. We are lucky that Judy as a brand new member agreed to act as our Treasurer with a proviso that she does go away quite a bit. She coped with the challenges that were thrown at us by the HSBC Bank and got there in the end, having made a few changes. Thank you Judy.
Val .. kindly offered to act as Assistant Treasurer and has performed a sterling job, as in everything she does. She has taken on the job of Jubilee Group Convenor and will, l know, apply the same dedication to that role. Thank you Val.
Denise.. agreed  ‘Just one more year’.  Always willing and ready to help. She too has hidden talents, l have discovered. So, watch this space. Thank you Denise.
June.. June also quietly gets on with what needs doing – all the practicalities when we set up and take down, register, sales and much more. Thank you June.
Tea Ladies: a huge thank you to Irene, Ann and Gill. It is a comfort to know the kitchen is in such good hands.  

New members: We welcomed Margaret, Pauline, Joan, Beverlie, Jean and hopefully Dawn as new members. Please make them welcome. It’s all too easy to sit with old friends. I am thrilled that Beverlie has agreed to join the committee.

Finally,  l must thank Hilary Dix, our WI Adviser, always there with the answers when I don’t know or have another mad idea. Thank you Hilary.

I discovered these words by St Thomas Aquinas, written long ago in the 13th century, which are still relevant to the WI:
‘’It’s immoral to misuse people, underuse them and abuse them but it’s highly moral to call forth and make use of the talents that are in people. They must be treated as people with all the needs that people have. ‘’
So to sum up we all have something to offer and we know you will all play your part. That’s what life
is all about. Friendship and love.

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