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1:49pm Friday 22nd February 2008 in Tolleshunt D'Arcy
The February meeting began with a minute's silence to remember Billie Simmonds and Florrie Baldwin, both of whom died recently.
Florrie had not been able to attend meetings for some years but had been an enthusiastic member who often won prizes for her flowers.
Her garden had been her pride and joy in her younger days.
Billie had attended meetings until prevented by ill health and club members will have happy memories of both these ladies.
A White Elephant stall was organised by Pat Hudson and Terry Hobbs, displaying some of the pretty things which Billie had left behind as she had no next of kin in this country. The proceeds from this will be donated to the club. Jim from Moneyspinners brought along a selection of garments for members to browse and buy.
A list of members with names, addresses and telephone numbers was supplied to each member, as well as a list of the proposed programme of speakers and activities for the year.
Lists were made to see who would like to attend the club's 41st Birthday party on Saturday March 8, the outing to Dunwich on Wednesday May 14 and the Age Concern Show in Clacton at the end of June. As few members expressed an interest in the show, it will not be possible to hire a coach for so few, so the club will not attend this year.
Margaret Blackmore explained the way in which club income is raised and spent, stressing the difficulty of balancing the books in these days of ever-rising costs. She is busily applying for grants to supplement the income. Members agreed by a show of hands to book the Christmas lunch at a local pub this year instead of hiring the Village Hall.
To round off the afternoon, Pat entertained with some more monologues and comical readings.
On the last day of January, Tolleshunt D'Arcy WI members enjoyed a visit to the Mercury Theatre to see a wonderful performance of South Pacific and came home humming the tunes.
At the February meeting, president Nancy Seabrook reminded members that George Mills has appealed for toilet rolls and washing powder for the Revival Centre in Chernigov in Ukraine.
The after-effects of the fall out from the Chernobyl disaster some years ago are still causing much ill health amongst children in the area and the centre is always full to bursting with children and young people who are staying there for treatment, so these domestic items are in great demand. Contributions will be collected at the next meeting.
The speaker was Harold Mousley, whose talk, entitled Travellers' Tales, should have been a joint effort between Harold and his wife Hasje. Unfortunately, Hasje had a stroke some time ago and although she is recovering well, she is receiving treatment in Holland which is not available in Britain, so was unable to be with him on this occasion.
Harold was a lively and enthusiastic speaker, telling about various aspects of life in Holland - tulips of course took pride of place in the many lovely slides, though most houses, even in cities like Amsterdam, seem to be adorned with flowers.
The interesting tall houses which line the banks of the canals, have ingenious external lifting devices in order to hoist heavy furniture to the upper floors rather than trying to negotiate the steep stairs inside. In contrast to the city were the atmospheric scenes of dunes and beaches as well as the quiet car free coastal islands.
Once again, Pat Hudson won both the Flower of the Month and the competition for a holiday souvenir and finally, entries are needed for the April Spring Meeting, for a coat of arms made in any medium.
Quiz teams are reminded that the Spring Quiz is taking place on Saturday March 29.
The doors open at 6.45pm with proceedings starting as close to 7pm as possible. The organisers have been taking bookings for teams of six and are hoping to raise as much money as possible to boost village hall funds, with the raffle proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Tickets are just £2 per person and everyone is invited to bring their own drinks and a picnic. If anyone would like to book a team or donate a raffle prize then they should call Lloyd on 860212.