Over 170 WI members joined the Zoom presentation of the ACM "Not the Usual Annual Meeting" on Thursday 15th October 2020.
They were warmly welcomed by the Wiltshire Federation Chair Lesley Holdway sporting an attractive large black hat. She then introduced the Trustees, Trustee Assistants, WI Advisors, and WI House Staff. Each of whom told members their roles within the Federation and also something that they did differently during lockdown. There were some amusing answers ranging from bread-making, gardening, and playing scrabble daily.
The Standing Orders for the Council Meeting, the adoption of the 12 month Annual Report, and the appointment of the Independent Examiner were all passed successfully.
Wiltshire Federation Chair, Lesley Holdway then gave her address and told with great humour how her husband had teased her quite some time ago saying "if you ever became Wiltshire Chair you would not be able to wear jeans, as you like to do, at the Annual Council Meeting. You would have to wear a hat and dress formally!" So as she said "I am wearing the hat AND wearing the jeans to address you all at the Annual Council Meeting." She then removed the hat and went on to thank Members for their support during these difficult times. She did not realise how much she would need her IT skills when she became Wiltshire Chair in 2019. She continued with her thanks to Denise Whale and Jenny Coates, both WI advisors who are both stepping down in their roles, but was delighted that WI Advisor Rae Tetlow is staying on to support.
She congratulated Amy Middleton on her new position as WI advisor and showed Amy's certificate which would have been presented in normal times at the ACM. She also said how delighted she was with the WI Life article about Amy's achievement. Lesley concluded with her thanks to everyone within the Federation Team that had given her great support.
Lesley then introduced the Guest Speaker Melissa Green, General Secretary NFWI. Melissa gave an excellent talk and presentation ranging from her early life to her appointment as General Secretary. She was thanked warmly by Christine Walker.
Ruth Davies, WFWI Trustee, spoke about the new website launch and the implementation training of Office365 which she has been conducting with Sally Cross. She hopes that more WIs will be interested in getting their official WI emails in the future.
The 50/50 Draw was conducted by Lesley Adam and Steffy Pawling. All successful members in the Draw will be receiving their winnings very soon. The winning entry from the Craft Competition was shown.
There was a 15 minute break where members were entertained by a montage of various WI pictures from 2020 collated by Rachel Wilkinson, WFWI Trustee.
Kate Crawford, WFWI Trustee then introduced the future events for 2020 and 2021. Members were then shown a pre-recorded film of the oldest WFWI member and how she had coped with the Covid-19 crisis.
Lesley then introduced our final speaker from the Warwickshire Federation Terry Barker who spoke on her time as a script editor for the BBC. Terry gave an interesting talk on her involvement with various TV programmes. She was thanked by Daphne Atkinson, WFWI Trustee and Chair of Events.
Before the final conclusion of the meeting Daphne Atkinson gave a vote of thanks on behalf of all members to Lesley Holdway for her sterling work given to the Federation during these challenging times.
Finally Lesley Holdway thanked all her helpers who had made this meeting possible, and hoped members had enjoyed the meeting.
The meeting closed with a recording of Jerusalem from the Royal Albert Hall in June 2015 which was in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
- Submitted by Daphne Atkinson