Report to the Annual Parish Meeting, March 27th, 1968
The W.I. year runs from November to November and at the end of October 1967 membership stood at 52. There were nine new members during the year. In the current year there have already been an unusually large number of new members and the Institute continues to have an active and interesting programme of events both through its monthly meetings and at County and National level.
Institutes are combined into groups which meet twice a year and in October last Helmdon acted as host to the seven Institutes in its group. These meetings are the first stage, as it were, in promoting a wider horizon beyond the local Institute.
At County level half-yearly Council meeting are held at which all Institutes are represented and resolutions sent in by individual institutes on public questions are discussed.
The present year – 1968 – is the Golden Jubilee year of the Northamptonshire Federation – following the National Gold Jubilee 3 years ago. Already a number of special events have begun which will culminate in the summer festival on June 29th at the Northants President’s house at Cottesbrooke House. A bus from Helmdon will be going with members and their families.
Last year’s summer outing was to the Stuart Crystal works at Stourbridge. Helmdon W.I. won top marks at a Group Handicrafts Exhibition last year. Some members also exhibited at the County Exhibition and were highly placed.
The W.I. choir sang at the Village Folk Party held in connection with National Folk Week last May. The Carol Festival organised for Dec. 9th in Brackley had to be cancelled owing to the Foot and mouth epidemic. The choir has now joined a South Northants choir and is practising under Mrs Clark of Evenley for the first round at County Level of the operatic sequence “The Brilliant & the Dark” which will be performed at the Albert Hall in 1969.
In the autumn the W.I. were represented by Mrs Ipgrave at a series of lectures on “Neighbourhood service” organised by the Rural Community Council.
At the moment a series of “Emergency training lectures is in progress organised by the Women Voluntary Service. Eleven members are attending.
The W.I has continued to give generously to a number of good causes. In addition to the calor gas cooker provided for the reading Room in 1967 the institute has raised £7 6. 4. towards new curtains.
We should like to draw attention to an Easter fair to be held in the Reading Room on April 5th, to raise funds for the National Federation Endowment Appeal. It is hoped to reach the target set by Headquarters for all Institutes according to membership and any surplus will go to local funds. We hope that the village will support this “charity begins at home” effort by the Institute which has done so much to help other causes.
Finally we should like once again to extend a warm welcome to any new members who would care to join this organisation dedicated to the friendship and education of women of all creeds and parties, an organisation which stands high in the nation’s regard.