Lost for words, Marj? I don’t believe it I hear you say and you would be right as I am actually just a little bit lost and here’s why. I write my message, as do all the contributors, about two weeks before the Newsletter is printed and posted out and so, by the time you read this, you will know whether restrictions are finally ”off” from 21 June or not, whereas I am writing this still being unaware of the situation. One thing I do know, is that whatever the case is we shall rise to the challenge as we all have done for the past fifteen months. This brings me very nicely to a poem that I was sent last week and which you can read below. I had occasion to contact Bev Glassock who is a member of Whey Aye and Jesmond WIs, but more importantly she is a key worker. Some years back our paths crossed as she sorted out my lovely mum’s ears (don’t even ask). Bev is a lovely warm and caring person who really does love all things WI and I can’t wait to see her for a hug. You will probably have now worked out that she is responsible for sending me the poem which I think pretty well typifies your average WI lady’s “keep going” attitude and, by the way, I shouldn’t call any of you average because you are all way above that adjective.
Now yesterday I along with all of our Northumberland delegates, Advisers and observers attended the digital Annual Meeting of the Women’s Institutes which should have taken place at The Royal Albert Hall. We were certainly in for a royal treat with HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex being one of the guest speakers along with Dame Cressida Dick and Baroness Brenda Hale.
The meeting took place in the Royal Society of Arts building with all National Board members in actual attendance and apart from an international blip with internet connections the meeting was indeed very good and the speakers were excellent. Of course you will learn more about all of this, including the speakers on this year’s resolution, from your delegate or you will be able to read it on MyWI.
I have to say I was a little surprised however when during the playing of Jerusalem at the beginning of the day (and yes I did sing along, appropriately dressed and proudly wearing my Chairman’s badge with only Dave to notice!) they showed various photographs taken at previous Annual Meetings and who should I see but our very own former Chairman Hilary Robson sporting a trilby hat at a jaunty angle.
I think that is a fitting end to my newsletter message and hope that as you read this we are very definitely back on the road to normality.
by John Greenleaf Whittier
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When Funds are low, and the debts are high.
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns.
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about.
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.