Just a few days after my last Corner I read something that I think would be of interest to all our members. The article was about the Platinum Jubilee and that the Queen launched the celebrations on February 6th the day she began her reign. That day she hosted a reception, and then again one on February 7th “She hosted a reception for volunteer groups, pensioners, and fellow members of the local Women’s Institute (W.I.)” I knew that Her Majesty belonged to the Sandringham Branch, and also that from time to time she has attended the AGM of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes in England.
Reading that made me think about something else. I looked in the 1961 FWIC History and read “The organization is honoured to have Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Patron” I remember National Conventions where Greetings from Her Majesty were read during the Opening Ceremonies. I don’t remember when that stopped and that must also mean that the Queen is no longer our Patron. In my “poking around” I have as yet not found an answer to that.
July 12th was the hybrid 2022 FWIC AGM. It was an opportunity for our members to attend in person or virtually. Our appreciation goes to our President Margaret and the Board for making it possible to be there either in person or by Zoom. The guest speaker Gail Cuthbert Brandt gave a most interesting address. (I hope that we may be able to receive a copy of the address). She gave a history of women’s organizations in Canada going back to the 19th century like our Women’s Institutes. “I had almost forgotten about some of these groups like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union).That history was very interesting but what really “hit home” for me was when she brought us into the 21st century and what was happening to these organizations. And what do we as members of the W.I. needs to change to attract new members. She spoke about the many women who don’t want to attend meetings. And could we reach them by providing virtual programs. She gave us so much to think about, and I trust that our provincial leaders will look closely at what we can do, and then do it. I think that communicating virtually is wonderful, but I still feel the need for social interaction, for the friendship and sociability that being together provides. Once again, we are reminded that we live in an era of change. I am still doing a lot of thinking about what my own Branch needs to do, and I know that is the case wherever we go across Canada. Enough of my musings in days of heat warnings!