Today Members' Services sub-committee held the annual Resolution Briefing Meeting in the Oculus at the AVDC Offices in Aylesbury. It was very well attended and those that were there were the first to hear that Bucks has a new Chairman, Jenny Street from Prestwood Evening WI.She was given a rousing welcome.
A slightly different format was adopted for the meeting this year because we had only the one resolution to discuss. After the arrangements for the coach journey to Leeds and the hotel was named, the AGM procedure information was explained.
Then there were 3 short presentations on past mandates so that members could be kept up to date on the progress being made on these. The subjects chosen were The Milk Debate, the Love your Libraries campaign and GM foods where there had been a recent shift in attitudes.It was felt with the latter topic that the WI was in rather an awkward position as it was still mandated to prohibit GM foods rather than allow research to find out whether a complete ban was required in the light of the growth of global food poverty.
The main topic was, of course, this year's resolution encouraging people to sign up for organ donation. It promised to be a rather grim subject but with the help of some dark humour from the WI Adviser, Thelma Sackman chairing the meeting and from the members in the audience it was fully discussed. A lot of misheld fears were dispelled and the practical advantages covered.We also learned just how much use could be made of one donor and that quite often it is the surviving family members who cancel the wishes of the donor, either because they didn't know what the wishes were or they felt that they themselves couldn't agree to the idea.Understandable at a traumatic time for those concerned.
At various points throughout the meeting there were expressions of regret that there was just one resolution chosen to go forward to the AGM in Leeds and that it was one on which there could be little debate. Surely we could have one debatable resolution and one that was an opportunity to raise awareness on some important topic? After all, in former years there had sometimes been 3 resolutions on the table for the meeting. We felt that our feelings should be conveyed to NFWI. Let's hope that Bucks can bring forward a resolution for 2015 . We were reminded that resolutions could be brought to the Bucks Federation Annual meeting as well; so watch out for developments in the future. A very useful and worthwhile business meeting.
Our local WI discussion night had fixed upon hygiene as a topic and many and various were the aspects raised. Had we become obsessed with cleanliness until measures were almost counter-productive? Were too many anti-biotics prescribed so that they lost their effectiveness?Did we need all these baths and showers which exerted such a huge burden on our water supplies? We then touched on the basic food hygiene certificates which the WI promotes and the many breaches of the rules seen abroad.The use of chemicals both for personal hygiene and for house cleaning is big business and much of it is not as effective as our grandparents' methods.
After an afternoon of craftwork, we were off to a neighbouring WI for the Group Meeting. We hold two a year in our group and we really enjoy them. The speaker tonight was telling us about the history of Punch and Judy which brought back many childhood memories. The accounts of the WIs' activities were very interesting and we are looking forward to another outing arranged by Anne Liverseidge, our Group Convener. The refreshments were excellent but once more our WI failed to win the competition shield. It's years since we carried that home in triumph: it's becoming embarrassing.