The Wild West came to Withiel on November 11. Five guest speakers, three ladies and two gentlemen, dressed in various Western clothes, each gave a talk on different aspects of life in the mid to late 1880s in North America. One lady, dressed as a Puritan, talked of their settling in America in the 17th century to escape persecution in England. Another gave a  moving account of journeys by wagon train on the Oregon Trail – over mountains, through snow and facing starvation, disease and drowning. There were talks about the plains, the cattle drives, the coming of the railroad and the (at first) friendly Native American tribes exploited and driven off their ancestral lands, as pressure came from immigrants wishing to settle and establish farms, ranches and townships.
The group who visited us brought, in addition to some wonderful old sepia photographs, other historic artefacts, including a travelling stove and a typical Western saddle and bridle. They also put on a display of a colourful selection of beadwork and jewellery, for sale in aid of the Precious Lives Appeal.
One or two of our members wore Western outfits to add to the spirit of the evening and Joyce Rundle looked very colourful in her line dancing costume.
Following the departure of the Meet the West group, we settled down to the usual business of the evening. Gwen Millett gave us a most comprehensive and interesting report on the WI Annual Council Meeting on October 19 at the Hall for Cornwall. Five of our members attended – Rosalind Coy, our President, Gwen, June, Jennie and Anne. We were greeted by the Mayor of Truro, Mr Rob Nolan, who said he was very moved by the singing of Jerusalem in such a packed hall. There was an address by our National Chairman, Mrs Ruth Bond, who spoke of the various incidents and events that coloured her time in office, and the many miles she had travelled during her chairmanship.
The afternoon speaker, Mr Colin Alderson, gave a talk, ‘Life in a Palace Kitchen’, a most amusing and
interesting account of his time as a Royal Pastry Chef to the Royal Family. After rousing applause in
appreciation of his wonderful presentation, WI business resumed.
The giving of flowers to our retiring County Treasurer, Mrs Marilyn Leggatt, and a present to Mrs Yvonne
Toms, retiring County Chairman, and welcoming Mrs Kathy Reed, her successor. It was a great day and
enjoyed by us all.
We look forward to our Christmas lunch at the Lanivet Inn on Friday, December 2, and are busy organising our famous Christmas Fair, with stalls, soup and puddings, on Saturday, December 3, from 10am to 2pm, in the Village Hall. Entry £3 to include soup and roll. Do come and meet your friends, browse and buy, and have some delicious soup.

Anne Cardew 01208 831243


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