Saturday, 16 December 2017
OUR president Joan Jolley opened the meeting with her usual warm welcome and said she hoped that we all had had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
She said our Christmas party had been a lovely afternoon and thanked all those involved with preparations.
A new banner commemorating the National Federation’s centenary had been unfurled.
Designed by Shirley Abraham, it was stitched by Rachel Lloyd and Susan Partridge with the help of Frances Lefebure.
The visit to The Mill at Sonning to see High Society had been brilliant. Thanks went to Susan Lines for organising it.
Joan said there was a lot to read in News & Views this month. Some great visits were planned for 2017 and there would be many and varied competitions to enter.
The speaker was Colin Pike, a retired registrar who talked about the history of the role and some of the amusing and amazing births, deaths and marriages he had officiated at over some 12 years.
He was originally a civil servant and become a registrar when he retired.
Registration started in 1538, by order of Thomas Cromwell, when the Church split from Rome.
Originally, all registrations were just hand-written entries in a parish church record but in 1837 it was decided to have a civil registration service. Henley had its first civil register office at Mercers solicitors in 1842.
Colin could not emphasise enough the importance of correct registration details. It is a legally binding document and any mistakes are complicated, if not impossible, to alter.
Some of his anecdotes were very moving, others amusing, such as:
l The poor lady who had to go through life as Gerrardine, not Geraldine.
l The mother who arrived to register twins, holding just one baby. Enquiring as to the whereabouts of the second child, Colin was informed that that baby was not due to be born for another two weeks.
l The groom’s father who was now a woman and a lady who was in labour at her wedding ceremony, enabling her to register the baby’s birth on the same day.
A lovely tea followed. The hostesses this month were Fran Bodenham and Wendy Channell.
The flower of the month competition was won by Frances Lefebure while Lynn Boros won the monthly competition for a magnificent “fashion mistake” (a pair of sequinned trainers).
Meetings are held at Shiplake Memorial Hall every third Wednesday of the month (except August) at 2.30pm.
New members and visitors are always welcome. For more information, please call the secretary on (01491) 410256.
06 February 2017
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