Sunday, 21 July 2019

WI members celebrate centenary of county federation

WI members celebrate centenary of county federation

A VINTAGE tea party was held to celebrate the centenary of the Oxfordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes.

Members of HoT (Henley) WI hosted the event at Sacred Heart Church hall and were joined by colleagues from neighbouring WIs, including Sonning Common, Rotherfield Greys, Harpsden, Peppard, Shiplake and Stoke Row.

The women enjoyed tea, Prosecco, orange juice, sandwiches and an iced centenary cake and a performance by Anne and the Doughboys.

They also sang Jerusalem, listened to a talk about tea and took in a raffle with prizes including chocolate and wine.

Jane Probitts, chairwoman of the Oxfordshire Federation, said: “We are really celebrating the fact that for 100 years, women have been getting together to support each other, share skills and cooking recipes and stand up and be counted about things they care about passionately. The Women’s Institute offers women a safe space to come together and be themselves and talk about the things that matter to them. When it was set up, women didn’t really get out to do their own things. Now we have the freedom to come out and do our own thing.

“The social side is very important. That is what gels the groups together.”

Katie Woodiss-Field, president of HoT (Henley) WI, said: “We are really proud to be part of the Women’s Institute. It’s a chance to meet other women of a similar sort of age. We have a bit of fun but we also find speakers that are quite interesting and we try to keep it as varied as possible — it’s actually really good fun.”

The branch meets at the hall in Vicarage Road on the third Friday each month.

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