The Stradbroke WI February meeting
We were delighted that a good number of our members braved the dreadful weather to turn out for our February meeting; the hall looked quite cheerfully full, although some members didn't feel brave enough to remove coats! We were very pleased to welcome a new member, Linda Webb, and hope that she will enjoy being part of our group.
Gill and Jane dealt with the correspondence and information, birthday posies were given out and hostesses thanked. Jane brought our attention to the report of last year’s Suffolk Show in the SEFWI magazine, which mentioned our WI’s scarecrow of Donald Trump, who even the youngest children seemed to recognise. Many of them queued to have their photograph taken with him.
Gill read a letter of thanks from Nick and Suzanne Stones, who said how much they had appreciated the refreshments that our members provided after the funeral of Mary Stones. They also very kindly made a donation to our WI funds.
Our speaker/singer for the evening, Sharron Jarvis, was then introduced. Sharron is a singing teacher and a voice facilitator; the title of her presentation was “Singing for Health”. Sharron began by mentioning studies carried out in Quebec and Helsinki, where singing was introduced to groups of people with dementia and cancer respectively. In both cases, it was shown that singing had a positive effect on the mental and physical health on those to whom it was offered. Sharron explained that one should sing to feel better, without worrying about how it sounds. Some of our members, who obviously consider themselves unable to sing, doubted the wisdom of this… She went on to say that there are three ways of learning; visually, audibly and kinaesthetically. Because of this, people with dementia can remember words when singing, when they would be unable to do so when talking. She told us that her fees for the evening would go to the Castlegate Group in Colchester, a group of adults with severe learning difficulties. Their concerts have been attended by many well known people, such as Terry Waite.
Then, it was our turn. Sharron handed out words to “Mollie Malone”, and off we went. Most of us seemed to know the tune, which helped, and thus encouraged, we went on to sing “By the Light of the silvery Moon”; fine, but this time, we were divided into two groups each singing different parts of the song. We obviously impressed, because we were then singing two different songs at the same time; Israeli chants, which consisted of Tumbas and Badas, followed by Micheal Finnagen” and “This old Man”. These were sung as rounds, gathering speed as they went. I’m sure our lungs were feeling well and truly exercised by this time. To calm things we were handed the words to “Que Sera”. Poor Dorothy has very negative feelings associated with this, although she couldn’t quite remember why, so we quickly moved on, finishing with “Over the Rainbow”, which I think sounded quite beautiful!
The vote of thanks was given by Carrie, who declared that the evening had been excellent and that the exercise had definitely helped with her cough.
Our next meeting will be a talk on March 8th, given by Ruth Miller entitled “Foundlings”.