MAY MEETING OF STRADBROKE W.I.
The evening opened with the usual offices with Gill reporting on an enjoyable group meeting hosted by the Fressingfield W.I. and a brainstorming session organised by M.S.D.C. and B.C. discussing the issue of inactivity in the older population and others and how to address the problem. There were many interesting ideas but most of them scuppered by the lack of transport and funding, nothing new there. Next Jennifer lead us through the resolution for this year which was to lobby the government for parity between the care provision for physical health and that provided for mental health issues .A short quiz demonstrated some scary statistics regarding the numbers of mental health sufferers and there was a great deal of lively discussion where most members agreed the principal but not the presentation of the resolution. A vote was taken and the resolution failed on the grounds of agreeing with the principal but nothing positive in lobbying the government as this was already a big issue fully in the media with high profile supporters. Thank you Jennifer.
Our speaker for the evening was our own David Merritt a retired commercial pilot who came to talk about his flying experiences and the background to being a commercial pilot. David began by explaining the strict criteria for pilots , the ongoing training and examinations the hours that could be flown in a year and the routine medical and physical health checks that they have to pass to keep their licence to transport hundreds of people around the world thousands of feet in the air with only one set of wings between them. These rules we all found very comforting but then we heard about the fun things that can happen!! The obvious risk of terror attacks are well known and our unpredictable weather can cause chaos on the ground as well as the skies but we would not think about temperature changes as the plane passes over factories with furnaces causing air turbulence or ice forming on the wings and around the engines making control and power of the aircraft more of a challenge, the placing of some runways that require extreme precision to negotiate safely and of course the Irish version of a precision radar controlled landing in the fog which translates to the air traffic control looking out of their window and talking the pilot down. I may never fly to Ireland or anywhere again. In all good sense David and his thousands of passengers are still alive to tell the tale so perhaps it’s not all bad. We also heard about the use of morse code and the phonetic alphabet used universally in communications and were given papers demonstrating both methods. Now for all quizzers did you know that all the Piper manufactured aircraft are named after Native American tribes e.g. Cherokee Apache e.t.c. . Caroline gave our vote of thanks to David for a fascinating talk then we all rushed off to find a hot drink to warm and soothe us in equal measures .
Our next meeting will be 7.30pm on June 14th when Steve Pomeroy will talk to us about all things Bamboo ! so do come and join us you will be most welcome at the community centre . Prue