Women’s In­sti­tute set for show­time

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Manawatu branches of New Zealand’s largest women’s or­gan­i­sa­tion are ready for their big event of the year.

Since the 1930s, Women’s In­sti­tute, with its motto ‘‘For home and coun­try’’ have main­tained a pres­ence at the coun­try’s A&P Shows.

WI’s dis­tinc­tive dis­play bays con­tinue to show­case a range of home skills from bak­ing, knit­ting and pho­tog­ra­phy to tussey mussey.

A tussey mussey is a small flo­ral ar­range­ment in a con­i­cal posy holder.

Mem­bers will spend Thurs­day set­ting up six bays for judg­ing at Manawatu’s A&P Show at Man­feild Park Satur­day and Sun­day.

Five of the re­gion’s WIs - Glen Oroua, New­bury, Tiritea, Ash­hurst and Mil­son - are con­tribut­ing work to the com­pet­i­tive dis­plays.

There are also open bays where mem­bers of the pub­lic can en­ter, and there is a chil­dren’s sec­tion that in­cludes prizes for the likes of hand­made greeting cards, book­marks, painted tiles, cup cakes, bis­cuits, pho­to­graphs and iPad or tablet cov­ers.

Boxes of gro­ceries are the prizes in WI’s six show­time raf­fles.

Though its mem­ber­ship is ag­ing, pres­i­dent Bev­er­ley Wil­liams said WI con­tin­ues to share a host of home­mak­ing skills and con­trib­ute to com­mu­nity causes, while en­joy­ing ‘‘plenty of so­cial oc­ca­sions through­out the year’’.

From the hand­crafts dis­played in the Mil­son Church Com­mu­nity Hall, lo­cal WI mem­bers are sup­port­ing sev­eral char­ity projects.

There are knit­ted ‘fish ‘n chip’ jer­seys for new­born South African ba­bies with AIDS. With­out cloth­ing to keep them warm, th­ese ba­bies are sent home from hos­pi­tal wrapped in news­pa­per - hence the name ’fish ‘n chips’.

For lo­cal neo-nates there are tiny neatly made gar­ments; knit­ted hats for chemo pa­tients; blan­kets and knee-warm­ers for the el­derly, soft toys, and footwear for kinder­garten kids.

‘‘We’ve knit­ted 60 pairs of slip­pers per kinder­garten,’’ Wil­liams said.

So far, that’s 420 pairs with more to come.

An on­go­ing project is mak­ing cot­ton drain­ing-bot­tle bags for can­cer pa­tients who have had their lymph nodes or breasts re­moved.

‘‘We’ll be mak­ing more of th­ese bags while we’re at the show,’’ Wil­liams said.

RICHARD MAYS/FAIRFAX NZ

Lo­cal Women’s In­sti­tute Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Bev­er­ley Wil­liams with Manawatu Fed­er­a­tion trea­surer Gill Tapp.

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