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