Centenary celebrations have begun for WI members as the specially designed centenary baton officially begins its journey through Ceredigion. The baton, launched on January 1st 2014 in Anglesey, where the first WI meeting was held in the UK in 1915, is travelling across the 69 WI federations in England, Wales and the Islands throughout the year in celebration of the links of friendship and community developed through the WI. It will finish its trip at the WI’s centenary Annual Meeting in June 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
On Wednesday 16th July Ceredigion Chair Brenda Wright with members of the Board of Trustees and members from Lampeter and Talybont WI’s (our joint oldest WI’s), as well as members from the Bedwen Group, journeyed to Machynlleth, to the historic Owain Glydwr Centre.
On Friday 18th July the baton was taken by Ceredigion Federation to Cardigan Guildhall where 130 WI ladies enjoyed afternoon tea. Afterwards Brenda Wright Federation Chair welcomed honored guests, Ann Jones, Chairs of Wales and NFWI Board of Trustees, Ann Newbury, Pembrokeshire Federation Chair, and members of her Board of Trustees, Bronwen Morgan, Chief executive of Ceredigion County Council, Councilor Graham Evans, Mayor of Cardigan, Councilor Wynford Jones, Clerk of the Cardigan, John Adams Lewis Chair of Ceredigion County Council, Father Seamus Cunnane and Glen Johnson local historians and Elin Jones, AM Plaid Cymru Ceredigion, and not least members from throughout the county. Ann Jones introduced the speakers for the afternoon, Father Seamus Cunnane, spoke of the early history of Cardigan, followed by Glen Johnson who gave us more recent history both leaving us wanting to hear more. Thanks were given by Gay Evans vice-chair of Ceredigion Federation WI.
The baton was then taken the short walk to Prince Charles Quay where we were met by many more members. The transfer of the baton took place in the center of the footbridge over the river Teifi, here Brenda passed the baton to Ann Newbury, Chair of Pembrokeshire Federation.
Each federation uploads twelve selected photos onto a memory stick stored within the baton to represent their members, WIs, and the local area. The photos are shared on social media to keep everyone in touch so that members across the country can share in the party as the baton makes its journey.
Brenda Wright Chair of Ceredigion, said:
‘It’s so exciting to be a part of the first centenary project to celebrate 100 years of the WI. WI membership offers; the chance to learn new skills, campaign on issues that are important to us at every level, and make life-long friends. Celebrating the centenary with fellow members across the nation really highlights the role that all members have played in bringing their communities together since the very beginning of the WI, and we can’t wait to follow the baton’s trip once it has left us and travelled on around the federations.’
For more information on the centenary baton project, please contact Susie Jordan WI Federation Office 0197061283, and follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ceredigion.wi