Over 100 ladies attended our last General Meeting of the AWBS year. Meghan and Harry were there too and many of us took advantage to get a photo with them taken by our very own official Royal Photographer Jo Robbens.
I have no idea why I'm writing this (no-one else wanted to!): I didn't take notes so forgive me if I've left anything out!
After a good time spent browsing and shopping with our Best of Britain vendors and chatting to friends old and new, we were asked nicely if we would sit down and attend the formal part of the meeting:
- Vote for the new Board for next year (unanimous). It's going to be a fun year - lots of new Board members so lots of new ideas for the club!
- Another GDPR reminder - we know it's annoying, but it's so important. We don't want to lose touch with you so if you haven't already signed up, please respond to the reminders ...
- An announcement of an AMAZING £12,000 collected for our charities. This is truly remarkable as this year we did that without a Craft Fayre. Special mention should be made of the following three major contributors:
- Our lovely BOB vendors whose table fees accounted for £4,400.
- Our very own Inner Artist activity leader who gave her fees of £3,000 direct to our charities.
- You. Through the generosity of our members buying raffle tickets, auction items at the Hats and Handbags event and attending a Quiz Night, you raised the rest. Thank you.
Having got that out of the way, we settled down to listen to our very own Member Speaker, Ann, who told us a potted history of three very different royal ladies:
- Margaret of Anjou, queen of Henry VI. Henry was not an effective king and sometimes incapacitated. Margaret often took control of politics and military matters, including leading troops into battle.
- Henrietta Maria of France, queen of Charles I. She shared his love of art and the finer things of life. She was not popular in England as she was Catholic and spoke no English on arrival. She raised money and troops during the Civil War and helped to rescue some of the paintings from the Parliamentarians. If Charles walked into the room, he would be the best dressed person there, would have been very haughty and distant, dealing only with the most important people.
- Mary of Teck, queen of George V. George was not well prepared for monarchy, succeeding only because his older brother died. He was not an intellectual. Mary supported him through turbulent times of revolution and great social change, and helped steer the monarchy through the crisis of the abdication.
Lastly, Ann invited Meghan to join the club. Once she's paid her membership fee, she can access our on-line Common Ground which is very useful for finding out about how to open a bank account or find a doctor. She can sign up for our fabulous activities. She would find the English History classes most useful and would enjoy trips to London to explore this incredible city. Perhaps the art classes would appeal as she might fancy doing a drawing of her husband's granny. We know she will feel the same welcome we give all our members at the most friendly of clubs.
Ladies: Please don't forget us over the long summer break! We look forward to seeing you at the first General Meeting on September 10th at Great Fosters.