Members were very saddened to learn of the death of former member Maureen on 23 January 2021. A former member and officer for many years of our Institute, she worked tirelessly every year at our Produce and Handicraft Show which was a great success and well attended. Every year in Spring the schedule would duly arrive, and members would be encouraged to grow produce and flowers, arrange flowers for the floral art class, enter photographs, knit and sew handicrafts, bake for the cookery class, not to mention the jams, marmalades and chutneys. Woe betides anyone not using the right lid or goodness!! The label is in the wrong place. Ah! The excitement of winning a Gold Star.
Liz Morrell (Past Chair and WI Adviser) recalls meeting Maureen when we were encouraged to join the Organisation Committee at MFWI in 1997, by Ex Chairs Olive Powell and Pat Buffin, both Voluntary County Organisers (VCOs). After a few years of assisting at Annual Meetings and events such as the Middlesex County Show to encourage women to join the WI, the Federation agreed to fund training for Maureen, Carol Sullivan (Membership Chair) and myself, and in 2000 we were appointed by NFWI. The role of VCO was renamed as WI Adviser (WIA) in the early 2000s.
Maureen was the lead WIA working with Kim Ford, who approached MFWI to open Ruislip Evening WI, The first WI to open in Middlesex after many years. Many others followed in quick succession. Maureen will be remembered by founder members in Gothic Valley, Stroud Green, West Hampstead and HA:WI to name but a few. Maureen also represented the Federation on the London WI’s Forum at NFWI HQ.
Professional, Approachable, Calm, quietly spoken, talented craft women, good fun, always ready for a laugh. A joy to spend time with. Our thoughts and prayers are with her sons Tim, Guy and their families may she Rest in Peace.