Seasons Greetings to all our Members and let’s hope we can raise our voices again in 2021.
There’s not been much to sing about this year, but during more “normal” times we start our meetings off with a rousing rendition of “Jerusalem”. But why?
The poem written by William Blake was published in 1808 during another period of uncertainty – the Industrial Revolution when “England’s green & pleasant land” was being destroyed by massive urbanisation. Blake disapproved of this because it led to the creation of over-crowded slums which were the breeding grounds for endemic diseases.
The words were subsequently set to music by Hubert Parry in 1916 and it was adopted by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies to whom the copyright was assigned. When the NUWSS was wound up, the copyright was reassigned to the Women’s Institute.
The photo above shows the Fenstanton WI Choir who won the Huntingdonshire Federation of Women’s Institutes Music Festival in the 1930s.
The proverb – “Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow” puts forward the idea that great enterprises have modest beginnings.
What is now a national federation originates from a small beginning in Ontario in 1897 when the inaugural WI meeting was held. The idea quickly spread across Canada to the UK and the first WI meeting took place in Wales in 1915.
Fenstanton WI has been running for over one hundred years, meeting monthly with a speaker or demonstration.
Unfortunately since March 2020 our physical meetings have been suspended due to Covid-19 and we have used email to provide our Members with a ‘virtual substitute’ to visit recommended websites related to the topic of the month.
Hopefully meetings will resume some time in 2021 and in the meantime we wish our Members all the best.
The WI Oak Tree was planted at the Cemetery entrance as a sapling in 2000 and 20 years later is really well established!
For further information about the Fenstanton WI, please contact: Mrs Deborah Markl (Secretary) Email: [email protected]