AGM and the Minack Theatre

Jun 20, 2017

This month’s meeting was our AGM, and we looked back on another lively and successful year. Our finances are in good shape, meetings have been well attended and the interest groups are flourishing. Karen, our president, reminded us that the WI is about encouraging friendships and mutual support. We are a very large group, so joining one or more of the interest groups is a good way to get to know other members.

Our committee has worked hard to ensure that things run smoothly, but several of its members have decided to step down, so they were thanked for their work, and their successors welcomed.

Members had been asked to wear red and yellow in support of Reminiscence Learning, and donations were collected.

Our speaker, Sandy Bateman, told us about the history of the Minack Theatre, where she had performed regularly as a member of an amateur dramatic group from Bristol. Rowena Cade, who founded, the theatre, and with the help of just her gardener and her handyman, built it from scratch with very few tools, beginning in 1929 with seats for the audience, which took six months. Over the next seven years it was developed considerably, but during the war it was taken over for a gun emplacement, and was in a poor state afterwards.

Nothing daunted, Rowena built steps from the beach, a car park and an access road, again by hand with only one or two helpers. She was very resourceful and creative, carrying sand from Porthcurno beach in sacks on her back until she acquired a car, and engraving cast concrete with a screwdriver. She carried on working on improving the site during the winter until she was in her 80s, and died at the age of 90 in 1983. The current theatre seats 800, so the enormity of her task is evident. She would have been a stalwart member of any WI!

During members’ time our artistic skills were tested as we were asked to draw a small picture of ourselves, or something which represented us, for inclusion on a tea towel later in the year. Some ready-made icons were offered as choices in case inspiration, or drawing ability, was lacking.

Sandy Bateman

Sandy Bateman, our May meeting speaker.

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