Down St Mary WI Diamond Jubilee
DOWN St Mary WI celebrated their 60th anniversary with a service in St Mary the Virgin Church, Down St Mary.
The Rev Lindsey Starrs, Mission Community Priest for the North Creedy Team, welcomed members past and present with a WI prayer written by Mary Stewart, before the hymn Heaven in Devon was sung.
Margaret Elworthy kindly played the organ, which was greatly appreciated.
Lindsey then gave a short talk about what made a WI, apologising for not being a member due to lack of time.
Jan Phillips, Vice President, then read an interesting and amusing look back at early minutes with some snippets taken from them.
Jerusalem was then sung before prayers and a blessing.
Lindsey was presented with a plant by Betty Summers, President, on behalf of the members.
A group photograph was then taken by Alan Quick of the Crediton Courier prior to everyone taking tea in the Village Hall.
Central Devon MP, Mel Stride, joined members in this celebration.
Following entertainment by the Morchard Bishop Ukelele Band, including several George Formby favourites, Kitty Webber, a current founder member and Joyce Pike, a founder member now with Crediton WI, cut the celebration cake, which was distributed among the past and present members with a glass of Cava to toast Down St Mary WI.
Joyce and Kitty were presented with baskets of flowers by Verity Morrison.
Joyce Pike thanked everyone for inviting past members and said she could not believe it began 60 years ago!
Maureen Knight took along the WI albums and everyone enjoyed identifying previous members in years gone by as well as present members.
Members said it was a very enjoyable afternoon and Sandra Yarwood thanked all the committee and members for the hard work in setting up the hall and providing excellent refreshments.
After the celebration, Mel Stride, said: "It was good to see that the Women's Institute is so well supported.
"The 60th anniversary of the Down St Mary branch is a testament to the time and effort given by members to make the group such a long-standing success."
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