Spring has sprung, and after a chilly few days at the beginning of the month, the weather is beautiful. Now for the rain!
Since the last newsletter we said goodbye to our friend and Witwatersrand Embroidery Guild matriarch, Myrna Vandam. We will become really aware of our loss once we are able to meet again, whenever that will be. Her good humour, her interest in everything that was going on around her, her willingness to help anyone who asked, and most of all, her incredible skill in giving expression to the most wonderful pieces of embroidery art, are things we will always cherish. Unfortunately we were unable to be at her funeral, but we remember her with great fondness and our thoughts go out to Ron and the other members of her family.
The Covid Frieze is still going ahead. The Committee has taken over the running of it since it belongs to the whole Guild and not just to a few of us, and a sub-committee will be duly put in place to run it on behalf of all of the members. The name of the project has been decided by the WEG committee and is as follows:
Covid19 lockdown: Through the 👁 of a needle
Should you have completed any piece and would like to hand it in, you may still do at the shops mentioned in the original information, and I will make sure they are picked up. Otherwise just hang on to them for the time being and the Frieze committee will let you know their new arrangements. Please don’t forget to put your name and the initials of the Guild on it, and if you have used a pattern from a designer, please include that on your work – “Mary Jones Designer” or if you have borrowed some ideas and parts of another design, please acknowledge that too – “Influenced by Mary Jones” We depend of these designers for our art, and they need to make a living too. Please extend them this courtesy.
A request has come from some members of the Guild, particularly now that we are in level 2. While most of us are in lockdown, there are others who are working – some back at the office and others still from home. Should you wish to speak with anyone, please send them a WhatsApp or sms and ask when it is convenient to phone. Often Zoom and other meetings are taking place and it’s very awkward to have to reject a call or to have to tell someone to phone later. I’m sure it’s something you have never thought about, and you will be considerate of those who are employed. Otherwise we still have the WhatsApp group where ideas and information are freely shared.
Please keep you photos coming in. Robyn de Klerk has taken over the job of managing the Instagram page, and there are some wonderful works, completed and still in progress, featured there. It’s a good advert for our Guild, so please keep sending them.
Finally, Danny has asked me to include the following two messages from Ina at the Centre, and pertinent considerations about re-opening.
We have been receiving messages from Ina at the Rec Centre about the reopening process. I will duplicate the last two here:
The last one:
Good Morning Everyone, still no news, I will notify you on this chat the moment we are allowed to open. Please don’t get your hopes up by listening to gossip from groups at other centres. That will just lead to frustration and disappointment. The staff will do the Covid course next week and that will put us on the path to re-opening. Kind Regards Ina.
And the second last one:
Good Afternoon Everyone, we are closed again. OHASA did inspections at 2 Rec Centres and our Manager Annette Volschenk realized that none of the Centres complies.
I will keep you up to date of any changes.
Look after yourself and be safe.
I have had some discussions with various members, informally, about the situation and the possibility of reopening. I know we are all anxious to get back to ‘normal’ whatever that may be. However, I think we need to be realistic. Almost all of us are in the high risk age category, and many of us have co-morbidities. This makes us vulnerable to a bad outcome if we do become infected with COVID.
In addition, we would be responsible for safety protocols, sanitising, checking temperatures, keeping records etc. just as is required when you go anywhere. The Guild would have that responsibility as the council has no resources…That will mean money, as well as time and action by committee members themselves in a high-risk category.
Then there is the question of the hall. We have to sit, masks on, at least 1.5 metres apart – is that even feasible? Additionally, we would have to sanitise the hall before and after the meetings, make sure the tea and coffee etc, cakes and so on, is all safe.
I really don’t think it’s doable for us.
I am terribly sorry, but right now we need to think sensibly, and long-term, for the health of our members. We are of course reassessing as we get information. We will let you know if anything changes, and if we have a time-frame for reopening the meetings. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to keep in contact via the WhatsApp group, and with your table, or in ZOOM or Google Meet meetings. And keep stitching.
Have a wonderful month, and let’s keep on with the work we are doing.