Newsletter — April 2021

First of all, may I wish you all a very spiritually happy month. Those who celebrate(d) Pesach, Easter and the beginning of Ramadan, I hope these ceremonies and processes fulfil all that they are meant to do, and those of other beliefs, or who don’t follow any particular belief, I hope you have had a peaceful time over this holiday weekend

I have some very exciting news this month, which will make it a very long letter, but first the bread-and-butter things:

I must apologise to Alice Per for not including her in our gratitude to those ladies who keep our Instagram page going. Thank you Alice, yours and everyone’s contribution is much appreciated.

I also need to let the Tuesday group know that Liora Weil is no longer going to come to our meetings. The period of Covid has been very challenging for her, and I believe her family have found a suitable, caring place for her. We will miss her, and also Busi and Pretty who looked after her so well. Both of the latter are now looking for another position. Should anyone know of someone needing full time carers, please let Tricia Leishman know.

Please keep working on your “Covid Eye of the Needle” pieces. We have had two submissions from non-Guild people as well, so news of it has spread. Please keep it going – we need a lot more contributions, and we want to see everyone’s work represented. It will be an amazing display when it is all done.

In addition, we are still a functioning Guild, and the rules of the constitution still apply. If you have not already done so, PLEASE PAY YOUR ANNUAL SUBS. Because of the unusual year we have had, we have moved the deadline date to the end of May. I am repeating the banking details. Since so many of us have been confused by the “your reference” “my reference” bits on the deposit form (me included!) please send Helen an email when you have paid, giving the date, the bank from which the money has been sent and the TIME when you put your contribution in so she can mark you off on the list accurately. It would also help to find a twenty-something to help you with the deposit form, so you have another capable foot in the digital age. IF YOU HAVE NOT PAID BY THE END OF MAY, YOU ARE SAYING YOU NO LONGER WANT TO BE A MEMBER OF THE GUILD, AND ARE ASKING US TO REMOVE YOU FROM THE MEMBERSHIP LIST. Please take note of this, and make the necessary arrangements in time. We don’t want to lose any of you.

The Member Fees are:

Under 60R140,00
60  –  69R120,00
70  –  79R100,00
80  –  89R 80,00
90 +Honorary

The bank details are:
Witwatersrand Embroiderers’ Guild,
Absa Bank , savings ,
A/c 9362064660
Cresta 632005



After more than a year, Danny and the committee have been in negotiations with Ina at the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre, and we are able to meet once again, beginning in MAY subject to very strict Covid Protocols. So here is how it will work.

  1. What we MAY do

Starting from the 4th May (Tuesday) and the 8th of May (Saturday) we will meet as we always have, but the times have been slightly extended to give us space to carry out the various procedures which have become necessary. The Tuesday meeting will meet every week from 09:00 to 12:00, and the Saturday group will meet on the second and fourth Saturdays from 14:00 until 16:30.

  • What we MUST do

We will have to sanitise our hands before entering, and our temperature will have to be taken. We will wear masks for the whole time we are in the centre – they may NOT be removed. We will also have to fill in the sort of form you find at your doctor’s rooms or the pharmacy, where you make the declaration that you have not been in contact with any Covid sufferer and you yourself are not experiencing any Covid symptoms. To avoid crowding, these forms may be placed on your table, but more about this in the next newsletter.

  • What we will find when we get there
    • The tables will be separate with four chairs around each, and both Tuesday and Saturday will be accommodated in the hall. The tables will be spaced correctly, and may not be moved. ONLY FOUR PEOPLE WILL BE ALLOWED AT EACH TABLE. I strongly suggest that, if you want to sit with particular friends, you arrange this beforehand, and aim to arrive together. “Keeping seats” creates difficulties, and NOBODY will be allowed to fetch a chair and push in. Should the number of tables in the hall be full, then the overflow will have to sit in what was the tea room, where a few tables will be added.
    • While the centre will sanitise between meetings, the Guild committee has decided that, given the average age of our members, we will sanitise everything ourselves before each meeting. We also have to sanitise when we leave. If you want to leave early, I suggest you sanitise your chair and the table place where you sat. If someone else comes late, they will than have a clean place to sit at if yours is the only vacant place left. Too much is better than too little.
    • All the doors and windows have to be kept open, so if May is beginning to feel like the beginning of winter, please wear suitable warm clothing.
    • While the Centre will sanitise the toilets, I suggest that, since it is a public space, you bring your own sanitiser and clean before and after you use it. You don’t have to, but peace of mind is a nice thing to have.
  • What you will not find
    • There will be NO tablecloths. If you like working on a covered surface, you may bring your own tray-cloth sized piece to work on, but you are required to sanitise it before you place it on the table.
    • There will be NO TEA. The task of sanitising cups and plates and managing crowds around the urn are just not feasible at the moment. If you would like to bring a lunch box and something to drink in a flask or bottle (remember being in primary school?) you may, but there is to be NO sharing.
    • Just as you may not share tea or snacks, you may not share any embroidery things either. Please make sure you have scissors, pins, the right threads, enough material, and anything else when you come. You may not borrow from anyone, and you must say “no” if anyone wants to borrow from you.
    • There will also be NO workshops, no looking at one another’s work (unless you hold it up) and no helping or asking for help. All these lead to unnecessary contact, and rather than risk people “being careful” and then forgetting to distance, the centre is drawing the line to the right of acceptable. There is no reason why you should not arrange a Zoom workshop with someone between meetings if you need help.
    • There will also be NO sales table, for reasons similar to that concerning no tea. There will however be an opportunity buy what you need from Janis (details below).
  • What will still be there but different.
    • The library will be open for a limited time at each meeting. The number of people at the cupboard will be limited – details later – sanitising will take place before and after, so you may still borrow books. PLEASE return any books you may have taken out before Lockdown. No fines will be levied, but we do want those books back.
    • Janis is prepared to sell from her stock during meetings but it will be primarily online. She asks that you let her know by WhatsApp or email exactly what it is you want, eg “DMC 703, light yellowish green – two skeins”. She will see what she has in stock, will reply to your email with your list and the prices with each item and the total. You will either pay her online and submit proof of payment, or will bring said proof of payment OR the EXACT amount of cash to the next meeting where you will be handed your package and she will be/will have been paid. Payment arrangements you must negotiate with her. She asks you please not to phone her because looking for things with one hand and holding the phone in the other is awkward and very time consuming. Her supply of cloth is a bit limited, but all the rest is as it always was.
  • What we all MUST understand.
    • These arrangements seem to be very restrictive and rather petty. Please understand that, not only is Covid pernicious and very unpredictable, but we are meeting in a government-owned building. Those of you who were part of the last Exhibition will remember the run-around Hettie and the committee had, with measuring screens, and pre-wrapped biscuits and other such minutiae. Well, the same people are in control once again, and they have the authority to send round inspectors who, if they find something wrong, may close us down for an indeterminate period. We HAVE to comply absolutely down to the last petty detail. You can’t mess with these people.
    • Should there be a national or provincial spike in infections, or an infection in one/some of our members, both the WEG committee and the Roosevelt Park Centre have the right to cancel meetings until it is safe to return, and even if the country is not put back into stricter lockdowns, we may still feel it prudent to keep our members safe for a time. Please accept these decisions if they have to be made.
    • This probably doesn’t need to be said, but I will say it anyway. If anyone is not well or their spouse/child/domestic worker/elderly parent who lives with you is ill, please stay away until the nature of the illness is confirmed as NOT Covid. There are many of our members in the vulnerable age group, and we need to be more considerate than we would be in a restaurant or shop. In addition, if anyone is diagnosed with Covid within ten days of a meeting, or if their spouse/child/domestic worker/elderly parent is positively diagnosed, please regard yourself as in quarantine, and let the committee and anyone you associated with on the day, know your status, so we can do the necessary quarantining, and look out for possible symptoms in ourselves in time to keep us all safe. 

Even though this is difficult, it is wonderful that we can meet should we wish to. There will be another newsletter before we meet again, and anything further that needs to be decided will be communicated to you then.

Until then, keep safe, and keep stitching.