Newsletter — June 2022

This letter is a week late, but I decided to wait until we had our committee meeting (the first full meeting in about a year) and I could keep you up-to-date about what we discussed. We have some very exciting news, and we are intentional about starting up again as soon as we have found a suitable place to meet.

Firstly, some loose ends that need to be tied up. Jenni Langford is getting the last couple of pieces of the Covid Frieze together and will put the whole thing together soon. There were not sufficient contributions to make a decent frieze, so she is forming them into a large wall hanging instead. That should be quite eye-catching.

Some people have been asking about the Instagram page that we started. It seems that there was not enough input – too few people were posting, so it is in abeyance until we start meeting regularly again. However the Facebook page “Jozi Stitch” is still running, and Jenni has been posting several useful articles, and anyone who has work to show can put it on that page. The Wits Embroidery Facebook page, a newer initiative, will be closed. There is also the WhatsApp group which has been our main source of day-to-day communication and anyone who is not on that group can ask to be included. Hilary Walker is the chief administrator.

It appears that the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre is still not ready, and no one seems to know how soon we will be able to go back there. It is really not very satisfactory but there doesn’t seem to be much else we can do. The meetings at Paputzis and Random Harvest went/are going well, but it’s an expensive way of doing things if we want to meet regularly for a longer time. We are investigating other alternatives, but other recreation centres are in exactly the same place as ours, and those which are not being renovated, are not suitable for other reasons – the lack of on-site parking being one of them. We’ll get back to you on that one. We will have to pay – nothing worthwhile comes cheaply, but we are planning to have another venue available soon. We have waited long enough. 

In the meantime, we have decided to delay the need for annual subscriptions until we DO actually meet. We have also decided to delay the AGM until we are meeting regularly, and the committee has agreed to remain in office until we are back to normal. In the meantime, please download and print a copy of your Covid vaccination certificate. The Recreation centres have ruled that no one is to be admitted unless they have shown on the government official form that they have been fully vaccinated. Most other venues are likely to have similar regulations, so be prepared to present that document.  

Now for some more “newsy” news. I had a phone call from Helen Bird – who is now 101 years old and recovered well after a fall from her stationary bike which resulted in a nasty cut on her leg. She was doing Sudoku at the time and wasn’t concentrating. She manages to walk to the embroidery meetings held at her village, and has at last had to get a hearing aid. But she is well, she is enjoying life to the full, and sends her love to all of you. I have tried to contact Helen Paton’s daughter to find out how she is doing, but have not managed to do so yet. I have also not been successful in contacting her retirement village either, but will keep trying and will let you know as soon as I have made contact, and I’ll let you know.

Now for a VERY EXCITING REQUEST! Our Chair, Danny Wimpey was contacted by the South Africa Air Force near Pretoria, and our Guild has been asked to make a new flag for this important part of the army. It is to replace a similar one which has become very worn, and we will have to submit a quote (yes – all expenses will be met) which will cover material, threads, and anything else we need. The flag is big – at least a metre by a metre and a half. The material will be something very durable and hard-wearing, and the thread will be most likely number 5 cotton. The design is four large proteas in each corner, and an eagle in the centre, and probably some lettering as well. All of this is to be done in satin stitch and long and short stitch, and will hopefully fly aloft for many years to come. 

SO………. We need volunteers who are passionate and very good at satin stitch and long and short to offer their services. We will ask for a sample of your work – not because we have any doubt as to your capability (we wouldn’t have been asked otherwise) but we need to match tension and style so that the whole thing looks uniformly done – this is the military, after all! Please contact Danny or any one of the committee if you are willing to help, and we will let you know further details. This is a marvellous opportunity not only for our status as a Guild, but also it is a significant affirmation of our art. Please let’s hear from you.

Now for the last thing in this very long letter. We need to update our membership list. Some of you have changed address since lockdown and other details may have changed. PLEASE UNDERSTAND WE ARE POPI COMPLIANT and will never share, give away, sell or do anything else with your details without your permission. If you have left Gauteng and would like to continue receiving the Newsletter and remain on the WhatsApp group, you are very welcome to do so. Please answer ANYWAY. Don’t remain silent and let us guess whether you still are a member or not. If you wish to be taken off the membership list, please reply.

The form can be downloaded by clicking this link, and must be filled in and returned to our secretary, Toni Billing.

That’s all for the moment, have a wonderful month, and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can find a meeting place.

Newsletter — March 2020

Dear All,

Thank you all for waiting an extra week.  We have exciting news from our AGM and a committee which will take us into the rest of the year.

Three main points of interest from the AGM.  Firstly, Toni Olivier came and spoke to us about the progress of Ighali.  She is waiting for the final details from some of the teachers, then we will have a firm agenda and we can open it up to registration.  The only slight concern at the moment is money! If we get all 120 places taken up, we’ll break even, but there is very little slack, and any donations, fund-raising efforts on your part or other forms of getting in funds will be most welcome (and please don’t come with any more ideas unless you are prepared to carry them out.  We have had a plethora of ideas, suggestions, advice and instructions.  We need people to DO things.) Any amount is welcome.

Secondly, you will be glad to know that the charge for tea will not be raised.  It is still R2.50 per day – R10.00 per month for Tuesdays, R5.00 per month for Saturdays, and you have the option of paying in advance for the whole year.

Thirdly, there will be NO exhibition this year.  All our extra efforts will go into supporting Ighali and encouraging people to attend that instead. 

We are VERY grateful that the Guild has always had a committee of dedicated hard-working people who have carried our interests forward.  We welcome the committee of 2020 and assure them of our love and support, and look forward to an interesting year.

Our committee for this year is as follows:

  • Chair: Danny Wimpey (new on the committee)
  • Secretary: Hettie Moller
  • Treasurer: Helen O’Hanrahan (back on the committee after some years)
  • Tea: Sue Sylvester
  • Library: Agness Janse van Rensburg, with Diane Walker helping on Saturdays
  • Sales Table: Jenny Henning (new on the committee)
  • Saturday Rep: Fatima Bhaba (back on the committee after a few years)
  • Workshops: Carol Robinson, with Jenni Langford on Saturdays as before.

Danny, our Chair, has asked me to send a brief biography since she is relatively new to the Guild, and has probably not met most of the Saturday members. I think you’ll agree she has a most impressive background, and will serve us well.  Welcome Danny!

All the best for 2020, and Happy Sewing!

FROM DANNY:

As you may know by now, I was elected Chairperson of the Guild at the 2020 AGM. Many of you do not know me so to make things easier here is a brief bio.

I have just turned 60 and am semi-retired, although as often is the case, am busier now rather than less so. I live with my husband, 2 of my children and several cats, dogs, and parrots, in Parktown North. I am Jhb born and bred, grew up in Parkview, and attended Parkview Senior and Parktown Girls. I studied law at Wits and was admitted as an attorney in 1985. After practicing privately as a lawyer for 9 years I was headhunted to UJ to run the UJ/Alexandra Law Clinic, which I did for 14 years. After leaving UJ in 2007, I worked at FNB for some years before resigning to start working in another direction: writing and fundraising. I have been doing that since 2011. I work part time for several NGOs as a fundraiser as well as writing for PR clients and doing some editing and proofreading.

I love to exercise, walk and do Pilates regularly. I am also a member of a knitting group: St Francis Knitters. We knit baby things for The Baby Box, a project which delivers to new mums in several government hospitals in South Africa. I am a keen cook, reader and gardener. I also do a bit of  machine sewing but not as much as I would like.

I am looking forward to this year and hope to serve you all to the best of my ability. Please feel free to contact me, or chat to me about anything.

Best wishes, Danny Wimpey

Committee for 2017/18

The AGM held on 11 March returned all of the existing WEG committee members to office, and added a new representative for Saturday Guild.

  • Chairlady & Assistant Librarian – Hettie Möller
  • Treasurer – Wendy Hutton
  • Secretary – Alice Per
  • Saturday Representative – Cordelia Robinson
  • Workshops – Merica Swarts
  • Tea – Tricia Leishman
  • Librarian – Louise von Glehn
  • Sales Table – Reina Oudmayer
  • Newsletter/Website/ENSA – Heath White