Now that we are past the shortest day of the year, we can begin to look forward to Spring and new things. and what exciting things we have in store!
Firstly, WE ARE MEETING AGAIN!! It’s official. Beginning this Tuesday, we have been given permission to meet at St Martin’s In-the-Veld church in their smaller hall, called the Parish Room. We will be meeting on the first and third Tuesday mornings of the month beginning in two day’s time, on the 5th July, and on the second Saturday MORNING of the month beginning on the 9th July. This is not a long term arrangement. The church is a busy one, and they are helping us out at no charge as part of their social efforts to help communities rather bruised from the Covid experience, but it will only be in the short term. The committee are busy investigating some more permanent possibilities, but in the meantime, we are meeting at this venue which is fairly central to all our members, and we can become a Guild again.
The address of the church is the corner of Eastwood Road and Cradock Avenue in Dunkeld. Cradock Avenue, which runs parallel to Oxford Road, is where you go in. There are two gates in Cradock Avenue, you go in in at the LEFT hand gate and park in the grounds. The right hand gate is the exit and you may meet someone head-on if you try to go in there.
The Tuesday meeting is at 10h30 and finishes at 12h30 at the latest. There is a service earlier in the morning, and the ladies have tea in “our” room afterwards. They usually finish at around 10h15, but we have been asked to respect their space and not go into the hall before 10h30. We will bring our own tea/coffee/milk/sugar and, while they said we can use their cups and saucers, I think it unfair to expect their staff to wash up and tidy after us when we are not paying anything towards their service, so please, as other groups in the church do, bring your own cup and spoon and take it home with you afterwards. The Saturday group will be meeting at 09h30 and finishing at 11h30 at the latest. On Saturday, the church’s craft and knitting group will be meeting in the hall, and you are welcome to look at what they do, and I have said they can come and see what you are doing.
Since we are using their premises, the committee decided that some form of donation to the church would be the decent thing to do. You can bring a cash donation or you can bring any knitted blankets, beanies, jerseys or baby clothes that you have made, and we can give to their knitting group to be distributed amongst their charities. Failing that, you can also bring some knitting yarn or bits of material for them to use in their own making of things.
Finally on this topic, you WILL be required to show your Covid vaccination certificate the first time you return. We will note it on the register, and you don’t need to bring it again unless any new venue we will find demands it. Unfortunately the committee is unanimous on this issue – no certificate, no admission. Covid has not gone away, we are just not testing any more, and we are people of a vulnerable age and our society is totally freed us from protective practices. We are not prepared either to expose a non-vaccinated person to serious illness, or unnecessarily spread this virus. Masks are at your own discretion, but the hall’s windows and doors will be open.
As regards FEES for this year, we have decided to make it one flat fee of R50 for the rest of the year. Please bring that with you to one of the meetings. The fee structure for next year will be a little different from before – much more user-friendly, and not expensive.
Secondly, the Flag project is going ahead. Danny has been extremely busy sourcing material, and Jenni likewise has been looking at threads. It’s going to be very effective, and it really puts our Guild on the map. However, we need more people who are willing to be part of this. Some of you have been unnaturally coy about your talents. No one is expecting machine embroidery perfection, so please let’s have some volunteers.
Thirdly, the committee has decided that instead of an end of year party this year, we will hold a come-and-sell-craft day. Anything you make, from jams to jerseys to duvet covers to embroidered tray-cloths, will be acceptable. There will also be the opportunity to sell those craft materials we no longer want to use, so you can make space in your home, and earn money for it. It will be on an individual table basis – you will be able to book a table, possibly for a fee, and you set up your stuff. The pricing system, we’ll let you know later. WE WILL ALSO SEE OUR COVID FRIEZE which will be on display. More details about that later.
Finally, the Keiskamma Trust will be displaying some of their magnificent work later on this year on Heritage Day, 24th September, at the Constitutional Court. Mark the date in your calendar. This is not something to be missed.
That’s all for now – a very full and exciting time ahead. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday/Saturday, and let’s hope this is the beginning of a new era in our Guild. Like everything else, these two years have changed a lot of things, and we may have to think seriously about attracting new members, about passing on our skills to a younger generation, and about taking our work seriously once more.
I want to end with a poem by Mary Oliver. I think it may resonate with where we are now.
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
― Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems