West Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes kicks off centenary year with WI lunch in Arundel

More than 80 members from 30 WIs gathered for the West Sussex Federation of Women's Institutes centenary lunch. Picture: Steve Robards SR1902557
More than 80 members from 30 WIs gathered for the West Sussex Federation of Women's Institutes centenary lunch. Picture: Steve Robards SR1902557

Women’s Institute members from across West Sussex braved the threat of snow to meet for the first centenary celebration event of the year.

This year, the West Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes is celebrating 100 years since it was formed with a series of special events.

On Thursday, January 31, more than 80 members from 30 WI groups across the county attended a celebration lunch at Avisford Park Hotel near Arundel.

Read more: Pictures: Centenary lunch launches special year for West Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes

Welcoming members to the first event, federation chairman Yvonne Price asked the members to join her as she proposed a toast to the federation and the beginning of another exciting WI year.

Each table was hosted by a member of the Federation Board of Trustees and attendees were dressed to impress, all ready to meet old friends and make new ones, to share ideas and be inspired to try new projects.

Janice Langley, centenary events co-ordinator, said: “Making conversation during the lunch was obviously not a problem with the noise level only dropping slightly when the food was served.”

This is only the beginning of a year of celebration and on Saturday, March 16, groups will be planting 100 oak trees at Northwood National Trust Estate, Slindon.

Read more: WI members mark 100 years since the West Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes was formed

West Sussex Federation also has a musical evening at Clair Hall in Haywards Heath, showcasing young musical talent in the county on March 29 with friends and family welcome to join in.

Janice said: “The WI has been inspiring women since 1915 and West Sussex is proud to have the first WI in England in the federation. We will continue to welcome new members and form new WIs for the next 100 years.”

In 2015, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes celebrated its centenary with many events across the country, with plenty taking place in West Sussex.

Read more: Looking back at WI centenary celebrations as West Sussex Federation looks to mark its own 100 years