A happy crowd of ladies in lovely dresses gathered in the Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the centenary of the SWI Dumfriesshire Federation. There was a modern floral display at the entrance, posies on the tables (all by Sandra Robertson, Glencairn SWI) and the “Rural Tartan” and Dumfriesshire bunting was draped round the stage.
Federation President Helen Braid welcomed the members warmly and introduced National President, Anne Kerr. Other guests were past presidents (known as Chairmen in their day) Ella Renicks, Jean Wilson, Marion Bell, Betty Burns, Irela Hamilton and May MacCormick. Unfortunately Elspeth Kennedy and Nancy Sloan were not able to attend.
Ella and Jean had the honour of cutting the beautiful cake made by Sandra Braid, Johnstonebridge SWI.
Anne Kerr unveiled the Centenary Keepsake - drawings representing each institute around a map showing their locations. She congratulated Dumfriesshire on reaching a landmark 100 years and encouraged members to move forward, including completing the national survey to share views about how to achieve this. She then proposed the toast to the Dumfriesshire
Helen then summarised the life of the Dragon Lady, the late Shirley McKeand, a member of Collin SWI and exceptional needle woman, before Anne unveiled Shirley's Gold Work picture, “Satellites” that will be presented to the SWI National Collection on behalf of Dumfriesshire Federation.
A delicious tea was served and there was a chorus of chatter as ladies had the friendly fun that is the mark of every meeting.
Entertainment was provided by other members. Andrea Houston, Tinwald SWI recited the anniversary poem she had composed. Malene Marshall, Barjarg & Keir played guitar and sang beautifully. This was followed by pieces from harpist Maureen Milton, Moffat SWI. The final piece was a hilarious recitation by Heather Purves, Dornock & Eastriggs.
Federation Vice President, Mima Telfer, although in Vancouver Island, sent electronic good wishes. She could be heard as if she was present giving a vote of thanks in rhyme, a recorded tribute that was a fitting end to a super afternoon.
The ladies left with memento place mats and most had purchased the Centenary Cookbook that was launched that afternoon.
A selection of photos from the day.