Baton visit marks start of centenary celebrations

A SPECIAL baton, designed to commemorate the centenary of the Women's Institute (WI) next year, comes to Pembrokeshire later this month.

Launched on January 1 in Anglesey, where the first WI meeting was held in the UK in 1915, the baton is travelling across the 69 WI federations throughout the year in celebration of the links of friendship and community developed through the organisation.

It will finish its trip at the WI’s centenary Annual Meeting in June 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

From Saturday, July 19, until Tuesday, July 29, the baton will be in Pembrokeshire and will travel from Newport through the county, visiting as many areas as possible, before completing its journey in Clynderwen.

The baton will be walked, run, driven by vintage car and bus, transported on the Puffin Shuttle bus and by boat to highlight the diversity of the WI members’ locations and interests.

Celebratory events will be held on each day of the baton’s visit to the county, with plenty for local people to see and join in with, and each federation will also upload photos to a memory stick stored within the baton.

WI members are also going to be involved in celebratory events in the build up to next year's centenary, such as fashion shows, themed dinners, a carol service at St David’s Cathedral and a charter of the Waverley Steam Cruiser.

Ann Newbery Federation Chairman said: “Celebrating the centenary with fellow members across the nation really highlights the role that all members have played in bringing their communities together since the very beginning of the WI, and we can’t wait to follow the baton’s trip once it has left us and travelled on around the federations.”

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