Mullion Women's Institute
10:57am Tuesday 17th April 2012 in Mullion
President Val Stephens opened the meeting on Friday, which began with A one-minute silence for two members who have recently passed away. Trudy Hawthorne was an excellent artist, and Mary Stillwell excelled in craftwork.
Correspondence, other business and reminders of upcoming events were outlined.
The Luncheon Club’s next venue is at Mullion Golf Club on May 17.
Val Stiller has completed the WI pennant for the Royal Cornwall Show marquee.
Speaker, Mina Dresser’s talk was “China: Past, Present and Future”. She travelled around the world with her husband Clive who was a Foreign Office diplomat. The last posting was to China, which she called the last of the Old China. The talk covered ancient China, through the various dynasties and ruling houses up to the Chinese Republic. Life was primitive for the millions of Chinese people. The weather in winter was bitterly cold. A fire in the middle of the kitchen was the only form of heating. All cooking was done in the streets, as there were no indoor cookers. They ate mainly dumplings. The country was permanently sheathed in smog caused by pollution from the China mines, and sand blown in from the Gobi desert. This, together with the oil and grease from the outdoor cooking, created a dirty environment. People had communal toilets consisting of holes in the ground. The Embassy apartment was always full of dust because of ill-fitting windows, but they were privileged to have reasonable bathroom facilities. The only cars on the roads were taxis and official cars. Everyone else used bicycles, of which there are millions.
Chinese people are very hard working, though poorly paid. There is still a vast rich-poor divide. The one child policy has caused an imbalance in gender. There are around 37 million men with no wives.
Mina speaks six languages, including Mandarin. She was one of the few women in China to take a driving test. As well as an eye test, she had to have her teeth tested as well! She drove everywhere, but there were no maps. She was told they were unnecessary as no one went anywhere they didn’t know. The Chinese have invented many things, including ice cream. Finally, it seems, there are no white or grey haired Chinese people. They all use hair dye.
Cathy Barnes won the competition for a Panda, (cuddly or picture) and Kath Donald won flower of the month.
Future events: The next meeting is on Friday, May 11 at 2.15pm. WI lunch is on Tuesday, April 24 at noon. A WI quiz on May 30. Mullion WI hosts the Spring Group Meeting on Thursday. All events will be in the WI Hall.