There has been a lot happening at Auchencloigh Scottish Women’s Institute (SWI) since the group reconvened recently – not least 100th birthday celebrations, tea parties and themed evenings to get members back into the swing of things.

The SWI marked their 100th birthday in the Fenwick Hotel on Thursday, September 16. The group were welcomed by Auchencloigh President, Margaret Weir, and the birthday cake was cut by Ayrshire President, Marion Gibb, and Honorary Member, Nancy Smith.

A toast was proposed to Auchencloigh SWI by Anne Kerr, National President, which was replied to by Marion. Grace was said by Margaret Murray before lunch, and Margaret Woodburn, Vice President, gave the vote of thanks. Members then had time to socialise at the end of a lovely afternoon.

On a different note, in the same month, a team of four represented Auchencloigh at the annual Ayrshire Federation ‘Ruralympics’.

A spokesperson said: “While not in the final placings, the team, which comprised of members Jill, Nancy, Margaret and June, enjoyed the various energetic and often hilarious tasks set by the organising committee.”

As Autumn rolled round, October 13 saw the SWI hold their first meeting in Auchencloigh Hall since February 2020 – with members thankful that the pandemic was no longer hampering their ability to meet up.

The Taste and Try evening was a real success, and a film which documented the previous birthday celebrations was screened to keen attendees. The night also comprised of the Annual Business Meeting and was well attended by members and visitors alike.

Significantly, during the event, retiring President, Margaret Weir, announced her retiral and called for the nomination of a new Vice President, thanking the office bearers and committee members for their support during her time in office.

Hostess Mary Smith and her team provided a delicious Taste and Try supper before the retiring President stood down, but not before she was presented with a bouquet of flowers in appreciation.

Sadly, the group’s children’s Hallowe’en Party was cancelled this year, but the next meeting will be held today [Wednesday, November 10] at 7.30pm when the Rev Chris Blackshaw will speak.