13 November 2016


I’ve done it. I have resigned.

It is three years since I took on the presidency of the local Women's Institute, and I said at the outset I would not serve any longer. Three years is enough. Year 1 is a learning process, year 2 is enjoyable, year 3 is a chore and a worry. It has always been the case in all walks of life that as time moves on the top of the tree becomes more tiresome than enjoyable.

I’ve done it all now so it’s time to give it a rest. I’ve done the Federation Chairman bit, which involved being head of a large county area, and being President of my local branch. I can do no more and I need a break.

Don’t get me wrong, I shall still be a member but it would be good to sit back and watch others at work. 

Like many organisations falling membership hit home. My institute is elderly; we have been around since 1932. Modern women work during the day so there’s little chance of luring them to monthly afternoon events. One or two retirees have joined but they don’t want the responsibility of an officer’s job. They just want to meet friends and listen to a good speaker.

Speakers these days don’t like to do it for free. Some charge £60 to £100 to give an hour’s talk, on top of which we had bills to pay. Owning the hall meant we must pay rates, gas and electric bills on top of speaker fees, repairs, decorators. plumbers, and more, so less fees coming in means we just can’t cope.

I said at the outset that I would only serve for the recommended three years and that time passed quickly. I faced the Annual General Meeting with determination to keep the promise I made to myself and others. Yes, it was time to elect a new president. Not one hand went up. It meant only one thing…. closure. Obviously, nobody cared about the institute.

Should I feel guilty? Well, I don’t. What I feel is huge relief.

My involvement will continue, helping others to dispose of a hall that was a gift from the parents of a WI member all those years ago. It may be an easier job than we thought, but then again it might not.

I have made plans to join another local institute in the New Year, one where I can sit and listen and make new friends. I won’t be alone, others will do the same. I think I’ve gained something, don’t you?


  1. " I won’t be alone, others will do the same. I think I’ve gained something, don’t you?"

    Yes, Valerie, you certainly have. You now only learned a lot, but you also gave a lot back to the Institute. Wow...I can't believe it's been three years since you were elected president at WT because it seems like only yesterday when I recall reading your post saying that you had. Time sure flies, doesn't it?

    I absolutely think you did the right thing because when you feel that you've grown and contributed all you could to something, it's time to move on. And I think when you do, it leaves the door open for new opportunities.

    I have a feeling in the New Year, you'll be taking on a new adventure!

    Hope you're having a lovely Sunday, my friend!


    P.S. LOVE the photo on your sidebar of Charlie watching TV...ADORABLE!

  2. It does sound as if it was now the time to move on. There is no need to feel guilty or anything for wanting to end your term in office.
    Cute picture of Charlie, what a sweetie.

  3. I had never heard of WI, so I googled it and learned some interesting facts! Sounds like a wonderful organization. Now it is time to move on to new adventures, and as you say, make new friends.

  4. Hi Ron, yes, doesn't time fly. Sometimes it only feels like yesterday but other times it's as though I've done the job forever. Apart from the anxiety of having to dispose of the hall I would be feeling on top of the world. Glad you liked the photo of Charlie... pity the light wasn't very good.

  5. SJQ, I know I shouldn't feel guilty and I wouldn't if the institute could have stayed on. But there you are, nobody wanted the job so it's goodbye from us!

  6. Carole, yes, the WI is a remarkable organisation. I have been a member for almost thirty years and loved it. Still, all good things come to an end, as they say.

  7. As with any organization, they try to hang on to someone that does a good job, and when no one else wants to do it. Move on with NO guilt :)

  8. Sometimes it's good to move on to something new. Good luck in your new adventures.

  9. kden, I will move on, and willingly.

  10. It's a common story actually. My wife belong to a similar retired female teacher group. Eventually most of the most had difficulty getting to meeting since they didn't drive anymore. Time to move on. You did the right thing...:)

  11. Well good luck on your new adventures, Val, and I'm glad you were able to move on from your post at the WI on your own terms. Take care.

  12. I think you did the right thing, Val. I have done something a little bit similar recently (not with the WI). It took me a while to get around to handing in notice when they had such problems, but in the end I realised it was actually better to leave, because they were going to continue like they were no matter what I did. It has freed up my time and energy to do more useful things, and I am very relieved. I hope you love the new group!

  13. Jenny. I will enjoy the new group knowing I have no special commitment. Yippie.


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