Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Modern Day WI Harmonies: Paint balling, Squad Biking...Jam and Knitting

This is a good news story for a change, tempered by a tinge of sadness.  This morning I was listening to the "Today" radio programme interview "live on air" a new group of female singers.  The singers are aptly called "The Harmonies" and they are all members of the Women's Institute (WI).  It is still the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK with 205,000 members. 

As part of a process to update the image of the WI, the organisation had encouraged the formation of this group of their members who do not conform to the perceived stereotype of WI members.  In the interview "The Harmonies" obvious enthusiasm about the paint balling, squad biking, blogging and twittering which they get up to as WI members came over as clear as their appreciation of traditional WI Jam and knitting traditions.

I recognised one of the singers, Gemma Woznicki, (5th right) as the daughter of a Tower Hamlets comrade - a staunch UNISON steward, anti-fascist and Labour Party loyalist, George Woznicki, who very sadly is no longer with us.

You can listen to Gemma and her friends being interviewed on "Today" and hear them sing "It's a wonderful world" from their new album which you can pre-order here.  It was a joy to hear. Later they were interviewed on BBC breakfast TV - check this link.


Anonymous said...

shame we lost the womens cooperative guild

John Gray said...

very true