Lavington Branch

Mrs. Claire Wilson, then President of the League, inaugurated Lavington Branch in May 1959 with six members and Mrs. Dinda Lapage as DVP. One of the first items for discussion was the question of designing and working an embroidered panel for the Branch, although it was too late for it to be included in the exhibition that went to England. The members felt that there should be a panel for Lavington, which was designed by Miss Ruth Banham and embroidered by Mrs. R Flett. Despite having so few members to start with, Lavington helped with the Belgian Refugees at the South Hill Transit Camp and at the Keny aHigh School. The Branch took a special interest in Mrs. Gault's Kindergarten, which opened in 1960, and in the Lavington Primary School, which started in 1961, and presented a cup to the school for the "child making the most progress during the year". The Lavington Church Building Fund was another Branch "baby", and many members received invitations when the church was opened on the 4th of June 1960. Later Branch funds helped to build the Church Hall.

 

The Branch continued as a happy social group, with frequent meetings during the 1960's. They early established a custom for visiting places of interest, both in Nairobi and further a field. Over the years these have included Parliament Buildings, the Snake Park, the Breweries, the Hilton Hotel, the Polio Unit of the King George VI Hospital (this in 1962) and in the 1970's the Radiological Unit of the same hospital, now the Kenyatta Hospital, where Dr. Whittaker, the husband of one of the Branch members showed them round.

 

Their success story at the annual Home Industries (now Home crafts Exhibition) started in 1958 and in 1967they won the Rosemary Cup for the best Junior Group, J. Grant winning the Katzler Cup for the junior with the most points. It's obvious those juniors grew up and carried on, as in 1975 and 1977 the Branch won the Brierley Bowl for 3rd Overall.

 

The Branch Chairman in 1977 Mrs. Kay Dean was foremost among the organisers of the trading stall at the ACWW Triennial Conference, and many Lavington members worked extremely hard as stewards, and also entertained delegates in their homes. This tradition of hard work was carried on when the Branch undertook to provide workers regularly for Jill Simpson's Mobile Immunisation Clinic. Members travelled to Naivasha weekly for this hard but rewarding work.

 

The terrible bomb attack on New Years Eve 1981 at the Norfolk Hotel left many innocent tourists badly injured and hospitalised in a strange country. Lavington Branch members visited and helped them in many ways. The “Weal Help” committee inaugurated by a past Spring Valley Branch Chairman, Mrs. V. Eccles, in 1985, has carried on this tradition.

 

Lavington Branch always seems to come up with interesting ideas for meetings, with Mah-Jong mornings, recipes whopping lunches and Russian Evenings featuring on the social calendar. The Branch is also very much involved with the Lavington players, providing actors, producers and stagehands. All the funds raised from these varied functions have been donated to local charities, as well as the National Chairman's projects.