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13 January 2018 Hat Party and Talent Show

Plenty of food was brought by many, so first we ate.

Still seated, each table worked together on two assignments. First we nominated a fantasy set of responsible Quakers to fill the duties of caring for the Meeting. Harry Potter characters were popular. So was the Cheshire Cat, but he kept disappearing, so we settled for others – especially for Treasurer.

The second assignment was to answer questions set forth in a historic quiz with a question for each 100 years since the Meetinghouse was built in 1718, as well as a prediction for 2118. An optimistic response is pictured. Several other answers speculated on whether or not we will have decided by then what to do about a wall at the back of the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Jean played some delightful short works by Schubert. Right: Dame Clarice expounded on her successes in improving the NHS by installing treatment facilities in Tesco, paid for directly at the till.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Sonia sang Barbara Allan to Roy’s guitar accompaniment. Right: Bob and friend entertained us with ukulele tunes and favourite jokes (groaners!) of  Tommy Cooper.

This year, Alice, our very own dance instructor, taught the basics of the Minuet, appropriate in this year of our 300th anniversary.

 

                                  

Left: Young Bea, showed us how she’s following her mother with her own talented leaps and bounds. Centre: Unable to decide which hat, Roy brought, and wore, four, and told a very tall tale of the resulting adventures. Right: Jean carefully assembled these brooches onto her Quaker hat.

 

 

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‘I Am Me’

 

People Not Borders – I Am Me

at Our Meeting House.

Anne welcomes Sue Hampton, of Berkhamstead Meeting,

dynamic Trustee of People Not Borders.

Alison and Marjorie admire the textile images by Paula Watkins.

Tony contemplates the moving display of digital photographic art

by Greek-based Syrian teenager Abdulazez Dukhan.

The plates were painted by local supporters during Refugee Week

and raised nearly £600 in auction.

Their website describes fully all of the projects supported by People Not Borders.

You can donate ££ or clothing and supplies,

And, adults and school students are invited to join 

I Am Me: The Competition

Explore creatively what it means to be a refugee

 – in poetry, a short story or artwork.

Deadline 10th December.

Find out more on the website.

www.peoplenotborders.org

Buy the book, I Am Me, written by Sue Hampton, at 

https://www.suehamptonauthor.co.uk/product/i-am-me/

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We are hosting an exhibition of work by refugees, poets and artists

on November 4th and 5th 2017

2:30 to 4:30 each day

at the Friends Meeting House, 1 The Alleys,  Old Town Hemel Hempstead.

The theme of the mixed media art exhibition is ‘I am Me’

It seeks to help people understand and empathise with the experiences of refugees from Syria and other places.

Highlights of the show are textile images by Paul Watkins, a children’s book by local author Sue Hampton,

and a display of digital photographic art by Greek-based Syrian teenager  Abdulazez Dukhan.

The exhibition is curated by Berkhamsted humanitarian group People Not Borders.

Hours of opening on Saturday and Sunday are 2.30 to 4.30.

Entrance is free and there will be tea and cake available.

Quaker interfaith representative,  Suzanne Watts says,

“We are delighted to host this show, which is moving and inspires hope in humanity”

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Apple Day 2017

Quakers had lots of fun pressing two varieties of apples from the trees in the garden.

      

Using a scratter to mush the apples the crushed pulp was pressed in the wooden rotary press

and the juice squeezed out through muslin.

 

The taste it was agreed, was ‘like ambrosia’ – incredibly sweet.

The redness of the apple skin gave the juice a dark colour.

Around 8 litres were generated from a couple of boxes.  There was enough for a a couple of plastic bottles to take home for families – all of which was drunk almost immediately.

A dress rehearsal for our tercentenary celebration next year.

What would we do different? Have it on a sunny day.

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Jay Lakhani – Dacorum Interfaith Network

We were delighted to host a event organised by the Dacorum Interfaith Network in September – a talk by Jay Lakhani (standing centre), a spiritual humanist, Hindu and theoretical physicist.  Dr Lakhani explored questions of physical and spiritual identity in the light of recent scientific discoveries.  Being open to the light wherever it comes!

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Welcome Dacorum Interfaith Network

L to R: Paul Sandford, Amisha Patel, Nigel Kidd, Reynold Rosenburg and Norman Spink.

Following the closure of the Civic Centre at the end of 2016, the Dacorum Interfaith Network found themselves without a home, so Hemel Quakers have offered a room at our Meeting House.

Quakers have a long tradition of inter-faith activity and understanding of other faiths is a key element in Quakerism which asks us, “Do you work gladly with other religious groups in the pursuit of common goals?”

Because a Quaker meeting house does not have any religious symbols or imagery, its very plain style easily accommodates use by the wider community.

The Dacorum Interfaith Network meets once a month at 8pm on the second Monday in the main hall until further notice. It is hoped that the Network will eventually find a secular home at the new Forum building, but until then they can enjoy the facilities at the 300 year-old meeting house – now including wifi and digital projection.

For more information about the Dacorum Interfaith Network, email normanspink@hotmail.com or find and join the Facebook group. Hemel Quakers can also talk to our representative, Suzanne Watts.

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Our Annual After Christmas Party Time

Saturday 14th January

It’s almost an institution among Hemel Hempstead Quakers. We gather to eat a buffet lunch and enjoy the entertainment provided by those of us who have rashly volunteered to “do a turn”.

Admission is by hat: everyone must wear some kind of headgear.

This year they ranged from the sporty to the monstrous, and the prize for the best was awarded to Kathy for her initiative in making her own strikingly original hat to a Japanese origami design.

Over our excellent buffet meal we could exercise our brains with a quiz provided by Sherief in which we had to fit photos of art works past and present in Hemel Hempstead to their locations.

Audrey played the lady in charge at a disastrous W.I. meeting, introducing her guest speaker, Professor McD’Ennis, with red hair and Tam O’Shanter bonnet and clad in an unforgettable kilt. (By the way, Audrey says the kilt is now for sale. Worn once, one careful owner.)

Jean read us a poem which might make us all aspire to reach the age of 100. Bob made us laugh with some suitably groan worthy old jokes, giving us the opportunity to supply the punch lines. He then demonstrated his impressive progress on the ukulele.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alice directed us in an armchair ballet to music from Swan Lake. How beautiful Alice made it look!

Sonia sang a lively yodelling song with actions and persuaded us all to join in.

Roger, Sammy and Suzanne dramatically brought to life the poem Jabberwocky, with Sammy in his realistic suit of armour.

Sammy made a grand job of slaying the monstrous beast, who made a terrifying entrance wearing a very frightening piece of headgear, another origami triumph and Roger’s handiwork.

We owe our thanks to all those who did a turn or contributed an item, to Christabel for organising the lunch, to Sherief for the quiz, to Alison F. for her supply of very welcome hot drinks, and most of all to Suzanne who organised it all.

Notes by Alison E., Photos by Kathy

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Easter Monday Walk • 28 March 2016

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Seven of us enjoyed Hemel Meeting’s traditional Easter Monday walk on 28 March. Starting in Gadebridge Park, we traversed the fields above Piccotts End.

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It was windy, and the views of the fields and hills were lovely in the early spring weather.

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We came back down Dodds Lane, crossed the Leighton Buzzard Road and walked up a muddy footpath to Halsey Field, near Warners End Wood in Gadebridge.

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There we were met by Chris Ridley, who has organised interest in preserving Halsey Field. She described how in summer in particular, it is full of wildflowers attracting many species of butterfly, bee and hoverfly. Shrubs do their job, too, providing nesting sites, food for birds and insect habitats. If you are interested in helping her and others with preservation activities, email Chris at chrisridleysen@gmail.com.

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After posing for the picture, we set off for Gilbert’s to join others from Meeting who had gathered for tea.

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