IN PRAISE OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN: Caerleon WI met on Monday, February 11, and president Dianne Roberts opened the meeting and received the apologies for absence. She also welcomed one new member, one dual' member and one member who was rejoining.

The theme of the afternoon was The Gilbert and Sullivan Story', and the speaker was Chris Purkiss, who also sang several of the songs from their productions.

The Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas contained much social satire, the librettos of which were written by W S Gilbert, and the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan.

They met in 1869, but it was not until 1876 that Gilbert met D'Oyly Carte.

For him they wrote Trial by Jury, and so began the series of light operas which was to permanently link the names of Gilbert and Sullivan.

In 1881, the Savoy Theatre in London was built especially for the D'Oyly Carte Company.

Unfortunately, the company closed in 1982, but three D'Oyly Carte concerts a year are still arranged, and Chris Purkiss takes part in them.

She ended by singing the well-known Oh Wandering One, and suggested we joined in the singing, if we knew the words. We didn't know the words, but we could and we did, enjoy tapping our feet to the music.

Chris has a beautiful voice and we had a very enjoyable afternoon.

After the tea break, the Gwent News, which had been distributed, was read and discussed.

Our programme secretary, Barbara Samuel, was not able to attend the meeting, but she has been working very hard arranging trips, etc.

In response to a request from a few members, she has arranged half day visits to the theatre and St Fagans.

The visit to Denman has now been arranged for July 25, and we are very much looking forward to that.

There are many other visits and activities arranged and these are, as always, shown on the notice board.

Dianne reminded the members to refer to this for dates and times and venues.

We are very grateful to Barbara for all her hard work.

The monthly competition was won by Eira Evans and second was Jean Rutkowski.

Jean thanked all the members who had given her knitted squares and these are now being joined together to form the picture blanket'.

The next meeting will be on Monday, March 10.

If you are a gardener, you will be pleased to know that our popular plant stall will be open before the meeting commences.

If you have any plants you wish to sell, do bring them along.

The meeting starts at 2pm, but do come early, because there is plenty to see and talk about well before time.

We look forward to seeing you.

Betty Westcott