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KINGSTON WI: Report of Kingston WI meeting held on March in the Parish Hall, by Helen Dudley.

Caroline Taplin, our treasurer, reported that the current account balance was £2056.51, the deposit account was £271.43, petty cash £6.78 totalling £2334.72. Last month’s Green Hearts campaign raised £13, was donated to Greenpeace. A walk around Brighton on March 22 starts at 9.30am at the end of The Street to catch the bus. Tap dancing on Thursday March 24; Pilates 2pm to 3pm each Tuesday in the village hall and craft club in the pavilion 2pm to 4pm Fridays. Choir at Peggy Nicholson’s house, 4.15pm each Friday. Eastbourne tennis tournament visit is on June 23. Dates to visit to the Incinerator, Newhaven and the Elizabeth Tower, Westminster; are to be announced. The Queen’s birthday on April 21, will be celebrated with a Clean for the Queen litter collection around the village; 9.15am at the Jugg’s. Budding actors are required for a play to be performed at our Christmas party meeting, about 14 are needed.

Gillian Lloyd, our speaker for the evening, a photographer who turned professional two years ago, visits places with a particular animal in mind; in this case mountain gorillas in Uganda. Entebbe is the airport nearest Kampala, the capital, which teems with motorcycles and pushbikes but never ridden by women; they walk, as do children, everywhere. 25 percent of people are below the poverty line, 29 percent lack access to clean water and 66 percent lack access to sanitation. Those living near water are considered well-off. Children collect water often walking four to five miles there and back to collect it, women collect it for cooking and washing and men fish by throwing nets to catch fish. Her main objective was the mountain gorillas of the Rwenzori Mountains which are always snow-capped. The birdlife pictures were amazing with many wonderful and colourful birds; over 1000 species. We saw pictures of the endangered Golden Monkey, only found in the Viranga volcanic mountain region, which live on a diet of bamboo. Gillian was escorted by guards to find the vulnerable and critically endangered gorillas in one hour time slots. Care needs to be taken as they can catch human diseases. Approximately 400 are left in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and 480 in the Viranga mountains. With 10 minutes left of their hour slot they saw a silverback, a male gorilla with his family group of 17. The pictures of them were wonderful. The last creature pictured was a Shoe Billed Stork; a strange looking, large, grey, bird about three feet high with only six pairs left in Uganda. It looked pre-historic, like a pterodactyl. It flew straight towards her and she managed to take a superb picture of it in full flight. Fantastic.

Next month’s meeting is on April 7.

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