Meeting on 6th September 2023
It was good to welcome our members, including Kath J as a new member of the committee, plus family and friends, to the evening meeting. Our speaker was Anna-Louise Pickering, who spoke about her ‘Travels with a Wildlife Artist,’ her own mother, Pollyanna Pickering, the well-known wildlife artist, and conservationist. She herself is committed to continuing the work of the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation raising funds for world-wide conservation.
Anna-Louise became Pollyanna’s personal assistant quite by chance and spent nearly 30 years travelling the world with her whilst organising travel arrangements to all ends of the world. She had grown up surrounded by animals and birds when her mother set up a wildlife sanctuary at home and is a writer and photographer in her own rights. She was able to tell us how difficult it was to keep camera batteries charged when in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, where they were camping in tents and igloos on the frozen ice enduring temperatures as low as -40, by keeping them in her bra!
Whilst in India, she celebrated her 21st birthday and the locals presented her with a sloth bear cub, which was later set free in a well-run reserve, having initially been kept in a small enclosure elsewhere. She obviously would not have been able to get the bear through customs to bring it home.
We were treated to some wonderful images of animals and birds of all sorts, including Amur tigers in Siberia, gorillas in Rwanda, jaguars in Brazil and pandas in China. Did you know that pandas need to eat for 17 hours a day and produce much undigested food in the form of bamboo poo?!
As a result of the conservation work worldwide, toilet blocks have been built for schools and we were shown some of the toilet and washing facilities in various countries which left a lot to be desired!
Enclosures have been set up to house the most endangered animal species in Namibia, and the Foundation set up in 1999 covers countries in Africa, India, and Costa Rica among others.
So, the work of the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation continues. All in all, the evening was very informative and enthralling and hopefully everyone enjoyed it.
Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 4th October when our guest speaker will be local lady, Alva de Chiro, with a talk entitled ‘A Boy’s Story’, recalling her late husband’s life.
Again, all are very welcome to join the group and if you wish to know more details, do please contact Trish, Marilyn J., or myself.