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Our Women

Our small but talented organising group is made up of women with a wide range of skills and experience.

 

We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to getting to know you!

Pat Bremner

Following the sad news of Pat’s death, several of us attended a moving ceremony at Craigmillar Castle Park Cemetry. Her son, Stewart, sent us this poem she wrote earlier. We will remember her with fondness and as an inspiration.

 

Hurdles
Pat Bremner

We live a life of ups and downs
Of symptoms that may never end
When Multiple Sclerosis abounds
In anger, we cannot bend
Our way of life around

Eyes, bladder, legs, arms may flounder
With time we hope some will mend
If coming to terms you won't hear sound off
Fatigue, heat, cold are worse to fend
For acknowledgement hasn't been found
   
Life need not be turned around
Careful planning we should intend
Sight affected? Oh the beauty of sound
No writing - standing - running - may send
A great fear, a black cloud

Hurdles, hurdles so many hurdles we'll be bound
Overcoming of each will lend
A new confidence in us found
From family and friends, help may extend
Acceptance of which, with grace profound

An even keel isn't easily found
Victory - despair - frustrations extend
Our daily life surround
Future living as a challenge, we should intend
Despair in droplets, but hope abounds

I have been a member of Ewfi since just after our referendum in 2014. I now live in Edinburgh. I have Multiple Sclerosis and since the mid '80s spent what time and energy I had volunteering for two charities that have given me so much help in coping with bringing up a son and daughter on my own. Those were Gingerbread and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Thankfully my children have long since left the family nest.

 

In late 2013 the enormity of the decision I was being asked to take in the referendum dawned on me and shouldn't just go with my heart by saying aye, especially as at the time I only listened to the main media outlets who were all saying it was a terrible idea. I needed to find out what being an independent country would be like, selfishly, as a disabled person would I be ok? My son was an active member in the yes cause and said I should chum him to one of his group’s meetings. What an amazing insight this gave me into how Scotland would fare after Independence. The meeting started by those in the audience who were confirmed Yes voters being asked to leave and go to the nearby pub in order to let in the long queue of people standing in the rain outside. It was a miserable cold wet night, and I swayed about going or not, but didn't want to let my son down when I said I'd go and was so pleased I went in the end. The six speakers spent 5 minutes telling us who they were, and the rest of the night was questions from the audience where so many topics were covered, and fully answered that I hadn't thought about before.

 

I was gutted by the 'no' vote but, like many thousands of yes campaigners couldn't just let it all go. Being so involved with campaigning with various 'yes' organisation's, I was exhausted and realized I had to pick one group to give my time to. I'd heard about Ewfi and thought that was where I wanted to put my energy (or lack of!) into. That was the catalyst for my journey into politics, history (both of which I thought were a waste of time before) Scottish literature and so much more, that has opened my horizons and letting me meet so many interesting people on the way.

Pat

Jean Anderson Hall

 

I first became involved in politics in 1974- the winter of discontent- when my husband said “What are we going to do to help?”  Both teachers, we joined the Labour Party (LP) and became grassroots activists from then on. In 1979 we campaigned for a Scottish Parliament with the Labour Party, believing it was a matter for the individual and that half the L.P. were in favour; also, in 1997 and were delighted when we won our Parliament.

In 2014 I felt Independence was a natural progression and campaigned under LABOUR FOR INDY. Three days after the referendum I wrote a nasty letter to Alastair Darling, accusing him of being Cameron’s stooge, and resigned from the L.P.

 

I felt sad that I had lost my political home- glad when The National was started, and through its adverts found first Radical Independence (with RISE , for which I campaigned in the 2015 General Election) and then Women For Independence and when the National advertised a meeting to start Pensioners for Indy I was there  and it became my main group.

 

I also admire Believe in Scotland, for their campaigning materials, and the Think Tank Commonweal for their ideas for an Independent Scotland, also All Under One Banner, for making us visible to the public and one another.

 

I believe we must make ourselves visible, so I join any local groups holding stalls or activities with my banners to attach to railings (light to carry) I also believe in always wearing a Saltire, whether a badge, a shopping bag, a hat, a mask, or earrings ( they get the most favourable comments!). The OOTNABOOT Wifies also join these groups and do a great job! NOW is the Time!

Jean

Cathie Lloyd
Comms lead

I’ve been involved in (mainly anti-racist) political work for a long time. When I retired from teaching and came to live in Scotland in 2009 I planned to focus on making art. But I was quickly swept up into the local Yes movement! 

 

I was aware of Edinburgh Women for Independence and admired their grassroots activism, how they reached out with the message in a unique and powerful way, but I was a little in awe of them. That was until I attended a zoom meeting during lockdown and found them to be so welcoming and positive. They quickly found me a useful role and I’m now looking forward to helping to drive the movement forward. 

 

I’ve never had the slightest doubt that Scotland needs self-determination – to make decisions based on what we need and want here, rather than something decided by people who know nothing of us. I think that we have a special part to play in communicating this to other women.

Cathie

Janet Ingleby
Membership

Compared to my colleagues in our Edinburgh WFI group I am a relatively new member.


I was encouraged to join by a very enthusiastic member I met at a speaker meeting around 3 years ago.


I believe that Scotland needs the autonomy to create fairer, greener and flexible policies to suit the needs of the people and the changes ahead. In particular,I feel that women should be supported to engage confidently within their communities on issues that affect their lives and of course encouraged to vote!


Edinburgh WFI activities have contributed greatly to these aims and hopefully will continue to do so.

Janet

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Selma Rahman
Press & Publicity

Hi there! I’m Selma and I’ve been privileged to be part of Edinwfi since its early beginnings.

 

Before then though, I’d queued in the baking sun, with hundreds of others, (women only section),got my thumb painted to show I’d cast my vote and seen the birth of a fledgling, new nation, Bangladesh. 

 

Independence is normal, small state independence is too. That great woman, Arundhati Roy, once wrote ‘another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing’.  For ‘world’, I read ‘Scotland.’ And yes, we’re on our way.

Selma

Moira Cochrane
Stalls Co-ordinator

Hi, I'm Moira, and I live in north Edinburgh. 

 

I'm a proud mum and granny, and have been an active part of Edinburgh Women for Independence for a number of years now.  

 

I love helping to organise days of activity, particularly stalls and street-work and getting out there talking to women in Edinburgh about what they'd like to see an Independent Scotland look like for them and their families.  

 

I'd love to see you all out there in the new Indyref campaign, helping to get us over the line to Independence.  

Moira

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Pat Bremner

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