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President’s Message October 2021

Dear members,

I hope you have all had an enjoyable summer, although it seemed to pass all too quickly.

Here we are already in October and rapidly approaching the end of the centennial year.

The celebrations culminate this weekend, when Soroptimists from around the world will gather virtually, to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International being a global voice for women. I know many of you will be joining in, as we reflect on our Bright Past and take steps forward together towards our Brilliant Future!

Last week I was interviewed for a Podcast as part of Soroptimist International Global Voices series, which is now up on the S.I. website.

We may not have made it to the Fairmont Hotel but on Wednesday 6 October, a hundred and twenty-five Soroptimists and guests will be attending a centenary reception at the House of Lords, Westminster. I am sorry that we were unable to accommodate everyone but unfortunately there are still some restrictions on the numbers permitted.

I am very excited with the completed Centenary Exhibition, which is now at HQ and is available for clubs and regions to have for displaying at any of their events. The material has been produced on roller banners for easy transportation. The PR & Marketing team will also be looking at producing a video of the Exhibition.

I am especially proud that by the end of September, 67,000 trees had been planted throughout the Federation, with many more planned for the coming planting season. I had set a somewhat ambitious target of 100,000 trees for 100 years, I’m confident that members can reach it and beyond!

My thanks to everyone involved in planning SIGBI’s centennial celebrations over the last three years.

Of course, we still have the Llandudno conference to look forward to at the end of the month. There is an exciting range of speakers, workshops, a panel discussion, exhibition and an e-library. Details can be viewed on the Conference Website. In view of the fact that the SIGBI website was down for a prolonged period recently, the Conference Committee has decided that the late registration fee is no longer applicable.

You can still register at the standard rate (£70.00) up until 22 October.

I know that Clubs and Regions are at last beginning to meet face to face again and it’s wonderful to be able to start working on projects together and rebuild relationships with our partner organisations.

Last month, I was delighted to participate in the Chartering of two new clubs, S.I Coimbatore and S.I Kochi, both in the Kerala Region of India, the ceremonies were very beautiful.

On 18 September, I was joined by over 80 Soroptimists and guests at the National Memorial Arboretum for the long-awaited formal unveiling of SIGBI’s wonderful sculpture, which now sits proudly on our Soroptimist plot. The weather was perfect, with blue sky and sunshine all day long. There was great excitement at all being together after so long and much enthusiasm for the afternoon tea that followed!

Many congratulations to Immediate Past President Isobel for her vision in commissioning the sculpture and for members’ generous donations that made it possible.

I wish you all a fruitful October,

Best wishes

Cathy Cottridge
SIGBI President