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AUTUMN NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2017
Here is a brief summary of what has happened since the last newsletter.
We enjoyed our evening walk round Parys Mountain followed by a lovely supper at Ann Lastra’s house in Amlwch. The weather was kind to us and we had some great views and a lovely time.
Our first meeting in September was supposed to be a celebration of International Literacy Day with our esteemed speaker and dinner at Bangor University. How disappointed we were with 104 tickets sold for it all to be cancelled at the last minute. The book we were highlighting “War on Women” is essential reading for all Soroptimists and both I and Michelle have copies if anyone still wants to read it. It gives first-hand information of the atrocities that many women in different cultures are suffering and although not an easy read, nevertheless explains a lot about what we strive against.
We attempted to spread our wings across Anglesey with the International Day of Peace display at the Beaumaris Leisure Centre in September. Not the best of venues but we gave it a go. October as always was busy with painting Valley pink to raise awareness to breast cancer and providing afternoon tea to the Blind Club in Llangefni. The people of Valley were very generous and we were delighted that 5 businesses dressed their windows. Stermat won the best dressed window display raising awareness to breast cancer. At our October meeting we had a round the world buffet and raised money for the foodbanks on Anglesey. This was in aid of World Food Day and SI Anglesey don’t need much encouragement to enjoy a good spread!
This year’s annual SIGBI Conference was in Cardiff and 11 of us attended. It was a busy 3 days with excellent speakers and feedback from interesting programme action activities across the Federation. However, it is fair to say that many of us were disappointed with the missed opportunity to showcase Wales and Welsh culture. There was recognition for the sterling work done by the Welsh anti-slavery group and SI Anglesey did get a mention in the membership session, and we were able to share an example of the dementia aprons with SI Wakefield. We again met up with our sisters from SI Lancaster and SI Darlington for an evening meal. We look forward to next year’s conference which will be in Liverpool – near enough for more members to have a day trip there!!
November proved to be another busy month. We had a stall at the Winter Show and our theme was action against violence to women as well as modern day slavery and the purple teardrop campaign. We had a successful day on the Saturday which unfortunately clashed with the Regional change of insignia. However, we were able to have a presence at both events!
During November, 7 of us assisted in the beach clean on the Straits. We managed to collect a wide variety of plastics, food and fishing debris before treating ourselves to coffee and cake. That’s Soroptimists for you, never miss an opportunity for action and refreshment.
At our November speaker meeting we had a very interesting session on becoming a dementia friend and now many of us are able to wear our dementia friend badge. At our business meeting we were able to present £250 to Janet Jones for the local Breast Cancer support group raised in Valley and Llangefni last year. Two wreaths were laid on Rememberance Sunday this year, one in Llangefni by Christine and one in Beaumaris by Rochelle. Again in an effort to spread ourselves round the Island.
L-R Pink ladies in Valley, raising awareness of Breast Cancer, President Michelle and Chris Wilson presenting the cheque and members manning our stand at Anglesey Winter Show November 2017
Many of us enjoyed a Christmas coffee evening at Ann Lastra’s home during December when money was raised for the Charity Fund. We were also able to deliver more than 40 shoe boxes to the homeless on the Island as well as the usual 6 overnight bags donated to Digartref for Nightstop. The Refuge children will again receive the selection boxes. A few of us met to stuff knitted toys that Barbara had knitted which will be given to Ysbwty Gynedd to all those children attending A & E over the Christmas period. Some activities are well worth maintaining.
Most of us met for a delicious Christmas meal at the Straits last week and had the chance to relax and enjoy our time together. A healthy donation to the International Presidents Appeal “Women, water and leadership” was again collected in lieu of Christmas cards.
So, after enjoying the Christmas break with family and friends we will meet back in January to again review our last year and decide what worked well and what we can improve on. We will be having a buffet again and have a chance to share ideas. One area of continuing concern is the stall. We are hoping to show the photos taken during the walking groups experiences over the last 12 months as well as hearing about the progress in Pulah Wah.
Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. I sincerely hope that 2018 will be a healthier, happier and a more peaceful year for all of us. If all else fails, let us eat cake!!
In friendship Mal
SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2017
Here we go again but this last 6 months could be summed up with CELEBRATION and of course CAKE!
However, we all know that SI Anglesey have been up to more than that so here goes…
We started the year with a full-on review of how our club operates. Everyone was given the opportunity to consider what has worked well and what could be improved. But more importantly, we welcomed back President Jan to her role in full. Michelle and Rhiannon had both minded the shop excellently but it was great to be a full team once more. Many of the suggestions made in the review have been acted upon.
We celebrated Gwyl Dewi at the Valley Hotel this year, lovely food and a challenging quiz. A good night all round! We celebrated International Women’s Day with a walk over the Menai Bridge on Wednesday 8th March. We were joined by sisters from SI Bangor as well as a couple of women and their dogs who had read about it in the local paper – nice one Bez! This was followed by coffee and cake at Waitrose so a successful morning all round raising awareness of the Purple Teardrop Campaign and Soroptimist International.
Other programme action activities included sorting hundreds of recycled bras and sending the better ones for re-use in African countries, a poster campaign around Anglesey to promote healthy relationships and of course the Charity Shop in Holyhead. We were welcomed back to Holyhead with great affection for our reputation for having such lovely stuff at bargain prices and raised a healthy £1200.
President Jan presented HAFAL (a mental health charity) and the British Heart Foundation with cheques for £500 as well as donations to several other organisations before handing over the Presidency to Michelle. As usual, we had an excellent Installation dinner at Lastra Farm followed by a delightful Charter Lunch celebration at the Bulkeley in Beaumaris.
Whilst at Glastonbury as hostess with the mostest, our President Michelle collected over £180 for Stepping Stones by enabling the punters to charge their mobile phones! Clever eh?
We held a new member’s meeting in Llanerchymedd in February but unfortunately, we have lost 3 of our 7 new members for reasons beyond our control as well as Naomi who has moved from the island but will hopefully transfer to SI Llandudno. So, Patricia, Rosemary, Candy and Marge it is great to have you on board. We continue to have interest from potential new members who may join us and hopefully will be welcoming back Mary in the Autumn.
We are delighted that our 50th celebration history booklet has been published and distributed to members and friends. Well done to Barbara and members who contributed. We still have several copies if you know of anyone who would like one. We have attended local club charter lunches and friendship evenings as well as assisting at the International Eisteddfod on two separate days. We also attended our friendship link club, SI Lancaster when they held their 80th celebration lunch. A lovely time was had by all. We are not attending the Anglesey Show this year but are supporting the National Eisteddfod being held here on Anglesey. As well as contributing to the fund raising we have sponsored two prizes – one for singing and one for dancing.
The lunch club has continued to meet monthly and thanks to Pam for organizing us. We have visited several hostelries around the Island including the new ones. We will be able to provide a visitor’s guide soon! The other regular club activity to go from strength to strength literally is the walking group. Monthly walks at venues across the island have been planned for the whole year and a special presentation of our photographs will be available at the end of the year. Special mention must to made of the fantastic pancake lunch we had at Kathleen’s following a challenging walk through Newborough Forest and a walk back along the beach to Malltraeth! Boy were we ready for a break!
Another special occasion was the 2-day excursion to walk on the Llyn Peninsula with our overnight stay in Criccieth. And just so you all know, some of our walks are very informative for example, the archaeology walk with Carol at Lligwy and the National Trust guide at Carmel Head. Well done Averil, I for one am very grateful for the opportunity to get out more, find out more and get to know my Soroptimist sisters better.
Also during the last 6 months we had a visit from the turtle – trust a turtle to know that a Soroptimist would take good care of her and see that she is safely settled in a new home. Menai became a national media story when she washed up literally outside Frankie’s on the Menai Straits and several members made a visit to the sea zoo to see her before she located to her new home in the Canaries.
So, celebration and cake! We started the year celebrating our oldest member Kathleen’s 90th birthday. Unfortunately, Kathleen was unable to make the meeting so we ate her cake anyway! We had a yummy celebration cake for Ann’s 80th courtesy of Jan which went down very well with the Buck’s Fizz provided by Janet Rowlands and a fab celebration cake for Michelle’s wedding at our Friendship Evening courtesy of Rhiannon with Prosecco provided by Michelle. The Friendship Evening was a storm, lovely food, friendship and fun! The magician was excellent and it was lovely to celebrate with Michelle and her family. It’s not every President who decides to get married during her Presidential year. Well done Michelle and our very best congratulations to you and Greg for a long and happy life together.
However, we can’t leave the cake issue until we have given due regard to Ann Lastra for her staunch commitment to providing cakes and biscuits regularly at Club meetings. She has kept the stall going almost single handed. We missed celebrating her 80th at Club but all wish her the very best. Since then some of us enjoyed a coffee morning at Barbara and Alan’s house to raise money for the Meru Garden Project. A healthy £160 plus was raised which is more than can be said for the yummy spread of goodies – cakes, scones, biscuits and I had to leave early!
Our next event is the summer outing which is linked to the walking group and the response to the review in January when we were asked to arrange an evening walk for those members who are still working. On Tuesday 15thAugust we are having a short walk round the top of Parys Mountain followed by supper at Ann’s house in Amlwch. Make sure you book your place as numbers are limited! There is also an easy option to view the mine from the observation area if you are not up to the walk.
Our big event in September is of course our celebration of International Literacy Day when we have Sarah Morris speaking to us and our invited guests at the Management Centre, Bangor University. She will speak about her mother’s work and resulting book The War on Women and those brave enough to fight back. Sue Lloyd-Roberts wrote the book after a life time’s work travelling the world hearing first hand of the atrocities affecting women in many different cultures. Unfortunately, Sue passed away last year and her family have had the book completed and published. The issues raised in the book are very close to every Soroptimist’s heart and we need to make this event a success, not only in raising awareness to the plight of these women but also to raise the profile of our own organisation. The tickets are ready so please try and sell some!
For some of us, the words summing up the last 6 months are health, hospitals and hope. I know other members will join me in saying thanks for being there, SI Anglesey is certainly a friendship club! Have a good summer – a few of you will be celebrating your own events especially Sandra R who will be 70 next week – happy birthday!