Members of SI Beverley and District met at the Memorial Gardens in Beverley. Berna Moody spoke on our behalf in recognising the journey of women’s emancipation.
We are here to commemorate over 50 year of the Soroptimist International being in Beverley, but primarily we are here to commemorate the 100 years since women got the vote. We remember the suffragettes as our forerunners. We remember them with great reverence because it’s thanks to them that we can stand here as independent women who can choose what to do with their lives, who can choose to own property, whi can choose to run our own financial affairs.
I think back to when I was newly married and I went to the Electricity Board to buy an electric fire, and the gentleman said, ‘I’ll need your husbands signature. I said, ‘Well I’m paying for it!’ and he said, ‘Yes I know but we have this rule’ !!!! So I do feel we’ve come a long way.
On a more serious note we remember people who were sent to prison, one of whom actually died, and there are still parts of the world where there are women who can’t do the things that we can do. We take our freedoms for granted now, but there are places in the world where women really can’t leave their home without a male accompanying them. Its only recently that women in Saudi Arabia have been allowed to drive, in some parts of the world they are not even allowed to show their faces.
So we are going to plant a Soroptimist rose to mark the anniversary and we are going to put a time capsule in the ground in the hope that in the future, when someone digs it up – there’s a list of all our names and other information – they will reflect on the journey we have taken.