At the Christmas lunch members and friends used the occasion to say goodbye to Immediate Past President Isobel Groves. Isobel is moving to Sevenoaks to be nearer to her family. A presentation was make of a picture of Pendle Hill to remind her of all the happy times had while living in Blackburn. Members thanks her for all the hard work she has done for the Club since she joined in 1990.
Four members travelled to Malta to attend to annual Federation Conference. The conference speakers theme was Engineering the Future and included Helen Sharman the first British person in space. Full details of the conference can be found on the SIGBI website.
Outgoing Regional President Margaret Hammond handed over the chain of office to Incoming Regional President Angie Christopher. Both are members of Blackburn Club , making this a special honour for the Club.
The Club held it’s annual Friendship Evening at the beginning of October. Friends from other Soroptimist Clubs, Women’s Groups from Blackburn and the Mayoress of Blackburn listened to a fascinating talk on the LIfe of Bees by Dr Julia Piggott. The evening was themed with a Bees inspired raffle, cakes featuring honey and the walls decorated with bees.
At the annual Regional Lunch the Club was delighted to be awarded the Carnforth Trophy in recognition of its work over the last five years in supporting the Asian Women’s refuge Humraaz. The Club members have donated toilet bags, knickers and food to this project.
Regional President Margaret Hammond presenting the trophy.
At the Club’s AGM Mrs Cath Read was installed as President. Cath is a recently retired processing manager for Communis, has added the role to her varied and busy life. Cath who lives in Leyland is married to Dennis whom she met when they were both Royal Navy Reserves based at Preston. She joined Leyland Soroptimists in 1988 and has been president there. When that club closed, she joined Soroptimist International of Blackburn.
Her hobbies include African Drumming and being a member of West Lancs Masonic Classic Car Club
The Club celebrated 80 years of service at a lunch at the Samlesbury Hotel. Members were joined by family and friends to listen to Baroness Hale of Richmond who proposed the toast to Soroptimist International and the response was given by Federation President Margaret Emsley.
The top picture shows President Isabel with fellow Presidents .
The bottom photo is previous Presidents of Blackburn Club with President Isobel and Lady Hale
Members visited the Blackburn Food Bank to hear about the wonderful work being undertaken by these dedicated people. Members were told of just how much this is need . We now have two members who are actively involved with the running of the Centre.
The 7th Annual Charity Quiz Night was held on the 11th at Wilpshire Golf Club. Twentyfour Teams took part and with the proceeds going to the East Lancs Hospice. A lively and fun evening with some fierce rivalry taking place.
The AGM was held on 27th with President Viv handing over to Isobel . Isobel presented the programme for the coming year and promised that we would have varied and interesting 80th year.
President Viv’s year was rounded off with a canal walk at Wheelton with members taking advantage of the spring weather . This was followed by refreshments at the nearby Malthouse.
The 79th Charter celebration lunch was held at the Samlesbury Hotel on the 8th March. Seventytwo people attended including presidents from other Soroptimist clubs including our “mother” club Manchester. Regional President Tessa Jones congratulated the Club on the work it has been doing. The afternoon was rounded off with the wonderful choir Sing it Big.
Gill Watson came and talked to about the needs for Food Banks and the reason people are having to use them. A very lively and energeric lady her commitment to others was inspiring.
A knitting and sewing evening was held at a member’s house. In support of the project to make “pillowcase” dresses as part of the Dress A Girl Around the World campaign. We were asked to imagine a World where every little girl owned at least one dress!
Other members had their knitting needles busy creating squares to be joined together into blankets for mothers and babies at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia.