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What Does International Friendship Mean To Bridgend Soroptimists?

Friendship is at the core of being a Soroptimist and today Bridgend Soroptimists showed what international friendship means to them.

Soroptimist International Club Friendship Day is celebrated today because it was on the 3rd October 1921 that the first Soroptimist club was founded in California.

Alongside the many personal friendships that our members have forged through being part of this amazing International organisation, Soroptimist International Bridgend also has formal friendship links with clubs in Australia, Finland, Pakistan, Canada and the USA.

Greetings have been sent to all our friendship links and we are thinking of them all at this difficult time. We were particularly pleased to receive greetings from our Finnish friends in Uusikaupunki. Whilst they too have been suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, they were excited to tell us that they had been able to have a face-to-face meeting in September – their first since March! Let’s hope we can meet face-to-face again soon.

Friendship in these unsettling times is even more important when so many of us we can’t meet up with family. One of the positives that has come out of the pandemic is the increased opportunities to connect virtually with friends all over the world. And that is how Bridgend members found themselves sharing a virtual coffee and chat with Soroptimist friends in Australia – a morning coffee for us in the UK and an early evening cuppa for members of SI Moreton North Inc in Queensland, Australia.

“We had a lovely time,” says Bridgend Club President Sharon Dixon. “We shared stories about the projects our two clubs are involved in, exchanged ideas about the issues of importance to Soroptimists across the world and chattered and laughed together. It was true friendship at its best!”

Moreton North member Chris Knight echoes Sharon’s sentiments, “We have a phenomenal network of women globally and it is amazing to come together in friendship and discuss issues such as human trafficking, prison reform and mental health. It really was like old friends catching up with each other!”

Bridgend members enjoyed the virtual session so much that they’re now planning something similar with Soroptimist friends in Finland and Canada – so watch this space!

Bridgend Club President closed the meeting with a poem entitled “Thank You, Friend” by Joanna Fuchs:

Thank you, friend, for all the things
That mean so much to me –
For concern and understanding
You give abundantly.

Thanks for listening with your heart;
For cheering me when I’m blue;
For bringing out the best in me;
And just for being you.

Thanks for in-depth conversation
That stimulates my brain;
For silly times we laugh out loud;
For things we can’t explain.

For looking past my flaws and faults;
For all the time you spend;
For all the kind things that you do,
Thank you; thank you, friend.