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Sharing friendship at Easter

Bridgend Soroptimists were delighted to welcome members of SI Uusikaupunki, their Finnish Friendship link club, to an Easter Bonnet Parade over Zoom.

Bridgend President Sharon and 25 members from Bridgend welcomed 8 Finnish members – all adorned with impressive Easter bonnets. Uusikaupunki President Paula explained that SI Uusikaupunki was formed in 1955 and now has 15 members. The friendship link was initiated in the 1950s and has been particularly active in recent years with visits in both directions of members of both clubs. President Paula expressed how much their members had been looking forward to this meeting and hoped that this could become a twice a year event.

The meeting opened with the reading of the Soroptimist International Vision and Mission – in English by Lynda Edwards, in Welsh by Eurwen Richards and in Finnish by Susanna Rosendahl. President Sharon lit the candle of friendship – a gift to SI Bridgend from SI Uusikaupunki in the mid-2000s and which is lit at every club business meeting.

Each of the clubs then gave a presentation on the meaning and traditions of Easter. We heard about the religious significance, the flowers and the food – remarkably similar in both countries. We also heard about the unique traditions such as the Gymanfa Ganu in Wales on Good Friday and the Virpominen in Finland on Palm Sunday.

                                                                                   Finnish Easter traditions

Members also admired each other’s Easter bonnets and spent time reminiscing about the various visits and friendships of recent years.

Everyone agreed that it was a wonderful evening, and, as well as interesting to share our Easter traditions, we were pleased to hear about the projects that we are undertaking locally. We look forward to further joint meetings in the future and are starting to explore how we work together on various projects.

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