As the club celebrates the 70th anniversary since it was chartered in 1947, it is appropriate that three long-serving members share this presidential chain. I will officiate for the first four months of the year, having also been President in 2000 – 2001, Lily follows me for the central 4 months of the year – Lily was President in 2004 – 2005 – and Eurwen will close out the last 4 months of this celebration year, having been President in 2002 – 2003.
Soroptimist International is a wonderful organisation. We may be proud of our commitment to the young in poorer areas of the world, Water Aid, human trafficking, anti-slavery, Toilet Twinning, school buildings, furniture and books, and the Meru Women’s Garden Project. This coming year we are committed to also supporting local organisations, donating £540 to our usual commitments.
For my third of this Presidential year I hope to raise awareness amongst members of the interests of older members of the community. I remember in the 1950’s Cancer was the hidden and “unacceptable” disease. Today ageing and dementia are problems facing the world. Politicians of all colours are still trying to push it under the carpet. Many older people are worried about it and generally do not wish to discuss it, but I feel we are the right organisation to bring it to the forefront, especially here in Wales. Prof. Julie Williams’ team at Cardiff University has been awarded £13 million to continue their research into Alzheimer’s, so it is hopeful that, in time, treatment may be found for this awful disease. I hope SI Bridgend might be the small acorn from which Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland could become the Great Oak in promoting the interests and care of an increasing number of older people worldwide.
The 70th Anniversary Lunch for Bridgend Club is during my third of the year so I do not intend to name a charity, I leave that to the Presidents who follow me, and if we have a profit after the luncheon this will go towards supporting their nominated charities.
Thank you for this honour, here’s hoping that we have a good year in the Club.
President 2017 – 2018