THURSDAY EVENING – OPENING CEREMONY

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Our evening started in a rousing fashion with some powerful, mellow and up-tempo singing by Aaron Pryce-Lewis, himself the son and grandson of Soroptimists (read his biography). A more serious note was struck by Jane Hutt AM, Leader of the House, Chief Whip and Soroptimist who illustrated for us the commitment of the Welsh Assembly to such policies as female equality and the eradication of modern slavery.

The tone then changed as the flags of all SIGBI Federation territories were brought on to the stage and lowered respectfully by the Girl Guides. Usually this is very moving but this year as the kaleidoscope of flags from Anguilla to Zimbabwe were lowered it seemed more celebratory, serving to remind us of our vibrant and wide ranging sisterhood.

The latter part of the evening held more singing as befits a country which prides itself on its music. The Bristol Military Wives, set up to forge friendships between women always on the move, brought their sweet and often tender voices to the stage. Their repertoire varied from the poignant Bring Him Home to getting us all on our feet and singing lustily as sisters to We Are Family (read their biography).

As the evening closed 1200 participants left humming and eager for the next session.

Margaret Badley, SI Bedford