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Region President Elect Report

Region President Elect Report for AGM September 2022

River Cruise: 

Did I, or did I not, guarantee sunshine for the River Cruise?  I most certainly did – and we got it in buckets full.  On Saturday, 11th June, a group of 40 Soroptimists from clubs in Cheshire, North Wales & Wirral enjoyed a social outing on the Lady Diana, meandering along the River Dee in Chester.

Members, dressed in red, white and blue or resplendent as Royalty, spent a relaxing three hours whilst indulging in afternoon tea and appreciating the lovely scenery, as the boat sailed down to the Iron Bridge at Eccleston.

Entertainment consisted of a royal quiz which was won by Cherry Povall, a raffle and prizes for the best royals:  Louise Parry and Pam Cheesley-Hollinshead.

The crew looked after us admirably and provided endless cups of tea, a well stocked bar and a varied, delicious buffet.  Although we missed the morning regatta, there were still many boats and canoes on the river.  A commentary kept us informed of places of interest.

Sadly, President Yvonne, whose idea it had been, could not be with us due to ill-health, and she was greatly missed.

No one fell overboard and many said that they had thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing day.

I would especially like to thank Wendy Thompson in her onerous treasurer’s role, Doreen Jones for taking the pictures, Louise Parry and Pam Cheesley-Hollinshead for filling in for Yvonne and all those who attended in great spirits and made the afternoon joyous.

Eisteddfod – my Saturday afternoon stint:  There was an air of excitement and buzz in the Soroptimist International tent when the choir, sponsored by the LIME committee, awaited their results of the competition.  And whilst they waited, the E. Mikeladze Central Music School Choir from Georgia, descended on the tent and devoured our drinks and biscuits and chose gifts from a selection of bags, scarves and jewellery, with a great deal of delight.

There was an SI Chester presence on Saturday – in the morning Penny Danczac and Debbie Hagan, then in the afternoon myself and Wendy Thompson.  Also volunteering in the afternoon was Sandra Evans from Bebington as well as Pam Cheesley-Hollinshead, as the LIME in-charge.

At 1.17pm the choir took to the main stage to perform.  Pam went to watch them and reported how beautifully they sang.  After the competition the choir made their way to the tent and were presented with a certificate and £500.00.

They were extremely pleased with the donation which will help with their formidable expenses.  We were delighted when they sang for us outside the tent to rapturous applause by all those around.  The song was melancholic with beautiful harmonies that hushed the crowd.  An inspirational moment.

Pam was later presented with a bottle of wine and gift from Georgia.

It was a sunny day with some welcome breeze.  Whilst it seemed on a smaller scale than previous pre-Covid years, there was still a charming atmosphere of happy people.  Colour drifted past the tent in the form of choirs dressed elegantly in crimson lace, children in their country’s costumes with flower haloes and the odd dinosaur and red dragon.  A lovely way to spend an afternoon in this prestigious event.

Next year’s jollies:  I recently wrote to clubs to present proposals for three events that you may wish to enjoy in 2022/3.  Your secretaries have a form to complete to show if you would definitely like to go or if you would possibly like to go.  This will give me some idea as to whether it is feasible to organise these events.  These were:

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION

Challenge the Future

Dublin 27-29 July 2023

This may be our only opportunity to have a Convention on our doorstep for the next 20 years, so it would seem a travesty not to take advantage and attend the Convention in Dublin.  I am not proposing that the Region makes hotel bookings, but it would be great if we all stayed in the same hotel and took the same flight or boat.  Or have a dinner together and keep in touch with a WhatsApp group.  Some may want to stay on – there are usually trips arranged by the host Club.  The calibre of speakers is usually top-notch, but as yet nothing seems to have been published.

CHRISTMAS AT CHATSWORTH HOUSE, DERBYSHIRE AND CHRISTMAS MARKET

THURSDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2022

Stunningly beautiful Chatsworth House is transformed into a Christmas wonderland from 5 November 2022 to 8 January 2023.  Every year a different theme is chosen and both the inside and outside of the house is decorated.  The theme will be announced in September.

This would be an organised coach trip with pickups along the A55 and Cheshire.  Bookings need to be made early to get a coach load into the house, so I need to know of those interested as soon as possible.  Depending upon availability, I propose we go on Thursday 10 November 2022.

As well as the decorated house, there will be a substantial Christmas Market.  Great for Christmas shopping.

THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM

SATURDAY 17 JUNE 2023

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance and home to iconic Armed Forces Memorial. The expansive site is centrally located on the edge of Staffordshire.
The Arboretum features over 330 thought-provoking memorials, nestled amongst lush maturing woodland. Military and civilian associations are represented alongside tributes for individuals.

Soroptimist International UK installed a statue in 2019.  There is a QR code on the base of the statue telling people about Soroptimism and the work we do and celebrating our 100 years. The train that takes visitors around the National Memorial Arboretum now goes past our plot and the commentary talks about Soroptimists and our purpose and achievements.

This would be a coach trip with pickups along the A55 and Cheshire.  I propose that we go on 27 June 2023.

Susan Haywood

President Elect, Cheshire, North Wales and Wirral