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Celebrating Soroptimist International’s Centenary and our Region’s Golden Jubilee

Soroptimist International’s Centenary


The first Soroptimist club was formed in Oakland, California in 1921 and one of its early projects was to campaign to ‘Save the Redwoods’.   At that time, these great ancient trees were being felled unmercifully.

Soroptimists took on the powerful lumber companies, gained public support for the project and lobbied Government.

The result was that the major portion of the Redwoods was set aside in a protected reserve which still stands today. Subsequently, Soroptimists raised $5,000 which was matched by the state of California to purchase The Redwood Grove. It was finally dedicated as the Soroptimist Grove on 14 August 1949.

When planning how Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland would celebrate the centenary, it was decided what better way was there, than to have a tree planting project, which would raise the profile of our organisation and help the environment.

SI Ipswich & District played their part and planted a number of trees one of the Primary schools in Ipswich to plant 5 trees in their grounds, supported by the children in the school’s Nature Club.  The trees were supplied by the Tree Council and the children in the school ‘gardening’ club were involved in their planting.


We celebrated our Centenary by having a grand picnic at Newnham College, Cambridge (sadly indoors as the weather was not conducive to being out in the beautiful gardens) with our sister Soroptimists in the other Clubs in London Anglia Region.






2021 was also the 50th anniversary of London Anglia Region and that added to the celebrations.

On the 7th August 2021 members of the 10 clubs that form Soroptimist International’s London Anglia Region met in person to celebrate the Region’s 50th anniversary and our organisation’s centenary.  We were back at our usual home, Newnham College, Cambridge.  It was also our AGM and we had some interesting speakers – firstly Professor Joanna Brewis from the Open University presenting the extensive research she has undertaken on the Menopause and its effects in the Workplace.  Women of ‘menopausal’ age make up the fastest growing segment of workers in the UK.  This was followed by Janet Porter, of our Kings Lynn Club giving an interactive session on Teaching How to Do Things as opposed to Facts.

We had a great celebration.  Via the raffle of a golden bottle of gin and numerous other  prizes donated by Regional President Mell. the  Region raised over £300 for the Diamond Education Grant in memory of previous SIGBI president Johanna Raffan who sadly passed away recently.  Hear are some of the photos of the day including giving new SIGBI President Cathy Cottridge her official chain before the official event!!4

We know how to enjoy ourselves!