Both Soroptimist International (SI) Central London and SI South West London were established as Venture Clubs in 1927.
The first President of the Central London Venture Club was a Mrs Florence Rutter. She was London Manager of the Spirella Corset Company, and a member of its Board of Directors. She was also an International member of the Business and Professional Women’s Clubs.
In 1930 discussions began for the amalgamation of Venture and Soroptimist Clubs.
Mrs Florence Rutter became the First President of Soroptimist/Venture Club of Central London, and over many years, at her own expense, assisted with the establishment of several overseas clubs, e.g. Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth in Australia, Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand, and Geneva in Switzerland. She charted the Auckland Club.
In the early days both the Central and the South West London clubs arranged joint meetings and social events. The historical volumes show a close association with the House of Commons and House of Lords through Margaret Bondfield and Isabell MacDonald (both Honorary members of SI Central), Edith Pitt, Lady Astor, Betty (later Baroness) Lockwood and Dame Margery Corbett-Ashby.
Some of the volumes are missing in respect of Central, and also of South West London, but several members represented the Central Club at regional, Federation and International level.
In 1991, the Soroptimist/Venture Clubs of Central and South West London joined to become SI Central and Southwest London. With the foundation of the original clubs in 1927, the club will celebrate its 90th Anniversary in May 2017. Please join us for this event!
We usually meet on the second Tuesday of each month at the Soroptimist Residential Club, 63 Bayswater Road, London W2 3 PH, at 7.00 pm. Generally we have a speaker followed by business meeting, ending at about 9.00 pm. We welcome all guests who want to attend our meetings. Please get in touch using our contact form.
Further information about Soroptimists can be found on the SIGBI national website (sigbi.org), the Programme Action website (www.soroptimist-ukpac.org) or the Soroptimists International website (www.soroptimistinternational.org).