The first luncheon meeting of S I Manchester was held on 18th February 1926 when Lady Falmouth, founder member of S I Greater London – our ‘mother’ club – was present. On 16th June that year an inaugural banquet was held and the Charter was presented. There were 62 founder members drawn from a wide variety of business and professional fields, many involved in Manchester’s textile industry – blouse maker, cotton waste merchant, garment manufacturer, grey cloth agent, and others still familiar today – dentist, florist, journalist, solicitor.
The Presidential chain was commissioned in 1936 – a gift of the Past Presidents. It was designed and executed by the Red Rose Guild of Designer Craftsmen and is worked in silver and enamels to typify the many different aspects of the city of Manchester – cotton bobbins interspersed with small blue wheels of industry, two red roses, the Cathedral, the blue ripples of the Ship Canal, three diagonal stripes symbolising the three rivers which run through the centre of Manchester – the Irwell, the Irk and the Medlock, and the chimneys of the factories and mills.
To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Club in 1976 an annual prize was established at the Royal Northern College of Music to be awarded each year to the outstanding student of composition or conducting. The Diamond Jubilee project in 1986 was for the NSPCC Special Families unit in Fallowfield.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Club in 1996, £7,000 was raised to furnish and equip a multi-sensory room for children at a local assessment centre. The Club’s 80th anniversary was marked by donating £8,000 to St Mary’s Sexual Assault referral centre for a new paediatric room.
Act4Africa, a charity the Club is still involved with, was the recipient of £9,000 raised for the 90th anniversary in 2016.
S I Manchester has five ‘daughter’ clubs – S I Ashton under Lyne, S I Blackburn, S I Bolton, S I Stockport & District, and S I The Fylde, and nine Friendship Links – S I Essen, S I Fort de France Alizes Sud, S I Grosse Pointe, S I Gdansk, S I Kathmandu, S I Johannesburg, S I Madurai, S I St Petersburg and S I Wichita.