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History of the Club

The Club was chartered in June 1926, the second oldest in Great Britain, the oldest being our “Mother” Club, Greater London. Over the years there has been a wide-ranging representation of women from the professional and business communities in our Club.

Soroptimist International of Manchester has six “daughter” Clubs at Ashton-under-Lyne, Blackburn, Bolton, Stockport, Rochdale and the Fylde.

The Club Regalia

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, which had been started by Miss Margaret Pilkington, sister of the Founder President, Dorothy Pilkington.

It is worked in silver and enamels to typify the many different aspects of the Manchester City.The Chain is made up of cotton bobbins interspersed with small blue wheels of industry. Two Red Roses for Lancashire lead to the jewel itself which shows the Cathedral, the blue ripples of the Ship Canal and at the base, three diagonal stripes symbolising the three rivers which run through the centre of Manchester – the Irwell, the Irk and the Medlock; the whole “shouldered” by the chimneys of the factories and mills.

 

In 1993 the Club received two badges from the estates of late members. These badges were the originals, prior to the current SI emblem. The wheel of friendship is from the Venture Club badge to which London and Manchester added ‘Soropltimist International’ the club name across the wheel and ‘For Service’ printed between the spokes. The Past Presidents presented these for the President Elect  and Vice President and had them mounted in silver on silver chains.