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I am honoured and humbled to take on the task of President of S.I. Mansfield after a significant year (our Diamond anniversary). Well done!

I will do my utmost to meet your expectations, however, I cannot achieve this on my own although, I am convinced that with your support, we will successfully meet the goals and objectives of raising monies, learning from each other, having fun, indulging in delicious food & company, and also raising our profile as Soroptimist and indeed facing and sustaining our future together with collective efforts.

For those who do not know me well, this is my 2nd time round as President – it was about 11 years ago when I took the role – after only 4 years into being a member and I have certainly learnt an awful lot since than despite my naivety. To be honest, I have enjoyed my journey with the Soroptimist during that time and have made some fantastic friends over the years and will miss some who are no longer with us. My fellow Soroptimists have been very supportive of me throughout and I am grateful for that!

On a personal note, I will transport you back to my humble beginnings. I was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia just a year after the British gave Malaya it’s independence in 1957… so I am proud to say I am a Commonwealth Girl.

My parents were of Chinese origin from Canton and were the 1st generation born in Malaysia after my grandparents fled from the communist regime in the 1920s as boat people. My grandparents settled in Kuala Lumpur and were in the launderette & herbal business.

My dad followed his own talent to become a self-employed mechanic as he loved working on British Leyland cars in those days.

I was fortunate enough, thanks to my Mother’s foresight, to have been given an English style education in an all girls Anglican Church school called Pudu English Girls School, Pudu meaning half jungle in Malay. The school was started by two formidable English Missionary ladies – Josephine Foss and Enid Gage-brown who had instilled some western influences in my developing years.

Thus, I have lived and worked in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire for over 30 years for two different Local Authorities – I regard Mansfield as my home and am proud to serve the Mansfield community in my capacity as a Customer Service Advisor for the District Council.

Since I joined the Soroptimist Mansfield club in 2002 my vision has always been to work to improve the lives of women and girls who are less fortunate than me.

The two projects that I am supporting are very close to my heart – Mind (better Mental Health) and Mercy Malaysia. Mental Health issues are gradually being acknowledged more with appropriate support but there is still stigma attached to it – unfortunately it can affect anyone at anytime of their lives.

The other is Mercy Malaysia a charitable trust run by my fellow Malaysians who are doctors and nurses doing some wonderful medical work for the people in the Far East following atrocities. Ranji who is an emergency nurse at QMC will be talking to us about her current involvement with the Rohinga Refuges & children born with a cleft palate.

I have produced a mixed programme of fun and perhaps some thought provoking subjects for you & have invited various Speakers to talk to us about their different fields of expertise.

Thanks in advance to Linda our dinner secretary, Marion & Pam – list goes on… And to all those involved who will be beavering away behind the scenes to make this year an eventful and an enjoyable one for everybody