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Who were the ‘Inspirational’ Guests at The Dinner Party?

On 1 December we had a virtual dinner party kindly organised by Pat Varty and attended by 12 members of SI Medway and Maidstone. Each of us were asked to put together a guest list of 8 inspirational women whether past or present. In turn we were asked to share who we would invite and select one woman to talk about for two minutes with everyone at the dinner party.

The Dinner Party Dec 2020

It was interesting that some had chosen the same guests such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Florence Nightingale and Sandi Toksvig to invite but those we heard about included Amy V Johnson (Pilot), Gertrude Stein (American Novelist), Mary Seacole (Nurse), Dame Esther Rantzen (Journalist), Professor Hilary Brown (Specialist in Safeguarding), Princess Anne, Jenny’s Aunt Winifred, Margaret Croxford, and Helen Keller (Blind/deaf American Author).

Dr Nellie Adjaye joined us from Accra in Ghana and spoke of Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, CBE who she met nearly 40 years ago and continues to inspire for her tireless and unstinting work in promoting the subject of the care of people with Sickle Cell Disease in UK. Thanks to Elizabeth, a founding member of the Charity Sickle Cell Society, there is now a universal screening programme for all newborn children in UK for all Haemoglobinopathies. She is also instrumental in researching/reviving history of work of Mary Seacole who worked in the Crimean war at same time as Florence Nightingale and was as famous as Florence in her activities of compassion in Nursing. However, her history was suppressed because of her colour!

The social evening was a great success and thought to be excellent with a unanimous request to do another one – and so we propose to do it all again in 6 months time.

A big thank you to Pat and a toast from us all …