Regional President Margaret Clarke updates us on her activities. It’s been a busy couple of months!
How are you all? The weather has been wet, windy, warm and sunny in May – rather like people’s moods. The First of May is always Staffordshire Day and let’s hope we can celebrate this royally in 2022.
The 15th May also saw the 100th Anniversary of The Royal British Legion this year – what good company they are in aren’t they Ladies?
I thoroughly enjoyed SI Burton’s business meeting where their Greenpeace Speaker Ben Oulton gave us great insight into climate change and the global plastics problem emanating from billiard balls to cosmetics, buildings to cars, medicines to supermarket wrapping. Even when we decrease our fossil fuel use, warming will still increase for some time. It is sad to think that in a thousand years there will still be tiny undegraded bits of plastic on our beaches.
Recycling is something we can all do – from using broken plastic as plant pot drainage and loaning items such as tools or garden implements to or from others. In the future science may find chemicals to aid biodegrading of single use plastic, the fishing industry could create biodegradable fishing nets, developers might be able to use plastics for hardcore and Local Authorities could ask for pavements and slabs to be manufactured out of recycled plastics.
June came ‘Bursting in All Over’ as the song goes. I attended a very interesting event with SI Wolverhampton presented by WOW (Women of Wolverhampton). Our Region Meeting on the 12th featured SI Tamworth’s Sue Powell giving a glowing account of their long running Bursary Project for Girls in Uganda. Programme Action Speaker the Reverend Sarah Morris, chaplain of HM Prison Drake Hall, showed how important education is in helping women to gain their self respect and a future life without re-offending. Jane Morris, CEO of the Purple Community Fund certainly has a magic touch in gaining connections to assist the whole cause. What outstanding ladies our speakers were.
On the 19th June I participated in the Three Regions Meeting hosted by Midland East Region, closely followed by our Regional Conference on the 26th, which began with Vince Owen, CEO of the Krizevac Project in Malawi. Vince was supposedly speaking from the family’s tent in a field, but really he snuck into the local bar where the internet quality was better! In the past Clubs had sent him sewing machines and bicycles galore which helped him set up a factory where women could work for a living and help to feed, clothe and educate their families. The chatline really buzzed as we realised the many other items we can send to his HQ in Stoke-on-Trent.
Formerly of SI Bilston, Margaret Emsley, a past SIGBI Federation President, gave an impressive talk on why more girls should take a look at STEM subjects. Women can and do give a different perspective to many science projects though recognition is slow to mirror this. A thoroughly welcome update on a subject dear to SI hearts from a much respected sister Soroptimist.
There had been rehearsals and much choosing of hats and gloves for the Drama Presentation of 100 Years of SI Heroines, narrated by Dishi Attwood, SIGBI Growth Ambassador. An abundance of accents were employed and hats worn, and the actors were really delighted with the generous comments made by the audience. As you can imagine the conference was very different from what I and my Conference Committee had envisaged back in 2019, but you all made our efforts feel worthwhile.
In friendship, Margaret