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President’s Newsletter – 02

September 2017

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Well here I am at last with my second newsletter but rather later than I had intended – a printable version is also available here. Quite a lot has happened since the last one and I will carry on where I left off in April. I would like to start off by welcoming the members of SI Amounderness to the Region and congratulations to you all on becoming Soroptimists.

I learnt a little of how difficult origami, the art of paper folding, is when I attended the Rishton and Great Harwood Friendship Evening in April. I did manage to make a pretty unimpressive box but the array of items on display was amazing, from jewellery to books with pages folded to show a message when opened. Later in the month the region held the Barton Grange Family Fun Day, which was to try to spread the name of Soroptimists. Although we would have liked more people through the door I was really pleased at the response of the members from all across the region who came to help on the day or provided items for the activities and tombola. ‘Lucy’ at her market stall in Meru proved to be a great attraction.

The day after this event I attended Lancaster’s 75th Charter Celebration lunch. The room looked beautiful and we enjoyed a lovely lunch with a delicious array of mini desserts to tempt us. Federation President Elect Sue Biggs gave us an insight into her theme for her coming year of office.

Anyone who attended the Regional Conference this year cannot fail to have been impressed with the speakers especially two young inspiring women, Emily Rose Yates and Sarah Brook. The conference is always worth attending but this year was certainly one to remember. The South Lancashire Region will be holding the next one in Southport so do make sure you get your name down for that, it really is a good day.

The following day I attended the 78th Charter Celebration for Morecambe and Heysham, which was held at the Headway Hotel in Morecambe. I had been there before so you would think I should have been able to find it easily especially as it is on the promenade! But no, I stupidly relied on my Satnav and I didn’t end up where I thought I should. Thankfully I got there in time but I must remember to take all the details of these events with me in future! It would have been a shame to miss the presentation from Hildah McAllen about the Izulu Orphan Project and the wonderful toast to Soroptimist International from Brian Ogden.

The Rosebowl event was also in May and we had a fun evening listening to all the limerick entries and the winner, SI Rishton and Great Harwood, was announced at the Regional Lunch in June.

The Fylde club launched their 80th Charter celebrations with Canapés and Prosecco at the newly refurbished cricket pavilion at AKS School in Lytham St Annes. I enjoyed learning how to make some canapes and won a bottle of pink Champagne on the raffle so I was really happy.  The afternoon also started their 80 for 80 toilet twinning project. I now proudly display the photo of a latrine in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the window sill in my bathroom.

In between all the Soroptimist events I enjoyed a week in Nice with one of my daughters and we went to the Monaco Grand Prix.  his was a first for me and although it was a great experience I think it will probably be my last foray into Formula One! Too hot, seats too hard and too tiring!

In June I took the train to Birmingham to attend the Leadership and Development day at Aston University. I put my name down for the session about Soroptimist involvement at the UN and Pat Black gave a really interesting presentation which helped me understand a little better the importance of our input. Unfortunately I was unable to attend Pendleside 68th birthday Celebration at the Higher Trapp but I hear that it was a lovely occasion as usual.
I was lucky to be at a Rishton and Great Harwood Meeting when 3 members had reached long service milestones. I was pleased to be able to present Agnes Tomlinson and Brenda Worden with their 30 year awards. Joan Slynn was not able to attend the meeting but had achieved a remarkable 50 years of service. Congratulations to you all.

I hope those who attended the Regional Meeting enjoyed some of the changes. I am sure you enjoyed the interactive STEM presentation from the Blackburn club. We are taking into consideration all your comments so watch this space, we will be trying more new and different things in the future. Please keep your ideas and views coming. Also, please do encourage more members from your clubs to come to the Regional meetings so they can hear what other clubs are doing and to exchange ideas, we would love to increase attendance. The Regional lunch followed the next day and was once again an enjoyable occasion and also an exciting time when the winners of the awards are announced and presented.

SI Amounderness was chartered on 4th July by President Elect Sue Biggs. We enjoyed a lovely evening getting to know some of the new members over cheese and wine. It is wonderful to have a new club in the Region and we look forward to working with you and hearing more about your future plans.

Also in July, on the Day of Action for the Meru Project, I hosted a Garden Party at my home for the Blackburn club. Unfortunately it was just about the only day it rained that week so we had to hold the afternoon tea indoors, but we all had a good time regardless and raised over £300 for the project.

I went for the first time to The Mill at St Catherine’s Park where the Preston club held an Afternoon Tea in aid of Breast Cancer Research. It was a really good venue and the afternoon tea was delicious (my poor waistline!!). We could buy handbags and jewellery so, of course, we had a good time and £300 was raised for the charity.

Finally, the first Growing our Brand workshop was held at our usual meeting room at Lancaster University. We were not expecting it to be in our usual room so Margaret Hammond and I ended up positioned on the road directing cars in the right direction before everyone got out of their cars and descended on the reception area! Oh well, it is all good fun and at least it was not pouring with rain. I hope you found the workshop useful and I look forward to seeing all your action plans.

The Regional Walk is tomorrow as I write. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain. The Fashion Show at The Crofters is coming up on 5th October. Tickets have been distributed to your clubs so please come along and help raise more money for the Meru Project. Please send numbers, dietary requirements and nil returns to Jean by 22nd September.

The Federation Conference in Cardiff is just weeks away now and then the Regional Meeting and AGM on 4th November. I look forward to seeing some of you at these events.

Many thanks and best wishes.