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Country park is ideal setting for a day out

Country park is ideal setting for a day out

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CLUB members treated a party of youngsters to a day out at Staunton Country Park. One of our ongoing projects is supporting the women’s refuges in Gosport and Fareham and each summer children living in the homes, and their mothers, are taken on a trip during the school holidays. Five women and ten children enjoyed the visit and the weather proved ideal for the occasion -sunny with a mild breeze. Staunton Park gives children an opportunity to run free and make a noise. They are able to touch and feed the animals, play in the play area and wander round the lovely walled garden. There are large greenhouses with exotic plants and a pool with huge water lily pads. A picnic was set up on tables in a quiet secluded area and mums and children sat on picnic rugs to eat: sandwiches, pork pies, sausages,

Awareness day is drowned out

Awareness day is drowned out

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ALL smiles at Bishop’s Waltham community day where the club held a stall to raise awareness of Soroptimist International and the work we do alongside selling books and hand-made Christmas decorations. Pictured are Sue Baddeley, membership secretary, right, and Ann Johnson who were fortunate to be doing the morning shift when the weather stayed largely dry. It was a less lucky situation for Rosemary Coward and Kathleen Durning who took over manning the stall in time to be hit by a torrential downpour that turned them both into “drowned rats”, in Rosemary’s own words. The bedraggled duo did their best to save the goods on display. “Unfortunately, about half the books got really wet and others were quite damp,” said Rosemary. “The damp ones are in my conservatory waiting for the sun to dry them out, the really wet ones I think will have to

Here’s a nice bunch … of grapes

Here’s a nice bunch … of grapes

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RIPE, fruity and quaffable were words on the lips of members (above), their families and friends, who went to a wine tasting at a local vineyard. Four wines from grapes produced in Wickham were sampled along with a tasty selection of canapés. Three of the wines were white, one of them sparkling, and the fourth was rose. The event was held at Webbsland, an eight-acre vineyard where the grapes grown and used in the making of the wine are of Wurzer, Reichensteiner, Bacchus, Pinot Noir and Dornfelder. Organised by club member Kathleen Durning, (fourth from right, almost hidden from view in the picture above) proceeds from the evening,  just over £200, will go to Rowan’s Hospice and Gosport and Fareham Women’s Aid refuges.  

This beautiful quilt is just so cosy!

This beautiful quilt is just so cosy!

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SNUGGLED up in bed is former president Alison Jenkins under the beautiful hand-made patchwork quilt to be raffled on the club’s stall at the SIGBI conference in Brighton at the end of October. Around a dozen members have met once or twice a month for the past two years to create the masterpiece – in mostly blue and yellow, naturally! As well as the quilt, other prizes in the raffle will be a cushion cover, a table runner and a carrier bag, all in patchwork, pictured below with Alison and Rosemary Hampton. Led by Alison, who did most of the work, the nifty needlewomen involved were Pam Grosvenor, Maureen Lowry, Celia Veal, Rosemary Hampton, Christine Wilkes, Pat Caulton and Ann Pibworth plus four or five other occasional helpers. Proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Annual barbecue raises £1,400

Annual barbecue raises £1,400

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EATING and drinking in convivial surroundings, and chatting to friends old and new – that was the order of the day at the club’s annual barbecue. Friends and family joined members who enjoyed the sunshine while tucking into tasty roast pork, chicken and sausages, in the lovely Bishop’s Waltham garden of former president Mrs Pam Simcock. President Margaret Smith was delighted to welcome five members from Worcester and Malvern club. Also among those in attendance were Soroptimists from local clubs at Southampton, Chichester and Winchester including their president Lorraine Marriott. Mrs Smith thanked everyone for supporting the event and helping to raise funds for local charities. Slightly more than a hundred people enjoyed the afternoon while helping to boost the coffers of the Alzheimer’s Society and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The event raised more than £1,400 including £367 from a raffle and £207 from a

Around the world – what a journey!

Around the world – what a journey!

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MEMBERS were taken on a tour of the globe – two and a half times – by guest speaker Ishbel Veitch, a Soroptimist with the Guildford club. She painted a picture of a fascinating and fun life that had begun in Dunedin, New Zealand, 81 years ago. After qualifying as a radiographer the young Ishbel, of Scottish and English stock, came to “the old country” with a friend, bought a bicycle, and cycled around Britain, Holland and France. She’d been told never to drink the water in France so she took the advice to heart and quenched her thirst with wine. She said she’d “found God walking in the beautiful Welsh hills” and became a Roman Catholic. She returned to New Zealand – in the days when the journey took more than five weeks by boat – via the picturesque Panama Canal. But she was

From our correspondent in Montreal!

From our correspondent in Montreal!

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Club member Tracy Gardiner visited in Montreal for the 19th international convention of Soroptimist International.  This event is held every four years, by each Federation in turn – you may remember that it was in Sydney in 2003 and Glasgow in 2007.  There was a packed programme, with four days of plenary speakers, workshops and exhibitions being hosted in Montreal at the Palais de Congres.  Soroptimists all over the world do very similar programme work, and all the delegates were asked to bring any spare toileteries from their hotels to donate to a local refuge! Tracy reports greetings from our Friendship Link club in Esbjerg, Denmark, having met up with Lizbeth Hass at the Friendship evening after the opening ceremony on Sunday night (10 July).  Lizbeth said her club had just received the summer letter from Gillian Harris, telling them about all the activities we have been

100 years of Girl Guides

100 years of Girl Guides

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President Margaret welcomes Barbara Hall, Media & PR Advisor for Girlguiding Hampshire East, with a guiding salute and left-hand-shake.  They are standing in front of the new banner for the club, and Barbara mentioned how closely our aims are aligned: they educate the girls (through fun), often include projects related to health issues (such as supporting the Race for Life), raise money for a variety of charities, and are all about activities! Starting with a quick poll of the room, Barbara was encouraged to see that at least half had been a brownie, guide or ranger.  She also brought a gift for each of us, of a car sticker and pen! Against a backdrop of photographs, representing various events over the last year, she regaled us with a little history and the up-to-date activities.  It all started at the rally of about 11,000 boy scouts,