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Bristol England – Venture Clubs

Venture Clubs

In 1920 the first Venture club was formed in Bristol with a motto of “Looking Further” the purpose defined as:

  • To encourage high ethical standards in business and professions
  • To increase the efficiency of each member by the exchange of ideas and business methods.
  • o stimulate the desire of each member to be of service to her fellows
  • To quicken the interest of each members in the public welfare and to co-operate with others in civic, social and industrial development.

The purpose of the Venture Clubs is very much in line with the purpose of Soroptimists, however neither organisation was at this time , aware of the other’s existence.

In 1927 Croydon Venture Club was formed, you will see the V for Venture on the Insignia. They were followed by Coventry in 1928, which was also the year the Association of Venture Clubs  was formed. At this time there were now 10 extant Venture Clubs.

During 1929 the Venture Clubs in England became aware of the new Soroptimist Clubs and after much discussion the two organisations amalgamated in June 1930. The Venture Clubs took on the name of Soroptimist clubs accepting their constitution and Bye Laws but the Venture Clubs motto “Looking Further” was adopted by the British Clubs.

For more information – click here for Soroptimist Bristol History webpage

Marion Reid is writing a comprehensive history of the Bristol Venture/Soroptimist Club to celebrate 100 years in 2020 she says:

As SI Bristol approaches its 100thyear, a book to celebrate this mile stone will be published. Researching archives for information for a book on the history of SI Bristol has revealed an interesting photograph and information that is pertinent to SIGBI and to the insignia that is displayed at No 63 Bayswater Road.

When the Association of Venture Clubs and the Soroptimist Movement amalgamated in 1930, the name Soroptimist was chosen because in some countries the name had been sanctioned by Act and Charter, and thus difficult to alter. However, the spirit of ‘Venture’ remained as the newly-formed Soroptimists International Association adopted the motto of the first [Bristol] Venture Club – ‘Looking Further’. Also the President’s insignia of the Association of Venture Clubs was worn by the President of the National Union of Soroptimist Clubs and later by the President of the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI

When the National Union of Soroptimists was formed in 1930, the insignia that had been made for the President of the Association of Venture Clubs (and worn from 1928 to 1930) was adapted by the addition of ‘National Union of Soroptimists and worn by its Presidents from 1930 to 1934. When the third Federation was formed, the insignia was further altered by the addition of ‘Federation of Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland’ and was worn by its Presidents from 1934 to 2006. 

The names of the various Presidents, up to 1969, are clear on the bars on the ribbon of the insignia (see photograph). In 2006, the insignia was deemed too fragile for repair and it is now mounted in the entrance hall at No 63 Bayswater Road.  This ‘retired’ Federation insignia was given in January 2007 to Barbara Evamy (Past Chair of No. 63) by Past Federation President Ann Dawson for safe keeping at No. 63. From 2006 to date, the President of SIGBI wears a replica of the insignia.

Marion Reid

You can read more from Marion’s Book – SI Bristol book 2020 An Historical Account of how the Club Developed – Click here