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SI Southport at 90!

SI Southport members, friends and guests celebrated their 90th Charter in June.

The club was chartered in March 1932, a few years after our mother club, SI Liverpool.

To commemorate and celebrate our 90th anniversary, and with thanks to one of our new members, Bernie Reynolds, we were invited to create a display in the foyer of the Atkinson in the town centre during May. For those not familiar with Southport, the Atkinson is the town’s home for music, theatre, art, literature and history, a multi-purpose creative arts centre.

With the assistance of the wonderful team at the Atkinson, we put together a slideshow and photo display, showing some of the activities of the club members over 9 decades. We were able to display many of the artefacts from the club’s history, including our original charter and an early Minutes book from 1933. We also had a display case with artefacts from our 6 Friendship Links – SI Caserta, SI Dhanmondi, SI Gdansk, SI Horsens, SI Lisburn and SI Windermere. We left some contact cards on the display and hope this exhibition attracts some new members. As with a number of clubs, our numbers are declining and we are really in need of new young(er) members who can address the issues of today for women and girls.

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To continue our anniversary year, we held a celebratory lunch at the end of May. We were delighted that Soroptimist International President Maureen Maguire joined us, along with South Lancs Regional President Dorcas Akejus, Lynne Cottrell, President of our mother club, SI Liverpool and Angela Holmes, President of our daughter club, SI Wigan. Dorothy Lee-Ogden proposed the toast to our guests and Regional President Dorcas responded. Our Club Auditor, Gordon Lee, proposed the toast to Soroptimist International (having had many years of association with SI), to which SI President Maureen responded. President Maureen described her 2-year project ‘Opening Doors to a Bright Future’ with the aim of delivering tangible benefits to some of the world’s most marginalised women, girls, and their communities. She hopes to establish projects in each of the five Soroptimist Federations and the launch project has begun in Cambodia, where education and training has started for hundreds of disadvantaged women and girls. We were thrilled that President Maureen took time out of her busy schedule to share the occasion with us and it was an honour to welcome her. And we cannot forget the wonderful support we have had – from members of other South Lancs Soroptimist clubs, members of SI clubs from further afield (including from Exeter and St. Albans) and from other service organisations – Rotary, Lions, Inner Wheel, Probus – and, of course, from our families!

On behalf of President Carol Cookson, we thank you all for making this such a wonderful occasion.