The annual Remembrance Sunday service was held on a beautiful sunny day at the Southport Cenotaph. Following a short service and ‘The Last Post’ from a Salvation Army bugler, a two-minute silence was observed by all present. Wreaths were then laid, beginning with the Mayor of Sefton’s Representative, the leader of Sefton Council, Councillor Ian Maher on behalf of the townspeople of Sefton. President Carol Cookson laid the wreath for Soroptimist International of Southport. The Presiding Minister led the act of commitment: – To commit to responsible living and faithful service – To strive for all that makes for peace – To seek to heal the wounds of war – To work for a just future for all humanity Following a blessing and the National Anthem, the contingents from the armed forces, cadets and many other groups marched down Lord Street and past the Town
At our November speaker meeting, we were delighted to welcome Keith Porter, the coxswain of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust (SORT). The trust is an independent charity that provides a 24-hour life-saving service around the Southport coast. In words and slides, Keith explained the history of the service, which began 20 years before the RNLI was formed. In the 19th century, Southport’s coastline was one of the busiest and most dangerous in the country and many hundreds of people were rescued using oar and sail driven boats – with the crew wearing oilskins as their only protective clothing. In 1886, Southport’s lifeboats were deployed to rescue the crew of the barge ‘Mexico’ – 14 crew members from the Southport Lifeboat and all 13 crew members of the St. Annes Lifeboat lost their lives in the rescue, with only 2 survivors. This is still recorded as
As some members are still reluctant to attend meetings in person for their own health and personal reasons and some members prefer to meet in person, SI Southport is continuing with ‘hybrid’ meetings to give our members most flexibility and freedom of choice. One such meeting was our Friendship Night in October. In 2020, when lockdown precluded any gatherings, we had a wonderful Zoom meeting with all our friendship links present. This year, with more relaxed Covid security rules, Heather Shulver and her International Committee decide to revert back to the more traditional format, with a meal and a candle-lighting ceremony – but with a difference. We started the meeting with candle-lighting WITH our friendship links on Zoom, as we did in 2020. Our friendship links were in full support – when else would there be an opportunity to celebrate together? We were joined by
Members from SI Southport joined family and friends to give a fond farewell to our Honorary Member, Diana Beldam, who passed away in September at the amazing age of 104. The service, of words, music, hymns and prayers, included a lovely poem read by Diana’s great niece, India. Diana was born on 31st January 1917 and, following a career as a beautician in various parts of the country, she moved to Southport. SI Southport President, Carol Cookson, was privileged to give a tribute, extracts of which follow: ”Diana joined the Southport Soroptimist Club on the 1st April 1974 with the category of Beautician. She never took office but was very loyal in her support of the club as she attended all meetings and social events prior to the impact of Covid 19. She was never happier than when chatting to other members and welcoming new
At our September meeting, attended by members in the club room (including 2 prospective members) and on Zoom, President Rosemary Moore handed over the chain of office to President Elect Carol Cookson. Rosemary led the club for an extended period from April 2020 when the world was overcome by Covid-19 . She nevertheless maintained a busy programme of meetings and other activities, held mainly on Zoom and we had managed to raise in the region of £1000 for local, regional and international charities. President Carol has taken office a little earlier than expected and outlined her year to come, which looks exciting with plenty of social events. Carol has been the Club’s Membership Officer, working hard to recruit new members and our 2 prospective members joined the club at the meeting – we are delighted to welcome them. We had a very pleasant evening with
Like so many clubs and service organisations, SI Southport have been busy collecting empty blister pack for recycling. We heard of this initiative from SI Preston’s Facebook page – the empty blister packs are taken to a local Superdrug store, who recycle them and the money raised is donated to Marie Curie. What a great way to help the planet and help an amazing charity!
Following the gradual ‘unlocking’ of the country following the Covid restrictions earlier in the year, SI Southport members have arranged some social activities. Our local hospice, Queenscourt Hospice, is celebrating 30 years of their wonderful care and support. To mark the occasion, SI Southport acquired one of their pearl anniversary rose bushes, which we planted in the garden of Baverstock House, which houses our club room. Jean Tweddell and her Social Committee arranged an afternoon tea in July in our club room at Baverstock House. In the following month, Maureen Ballard and her Welfare Committee organised a coffee morning in her home in August. Both events were well attended by members and guests and a total of almost £500 was raised for our charity fund. Huge thanks to Carol Hill for her wonderful baking for the coffee morning and to all who provided cakes for
Members of Soroptimist International Southport gathered in Victoria Park to plant trees, as part of the SI centenary project. The first action taken by Soroptimists in 1921 was to save tree and 100 years later, we are ‘Planting Trees for a Brilliant Future’. As part of the Woodland Trust’s reforestation project – ‘A TREE TODAY, A FOREST TOMORROW’ – Alan Adams, the General Manager of Southport Flower Show and the Victoria Park Management Company, secured a supply of saplings which he offered to schools, community groups and local organisations for planting in Victoria Park. Every tree planted will contribute to the global reforestation efforts, restoring lost forests, repairing damaged ecosystems and mitigating climate changes. Alan generously provided the saplings – and some assistance from Victoria Park volunteer Simon Moorhouse. The Soroptimists planted 60 crab-apple saplings from the ‘Wild Wood’ mixture – which can tolerate exposed
President Rosemary Moore told the club of a ‘Market Trail’ in Southport – basically a roving car boot sale around the town, as advertised on Facebook. As we had gathered items from a variety of sources before and during lockdown, we decided to put some tables out in the garden of Baverstock House, where our clubroom is located, and await the hordes of buyers!! Whilst we had some visitors, we would have appreciated more. We did, however, raise some much-needed funds for the club’s charity and Programme Action accounts, as well as for the Mayor of Sefton’s Charity. It also proved to be a wonderful impromptu opportunity for club members to meet for the first time in 14 months – outdoors and in a Covid-safe environment. We all had a lovely time!
At our meeting in March, we were delighted to welcome Chris Williams who introduced us to Blood Bikes, which in our local area covers Lancashire and the Lakes. The service started in May 2012 and comprises a team of volunteers who provide transportation of urgent and emergency items for the NHS Hospitals in the area. These items include blood, pathology samples, donor breast milk, patient records, medical equipment – in fact anything that can be carried by motorcycle. Chris, who is one of the Blood Bikers, told us the service is available all through the night, and 24 hours per day at weekends and Bank Holidays. They use their own bikes or specially liveried bikes (which have red markings, to distinguish them from the police (blue markings) or paramedics (green markings). The 400 riders over Lancashire and the