At the end of October, President Sandra Brookfield and 8 members of the Southport Club – plus some husbands – joined 1,200 Soroptimists from 29 countries at the 79th Federation Conference at the Sage Gateshead. The theme for this year’s conference, which ran from 31 October to 2 November, was: ‘From Vision to Action – Soroptimists Educating to Lead’. The delegates enjoyed a wide range of inspiring presentations, including International President Anne Garvie, Federation President Pat Black and keynote speakers Marie, Lady Stubbs and Baroness Helena Kennedy. The conference also gave an opportunity for members to use their time together to renew friendships and make new ones, working out more ways to make a difference to the lives of women and girls world-wide.
On Sunday 4th August, a group of Soroptimists with husbands and friends enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at Gawsworth Hall. The concert chosen by President Sandra Brookfield was ‘Let’s Hang On’ featuring the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. But this was a Soroptimist visit, so NOT just a concert. With excellent and meticulous planning by Margaret Davies, we all brought components for a wonderful afternoon tea and buffet supper and a sumptuous picnic was enjoyed by all before we danced the night away to some great music from the 60s and 70s.
On Sunday 28th April, SI Southport held the Annual Change of Insignia with a luncheon attended by more than one hundred guests at Formby Hall Golf Club. The occasion, true to the ideals of Soroptimism, was full of fun, fundraising and friendship .Following a sumptuous meal, outgoing President Ghislaine Fletcher presented a cheque for £2550 to Amy Cartlidge from he charity for the year, Target Ovarian Cancer. Various fundraising events had been held during the year including a sponsored walk and culminating an ‘Evening on The Orient Express’, a themed dinner with entertainment. President Ghislaine thanked all members for their tireless help and support during the preceding year. Speaking to the assembled guests, the new President, Sandra Brookfield, said she was looking forward to the year ahead and informed all present that she was to have two charities for her year of office. These are Combat
In March 2011, members of our club, accompanied by spouses and friends, enjoyed a three night break in the Loire Valley. Thanks to precise planning by our unofficial ‘travel agent’, Gill Ribis, we journeyed to France by ferry from Portsmouth to our base, Tours. Gill had arranged guides to provide an insight into the wine-making process from press to bottle at the key winemaking regions of Chinon, Vouvray and Amboise. Also included in Amboise was entry to Château Clos Lucé, the final home of Leonardo da Vinci. Following the success of this venture, the club is embarking on another wine tour in 2014 – this time to sample the delights of the wines on the Alsace Wine Route. For news of this trip, watch this space………
Our Friendship Night this year was a culinary representation of all of the Club’s national and international links. The friendship candles were ignited with due ceremony. We commenced with Lisburn in Northern Ireland represented by Beef in – yes you guessed it – Guiness! Topeka in the USA gave us Waldorf salad, sweet potato and New York cheesecake. Caserta in Italy provided the lasagne. Dessert took the form of a Gdansk inspired apple pie and Horsens (Denmark) rounded off the feast with a Danish Ring. Needless to say we all enjoyed the news provided by each club – including our district club of Windermere. It was so interesting to receive greetings and news from around the world, making us realize that wherever we are our aims are still the same – bound together by our great organisation.
One of the lesser known facts regarding our current President, Sandra Brookfield is that she joined the Territorial Army in 1985, using her nursing experience to advantage within the organization. President Sandra’ said “Knowing people who have been in combat brought home to me the plight of service men and women coming home from combat suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and so that’s why I chose Combat Stress as one of the charities for my year in office.” Two representatives of Combat Stress – Peter Hoare (Regional Welfare Officer) and Michele O’Brien (Community Psychiatric Nurse) seen here with President Sandra, recently spoke to our club, leaving us with the realization that we are supporting a very worthwhile cause and, as Peter said “We simply couldn’t do what we do without the generosity of the great British public and especially clubs such as yours.”