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Glittering Diamond Celebrations for St Albans Soroptimists

Glittering Weekend of Diamond Celebrations for our Club – Women Serving the St Albans Community Since 1957

SIGBI Pres Ann Hodgson, Club Pres Denise Powell, Lady Verulam

The highlight of our weekend of celebrations was the glittering diamond gala dinner on Saturday night at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club in Harpenden. Guests of Honour were Countess Verulam Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Ann Hodgson President of Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland, pictured here with Soroptimist International St Albans and District Club President Denise Powell.

We were delighted to welcome visitors from all of our Club’s Soroptimi44-60thSatGalaDinnerst Friendship Link Clubs: Warsaw Poland, Chico USA, Muenster Germany and Osaka Japan (see picture of Osaka Members with Beatriz Sampson and Helen Byrne). We welcomed Soroptimist dignitaries and Members of Soroptimist Clubs from across the UK including Brixham, Bedford, Cambridge, Cwmbran, Glasgow, Southport, Widnes, Winchester, and from many of the Clubs in our Region: Bedford, Hertford, High Wycombe, Oxford, two of the London Clubs, Slough Windsor and Maidenhead and Thames Valley. Of course we are also being supported by the families and friends of our Members who are from St Albans, Harpenden, Hatfield, Watford, Welwyn Garden City and all of the surrounding areas. There were 140 people in total at the gala dinner! We listened and danced to a fabulous programme of music from Kate Mullins (of the internationally acclaimed Puppini Sisters) and the other members of her fantastic Jazz Quartet. We are very proud of Kate as the “song-bird” daughter of our Member Diana Kingham.

Our friendship link Soroptimist sisters plus partners and other Members of our Club enjoyed a diamond-themed friendship weekend from Friday evening right though to Sunday lunch – before heading home for a well earned rest!

Please scroll through a sample of photographs from the weekend here:

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More photos from the weekend can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on this Flickr Link 

More photos from our Soroptimist Sisters from Muenster by clicking on this Dropbox link 


On Friday we were treated to a fascinating talk by Beatriz Sampson, jewellery historian (SI Winchester, formerly SI St Albans & SI Muenster) “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend through the centuries” and served with a delicious pot luck supper at St Mary’s Church in Redbourn.

23-60thSatDiamondGroupOn Saturday we had a trip to London to explore its history and connections with the Diamond Trade followed by a lovely lunch at ‘SMITHS’ Of Smithfield. The afternoon was for more exploring or preparation for the glittering diamond gala dinner that evening (see above).

On Sunday we visited Roman St Albans including the Roman Theatre in 113-60thSunGuidedWalkVerulamiumGroupVerulamium. Our talented Soroptimist Club Member Hilary Ratcliffe and her husband David were our multi-faceted guides in both London and St Albans!

Our “Friendship Weekend” was rounded off with more food, drink and great conversation at the Cricketers in Redbourn. Over the weekend friendships were renewed and new ones cut – just like diamonds. We are looking forward to lots of communication and many more reunions before our next anniversary celebration!

38-60thSatGalaDinnerOur Club programme was “60 for 60″ and we have completed more than 60 projects to mark our 60th year – the projects have been large, small, fun and more serious….  The display boards in the photograph were created to reflect all of the Club Members’ diamond efforts throughout the year.

Soroptimists 60th Anniversary logoThe Club celebrated with events right through the year from April 2016 to April 2017. Events included our inspirational International Women’s Day live radio broadcast, fundraising for the Women’s Refuge from a quiz night, a market bookstall and carol singing at Harpenden station. We learned about and supported St Albans Refugees, Toilet Twinning, Sustainable St Albans, Birth Companions and many other great causes.

To get a flavour of our “60 for 60” projects just scroll down through our Club news and you will see what a busy year we’ve had!

Thanks so much to everyone who came along to our many events and joined the celebrations – we have had a truly “diamond” year!

Follow all the Club News on the website: 

Thanks go to Jeremy Silverstone Purple Marketing Communications Ltd for designing the diamond logo for us!