Our Club has five Friendship Links: SI Chico in California USA, SI Muenster in Germany, SI Osaka in Japan and SI Warsaw in Poland and our newest one, SI Victoria the capital of the island of Mahé, in the Seychelles.
One of the wonderful things about Soroptimist International are the friendship links that we have with Clubs all over the world. Soroptimist Clubs forge Friendship Links with other Clubs in different countries and different Federations. Through these Friendship Links, international cultural divides are bridged with sisterly friendships – all with the same mission to transform the lives of women and girls world-wide. Members from the Friendship Link Clubs give advice and generally support one another in a whole host of different and amazing ways.
The Club Members who have responsibility for maintaining the SI St Albans & District Friendship Links are: Joan Williams and Jean Eaton – SI Chico, Jean Eaton – SI Muenster, Helen Byrne – SI Osaka, and Barbara Saunders – SI Warsaw, and Jane Slatter SI Victoria.
Victoria Mahé Seychelles
We set up our new Friendship Link with SI Victoria in March 2020. SI St Albans Club Member Jane Slatter had got to know Angelika Maurel from working with her on the Communications Committee for SIGBI. Jane and her husband went on holiday to the Seychelles in 2012 and developed friendships with more of the Members of SI Victoria. Subsequently Jane has met with Angelika, Erica Naidoo and Cecile Hodoul at Soroptimist Conferences. A happy coincidence is that Cecile has family living in St Albans and was able to join with SI St Albans Club Members when she attended the SIGBI Cardiff Conference in 2017.
We met with Angelika and Cecile on Zoom during the COVID lockdown, and this year Jane was fortunate enough to go back to the Seychelles on holiday and meet up with our Soroptimist Friends again.
Jane and her husband were made very welcome. The first photo is with many of SI Victoria Club Members at the home of Soona Oliaji, doyenne of the Club. The second photo is of Jane Slatter between Angelika Maurel (l) and Cecile Hodoul (r) at the beautiful Jardin du Roi botanical garden where they had lunch together.
The two Clubs exchanged gifts and plan to meet on Zoom in 2023 and hopefully some Members will be able to meet in person at the Soroptimist International Convention in Dublin in 2023.
Diamond Friendship Weekend April 2017
We were delighted to be able to welcome Members from all of our friendship links to our Diamond Anniversary celebrations in 2017 – click on the link for the full story www.sigbi.org/st-albans/2017/diamond/.
The two group pictures here were taken during our friendship weekend – one is of the group in Hatton Garden, the diamond district of London, and the other is of the group at the Roman Amphitheatre in Verulamium (the Roman name for St Albans).
Chico California USA
www.sichico.com this is the website of our friendship link with Soroptimist International of Chico in California, USA.
Margaret VanLaan Martin from the Chico club is pictured third from the right on her visit to the UK when the club visited Longstock Water Gardens in Hampshire.
This photograph is of members of both St Albans and Muenster clubs on a friendship visit to St Albans – a wet day at Hatfield House couldn’t stop everyone enjoying themselves….
www.si-osaka.com – is the website of our friendship link with Soroptimist International of Osaka in Japan.
Mayumi SAITOH, from Soroptimist International OSAKA,JAPAN is responsible for the International Goodwill and Understanding(IGU) committee of 2017 – and sent us the photo on the right in Oct 17 of all of the IGU members. From left to right Machiko NAKAMURA, Mayumi SAITOH, Kumiko TOKAMI, Aya FUKUHARA :Club President of S.I. OSAKA, Midori TANAKA
Midori Tanaka, AyaTanaka, Kuniko Sato, Keiko Kato with Beatriz Sampson (SI Winchester and past Member of SI St Albans) and Helen Byrne are pictured here at our Diamond Anniversary celebrations in 2017
The Japanese doll was given to the Club in honour of their 50th Anniversary in 2007 – she is called Sakura (meaning cherry blossom).
We have a friendship link with Warsaw in Poland which was started in 1999.
The photo here is from the most recent Friendship Link visit when Barbara Saunders went to Warsaw for a Soroptimist Conference entitled “Democracy is a Woman.” celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Votes for Women in Poland To read about the visit more please click on this weblink www.sigbi.org/st-albans/2018/warsaw-conf
Some Members of SI Warsaw visited us for our Diamond Anniversary celebrations in 2017
Friendships were again renewed and new ones made when Members of SI St Albans and District visited Warsaw Sep 2015 for help celebrate 1st Club of Warsaw’s 25th Anniversary when were treated to a wonderful and varied weekend programme on the theme of ” A Weekend with Chopin”. More about it is in this Club News item on the website: www.sigbi.org/st-albans/2015/warsaw/
Soroptimists from Warsaw celebrated 15 years of the Friendship Link with the St Albans Soroptimists when they visited in 2014. They stayed with members of the Club to absorb British culture and exchange ideas. Over the weekend they explored St Albans, and everyone became firm friends. Follow this link for the full news item: sigbi.org/st-albans-and-district/2014/warsaw-sisters-visit-st-albans/
This photograph is of members of SI Warsaw on International Women’s day – across the world thousands of Soroptimists mark International Women’s Day on and around 8th March www.sigbi.org/st-albans-and-district/2014/iwd/