This has been a Presidential year with a difference, as so far we have not been able to meet face to face as a club. Our technology skills have improved immensely though – we have kept in touch via Zoom, both as a club and a region. 4 members even ‘went’ to a virtual Federation conference with 900 others from across the world. The ladies unable to use Zoom were contacted by telephone. In summer we were able to meet in the rose garden of a local park in groups of 6 and in August I invited 2 small groups to my home for tea and cake. This was a substitute for a fundraiser for the International project to help girls in Nepal, but with generous contributions of homemade jams, chutneys, birthday cards and knitted baby items, we still managed to raise £100.Early in lockdown
Soroptimist International Wakefield held a memory walk in Thornes Park on a warm evening in July, in aid of Alzheimer’ Society. They then had a meal and also enjoyed the fun of a Memory Tray. An unusual and pleasant evening hosted by President Judith which was enjoyed by all who attended.
In honour of one of our eldest and most long serving members Cynthia, we turned our 13th June meeting into a birthday party complete with dance band and buffet. It was a great evening and we had over 40 ladies there from Soroptimist Clubs across the north of England to wish Cynthia many happy returns. Honorary member and several times past president Cynthia really enjoyed her special night and is pictured here dancing the night away with fellow Wakefield member Marjorie. Thank you to Soroptimist sisters who travelled long distances to be with us on the night and make her party go with a bang.
Wakefield Soroptimists welcomed their incoming 2019-20 president with a ceremonial handing over of the chains at our recent AGM. Outgoing president Sam handed over the chain of office to incoming president Judith.
SI Wakefield members and their guests met to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of our club with a black tie dinner on Saturday 13th April at Wakefield Town Hall. A wonderful speech about the origins and current work of our club and a toast was given by SI Yorkshire president Pat Kilbane. President Sam also welcomed special guests from sister soroptimist clubs across Yorkshire.
Spring flowers have bloomed again and a forgotten local woman is at last receiving the recognition she deserves following action by SI Wakefield members. On a sunny day in November several members met at St John’s Churchyard in Wakefield to tidy up and plant bulbs around the grave of Louisa Fennell. Louisa (1847–1930) was an English watercolour painter, best known as a painter of landscapes and townscapes in the West Riding of Yorkshire, particularly Wakefield, her home town. As part of the Forgotten Women of Wakefield project a blue plaque to celebrate her life and work has now also been placed in St John’s Square. Find out more about the Forgotten Women of Wakefield project we are actively involved in supporting here .
Members of SI Wakefield recently held a Macmillan Whodunnit! murder mystery evening raising £110.10 for this worthy cause. The members were assigned roles to play and read out their parts and were challenged to guess the murderer to win the game. Members rose to the occasion and ensured they remained in character despite lots of laughs and comic moments
Soroptimists from Wakefield recently held a stall in the Riding Shopping centre raising awareness of the 100th anniversary of some women gaining the vote, this involved a bit of dressing up and a lot of sisterhood! SI Wakefield is currently taking a role in local project Forgotten Women of Wakefield to highlight the role women have played in civic life and campaign for blue plaque equality in Wakefield by actively researching and recognizing women from Wakefield’s past https://dreamtimecreative.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/forgotten-women-of-wakefield-projects-2018-2019/
There were several events on Remembrance Sunday attended by our Club Members. For the first time we were asked to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph. It was dedicated to: For all the women who volunteered in the First World War. From all the women of Wakefield Soroptimists. We will remember them.