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We’re celebrating!

A brilliant reason for celebrating

On 21 June 1921,  a group of women met at the Hotel Oakland in San Francisco (USA).  They formed a Members Committee in order to launch the world’s very first Soroptimist International Club.

Did they realise back then how enormous the network of Soroptimist clubs would become?   Probably not that day, but by 1926, Mrs Fox-Pitt, founder member of the first Soroptimist International Club in the UK was able to say:  “I do not think I am being over optimistic when I predict that in a few years’ time there will be a Soroptimist Club in every town and city of importance in Europe and America.

Now, of course, there are many Soroptimist International Clubs on every continent.

 

So throughout 2021 we, Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland – Sigbi, our Federation – together with Soroptimists around the world, will be celebrating 100 years of Soroptimist action.

 

How are we celebrating our Bright Past and Brilliant future?

 

Celebrating Women from our Bright Past

 

All year we have celebrated Soroptimists past and present.  The ‘100 4 100’ Campaign identified over 100 successful women who deserved special mention.

We also celebrated some of the Soroptimists in our Club who left their mark on their community and beyond.  Read about them here

And we celebrated the new Soroptimists who joined this year and will help to take our organisation forward.  Here are some of the ‘faces of the future’:

A Memorial Statue linking our Bright Past and Brillian Future

Our National Federation, Sigbi, commissioned a statue to commemorate 100 years of Soroptimism. It is now installed in the National Memorial Arboretum

 

When you’re next in the area, don’t forget to take a look!  Our members Audrey, and Jennie (pictured here), thoroughly enjoyed their visit.

Planting Trees for our Brilliant Future

Trees that are nurtured and loved last a long time – just like our Soroptimist International organisation.

Putting trees on the map

Trees will be planted this year throughout the Soroptimist International universe.  By the end of November 2021, 71,871 trees had been planted in the UK and Northern Ireland by Soroptimists . See where they are here.

Where will SI Woking plant trees?

We marked the Soroptimist centenary by dedicating a tree in the renovated High Street in the centre of Woking.   Woking Mayor, Councillor Liam Lyons unveiled a commemorative plaque next to a beautiful silver birch.  We already have a tree in Woking – sponsored jointly by SI Woking and Woking Lions – in Jubilee Square.

We have also contributed £100 towards the Trees for the Downs project.  The 100 trees the Southern Region plans to sponsor will hopefully be disease resistant “New Horizon” Elms. They will replace some of the historic trees lost to  Dutch Elm Disease. This will fill an important gap in the ecosystem of the Downs, by providing food to butterflies and other insects.

Special Celebratory Events and Exhibition

Soroptimists got together at the House of Lords for a celebratory reception in early October 2021

Many Clubs put on special events.

During October and November 2021, SI Woking had an exhibition about the history of Soroptimist International in Surrey History Centre, Goldsworth Road, Woking.