Soroptimist International of Anguilla


Soroptimist International
of Anguilla


Day Care Centre:
Tel: 264 497 3509

President: Donnette Richardson
Tel: 264 497 8983

Secretary: Josephine Gumbs
Tel: 264 497 2711



Welcome to our website.

New Members 2013

The Club was pleased to welcome three new members at the meeting on July 9. They are Catherine Emanuel, Yolande Richardson & Georgia Mathew.

Fifteen complete the Soroptimist Reading Workshop 2013

Fifteen primary school students attended the Soroptimist Reading Workshop from July 15-30. Six of the students will be going to the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School Campus B in September. The purpose of the workshop is to assist students to improve their reading, comprehension and vocabulary skills.

Soroptimist Stella Horsford organised the workshop with the help of several members of the Club and the Miss Anguilla contestants who assisted on four of the mornings. She urged the students to ask their parents or older siblings to continue to assist them with reading during the holidays. She thanked them for attending and wished them good luck for the next school year. She encouraged them to work hard, behave well, to attend regularly and to be on time.
Jacquie Connor, representing the Education Department, commended the children for attending and for their diligence. She urged them to continue to learn more and to join the library and the special programme there in August.

One of the students spoke on behalf of all the attendees and thanked the Soroptimists and the Education Department for organising the workshop.

Annual General Meeting

At the Annual General Meeting held on April 30 2013 the Presidency was handed over from Carmencita Davis to Donnette Richardson. The outgoing President thanked her executive committee and presented each with a rose. She said that efforts were made to upgrade the Day Care Centre and that attendance at meetings needs to improve. She urged members to continue to develop the spirit of friendship and wished the new President good luck.
Treasurer, Anita Brooks reported on the income and expenditure and the current position of bank accounts. Secretary Josephine Gumbs gave a full report on activities during the year for each committee. She said there are currently 37 members of the Club and several potential new members. She reported on the Day Care Centre, the fundraising events, the speakers during the year and the regional and international conferences. Other reports were given by Programme Action convener, Denise Romney and Councillor, Linda Banks.
President Donnette thanked the past president and executive noting that Soroptimist International plays a very important role in bringing women together to improve the lives of women and children worldwide. She said that her focus this year will be to improve the Day Care Centre that has been in existence since 1988. She urged each member to work hard, to attend meetings and to pull their weight in the club’s activities. “We are women, we are strong,” she concluded.
The new Executive Committee includes President Donnette Richardson, Immediate Past President Carmencita Davis, President Elect, Pamela Connor, Vice President Maryse West, Treasurer Anita Brooks, Secretary Josephine Gumbs, Programme Action Denise Romney, Councillor Linda Banks and Committee members Maryse West, Stella Horsford, Alison Carty and Violet Berry.

Stingray Programme

The Stingray Programme started in 2005 by Bankie Banx and Ijahnya Christian has been re-opened by the Anguilla Soroptimist Club. The main objectives of the programme are to give young Anguillians the opportunity to learn to play the guitar and to enjoy the benefits involved.
At the launch on Friday November 9 2012 Bankie said that he originally started the programme to keep young people out of trouble. He said that as a youth playing the guitar kept him out of trouble so he hoped to do the same for others. He said it keeps a focus and gives discipline as well as much pleasure. He said that young people are playing with guns but a guitar is a better choice.

President of the Soroptimist Club, Carmencita Davis welcomed Bankie, the twelve participants and two teachers as well as other Soroptimist members. She thanked the young people for enrolling and expressed the hope that they will benefit from the programme. She urged them to have a good time.

Soroptimist Blondell Rodgiers, who is organising the project, thanked Wilmoth Connor and Clinton Richardson for teaching the programme. She said that she hoped the Soroptimists would be able to measure up to the original group started by Bankie and Ijahnya and make it a success. She urged the participants to try hard and learn the skills in playing the guitar. The guitars are being supplied by Bankie who bought them for the original programme. He plans to continue to raise funds for the project.

The group meets every Monday and Friday at the Soroptimist Hall.

Soroptimist members learn about home gardening

More than twenty members of the Soroptimist Club on Tuesday October 9 2012 visited the Department of Agriculture to learn how to set up a home garden to grow tomatoes, celery, peppers, herbs and more. Director of Agriculture William Vanterpool and Sheldon Richardson explained details of the correct mixture of soil, how to fertilize and its importance, and how to treat pests.

Sheldon gave a practical demonstration of setting up a tyre garden using two tyres and filling at least eight inches in depth. Members were encouraged to plant tomatoes and celery and given seedlings.

The visit was arranged by the Environmental Committee of the Soroptimist Club that plans next year when members have experienced their own home gardens to visit schools and encourage home gardening. The idea is that in turn the children will go home and start gardens at home. This will be in keeping with the Department’s theme “In Every Home a Garden”.

New President and Executive for Soroptimist Club

Carmencita Davis has taken over the presidency of the Anguilla Soroptimist Club, succeeding Olive Hodge who was the President for the past year. At the Annual General Meeting on April 26 2012 the chain of office was placed on Carmencita Davis by Patron of the Club, Rosena Brooks.

Olive Hodge told members that a Club is only as strong as its members and she urged all to pull their weight. She said that she was honoured to have served the Club during the past year and has found being a Soroptimist very rewarding. This is the third time that she has served as President of the Club. She thanked all the officers and members for their support urging them to do their best for the Club.

New President Carmencita Davis thanked members for electing her to the position and reminded them that Soroptimism is a global voice for women and members work to improve the status of women through advocacy and action. She said that she looks forward to support from the members in the upcoming year and hopes it will be a year of love and fun.

Reports were given by the Treasurer, Anita Brooks, the Secretary Josephine Gumbs, the Programme Action Convener, Denise Romney, the Day Care Treasurer, Murielle Owen, and the Councillor, Una Gumbs.

Patron Rosena Brooks congratulated the new President and the new Executive and wished them success in the next year. “In these times when volunteerism seems to be at a low ebb, we must congratulate and encourage persons who give their time, energy and resources without expecting financial or other tangible gain,” she said. She said that the Soroptimists good work is recognised in the community and she mentioned the Day Care Centre, the initiatives to save the environment and the summer reading programme. She urged members to support the Executive and to continue the green bag project, the stingray project and the intervention with the youth.

The new Executive Committee includes Carmencita Davis (President), Donette Richardson (President Elect), Pamela Connor (Vice President), Anita Brooks (Treasurer), Josephine Gumbs (Secretary), Denise Romney (Programme Action), Una Gumbs (Councillor) and members Stella Horsford, Meryse West, and Linda Banks.


Countess of Wessex meets Soroptimist members 2012


During the visit of the Earl and Countess of Wessex to Anguilla on March 5 the Countess met with members of the Soroptimist Club at the Koal Keel Restaurant. President Olive Hodge and other members described some of the work of the Club while the Countess enjoyed a cup of tea.

Annual Christmas Fair raises funds for Day Care Centre

Despite adverse weather conditions on Saturday the Soroptimist Christmas Fair went ahead on Sunday December 4 at the Post Office in The Valley. There were a variety of stalls and lots of fun for the children including a visit from Santa.

Stalls included the sale of crafts, toys, art, cakes, jewellery, gifts and more. A delicious lunch was served and there was ice cream on sale all day. Games for the children included fishing, spin the wheel and tombola with lots of good prizes. A fortune teller was also a popular booth. Santa and Mrs Claus were the centre of attraction for the young children who assured him how good they have been all year and received a gift.

Three groups of young dancers from the Klassique Academy of Dance gave good performances that were popular with the crowd that gathered in the afternoon.

President of the Soroptimist Club, Olive Hodge thanked all who supported the Fair with special thanks to Digicel for their assistance. Funds raised will go towards the maintenance and support of the Day Care Centre.

Soroptimist 30th Anniversary 2011   

More than one hundred persons were present at the 30th Anniversary Dinner of the Soroptimist Club. Governor Alistair Harrison congratulated members on their achievements and in particular Ena Woodstock who founded the Club in 1981. He noted the many ways the Soroptimists have served the community and can be proud of their achievements.

Chief Minister Hubert Hughes said that the Soroptimist Club of Anguilla has distinguished itself by keeping its pledge of service to others. He outlined some of the achievements of the club including the Day Care Centre which he described as a huge undertaking, the annual reading workshop, and its community and global outreach to those in need. “Continue to keep up the good work and may you prosper in all your future endeavours,” he commented.
President of the St Martin Soroptimist Club, Josianne Gibbs brought greetings and congratulations from the French clubs in St Martin, Guadeloupe and Martinique. She noted that members are making a better living possible for women and girls and are living the motto daily by serving and loving each other. A plaque was presented to President Olive Hodge by Irma Richardson on behalf of the Chesterfield Club in the UK which is linked to Anguilla, congratulating them on the 30th Anniversary.

President Olive Hodge made a presentation to Molly Hodge, the first President of the Club, and they both cut a cake made by Soroptimist Violet Berry to commemorate the occasion.

The event was chaired by Soroptimist Linda Banks and held at the Coba Restaurant of the Viceroy Resort. The Mayoumba Folkloric group performed with lively singing and dancing to bring the evening to a close.

Ena Woodstock was in Anguilla for some of the anniversary events but as the dinner was postponed could not attend. In a message to members she congratulated the club members past and present “for their work in supporting their club over the past 30 years and especially for their effort in supporting women, children and needy persons during that period.”

Soroptimist Club supports library during 30th Anniversary celebrations

More than thirty books were presented to the Public Library by members of the Soroptimist Club. The donation was part of the celebrations for the Club’s 30th Anniversary.
President Olive Hodge said that she hoped that the books will be well used and the children will appreciate and take care of them. She noted that during the 30th anniversary members of the Club are extending to the community and the day before had visited two of the senior citizens homes and presented gifts to them.

Irma Richardson, who chairs the Education Committee of the Club’s Programme Action, said that the plan was to give thirty books but due to the generosity of donors more were presented. She noted that the library staff was consulted about the selection of books and a variety of non-fiction and fiction books were presented as a result.

Director of Library Services, Carmen Oliveras expressed thanks on behalf of the library staff to both the Soroptimists and the donors noting that the library is always willing to accept any books for the library

Soroptimists continue support for Paediatric Ward

As part of the community outreach for the Soroptimist Club’s 30th Anniversary members visited the Paediatric Ward of the Princess Alexandra Hospital on Tuesday December 20 and presented 30 books. Past President Blondell Rodgiers had purchased the books to add to those already in the ward and also gave a bookstand to hold them.

President Olive Hodge presented the books on behalf of the Club saying that she is glad there were not many children in the hospital at this time. She noted that the Club had adopted the Paediatric Ward in 2004 and at that time had decorated the walls with murals, drawn by local artists. They had also bought a television and VCR and toys, books, colouring books and pencils so that children staying there could be entertained.

Director of Nursing Services, Vonetta Connor expressed heartfelt thanks for the books and all that the Soroptimist members are doing. She said that they will be used and she was pleased some of the books were educational and one or two were in Spanish.

Soroptimists hold School Leavers Workshop

As part of the thirtieth anniversary week of activities the Soroptimist Club of Anguilla held a successful School Leavers’ Workshop. It was attended by more than seventy fifth and sixth formers from the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School. President of the Club, Olive Hodge, spoke to the group about the work of the Club and its many activities.

The first session was facilitated by Soroptimist Dr Linda Banks and her topic was “Finding your niche in the workplace,” by using natural and educational capabilities. She also spoke about the effects of unemployment and preparation for the outside world.

Dr Phyllis Fleming-Banks dealt with personal characteristics in entering the world of work, particularly concentrating on integrity, appearance, disposition, awareness of internal and external customers, dependability and honesty.

Lunch was served to the participants before the afternoon session that was facilitated by Arlene Ross. She spoke about attitudes—positive versus negative, and how having a positive attitude in the workplace, giving your best on the job, not criticising, being constructive and pleasant and thinking of people’s egos when making suggestions. She also dealt with stress reduction, how to become a better leader, team work, enthusiasm, efficiency, being easy to work with and attitude and anger management.

Soroptimist Donnette Richarrdson conducted a fashion show on “how to dress for the workplace and how not to dress.” A competition was held among the participants to decide on the best dressed and two boys and two girls tied for first place and were presented with a rose.

Soroptimist Carmencita Davis, from the Ministry of Labour spoke about labour from the Ministry of Labour point of view and stressed the need for flexibility in these hard economic times.

Reading Workshop concludes with certificate presentation

Nineteen boys and ten girls aged between eight and twelve years completed nearly three weeks of a reading workshop organized by the Soroptimist Club of Anguilla. This is the seventeenth year that the workshop has taken place and is organized by Soroptimist Stella Horsford, assisted by other members of the Club.

Stella Horsford expressed thanks to the Education Department for working with the Soroptimists to choose the children for the workshop. She told the students that she hoped their reading skills had improved and commended them for their hard work, good behaviour, excellent and willing cooperation, regularity and punctuality. She encouraged all of the participants to become members of the library and to continue to read during the remainder of the holidays.

Sandra Fahie, Education Officer Curriculum, told the students to remember that reading is FUNdamental. She told them that it is fun to read the newspaper and magazine articles as well as books from the library. She noted that reading is key in every aspect of life when travelling, shopping, visiting the doctor, and on many other occasions. ‘The more you read the more you will know,” she added encouraging them to read during the vacation.

Certificates were presented to the students by Sandra Fahie and President of the Club, Olive Hodge. One of the students thanked the Soroptimists and the Education Department for organising the workshop.

Donation towards prosthesis for Blowing Point resident

Members of the Soroptimist Club last Friday, May 6, 2011 presented a cheque for US$500.00 to Maysel Davis of Blowing Point. The donation was to assist in the purchase of a prosthesis from the St Maarten Medical Centre. Maysel had her leg amputated above the knee some three years ago due to complications from diabetes. She has five children and manages her home very well but is delighted that she is now being given an opportunity to get a prosthetic limb.

President of the Soroptimist Club, Olive Hodge, presented the cheque saying that members try to help in the community, especially women and girls, and they are very pleased to be able to assist Maysel. "We hope you are successful and have good health in the future," she commented.

The Blowing Point community through the Youth Community Development Centre started a fund for Maysel. They have already raised more than US$1,000.00 through a barbecue and food sale. Other individuals have donated already and the fund now stands at US$3,000.00.

Jemima Romney, the Manager of the Youth Centre said that they are glad to be associated with the project and understand how the situation must affect the children, two of whom attend the Centre. She thanked the Soroptimists for their generous contribution. Maysel added her thanks to the members of the Soroptimist Club.

New Executive of Soroptimist International of Anguilla 2011

President Olive Hodge
Immediate Past President Blondell Rodgiers
President Elect Carmencita Davis
Vice President Denise Romney
Treasurer Anita Brooks
Secretary Josephine Gumbs
Programme Action Brenda Carty
Councillor Una Gumbs
Members Lisa Gumbs
  Pamela Connor
  Linda Banks

Soroptimist Club has new President and Executive Committee

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Soroptimist Club was held on Tuesday April 26 when the presidency was handed over from Blondell Rodgiers to Olive Hodge. Outgoing President Blondell stressed the need to work together and the need for action from members. "We can only be successful if we work together," she noted, "Soroptimism is all about professionalism, sharing ideas and achieving goals." She suggested that every member must take on a role to make the Club a success. She noted that this year is the Club's 30th anniversary and everyone must work to make it a milestone. She thanked the many persons who have helped her during her two years as president and wished members God's blessing and a healthy and successful year.

The new President said it is her third time in that position and she is honoured to be the president again. She recalled the fun times members have had and is hoping for a happy, lively Club that can move forward and assist the community, especially young girls. "We must aim to promote comradeship and well-being and go forward better and stronger," she commented.

The AGM included a report from Secretary Violet Berry who spoke of some of the events during the past year. These included the 29th Anniversary dinner at Viceroy Resort, donation of a scholarship to Anita Crawford, the annual Christmas Fair at Government House, a coffee morning, auction, and Valentine breakfast. The Club has continued to run and maintain the Day Care Centre and now cares for more children on a daily basis. Contact with the Link Clubs overseas has been maintained and the club has received publicity in the local papers and radio for most of its events.

Treasurer Anita Brooks congratulated the fund raising committee for the events that have allowed the Club to donate to various causes and still have a good balance in the bank. She gave details of the Club's income and expenditure during the past year.

Programme Action Convener, Brenda Carty reported on the six committees-Health, Environment, Education, Social and Economic, International Goodwill and Understanding and Human Rights. Many activities have taken place including a Health Fair, Reading Workshops, Spanish Classes, work with the World Paediatric Project, meetings for International Women's Day and Say No to Violence, and support for the pre-school in Sri Lanka.

Murielle Owen gave a report on the Day Care Centre finances that has a balance of EC$4,000.00. Blondell Rodgiers announced that Rosena Brooks has agreed to be the Patron of the Club but was unable to attend the AGM. The AGM was ably chaired by Soroptimist Linda Banks who during the course of the reports congratulated members on their achievements.

Saturday of Service Environmental Project

On Saturday March 5, 2011 President Blondell Rodgiers and members of our Environmental Committee beautified the front entrance of our Day Care Centre. Before the event a concrete planter was built along the front wall of the Centre which was planted with plumbago and kalanchoe plants.

In addition we replaced a tree that had been damaged in last year's hurricane and planted a harpulia or black pearl tree, also known as velvet seed tree, in its place.

Soroptimist Club organizes rally for International Women's Day

On the 100th International Women's Day, members of the Soroptimist Club organized a rally to celebrate the occasion. It was attended by representatives from several other organizations including the Teachers' Union, the National Council of Women, the Methodist Church Women, Family Hope Network, Sisters for Sisters, and Women in Development.

Mrs Norma Hughes, wife of the Chief Minister, urged women to stand up for what is right. She noted that women have been seeking their tight to equality in the home, in society, in the work place and the nation and she congratulated the Soroptimist Club and all other women's groups for making the event possible.

"If we as women do not stand for something that is of moral value then we as a people will be a nation outside of God," she said. "Bring back Christ into our homes, our schools, our communities and our nation. Stand up for our children and each other." She went on to urge the women of Anguilla to rise and confront the many abuses to women including beatings, the ills of prostitution, incest, domestic violence, human trafficking and harassment on the job "Stand up and be counted, this International Women's Day 2011," she concluded.

The United Nations General Secretary's message for International Women's Day was read by Speaker of the House, Barbara Webster-Bourne.

Guest speaker for the occasion was Oldine Bryson-Pantophlet, the President of the Board of Safe Haven in St Maarten. She spoke of her experiences with victims of domestic violence.

The event was chaired by Lana Hoyoung who implored all women to study the Domestic Violence Bill and to lobby for the adoption of the CEDAW (Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women). She outlined some of the work of the Soroptimists over the years including the lobbying to ensure the extension of the Convention of the Rights of the Child to Anguilla in 1994, the operation of a Day Care Centre, the outreach programmes for education and the environmental campaigns.

Soroptimists give scholarship to young Anguillian

Juanita Crawford has received assistance with her studies at the University of the West Indies through the donation of a onetime scholarship grant from the Soroptimist Club. At the monthly meeting of Soroptimist International of Anguilla on January 12, 2011 a cheque was presented to Juanita from President Blondell Rodgiers and treasurer Anita Brooks.

Juanita Crawford was a primary school teacher and then worked as a Careers Guidance Councillor at the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School before starting her studies at Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, in September last year. She is studying Spanish and says that it includes not just the language, but conversation, literature and Spanish culture. The third year of her four year course will be spent in a Spanish speaking country. Juanita plans to teach on completion of her studies.

St Martin Soroptimists visit Anguilla

A group of Soroptimists from the St Martin Club, accompanied by relatives and friends, visited the Anguilla Soroptimists on Sunday November 7, 2010. The two clubs have a Friendship Link and each year get together for a relaxing day at the beach.

This year the venue was Smokeys Restaurant on Cove Bay beach where a delicious lunch was served, right on the beach under two tents. Afterwards some of the members "dared" to swim in the sea that was much rougher than the usual tranquil waters on that beach.

There were nine members of the St Martin Club, headed by President Josieanne Gibbs who has just returned from attending the European Federation Conference in France. Although St Martin and Anguilla are so close Anguilla belongs to the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland and St Martin is part of Soroptimist International of Europe. The clubs keep in close contact and some members from each club always attend the others anniversary dinners.

Executive Committee 2010-2011

President Blondell Rodgiers
Pres Elect Una Gumbs
Vice President Olive Hodge
Past Pres Stella Horsford
Treasurer Anita Brooks
Secretary Violet Berry
Councillor Josephine Gumbs
Prog Action Brenda Carty
Members Sylvia McMeen
Rose Brooks
Pamela Connor
Lisa Gumbs

Annual General Meeting April 27 2010

The Soroptimist International of Anguilla Club held its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday April 27. President Blondell Rodgiers is continuing for an additional year as President and club members welcomed her for another year in office.

The secretary highlighted the events of the past year. These included the anniversary dinner, the friendship day when members visited the St Martin Soroptimists, the Christmas Fair and the annual concert. Two members went to the regional conference in Grenada and two members went to the Federation Conference in Cardiff, Wales. She also reported on the work of the various committees including fund raising events and the work of the Day Care Centre.

Soroptimist Anita Brooks gave the treasurer's report and Soroptimist Murielle Owen reported on the finances of the Day Care Centre. Programme Action Convener Brenda Carty reported on activities for the year that included a successful Health Fair, visits to the Senior Citizens Home, a summer reading workshop for ten and eleven year olds, the continued anti plastic bag campaign, and the meetings held for Human Rights Day and International Women's Day.

President Blondell thanked the members for their support during the past year and said she looks forward to continuing support. She said that there have been many challenges, especially in connection with the financial situation and the running of the Day Care Centre. She asked members to come together, to share ideas, and together build beyond expectations. She suggested that they look to the Soroptimist Pledge to work together and note that actions and behaviour must reflect what Soroptimism stands for. She urged members to be actively involved in the work of the Club and said that she looks forward to a productive 2011.

The President gave special thanks to persons who have served well during the past year and to the Environment Committee for gaining the Federation Award for the project "Say no to Plastics". The event was ably chaired by Soroptimist Alison Carty and the evening ended with refreshments and fellowship among the members.

Soroptimists partner with National Council on International Women's Day

On International Women's Day 2010 the Soroptimist Club joined with the National Council of women in organizing a symposium and lunch that was attended by members of the two organizations and leading women in the community.

The feature address was given by Carla Harris-Pascal who urged those present to work with young people, to mentor them, hold forums to talk of the challenges of life, talk about sex, and their responsibility to themselves for good health.

The theme "Equal Rights Equal Opportunities Progress for All" was highlighted by the many speakers who included the newly appointed Speaker of the House of Assembly, Barbara Webster-Bourne, Ernie Hodge-Carty, President of the National Council of Women, Brenda Carty, Programme Action Officer for the Soroptimists, Ken Hodge, Principal Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Home and Gender Affairs, Patricia Beard speaking on HIV/AIDS, Emma Ferguson from the Anguilla Teachers Union and Ijahnya Christian. Many of the speakers congratulated the new Speaker as she is the first woman to hold that position in Anguilla. She said that with the support of all more can be achieved and together women can make a difference. "My hope is that we will continue to see progress, advancement, and equal opportunity for women in every part of the world. I trust that we can continue to work together to move beyond the "small talk" and resort to action, to improve the quality of life of women everywhere," she stressed.

Lana Hoyoung, who heads the Human Rights committee of the Soroptimist Club, said that it is time that there is an elected woman in the House of Assembly. "We do have reasons to celebrate some of the strides we the women of Anguilla have made but let it be known we are not there as yet. The road is long and winding but as women we must continue to press on," she urged.

Anguilla Soroptimists presented with top award for environment project

Soroptimist International Anguilla members are very proud of their achievement in gaining the top award for their project "Say No to Plastic" that they have been promoting for the past two years. They were presented with the award by President Carwen WynneHowells at the Federation Conference held in Cardiff, Wales in October 2009.

Anguilla was nominated as one of the best projects in the Environment category and at the Conference the Anguilla Club presented a film, produced by Rocklyn Maynard, showing their project. The Club topped the many others that were nominated from around the world and received the Best Practice Award for Environment.

In the meantime members of the Club are urging the public to assist them in their campaign by purchasing and using reusable bags for their shopping and by purchasing biodegradable products in the form of plates, cups, bowls, napkins and garbage bags that are available at the Anguilla National Trust.

Soroptimist Christmas Fair a Great Success

The Annual Christmas Fair organized by the Soroptimist Club was held on Saturday December 5 in the grounds of Government House. More than 400 people attended the event that was a lively affair and a good start to the Christmas season.

Entertainment included music by the steel band of the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School and dancing by the moko jumbies. The many booths provided opportunities for Christmas gifts to be purchased. They included many craft stalls with decorations, jewellery, pet gifts, dolls, napkin holders, candles, soaps and more. Other stalls included cakes, tombola, white elephant, plants, and drinks. There was lots of fun for the children with games and a bouncy castle as well as the popular visit and photo with Santa.

Funds raised at the Christmas Fair are for maintenance of the Soroptimist Day Care Centre and other projects of the Club. The Soroptimist members expressed thanks to the many businesses, restaurants, hotels and individuals who assisted them with donations for the lunch and prizes, and to the Governor Alistair Harrison and Mrs Harrison for allowing the Fair to be held at Government House.

Anguilla Soroptimists hold Health Fair

A very successful Health Fair was held in late September by the Soroptimist International of Anguilla Club members. The idea behind the Fair was that during the financial downturn people may be neglecting necessary tests and preventative measures as well as visits to their doctor. Top professionals partnered with the Soroptimist members to give the best advice to the many persons who visited the Fair. It was organised by the Health Committee of Programme Action under the chairmanship of Soroptimist Pamela Connor.

The Health Fair was held on a Saturday morning in a central part of the main town. Each segment was held in a separate booth under a tent. There was a variety of health information ranging from cancer prevention, dental diseases, nutrition, blood sugar tests, blood pressure tests, massage, HIV/AIDS prevention, eye care and First Aid.

One of the island's top doctors was there to give advice on cancer prevention and she recommended tests necessary for women such as mammograms and pap smears and also suggested regular breast examinations and a colonoscopy every ten years. A local optician offered complete eye tests that included distance and near vision checks, muscle imbalance, colour vision and horizontal field test. The Government dental surgeon advised on dental diseases and the treatment necessary. The diabetes booth was very popular where people were given blood sugar tests and blood pressure tests. Nutrition, HIV/AIDS, the Mental Health Association, an osteopath and the Red Cross were also present at the Fair.

One of the highlights of the Fair was a drum circle led by a local resident who had just returned from attending a drum circle workshop in the USA. .She says that drum circles are fun and promote self-expression, reduce stress, create social interaction, build community, provide exercise for the mind body and spirit and can be for persons of all ages.

Top table at the 28th Anniversary Dinner

Soroptimist International of Anguilla Executive Committee 2009-2010

President Blondell Rodgiers
President elect Una Gumbs
Imm Past President Stella Horsford
Vice President Olive Hodge
Secretary Lana Hoyoung
Treasurer Anita Brooks
Councillor Josephine Gumbs
Programme Action Brenda Carty
Members Carmencita Davis
Violet Berry
Sylvia McMeen

Soroptimist International of Anguilla Annual General Meeting

The presidency of the Anguilla Soroptimist Club was handed over from Stella Horsford to new President Blondell Rodgiers on April 28 at the Annual General Meeting.

Outgoing President Horsford said the year has been one of delights and challenges. She said that the Day Care is always a challenge and there have been a few incidents during the past year. She spoke of the Federation Conference in Barbados as one of the delights and the first Caribbean President Marguerite Woodstock-Riley who is the daughter of Ena Woodstock, a former Magistrate in Anguilla who founded the Anguilla Soroptimist Club. She urged committees to function and to re-commit to the work of the Club. She thanked her secretary, Margaret Mitchell, who she described as very supportive, as well as the members of the Executive. The outgoing president wished the new president a fruitful and productive year.

New President Blondell Rogers and Outgoing President Stella Horsford

The Secretary outlined some of the events of the year including fund raising efforts and speakers the Club has had. She spoke of the Anniversary Dinner held at the English Rose Restaurant and the Christmas social and farewell for the past patron, Mrs George. She reported that the Programme Action committee has continued to support education on the island and through the environment committee is trying to ban the use of plastic bags and introduce biodegradable items. She also noted that the Health Committee has continued its anti-cancer campaign by encouraging mammograms and pap smears for women and the Human Rights committee held two interesting functions on Human Rights Day and the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day.

A report on the Day Care Centre was given by Donnette Richardson who spoke of the upgrade the Centre has received. She noted that there is still a need for playground equipment for the children to enjoy the garden of the Day Care Centre.

The Treasurer, Anita Brooks reported on the various fund raising events and congratulated the committee for their efforts. She also thanked the business community including Gulf Insurance for its support.

President Blondell Rodgiers thanked members for putting their confidence in her and promised to do her best for the Club. She asked for the support of all and thanked the Past President for her work. "Everyone must pitch in," she admonished, "so that the work is not a burden for a few."

Soroptimists plant oleanders for World Environment Day

Members of the Anguilla Soroptimist Club on Friday June 5, World Environment Day, planted nine oleander plants. The plants had been donated by Temenos landscaping department and are already mature plants.

The oleanders were planted along the south fence of the Soroptimist Day Care Centre to provide privacy from the adjoining property. President of the Club, Blondell Rodgiers said, “I am very happy to see the Environment Committee of the Club planting shrubs to beautify the Day Care Centre grounds. I hope that other groups will also be planting trees and shrubs today or in the near future, to help the environment of the island.”

Say no to Plastic Presentation

David Carty, Chairman of the Anguilla Renewable Energy committee, commended the Soroptimist Club of Anguilla for its initiative in reducing the use of plastic bags. He was speaking at a presentation "Yes you can say no to harmful plastics" put on jointly by the Soroptimist Club, the Anguilla National Trust, the National Energy Committee and the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The evening started with a slide show depicting the Dangers of Plastic Bags and the alternatives. It showed the many problems created in the environment especially in the ocean and also showed the many countries that have a ban on plastic bags. Brenda Carty, representing the Soroptimists, spoke about the Club's campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags and the importation of reusable bags that have been supplied to all the grocery stores. She commented that working with Government, the Club is hoping that a tax or ban will be placed on plastic bags and the reusable and biodegradable bags imported without duty.

A presentation of the alternatives from "Good2Go" from St Maarten by Elaine Christopher was very well received by the grocery, hoteliers and restaurateurs present. She showed all the biodegradable products available that she described as quite staggering and growing and improving almost on a weekly basis. All the products are made from corn, or bagasse from sugar cane and can be composted, put on a landfill site where they decompose when subjected to light and heat, or incinerated with no harmful gases resulting.

She showed biodegradable trash bags, grocery bags, lunch take away boxes, large covered plates, small plates, bowls, small containers, sushi trays, cups, napkins, cutlery and more. The clear items are made from corn and the plates and trays from bagasse. She said that the latter can replace anything made of paper. The items are all safe to be frozen or micro-waved and this too is a big advantage.

The Soroptimist Club is working with the National Trust to order and distribute the biodegradable products.

Soroptimist Variety Concert

The Soroptimist Variety Concert had entertainers from seven to seventy and included items from serious to hilarious. It was a successful and fun evening held on Friday April 24 to raise funds for the Club's projects.

Soroptimist members contributed to the evening by starting the programme with some lively songs and ending it with a dance. Included in the programme were well-known Bankie Banx, Hot Shot, Una Gumbs, Wycliffe Robinson and Evan Webster. The young talent came from the All Ah Wee Dancers, musicians Krystal and Krystie Webster who played a saxophone and clarinet duet, Elizabeth Orchard who read a poem that she had written, and three children from the Philippines who touched the audience with their singing about peace in the world. Kenn Banks and Carl Harrigan created much laughter with their skit, and Walter Vanterpool and Melanie Ortega again appealed to the audience. MC for the evening was Gilda Samuels with Lennox Vanterpool as the accompanist and Titanium Sound providing sound equipment.

The funds raised were for the Soroptimist international project in Sierra Leone that was described by President Stella Horsford. Funds will also go towards the maintenance of the Soroptimist Day Care Centre.

Soroptimists hold symposium on Human Rights Day

A symposium to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights took place on Wednesday December 10 organized by the Soroptimist Club and the Chief Minister's Office and held under the theme "Understanding National Development through a Human Rights Lens."

Permanent Secretary in the Chief Minister's Office, Foster Rogers spoke of the right to move freely, own property, vote, the right to education, health care and just to enjoy life that in Anguilla is taken for granted. He noted that this is not the case in many countries around the world where there are many issues. He said that there is a whole section in the newly proposed Constitution dealing with human rights and the Ministry of Human Rights and Gender is very keen to protect the people of Anguilla and citizens must make sure that their human rights are protected.

Opposition member of the House of Assembly, Hubert Hughes stressed that justice and love underpin all human rights and the two main obstacles to fundamental rights are politics and religion. He spoke of the freedom of assent, the freedom of religion and the freedom of association.

Soroptimist Lana Hoyoung, formerly in charge of gender affairs in the Chief Minister's Office, spoke of the need for Anguilla to go forward. She said that there are still violations remaining and gender imbalance. She noted that Anguilla as a developing nation must preserve all rights and they must be embraced politically, socially, economically and morally. Human Rights must also be reflected in the laws of the island and be prevalent in the work place, in homes, family and religion. She applauded the Chief Minister for pushing the right to self-determination forward.

2008 Programme and Projects

Meetings are held on the second Tuesday in each month at 4.30 p.m. at the Day Care Centre. Executive meetings are held on the first Tuesday in each month.

Programme for Meetings

July 8 David Carty-Environment/Alternative Energy
August No Speaker
Sept 9 Darlene Baptiste, CEO of Health Authority
Oct 14 Ivor Hodge-Photography (bring your camera)
Nov11 Jo Burns-Flower Arranging
Dec 9 Christmas Social
Jan 13 Financial Planning-Marie Rey
Feb 10 Dr Hughes, Skin cancer/coping with old age
Mar 10 Una & Countess---Bridge for beginners
April 14 Preparation for AGM

Other Events
August 16 Anniversary Dinner
December 3 Christmas Fair
April 28 AGM

Dates to be announced
Thailand evening-Mrs George
Breakfast at Overlook
Bird Watching walk around Sandy Ground pond
'Recommend a Book' to other members

Project in Sri Lanka

Funds raised in the Anguillian community for Tsunami relief resulted in the building of a pre-school in the small coastal village of Pandura in Sri Lanka for children aged 3-5 years. The building is completed and the children are now enjoying their new surroundings. The funds were managed by KPMG in Anguilla and through association with the Soroptimist Club in Colombo, Denise Romney of KPMG was able to find an exciting and rewarding project. Sri Lanka was chosen for the funds as several Sri Lankans had worked at KPMG and also in the Attorney General's Office in Anguilla during the past few years. It was decided to have a capital project that would assist in a rural area. The project was identified by the Soroptimist Club of Colombo and the pre-school is for children affected by the Tsunami and the Street Children, whose families cannot afford pre-school education. The cost of the pre-school building is US$15,000.00 and it is estimated that operation costs will be approximately us$2,500.00 per annum. The Anguilla Soroptimist Club is funding the latter that will include the cost of educational materials, salaries, food and maintenance. The pre-school is named "Anguilla and SI Colombo Friendship Pre-School". There are currently 35 children in the school that is open from 8.00 a.m. until 12 noon. Two meals are provided daily, breakfast and lunch. There are two teachers, a caretaker supervisor and a cook to provide nutritious meals. The building has been constructed so that there are two classrooms with divider cupboards so that when necessary for a concert or meeting there can be one room.

Soroptimists celebrate anniversary with a dinner and church service

Members of the Soroptimist Club celebrated the 27th anniversary of the Club on August 15 2008. On Saturday August 16 a dinner was held at the English Rose Restaurant for members, family and friends and on Sunday August 17 a service was held at the Zion Methodist Church at North Hill.

Chairing the proceedings at the dinner, Soroptimist Audrey Rogers welcomed the guests that included the Governor Andrew George, Mrs George who is Patron of the Soroptimist Club and Minister of Finance, Victor Banks. Toasts were given to Her Majesty the Queen, by the Governor, to the island of Anguilla by Victor Banks, and to Soroptimist International by Louise Franklin. Banks spoke of the important work the Soroptimists do in the community. A visiting Soroptimist from St Vincent & the Grenadines, Zeitha Hadaway, gave a toast to the Anguilla Club congratulating them on the work they are doing and urging them to continue. Soroptimist Olive Hodge, thanked the guests for coming and proposed a toast to the guests.

Long Service Awards were presented to ten members of the Club by the Patron, Mrs George. Those receiving certificates were Rose Brooks, Louise Franklin, Molly Hodge, Olive Hodge, Eudora Hughes, Isa Lake, Murielle Owen, Countess Rey, Irma Richardson, Vera Richardson and Ursula Sweeney. They were all charter members of the Club in 1981 and have continued to be active members since then. Brooks, Molly Hodge, Hughes and Rey were absent.

President Stella Horsford outlined some of the work of the Club during the past year. She said that despite many challenges the hard work, dedication and commitment of the members had outweighed the challenges. She noted that the Day Care Centre is the main project of the Club and opened in 1985 as a safe environment for working mothers to leave their children. She praised the charter members for their dedicated service and reported that there are now 42 members in the Club. Programmes during the year have included a Reading Programme, Teen Talks, Mammogram and Pap Smear tests, and donating supplies to the Pediatric Ward at the Princess Alexandra Hospital that the Club adopted in 2004. She spoke of the fund raising events that enable the Club to run the Day Care Centre and to assist in the community in many ways.

The church service was conducted by Rev Clifton Niles who preached on having a healthy church that is growing, learning, inclusive and relevant. The President gave a short account of the Soroptimist Club, the young people of the church sang several choruses and the lesson was read by Soroptimist Irma Richardson.

Soroptimists launch campaign to save plastic bags

Soroptimist members in Anguilla have started a campaign to alert the public to the dangers of plastic bags and to reduce the use of these bags. Members are starting to use re-usable plastic and canvas bags and are encouraging others to do the same.

At the landfill site plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade and then they photo-degrade which means they break down into smaller toxic bits that can contaminate soil and water. Every year hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die from eating discarded plastic bags that they mistake for food. On land goats, cows, dogs and other animals can die by accidentally eating plastic bags while foraging for food.

The production of plastic bags requires petroleum and often natural gas, both non-renewable resources. The toxic chemical ingredients needed to make plastic produces pollution during the manufacturing process and the energy needed to manufacture and transport bags eats up more resources and creates global warming emissions.

All of these reasons have led the Soroptimists to start this campaign and they are hoping the general public will cooperate. Many countries around the world including several in this region and in Africa, as well as Europe and North America, are having similar drives to reduce the use of plastic bags.

Grocery owners here are cooperating and are investigating sources for supplying the reusable plastic bags. The Soroptimists are also finding sources and plan in the future to produce and sell canvas bags for shopping. In the meantime members are urging everyone to cut down on the number of bags you use, take back clean bags to use for your next shopping or if you have a suitable canvas bag start using that. EVERY BAG SAVED WILL HELP TO REDUCE THE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF THE BAGS ON OUR ENVIRONMENT.

Soroptimists present lively concert

On April 25 2008 the Soroptimists presented a Concert that was much appreciated by the large audience. Held at the Ruthwill Auditorium with Michelle Roberts-Queeley as MC the concert started with the Soroptimist Singers and Yellow Bird, included the Electric Slide dance by some of the members and closed with a dance by the Soroptimists.

During the evening the All Ah Wee Dancers performed admirably, Melanie and friends delighted the audience as did Evalie Bradley with her monologue of days gone by. Bankie Banx, Harold Vanterpool, Hot Shot, Amelia Vanterpool-Kubisch, Elizabeth Orchard, Una Gumbs and Audrey Rogers were all much appreciated. Special mention must be made of Walter Vanterpool who has performed at every Soroptimist Concert and always has the audience very amused.

Funds raised at the concert are to be used for the Soroptimist project for women's health. This has already included providing mammograms for more than 20 women in the community and is now being extended to fund pap smears for women recommended by the various clinics.

Soroptimists donate kitchen equipment for WISE programme

On Wednesday November 21 the kitchen at the WISE (Workshop Initiative for Support in Education) programme facility was officially opened. Equipment including a stainless steel double sink, large stove, shelving, microwave, toaster, blender and in fact all the equipment needed for the running of the kitchen were donated by the Soroptimist Club. The ribbon to the kitchen was cut by President of the Soroptimist Club, Alison Carty who said she was very proud to open the kitchen on behalf of the Soroptimist members.

Gabriele Klaren, coordinator of the programme, thanked the Soroptimists for their “great contribution” saying that without their donation the kitchen would have taken years to complete. Now the cooking programme has started for some 12 girls and is run by Marnie Emery from England.

Soroptimist Michele Bellers has been assisting with the project for the past two years and Gabriele thanked her for all her help and presented her with a calendar containing photographs of the students at work. “Your contribution has been invaluable and has considerably raised the level of the WISE programme,” she said in presenting the gift.

Deputy Principal of the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School, Worrell Brooks, gave warm wishes to WISE on behalf of the Ministry of Education. He said that the ministry appreciates the help of the Soroptimists and other community partners and invited other groups to lend assistance. He noted that all students should have an opportunity to excel in their field of strength.

The programme at WISE started in February 2005 and has grown from strength to strength. Coordinator of the programme Gabriele Klaren is assisted by several staff and volunteers. There are now more than 100 students involved in the programme who attend at least one morning each week. The programme focuses on students at risk with practical inclination who are selected to be part of the WISE programme based on their behavioural problems at the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School. Projects include carpentry, model boat building, bamboo work, jewelry, ceramics, visual arts, glass, agriculture, gardening and now cooking.

To show their cookery skills some of the students had prepared a delicious meal for the Soroptimists, media members and other visitors to the opening. They had made lasagna and garlic bread and prepared a fruit plate that were all very well made.

Tree planting in memory of Soroptimist Alecia Ballin

On Tuesday September 11, 2007, a lignum vitae tree was planted in the front of the Soroptimist Day Care Centre in memory of Soroptimist Alecia Ballin who died last year.

The tree was planted by Alecia’s daughter, Alex, President Alison Carty and Soroptimist Violet Berry. Members of the Club witnessed the occasion. A plaque is to be placed at the foot of the tree.

Soroptimist Anniversary Dinner

The Anguilla Soroptimist Club on Saturday August 25th, 2007 celebrated its 26th Anniversary with a dinner at Flavours Restaurant. President Alison Carty reported on the challenges and successes of the past year and several toasts were made following the delicious dinner.

Governor Andrew George congratulated the members on their achievements and proposed a toast to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Chief Minister Osbourne Fleming said that organizations like the Soroptimist Club aid the Government and that he is grateful for all the work that they do in the community. “I hope you will go from strength to strength,” Fleming noted. He proposed a toast to the island of Anguilla.

Timothy Hodge, Director of the Social Security Board, spoke of the achievements of the Club over the past 26 years and proposed a toast to the Club. He made mention of the loan that the Soroptimist Club asked Social Security for when building the extension to the Day Care Centre saying that they are the only group that has ever offered to pay back a loan, and this they did, which he described as admirable.

Soroptimist Stella Horsford proposed a toast to Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI). She explained that there are four Federations and the Anguilla Club belongs to the SIGBI which has 398 clubs in 30 countries and includes women of all ages and ethnic groups whose aim is to give service to others.

Soroptimist Josephine Gumbs proposed a toast to the guests, thanking them for their support of the Club over the years and for attending the anniversary dinner.

President Alison described some of the programmes of the Club including the literacy programme, the teen talks to youth groups and the classes for Spanish speaking persons, and thanked Stella Horsford for organizing these projects. She also referred to WISE (Workshop Initiative for Support in Education) and the plan to set up cooking classes, and asked for support in supplying kitchen equipment for the group. She reported that a new Director has been appointed for the Day Care Centre and thanked Murielle Owen for all her work in keeping the Centre running. Other projects mentioned included raising money for Survivors of War which is an international project, supplying five benches to the arrival gallery at the Wallblake Airport, the annual Christmas Fair and the anniversary stamps.

Music during the evening was supplied by Boss and Company and after the speeches some lively dancing completed the evening.

New President and Executive for Soroptimist International of Anguilla

At the 2007 Annual General Meeting of the Soroptimist Club the Presidency was handed over from Carmencita Davis to Alison Carty. Reports were given of the events during the year and an election was held for a new executive.

Secretary Josephine Gumbs reported on the 25th Anniversary and read reports from the fund raising, hospitality and other committees of the Club. During the year there have been several fund raising events including a concert, the Christmas Fair, lunches and an auction. The Club has continued to work in the community and organized teen talks, the annual reading workshop, work at WISE (Workshop Initiative for Support in Education) and health promotions for women. Soroptimist Murielle Owen reported on the Day Care Centre and gave details of the expenses for the year.

The Patron of the Club, Mrs Andrew George, wife of His Excellency Governor Andrew George, gave special thanks to the President Carmencita Davis and Secretary Josephine Gumbs for their work during the year. She thanked members for the warm welcome she has received and said she is pleased to be a part of the Club and looks forward to working with members for the good of the community.

The new President received her chain of office from the Patron and thanked the past President for her fine leadership. She spoke of re-energizing members to their responsibilities and urged them to keep to the ideals of "sincerity of friendship" and "joy of achievement" that are outlined in the Soroptimist Pledge. She said that members have different strengths and weaknesses and it is important to work together so that more can be achieved.

The new Executive Committee is Alison Carty (President), Stella Horsford (President Elect), Carmencita Davis (Immediate Past President), Diane Sheehan (Secretary), Raheema Sharma (Treasurer), Stella Horsford (Programme Action) and members Olive Hodge, Donnette Richardson, Josephine Gumbs and Patricia Gumbs.

Sponsorship of Mammogram tests

The Soroptimist Club of Anguilla has sponsored 25 ladies to have mammograms at Hughes Medical Centre. The sponsorship is part of the Club's Breast Awareness programme organized by the health committee of Programme Action.

Five ladies over 50 years old, were chosen by the nurse in charge at each of the five clinics in West End, The Valley, East End, Island Harbour and Welches Polyclinic. They were persons deemed to be in need of the test. The mammograms are being carried out by Gloria Bennett and the radiology technician is Patrick de Reu from St Martin who visits the Medical Centre once a week.

The mammograms cost US$90.00 each and a cheque for US$2250.00 was handed over by Soroptimist Pamela Connor, the chair of the Health Committee, to Nurse Bennett. Connor told the Daily Herald that the Club hopes to extend the mammogram support especially during the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, and funds for this are now being raised. There are also plans to expand and include pap smears for women and to put out a leaflet encouraging women to take these two tests regularly.

Two Stamps released to celebrate 25th Anniversary

Two stamps released for Soroptimist Anniversary.

ANGUILLA-The first stamp issue for 2007 is in recognition of one of Anguilla's prominent service organizations, the Soroptimist Club's 25th Anniversary. There are two stamps; one has the Soroptimist logo and is EC$1.90 and the other features Alecia Ballin, a charter member of the Club and is the $2.75 stamp. A short ceremony, chaired by Soroptimist Violet Berry, took place at the Post Office on Monday January 29.

At the launching, Minister of Finance, Victor Banks, said that the Soroptimists have given 25 years of dedicated service to the island and started a Day Care Centre at a time when women were getting more involved in the work force and needed care for their children. He said that it was fitting to have one stamp to celebrate Alecia Ballin's voluntary work and as an entrepreneur on the island. He closed by thanking the Soroptimist members for being partners with the Government.

Postmaster General Jacqueline Niles congratulated the Soroptimist Club on the 25th Anniversary and for their hard work in the community during that time. She pointed out that although the postal service is not used as much as previously because of other means of communication, stamps are still used a lot on parcels, for official documents and for collectors. She invited the Soroptimist members to assist in the sale and promotion of the stamps and urged other organizations to suggest some creative themes.

President of the Club, Carmencita Davis said she was very happy the stamps were produced and especially for the stamp of Alecia as it was originally her idea to have a stamp in honour of the anniversary. She urged all to buy the stamps and thus advertise the Soroptimists and Anguilla.

The Deputy Postmaster General, Marcia Richardson, said that Anguilla's stamps have received international acclaim since the 1970s. At that time they were a major source of revenue for the government. She described how the art production of a stamp is approved by the Post Office's agent in London, John Lister, and then by the Anguilla Stamp Advisory Committee. After approval by the Palace in London the stamps are then printed, so the process takes some time to achieve. She said that the Post Office is particularly pleased and honoured that the first stamp issue for 2007 is the Soroptimist issue and grateful that the Philatelic Bureau can play a part in the 25th Anniversary. She then unveiled the two stamps that were being released and invited persons to purchase the first day covers or the individual stamps.

In attendance in addition to the speakers, were Alex Ballin, daughter of Alecia, Judy Ruvumna, stepdaughter, many members of the Soroptimist Club, friends of Alecia and post office officials.

Soroptimist Christmas Fair

Christmas Fair at Government House attracts many people.

ANGUILLA-The Annual Christmas Fair organized by the Soroptimist Club was enjoyed and supported by many persons and held in the beautiful grounds of Government House.

The Soroptimists organized lunch, drinks, games and several stalls. There were many stalls with attractive crafts, art, pottery, toys, gifts, plants, cakes, books and other items. Organizations with booths included the Anguilla Craft Group, the Anguilla Beautification Club, the Devonish Gallery, individual artists and others. Santa was there and many children spent time telling him what they want for Christmas and posing for photographs. Christmas music supplied by Bob Rieman filled the air and Christmas songs by Catherine Rieman put everyone in a happy Christmas mood.

The Soroptimist raffle was won by Ms J Lloyd who won a trip for two to Puerto Rico on American Eagle, the second prize of a Pebble Phone was won by Rhona Richardson and the third prize of a DVD player was won by Barbara Oberly who donated it to the Soroptimist Day Care Centre. The Craft raffle of the nativity scene made with knitted figures was won by Ingrid Estrada, Judy Bardfield won the hand painted tray and third prize went to Judy Carmichael who won a hand sewn flower.

Funds raised by the Soroptimists will be used for the Day Care Centre and other projects of the Club.

Soroptimists donate benches to airport

September 1, 2006. The Anguilla Soroptimist Club on Friday donated five benches to the Wallblake Airport to mark the Club's 25th Anniversary, that will be used in the waving gallery alongside Last Flight Restaurant.

President of the Club, Carmencita Davis said she was proud and happy to hand over the benches on behalf of the members of the Club for the use of the public. She pledged the Club's voluntary service to the community and said there will be other projects this year to celebrate the Club's 25th Anniversary.

Airport Manager, Remington Lake thanked the members for the donation saying that he hopes the travelling public will appreciate the benches and treat them carefully. He suggested that other non-government organizations should take similar action to assist the community and said that he hopes all the Soroptimist projects will be beneficial to the community.

Bancroft Battick, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure echoed the sentiments of the Airport Manager and thanked the Soroptimists on behalf of the Ministry and the Government. He commended them for their act of kindness as he had noticed there was nowhere to sit in the area and the benches will be particularly good for older persons.

Minister of Infrastructure, Kenneth Harrigan described the occasion as special and said the Government is very appreciative of the positive impact the Soroptimist Club is having on the lives of the people in Anguilla. He mentioned the Day Care Centre, the lessons for Spanish speaking persons and the Reading Workshop held annually. He said that the travelling public and visitors will appreciate the benches and wished the members every success in their service endeavours for the island.

Soroptimist Olive Hodge thanked the persons who spoke and for their appreciation, and also thanked the businesses that have supported the Club during the 25th Anniversary.

Soroptimists Celebrate 25th Anniversary

The Soroptimist International Club of Anguilla celebrated its 25th anniversary with a series of events. They were joined by Soroptimists from the region for the events which included a church service, a retreat and an anniversary dinner.

Twelve of the original 23 charter members are still active members of the Club and most were able to attend the events. Founder of the club, Ena Woodstock honoured the club with her presence for the weekend. The church service was held at the Emmanuel Methodist Church at West End on Sunday August 13 and was conducted by Rev Lindsay Richardson. That evening a dinner was held at the home of Molly Hodge, the first President of the Club.

Soroptimists and visitors after the church service

The retreat on Monday involved all members of the club and the visiting Soroptimists from Antigua, Barbados, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Jamaica, Marie Galante and St Martin. An address by Candis Niles on the topic "The Role & Challenges of Women in the 21st Century" was followed by a lively discussion on the problems in the community and how these can be addressed. In the afternoon there was a motivational talk by Jerry and Bethany Riskin that inspired members to continue their work. Following this, members discussed future projects and made plans for work in the community in the coming year.

As part of the Retreat on Monday Caribbean President Kathryn Cyrus spoke to members on the importance of retaining members. She noted that members will stay if they are felt valued and if they are welcomed warmly. She suggested clubs must know the potential of each member and use them. She also said that meetings must be planned with an interesting, flexible programme that includes stimulating speakers and also allows for socialization among members. "Let us all wake up with new vigour and go that little extra mile to bring new life into our clubs," the President said. "We can then bring a better quality of life to more of the less fortunate citizens in the many projects out there waiting for us to take on."

President Carmencita Davis with founder of the Anguilla Club Ena Woodstock

The Anniversary Dinner, chaired by Soroptimist Olive Hodge, was held at Koal Keel Restaurant where a delicious dinner was followed by toasts. His Excellency the Governor, Andrew George toasted Her Majesty the Queen saying that it was a special year for her as she celebrated her 80th birthday. Acting Chief Minister, Victor Banks praised the work of the Soroptimist Club over the years noting that members have made a difference on the island, especially for women and children and have contributed to the development of Anguilla. The Hon Deputy Governor, Stanley Reid spoke of the advocacy and action of the Club and the various projects including the Day Care Centre, the Reading Workshop and work with the Senior Citizens. "Many people have noted the visionary ladies and their dedication and commitment," he commented as he toasted the Club.

Soroptimist Brenda Carty toasted the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland and the Federation of Europe and Soroptimist Blondell Rodgiers toasted the guests that included Soroptimists from St Martin, Marie Galante, Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, and St Vincent & the Grenadines, as well as friends and family of members. The Club President Carmencita Davis said that as part of the Anniversary celebrations, benches have been placed in the waving gallery of Wallblake Airport so that persons will be more comfortable when meeting flights and the Club is to adopt an area opposite St Mary's Church in honour of deceased Soroptimists.

Top table at the Anniversary dinner

Awards were presented to Ena Woodstock, the founder of the Anguilla Club, to Molly Hodge the first President of the Anguilla Club, to Irena Bailey who was patron in the early days of the Club and worked very hard and to Alecia Ballin, a hard working member who recently died. A special award to a "Woman in the Community" was given to Mabel Gumbs, a well known and outstanding figure in the Anglican Church and the community who has worked with many groups and associations. A Presidential plaque was presented to the Club by Dr Rona Hodge and visiting clubs presented several gifts.

Bye Laws of the CRC (in Microsoft Word format)