Inner Wheel GB&I Association Conference 2019


Five members from Dursley IW Club attended Conference for the first time this year in addition to seven seasoned attendees and had an interesting and enjoyable time in Cardiff. Many thanks to President, Gill Davis, who made the Conference so enjoyable for all of us. It was also lovely to have two husbands attending.

Congratulations to Sue Allen, Dursley Inner Wheel member, who brilliantly served her first year as Conference Chairman and with her small committee organized the whole event, we were all very proud of her.

In the true spirit of Inner Wheel an enjoyable lunch was held at The Park Hotel for District 10 members which provided an opportunity to meet our Link Club friends from District 1 (Scotland).

 Highlights of the Conference included an inspirational and humorous talk from the Revd. Kate Bottley, who also led the celebration of Service and Friendship, which opened the Conference on Tuesday morning.  The collection taken for Hope and Homes for Children amounted to almost £8,000, and was presented to Rukhiya Budden (no relation to Liz) at the final afternoon session.

Another guest speaker whose talk was eagerly anticipated was Dame Esther Rantzen DBE, who, unfortunately was taken ill overnight and unable to attend but District 10 Past District Chairman, and Past Trust Member of Silver Line – Eileen Hammond, spoke excellently on her behalf, informing members of the charity Silver Line and the invaluable help it gives to lonely, mature people.

The last guest speaker on Tuesday was Ed Pratt, an engaging and innovative young man, who rode around the world on his unicycle, which his grandfather made in his workshop.  Ed started his journey when he left school, aged 18, and returned 3.5 years later.  He was cycling on behalf of the education charity ‘School in a Bag’ and was highly successful in his aim to help the charity and raised over £300,000.

The afternoon was closed by the amazing Cor y Cwm Childrens Choir.  A raffle was held in the evening to win the floral arrangements made by Andrew Grisewood, Jenny won one which couldn’t have come at a better time to bring a smile to her face.  £2300 was raised towards the Association President’s Charity – Jessie’s Fund.

Wednesday morning started with the AGM which provided reports on all aspects of Inner Wheel in GB&I including financial information, and provided opportunities in the proposals and motions to air personal viewpoints.  The first General Motion, to increase Capitation by £4 to £19, provoked many differing views, but it eventually was passed 513 for 60 against.

All GB&I Charity Collections for the previous year amounted to £875,632.57 and the International Service Charities amounted to £244,009.87.  Trish Douglas was voted International Board Director, and Liz Thomas International Treasurer. 

The final evening ended with The Amazing Blues Brothers and the Amazing Soul Revue.  The theme: ‘Dressy for Jessie’ with a hint of pink encouraged pink wigs, boa’s, flowers, fascinators to name but a few – quite a sight.

Overall, an inspiring and informative few days which enabled those attending to renew friendships, forge new ones and to have a jolly good time .                 

Janie Hitchings