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Soroptimists attend Newcastle conference


Three members of Soroptimist International of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Lavinia Gunn, Federation Councillor for SVG, Kathryn Cyrus Caribbean Regional President and Norma Knights Programme Action Officer, recently attended the 72nd Federation Conference of Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland held at the Sage Conference centre, Gateshead, Newcastle October 25-29.{{more}}

The theme for the Conference was “Take Your Dreams and Make Them Happen”.

The President Ann Dawson did, as her dream was to create a “Pink List” across Gateshead Millenium Bridge to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. The response exceeded her expectations when 1500 Soroptimists crammed onto the bridge which spans the river Tyne dressed in pink. With full media coverage and BBC news release every hour for the whole of Friday, October 28, the public could not help but be made aware of breast cancer.

On Saturday, October 29, Dame Tanni Grey Thompson the most successful Paraplegic athlete ever, spoke on “What it takes to Achieve”. With 11 Olympic Gold medals, 4 silver and one bronze and 20 world records and a rigorous training schedule, she was an inspiration to all.

Then followed Simon Weston, OBE, who suffered 46 per cent burns in the Falklands conflict, when his ship, the Sir Galahad, was bombed.

He spent five years in hospital and had to undergo 85 operations. He is recognized over the world for his optimism, determination and inspired courage. He enthralled all with his humour, infectious enthusiasm and immediately engaging personality. He works tirelessly for victims of burns and disfigurement, and his road to physical and mental recovery saw him active in a number of highly successful ventures including “The Weston Spirit”, a Liverpool based young people’s charity. Both speakers received standing ovations for these most inspirational and humbling addresses.

The Change of Insignia Ceremony on Saturday, October 29 saw the installation of the new Federation President Hilary Kay Young and also the regional Presidents. Mrs. Kathryn Cyrus received the Chain of Office for the Caribbean for a second year. There is a busy year ahead in SVG as preparations are made to host the 19th Caribbean Regional Conference in July 2007, with an estimated 150 delegates expected.