THE DELTA KAPPA GAMMA SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL :: GREAT BRITAIN

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State News

 

Brixton Chocolate Delight

Alpha's first visit of the new year on Saturday 14th September was to a little chocolate paradise in the heart of Brixton. We decided to explore the Chocolate Museum just a few minutes away from the station,and to take part in a Chocolate Making Workshop. The Museum is open to the public Wednesday to Sunday and includes Exhibitions detailing the history of chocolate production, tools, packaging and advertising. You can just turn up and make your own chocolates following instructions – no booking! There is also a range of delicious chocolate from British, worldwide artisans and Melange Chocolate to buy.

This was a chocolate lover's heaven where, given our choice of chocolate (milk or dark), fillings and decorations, we could indulge in a wonderfully messy session creating our own chocolates which were made up into little gift bags for us to take home (if they lasted that long!). Definitely worth a return visit or two!

Penny Kinnear

 

Members went to the STIR Cafe, Woolwich Arsenal,  in August for a lovely lunch.

Raymond Sheehey, pictured on the far right, from Bridge Support, who runs the cafe with his wife arrived and we were delighted when he recognised some of us from the DKG state conference.

At our conference he had spoken to us about the work being done at the Recovery College to help people take back control of their lives. (See GB News, Summer 2019 page 11 for the full article).

His wife kindly took us on a tour of the facilities and we are pictured in the garden courtyard, right. 

  

 

Judith Sutton

Judith Sutton received her 40 years pin a short while ago, but in fact she has been a member of DKG for 42 years. She was Initiated in November 1977 at the founding of GB State. There were 10 founding members and eight additional Alpha Chapter Charter members, these included Judith. She was then Second Vice President and became Alpha Chapter President 1980 – 1984.

DKG was not new to Judith. In the summer of 2001 Judith wrote an article in GB News about her visit to an International meeting in Georgia and a re-visit to Florida to see her friend Callie Brown whom she knew from her 1957 teaching exchange in Florida.

In the 2002, 25th Anniversary Edition of GB News, we were reminded that both Judith and her friend Ellen had been very enthusiastic, loyal, friendly and active members in Alpha Chapter for 25 years. They had attended many state conferences and the Regional Conference in Malmo

Judith has become a reserve member, but still keeps her interest in DKG. She wrote to Barbara Kern about our revitalisation, ‘I was thinking back over the years and all the things we have done. Although we have always been low in numbers members have achieved so much, particularly internationally. I do hope the new revitalisation initiative is beginning to bear fruit’. Judith moved to the Isle of Wight around 2005 where she still resides.

Diana Bell, Alpha Chapter, August 2019

 

 

Kathy Hodgson thanks Sue Walton

 Future Plans for the Pestalozzi International Foundation.

Gamma Chapter has for many years been interested and supported the Foundation.  The students have always impressed us for their maturity, ambition to improve their home communities and the great and cheerful way that they take on our British Educational systemThe Pestalozzi village has long been settled in a grand site near Sedlescombe, East Sussex but as Sue Walton. the CEO told us that is all about to change.
     Funds to invite international students from very poor backgrounds to the Village were becoming difficult  to raise but the site was worth millions.  That has now been sold to PGL,  an outdoor pursuits programme for children.  The Pestalozzi Foundation is working with Atlantic College in Wales and the students will now study for their International Baccelaureate there with Pestalozzi providing the funds for all their needs. eg travel to and from their home country.

Sue's enthusiastic talk left us feeling that the aims of the Pestalozzi Foundation were in safe hands and, although some of the community feeling at the Village could be lost, every effort will be made to ensure that future students have all the benefits of a Pestalozzi experience.

 www.pestaozzi.org.uk

 

Gloria Redston. Gamma Chapter,   June 2019

 

 

Mary ready to go!

 

 

Mary meets Prince Michael of Kent

 

 Kathrin Hodgson Gamma Chapter

Mary Wardrop mixes with Royalty

On Wednesday, 29th May, Mary was invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

Mary was nominated several years ago by her daughter, Alison, for all of the voluntary work she has done since retiring in the mid-1990s from a primary head teacher’s post:

  • Sherbourne Close Sheltered Housing; management committee and Chair for 8 years
  • Reading to blind resident
  • Tunbridge Wells town planning; representing Hawkenbury
  • Founding member with Nick, her husband, of Hawkenbury Village Association
  • Neighbourhood Watch representative
  • Delivering newsletters and being a local liaison contact linking up with the Police.

The invitation was received while she was in Sevenoaks Hospital following a fall. However, nothing was going to prevent Mary from attending if Alison, her daughter, had anything to do with it! A new dress was ordered (see photo of Mary looking very glamorous), a wheelchair arranged, and off they set – Alison driving all of the way to Buckingham Palace.
     Despite slightly inclement weather – this is England, after all – Mary had a wonderful day, as you can see from the photographs. Of course, the hospital staff were also very excited at having a celebrity in their midst and wanted to hear all about the day when she returned.

Thanks must be given to Alison for providing the photos and captions and, of course, being the instigator of the entire day. What a daughter!

Update: Mary is now home and walking very well, aided by her zimmer frame. She attended church on Sunday. Mary hopes soon for her stair lift to be installed – do these require a pilot’s licence?

 

 

Mary amused by Prince Harry

 

Pat, Sue Arnold, Doreen

 

 

 

Penny Kinnear  Alpha Chapter

18 May 2019

BREATH OF LIFE

Singing for Better Health

Breath of Life is practical, therapeutic and creative, to help better breath management for people with breathing problems.
     At Alpha Chapter's latest meeting we had Sue Aldred and two of her colleagues, Pat and Doreen, talk to us about “The Benefits of Singing for Better Breathing”.  These ladies belong to the “Breath of Life” group which aims to help those with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Anyone with this or any other breathing problem is welcome to join – no singing experience needed. Members normally join through GP referral or “word of mouth”.
     Research has shown significant improvements in those who participate but as always funding is an issue. The group is reliant on donations, contributions and weekly subscriptions. Fundraising is key.
     The group originally started with three members, one of whom was Pat who was diagnosed with COPD after a chest infection which didn't clear up. This has now crossed over with asthma, needing inhalers and steroids. Doreen didn't have a specific problem, but decided to join the group after talking to a fellow patient whilst in hospital for an operation. Ironically she now has Interstitial Lung Disease as a result of accidentally inhaling vacuum dust which exploded in her face. However, she says the endorphins from singing are GREAT! Sue herself was a professional singer and was diagnosed with a breathing problem when she stopped singing, so started singing again. Sue, Pat and Doreen are not Facilitators at their meetings – they are Participants, as Faciltators need to be trained, which is expensive.
     An interesting fact is that many singers have asthma.

Our session with Sue, Pat and Doreen started with us going through a number of exercises and stretches to loosen and relax the body, ranging from shoulder shrugs to pulling silly faces. This then progressed to placing our hands on our stomachs and feeling how the diaphragm works as we breath in different ways. Finally, we sang a variety of phrases led by Sue, which we copied. We were complimented by Sue on our wonderful singing. In fact she agreed that as we were so good we could have a go at a “Canon”, splitting us into two groups. A great session, great fun and most of all extremely informative. The sessions run by this group would be a bonus to anyone not just those with breathing problems.

 

 

Anne Goldstein

 

18th May, 2019

Going Round in Circles 

Sue Constance is an inspiring Circle Dance teacher. She leads two local groups – one at St James church in Tunbridge Wells and one in Paddock Wood. She gave us a history of Circle Dance. The founder, Bernard Wosien, learnt traditional dances from around the world, created his own and took them to the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.
     Circle Dance was very spiritual – Wosien saw dancing as ‘meditation in movement.’  The choreography became known as Sacred Dances.  After Wosien’s death in 1985, the Circle Dance movement continued.  The repertoire is very wide, even including contemporary dances that use the songs of Neil Diamond, the Rolling Stones and Bob Marley.  The centre of the circle includes a cloth with candles and seasonal flowers.  The session ends with silence and moments of reflection.
     Sue was supported by enthusiastic members of her Tunbridge Wells group.  Gamma chapter joined the circle immediately and we shared a lovely morning together, dancing to world music such as the Yemenite Nigun Atik.  You can watch our dancing here  Delta Kappa Gamma Circle Dance .
     It was uplifting to dance together in happiness and to have a time of silence at the end to reflect on the DKG sisters who are experiencing difficult times. Our hearts go out to them.

Thanks to Robina Scahill for her filming of the video and help with photography.

        

Diana Bell, right, receives her award certificate
and Amber Rose Brooch from Liz Malik.

The Great Britain Achievement Award 2019

This award is given to a member who has given outstanding service over a number of years and is presented biannually at our Annual General Meeting.  Following Evelyn Goodsell, the last recipient, and other worthy members who have raised the profile of DKG GB is a hard act to follow. However it was decided unanimously by the votes cast that Diana Bell should receive this prestigious award.

Diana has raised our profile in numerous ways during the last twenty plus years that she has been a member.  Diana acted as Alpha Chapter President several times and GB State President twice. She has edited the GB News for two years, is our Parliamentarian and now Webmaster and has chaired the European Forum. Diana is a great ambassador for GB, attending European Regional and International Conferences, organising and running the workshop to set up the European Website and playing a leading role as Treasurer on the steering committee for the European Regional Conference held in Britain in 2007.

It was a privilege to have the opportunity to thank Diana for all she does with generosity and humility, and to present her with a certificate and a rose brooch in silver and amber, as well as one of our symbolic red roses.

Liz Malik

Gamma Chapter

 

 

Anne Goldstein

Aiming High -

Tracy Harvey – Portage Lead for Kent

We experienced a very positive session from our speaker Tracy Harvey, the manager of Portage provision for Kent. This is an invaluable home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with special educational needs and disabilities and their families. The name Portage comes from a town in Wisconsin, USA where the first home teaching scheme began. Portage has been established in the UK since 1976.
     We were delighted to hear that her service had not experienced cuts in funding, unlike many nationally. A growing number of children and families – 1085 in the last year - are supported by the organisation.
     Tracy clearly took us through the Portage Model she uses. This involves working with the family’s priorities, observing the child at play and planning play-based activities that address the child’s needs, step by step. Her philosophy is ‘less is more’. This values children’s very small but significant learning breakthroughs and wow moments. It made perfect sense to all of us former educators.
     We heard about the phenomenal successes of this early intervention approach and some of us had touching personal experience of Portage changing the lives of children in our families. A true teacher, Tracy took us through the Portage principles – including being positive, celebrating success and partnership working – by using some fun sensory props.
     Tracy told us, “You have to aim high for these children.”  After this session, we would all affirm that pre-school children with SEND and their families have a committed practitioner in Tracy and a local service that is doing exemplary work.

   

Anne Goldstein, pictured above, with junior librarians from Bishops Down Primary School.

  

 

   

    

Revitalisation

We have now started to make progress in DKG’s Revitalisation in Britain.

Phyllis Hickey attended our last State Conference in London, and inspired us to begin our process of ‘new beginnings’ by her enthusiasm. Carolyn Pittman, again in London, led a brain storming session which kick started our journey.

We decided to work on making contact with local schools. We had two purposes in mind: to continue the impetus of the International Year of the Woman (2018) by donating books about women in history to local schools; secondly, to raise our profile by introducing ourselves to these schools and leaving contact details with headteachers and librarians, asking them to display our literature within their staff rooms. 

Both chapters chose the same two books, with Gamma Chapter adding a third. Ten schools were chosen in each of the local areas. Already several packs of books have been donated. Our newest member (since September 2018) Anne Goldstein, has really made progress. She was the first to make successful contact with two schools near to her in Tunbridge Wells, and then wrote an article for a local newspaper,viewed here. She has really blown us away with her endeavour and passion.

Elisha Hogart, our youngest member, also enjoyed a great reception when she donated a pack of books to the librarian of a big Tonbridge school.

Other packs are in the process of being distributed and we hope that as a result, DKG will begin to be known in our areas. (Contact details, dates and venues of meetings including details of speakers and their topics, are all included in the cards for teachers which accompany the packs of books).

Sheila Roberts. Revitalisation Chair.

 

Jean Brushfield, Rosalind Day, Pat Johnson

 

Anne Goldstein. Gamma

Body Language

Jean Brushfield returned to Gamma chapter to give an engaging talk on ‘Body Language.’  She told us that recently she had muted the television while watching Brexit debates. This gave her the perfect opportunity to scrutinise the telling body language used by politicians.  
    Jean’s management course at Henley Management College had introduced her to the physical reactions we use in life and how these can be interpreted.  Open palms can show an inviting approach and mirroring another’s movements expresses empathy. Hands on hips show dominance. Handshakes can be an opportunity for someone to display power, when their hand is placed firmly above their opponent’s.  There were plenty of smiles when we tried this out with our DKG friends.
     We shared some of our international observations of cultural differences and body language. Some Chinese pupils may find it difficult to look their teachers in the eye and some African Caribbean children may look down when reprimanded, as signs of respect.  One of our ladies perceived that Filipino nurses used touch naturally to comfort distressed patients on an acute hospital ward.
     We also reflected on autism and how interpreting gestures could be extremely difficult for some students on the spectrum.
     Jean’s engaging talk encouraged us to analyse the movements we use instinctively and to look more closely at the gestures used by those in power.  I am sure that many of us will now be muting the sound during Question Time!

PS A review in the Daily Telegraph mentions the "American " circular gesture, which apparently means "OK" in the USA and parts of Europe, but is considered rather obscene in the Arab world.

 

 Rebekan Domer

 

 

 

 

 

Carole Stirling, Rebekah Domer, Kathrin Hodgson

Another Way of Life – a talk by Rebekah Domer

Rebekah Domer from the Darvell Bruderhof community, based only seventeen miles from us in Robertsbridge, Kent, came to speak to us.  Rebekah was a gentle and clear speaker who epitomised love in action and the message of Jesus.  Her simple headscarf and long dress, sewn within her community, exuded modesty.  Rebekah’s story of dedicating her life to others, which included personal sacrifice and loss, touched us all.  As she explained, she took a vow of obedience and availability when committing to Bruderhof.
     Rebekah traced the story of the Bruderhof community, from its roots in Germany in 1920.  The movement practices adult baptism, non-violence and peace-making, the sharing of goods and commitment to Jesus’s teachings. There are Bruderhof centres in USA, Germany, Australia, Paraguay, as well as Britain.
     We were fascinated to hear about the history of the pacifist group, its flight from Nazi Germany to safety in the Cotswolds in Britain and its relocation to Paraguay to escape some members’ internment as enemy aliens.  Despite terrible hardship in the jungle, the Bruderhof community created a missionary hospital for the Paraguayans, showing their commitment and love to all in need.
     Rebekah’s parents were real peace seekers, seeing themselves as ‘citizens of the world.’ They stayed with Dr Albert Schweitzer, who inspired them. They were drawn to the Bruderhof community for its spirit of love.
     As former teachers, many of us had a warm place in our hearts for Community Playthings’s finely crafted classroom furniture, wooden toys and outdoor play resources and we were delighted to hear how this helps fund the community’s activities.  www.communityplaythings.co.uk
     Some DKG members had visited Darvell and witnessed the caring nature of the children.  We were fascinated to hear how the children of the community are engaged with supporting dying elderly members, by singing songs and gathering flowers for them. The Bruderhof school also has Ofsted inspections – not surprisingly, it received ‘Outstanding’ for its quality of personal development, behaviour and welfare.
     Our time together was too short but we gladly picked up copies of Rebekah’s books.  She showed us ‘another way of life’ in her engrossing talk and some of us will certainly take up her offer to visit Darvell and see its values in action.

Anne Goldstein Gamma Chapter

 

 

 

 

Carol Dawson,  Gamma.

 

For the second time Carol has co-produced a musical for the village children in Mallorca, Spain, where she now lives.
The musical , called Operation Musical, was basically about the triumph of true friendship over, fame, glory and mobiles!!

Some forty children took part aged 6-16 and the performances took place at 10.00pm. It was all home grown talent.

Fredi Claus wrote the lyrics, arranged the music for all comers and directed the orchestra. Carol trained the choir and directed them in the performances.
It was all in Catalan

Carol thought the children were marvellous and it was great fun.

 

  

 

Herstmonceaux Castle

 

Nine members of Gamma plus two husbands had a lovely meeting at Herstmonceaux Castle . Although the castle is most appealing we spent our time, outside. in the attractive themed gardens.  The castle  was built in the 15th century and was unique at the time because it is built of bricks. It was a most impressive backdrop to our wanderings.
     First we admired the perennials in the Elizabethan Garden. Striking were the tall thistles. The raised beds of the Herb Garden gave us much to talk about as many of the plants, eg. Evening Primrose, had been/were used for medicinal purposes. This led to the  Shakespeare Garden, a Knott garden with plants referred to in Shakespeare's writings. The scents of the Rose Garden pulled us forward.  A wonderful display intermingled with seven sundials, the largest of which was a marvellous piece of design and timekeeping. We wandered happily through the trees to lunch  and chatter.
     There was more to come!  We walked around the castle moat and admired the floating Lily Pads a la Monet!  Well, that is an exaggeration but it did remind us of Monet and that has to be good.
A lovely summer's day enjoyed by all.

Gloria Redston.  Gamma Chapter

https://www.herstmonceux-castle.co

 

 Elizabeth Malik

On behalf of all Gamma members I am thanking Liz Malik for all she has done these past 4 years (2 concurrent biennia!)
     From an unsure start (don't we all start that way?) her constant efforts for the DKG GB have been magnificent.  Her enthusiam has shone through.
     We have consistently had the most interesting speakers and Liz has made a real effort to listen to the needs of the members and deal with all issues promptly and kindly.

Many thanks Liz.

Gloria Redston on behalf of Gamma Chapter.

 Diana Bell

Webmaster 2018 -----------

 

   

Written by Gloria Redston
(Gamma chapter)

THE GREAT BRITAIN STATE WEBSITE

www.dkggb.org.uk 

Back in 2003 it was decided we needed a website.  We didn’t really know what we were talking about because no-one had any idea how one was built!  There were few around.  So. I took a couple of web-design courses, bought a program, ‘Front Page’, and the GB website had a very tentative beginning with very few members visiting it.
The aim was to provide current information, easily found, lively and colourful.
       It was not until 2007,  the year of the Regional Conference in London, that our website really came into its own.  All the planning and arrangements were there for everyone to see.  Afterwards several photos and tributes were put up. The site certainly made communication between members much easier. It was up-dated regularly and was jogging along gently if not making a tremendous impact.
     Initially, the DKG websites were very small (about 4mgb) of memory but that has increased exponentially in recent years so that we are free to make them HUGE if we have sufficient material.   I never imagined that I would still be the webmaster in 2018! From small beginnings websites are now so common that everything can now be ‘Googled’.

       But  it is really time for a change with new ideas.
Over the past year Diana Bell has been learning how to use our website with the plan that she will take over the running of it on July 1st.  I am sure that it will be run creatively, and I am most grateful for her willingness and efficiency. Please let her know if you would like to help her in any way.

I definitely have enjoyed being the webmaster.  It has kept me in touch with many members so thank you to everyone who has helped me over the years

 

 

The Brunei Gallery, SOAS

A set of serendipitous circumstances led some members of Alpha to visit a fascinating exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, part of SOAS.

‘China and Siam, through the lens of John Thomson’ is the first London exhibition devoted to photographs of Asia, by the legendary Scottish photographer. He set off for Asia in 1862 and over the next 10 years travelled to Siam, Cambodia, and various parts of China, and his pictures give an extensive record of life in these regions. He was the first person to photograph Angkor Wat. He had to transport all the bulky camera equipment, glass slides, and the developing materials on these journeys.

We were lucky enough (by another serendipitous chance) to hear a fascinating talk by Betty Yao, the co-curator of the exhibition.

Altogether the visit transported us to another world.

Barbara Kern 

 


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Anne Goldstein, visitor to Gamma meeting

Works of Feeling,
Pre Raphaelite Book Illustration
Amanda-Jane Doran

Amanda-Jane Doran, a local speaker from the Royal Academy, introduced us to the fascinating world of Pre-Raphaelite book illustration.  She has explored this in her curated exhibition ‘Works of Feeling’ in the RA Print Room.                             
Amanda-Jane showed us how these black and white engravings, created from boxwood blocks, convey great emotional impact. They also were suited for mass production.  Millais’ illustration ‘The Parable of the Sower’, produced in 1863 for the Christian magazine ‘Good Words’ made us all gasp with its beauty and detail.
     The talk explored the ways in which artists and engravers worked together to achieve these stunning works of art, explaining how the engraving trade was a way for working-class boys to enter an artistic profession.  Some artists, such as the perfectionist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, found the relationship with engravers more challenging.
     Our speaker helped us to interpret some of the images. Burne-Jones’ ‘Summer Snow’ is a portrait of William Morris’ wife Jane and the stylised trees and leaves in the engraving reflect the work of Morris and Co.  Millais’ touching romantic illustration ‘Love’ (1857) conveys his deep feelings for Effie Gray.
     We were impressed by the technique of Simeon Solomon’s religious work, with its sophisticated intensity of light and shade.  We felt inspired to find out more about his poignant life and art, especially as our own Museum contains work by his older brother Abraham.

Amanda-Jane’s talk certainly celebrated Victorian book illustrations as “magnificent pieces of work in their own right” and we thank her for her enthusiastic and knowledgeable presentation.

 Selfie taken in the cafe at the Museum of Brands

 Selfie taken in the cafe, Museum of Brands. Diana Bell Alpha Chapter

 

Museum of Brands

Founded in 1984 by consumer historian Robert Opie, the display began with some very old artifacts from the 1800s and then progressed decade by decade up to the present day. We saw the beginnings of advertising through looking at everyday objects: food, washing, hygiene, TV – those tiny screens, Radios, bikes, cigarettes, alcohol, games such as Monopoly, toys – yes the Barbie Doll and much more. Some items, such as Rimmel make up from the 1890’s, started out much earlier than I expected. It was interesting how often Royalty was used to sell products and I hadn’t realised how many patriotic wartime games were made. It was all quite nostalgic and there was lots of chat on what we remembered, for me Virol and Reckitt’s Blue brought back memories of childhood.

We then visited a new display, Pack the Future, focusing on sustainable packaging. Packaging protects, preserves, helps transport goods and provides information, then it is usually thrown away after use. There is much debate now on its use. Brands are continually evaluating their choice of material, making refillable packs, improving recyclability and sometimes concentrating the product to use less resources, all helpings to reduce energy, waste and carbon footprint. The display showed innovations by brands and packaging technologists to limit packaging. It was interesting to see that some, for example Cussons Talcum Powder, was now in much larger plastic containers, others such as Roses Lime Juice Cordial I felt had lost their brand image by re-designing the bottle shape. We wondered what would happen in the future with use of plastic, would they go back to metal, cardboard or find something new.

We watched the film ‘Women’s Representation in Advertising’ which showcased 10 well-known TV Ads and looked at the gender stereotypes. It was interesting to see the change from the Fairy Liquid advert “for hands that do dishes”,  to BT’s Beattie and the ‘ologies’ through to Sport England’s (2015) ‘This Girl Can’ campaign which showed women of all shapes and sizes exercising and playing sport.

 

 
 Jo Corden

 

            JOANNA MARIA CORDEN 1947—2017:  AN  OBITUARY
Jo, a member of Alpha Chapter, died on the 16th December after a severe stroke on the 13th November. She had just reached her 70th birthday in August.
Jo was born in Bologna, Italy, where her Polish mother, having escaped the Russians during the war, had met and married an Australian Major. He was posted back home and she was given permission to live in the UK. She joined her brother, (who had worked with the Free Polish Air Force during the war), along with 3 year old Joanna, in Harrogate, Yorkshire.
After studying history at Sheffield University, Jo gained her Masters in Archive Administration at University College London. She worked for a year in Huntingdon before taking up an archivist’s job with Barnet Council.
Her flatmate introduced her to James Corden. They married in 1971 and had three children; Gregory, Andrew and Louise (my Goddaughter). Both boys are married, and there is now one grandson.
Having worked for many years as the archivist for The Royal Society, officially Jo retired in July 2017. Alpha members will remember Jo taking us into the archives and allowing us to see, and touch, many ancient documents, including those written by Christopher Wren, and introducing us to The Royal Society Summer Exhibition, what a treat.
Jo was a lovely, pleasant, kind and straightforward person with the most wonderful ‘velvety’ voice. Sadly she hadn’t been able to attend many DKG meetings for a while because of some mobility issues. She will be very much missed.

Diana Bell (Alpha Chapter)

 The Remarkable Story of C W Steel:  Japanese POW

Margaret Sargent kept us all rapt as she told the story of her father's experience as a Japanese POW during the Second World War.
Charles Steel had the misfortune to take part in two great military disasters of the Second World War - the retreat of the BEF culminating in the Dunkirk evacuation, and the Fall of Singapore.   Shortly before the latter he married Margaret's mother, Louise.   Within days of being captured by the Japanese, he began writing a weekly letter to his new bride as a means of keeping in touch with her, in his mind.
Margaret  inherited these diaries.   Part love letters, part diary, they describe the horrors of working as a slave on the infamous Burma-Siam railway and in particular the construction of the famous Bridge over the River Kwai.   She brought to life an uplifting story of a London Stockbroker who recorded both beauty and reality and shows how people can maintain their morale under even the most extreme adversity.
Thank you, Margaret for the vivid picture you had put in our minds of the horrors of war.
A full account of the talk will be in the January edition of GB News.
Gloria Redston   Gamma Chapter

 

Nine Alpha members and one brother braved the chilly weather to enjoy a guided tour of The Charterhouse, entrance pictured left. It is situated near the Barbican. Since the dissolution of this Carthusian monastery in the 16th Century, it has been a private residence, a boys' school and an almshouse, which it still is today. Our guide was enthusiastic and gave us many interesting facts. The residents are called brothers, although there is now no religious connection, they must be over 60 and in need of financial and social support. The latest resident is the first female and her real surname is brother!

Diana Bell, Alpha Chapter

 

 

Alpha Chapter had their meeting in the open on the 14th October. There had been a change of plan due to illness and our school tour had to be cancelled. We informed members - some of whom decided to come along anyway. After a delicious lunch we walked along to Dulwich Picture Gallery. The Gallery garden was an ideal spot for our meeting, the sun shone as we organised our programme for the next year. We then had an interesting visit to the Gallery. A good day out after all.

Diana Bell, Alpha chapter

 

Woodberry Wetlands

 Diana Bell Alpha Chapter

It was a perfect sunny day when Alpha members arrived at Manor Place Tube Station near Finsbury Park. Just down the road are the wetlands, opened in 2016 by Sir David Attenborough. This wetlands project was conceived by the London Wildlife Trust in partnership with Thames Water, entry is free. It spans 11 hectares of Stoke Newington’s East Reservoir and there is a reed-fringed lake and woodlands with the New River, built to bring water from Hertfordshire, running by.

There are many species of birds to observe and a café in the refurbished Coal House. We found it an ideal place for a pleasant walk.

Unity Harvey attends the  Norwegian State Conference 

 

I went to the historic Granavolden Guesthouse, which I recommend for its beautiful setting and superb food.  The Norwegian State President, Anne Marie Solstad, welcomed me to the Conference that was held there.  There were about fifty people present. It felt good to chat to friends I had met several times before and to meet new ones as the conference progressed.  The conference was well organized with “Generosity” as its theme.  The speakers, including the Dean Kirsten E.Almås who talked about generosity and how to belong to a community, were much appreciated; so were the musicians, particularly the singer and the violinist.  I enjoyed too, the report from Headquarters given by Hannah Fowler, Member at Large.  Participants were also able to visit the local museum, the church and walk around a nearby primary school. 
     When the conference was over, I stayed a few extra days with Anne Marie.  It snowed and I was able to build a snowman with her grand daughter, much bigger than the ones I can build at home.  The roads were clear so I was able to visit a brand new primary school - a treat, as it was very impressive!  I was also taken to see more of the countryside around an enormous long lake, another church, Babro in her house, a skilled weaver, a wood worker and a group of glass blowers.  My purse was much lighter when I returned but I shall enjoy looking at my purchases for a long time. 
I hope I shall remember this treasured journey for a very long while

   
   

 

 State Conference 2017 Highlights

   
 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy Haley
Gamma Chapter
died on 30th May, 2016

Area Representative for Europe
GB State President
First recipient of the European Achievement Award

 

For Memories of Dorothy

please follow this link