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Presidents' Page


 Kathrin Hodgson

State Organisation President





State President’s Report, January 2019

Moving into 2019, and my final tenure as State President looming, my thoughts are turning towards the future of Great Britain as a fully functioning part of DKG. We had a really successful and well-attended meeting in October when Carolyn Pittman, our immediate past International President, travelled over the pond to help us focus our minds on Revitalisation. Of course, a single meeting does not resolve underlying problems of membership – what is important is to continue the impetus. We have two chapters remaining, in different areas, and it is from those two chapters that revitalisation must come.

Sheila Roberts, as chair of our Revitalisation committee, has worked tirelessly and with such enthusiasm, but it needs effort on the part of us all, in order to achieve our goal – increased membership. As I write, I know that Alpha Chapter has already agreed a plan of action; a group of Gamma members will meet at the beginning of January to decide their next steps.

I have always been warned – never go back – but this year our State Conference is to be held on Saturday 6th April 2019 at the De Vere Venues Devonport Hotel, Greenwich, SE10 9JW a venue we visited in 2017. Feedback from those who attended were extremely favourable, and it is in a central, easily accessible location. We plan to have several speakers, on the theme of Mental Health in Schools, as well as the Annual General Meeting.

You will be receiving a registration form via email in the next few weeks. Please put the date in your diary, and complete the form as soon as you can – it saves us a lot of time and worry when members commit early!

Another big event is the European Regional Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland from 25-27 July, 2019. I have never travelled to Iceland, but am looking forward to discovering a new part of the world. If you have never attended a Regional Conference, this would be a really fascinating place to start. By the time you read this, there should be more information available on the European website:

Finally, as my second biennium comes to an end in June, now is the time to think about selecting new state officers for the coming biennium; certainly the Executive Committee has had this high on the agenda for the past few meetings. However, anyone can nominate officers – you can even nominate yourself!

I wrote something similar two years ago and, because no-one stepped forward, I agreed to continue for a further two years as state president. According to international rules and our own byelaws, I am not permitted to continue beyond June 2019, and neither would I wish to. Fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm are required in order for our organisation to flourish.

Taking on the responsibility of state president may feel a daunting step – it did for me – but, trust me, the rewards are truly massive. You will learn so much more about the organisation and, more importantly, about yourself.




Penny Kinnear

Alpha Chapter President









Alpha Chapter President's Report January 2019

At our September meeting Barbara officially passed the President's gavel to me as the new Alpha President for the next biennium. Barbara was then presented with a gift with thanks from all Alpha members.

It was decided that a more structured approach to Alpha Chapter events would involve three Business meetings during the year, in September, February and July. Visits would move to weekdays on a more informal basis and some Saturday meetings would take place in the morning in order to make these meetings more accessible to others.

As this is a year of Revitalisation for DGK Great Britain our October meeting was a joint session with Gamma Chapter, led by Carolyn Pittman former State President USA, following on from Phyllis Hickey's inspirational session at the State Conference in April. This was held at Soroptimists, Bayswater and there was an almost full turnout of Alpha and Gamma members with those unable to attend keeping in touch by email. The meeting was a great success with everyone feeling positive and with lots of ideas about how we can move forward.

Our November meeting was a follow-up to the October Revitalisation meeting to discuss and plan “what next”. The main issue is “What can DKG offer that is new and/or worthwhile?” in order to attract working teachers to our meetings and possibly become new members. It was agreed that we would go with the proposed DKG Welcome Pack to include – an introductory letter, a postcard with DKG contact details and a gift of a book/books to be hand delivered to selected schools. Due to lack of available cost-effective central venues it was decided that we would change our proposed Saturday morning meetings to midweek “Twilights” to be held at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School in order to make them available to working teachers whose weekends are valuable downtime from teaching.

December saw us at Holy Trinity Church, Rotherhithe for our Christmas celebration planned and delivered by Dorcas and her husband Ray. This involved a very enjoyable craft session led by Dorcas, making a variety of Christmas decorations, followed by a delicious four course lunch expertly cooked by Chefs Ray and Barbara's brother Stephen.

Our January meeting will have Lindsay McHale returning to talk about “Music Therapy in Africa” and at our Business meeting in February we plan to proceed to the next stage of our Revitalisation project. We are hoping to have a speaker from MIND at our proposed Twilight meeting in March.


Carole Stirling

Gamma Chapter President  

2018 - 2020

Gamma Chapter Report, December 2018

Gamma chapter started their meetings in September with a fascinating talk by Rebekah Domer from the Darvell Community in Robertsbridge. She explained the history behind the community being established in Robertsbridge and shared some of their daily life with us. They are members of the Bruderhof, a Christian church community founded in 1920. There are communities across the World who share a common faith and way of life. There were, needless to say, many questions, especially around children in the community and their education.  She brought several books with her written by herself and other members of the community.  She gave them to us to share so we might better understand their common beliefs. Everyone agreed it was a very interesting morning.

In November Pat Jay came to speak to us about her second career as a Humanist Celebrant. Having retired Pat decided to try something different. She trained with the Humanist Society as a non religious celebrant and was able to conduct weddings. With further training she is now able to conduct funerals and baby naming ceremonies.  So she covers all the major stages in life! She talked about her beliefs and her relationship with the Humanist Society. This was another stimulating morning and in complete contrast to the September meeting.

Unfortunately our December celebrations were cancelled as so many people were unable to come due to unforeseen circumstances. I was very disappointed but I think that we’ll have to have a social in the New Year to just enjoy each other’s company. Val Shilling at Symond’s Court is quite happy for us to use their facilities at any time.  We’ll have to arrange a date.

The most exciting news at the moment is REVITALISATION. This initiative needs to be driven through in the New Year before we lose the momentum created by our special meeting in October. I would like to thank Sheila Roberts who is co-ordinating this for Gamma chapter. There are many exciting ideas being talked about and now we need to decide our way forward.  Sheila is liaising with Alpha so it is a combined initiative.  I think this is a very exciting time for us and I look forward to the future and everything it brings.