At the District 22 Rally, Chairman Vera asked for as many ladies as possible to wear hats. Well the modern Inner Wheel lady is always up for a challenge whatever her age, and we jumped at the chance. Out came the cheeky little fascinators and some rather lavish hats. On came the posh frocks, we fished out those fabulous darling accessories and we endured the obligatory, stunning but uncomfortable shoes, with a smile.
We are never quite sure how we manage it, but another day of fantastic sunshine was given to us. It wasn’t the warmest day, but every one was wrapped up in the warmth of friendship, laughter and smiles as the ladies arrived at St Mary’s Church in Greasley Nottinghamshire. They were clearly oblivious to the chilly wind.
The Rally is always attended by the Association President. This year President Liz Thomas arrived with our very own Warsop Member of Council Gloria and District Treasurer Elaine, also from Warsop. Elaine kindly also hosted Liz from her arrival on Sunday and escorted her to the District Exec Rally dinner on Sunday evening.
Following the service, where the D22 Choir sang beautifully, everyone made their way to Eastwood Hall for the Rally reception.
The tradition and formal aspects of these days are greatly appreciated. The Association President’s speech is always the key note speech of the day and members eagerly awaited. But before that we all ‘suck in’ ‘push up’ and smile for the cameras.
Being a positive person, President Liz described herself as a glass half full sort of person; she described herself as a Norfolk broad. She said she was very proud to be following in the footsteps of three D22 Past Association Presidents and she felt a strong connection with our District. She also said she had thoroughly enjoyed Conference and working closely with Margaret Day of Alfreton D22. However, she did the hardest part of conference was to keep the Margarette Golding Award secret and hidden from Margaret her Conference Chairman.
In her rally address President Liz said, that Innerwheel women have always been modern women and six years ago, the Association chose to widen their membership. As a result it has become stronger having loosened the ties with Rotary. But, she added that Inner Wheel will never forget its ties and hopes that we will always continue to work together in our quests to support our communities.
It was from the heart that President Liz said that we should all encourage and urge our Clubs to take opportunity of the open membership, whilst supporting and including our existing members; both worked hand in hand and needed each other to move Inner Wheel forward.
As we are all busier than we have ever been, President Liz suggested that we might like to try job sharing of the roles in Committee. She acknowledged that today’s women are career minded and may only consider joining Innerwheel later in life. But we need to harness that mindfulness and encourage them to engage with out events and join us.
It was great to hear President Liz talk about modern technologies too and the use of websites and social media to promote Inner Wheel. She asked that we be proactive to achieve a common objective to shine out and promote our Inner Wheel image. She even suggested that whilst we have the iPhone, the iPad and the iMac, that we might one day have an iWheel… Who knows?
It was refreshing to hear that she encouraged the clubs not to have a business agenda at each meeting. Use this time, she said to engage and develop friendships with new members, discuss and engage with your speakers. She suggested ways to be more active or be noticed in our communities such as helping the environment by plant bulbs or litter pick in a local area, or perhaps create a community awards.
But her final words really hit home and made everyone giggle about getting new members. Tell friends, family and strangers about us she said. Tell them about us, what we do. Invite them to our meetings. Then insist, persist and enlist.
It was a wonderful address which left the rally audience feeling happy and hopeful. The day ended with a vote of thanks from 1st Vice Linda before everyone said their cheerio’s and gave goodbye hugs.