Much to everyone’s surprise at this year’s Charter, President Ruth and District Chairman Linda Elkin were piped in by Ruth’s brother in law, Pipe Major Robert Orridge playing Scotland the Brave. This up-tempo tune was a great way to start and set the tone for the evening. By the time President Ruth extended a warm welcome to our Club’s 46th Charter, everyone was buzzing and chatting away.
First things first though, the food orders were taken. The menu choices were based around hearty, comfort foods for a chilly autumn evening. With options of carrot and coriander soup, mushroom blanquette, beef bourguignonne, fondue leek tart, mars bar cheesecake and bread and butter pudding. The Hostess Restaurant has been hosting to our Charters for many years and they without fail, gave us an experience to remember. They were very much part of our planning process and we had great communication with the management since booking the event almost a year ago.
A Charter is in essence a birthday celebration for the Club. Warsop has a very traditional view of birthday celebrations and has kept some of the traditions that reflect and up hold the foundations and values of Inner Wheel.
- Fostering True Friendship
As President for this evening’s birthday celebration, Ruth had the pleasure of bringing to Inner Wheel the things she loves in life and the people who help keep her sane; mainly husband Dave, her family and of course her friends. The chosen theme for the evening was Autumn.
As the party got started Ruth introduced her top table guests which included three members of the Club, Secretary Christine, Treasurer Anne and Vice President Elaine. On either side of President Ruth was husband Dave, and District Chairman Linda who was accompanied by her husband Rotarian Chris. Also seated on the top table were The Rotary Club of Warsop, Shirebrook and District President Andre and wife Jackie, plus our guest speaker Sue Noyes and husband David.
When it came to welcoming the President’s personal guests Ruth stated that their love, support and friendship had helped shape her in to the person that she is today. Firstly, she introduced her twin sisters, Jill and Jane. As a younger sister she said, she could not have asked for a better pairing than her big twin sisters. But as the prolific Spice girls, one sang, “tonight, is the night when two become one”, Jane was there with husband Robert, but without her twin as Jill had undergone knee replacement surgery the day before the Charter. We all at Inner Wheel wish her well for a speedy recovery. President Ruth also introduced a life-long family friend Judith and Jill’s best friend Karen who would be responsible for sharing the details with Jill over coffee in the coming days.
Friends are the family we choose for ourselves and President Ruth fortunate to have two of her closest school friends Jenny, and Past President Helen with her on the night. Having grown up together from the ages of 11 they have been firm and lasting friends and were described as the embodiment of true friendship. Also introduced were honoured guests Jean, Emma and Susan.
Following the personal and top table introductions, Secretary Christine read out the apologies and carried out the roll call.
- Candle Lighting Ceremony
This is a very special part of this evening, where the Club upholds the tradition of the candle lighting ceremony. For those new to attending Charters President Ruth explained there will be four candles lit in the honour of Inner Wheel; to the Past, the Present, to the Future and to our International Friendships.
Past President Helen light the candle to the past. President Ruth lit the candle to the present, stating today is a gift, and wished everyone the gift of friendship and to the Club a very happy birthday.
Past President and Charter Secretary Jean light the candle for the future. It was a special moment to have one of the Club’s wonderful ‘golden oldies’ speak about the future. Jean said that as Inner wheel moves in to a new world of technology, we (the members) must move with it. She reminded us that as we see the candle to the future alight tonight, we should not forget what has gone before, but appreciate what remains and look forward to what comes next. In her address she asked that the future give us the strength to move ahead in our clubs, feeling grateful for the past but looking forward to our future.
- International Understanding
President Ruth joined Inner Wheel in the year International Service Officer Sue was President so it was very special that, Past President Sue to light the candle on this evening to International Inner Wheel.
After the candle lighting ceremony, the meal was served. Past President Joan contributed a beautiful grace to the evening. Joan is one of, if not our most ‘golden oldie’. Not all Inner Wheel members are able to contribute in ways they have previously, whether that be due to age, health or simply time and other commitments, but any voluntary contribution is very much valued.
Following the meal, which was delicious, Mr Dave Riches stood and gave the loyal toast to her Majesty the Queen. District Chairman Linda gave greetings from District 22 and looked back over the years at the significant ladies who had been in post when President Ruth joined. Rotary President Andre also brought greetings from the members of Warsop, Shirebrook and District Rotary Club.
- Personal Service
Our guest speaker Sue Noyes from The Ambulance Staff Charity spoke briefly about her role as Chief Executive Officer of East Midlands Ambulance Service. She spoke about the values of service and how this as an Inner Wheel value was very much akin to her own values. She also said she’d wished she had known about Inner Wheel when she lived in Retford, and gave a shout out the ladies from Retford Club. Sue said working with the people who served the general public, whether that be on the front line or as support staff, something had certainly gotten under her skin. When she left the Ambulance Service, she wanted to help give something back to the staff and joined TASC.
Sue very graciously cut short her speech as the evening, with much fun and friendship going on in the room had run a little over time. She spoke from the heart and with empathy and compassion about the young charity that TASC is and how the staff at all levels are seeking out assistance from mental health counselling, bereavement counselling, financial advice, and much, much more that TASC can offer.
We presented Sue with a donation from the Club for TASC and asked members and clubs to consider whether they could support TASC as at some point we are pretty sure everyone of us in the UK will have had need of those men and women in green. Whether for ourselves, our family, our friends the ambulance staff are there are the start of some lives, at the traumas, accidents and emergencies in life and sadly, may need to be there at the end of some lives.
- Vote of Thanks
President Ruth thanked everyone for coming and, much to the disappointment of the members who all night had been wondering who the recipients of the fantastic pumpkin table decorations would be, presented each of her special and personal guests with an arrangement.
Christine and Sue made the table arrangements a reality from the vision President Ruth gave them in November 2017. The flower arrangements were incredible and our two ladies never fail to amaze with their talents.
Shirley and Christine, also produced two stunning arrangements for our local church, in memory of members.
Inner Wheel member Pat from West Ashfield Club gave a wonderful vote of thanks to the Club from our guests and read out a Maya Angelou quote ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what yousaid, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ And from Warsop, we hope we left you all with a feeling of warmth, friendship and fun.
President Ruth, is in the nicest possible way, a crafty lady. She made all the named place cards, and the programmes for the evening.
She also included a little envelope on the inside of the programme in which she had selected a few of her favourite wild flower seeds including rubdeckia, cornflower, echinacea, sea holly, and ranunculus to name a few. She asked that our guests plant these flowers and watch them grow, for this evening she had likened these wild flowers to the future of inner wheel
‘We both must allow ourselves to grow in places,
that people thought we never would’.
We like to think our guests felt the evening was a success and hopefully one they will remember. These events never are completed without the voluntary services of members of Inner Wheel. In particular this year the Charter Secretary Jean who has the blue print and timings of this evening down to perfection. The Treasurer Anne who adds, subtracts and divides the money, some times on a daily basis as the numbers change, the president wants to give donations and the general finances of paying for such an evening. This year as the Secretary was new in post and would be speaking from the top table for the first time, Christine was by President Ruth’s side throughout. On the day, whilst President Ruth wanted it to be a suprise for all members, Christine and Sue our florists, Sue our ISO and Jean set to work on the room for everyone to enjoy.
Anyone who is considering being President for Inner Wheel would be fortunate to have a supporting network around her, as we have at Warsop. Our incoming President in July Elaine, will have this wonderful Charter Committee to look forward to working with. We truly are a very lucky club that works hard whilst working wonders.
If you would like to see Warsop in action first hand, please consider coming to a monthly meeting where you will be welcomed as a guest. Or if you are local and can attend one of our upcoming events, we’d love to see you there. Go to our joining and contact page for more information. Or to one of our Inner Wheel Websites for your nearest local District 22 or national GB&I club.