Anniversary like no other in club history

Women at the Inner Wheel Club of Ripon recently created a little bit of history when they celebrated their 75th Charter Day.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 2:37 pm

The anniversary was marked for the first time ever, via Zoom, because of social restrictions caused by the pandemic.

“While not quite as fully interactive as the live event, it was celebratory none-the-less,” said spokesman Sheila Whittaker.

“It’s amazing to consider the first Ripon Inner Wheel meeting was held in April 1946 and we have been going strong ever since.”

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She explained that despite the Coronavirus restrictions, all of the traditional ceremonial aspects were observed - the speeches and the lighting of candles symbolising light, friendship and service throughout the world.

Sheila added: “President Dorothy Matthews then cut the friendship cake, symbolic of sharing and of course birthdays.

“We hope to sample the cake (a fruit one) at our AGM in June at Ripon Rugby club.”

Guests, David Stubley, President of the Rotary Club of Ripon and Mrs Pat Mirfield Inner Wheel District 4 Chairman, each gave warm greetings from their own members and Alan Matthews delivered thanks on behalf of guests.

“All members are equally grateful to Alan who has been instrumental in ensuring the success of our zoom meetings,” added Sheila.

“Without his hard work and guidance we would have been really snookered!

“We didn’t have party bags or balloons but we did smarten ourselves up for the event in order to create as realistic an atmosphere as possible.

“An added treat was a wonderful harp recital by the very talented Lucinda Taylor which included Handel’s Passacaille, Baroque Flamenco and My Favourite Things among its varied and entertaining programme.

“It was a marvellous musical interlude and such a special, and different way to celebrate our 75th birthday.”

The Association of Inner Wheel Clubs represents 98,000 members from all the Inner Wheel Clubs in 103 Countries around the world.

Members usually undertake fundraising for their communities and worldwide aid projects.

Sheila added that the past year had been challenging for the club and its members.

“Our President Dorothy has quite frankly kept the club going this last year,” said Sheila.

“Without her enthusiasm and guidance, I believe we would have struggled during this awful lockdown without her.”