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Each year the national public speaking competition enjoys the support of the Bandon and District schools. This year, brought great joy to Soroptimists in Bandon as the local finalist in the competition went on to win the regional final and was due to compete in the national finals before the pandemic intervened. Well done Caitlin Canavan O’ Driscoll. The soroptimists enjoy the competition because it prepares girls to play a prominent part in public life.

President Miriam Murphy continues to motivate members and leads by example at conferences to challenge effectively when the occasion requires it.  Hosting a cultural evening recently, she recited “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple…” Kathleen O’Driscoll, recited “The Scaffolding” by Seamus Heaney. The club’s monthly meetings have moved to Saturday at lunchtime on a trial basis, to see if its preferential to evening meetings.

The multi- denominational approach to the International Women’s Day of Prayer was very inspiring this year. The guest speaker Collette Cunningham had worked in some African countries. The service was composed by women from Zimbabwe and a student nurse from Zimbabwe also spoke. She was delighted to see that the people of Bandon were praying for her people and the problems of her country. Refreshments were enjoyed and a new member was welcomed by our President.

We are relishing the memory of last Summer’s outing to Killarney House and Gardens which had been refurbished recently. The house was built as a replacement for Kenmare House (1726) as the seat of the Earls of Kenmare. The site was chosen by Queen Victoria on her visit to Ireland in1861 Beatrice Grosvenor CBE was a member of SI Killarney and lived in this house for years. She died in1985. It was a lovely day and we wait to see what the pandemic management advice will allow us to do this Summer. 

Bandon members at the Cultural event in Miriam Murphy's (President) house together with her guests.

A number of fundraising and social meetings, including a summer party and a charity walk (raised €1,100 for Bandon Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber) were organised during the summer months.  In more recent times,  a gramophone evening was held at  the local golf club, at which  €1,000 was raised for the charity Aid Bandon Children. 

In early December, a visit was received  from two members of the Widness Club near Liverpool, Marjorie and Lillian.  One of the members entertained the ladies at Killarney golf Club on the first of December, and later, the President  met the ladies with several other members at Mary Rose's Cafe in Bandon on the 4th of December. See  photographs of this event.  We gave the ladies a gift of Bandon Calendars.  One of the photographs represents Lillian wearing her past president Soroptimist badge.

Prior to Christmas, one of the members threw a social evening at her home with a silent auction, which raised approximately € 700 for local charities.  Since then,  our Christmas party took place with a delicious meal at the Poacher's Inn and gift exchange.  In the next few weeks  the annual Public Speaking event will take place  and a Bridge night which will benefit St. Vincent De Paul.  Other forthcoming events include the Women's Day of Prayer on Friday the 7th of March.  Two other social evenings are envisaged, including a wine evening and a film night.