Soroptimist header
HomeLink to projectsPublic SpeakingLink to conferences pageClub NewsLinksOfficersArchive / HistoryContact



Bray People, November 2019

SI Bray fund raising March 2019

On November 20th. SI Bray held their local heat of the Public Speaking Competition. The two contestants who were chosen to go forward were from Colaiste Chill Mhantain and St. Gerard's.
Contestants in SI Bray Public Speaking Competition

Wonderful Soroptimist lunch in Bray. Minister for Justice and Minister for Health joined us for this event. Minister for Justice spoke about equality and the work we still need to do In our country. Soroptimist National President Sarah reminded us about The International day for the girl and the power of Michelle Obama's speech this week where she said successful men do not put down women

Wonderful Soroptimist lunch in Bray today. Minister for Justice and Minister for Health joined us for this event. Minister for Justice spoke about equality and the work we still need to do In our country. Soroptimist National President Sarah reminded us about The International day for the girl and the power of Michelle Obama's speech this week where she said successful men do not put down women.

Finalists regionsl public speaking competition 2016 Bray

SI Bray Public Speaking Competition Regional Final 2016

Anna Byrne & Emily Gallagher representing SI Bray at the Regional Finals of the Public Speaking Competition on Saturday 27 February 2016.

SI Bray Christmas lunch 2015

President Sarah with members of SI Bray at their monthly meeting, December 2015

SI Bray
organised a very successful lunch in the Glenview Hotel in Wicklow. It was a beautiful day in a lovely sunny location and the event was attended by 120 guests.

The sum of € 4500.- was raised for their 2 chosen charities: Marino School, a special needs school for children and Open Door, a workshop for adults with disabilities.

Congratulations to President Anny and members of SI Bray.

Evening in aid of Bray's Women Refuge.

President Anny Verwijs organised a very  successful and enjoyable evening in aid of “Bray’s Women Refuge”.

The party took place on the premises of “Kilcroney Furniture” in Bray.

There were a large number of guests as well as  members of SI Bray, North Kildare and Wexford.

Public Speaking Final 2014 / 15.

The Final of the Annual Public Speaking Competition (35th) took place in Bray as they were last year’s winners and thus hosting the event this year.

Congratulations to all eight students who presented very varied and interesting speeches on a number of set topics.

They captured the attention of the adjudicators and audience throughout the afternoon.
The impromptu was “weather” with many different ideas expressed very fluently by the participants.

For further information please see “Public Speaking”.

Bray Lunch
handover of insignia to new president SI Bray
Soroptimists attended the annual Bray lunch today at The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoire hosted by President Pat Mc Hugh. Guest of honour was National President Margaret Geraghty. Catherine and Breda attended from SI Dubllin.Everyone had a very enjoyable afternoon and proceeds will go to a number of local Bray charities.
Anny Verwijs and Anne Cloney at the Soroptimist annual charity lunch in aid of Wexford Marine Watch and the RNLI in the Ferrycarrig Hotel
President Patricia Wojnar being presented with her Past Presidents badge from incoming President Pat Mc Hugh, November 2014.

Irish Convict Transportation to Tasmania and Australia.

President Patricia SI Bray was very impressed when she visited the
Roses from the Heart project, while attending the North South Conference in Newcastle last autumn, this is a unique memorial to the 25,566 convict women transported to Australia from Britain and Ireland from 1788 to 1853.
The concept of Christina Henri, an artist completing her PhD in Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Tasmania, the project involves the making of a bonnet, similar to that worn at the time, to commemorate the life and contribution each of the transported women made towards the founding of a new nation. Already 15,000 bonnets have been contributed from all parts of the world, many of these from descendants of the original transportees. 
The National Archives of Ireland holds a wide range of records relating to the transport of convicts from Ireland to Australia covering the period 1788 to 1868. In some cases these include records of members of convicts' families transported as free settlers.

From 1788 to 1853, more than 25,000 women were transported from Britain and Ireland to Australia for crimes that required pity more than punishment. The majority were illiterate and were destined for a life of oppression and degradation unless they could offer a useful skill.

The sailing ship Rajah set sail from Woolwich, England on 5 April 1841, bound for Tasmania with 180 female prisoners on board.

‘Not a needlewoman myself I brought the idea to our local club. Anne Cloney, a beautiful needlewoman immediately volunteered to make bonnets. These photos of Anne at our recent Business meeting shows two of her bonnets. One for Liz Kelly and one for Mary Shields both of whom were transported on the Rajah in 1841. The bonnets will be posted off to Tasmania to be part of the project.

Regional Finals of Soroptimists Public Speaking Competition dedicated to Mildred O'Brien (RIP) who  co-founded this competition  back in 1981 as a joint North/South venture.

SI Bray and District hosted the regional finals of the Soroptimists Public Speaking competition in Open Door Day Centre Bray. The competition was generously supported by Bray Town Council
President Patricia and club members hosted a lunch for national president Noreen, who kindly made the journey from Castlebar to support the event, adjudicators Gemma Hussey, Carmel Schmidt, Caroline Hill and deputy lord mayor of Bray,  (also SI Bray member) Sarah Wray, before the competition.
Seven girls competed for two places to go forward to the finals of the competition in Thurles. The speaking was to a very high standard, all the girls being very polished and confident. They had researched their subjects well and were both entertaining and interesting.
The impromptu subject was ' What qualities make an inspiring teacher, in your opinion ?' This subject gave the girls and opportunity   for a little fun, but they handled the subject really competently.
While the adjudicators conferred the 40 or so guests were offered a splendid afternoon tea, prepared by the catering and social committee!
The conferring was quite short as the adjudicators were unanimous in their choice of winners: Eimear Dooley of Rathdown School and Cria Dowling of Newbridge College. All girls spoke so well but as Gemma said the two winners just had an edge on them. Needless to say SI Bray are delighted that one of their own is going forward, especially as Eimear comes from Rathdown school where our able MC for the day Pat McHugh of SI Bray teaches!

Bray & District's Annual Charity Lunch November 2013.

On a lovely sunny Saturday 9th November 2013 the ladies of Bray and District Soroptimists and their invited guests met in the Royal Saint George Yacht Club for their annual charity luncheon. The dining room looked resplendent as the 88 ladies sat down to a lovely lunch, everyone decked out in their best...a colourful lot!

President Patricia welcomed everyone and Joan Keating, one of our senior members said the Soroptomist grace before meals.

Hake was the choice of the day, very tastily prepared and washed down with a nice white wine!

After lunch National President Noreen gave an interesting and thought provoking address ( her first to a club function). Her theme for the year is Integrity, Dignity, Respect, aspirations for us all not only Soroptimists!

The guest speaker for the day was Grace Hall a photographer who is following and mapping narratives of the older woman. Grace is launching into a new career post retirement and looking her 7th decade in the face!! Her talk was lively, interesting and humorous accompanied by a  wonderful photographic show of some of her important works.

This was followed by a fun raffle and people began to drift off by about 4.00 after a very enjoyable time.

Grace Hall, Guest Speaker at Bray & District's Annual Charity Lunch.

"I have had a lifetime interest in visual culture, in particular the performing arts, dance, theatre and opera.  Following retirement, I decided to take the opportunity pursue my interest in photography full time.

I am currently in my final year of a four-year degree course in photography at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

My interest in the performing arts has a strong influence in my work.  Much of my practice explores the portrait, both documentary and studio, with a particular interest in the performance element of portraiture and the negotiated space that exists between the photographer and the subject in the studio.

My practice also includes other genres such as still life and dance. In 2010, I was appointed the official photographer for the College of Dance here in Dublin, photographing performances and publicity images for the College".  Samples of my work can be found on my website, my e-mail address is