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Club History

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The History of the Soroptimists of Wakefield

Image 1 for The History of the Soroptimists of Wakefield
The Wakefield club was officially formed on the 19th February 1934 with Leeds as the mother club and Harrogate the sister club. It was the 28th club within the National Union of Soroptimist Clubs, with a membership of 24. The Charter was presented at the inaugural dinner on 19th March 1934 to the first president and founder member Miss Elsie Schofield BA (HM Inspector of Factories). The chain of office was designed by another of the founder members and depicts the City of Wakefield coat of arms, the fleur-de- lys.

Image 2 for The History of the Soroptimists of Wakefield
The members of the new club were soon instrumental in providing many services, including hospital visiting, transporting patients to hospital and also serving on many social councils. Donations were made to many charities, the first of which was a donation of the sum of 3 10s. to the Gresford Colliery Disaster Fund.

During the war years, the members gave valuable service to wartime activities and committees, especially after Dunkirk, when many of the troop trains passed through Wakefield rail stations. Tea and refreshments were served to the troops by the SI Wakefield members and they felt very proud to give this service.

Our sister clubs now include Castleford, Normanton and District as well as Harrogate and District and in 1987, we became the mother club of Garforth Elmet.

The above photograph shows a recent meeting of Wakefield club past presidents from the last few years. Back Row - Wendy Walker, Linda Phillips, Barbara Dawes, Jennifer Heppenstall. Front row - Cynthia Speeden, Judith Alce, Janet Sykes.

SI Wakefield has provided the regional council with four past Yorkshire-wide Soroptimist Presidents:

  • Mrs C Abell (1938-9 and 1948-9)
  • Miss L Cooling (1955-6)
  • Mrs J Heppenstall (2002-2003)
  • Mrs J Alce (2009-2010)