Soroptimist Club members pose for a group photo with award recipient Jocelyne Arnell (centre) at the Club’s 25th anniversary dinner. (Robert Luckock photo)
MARIGOT–The St. Martin International Soroptimists Club celebrated its 25th anniversary with a fine dinner and entertainment for club members and invited guests at Grand Case Beach Club’s Sunset Café recently.
It was an occasion for Soroptimist President Annette Philips to give an overview of the Club’s activities and to thank various individuals.
“It has been 25 years since our Godmother, Elcie Claire, a member of the Soroptimist Club of Pointe à Pitre, brought together the founding members to create our Club in 1994,” Philips began. “During that beautiful evening of May 26, 1994, the International Soroptimist Charter was presented by the Union Française to the Club de Saint-Martin; that’s 25 years of work in the service of the women and girls of our community. This is something to celebrate! And, here we are tonight for this important event of which we should all be proud.
“I salute the effort of our Founding President Ammique Bryan, our Past Presidents and our Past Vice- President Overseas of the Union, Jacqueline Lubino Hamlet, who is absent this evening. They have worked tirelessly to uphold the values of Soroptimist according to our motto: “Understanding, Defending, Undertaking”.
“Among our activities, here are some of our key actions: Soroptimists put emphasis on education and this every year we award the “Elcie Claire Prize” to the best student in the 3rd grade in scientific disciplines at Collège Mont des Accords. On June 25, this award was presented to Jennique Gibbs, whom we congratulate and wish her good luck for the future.
“Soroptimists campaign against violence against women and girls: to this end and in addition to our various activities, we have placed a small monument in the Collectivité garden in homage to women victims of violence. We thank once again our President Gibbs for his help and agreement.
“Soroptimists celebrate International Women’s Day: An annual dinner is organized to bring the population together in a spirit of friendship and exchange on the importance and values of women; Soroptimists are all committed to sustainable development and a healthy environment: An awareness campaign is planned.
“Soroptimists have a very high regard for the International Day of Peace. We encourage peace education for the youngest through our annual activities in the Primary Schools. Soroptimists support women with breast cancer through our Pink Month actions and by funding care to help patients’ physical and mental health.
“These are our flagship activities without forgetting the sale of cakes, conferences-debates etc… to which our club contributes. As president of the club, I congratulate you my sisters for the work accomplished during these 25 years. Let us persevere in our projects for our women and girls and to open the way for new members.”
The evening began with the tradition lighting of candles by club founder Ammique Bryan, Murielle Arnell, Claudette Conde, and Annette Philips. The special award of the evening went to author and educator Joceleyne Arnell who was presented with a plaque for her steadfast contribution to education over the years.
Connis Vanterpool and Claudine Choisy entertained the diners with smooth jazz before the sharing of birthday cake and champagne to round off the evening.