President’s Message February 2021

Dear Ladies,

As I write this in late January, it’s snowing in London and heavy coverage is expected. Whilst it all looks like a picture postcard of winter wonderland, it is not good news for the many who are out of work, home schooling, or have vulnerable people to care for. Let’s hope that some people will be able to take a light hearted opportunity to take a small step back to childhood and make a snowman. 

The Covid Virus (C-19), which we thought we were on route to defeat, has mutated.  Therefore, whatever timescale we were planning to once again socialise and to reverse working from home, socialising is now pushed further away. I see that Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of NZ has closed it’s borders until 2022. She has already been very successful in controlling the spread of C-19. Having closed the borders in mid-March she has said they would not open again until New Zealanders were “vaccinated and protected”. A brave and purposeful plan. 

Increased transmission of the novel variant will be a challenge to keep up with. We already have ‘silent carriers’ who test negative and have no C-19 symptoms. You can understand why inconvenient lockdown matters, the alternative could be much worse. 

We have always been at war with diseases and more often than not we win, but some such as Malaria, Hepatitis, Ebola and HIV/AIDS and Influenza bring a heavy cost to human life. Those of us in the UK are fortunate as through the NHS we have the means to vaccinate for childhood illnesses from the age of 8 weeks with top up’s at various stages up to and through university to the age of 25. This ‘herd immunity’ is our main strength in survival against our microscopic hosts. We are fortunate to have dedicated scientists continuing the battle towards positive solutions. C-19 has provoked us and challenged us, but as with other viruses, C-19, as a pandemic, it will come to an end and if it crosses our borders again we will be prepared. 

It is with regret that due to C-19, the Australian Women’s Club had to cancel their acclaimed International Women’s Day event. However, they have much to celebrate. On 29th January the ancient Aboriginal site of Wurdi Youang was discovered in Little River, between Melbourne and Geelong. In essence it is a giant solar arrangement made of basalt stones, a 50m ring marking the annual solstices and equinoxes. It may be the world’s oldest astronomical observatory and could date from the Palaeolithic age making it older than Stonehenge. 

It was good to see so many clubs represented at our January board meeting. One of the outcomes of the meeting is that we have a new initiative. This is to ‘flag up’ a paragraph about each club, to draw readers to your website. Up to three clubs will be featured each month. Clubs who would like to take part will be selected on a first come first served basis. 

On Tuesday 23rd February 1:00-2:30 we can look forward to The Art of Power Dressing: by Meridith Towne, a Costume Historian and Dressmaker. Meridith creates costumes for museums, Opera, weddings and parties. The poster has already been sent out and I suggest you read her very interesting ‘About Me’ section to see how a young lady who started out by studying Archaeology at university became passionate about women’s history as told through fashion. I very much look forward to seeing you at what promises to be an interesting and very entertaining event  and if you are “Zoomed out” I recommend the perfect solution, see below.

I have some very good news about two of our executive committee members.

Ameeta, our very efficient Hon. Secretary has very quietly, behind the scenes, managed to create a superb collection of luxury candles ‘AVES’. The photo shoot has taken place and this beautiful product is to be featured in both The WORLD of Interiors and Good Housekeeping. The very attractive website displays 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free enticing aromas; I love the idea of “Zoomed Out” My order has been placed and Birthday presents solved. . Very well done Ameeta!    

Book Publication: The Vegan Iraqi Cookbook by Dr. Lamees Ibrahim. From her early days as a scientist, Lamees was mentioned in ‘Who’s Who in the world’ for her contributions to the advancement of medical sciences. Then, she turned her talent to cuisine. Her latest book, The Vegan Iraqi Cookbook, is the first of its kind to be published in the world. The easy-to-follow recipes are adorned with sumptuous specially commissioned photography throughout. It is full of authentic recipes that have been handed down through the generations, developed and enriched over time, and infused with cultures of different eras. This beautifully produced book is also a narrative of a rich fusion of history, health, culture and storytelling. Publication release day: Tuesday 2nd February 2021. ( Many congratulations Lamees!

Finally, I have a message and a quote from Jocelyn. 

Last year is worth forgetting, this year is worth looking forward to!

Wishing you all a very happy February!

Warm Regards

Siobhan Hamilton-Phillips

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