President’s Message June 2021

Dear Ladies,

May started with a Bank Holiday which was hardly noticed as it seemed there was very little difference to lockdown with a strict, and necessary curb on our social gatherings. We are now just past the second May Bank Holiday and the weather is wonderful. It is so lovely having later sunsets bringing us nearer to brighter days and hopefully brighter times.

The number of online events available is staggering and our member clubs have made sterling efforts to provide us will a wide range of advice and entertainment. I expect that all of us watch a high number of Zooms according to our preferences. Naturally, for me FIWAL events and our member clubs events take priority. This month’s events have been very rewarding.

May 4th Women’s Clubs International (WCI) celebrated their 35th Anniversary. A splendid occasion which marked their impressive successful history. I greatly enjoyed their celebratory Zoom showing highlights of special events and occasions from all over the world. 

May12th Caroline Muir of The Women’s Council (TWC) presented an “Architectural” Quiz to test our knowledge of famous buildings and geography. This was both a very clever and fun event and stretched our knowledge to give us the ‘feel good’ factor when we knew or correctly guessed the answer.

TWC also held their AGM May 19th This was followed by a video on the wonderful woman’s Training and Scholarship Programme organised in Mumbai by ADAPT.  These courses have far reaching effects in the benefits to individuals, their children and the wider communities and the countries they come from. Unfortunately the pandemic is having heartbreakingly negative impact on the attendance of women internationally. You can read more on this and the Pan Arabic course organised by SETI on

The CCL on May 19th held a Commonwealth Quiz designed and compiled by Elizabeth Mullings. This was a great success and for amusement I will share three questions with you: 

1. In what year was Marmite invented? a) 1902  b)1929  c)1899
2. What country has had the greatest number of volcanoes? 
3. ‘Nollywood’ Nigeria’s movie industry is ranked in what position globally (from 1-10)?

On May 23rd Alla Sirenko, President of The Ukrainian Cultural Association in the UK  (UCA UK)  presented a very enjoyable and rare harp concert given by established professionals and students from the Guildhall School of Music. The music chosen was very interesting and involved a variety of harps played.  UCA UK are well established for the quality of their concerts on Zoom, I look forward to their live events, already at the planning stage, where the enjoyment will once again include a mingling of guests over delicious food and an opportunity to meet the talented musicians who perform to raise money for charity. Alla will be playing her own piano composition at our 35th anniversary celebration.

Please mark the date 8th June 2:00pm for FIWAL AGM and 35th Anniversary Celebration. Have a celebratory glass of your favourite ‘tipple’ on standby.

It has been a great pleasure to have been your President for the last two years and I will have many happy memories of the people I have met who have enriched my life through friendship and sharing common interests and in particular through the pre Covid-19 live events in my first nine months of office. I would like to warmly thank my colleagues for the outstanding support throughout my Presidency and in particular the way in which they have risen to the occasion of maintaining and expanding FIWAL during the extraordinary challenges of the pandemic. 

I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Warm wishes,


Siobhan Hamilton-Phillips

Answers to Quiz questions 
1. Marmite invented? 1902  
2. Indonesia   
3. With output of over 1000 movies per year ‘Nollywood’ is 2nd between Bollywood and Hollywood

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