Conference 2015

Bournemouth was bathed in sunshine when we arrived  and continued to shine for the entire Conference period. Many ladies enjoyed an extra day in the sun  by  choosing to travel on Sunday to avoid the traffic. 

Monday 20th 


The day began with the Golf Competition at the Meyrick Park Golf Course  and Sheila Craine Walk. Many ladies enjoyed the walk to Eastcliffe or the  guided tour of Bournemouth some even walked to Boscombe.  The rest of us enjoyed sitting on the beach and eating ice-cream in the sunshine. We then made our way to the BIC along with 2095 other  attendees to collect our registration packs. The hall of friendship buzzed with  attendees visiting the stalls and catching up with old friends.


Later on in the afternoon many ladies joined in with the IW Balloon Event  where hundreds of yellow and blue balls were given to  young and old alike to help promote IW. After our meal in the evening we made our way to meet all of the members from District 7  and those from District 11 at the Get together. Chairman Margaret had organised a Quiz  that we completed in groups . We all enjoyed the fellowship that such evenings bring and were all gracious when a team  mainly from District 11 won the 1st prize. 




Tuesday 21st 

Tuesday morning saw the start of the Conference proper with the "Celebration of Friendship and Service". This year the service was conducted by Reverend Diane Weaver who spoke passionately about how ALL children should be given a chance in life to prosper and that IW was doing that in many ways particularly in supporting Homestart this year. Our singing was   accompanied by the Salvation Army Fellowship Band and the District 4 Choir. The collection this year was for "Music and the Deaf" which some of us thought a strange concept but later in the day  we were all amazed by how this was possible. 



The morning continued with an opening address by Association President Thelma who remembered Joy Whowell  who passed away earlier this year. Joy was  Past District 7 Chairman and also  Association President. 

Thelma's address was followed by the Lord mayor of Bournemouth and then IIW president Abha Gupta gave her address. Abha began by congratulating  Pam McConnell on receiving  an  MBE in the New Years Honours list  she spoke of how the Light the Path theme had been embraced by members in bringing hope and happiness into the lives of many and how supporting  the charity Homestart  was an example of this.



The first guest speaker  Pru Leith , a patron of Dignity in Dying spoke  with humour about her mothers dementia and with passion and sadness about her brother who lost his battle with bone cancer.



Pru , an accomplished restauranteur, author and TV presenter  entertained us with her stories and of life in general. 



Tuesday afternoon began with a presentation from Malcolm Wells MBE of Canine Partners. Malcolm, clearly passionate about the work of Canine Partners explained how  the Charity train their dogs to carry out the most complex tasks such as loading and unloading a washing machine, assisting their partner to dress and undress, sit up and get out of bed. 



One of the Partners , a young mother, disabled  following an accident in a school car park told us how having one of the Canine Partner dogs had  given back her role as a mother and wife so that she could continue to be part of the family unit. 



The afternoon continued with an address from the President  of Rotary International  in GB &I ,Peter King , followed by Dr Paul Whittaker, OBE founder of the charity Music and the Deaf. 


Paul was such an inspirational and humorous speaker  it was difficult for us all to comprehend that he was in fact  profoundly deaf himself.  In 1988 he founded the charity to help deaf people access music and the performing arts. He finished by signing  to a beautiful song which had us all in tears he was then given a standing ovation.




President Thelma then presented Paul with the  money donated at the service of friendship  a total of £9,035.28. ( Paul has sent Inner Wheel a letter  of thanks which you can read by clicking  here


The afternoon finished with the Golf Competition Presentation and to all of our delight was won by our own District 7 member. Sallie John President of St Neots.  


After a  quick meal we were all back out in the evening to be entertained by 4 young  singers "Masquerade" who sang songs from the West End, Broadway and Hollywood. A very good end to an excellent day. 


Wednesday 22nd 

The morning session began with t he AGM  with  all of the Proposals put forward being carried by a majority vote. 

It never ceases to amaze how much Inner Wheel does for the good of others and this was underlined by the £1,222,099.87 raised  for UK charities and the £74,785.93  raised for Hope and Homes  and £363,000 for other International Charities.


After lunch a presentation was given by HomeStart the President Charity this year. A cheque of £8,000 was given with £10,000 having already been given with a promise of more to follow. 


The Rt Hon. Ann Widdecombe was our 3rd guest speaker and she spoke about her time in politics, on Strictly Come dancing and other TV shows  all with humorous anecdotes.




She finished with a question and answer session. A member from Kettering Huxloe asked " With 50% of the population women how do we get 50% women into Parliament ? "  Her  reply was instantaneous  "It's not the quantity of females in Parliament but the quality that matters."  an answer met by rapturous applause.



Our own Zena Coles  introduced Assoc. President Thelma who then gave  a heartfelt address. She spoke with warmth and encouragement  for Inner Wheel members to keep doing what they have always done. Being a Friend to one another and to those less fortunate than themselves.


The conference concluded with songs from the New Forest Children's Choir. 



An Evening of Glitz and Glamor was exactly that !!!  









Another fabulous conference over ...lookout Glasgow here we come. 
2012 Inner Wheel Distict 7 Bournemouth 2015.