We are hoping to continue with an informal social group and would like to hear from anyone who is willing to host coffee mornings or organise social events.
It is with great sadness that we announce the intention to wind up the UKWC due to declining membership and lack of volunteers to run the regulatory activities.
We are hoping to continue with an informal social group and would like to hear from anyone who is willing to host coffee mornings or organise social events.
The UKWC would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Karen Davies for all her hard work and enthusiasm during her time as Patron of the Club over the last two years. It was a pleasure working with you Karen!
Karen is leaving Trinidad soon and has passed her role onto Caroline Alcock, Deputy British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago.
We welcome Caroline as our new Patron and look forward to working with her over the coming year.
I think it is a measure of the sort person that she was when I say Adrianne had great loyalty from the people that helped care for her during her period of ill health. Chancelor Clarence was her carer and constant companion for 17 years. I think I am right in saying she had the same driver Wayne for more than 20 years. I observed Wayne help Adriane attend a number of functions. He didn’t just simply drive her but ensured she was safe and comfortable once she arrived at our functions.
Personally, she impressed me in so many ways. As President of the UKWC and having exchanged messages with my 2 predecessors, I understand she offered us all her unwavering support. She was a positive presence at our meetings and attended them whenever she was able. For a number of years, she was a link lady for the South of Trinidad and she actively supported as many of the social and fund-raising events as she could, always bringing others with her when she was able. The last function she attended was the Clubs 50th Anniversary lunch. I think she thoroughly enjoyed the occasion positively encouraging the Committee to include the horse racing which was the highlight of the occasion, and I have very fond memories of the final picture taken by Rachel and James from RAPSO Imaging of her sitting proudly amongst us at the top of the stairs dressed in our hats and finery.
Speaking to Rachel yesterday, she mentioned many exchanges she had with Adriane recently on Facebook messenger. I think whilst we are all well aware of the pitfalls of social media. Adriane was a positive advert for it. I think Social media gave her a new lease of life. She was a Facebook friend of mine and always popped up with a positive comment or post on a photo of a holiday or a nature snapshot. With Rachel, she always had something positive to say about her nature photos, business ideas for new merchandise, she was genuinely interested in other’s lives and in providing positive encouragement.
Never one to allow herself to get bored or maudlin Rachel and Claire both told me that one of Adrianne’s hobbies was writing. She had completed her first book, based on a true story, it was Wilfred and hers love story. “I Came, Saw and Was Conquered by the Caribbean” by Elizabeth Berkeley and that she was in the process of writing her second novel. She was hoping to have them both published at the same time. I do hope that someone will ensure this happens.
She also had an eye for detail and another of her hobbies was sewing. She did beautiful embroidery, apparently bringing some of her pieces to one of the monthly meetings.
It was just a couple of months ago now that her dear UKWC friend Ann Witt passed away. Ann and Adrianne always used to sit together at our monthly meetings and whilst looking through the archives recently I found a photo of them sitting and smiling together at one of the Clubs functions. Well I hope they are sitting and smiling down on us now.
Rest in peace Adrianne, you will be sadly missed by us all.
President, UKWC, Speaking at the memorial service for Adrianne on 28th December 2017, J E Guide Funeral Home, San Fernando.
From the UK Women’s Club, I wish to extend my special gratitude to Patricia Eaton, I think you will all agree the Residence looks really lovely today and that is all thanks to Titch. Titch was also responsible for helping me plan the finer details of the event. I would also like to thank Maggie who has helped to sell the tickets, organize the parking, make the cakes and sort the gift bags. To Lucy, Annabel, Ingrid, Maureen and Maggie who have all pitched in and helped decorate the Residence today.
I would also like to extend my thanks to our Sponsors. To the High Commission for hosting us, to Erika and B&R jewelers for the wine, to Krystal Mawer for the gift bags you will leave today with, to Lorenza for painting the lovely 50th Anniversary coasters that you will take home as a memento of this special day, to Blue Waters for the soft drinks, to Nestle for providing a food hamper, to Massy the beauty hampers, to Rachel Lee Young and James Solomon from Rapso Imaging Limited and for being here as our event photographers and taking some really lovely photos for all of you to purchase and also some that we will be able to put on our Facebook page after this afternoon which will help to promote both the work of the UK Women’s Club and the Club itself. Also to Krystal Mawer Lopinot, Nestle, San Antonio Nurseries, and Ingrid for providing us with lovely door prizes. Ingrid also donated the chocolates and shortbread for the races and quiz and Lucy donated the champagne for the best hat. Last but by no means least I would like to thank Jolene Joy Calvert for the celebratory cake.
Thankyou also go to our entertainment this afternoon, to St Andrews School choir, our renowned Singers, to Ingrid who helped plan the races, and to Andrea Leigh who helped organize the quiz. I really hope I haven’t left anyone out!
Now, like every other speech I have had to produce since I became President in March 2016, I have had to do a bit of research regarding the club’s history. You will probably all be able to tell from looking at me that I wasn’t a member of the club from its inception! I have spent hours poring over the achieves and old newsletters and talking to more established members of the club. To be honest preparing a speech for today has been a daunting task. I wanted to try and do justice to what I have read and what has taken place over the last 50 years, it really is truly remarkable and a testament to many individuals determination.
Founded in March 1967 by a group of enthusiastic ladies the club had 2 very clear objectives, Friendship and Service.
Looking through copies of the old newsletters…. I am bowled over by the enthusiasm and good work that was done by many individuals. For example, in those early heady days, articles to be sold for the Christmas Bazaar were made by the handicraft team for months prior to the event even up to a year in advance.
There were Ideal Home Exhibitions, Balls, Burns Nights, St Andrews evenings and Gourmet food nights. One particularly impressive event recalled to me by Sonia Thompson was an Indonesian Gourmet Night, which was joint venture with the Dutch Community. With the help of two Dutch firms who provided authentic Indonesian ingredients for free and KLM who also flew the ingredients for nothing. Entertainment was provided free of charge in the form of a Wajang group direct from Surinam and a steel band group. Sonia here was in charge of the internal décor, I think large paper flowers are what she described that transformed the Country Club in Maraval into a place in Bali!. 700 invited paying guests and many more on the waiting list to attend, It had over a 100 helpers all members of the UKWC or their spouses. Helpers were asked to make their own sarong for themselves and their spouse….. I am only grateful this was before my husband’s time as I could just see his face now being asked to wear a sarong whilst carrying a tray of drinks! 20,000tt was made on the night, which was a lot in 1978. and the money raised was directed toward the building of St Dominic’s, for orphaned teenage boys, which was a half way house in Belmont. There were also Fashion shows and raffles. and Christmas and New Year’s parties.
Voluntary work done by members of the club included: Working with children at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital helping with swimming and reading at the school for the blind, manning the trolley service at the Port of Spain General Hospital. I even heard from Carol and Sonia about the building of a swimming pool by spouses and members for the blind children!
There were also large mass events for the disadvantaged, a Firework Display for many under privileged children, which took 18 months to organize largely due to the amount of red tape involved to try and coordinate the order and delivery of fireworks by boat over from the UK, not to mention how long it subsequently took to get a permit to drive explosives through town then find the appropriate security to protect for the safety of those observers and transport of kids from rural areas.
In those days there were multiple outings too. Turtle Watching, Asa Wright, Maracas picnics, Point-a-Pierre. Temple on the Sea and numerous factory visits
There were multiple clubs within the club too, handicraft, bridge, darts, tennis, choir and welcoming coffees, welcoming rum punch evenings, teenage BBQs.
Suzette also fondly remembered the car rally’s, organized by Isha Ali. Suzette, Sonia and Carol were all noted as participants. I can just imagine the atmosphere in the cars as they sped round Trinidad with their printed maps and clues! I would have loved to be an observer in any of their cars!
If you wanted to you could practically do something every day of the week. What I felt reading those volumes was the sense of community and the sense of comradery. It really was a case of the good old days!
In those early years and at the peak of the clubs popularity there were over 300 members and up to 130 individuals at every meeting that was held at the Hilton in either the ballroom or Scarlet Ibis Room. For those of you that are interested I have bought some of those achieved and bound copies of the newsletter today. They do make very entertaining reading and it gave me a lot of insight into the club in the early days after it was founded.
Over the years the Club has had 38 Presidents, 4 of whom are here today…. Carol Mcllwaine 4 times, Linda Hayton 3 times, and Erika Mouttet twice and not forgetting the lovely Rachel Lee Young who did her own time as President before becoming the Club’s photographer. At the height of its popularity it would have the same committee members that make up the Committee meetings today but each of those Committee members would have further sub-committee meetings for social, fund-raising and welfare. Only the welfare sub-committee remains in existence and meets regularly today. Talking to Lorenza who has held many positions over the years, at one point she was welcoming chair-person and had 8 others who served with her on the welcoming committee. Each person would present a sweet or savory dish, the name of which was supplied in advance to ensure no duplication occurred! Such precision planning and attention to detail. It will have been what the club was all about and what made it stand it stand out from the rest.
It would be almost impossible to single out any one individual to thank them for their years of service. I have had the pleasure and privilege of working alongside 2 committees and I all I can say is that is takes a lot of work and dedication and I would like to thank each and every one of you that has ever held a position on the Committee. Your hard work is much appreciated. not to mention the 4,500,000tt that has been raised for the good causes of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Newsletter was started in July 1967 each and every copy ever produced has been kept and the majority up until 2007 are bound and kept in the achieves, Mora Hutton was the Club’s editor for 20 years, having been secretary for the club for the 3 preceding years. There are many others too numerous to mention but when I spoke to a few of our long-standing members another couple worthy of a mention here are Liane Kalyaniwala who manned the library for many years but left last month so is unable to celebrate with us, and Valerie Seecharan who was President for 2 consecutive years and held many other positions too, but who is sadly too unwell to attend our celebrations today.
I do think it is fantastic we are here today celebrating the Clubs 50th Anniversary. It is testament to all the hard work over the years that it is continuing although I think we will all agree the club looks very different today to the one that was set up 50 years ago. The challenge moving forward is attracting new members whilst making sure we meet the needs of the older stalwarts of the club that will continue to be a part of it long after the x-pats have left. It is fair to say that the x-pats are currently a dying breed so the challenge ahead I think is perhaps how we morph into a club that survives despite the depleted numbers.
Personally, I think the Club is as important today as it was 50 years ago. Ex-pats still arrive, some with smaller companies, and even the larger oil companies, no longer use the relocation companies they used to use to, to ensure individuals settle into a new country quickly and easily. We can and should be those individuals first ports of call. We can offer them friendship and support.
And if we look at our other remit, our offer of service. Today in 2017 Trinidad is in the midst of a recession. There simply isn’t the money available from the Government or individuals to help the under privileged and self-funding charities in Trinidad and Tobago. Over the Clubs 50 years the UKWC has raised over 4,500,000tt, now more than ever what we raise can and does make a huge difference.
Dear Jill and all at the UK Women's Club,
I just want to thank you all for such a lovely send off at Maggie's home yesterday. I was very touched to see so many members who have become friends over the 6 years I have been in Trinidad and to receive such a beautiful and thoughtful gift. It will, of course, take pride of place at my home in Nottinghamshire and serve as a wonderful reminder of the happy years we have spent here.
Thank you also to everyone who couldn't attend yesterday but took the time to send a message or call. It really was appreciated.
When I arrived in Trinidad 6 years ago it was with a company new in country with no support system in place. It was very much a 'get on with it' situation. At a security brief at the BHC soon after arriving I was given the contact information for the Club and decided to pop along to the next meeting. That was one of the best decisions I made here as it led to so many new friends, happy times and great occasions. I enjoyed my time as your Vice President and President and hope that you feel, as I do, that Pip and I brought fresh ideas and a renewed enthusiasm to the Club and it's committee as well really tackling the admin and finances situations. I have been so happy to see this renewed enthusiasm carried on and get better and better in your capable hands Jill, and those of the excellent team you have around you!
Finally, the Club and I share an extra bond and that is we are both 50 this year! For me it's a bit of shock but for the Club, with 50 years of service and friendship behind it, it is a testament to what can be achieved when you work as a team. So, it just remains for me to thank you all most sincerely again and to wish the Club a very happy birthday and continued success.
It is announced with grief the passing last evening of Anne Hilton. She was a founder member of the UKWC, a past Treasurer, as I have seen from news clippings, and the Fifth President of the UKWC in 1972, our sixth year , as the first President served for two years. She went on to become one of Trinidad's out spoken journalists on the Environment, and preservation of the old colonial buildings. Anne was a very well known and honoured member and features writer of the Newsday team, mainly through her Arts and Environment columns, a campaigner amongst other matters in her active life since arriving in Trinidad.
I was privileged to be on Anne's team at the first consulations in the formation of The Environmental Management Authority (EMA,) at the Trinidad Hilton in the 90s. Our subject of course was the Land use, forests etc a subject close to her heart as she bravely charged the hills to confront the quarry operators, some without any licence to bring this fact to the attention of the public and Government through her extremely well written columns. One such area is again under threat and being championed by another UKWC member in the Maracas Valley at Ortinola, a public meeting I recently attended ,and wondered why Anne was not there. Now we know, she had been unwell for some time. I missed her columns on Art Shows, Restaurants, etc which she visited and rated. I asked her to include me if she ever needed a new dinner companion, but she had her regulars. Anne cheerfully covered our last Macmillan Cancer Coffee morning at the BHC kindly hosted by the then lady in residence and Patron, Annie Nash, after I had vowed to carry on the practice begun by the ever active past Patron, Tessa Harborne. This was in direct response to our members here in TT including myself, who were cancer patients in the UK experiencing the care of Macmillan Cancer Support. I believe over £500 was sent back in total, for those two events.
Anne will be remembered more fondly by the general public, the Environmentalists, Garden enthusiasts, (she brought weeds and wild plants to the fore), and local cooking through the herbs grown by her , photographed, and featured in her popular columns. With sincerest sympathy to her family, those who remember her in the UKWC, and loyal friends in the media. RIP.
Jacqueline A. Telfer
I'm very sad to report the passing of a former Patron of the Club (2004 - 2007) : Annie Holm-Nash. Her son posted on her time line the following words:
"To those who are not yet aware,
Yesterday morning after a little over two months after her diagnosis, Annie (Mum, Wife, Farmor, Sister, friend, and much more) passed away in St Francis hospice in Berkhamsted.
We are, of course, devastated by the loss of a bedrock of our lives. She had quite a colourful life, we are proud of her, love her, and we miss her. She was one in a million!
A funeral service will be held at the Danish Church in Regents Park (4 St Katharine's Precinct, London NW1 4HH) at 13:00 on Saturday 23 April. Please feel free to attend the service in remembrance of our Mum, to celebrate the truly unique Annie Olsen Holm-Nash"
Our sincere condolences go to Ronald Nash, former High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, and all Annie's family and friends.
Rachel Lee Young, member since 2000, past President, past Welcoming Chairman, member of Fundraising and Welfare committees, official UKWCTT photographer, ad hoc ticket designer, editor of UKWC Year Book, professional photographer at RAPSO Imaging Ltd, Mum of two boys!