Happy New year to you all!
A reflection of what it means to be part of Inner Wheel, one of the worlds largest voluntary service organisation, with over 108,000 women in over 100 countries across the globe.
Why Is 10th January International Inner Wheel Day?
In 1923 a spark was lit by a conversation and remark made over a speech at dinner. An invitation was extended to the wives of the Manchester Rotary Club for them to start thinking about forming a Club of their own.
At an inaugural meeting on 15th November, the dream became a reality. A temporary committee was established, and the first President Elected, Mrs Margarette Oliver Golding, accompanied by Mrs Mabel Nixon, Secretary/Treasurer.
Imagine the conversations that took place in the coming months, the planning and ideas that would have flowed?
At the second meeting held on 10th January 1924, the Club announced that they had already raised £11 from its first fundraiser at an America Tea and that 80 woolly garments had been sent to St Mary’s hospital in time for Christmas.
This meeting must have been alive with discussion and excitement, as they shared their first service opportunities and planned for their way forward. The most significant announcement is the naming of their new Association: “We shall call it Inner Wheel.”
This group of women in Manchester, with the passion for establishing a sense of belonging and friendship for the women in their community along with the desire to offer service to those in need, became the first Club of women in action sharing friendship through service.
It did not take long for this to spread across the world and establish in many countries, including the first Club formed in New Zealand, in Napier, on 27th November 1936, 85 years ago.
Every 10th January since 1970, Inner Wheel members worldwide celebrate International Inner Wheel Day.
International President Helena Foster (1969-70) was the inspiration behind this day of commemoration. In her letter she wrote :
“I would like to ask all Members of Clubs throughout the world to link together in ACTION on 10th January. I have chosen this special day because it was on 10th January 1924 that the Mother Club Inner Wheel, the Manchester Club, England, first adopted the name Inner Wheel. It can be interpreted in any way you think fit – in group or individuals - giving personal service to someone who needs you – planting a tree or flower to beautify some corner of your land or just the simple act of writing a letter. I am sure that there is inspiration and encouragement to be gained by the knowledge that your fellow Inner Wheel Members throughout the world are at that moment joining together to extend service and friendship.”
In 2022, we commemorate 98 years of Inner Wheel. We are still strong and have an exciting and inspiring future ahead of us as we continue to strive to follow the three objects of Inner Wheel
- True friendship
- Personal Service
- International Understanding.
Whether you're able to meet with your Club, or take a moment of reflection on Monday 10th January, wherever you may be, may you be inspired by the greatness of the organisation that you are a Member of.
We thank the women of Manchester, who in 1924 began to share their vision and their dream began to grow. It is up to us to keep the flame burning. Their vision can continue to grow and spread through our communities and beyond with our actions.
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” Joel A. Barker
Happy Inner Wheel Day to you all from the IWNZ National team,
Michelle, Aly, Dot, Judi and Anne.