Joanne Gaudin and Joy Claridge, Inner Wheel Club of Ahuriri District NZ293
Joining Inner Wheel when I returned to Napier in 2003 helped me settle into the community as well as providing me with a way to give something back. An added bonus was that I gained an extended family of ’Aunts’ as my mother – Joy Claridge, was a charter member of Ahuriri and was still an active member. Over the years I had attended functions and meetings when I had been home on holiday but it was lovely to become part of the family. My only concern was whether I was treading on Mums toes but she was more than happy to share Inner Wheel with me. Apparently she considers me to be ‘just another member’, however over the years she has supported & guided me in the many roles I have undertaken from club treasurer to District Chairman and her support will be most valuable as I begin my journey in the role of Vice President IWNZ.
In the past 11 years we have worked together on many fundraising projects & undertaken community service (street Collection etc) together. Our favourite would have to be our clubs annual Rotating Dinner (original version) where club members cooked in pairs for a table of 8 diners using a cooking classroom adjacent to a school hall. Diners chose a 3 course dinner from the various menus hopefully sitting at different tables with different people for each course. Although I never partnered my mother we very much enjoyed planning our menus and table decorations together before each event. Our dinner is always a great way to enjoy ourselves as well as raise funds for our chosen charities. Last year we supported the Women’s Refuge Children’s program & past charities have included Plunket Car seats, Starship Hospital, Stella foundation and Growing through Grief.
Inner Wheel gives us both a sense of belonging and a vehicle to serve our community, the bonus being the friendships we have made within our club, District and Nationally.