One day when I was “in between jobs”, Mum invited me to a meeting of “her girls” – Inner Wheel of Auckland. Not knowing what to expect I was impressed by the huge array of food on offer, the camaraderie of the group and the activities they were talking about doing, or had completed.
The ladies kindly asked me to join, but a lunchtime club was not going to work for a career girl.
So when Hazel Hunter rang out of the blue to tell me about the idea of forming an Inner Wheel club for girls my age, you bet I was interested. It would be comprised of girls who didn’t know how to knit, or didn’t have time to bake. But still girls who wanted to experience the rewards their Mums and Mothers in law enjoyed as members of their own Inner Wheel clubs.
The Inner Wheel Club of Aotea Auckland is formed of girls whose mums are Inner Wheel club members – we are not the wives of Rotarians. Nearly all of us have jobs, and many have children still at Kindy. So we are not your typical Inner Wheel Club. But the fact most of us have mums that are Inner Wheel members means we have a lot of inspiration to call on – as well as lots of support. And because we are bonded by the fact we were the first “Next Generation’ club in NZ, our membership hails from all 4 corners of Auckland, so we introduce one another to our favourite local spots – cafes, walks, favourite buildings or attractions.
As a group with a tight age range of 30-49, we share a lot of things in common. Our social activities include wine and movies evenings, and our meetings as often as not are action based. Anything from learning to mosaic or cook Indian, to yoga and self defence. We each take turns organising the speaker, and if none is forthcoming, one of us gives the presentation. We now know a lot about one another’s jobs , hobbies and holidays. We can proficiently talk about Diwali, play Blackjack and knit scarves – quite an achievement given half of us had never held knitting needles when we joined IW.
We love fundraising together, for causes that are close to our hearts – children, refugees, disadvantaged women trying to enter the workplace. And we all love the laughter of our meetings – always over a glass of wine, and food – as often store bought as home made!
So if you know a woman under 50 who’s looking for friendship and fun, we’d love to show her how we roll. Julie Garlick
I know that when you are both members of such an organisation, you have more interest in the girls’ friends and her club’s activities. I love to hear what they have taught one- another, and the groups they are assisting.
I don’t usually meet my daughter’s friends, but at District meetings we do. As Aotea member’s mothers belong to different clubs, I have a new connection with them too.
While my contribution to Aotea Club Charter was a flower arrangement, the girls come to the District with computer and other expertise. This has been shared at District and National workshops. They can be a great help to club editors and they know about managing websites. Pam Garlick