Theodor Suess Giesel – probably not a name you know but you would know him by his pen-name ….
Dr Seuss! He wrote that “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
All too often, we don’t realise the importance of an event or something happening to you until we look back on it much later.  2018 bestowed upon me the gift of more memories than I would have thought possible in the course of a single year. I feel like I know you better – collectively as a club and in many cases, individually. We are first and foremost a friendship club and I long ago realised that IWC’s most precious offering is indeed that – friendship among women. For the support and feeling of friendship I have experienced this year, I thank you with all my heart.
We didn’t set about creating a year of change but looking back, it feels to me that 2018 has been re-energising in many ways.
  • We’ve lifted our website another notch and judging by the site traffic, it is a digital door that many more people all over the world have walked through to share what it is we are doing down here in the southern tip of Africa.
  • Our new What’sApp group has improved communication, allowing us to send important messages to everyone without bothering you with too much digital noise.
  • Inside the machinery that is IWC Cape Town, our processes are feeling a lot smoother. Thanks to Lorraine Conway and Colleen Douglass, our all-important membership database is sorted, accessible and accurate and now useable in new ways – like for example being able to sort ourselves out by first names. A small thing that makes life so much easier!
  • Susan Fernandes tucked her 21st century technology cloak around her shoulders and with a large dose of tenacity and determination, guided our financial system another big step forward. Being able to generate actual invoices for our members at billing time is the tip of the iceberg but with the engine room running well, what really matters, is what we do with it to improve the club.
  • For me, the most important part of IWC Cape Town is what happens one on one - between ourselves and other organisations; and between each one of us as individuals. There is a wonderful, positive energy in the room during our monthly General Meetings and thanks to Sue Allanby, we have sat back and enjoyed an interesting variety of speakers. At a membership of just under 390, it is hard to please everyone every time, but I hope that 2018 has seen a large enough mix of subjects and speakers from different walks of life to appeal to at least some of us some of the time!
  • Lorraine Conway led a new initiative this year in the form of her “Meet & Greet” volunteer based team. Watching our red-scarf ladies in action every month, it has been wonderful to see how well it works. Not all of us feel confident and at ease when we walk into a large venue like the Kelvin Grove ballroom and sometimes a friendly face and the offer of a nudge in the right direction can work wonders for breaking the ice. Thank you to every one of you who took a turn as a member of our new Meet & Greet force.
  • Philanthropy “literally a ‘love of mankind’ from Latin and Greek. Is only one leg of our total programme but what we do in the name of community and charity is an important part of who we are. Colleen Douglass has not only worked hard and passionately to focus us in the right places and look after those who most need our support, but somehow she has also made it a thing of fun and celebration. With good results too. This year together with her energetic and truly committed sparkly red-hat brigade, she managed to collect R34’880 from Lucky donation Draw ticket sales. Half of that becomes prizes but at the end of October, adding generous donations, your personal donation to charities was R23’474. A further R18’367,50 was donated to the SA Guide Dog Association as a result of our very successful Cat Simoni fundraiser concert. Also under philanthropic, our diligent book sales team (thank you Antoinette Pendrea Noye and your team Hope van Breda, Felicity Axten and Thila Naidoo) has done an amazing job and generated R8’367.35. This part of the club is not just about the money though. The ones that don’t sell don’t land up in a bin … they are lovingly sorted and then personally driven out to various very grateful recipients. They are handed over with the compliments of the IWC Cape Town. In others words from you.
  • As with all teams, we have been a board of different personalities and complementary skills. I’ve enjoyed every step of the shared journey. I cannot thank my vice-president Carolyn Herrick enough for being the quiet, pillar of strength that she has been all year. Many times when a few of us were excitedly flying into the sky on long balloon strings, it is Carolyn who would quietly rein us in with a word in the right direction. Every board should have a Carolyn!
  • Another new happening new this year, hasn’t actually happened at the time of writing! One thing I have observed (apart from the fact that we love to eat and drink. A lot!!) is that the members of this club have more than an average interest in culture, art, music, dance and anything that stimulates the brain. What we noticed is how talented members are. So – the idea of an Arts & Crafts expo was born to celebrate that talent. More than show it, maybe even pick up on something we want to try ourselves. Maybe even form a new group or two next year!? Susan Fernandes, I owe you another big thank you for your incredibly strong support and good work on this project.
  • One of the constant sources of joy for me is the knowledge and weekly reminder that we are a real international melting pot of accents, backgrounds, culture and personalities. And yet we are so much the same. Under the auspices of Open Door, diligently looked after by Anne-Sophie Richter, we had some fun this year reaching out to other members of the enormous IWC network. There are similar clubs to ours in 63 countries! We invited comment and sharing about what they get up to and prodded them a little about how they are doing facing up to the changes of this new technologically driven digital world. The answers made me laugh because whether you are talking about north, south, east or west, we’re all facing the same attitudes and the same challenges and enjoy the same things as us. Of course we just have the advantage of playing all this out in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. We heard back from Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, England, Paris, Portugal, Rome, Iowa and many more.

I would also like to express my sincerest of thanks to the many ladies who have stepped up this year in so many ways.
  • We all like the General Meetings. But we LOVE our outings and events during the rest of the month. I  would like to express my sincerest of thanks to our Group Leaders. We have visited more places, enjoyed more adventures, tasted more food, immersed ourselves in more experiences than I can remember ever doing before! Group Leadership is all too often the kind of job that demands a huge amount of time and energy that becomes largely invisible by the time the rest of us hear about it. Truly, without your enthusiasm, creativity, commitment and sheer dogged tenacity, IWC Cape Town would not be the place of joy that it is.
  • To our Area Reps, I say thank you. Long ago, we used to call you Carers. I also do prefer the title Area Reps but I would like to acknowledge what it is you do. You care. You care quietly. You care warmly. You show us what a friendship club is really about.o be Group Leaders and Area Representatives. We have visited more places, enjoyed more adventures, tasted more food, immersed ourselves in more experiences than I can remember ever doing before! Group Leadership and Area Rep caring work is all too often the kind of job that demands a huge amount of time and energy that becomes largely invisible by the time the rest of us hear about it. Truly, without their enthusiasm, creativity, commitment and sheer dogged tenacity, IWC Cape Town would not be the place of joy that it is.
  • Thank you also to the ladies who quietly man the desks every single General Meeting. It takes commitment to arrive early enough to take on that role … and diligent enough to stay the distance in order to make some of the important administrative parts of this club are handled well.
So, during this year of change. This year of fun. This year of joy. We’ve done a lot. But what has struck me almost every week of this year is that we are not just a bunch of women signing up do “do things”! It is so much more than Doing Things. It’s not just about WHAT we do. Its about HOW we do it. We are proudly the International Women’s Club of Cape Town. Sometimes we like throwing on our jeans and climbing a mountain or two. Sometimes we like to dress up and celebrate being truly gorgeous women. We like to be with one another. We like to have a good laugh. Together. We like being … women together. Its what makes IWC who and what we are.
I wish the board of 2019 a fabulous successful year of office. As for Dr Seuss, he would find much value in the memories I personally take away with me from this year. To every single one of you who together make this club so special, thank you for creating so many magical moments that have made 2018 a year of happy memories that I truly will never forget.


President 2018

P.O.Box 587
Constantia 7848
Cape Town
Republic of South Africa
Wendy Coetzee
(083) 285-5933
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