Women at work…voluntarily

news: Women at work…voluntarily

THE ANNUAL General Meeting of the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS), Lisbon Branch, was held at the residence of HM Ambassador, Mr. John Buck, recently. Members were greeted by the Ambassador’s wife, Jean, who was undertaking her first official engagement as the newly appointed Honorary President of the Lisbon Branch.

One of her first tasks was to present Mrs. Sarah Corrêa de Sá, Mrs. Julette Roquette and Mrs. Barbara Rodrigues with long service medals.

WRVS activities are wide-ranging and each member is given an activity sheet, listing a choice of 22 different but very rewarding tasks on behalf of the aged, the infirm and the underprivileged. The scope of those activities were apparent in the minutes read by Hon. Secretary, Mrs. Ruth Lindley, and from the accounts for the 2004/2005 financial year presented by Hon. Treasurer, Mrs. Sandra Woollett. There was also special reference to committee member, Mrs. Ruth Hurst’s WRVS Recipe Book, which is “selling like hot cakes” for 10 euros and boosting funding for charity work. To get your copy, telephone her on 214 665 233.

Mrs. Angela Esteves, Hon. Chairman, confirmed she was resigning for professional reasons and was handing the position back to a former Chairman, Mrs. Barbara Rodrigues. Angela also mentioned the recent sad loss of five dedicated local members, Mrs. Nina Almeida, Mrs. Kathleen Byrne, Mrs. Thelma Clements, Mrs. Betty Cook and Mrs. Janet Humphreys, and also of Mrs. Anne Brockhurst-Leacock OBE, a former Chairman who died in the UK.

Angela introduced the two guest speakers, Valerie Braddell, a RADA-trained British actress who has started up a local theatrical company, Produções Próspero, and Isabel Worm, the Portuguese director of the Olga Cadaval Cultural Centre in Sintra. The two ladies held their audience spellbound with behind-the-scene tales of pitfalls and fear, but also of all the fun that goes into producing the shows, like The Tempest, currently running, or the next production, Romeo and Juliet.

Knitting and networking!

Forthcoming WRVS events open to the public include tea at the British Retirement Home at São Pedro do Estoril, at 3.30pm, on the third Tuesday of each month. Knitting groups, monitored by WRVS committee member Mrs. Robina Theotonio Pereira, are held on Thursday afternoons, also at the British Retirement Home, and their output of lovely woollen rugs is always in great demand.

On May 21, the WRVS and the International Women of Portugal will be holding a Car Boot Sale in the car park of St Julian’s School at Carcavelos to raise money for WRVS-supported charity work. The WRVS will also be having a home produce stall at the Fun and Sports Day in the grounds of St. Julian’s School on Saturday, June 18.

• Information on WRVS membership and events is available from Chairman, Mrs. Barbara Rodrigues, on 918 702 296 or by e-mail [email protected]

Contributed by Jane Fernandes