Women’s club grows in diversity

IWC Cape Town committee members, from left, treasurer Susan Fernandez of South Africa, Marcella Solis from Chile; vice president Yumei Shi from China; secretary Paida Hakutangwi from Zimbabwe; and philanthrophy Maxine Peters of South Africa.

There are not enough days in the week for members of the International Women’s Club of Cape Town.

They are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities, from a gardening club where they learn about botany and compost
making to music appreciation
and hiking in the safety of a

Its members come from countries spanning the globe, from Australia, Belgium and Canada to Turkey, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.

“Growing in diversity and sharing helps grow hearts and minds and creates an inclusive South Africa,” said Liliana Carter.

She has been a member of the club for many years and was nominated as president at the annual general meeting held in Hout Bay in October.

She was speaking to about 370 women in the ballroom at Kelvin Grove at the first meeting of the year.

Enjoying food and drink are popular among their interest groups, from visiting coffee shops around Cape Town to tasting new releases at wine farms. There is a One Dish Club, Friday lunch or on Sundays with friends and family joining in.

Special interest groups include a book club, Bridge, Mahjong, Italian conversation, cultural cooking, movie fans, jazz and tennis.

Ms Carter introduced new group activities – international gastronomy; masterclass of getting to know how things are made; great journeys from Machu Picchu to gorillas in Rwanda; and special events of soirée’s, picnics and field trips.

Ms Carter said friendship is at the heart of the club.

It is a collaboration and interaction of women of many
nations, backgrounds and religions.

“We also do philanthropy as part of our involvement with the local society, in the same way that we get involved with local art and local architecture, food and more. Every month our philanthropy committee selects a worthy organisation and asks the members to bring specific goods needed. The raffle money collections and other activities go to a big philanthropic fund to be adjudicated at year’s end,” said Ms Carter.

At the meeting on Thursday February 7, members were asked to bring items that were donated to True North in Vrygrond.

Special guest at the event was the club’s honorary member, Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout who took time off from crochet and baking koeksisters and melktert to speak about the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

She debated what would replace the red carpet at the event. “Not red because it would signal EFF, not blue because of the DA and
not brown because of the gravy train”.

She said she still has the picture taken of herself and Cyril Ramaphosa in 1994 when she knew that one of them would become president.

She recognised the power of the women who filled the ballroom, “not state capture or corruption”, and assured them that while most have foreign passports Evita has a Nigerian friend who can help them… She is not shy about announcing her membership to the ruling party despite nine years of zumification.

Asked if she would attend SONA she said she would be busy in the kitchen.

IWC is on a membership drive and welcomes women of all nationalities.

The next meeting is on Monday March 4 at Kelvin Grove where the guests will be entertained by the Welsh Male Voice Choir.

Entry is a R100 donation.

Contact IWC on membership@iwccapetown.co.za

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