President’s Message – Blowing Bubbles


Some of you may know the anthem “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” especially if you are West Ham fans. A relic of the American Tin Pan Alley 1920s composers in New York, it seems odd this ditty should have been adopted by a British football club. And yet, just the other day, I was stunned to hear it being bellowed by fans and accompanied by bubbles sailing over the pitch.

Standing as it does for hopes that are schemed and often left unfulfilled, it struck a chord with me. How many of us have dreams that, like “pretty bubbles in the air, fly so high and nearly reach the sky, then fade and die”? And yet still we soldier on. I admit KCWC sometimes has felt like that in my Presidential term. I returned to the Board with so many dreams to build on past strengths of an organisation I admire and love, only to then have Covid hit. Running a social club in a time of social distancing has not been easy for sure. But, just as the song prompts, “daylight is dawning.” Our membership renewal is brisk and we are attracting new members through our excellent reputation and offerings. Can it be that, at last, a “sweet butterfly” is hovering about as the lyrics say? Yes, it can.

And why? Because KCWC has an asset that no other women’s organisation in London has – our membership. Each of you generously bring a fascinating background of different cultures, life experiences and stages to every activity and event we host. This potpourri is the sweet essence of why we succeed in “dreaming dreams and scheming schemes.” Your energy is the wellspring that quenches our Activity Leaders’ thirst for knowledge as they organise edifying lectures and visits. And our Speaker Series General Meeting programmes mark us out distinctively on the London scene as the place for the thinking woman to go. In our near 40 year history, KCWC has hosted humanists, scientists, politicians, artists, authors, and leaders in philanthropy to touch on only a few of the varied areas we have featured. All have been heralded in their respective fields as innovators, risk takers, and leaders. Best still, many of these prestigious alumnae who have taken the podium are female trailblazers. They have reflected the excellence of women assembled in the audience, as they have for decades now, to listen and learn.

I never take this superlative pedigree for granted. It is part of the fabric KCWC boards and past Presidents have carefully woven. We work hard to blend together all the various threads of our organisation, multi coloured and coming from different regions of the world. In their diversity lies their strength. And certainly, their interest. There are no hum drum ordinary dreams in KCWC. Each of our members have worked hard to arrive where they are in their lives. They have schemed many schemes, and yes, felt a few bubbles burst along the way. But women, working together, can make most things happen. I have had a front row seat to that very power to fuel and skill to restore. Watching KCWC emerge from Covid has been a privilege – a chance to spy a Renaissance from the inside. Like many a beautiful tapestry, the fabric of our organisation has no obvious wrong or right side. Its pattern is recognizable throughout. And, like the best of fabric conservators, we work hard to make sure the sheen doesn’t fade.

KCWC welcomes 2022 with its new Board and its ongoing energy for excellence. I, for one, will keep on and “building castles high”. “Forever blowing bubbles” is dreamy.

Mary Narvell
President KCWC
[email protected]

1 Comment

  1. Shanette Savage on September 13, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    Mary, thank you for all your hard work. as an excellent President leading us through the minefield of Covid and I thank you for staying true to the Club. You battled on when other Clubs closed their doors, rallying the troops (your stalwart Activity Leaders) and we found our in-person lectures traverse to Zoom. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me it meant ‘my time’ at the screen with ‘my fellow KCWC members’.

    Now of course, we are back on track with growing membership and your time at the helm is over, although I understand you will continue serving the Club as an Activity Leader.

    I wish our new President , Farzana Seddon and her Board all the very best for the coming year.

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