Colder temps are upon us. Nights draw in earlier than we would like. Autumn is settling us into our routines even with the threat that Covid 19 might alter things again and make us even more housebound. But, if this isolation should happen, it needn’t lead to a bleak midwinter. As ever, KCWC volunteers are doing their best to keep our membership entertained.
President’s Message September 2020
Change is afoot at KCWC and not just because of the pandemic. The onset of late summer and early Autumn bring with it a newly elected Board and President. May I thank all who retired, greet the new volunteers, and express special gratitude to past President Theresa Klassen who remains as VP. May I also introduce myself to all our members and those international women who might be viewing our beautiful new website and considering joining KCWC. We are ready to welcome you and share with you all that London has to offer. Covid 19 will not dim our desire to highlight what lies behind London doors nor stifle our determination to offer the best of any London women’s club.
Please forgive my indulgence of choosing a photo of myself as a toddler many scores ago. It shows my mother holding me on the Manhattan dock as the SS Cristoforo Colombo left with my grandparents aboard returning to their native Italy. The image is really meant to underscore a core of my personality that I think perfectly matches the KCWC mindset – perpetual curiosity and enthusiasm to reach for and explore what lies beyond the horizon. Our members are well travelled women who have come orreturned to London as part of some ongoing adventure, or who have resided here all their lives but always looked beyond the UK. So too I who left the United States for sojourns in Belgium, Bermuda, Switzerland and, now for the last 20 years, a London resident. Even as a child, I yearned to reverse my grandparents’ US journey and live in Europe. The varieties of cultural experience, the history, the politics fascinated me. My membership and service to KCWC as an Activity Leader, Board Member, and now returning President nurtured me by enhancing my British escapade. I am determined the same be true for loyal and new members alike.To that end, KCWC evolves while returning to some basics that reliably ensured our excellence for over three decades. Our programme of speakers is set thru June and reflects the variety of topical interests of our membership – Business, History, Charity, the Arts and Culture, Politics, Sociology, Nature, and the Royal Family. Our committees have worked hard to recruit experts to address our meetings alerting them: Be prepared for the challenging questions for which our audience of informed womenis renown. We look forward to season kick-off Tuesday September 15 via Zoom with City Banker Marisa Drew. Your Zoom code will arrive by eNews.Our Activity Leaders have carefully organised events with the health and safety of our members the priority. We will offer a hybrid of virtual activities and in person lectures. And we are working hard to solve the riddle of “socially distanced social get-togethers” such as After Six and Hospitality Lunches. Our first in person General Meeting Speaker Series Thursday October 8 will host the 9th Earl Spencer at the Royal Geographical Society where superlative safety efforts are in place. KCWC members will pass a thermometer screening, pursue a one-way traffic pattern, sit apart in the lecture theatre, as well as experience heightened sanitizing measures for catering and in the WCs. Still even all these precautions cannot guarantee infection levels will allow us to assemble. Another lockdown will mean we need to beg your patience. While we are doing our best to plan for every occurrence at every activity and event, circumstances will likely arise that yield disappointing postponements. Also, please be aware our KCWC insurer does not cover our members against Covid risks. Our sole obligation is to follow government guidelines. Should any of us contract (or believe we contracted) the Coronavirus at a KCWC event, the Club cannot be held responsible or underwrite our members. As is now the norm everywhere, every individual assumes her own risk.I look ahead with optimism, energy, and my customary inquisitive zeal. Our KCWC members inspire me every day to reach for and deliver the excellence they deserve. I know you echo my indebtedness to all our volunteers who work so hard on your behalf. Thank you.
Mary NarvellPresident KCWCpresident@kcwc.org.uk
During these challenging and unprecedented times, my sincerest wish is that you and your families are healthy and coping as best as possible. This crisis has introduced many challenges including how we best communicate while self-isolating, working from home and practicing social distancing.
It is extremely rewarding to see so many people look to kcwc as a forum to socialise and learn new ways to connect with each other, while also staying within the guidelines that the UK government has outlined. I am not sure about you, but until the Coronavirus I had not heard about Zoom or the ability to host a meeting online. Zoom has also given us the opportunity for our Activity Leaders to continue to offer exclusive activities and stay in touch with our members. I am pleased to say that since the lockdown began and until next week in early May, the club has offered approximately 15 virtual activities and lectures to our membership and there’s more to come, so please make sure you check the kcwc website regularly. Well done everyone!
As evidence of the creativity and ingenuity of our dedicated volunteers, I have included some screen shots below that have been sent in for our picture gallery on the website. If you have activities going forward we would love to see your screen shots and share them with our fellow members.
At this point in time, I would l like to take a moment to thank all the board members, volunteers and Activity Leaders who have been flexible and creative by thinking outside the box to host activities for our members. It is remarkable to see and it warms my heart to see everyone pull together to keep the club going.
Our new website is almost ready to be launched. If all goes as planned, it will be rolled out within the next few weeks, so stay tuned. We will be setting up virtual training sessions on how to navigate the site; I am sure you will find it to be very user friendly and a material new asset for our club.
Unfortunately, we will be cancelling our May Speaker Series at the Royal Geographical Society due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Our planned speaker was Kate Stephens, CEO of Smartworks and we are considering rescheduling Kate for a future meeting or setting up a question and answer session on Zoom at a date most convenient for our membership.
The June meeting at the RGS currently looks unlikely as well, but I would like to confirm this with everyone once we get closer to the date.
I think that is it for me. I miss you all and look forward to seeing you soon.
Please stay healthy and do not forget to “Social Distance” and hopefully this will be behind us soon.
Our Photo Gallery can be found here: https://www.kcwc.org.uk/photo-gallery-2019-20
All the best,