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At noon of July 1, on the first day of the new IWY 2021-22 in the USA (July 2 @ 3:00 am, Philippine time), the IWCPI National Secretary Minerva Rualo Elizaga, met up for a luncheon fellowship with of IW USA National President Linda Daniels, IW USA Foundation Treasurer Annalise Graf, and IWC of Orangevale California District 519 officers -- President Kathleen Franklin, ISO Carol Hart, and Marcia Kiesse. Our original contact, then Club ISO Alberta Smith, was unfortunately out of town that day and couldn't join.
After exchanging warm hugs, banners and personal gifts with the new friends, NS Minnie handed over heartfelt messages and greetings from IWCPI National President Yolanda Wycoco, National Representative Evelyn Go, District 383 Chairman Jovita de Jesus, IWC of Makati North President Maria Luisa Basa Concepcion, and Immediate Past Club President Vikky Bondoc Cabrera. The latter logged in, together with her youngest daughter and new club member Alaia Kimberly, to greet the Club’s new friends on Zoom in the wee hours of the morning.
NS Minnie represented 3 levels of IWCPI – the National Board of Trustees, her District 383 which she headed in IWY 2018-19, and her mother club IWC of Makati North, at this unexpected yet extraordinary get-together.
Back in mid-May 2021, IWC Makati North District 383 was alerted by the IWCPI HQ about postal letter from ISO Alberta Smith of IWC Orangevale, California, addressed to then Club President Vikky Bondoc Cabrera.
ISO Alberta premised her communication with a warm reference to District 383 geographic area: “We wish to extend our friendship to our "sisters" and also share news. One of our members recognised the area of Legaspi Village, Makati City from our directory. Her parents are currently living in your city! Hello to our sisters from your area.” What a small world indeed. NS Minnie and Marcia Kiesse soon realised that they studied in the same school in the Philippines.
The 4-page news shared the interesting ways that the IWC of Orangevale and its members had creatively pursued their club activities in COVID-19-limited engagements, focusing on simple yet relevant ways that stress their friendship for each other while helping others. In the words of one IWC of Makati North Past President: "IWC of Orangevale is a "community involved group: teacher appreciation bags! Their version of community pantries! Purse auction! What great ideas! Also they like being with each other: bring-your-own-lunch meeting in the patio! Zoom meets & goodbyes from cars."”
Upon hearing about PISO Alberta Smith’s letter, NS Minnie, who was getting ready to fly back to the Philippines, contacted the Club to set a get-together. On July 1, she donned her IWCPI uniform, scarf and pins and motored over to El Rancho Inn in Stockton, CA for the luncheon fellowship with the friendly members of IWC of Orangevale CA. She was surprised and extremely honoured that the US IW national officers had joined them too.
This fellowship meeting between representatives of IWUSA and IWCPI, IWC of Orangevale CA and IWC of Makati North, will surely not be the last, as the new friends promised to meet in Manchester for the IIW Centennial. We look forward to shared opportunities together with projects and activities in the near future and across the ocean.