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The COVID-19 pandemic may have dampened the enthusiasm of many, but it has certainly not hampered the on-going efforts of the Inner Wheel Club of Alor Setar (IWCAS) to continue to uphold the objectives of IIW, mainly to foster international understanding and service above self.
On 16 October 2021, in a truly glittering and breath taking virtual ceremony, IWCAS and IWC of Hiyas ng Silangan (District 381) of the Philippines sealed a bond, which is definitely going to augur well for a long-term and everlasting friendship, as both Clubs share similar ideals in working towards PINK FIRST and STRONG WOMEN STRONGER WORLD.
The programme which began at 3 pm (2pm in the Philippines) saw the screen being lit up by the presence of several Inner Wheel dignitaries from both Clubs, including the District Chairmen, Datin Shamini Nair and Maria Lourdes Yambao, National Representatives, Ambika Menon and Belen Go, Deputy National Representatives, Parimala and Ditas, IIWBD Datin Seetha Lakshmi, President Pavitratha and President Cristina (Karen), as well as Club ExCo and several members.
Emcee Patricia, ISO from IWCAS, informed the participants that although today’s event was to formalise a friendship that had been forged since she touched base with President Karen, IWCAS had already responded to a plea from President Karen to help their fellow member who has been stricken with both COVID and stroke. IWCAS donated RM 1,000 to IWC Hiyas ng Silangan to help ease her mounting medical bills.
The inspiring speeches and presentations made by President Pavitratha of IWCAS and President Karen of IWC of Hiyas ng Silangan set the ball rolling. This was followed by the address of the Chairmen of both Districts, who waxed lyrical about how the Clubs have ventured into the new normal of doing things to seal ties that bind in spite of the trying times.
After the Friendship Agreement was read out by DISO of D330, Datin Pathma, and digitally signed, everyone sat back to enjoy a virtual tour of the state of Kedah and of the Philippines, alluring enough for members to start packing for holidays in each other’s country. A cooking demonstration of two gastronomical delights then ensued, with Secretary Shantha from IWCAS churning out a mouth-watering chicken curry dish, followed by Secretary Chona from IWC of Hiyas ng Silangan with the tantalising chicken adobo.
As the curtains came down on a ceremony quite unlike any other witnessed by members of both Clubs, it was obvious from the outpouring of appreciation that the members are indeed pleased that they have found each other to start a friendship that is going to see both Clubs work hand-in-hand towards making a difference in the lives, specifically of women and children, in both countries.