Our first General Meeting of 2016-2017 on Tuesday, September 6th, at the prestigious Wentworth Golf Club was a huge success. Our attendance was higher than our highest attendance in recent years. The ballroom was buzzing with returning members, many new members, visitors and our wonderful Best of Britain room vendors who also joined in the camaraderie. AWBS is a group effort, run by volunteers, and we do not exist without all of you, so thank you.
The year of Country Walks ended with two iconic walks. On 24 May, there were 28 who took a coach to the Seven Sisters on the coast. The white chalk cliffs were stunning! We all felt a sense of accomplishment after climbing all of those hills. The final walk, on 2 June was The Long Walk to Windsor. It was a blustery morning but we were rewarded with the changing of the guard. Thanks to all those who attended throughout the 10 walks, a wonderful group of women!
Just when you think it can't get any better, our Special Events team, Tracey Davey and Lynn Dalleske, prove that it can. This year's Hats & Handbags spring luncheon took place on a lovely boat called Queen of the Thames, where we all felt like Queen for the day. I will let these pictures tell the tale.
Our final GM of the year ended as well as it began. What a year this has been! So many of you have come up to the board members to thank us for Mixing It Up with all the new meeting venues, the exciting speakers, the fun slide shows, the raffle prizes, more wonderful vendors at the Best of Britain room, and many more kind comments.
We learned today that our GM attendance rate soared from an average of 65 last year to an average of 100 attendees, so a very big Thank You to our members for showing up in such enthusiastic numbers.
SPECIAL EVENTS Success: Private tour for our AWBS group at Highclere Castle and Egyptian rooms, followed by a private luncheon on the castle grounds included a warm welcome and talk from the ever gracious and charming Lord and Lady Carnarvon themselves! We could not have asked for a lovelier day.
A round of applause goes to our Special Events team, Tracey Davey and Lynn Dalleske, as well as the ever resourceful Sunita Shroff, for working hard to organize this truly special afternoon!
April is a grand month for AWBS as it is our Annual General Meeting where we vote in our new board for the following year! For this reason we had an appropriately Grand venue -- none other than Shepperton Studios -- where Tom Cruise was on location filming his new movie, The Mummy. I'm surprised he didn't pop by cause there were lots of YUMMY MUMMIES in our meeting!!
Many thanks to our Parlimentarian, Delaina Westwood-Booth for officiating our vote. It gives me great pleasure to welcome our new 2016-2017 AWBS Board. They are already buzzing with ideas for next year!!
Historic Pinewood Studios (currently fimling new Star Wars movie!!) was the site where our scintillating speaker Mr. Anton du Beke -- STAR dancer of hit TV show Strictly Come Dancing - had us dancing in our seats as he regaled us with behind the scenes tales of being the longest running star of the highly competitive hit TV show. President Kristi Thompson had the honor of taking a little spin around the dance floor, to demonstrate one number!!
February's General Meeting was a big success at the Wentworth Golf Club, with special speaker historian and biographer Flora Fraser, giving us a new insight into America's first Power Couple - George and Martha Washington, in her new book: The Washingtons: George and Martha. We learned fascinating details such as the fact that Martha was often with George on the battle field, and that her social skills and high ranking very much balanced out her very quiet husband who sometimes never said a word during an entire formal dinner.
We introduced the new Board for next year at our April General Meeting at Shepperton Studios. We think we have an amazing (and cuddly) team to take the club forward next year.