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(updated 1 October 2021)

41st Annual General Meeting of District 330

For 40 years, District 330 has held its AGM physically in a number of venues with interesting events drawn up to make the AGM a much awaited event. Sometimes, changes have to be made to adapt to the situation at hand, and the 41st AGM in 2021 was one such occasion.  The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic created challenges for one of District 330’s most traditional events - the AGM. Much as District 330 would have loved to have organised a physical meet – one that would have given a chance for members of the 23 Clubs, spanning the length and breadth of the country, to meet after a really long lockdown hiatus, the continued inter-state travel restrictions put a damper on the aspirations of the ExCo to make this happen.

Nonetheless, the ExCo was not daunted and with careful planning over several weeks and enthusiastic leadership, District 330 managed to pull off its first ever virtual AGM via zoom on Saturday 25 September 2021 from 3.00 to 6.30 pm, with much aplomb and style.

Members were allowed to join from 2.45 pm and were delighted to be greeted by a rendition of ABBA’s dancing queen. By 3.00 pm, the numbers had swelled to 150 members and it was obvious that everyone was missing each other as incessant conversation all at the same time was clearly audible.

Emcee President Merlin Gasper of IWC of Pearl of the Orient called the meeting to order at 3.00 pm and began by explaining some housekeeping rules to ensure a smooth and seamless meeting. She also explained that the day was indeed special as it coincided with the birthday of District Chairman Datin Shamini Nair, and much to the surprise of the DC, a special slide presentation, accompanied by a birthday song, reverberated into the air. 

After the National Anthem, members were taken through the nostalgic journey of IPDC Shanti Menon’s tenure as DC of the 2020-2021 term and everyone sat back and enjoyed the slide presentation accompanied by the melodic Inner Wheel Song.  This was followed by the traditional lighting of the Candle and the recitation of the Candle of Friendship poem by IIWBD Datin Seetha Lakshmi, as well as the loyal toasts to the King by the DC and to IIW by NR Ambika Menon.

Usually, the District Secretary would do the roll-call of Clubs, but this time, the honour was given to legendary singer, Tom Jones, who belted out, “She’s a Lady’, as members witnessed 24 slides, swooshing by, beginning with IWC of Alor Setar and ending with the hope that the young generation Club of IWC of Damas would receive approval soon from the Registrar of Societies.

NR Ambika then took ‘centre stage’ and delivered her address. She extended warm wishes to all from IIW President, Ebe Martines and stressed on the priorities of Pink First for women and children, i.e., the four focal areas of Health, Education, Empowerment and Opportunities, all of which must be geared toward Women Helping Women, and in the process, toward building Strong Women Stronger World.  The Emcee then invited DC Datin Shamini to deliver her address and befittingly, Datin Shamini said, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, only if one remembers to turn on the light…this pandemic has been the darkest of times…but I am proud to say that my sisters of Inner Wheel have been that ray of sunshine to many out there who are in need of the light….”. Looking resplendent in her pink saree, the DC ended by saying that she is one with no plans or vision, as this pandemic has seen even the most well-laid out plans fail. Nevertheless, she said that together with her sterling ExCo, she would endeavour to do far more than her best.

As a prelude to the AGM, two special events were organised, the first being Laughter Therapy by Ms. Sarjit Kaur, who soon managed to relax the members and eventually had everyone in stitches as she explained how laughter is a sure-fire stress reliever, specifically in the trying times of the pandemic. Following this, Dr. Bahma Sivasubramaniam, Past District Editor from IWC of Selangor delivered a very apt topic on Unsung Heroines: Stories of Women of Courage. She highlighted two women who are the epitome of the social theme of Inner Wheel - Strong Women Stronger World. She related about the courageous Sybil Kartigesu, the heroine of Papan, and Datuk Rahmah Hussain, the Bangle Independence Lady.

The AGM started as scheduled at 4.30 pm, and after the DC welcomed everyone officially to the meeting, she handed the baton to IPDC Shanti Menon to take the members through the agenda, starting with the confirmation of the minutes of the 40th AGM, to the various District and Club reports, to the Audited Accounts for 2020-2021 and the report of NR for 2020-2021, Alice Lau. The IPDC then thanked her ExCo for their unparalleled commitment and dedication to their tasks and for making her term as DC a most pleasant and memorable one, the COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding.

The DC then took over the current matters on the Agenda, including reappointment of the auditor, the unanimous adoption of the four resolutions pertaining to the amendments to the District and Club Constitutions as carried during the IIW Convention in April 2021 and to any other business, during which time, issues raised by Clubs were discussed and solved.

If the DC was surprised at the beginning of the meet with a birthday greeting, she was once again bowled over at the end when her home Club, IWC of Selangor, presented a special video to wish her many happy returns. Members also got the rare opportunity to see the team from IWC of Selangor swaying to the beat of a catchy number.

As it is said, all good things must come to an end, and so it was for the 41st AGM, which was held virtually for the very first time. A vote of thanks was recorded to the zoom management team, comprising ISO Patricia Rao from IWC AS, DE Padmini, District Webmaster Lucy Barrock, and Emcee President Merlin, all ably guided by IPDC Shanti Menon. As members bade farewell and left the zoom platform, the ExCo breathed a sigh of relief that the weeks of planning had culminated in a very successful 41st AGM.

~ Padmini Pillai, District Editor


25 Sep 2021. District 330 41st Annual General Meeting
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----------------------- Past Annual General Meetings -----------------------
39th AGM of District 330 40th AGM of District 330
36Th AGM of District 330 & 4th AGM of District 331 37th AGM of District 330 & 5th AGM of District 331 38th District 330 & 6th District 331 Annual General Meeting, Singapore, 23-24 March 2018

33rd AGM D330 & 1st AGM D331, 22-24 March 2013

34th AGM D330 & 2nd AGM D331, 22-24 March 2013

35th AGM, 20-22 March 2015