It is now 30 years since the ladies of the Inner Wheel Club of Georgetown began to captivate audiences with creative headwear at its annual Garden Tea Party and Hat Show, to raise funds for outreach programs.
The prestigious event on the Easter calendar, attracted an elegantly dressed crowd to its April 11 celebration in the city’s Promenade garden, where children from six-months old and adults competed for the best bonnet prize.
Cecile Harding wearing a colorfully decorated hat danced to Soca music, while Sheila King showcased travels around the world. Both 83-year old members garnered loud applause for their creativity and vivaciousness.
The event, which began in 1985 to address issues in the community, judged the colorful headwear in three categories. Elegance – that depicted Guyana’s beauty such as its flora and fauna. Topicality – that addressed current national issues, such as Guyana’s waste management, and Originality – that depicted innovative ideas.
Some hats were embellished with Easter eggs while others were festooned with flowers, streamers, feathers, teddy bears and imitation candy.
Judges were challenged to pick the best hat from a wealth of creative pieces before they handed out 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes in all of the categories.
Gifts were also awarded to other participants, from the organization whose stellar presentations over the years have helped the needy in Guyana. The various tea stands around the lush garden, served cakes and pastries, while the Guyana Police Force Band provided patriotic and classical music.
One of Inner Wheel’s biggest projects to date, according to organizer Barbara Waldron, is a playground in the city’s National Park that is accessible to physically challenged citizens.
Waldron praised the organization’s efforts in reaching out to its underprivileged population, stating that students of Georgetown’s Sophia Remedial School were recipients of educational tools and care package as part of their many outreach programs.
The Inner Wheel Club still has active original members that include Charter President Maylene Davis who has served from the club’s inception.
Gem Eytle, general manager of Frandec Travel and Group Health, is also a founding sponsor.
With a current membership of 100,000 in more that 3000 Inner Wheel Clubs worldwide, the work of the body began in 1924 when the wives of Rotarians sought to assist their husbands in fundraising efforts, towards Rotary projects.
Today, the organization successfully plans projects that help thousands in Guyana.