Altrusa delegates flock to town

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Around 120 members of service organisation Altrusa International gathered in Ashburton last week for a national conference.

Members from 19 clubs between Auckland and Invercargill, which makes up District Fifteen, attended the three-day conference at Hotel Ashburton.

They were joined by immediate Altrusa International past president Silvia Silverman, from Maryland, USA and current District Fifteen governor Christine Melville from the Te Awamutu club.

The conference included training sessions, workshops and motivational guest speakers and its theme, Flowing Forward in a Changing World, was inspired by the district’s braided river system.

Guest speakers were 2017 Dairy Woman of the Year Jessie Chan-Dorman, CanBead founder Sarah Clifford and Student Volunteer Army founder Sam Johnson.

An official formal opening on Friday afternoon featured six flag bearers, speakers, an evening dinner and party.

Saturday’s programme featured a business session, governor’s banquet and awards ceremony.

The final morning included a remembrance ceremony for Altrusa members who have died over the last year.

Altrusa International has around 8300 members worldwide, including about 470 in New Zealand.

Members volunteer time, donate money and work together for the benefit of others. Improving literacy is one of the key shared goals of the organisation.