The Origin and Meaning of the Regalia
Worn by the Regional President
The insignia comprises a 40-bar silver collar, with a Tudor rose and white rose on the collar, from which hangs a silver lozenge. The design is a diamond (lozenge) shape because a woman, in heraldry, bears her arms upon a lozenge and not upon a shield.
The inscription reads "Federation of Soroptimist Clubs of Great Britain and Ireland, South Eastern Divisional Union". The three devices on the small shields shown on the lozenge, and the Tudor rose, and the red Fleur-de-lis, are taken from the coats of arms of the counties from which the Division drew its membership at the date of its foundation in January 1958:
The white horse of Kent
The martlets from East and West Sussex
The ermine from Surrey
The Tudor rose from Hampshire
The Fleur-de-lis from Dorset.
The Tudor rose carries the initials S.I.A., standing for the Soroptimist International Association. The three blue lines represent the water that surrounds the area of the Division - the Thames Estuary, the North Sea and the English Channel. For the purpose of the design, one symbol had to take precedence by being placed at the apex of the lozenge and the honour went to the Kentish horse Invicta, since the first President of the new Divisional Union in 1958, Miss Diana MacDonald, was from Medway in Kent. Documents recently discovered in the Medway Club show that the insignia was also designed by Miss MacDonald and was made by Highleys of Chatham, Kent in October 1959.
When the Divisional Union split in 1966 to form the Southern and South East Unions, it was agreed that the regalia would stay in our area, and it continues to be worn with pride by our Regional President when she represents us at meetings and other events.