Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.
Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community-
The following article was originally printed in Soroptimist International of Calgary’s SIOC News and reprinted in Ostomy Canada Winter 2008 edition.
Western Canada Region Governor Elect Angela Bunting presented the Frances Wagner Award to Ann Hambridge from SI Calgary.
Her speech follows:
The Frances Wagner Award is presented annually to a Soroptimist, in good standing, in recognition of leadership and service in her professional, personal and Soroptimist life. Our award recipient has had careers in entrepreneurship, administration, management, public relations, marketing and sales, and volunteerism.
1964-1984 – In her twenty years with Shell UK she was the first woman to be appointed in a UK oil company to a middle management position. As Public Affairs Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland she:
1984-1994 – She was a consultant to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and lecturer to Scottish University and College courses in Public Relations and was the first woman member of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Petroleum (Scotland).
During this time she was
Immigrating to Canada in late 1994, following her marriage, she was refused permanent residency because of her cancer history. Under advice from legal counsel they sought out letters of support. Over 200 positive letters were received from friends, associates, clergy, community leaders and Soroptimists. In his submission to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, her solicitor wrote “I have never seen such an outpouring of support as l have for this couple. The humanitarian factors in this case are strong” … residency was granted … NINE YEARS LATER!
In 1999 she was honoured with a tile on the Wall of Women of Distinction in Calgary for her service in caring and compassion for a single mum.
2004-2005 – President of Calgary Ostomy Society and 2007 Chairperson of the Planning Committee for United Ostomy Association of Canada National Conference in Calgary.
Our award recipient has over 50 years of service in her community.
She has been active in programme action projects in all SI Clubs; served as a mentor to younger and new Soroptimists encouraging them to participate in Divisional Union/Region, National and International Conferences.
She has attended quadrennial conferences in Birmingham, England, Turkey, Finland and Sydney, Australia.
She has been and continues to be a very caring individual. Along with the Shell Better Britain Campaign and the Shell Livewire Youth Self Employment Scheme, she:
Her involvement in many projects within all of the SI Clubs of which has been a member never overshadowed her desire to do more.
In her community she continues to advocate on behalf of many groups.
One of her ongoing priorities is hospitality:
Faith and Compassion:
Her Christian Faith is the backbone to her mission to reach out in love and caring.
From her experiences of surviving marriage to and divorce from a chronic depressant alcoholic, bereavement through the death of her second husband, and the challenge of immigration, she takes very seriously her role as volunteer counselor, companion, encourager.
Ann has survived colorectal cancer three times and many surgeries and treatments, has had a colostomy (1991), now has both an ileostomy and urostomy and requires nightly hydration infusions by permanent central line.
Her resolution is to encourage and support others experiencing similar fears (cancer) and rehabilitation through her volunteer work with Calgary Ostomy Society, support Groups, and preparedness to lend a listening ear to anyone in crisis.
Courage and Perseverance:
Ann is a woman of indomitable courage and perseverance. She chaired the Canadian Ostomy Conference while wearing an IV antibiotic bag to treat a serious infection and fighting the inevitable fatigue that occurs while under treatment. This is only one instance of how she keeps going despite serious health issues that would have defeated lesser human beings.
Ann’s selfless generosity with her time and money in helping others is remarkable. Her awareness of the needs of others has been an innate part of her throughout her career and during retirement.
In all of her dealings with people, whether in business or volunteer situations, Ann treats others with respect and encourages laughter and improved self-image through a lively sense of humor and fun-loving charisma.