Foreword by Nilima Lambah
Prior to and immediately after taking over as President, I had suggested bringing
out a brief history of the IWC, with a view to enable members to understand its
evolution and project its present day role. At my request some old timers provided
interesting information which helped to bring forth this booklet.
Twenty-three years ago, in 1978, four ladies took the initiative to establish this
Club. Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Club Jennifer Louise composed a
poem to portray its spirit –
“When Tudi, Theresem Vengie Clare
And Delmar had some smiles to spare
Our Club was born and since that day
How many members passed this way
How many friendships formed between
People who otherwise had been
On different sides of country, creed
And all the barriers that breed
When it is difficult to share
Thanks – Tudi, Delmar, Vengie Clare"
Over the years the Club passed through different phases. During the 80’s it served
as a forum for women of different nationalities to meet. As interaction with locals
was restricted and data available limited, information pertaining to theaters,
restaurants and other services was made available through the club’s Newsletter.
The contents of the Newsletter have over the years changed to suit the needs of the
The first official recognition of the Club by the Russian Government was during
‘Perestroika’ (Restructuring) in 1987, when Nomuly Shevardnadze, wife of the
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, attended a meeting.
With the breakup of the USSR and formation of the Russian Federation, the IWC
underwent its own Perestroika. The number of members significantly increased
and contacts with Russians started growing. Interest Groups multiplied and charity
became a major agenda. The Bazaar became a fundraising event, evolving from an
X- mas Bazaar to a Winter Bazaar, resulting in increased participation. The Winter
Bazaar of December 2000 had the privilege of receiving Lyudmila Putin, wife of
the President of the Russian Federation, as the Chief Guest. This was the first
direct contact of the First Lady of Russia with the members of the IWC.
I would like to express thanks to Alla Semenova, Jennifer Louise, Giancarla
Bonotto and Marie Jose Marous for providing material on the initial history, and
especially to Linda Montgomery and Janet Bowie for compiling and giving shape
to the contents and to Barbara Spier and Madelaine Eberli for editing it. Our
grateful thanks go to American Express for sponsoring this publication.
I am sure you will find the strides made since the inception of the IWC interesting
and useful. The history depicts the rich traditions of the IWC and has been
prepared in the hope that it will help members to understand the Club’s past and
encourage them to widen the scope of their activities in the future.
International Women’s Club of Moscow
June 1, 2001