History of Ladies Circle

International Circling

Ladies’ Circle International (LCI) has its roots set in England. At that time, during the Second World War ‘Circling’ was limited to social obligations:

  • helping out at the hospitals
  • running canteens
  • visiting hospitalised people
  • gathering articles of clothing for orphans
In 1947, LC Sweden was founded and was followed by LC Denmark two years later. Contact was made between the members of these first three countries.

On 29 May 1959, at the Round Table International Annual General Meeting in Leiden, the Netherlands, the three countries established Ladies’ Circle International. The founder members of LCI were:
  • Molly Worley (President), LC GB&I
  • Jen Ulfvik (Vice-President), LC Sweden,
  • Margery Coombe (Secretary), LC GB&I
  • Søs Tarp (Treasurer), LC Denmark
The Constitution was drawn up, based on equality of all Member Associations within an international structure. LCI expanded into new countries and other continents. In 1959 LC Finland was founded, followed by LC Norway in 1961, LC Belgium and LC Hong Kong in 1967, LC France and LC India in 1970, LC Kenya in 1971 and LC Germany in 1972. At the AGM in 1994, a significant rule change was passed; following which LCI became totally independent from Round Table. LCI is since then open to all women between the ages of 18 and 45.

In 2015 LCI and RTI signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two clubs to encourage a closer relationship while assisting each other - referred to as the ‘Side by Side’ Agreement for which two pin badges have been produced.
LCI is present on 5 continents, creating the chance of international encounters and exchange. You can participate in Annual General Meeting’s held in other countries and Circlers shouldn't fear language barrier, as the official language of LCI is “bad English"! LCI is divided into five regions:
  • NORDIC: Northern Europe and America
  • MIDDLE: Central and Eastern Europe
  • SOUTHERN: Southern Europe and Mediterranean
  • AFRICAN: Africa Middle East Indian Ocean
  • APAC: Asia Pacific
Each Region organises a Mid Term Meeting (MTM) during January/February again giving a fantastic chance to travel.

Local Circling with GB&I
Most Circles organise one or two meetings per month, equating on average to 15-20 meetings per year. Each Circle is responsible for creating its own programmes, which means that no two Circles are exactly the same. During these meetings, discussions take place around activities the Circle would like to engage in; ranging from organising fundraisers, the charities they would like to support, family meetings, sport activities, etc. these meetings always offer a great environment for friendship and amusement. Each Circle organises all of the events that need to be done to make the local Circles work. Nevertheless, these meetings always offer a great environment for friendship and amusement. Circles may choose to wear our Ladies’ Circle pin and jewel (chain of office) to formally open and close the meeting, read the aims and objects, approve the report of last meeting, introduce visitors, discuss matters of concern and give all in attendance equal opportunity to engage and learn. The local meetings will bring the same group of ideally 15 to 20 members together, but the opportunities to get together are far greater than that of only the regular meetings each month.
Each Circle is part of an Area, promoting friendship between those Circles that are relatively close physically.Each Area appoints a committee, and then Area Chair joins with other Area Chairs from across GB&I and the National Executive team to form our National Council. The Area Chair is important as she acts as a link between Circles and the National Executive team. Areas are also grouped into Regions and each Region hosts an annual gathering.

Five Club Family
Ladies’ Circle is a part of the Round Table Family composed by five clubs who promote the same values:
  • Ladies Circle for women between 18 and 45 years old
  • Round Table for young men between 18 and 45 years old
  • Tangent Club for former Circlers and is composed by women of at least 42 years old but they do accept non-former Circlers within their members
  • Agora Club for former Circlers and is composed by women of at least 42 years old but they do accept non-former Circlers within their members
  • 41 Club for Tablers at least 40 years old.