The founder and organiser of WGO in 1973 was Hilda Staal, wife of the Minister of the English Speaking Congregation in Muscat, Oman. Originally the group was known as the Women’s Guild of the Protestant Church in Oman. At the first meeting, thirteen women met at the home of Hilda Staal, including Eloise Bosch who sadly passed away here in Oman in October 2016. Eloise remained a member of the WGO and was an inspiration to many who had the privilege to meet her.
The first bazaar and fundraiser, raised 700 OMR. Since then the organisation has flourished and the membership has now reached the incredible number of more than 1,800 and last year more than 24,000 OMR was raised for charity.
Inevitably, things have changed over the years but the basic reason for it’s formation remains the same. WGO is open to women of all ages, races and all religious convictions, with the aim of bringing together women from a variety of backgrounds to share friendship, fellowship and to raise money for charity.
The organisation has continued to grow during the intervening years, with the only blip occurring in 1979 when only two committee members returned after the summer break. Thankfully, after asking the opinion of the whole membership it was overwhelmingly decided to continue and not close down.
We are proud of our heritage and eternally grateful for the initiative of the founding members. In those days, the women started their monthly meetings with a “Thought for the Day”. It is a worthy tradition and I would like to share with you the “Thought for the Day” from the President’s speech at the WGO 20th Anniversary meeting, which I feel is still relevant now. “Let us today think of the many women here in Oman who are lonely – possibly far from home – maybe they have not heard of the Women’s Guild; maybe they have no transport; maybe they just need a friend. Think of them and encourage them to come and join our fellowship.”
May WGO thrive, bringing friendship and happiness to women who are both near and far from home and family.
Long live the Women’s Guild in Oman!