The Delta Kappa Society International, which originated in the USA in 1929, was established in several European countries during the 1970s. Educators from Britain who had studied or gone on exchange programmes to the US had been introduced to the Society and what it had to offer. As a result, with the aid and support of Society members from the US State of Georgia, Delta Kappa Gamma was established in Great Britain in 1977. Our Founder Members recall those early days vividly. A group of members from Georgia travelled to London in November 1977 to meet a group of British teachers who had been invited to join the Society. An inaugural meeting to form the first chapter was held at the Westbury Hotel in London. The first British members came from all over the country and were originally all members of Alpha Chapter.
Georgia State Flag
Now, however, we have grown and there are active chapters (local groups) in the South East and the South West as well as in London. In addition to holding regular chapter meetings within our areas, we hold an annual conference each Spring for all chapters.
Each country or US state within the Society belongs to a Region. For many years there were four regions: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest. In 1998, however, a fifth region, Europe, was created, reflecting the Society's growth and development in our continent. There are now nine countries forming this European region: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany and, very recently, Denmark and Estonia.
With candlelight and roses as the traditional background the impressive ceremony for the founding of England State was conducted by Dr. Inez Jeffrey.
Page Lloyd, Georgia State
(Many women felt the name England was inaccurate and the state was later re-named Great Britain - never had a re-naming taken place before.)
Don't sign anything you don't know what you are letting yourself in for. These were the parting words from my husband as I left home to meet a group of Americans from Georgia....Little did I know! After tea we were taken into a room where, to our total astonishment, all the paraphernalia for the initiation ceremony was arranged. I thought I was the only person present that didn't know what it was all about. I then found out that we were all in the same boat!
Later there was an elaborate banquet that was likened to a cloud of butterflies descending at which we were all presented with a red ribbon containing the Delta Kappa Gamma pendant. The dinner was concluded with the singing of a strange song about women teachers.
This has been the beginning of many European friendships and, of course, American ones too, and none of this would have happened if the members from Georgia had not sponsored us to become members of Delta Kappa Gamma. We owe a lot to them.
Phyllis Kern, State Treasurer 1977- 1995
My most vivid memory as a Founder Member must be the very beginning, the unexpected invitation from America to join an unknown society. But my curiosity had been aroused. Having been initiated as a Founder Member I wondered what this augured for the future. The 'future' has been exciting with Conferences in Atlanta, New Orleans, Richmond, Baltimore and our first big conference in Canterbury.
How pleased I am that I was sufficiently curious and adventurous twenty-five years ago! Through ΔΚΓ I have made many friends, here and abroad.
Winifred Morton. Founder Member
A biennial Regional Conference is held in one of the participating countries in Europe in odd-numbered years. An International Convention for all members is held in even- numbered years. British members have a tradition of being very active within the Society. We are proud to have had a member elected as European Regional Director. Our members also regularly serve on international committees and are invited to be speakers at international events held by the Society. Opportunities to meet, hear stimulating speakers, make friends, network, participate in professional workshops and learn from and with teachers from around the world are all important and valued aspects of membership.
As State President I attended the SE Regional Conference in Richmond, Virginia where my successor, Dorothy Haley, received her training. The highlight of this was our rendition of On Ilkley Moor Baht'at and our attempt to teach the SE Regional members the Yorkshire dialect.
Sybil Kay State President 1985-87
Only by being a region could we really contribute to the development and usefulness of ΔΚΓ.
Dorothy Haley Area Representative 1994-1996
It is a privilege to become a member. Where else could I discuss such things as my love of children's literature or indeed sing and debate the Latin vocabulary and grammar of 'Adeste Fidelis'?
Zoe-Pat Newman Beta Chapter
We are encouraged to participate at all levels of the Society especially the level which is ABOVE that which we think we can achieve.
Sandra Blacker State President 2003-2005
We could never have imagined what a good time we would have on a wonderful potato barge in Amsterdam.
Bettina Kulsdom State Treasurer 2003
My first DKG International Convention was in Chicago in 2004, a place I would not normally have visited. The Convention was great fun: meeting lots of new people, listening to first class speakers, even finding where to sit! Conventions always allow time for seeing the sights, eating out with friends and, in Chicago, viewing the incredible street art.
Diana Bell State President 2007-2009
Thirty five years on, British members of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International continue to be fully involved in maintaining the values of the Society. They especially appreciate the opportunities for professional and personal interaction between educators from Europe and America
I remember sitting there in the lovely room with all these ladies and thinking, what am I doing sitting here with all these top educators? But it was the beginning of writing for me - the starting of putting the plays on. The ladies inspired me to do what I do. I felt that if they think I've got something worth giving -I'm going to give it my all.
Sue Torr MBE Honorary Member
2007 European Regional Conference in London
One of the top highlights of the conference was Great Britain Night, so imaginatively planned and organised by Anne Cattoor as an old-fashioned village fete. After a rather wet summer, the weather was kind to us and we were able to hold the event outside in the grounds. A fond memory is of Judith Sutton, Kathy Hodgson and the late lamented Ellen Rosier running a stall in mob caps and long skirts, totally entering into the spirit of the occasion.
Kate York State President 2005-2007
Updated: February, 2013