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Who Knew???

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This year celebrates the 15th Anniversary of The Red Hat Society which is a social organization originally founded in 1998 in the United States. A global society of women approaching the age of 50 and beyond that connects and supports each other in their pursuit of fun, friendship, freedom and fulfilment. By maintaining a thriving social networking community and offering a variety of services and group experiences, the Red Hat Society revitalizes its members, helping them attain renewed confidence, pride and enthusiasm for life.

Its mission is to connect like-minded women around the world and to encourage them to have fun together. They are a vivacious society of women who celebrate life and along the way, develop strong bonds and caring friendships whilst, at the same time, raising the respect and visibility of women who are entering their next stage in life.

The founder of the Society is artist Sue Ellen Cooper who gave a friend a 55th birthday gift consisting of a red bowler purchased at an antique store along with a copy of Jenny Joseph's poem "Warning". Cooper repeated the gift on request several times, and eventually several of the women bought purple outfits and held a tea party on April 25, 1998.

After spreading by word of mouth, the Society first received national publicity in 2000. Cooper then established a "Hatquarters" to field the hundreds of e-mail requests for help starting chapters.

Warning!! By Jennie Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.


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From all that I have read about it, Diane, it seems to fill an important niche in the lives of older ladies, whereby they have opportunity to get out and socialise with other people and enjoy fun and laughter with each other. I don't know anyone locally who's even heard of it!!!


I do not belong to Red Hat Society,but I know how meaningful it is to my friends. Thank you. DIANE FROM N.J.


Hester - there is absolutely nothing for me to forgive (I can't vouch for Kirsten ;~))) - I too am way behind with my puzzling! Have a wonderful dinner with your friends. :~)


Forgive me Kirsten, I am so behind on my puzzling and BB has invited 6 friends for dinner so STILL no time to solve!! I love this and it is Betty to a "T" ! Thanks, pal!


Thanks Su, I guess they mean much the same thing... whatever that is???


I've not heard that phrase from Shazzaannie before (good one) but my grandmother often used a similar phrase . . . 'all fur coat and no knickers'


Yes, shazzaannie, several people have mentioned that phrase to me when I've told them about the poem!!

I've got both whatnauts... but never thought to wear them together... maybe I will soon?? Thanks, I'm pleased you had fun :~)

There was a time when no lady left the house without her hat... distant memories now!! Be bold Hanne!!

Thanks Pat - it's good to know you're able to laugh at this one :~)


Love the warning ... good laugh for the morning.. thanks Mandy..


Once upon a time we wore hats!! It was great really, but a red one?? No, not really - and then - perhaps!! Thanks so very much Mandy!!


Well, I've got the purple outfit, but no red hat. This sounds like a fun and wonderful organization. Thanks for a fun and interesting Who Knew puzzle.

What a wonderful society and I have always loved this poem. This also reminded me of the old saying 'red hat no knickers'


Thanks apache, it's great to hear you are so fit and active... that must be wonderful!! Your life sounds rich and full already :~)) I think being able to socialise in any possible way is so beneficial, and being part of a group has it's own bonuses too - its sounds like you are doing a fine job in supporting those who are less able than you already :~)


First of all, I'm not knocking the red hat ladies. But, I'm 70 and there's no way I could be as physically inactive as most of them are. I ride a horse, teach riding for the handicapped, help set up auctions and go a lot with my teenage grandchildren. I also take part in the senior games. Some of my best friends are red hat ladies, but it's just not for me.


Well Francine, having watched that I wish I could join a local group!! LOL!! Thanks for the link.

Magda, I learn something new about you every day... a milliner, that sounds like an interesting job, I wonder what sort of hats you made and if you have the chance to invent your own designs?

I'd heard the poem before Barb, but didn't know it was linked to the Red Hat Society either.

Did you give in to your urge Katie?? LOL!

Thanks Janine, it's good to hear from someone who has actually met and got to know some of these amazing ladies :~)

Edie I'm sure you do yourself a dis-service!! You fit right in on Jigidi and we're really nice people too (most of the time!!)

Thanks PJ - these ladies fit right into my desire to live life to the full and find reasons to celebrate every day, you mustn't look at the restrictions... only the benefits!!

Oh Ardy, that sounds incredibly frustrating for you. I think if there was a local group I would be interested in joining, they surely sound like they have a lot of fun!!


Mandy I did this puzzle early this morning. Then before I could write a comment I somehow got knocked off Jigidi. It took me awhile to get back on. I didn't get back here until now. We had a group of Red Hat ladies who attended one of the handbell concerts when I was playing. Our director had turned 55 that year. They gave her a red hat which she wore for one piece. She never joined the group but they seemed to be having a lot of fun. Thanks for all your information and the delightful images in your puzzle.


Goodness, Mandy -- this was all new to me - how fun, I like the attitude of living life to the full - but I see a lot of restrictions :-)))


Well I didn't know about them and after reading Janine's comment they wouldn't even accept me if I wanted to join. LOL Thanks Mandy

I have known some of the Red Hat Ladies. They are some of the nicest
and sweetest people I've ever known. They really are nice people. Thank you
Mandy, for remembering them. Janine.


I now have the urge to go out and buy a red hat! This is definitely a day for having some fun! Thanks so much for the great images and, as always, the great information about this day!


Another fun puzzle with wonderful and cute images! I have heard of this society but do not know anyone who belongs. Have also seen this poem before. Sounds like the ladies who belong have a great time together. Thanks, Mandy. :-)


What a lovely idea. Unfortunately I don't have a red hat, actually no hat at all,apart a white one against too much sun. Shame on me, as I was once a milliner.LOL
I love the poem. Wish I had the selfconscience to do all that. Would it not be fun?


Mandy, this is a Red Hat Chicken Dance.