August – Here we come!

A new month and off to Nantwich to experience a radio interview on Redshift Radio with Rotarian Rod Stokes, Nantwich Rotary.    However, lets get our priorities right  – coffee first at Rod’s home with President Anthony Hoy followed by a brisk walk to the studio – meeting up with Stephen and Helen.

Rtn. Rod Stokes in his domain at ‘Red Shift Radio’

Rod Stokes is excellent at putting you at ease and I have never known an hour pass so quickly.   You can hear the interview on:  www.mixcloud.com/RedShiftRadio/rotary-round-up-berylcotton-1817/  Have to say, I was very impressed by Redshift Radio.   My reward was that we played a Whitney Houston track: ‘One Moment in time’.

It was my first ever visit to Nantwich Rotary – held upstairs at the Civic Hall in the centre of Nantwich and so it was good to meet up with the members and attend a business meeting to hear about the Rotary projects that they are undertaking.  I have always enjoyed spending time in Nantwich – takes me back to my childhood when I used to go shopping with my Mum.   A bustling town with some fine buildings. I left Nantwich  during a heavy rain storm, heading up the M6 to Formby Rotary.

President George at Formby Rotary

I had a little time to spare so enjoyed a coffee, did some paperwork and relaxed in the sunshine at one of the local pubs until it was time for the Formby Rotary  meeting at the Golf Club.      President George and the members gave me a very warm welcome and we enjoyed fellowship before their business meeting.   Wow, they have some amazing social events planned for the month of August!!    I could hardly keep up with their social calendar!  As well as discussing projects and the aim for a global grant they are busy planning their 50th Charter Celebration – an event to look forward to.

Wednesday brought about a Webinar with the other Governors in RIBI in preparation for the RIBI General Council on Sunday, 6th August.

3rd August – off to visit Mawddach Rotary members who had decided that the best way for the DG to mix and mingle with their members was to hold a luncheon.

President Beryl relaxing with DG Beryl and friends of Mauddach Rotary 

President Beryl (yes two Beryls) was about to move home so it was held at Elizabeth and Jon Swain’s home.   All the members had contributed to the luncheon and it was delicious (especially those puddings!).   Not the appropriate time to speak as Governor  – except a few words of thanks but   I will be meeting up with the members again in a few weeks at their Charter Event.

Members of Mauddach Rotary enjoy a fabulous buffet lunch

A lovely afternoon of fun and friendship with this very lively group of Rotarians.

On the way home, passing through Bala, I thought it was an ideal opportunity to call into see Chair Eric.  He was in work and when he said there was a meeting that evening of D1180 newest satellite group – Glannau Tegid, it  seemed  the best thing to do was to spend an hour sitting by Bala lake and then attend the meeting later that evening.

Members at their Club meeting

It was great to see the whole group again and it was such an inspirational, fun evening.      They are progressing well and planning a quiz night.   Praise and encouragement were given.

Members of RSC Glannau Tegid (Bala) at their regular business meeting

AG Terry Bolton and Barbara were also at the meeting and Barbara gave a short presentation on Youth opportunities.    The group were most appreciative and found it thought provoking.      Lots of ideas buzzing around.   Chair Eric stated that the club are determined to Charter into a full Rotary Club before the end of 2017. Watch this space.   Two prospective new members were in attendance and they are nearly up to the magic 20.    Good luck guys.

Friday and Saturday I was very busy at work so lucky that I did not have any Rotary engagements  arranged other than the drive to RIBI at Alcester after work on Saturday evening – ready for General Council the following day.

RIBI President Denis Spiller’s ‘End Polio Now Beatle’

The past six weeks have been quite full on so it was good to be able to re-charge my batteries and catch up with paperwork  on Friday evening (and some housework!)  I am very much aware that I should try and keep a free night per week (at least) to re-charge, family time, and  I feel it is important to  maintain good health.   There have been some very late nights and my neighbours think I lead a very unusual life whilst watching my comings and goings.

DG Beryl with RIBI President Denis and several DGs from other districts

At General Council , It was good to meet up with fellow District Governors – all on this same journey and discuss our progress.     General Council was intense but well chaired by RIBI President Denis.

 

 

Can you believe that two weeks have passed and it was another satellite information meeting at Hawarden.    The Fox and Grapes is an ideal venue with a separate room to hold a meeting.       It is not easy setting up a new club but is most rewarding.    We have used Facebook and boosts to get the word out and about but we need some local knowledge.     Another meeting in two weeks.

Chester Riverside Rotarians met me with warm smiles.   Always good to meet up with yet  another ‘Beryl’ who is now planning a parachute jump to celebrate her 75th birthday – not satisfied with just a zip wire.

DG Beryl with President Peter and members of Chester Riverside Rotary

President Peter is facing the challenge of looking for a second venue.  The Handbridge Pub, I guess, will always be where the Clubs roots are but under new ownership, it was difficult to conduct a meeting with the background music and noise.     Good to hear about their plans for the the future to strengthen their membership and a recent vocational trip to the Recycling Plant.

 

Oswestry Cambrian – I headed over to Oswestry to spend some time with Mike and Linda Lade.  Mike had been extremely busy preparing the digital running order for Conference 2017 and wanted to let me see where he was up to.     I was truly amazed at the time and effort he had put into this and well pleased.     We were then able to take a trip to the Lion Quays Hotel to check out space for the House of Friendship etc

President Ian and members of Oswestry Cambrian

Good to sit and have a drink on the patio – in glorious sunshine – and watch the barges pull in, chat and relax – wouldn’t it be great if the weather was so kind in November that we could enjoy the grounds of this stunning hotel.       Soon time to get ready for the Oswestry Cambrian meeting at the Wynnstay Hotel – another hotel where conference delegates can stay when the Lion Quay is fully booked.  President Ian Slipper took an excellent meeting and there was a real buzz and connection in the room – discussing their new santa sleigh and future projects but one of the highlights of the meeting  was the induction of three new members – who will all be a huge asset to the Club.     Anna, Ron and Les – a huge welcome to Rotary and Oswestry Cambrian.  I am sure they will, also, enjoy all the social events that were being planned.  This is a busy club showing great diversity;    really showcasing Rotary in the busy market town of Oswestry.

The National Eisteddfod at Holyhead – another day to remember!    Past District Governor John Bird arranged the stand on the field with the support of District 1180 so that Rotary had a presence at this famous event and hopefully a membership dividend.      PDG John and President Jackie stated that we  won’t see the National Eisteddfod return to our Area in our lifetime – we made history.

Rotarians from several clubs, joined by the Welsh assembly Representative, congregate at the Rotary stand, sponsored by D1180. (note: printed matter throughout the Eisteddfod was expected to appear in the Welsh medium)
President Robyn, President Jackie & DG Beryl meet with Local ‘Hospice Radio’

Llangefni and Holyhead Rotarians manned the stand throughout the week, ably assisted by Rotarians from other local Welsh speaking clubs – Denbigh, Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr, Bangor, Dolgelleau  and Ruthin.     It had been very wet and muddy throughout the week and visitors were encouraged to use the park and ride.

Good to see President Jackie from Llangefni Rotary and President Robyn from Holyhead and spend time with them.

DG Beryl with representatives of the Woodland Trust

A walk around the field gave opportunities to chat with other organisations such as the Woodland Trust, Police, Ambulance and Horizon.   I also visited several of the University stands and spoke about Rotaract/Rotary.      In addition: a Welsh speaking lesson from President Robyn – I will have to practice for when I visit his Club.

Our District Membership Chair was able to connect with the head of strategic development (Wales) at Horizon – an opportunity for the future for Rotary membership.

President Jackie on ‘paramedic training’

President Jacqui and myself went onboard an ambulance.

The ambulance paramedic gave us insight into his work and acknowledged Llangefni Rotary. He informed us that his ‘Dad’ was a member of Rotary.    We asked why he wasn’t in Rotary and his reply ” I have never been invited to join”.     President Jacqui has this matter in hand!

 

 

AG John with members of Northwich Rotary

The Rotary River Festival with Northwich Rotary was the last event of the week.  Arriving in Northwich – where I was born and bred – hit a few emotional spots for me – a town that has undergone much development and change.   Day one of the River Festival had been the colourful and exciting Dragon Boat race and had attracted huge crowds.      Assistant Governor John Walton was the Event organiser and had been met with the news that the Rowing Club were not racing as planned on Sunday  – a huge disappointment for the Rotarians but in true form, they just adapted and concentrated on other events organised.

Ready to ‘launch’ the ducks

President Val introduced me to all the Rotarians and we visited each stall and had a chat – in between her selling tickets for the duck race, of course.   Elizabeth Walton was busy with her team on the tombola.

Good to see Assistant Governor Nick and his wife Sue as well.  The Duck Race attracted hundreds of spectators with 2,000 ducks being sold.

‘All hands to the boats’ to retrieve wayward ducks!

It was a great sight with the sun shining, lots of public, stalls and promotions – working in conjunction with the River Weaver Navigational Society, Canal and River Trust and Marshall’s Arm – a local nature reserve, along with raising funds for St. Luke’s Hospice.

The Rotary presence was huge and I felt very proud of what this club (with assistance from Northwich Vale Royal Club) achieved.

Rotarians marshalling the duck race

Good to meet up also, with the President of Knutsford Rotary from District 1285 who turned out to help and support.

Every opportunity was taken to advertise their next event – The 24th Northwich Beer Festival at Memorial Court on Friday and Saturday 22nd and 23rd September.

Another fabulous two  weeks in the life of a District Governor – supporting and encouraging our District Rotarians in all that they are doing in the name of Rotary.    Never forgetting that August is Membership Month – as, of course, is every other month of our Rotary year!!!