Somewhere over the Rainbow

Refreshed after a few days relaxing over the Bank Holiday weekend – back to Rotary business.

Wirral Narrowboat Trust:  It was a great honour to be invited by Chair Simon Tomlinson along with DGE Steve to attend Prenton Golf Club  to share the celebration of the Wirral Narrowboat Trust in receiving the Queens Award for Community Service – conducted by the Lord Lieutenant Dame Lorna Muirhead.     Perhaps it was even more of a celebratory occasion in that it was the Penultimate Function she would be attending after being in office for 11 years.  In her address she made a joke that she was quite upset that at 75 years of age she had been sacked by a woman of 91 years (The Queen)!  Well done to all in arranging this celebration.

RI/RIBI Public Image Event:  Friday, 1st September I attended an event at the AC Marriot Hotel, Salford Quays.  This was funded by RI and organized by RIBI  on behalf of the Zone 17 & 18a RI Public Image Coordinators.  I invited Fiona Basset our District 1180 Public Image Chair and Lisa Carlin, Deputy Membership Chair to attend with myself, representing D1180.   Also attending from our District was Rotary International Z17 Public Image Coordinator Les Wilson and Assistant Co-ordinator Molly Youd.  Trevor Meech and Andrew Green from RC Northiwch  gave a presentation on Club Bulletins.  So we were really flying the flag for D1180.

‘Prosecco & Afternoon Tea’ Event at Saughall

President Denise Harding (centre) and members of Saughall Rotary showing their ‘bake-off skills’
Rick (in blue) celebrates his win in the ‘Welly Wanging’ with members of Saughall

Sunday, 3rd September’s weather was a little disappointing for the ‘Prosecco & Afternoon Tea’ Event arranged by my own Club, Saughall, but it did not spoil our enjoyment in any way. The event was held to raise funds for the supply of a defibrilalator in the village.

District Committees: Monday 4th A little bit like September – back to school – there were three District meetings held at the Gateway to Wales Hotel, Queensferry. In the morning, it was a Dsitrict Foundation meeting.  In the evening, I attended the Visioning Meeting  and called in to the AG meeting.

Neston Rotary: Tuesday 5th September

Selfie: President Ben with DG Beryl & members of Neston Rotary

A warm welcome was received at Neston Rotary.   Nice to have a chat with Prof. David Brigden on District Youth Matters before everyone arrived and , of course, this is the home of DGE Steve.  Despite their current small membership this club undertakes so many community and international projects and are a club who are a fine example of working with Youth – especially Rotakids, Interact and Youth competitions with a thread of gold running through connecting Foundation and membership.   They are indeed working very hard to increase their membership and will make good use of the tools available.     The club uses Rotary Club Central.      A few had to leave soon after the business meeting and it left just a small group at the end of the meeting – we thought we would have some fun and take a “selfie”   I am not sure we did not all look tipsy but we had a good laugh with President Ben Morris.


Wednesday Evening, was a Conference 2017 meeting  with a full house of attendees.  It is now around 50 days away to Conference!   Have you registered?   We really do want representation from every Club in our District and promise inspirational  speakers and great social events. 

DG Beryl with members of Bangor Rotary


Thursday, 7th saw us down the A55 to Victoria Hotel, Menai bridge and Bangor Rotary.  Great to be on my ‘official visit’ with the members of Bangor Rotary, which includes our DGN Bob Maskall.



Members of Saughall Rotary complete their sandwich making with DG Beryl

Disabled Fun Games:  Saturday evening after work I was able to join members of Saughall Rotary who were busy making the sandwiches for the Fun Games.      The work  was completed within 1 ½ hours and every Rotarian was given a job: buttering, bagging, labeling etc. Quite a production line.  Not having had my tea and working all day, those sandwiches looked and smelled delicious.   No wonder they sold out on Sunday.

‘Teddy in the Toilet’ Event

Whilst setting up for the fun games, several Rotarians got drenched with very heavy rainfall on Saturday.  Sunday morning dawned to grey skies.      The clouds persisted throughout the day,  just occasionally a little bit of blue sky appearing.  Over 250 attendees from groups throughout the District attended the games at the MBNA  Bank ‘Field of Dreams’, Chester Finance Park.      There must have been over 300 Rotarians volunteering and I am not sure who enjoyed themselves the most.  It is the best day in the Rotary year – a most humbling event but so much pleasure,  giving great joy and happiness to so many disadvantaged people.

Rtn. Karen Hunter assisting with Curling

PDG John Bird took over the chairmanship of this District committee late 2016 and has built up a committed team of Rotarian volunteers.
The event was very well organized.  Gary Owen,  who is employed by Lloyds Bank is a tower of strength and knowledge.  Rotary is indebted for his involvement.

Elyn Corfield and son Joe chatting to Rotarians





We were delighted that Elyn Corfield, the new Managing Director of MBNA Lloyds Bank opened the Fun Games and then I had the joy of escorting her and Joe,  her youngest son,  around the field and introducing her to several Rotarians.    What a delight that she had worked for MBNA for 17 years and risen to the top position.     Being a local lady, born in Shropshire and now residing at Broughton Heath,  she stated that Lloyds Bank were very much in support of the event .  Latest Membership Minute: Elyn stated that one day she would become a member of Rotary.

Several members of the D1180 Fun Games Committee

At 3 p.m. prompt the Lord Mayor of Chester Councillor Razia Daniels arrived with her consort and driver.    I really don’t think she knew exactly what she was attending as she seemed overcome with the atmosphere , singing and dancing.  Lord Mayor Razia Daniels and  her Consort were delighted to present the medals, assisted by Fun Games Chair John Bird  and myself.

Up to this time the rain had kept off.  Suddenly a few spots of rain were felt. I escorted the Lord Mayor to her car and within seconds of her getting inside, the heavens opened with a horrific downfall.    Two gazebos lifted but most Rotarians and visitors had left.

When the rain stopped, the vans were loaded, the field was checked for litter, inside the centre was tidied up and everyone left with a great sense of achievement and satisfaction but absolutely worn out with the fresh air and adrenalin rush of ensuring the day went without a hitch.

A rainbow – as promised!

It seemed quite appropriate that we spotted a rainbow in the sky; wished I had taken a photograph of it but how lucky we were with the weather.

There will always be lessons to be learnt and also, how the games can be improved year on year.    A huge thanks to all the Rotarians who helped out and especially to the Fun Games Committee. Chaired by John Bird.

I was so exhausted I went to bed early when I arrived home and slept for a full 12 hours.

Mold Rotary visit: Up and ready to visit Mold Rotary at lunchtime on Monday, 11th September. Good to meet up with President Pedr Roberts (we were AGs together) and to meet with some long-standing  Rotary friends from Mold.     This club has a record of 81 years of outstanding Rotary service and achievement.    They give to Our Foundation and End Polio Now is their nominated charity for the year.  One of their members, Mark Philpot, runs the District Youth Speaks competition.  Membership recruitment is their biggest problem and they are looking at various membership initiatives.      We must ensure their Rotary legacy continues for many years to come. Watch this space.

Chester Riverside Rotarians collecting for charity

Chester Riverside: Wednesday, 13th – Tesco at Broughton with President Peter, Nigel, Maggie and Bill to collect funds for Countess of Chester Hospital.

Also they collected for Help the Aged and handing out membership leaflets to promote Chester Riverside and the new satellite Club at Hawarden.

We must have handed out over 400 leaflets in two hours so we wait by the phone and look out for emails!

New Satellite, Hesketh Bank: Whilst we were at Broughton another team were up at Tarleton at the second information meeting for a satellite club.

14th September:  District 18 Inner Wheel Rally   I was welcomed by Chair Sandra Morris and met the Association National President Liz Thomas from Norfolk and offered Greetings to members of Inner Wheel from all Rotarians in District 1180.     A delicious lunch  was enjoyed by over 120 members at the Craxton Wood Hotel.


Saughall Rotary Special meeting: A quick dress change and off to my own club who had a very special evening.   Contact had been made by 14 Rotarians from Pocklington Rotary (D1040, close to York) who were visiting Chester and asked if they could visit Saughall.  Apparently they had contacted other Clubs but Saughall had been the only club to reply.  I dashed off to the Greyhound Inn to have a drink with them and welcome them to D1180.

Members from Pocklington Rotary meet with Saughall Rotarians

The meeting was held in the Vernon Institute where  President Steve from Pocklington told Saughall members a little about their club and P/P Andrew Errington chatted about Saughall.   President Denise thanked the visiting Rotarians for spending time out of their holiday in Chester to visit her club and presented a Saughall Club Banner.  She also expressed a wish to come over to Yorkshire and pay a return visit to their club.

15th September: ‘Lifeline’ Project Oswestry: One of the many highlights of the week was a visit to the ‘Lifeline Project’ organised by Oswestry Rotarians.

President David, High Sheriff, President Sherie & DG Beryl

Lifeline is an annual event at which year 6 pupils from Shropshire and Powys schools are presented with ten scenarios aimed at increasing awareness of everyday risks/dangers and encouraging appropriate responses to any they may face.    This is a truly amazing project which I could write more about.  President David Davies said that the club were going to log their hours spent in planning and execution for Rotary Club Central and this is certainly an event for the Rotary Show Case – something very rewarding and worthwhile.

It lasts for a full week so there will be exhausted Rotarians this weekend.    Over 25 schools  and nearly 500 pupils will attend!  Wow!!  well done Oswestry.



Year 6 children enjoy learning First Aid

Rotary helps disaster victims…    Severe storms, an earthquake and hurricanes have caused havoc across the globe from the United States and Mexico to South Asia and Africa.  The Rotary Foundation and Rotary clubs in affected areas are helping bring emergency aid to battered communities.

The Rotary Foundation is collecting emergency relief funds to help victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.     Severe rainfall caused historic flooding along the Texas coast, including Houston.   The power of Rotary is in our foundation’s ability to pull help from around the world whilst local clubs provide immediate relief in their own communities.

Further information regarding making club and individual donations can be found on the RI website – you can contribute directly to the Rotary Foundation or through Rotary’s Partner Relief Box Projects:  ShelterBox, Life Straws etc.

Just before I sign off from this blog a bit of information that some Rotarians might be interested in…

Catch up again soon!

Two local projects members might be interested in:

Rotarians might be interested in   RIBI Denis Spiller’s Purple for Polio Banger rally – information at

Some Rotarians in our District might be interested in the Bridge2Aid Charity Walkthe President of Knutsford Rotary, Tom Dickerson,  has challenged himself to raise as much money as he can for the dental charity above.   Briefly, Bridge2Aid is a charity that provides access to safe emergency dental care in Tanzania. Since 2004 volunteer dentists have trained local, rural health workers in the country. This sustainable training model of passing skills into local hands is providing long-term lasting change that is saving lives and freeing many from the prospect of misery and pain. The intention is to roll out this training in any other country where there is a need for it.

One challenge for raising money is by walking the Sandstone Trail.  The President of Knutsford Rotary intends to complete the Trail by using thirteen linked circular walks. This is effectively a walk per month.  Rotarians and friends are invited to accompany him, either in part or along the whole route, and consider sponsorship .  Although the challenge is to raise money for the charity, enjoying good fellowship is equally important.

The itinerary is:-

Walk 1 – Frodsham to The Ridgeway – 28th July 2017

Walk 2 – The Ridgeway to Manley Common – 25th August 2017

Walk 3 – Manley Common to Primrosehill Wood – 15th September 2017

Walk 4 – Primrosehill Wood to Fisher’s Green – 13th October 2017

Walk 5 – Fisher’s Green to Crib Lane – 17th November 2017

Walk 6 – Crib Lane to Beeston Castle – 8th December 2017

Walk 7 – Beeston Castle to Burwardsley – 19th January 2018

Walk 8 – Burwardsley to Rawhead – 16th February 2018

Walk 9 – Rawhead to Larkton Hill – 16th March 2018

Walk 10 – Larkton Hill to Hampton Post – 6th April 2018

Walk 11 – Hampton Post to Old St Chad’s Church – 11th May 2018

Walk 12 – Old St Chad’s Church to Grindley Brook – 1st June 2018

Walk 13 – Grindley Brook to Whitchurch – 20th June 2018

Walks 1, 2 and 3 have already been completed. Tom has emailed details to the Northwich Clubs and also Winsford/Middlewich to see if they would like to join him on walk 3 for some exercise and fellowship.  As he progresses Tom will contact Tarporley, Nantwich and the Clubs in Crewe.



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