Christmas: 15 days to go!

I was well advised to have a couple of days rest after Conference but that was never going to be the case.  (you can read My Conference Blog which  was issued about 10 days ago with loads of photographs)

My first appointment after the Conference was  with members of the West Kirby satellite Club on Monday 6th November.     It was great to be with Chair Beth and the members of this group.   They have 13 members and I was fortunate to meet 12 from the group and hear about their projects.   They are very busy.

We discussed their 3rd birthday celebration and they seem confident that they can grow to the magic 20 members to charter this Rotary year.  Beth was the inaugural Chair so it would be really good to see them Charter whilst she is Chair again.  Gook luck.

Seems a long time ago since I last visited Denbigh Rotary as their AG.  Tonight (Tuesday, 7th) they were having a RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) speaker and it was lovely to meet up with Morgan Wilby and his father.    After his presentation on his experience at Arthog the club held a business meeting and I was able to hear about all their projects.       At District events, we have missed contact with this club and so I was very pleased that two members have been appointed to attend these District events.  It is so important that we work together and help each other and this club has a lot of experience to offer other clubs.

On Thursday, 9th, I was up at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool at the NAFAS Festive Food and Flower show.   About 2 years ago I had been invited to do a flower demonstration at this prestigious event and it was a great honour to be invited.

I travelled up to Blackpool in the morning and then headed back down the motorway to attend RC Crewe’s 85th Charter night at the Hunter’s Lodge.

 

 

It was a most enjoyable evening with President Neil Fern and members.   The guest speaker was Neil’s brother who gave a fascinating history of the Blue Bell Railway.  I enjoyed meeting and chatting with the MP for Crewe along with the Mayor of Crewe – two more hard working ladies.

 

Friday evening I attended my own club who had a function at All Saints Church, Saughall.   It was a very atmospheric event with Handbag Harmonies led by Matt Baker singing some really happy melodies.      The acoustics were amazing in the Church.       Funds were raised for assistance with the new kitchen at the Church and a donation  to End Polio Now.

Monday, 13th November – off to Toxteth  Pakistani Association of Liverpool Centre to meet up with Chair Mr Ali.

He is forming a multi ethnic satellite club to extend community service into this area of Liverpool and to society at large.

14th November – Visiting Southport Meols Rotary to meet up with President Ged and all the members of Southport Meols. 

This was a charter night with a difference – four schools were competing for the Youth Speaks Trophy.   It was a truly fabulous night, hearing these youngsters speak on their varied and  thought-provoking topics…

 

 

 

 

Friday evening – Charter Celebration at White Waters Hotel in Llangollen to celebrate 56 years of Rotary in Llangollen with President Lyn Pinel and the members.

The guest speaker was Colin Channon  who is editor of the Oswestry paper and he gave a very entertaining presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday 20th travel to the north- west of Angelsey to meet up with Rotarians from Holyhead. I had met President Robyn at the National Eisteddfod in the summer and he was teaching me a little Welsh. 

The Treaddur Bay Hotel is a stunning venue and they have their own room to conduct their meetings.  There was a happy atmosphere and it was good to hear about their forthcoming projects.    Whether they were ready to hear DG Beryl’s thought provoking speech I am not sure, but I hope that I gave them food for thought and ways to adapt to change – at a pace they are comfortable with.    It was good to meet up with Gwilliam who has transferred from Heswall Rotary.     I was informed by one of the members that I was a breath of fresh air – but Gwiliam quickly told me it was a draught from under the door!

Wednesday – 22nd a General Council Webinar in the morning followed by an evening visit to Ormskirk Clocktower to be with President Sue Wilson and the members.  This was certainly a fabulous  evening  – Ormskirk Clocktower Rotarians turning out in force, doing a project right in the heart of the community.  This took the form of a party at the Skelmersdale Ecumenical Centre for refugees and asylum seekers.    The project as a whole,  helps these people integrate into the community but allows them to help themselves.  The refugees cooked the meal for 120 visitors – 40 Rotarians in attendance and  funds were raised  with the group rather than for them.    Indeed, the funds raised on the evening are to refurbish bicycles to help them get around Skelmersdale.  In thanking President Sue and the members I invited the children to come up to the front and we had a little sing-a- long -” If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands”.

Thursday –   I was supposed to be in Hesketh Bank, Southport but the meeting was postponed on the last minute so I was able to attend my own club business meeting.  Good to be with fellow Rotarians at Saughall and see the new cupboard that we have been allocated at the Vernon Institute!    Lots of plans for the future.  We have had permission to put our Club Charter Certificate  on the wall in the committee room at the Vernon Institute, so we now feel quite at home.

Friday 24th – The Governors Christmas Party to raise funds for our Rotary Foundation.

  I am afraid I will not be doing an abseil or zip wire or anything outdoors, not my style, so I decided on arranging a Governors party to raise some funds for the Rotary Foundation.    That way, fun and fellowship could be enjoyed as well as raising some money for our Foundation.

Everyone was invited to decorate their own club table and bring their own supper.   This enabled me to keep the ticket price down.    I have to say everyone entered into the spirit of the occasion and the tables looked amazing along with the Christmas sweaters and outfits.   Games entertainment was organized by Paul and Kirsty Cotton and we had a Table Quiz, pass the parcel, musical chairs, dress the dummy, reindeer racing, wrapping the parcel with one hand tied to partners, pass the balloon.   There was a huge raffle.  Musical

Entertainment was by Simon, an amazing singer and instrumentalist, who has a barber’s shop in Willaston along with Rhian Carys Jones from Flint.  She is a 16-year-old mezzo-soprano –  definitely an up and coming Katherine Jenkins.  

 

 

One of the most magical parts of the evening was the last dance, where everyone formed a huge circle on the dance floor and   joined in the festivities… The best liked game seemed to be “Musical Chairs” Hilarious !!  Ged Whittle’s home-made and decorated luxurious Christmas cake raised £60 in an auction conducted by Rtn. Keith Mitchell from Southport.

Thank you to all those Rotarians who attended and to all the other clubs who sent a donation to the Rotary Foundation.  In addition,  several sent along raffle prizes.    Everything was much appreciated and I think it turned out to be an excellent evening all round.   Thanks to Bob Maskall for taking some great photos again.    We raised in excess of £1135.00 for our Rotary Foundation.  Another donation has since arrived which brings the total to £1235.

Having packed the car and sorted out the hall – it was quite late arriving home and we met with a horrible hale storm.     Ugh, Winter is here!

I had hoped to support Bentley Cheshire at their Snowball Event at Crewe Hall, but I decided it was going to be difficult to be at Crewe, then either travel to Alcester late at night or travel back home in North Wales to return to Alcester the next day.  In the end I think worries about the weather took over my heart and so I headed down to Alcester after work on Saturday – ready for General Council on Sunday morning.

I have heard that the Snowball went really well – congratulations once again Bentley Cheshire Rotarians.

At Alcester it was good to meet up with fellow DGs on Saturday night and General Council commenced Sunday morning finishing very soon after 4 p.m. I was able to collect a few parcels from the Rotary shop for club members and then hit the M6 home.   Unfortunately, I had to miss out on the famous Rhos on Sea Club’s annual Tree of Light Project and was most appreciative of DGN Bob Maskall attending this event on my behalf.

Monday, 27th November – Conference Wash up –  it was good to meet up with the 2017 Conference team-not only to chat about the success of the conference and our individual thoughts on the speakers and events of the weekend but to consider anything that we could have done better.  All thank you letters had been sent and the accounts finalized by our Treasurer Colin in conjunction with Chair Andrew and myself.  It was very interesting to hear how exhausted every member of the team had been after the event.   I guess that is due to the adrenalin flow during the event.  Again, I could not thank everyone enough.   We were a small team but every member had done all that was asked of them, and more, kept calm and watched over each other’s backs.       We enjoyed a slide-show of the photographs taken by Bob and Molly and recapped on happy moments.

Tuesday evening the car headed up to Crosby to a new bar/restaurant to meet up with three Crosby Rotarians and DGN(D) David Hartley to discuss setting up a satellite club in Crosby.    President Alan, Geriant and Brian along with another are very keen to make this happen and we answered questions and made plans for the launch in January 2018.   Good luck guys.   With their local knowledge and determination, I set them the 13-week challenge.

Last night of the month – Thursday 30th, back to Saughall to have a joint meeting with our Rotaract Club.      They are really doing very well  – 5 years old and growing strongly.  Most of the members attended this joint meeting which was followed with with mulled wine, hotpot & mince pies, organised by president Denise.

Another month draws to an end.    Two of my major events successfully completed: The Premier event of the Rotary Year, the District Conference, held at Lion Quays, Oswestry  and a new event: The Governors Christmas Party held at Connahs Quay Civic Centre.  Combined with several club visits and Charter nights.

Lots of clubs are now building up to their Christmas street collections so let’s see what December has to offer…….

Please email some of your great pictures of you out and about on your street collections with Santa!

Good luck everyone – keep safe.

 

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