April Blog:  The Beast from the East

Straight after the Easter Bank Holiday Monday – snow in April – could be January! I couldn’t get in or out; this is the view from our lounge window

Tuesday, 3rdApril – Club Visit to Tarporley – I wondered if I was at the wrong venue when I saw all the Bentley /vintage cars outside – apparently  The Vintage Car Society also meet at Willington Hall once a month!    One of my first events as District Governor way back in July  was the Tarporley Fete and  I had seen the club in action – all pulling together to ensure this very successful day in the Village.   However, it was good to attend their  Club meeting at a venue I am very familiar with.    A good turnout and indeed it was good to hear all about the monthly screen show and the Produce market arranged by the club.    This really is Rotary right in the heart of the community.

Weekend 6th – 8th April – Travel to Torquay  for the RIBI Conference at the River era Centre.  As I enjoyed the conference so much, I have already done a full blog on the event so if you haven’t read it, you need to catch up!

Monday, 9thApril:  Club Visit – Monday lunch time and off to Northwich.  A venue where I had many happy times playing badminton as a young woman – playing for the Mid Cheshire team.  I was born and bred in Gorstage, Sandiway, Northwich so know the area well and used to work at the Police Headquarters and Northwich  Infirmary.     The good old days… President Val made me very welcome and it was decided that I would move around tables during the meal – this gave me a great opportunity to meet with all of the members.     I did manage to get around all the tables but perhaps I should not have sat at the second which consisted of two AGs:  John Walton and Elizabeth,  AG Nick Gidney and Sue and Rotarian Denise.      As we were still celebrating AG John’s 60th birthday everyone had a glass of bubbly and there was much chatter about the RIBI Conference as 6 from the club had attended.  For President Val and PE Denise It was their first RIBI Conference.    

The club takes on some major events in Northwich: the River Festival and, of course, the Swimathon that I recently had the pleasure of attending.       I was very impressed with their pull up   banner which shows a photo of the Anderton Lift   Nice to meet up with John who will be inducted as a new member soon.

Evening: 9thApril:  Conwy Valley Club Visit.  This was my first visit to the  Maenan Abbey Hotel, Llanwrst which I liked very much and was shown around by one of the Rotarians.   Back in July 2017,  I had attended the Conwy Valley Rotary End Polio Now Fundraiser Event  in Llandudno which  the club arranged.  It was a massive event that did really well – but very sadly not supported by the local clubs.   What I did notice was, however, how many young people supported the event and I always see these as future Rotarians.    

Their business s meetings are  held in a very comfortable  lounge  and Tony had been invited along to answer any questions on satellite clubs .

10thApril – City of St. Asaph – Rhuddlan satellite:

this was a pleasant surprise to be invited along to Gareth’s home with Tony, D1180 New Club Formation Officer to go through the pathway to a satellite.     A plan was discussed, questions answered and a site visit and off we go.    Rhuddlan here comes Rotary!   Three dates were agreed for information meetings and let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed.     Good Luck.


Wednesday, 11thApril – Ruthin Rotary meet at the Wetherspoon Pub in the centre of Ruthin.  Although they have  a large side room to conduct their meeting, I know that some of the members do not really like their meeting place or their food but it would appear there is no where else suitable in Ruthin.    Despite all this, I think they get good value and a quiet room.    President Colin Winstanley – a good old friend conducted the meeting.     Barbara Bolton had supported their two candidates in the Young Musician Regional Final but, unfortunately, despite their very polished performances they did not make it through to the National Final.  The Club’s  Rotary shop is very successful and there is a very good youth programme.

13thApril – Bala and penllyn Charter held at the Eagles Hotel, near Bala – President Norman Jones.   With the large numbers attending this  30th Charter event it was a very intimate seating plan but it made for an excellent atmosphere.
The club was supported by Rotarians  from Denbigh, Llangefni, Rhyl, Ruthi, Mawddach, Bebington, Dolgellau, Wrexham Yale and , of course, Saughall. Guest Speaker – Liz Saville Roberts, leader Plaid Cymru in Westminster who gave an insight into what it is like to be an MP.

She knew very few Rotarians but gave mention to our District Treasurer Philip Horwood and her association with Pwllhelli.


It was good to see 7 of the satellite club members sharing in the celebration.
Indeed, the final toast was given by Chair Eric Willaims from the Glannau Tegid Satellite Club.  

It was my pleasure to be able to present President Norman Jones with a PHF.  Good to see Secretary Adrian and IPP Paul  Dale.




I felt it was a really happy evening – but as President Norman said, Rotary is all about people.



Showing off the latest technology:

16thApril – Oswestry Rotary’s 89thCharter was celebrated at the Wynnstay Hotel, in Oswestry.     Tonight celebrating 89 years of Rotary in Oswestry and it was good to see the Mayor of Oswestry, Councillor Vince Hunt  (I love to call him Vince Hill) with his Consort,  daughter Amber.    I first met Councillor Vince at the Life Line event, he supported D1180 at our District Conference and indeed after his spot he decided to stay on for lunch and to hear other speakers.  I also met up with him again at the Christmas Parade organized by Oswestry Borderland and suppoted by all the clubs.

20thApril – City of Liverpool  – over to the famous Adelphi Hotel dressed as Cowboys.   President Jon Atkinson and his team had gone to a lot of trouble to decorate the room .     Everyone had entered into the spirit of the theme.

The night was a huge success and everyone had an amazing time. With line dancing, and dancing to Jimmy Rae and the Moonshine Girls

Sunday 22nd April:  District Assembly – DGE Steve and District Trainer Ged had worked hard to get the District Support team well  prepared for the Assembly to make it a full day event at the new Neston High School.      The venue is truly amazing and was able to offer the latest technology to support the presentations.  If you were not able to attend – you missed a great event.

23rdApril – Chester Rotary Visit – a lunchtime meeting at the splendid Ramada Hotel in Chester.   The Club had visitors from Shrewbury Darwin Rotary…  Chester Rotary promised to return the scatter visit – even though they are a breakfast club.  Lots of banter and sharing Rotary experiences.

23rdApril – Newtown – the Elephant and Castle Hotel was the venue for this fantastic evening.  Sadly the Club President was away but the event was hosted by Sam Jones and ran exceedingly  well.    We heard performances by  Rotakids from Treowen School, , RYLA from Lauren Dinsdale, Young musician Jack Gonzalas, Young Writer Alice Bnks, Vocalist Lowri Evans, Interact – Ryan Parry.  It all lead to a very enjoyable evening in a celebration of Youth.


26thApril  Breathe at Carnarfon had to be postponed as Adrian Ford, one of the satellite club members has not been well.



Friday, 27thApril – Flint and Holywell celebrated  62 years of Rotary at the newly refurbished Springfield Hotel.   I had the pleasure of the company of President Neil and President Elect  Dave Roberts throughout the meal and it was good to hear about their plans and thoughts – knowing that they need to address membership matters to ensure there is always plenty of  members within the club to assist with projects as many of the members still work and are time short.  The comedian was Denny Water who was just hit the right note.

28thApril – St. Vincents Charter was held at St, Vncents School and was a very successful evening I hear,  DGN(D) David Hartley represented myself.   Tony and I split to show support for St Vincents Club.     Tonight it was my pleasure to attend the Oswestry Cambrian 3rd birthday party and present Rotarian Mike Lade with a very well deserved Paul Harris Fellow.  Mike not only started up the Oswestry Cambrian Club, but has worked endlessly for the Disitrict  – especially with the DMS, Health ad Safety, website etc etc and was a strong and very valuable member of the Dsitrict Conference Team 2018 for which I am eternally grateful.  What a Rotarian to suggest  a theme for the conference as “Make a Difference, Inspire the Future” way before RI President Ian Riseley announced his theme title for the year “Rotary Making a Difference”  and 12 months before RI President Elect Barry Rassin announced his theme “Be the Inspiration”  Think Mike Lade has a crystal ball

30thApril – Northwich Charter – off to the Vale Royal Abbey to be with President Val and members of Northwich Rotary along with the Mayor of Northwich.

The speaker was Hilary Berry – Chair of Cheshire West Association of Primary Headteachers.    A PHF was awarded to Rupert Adams and PHF Sapphire prsentations to John Walton and Nick Gidney.

So we come to the end of a busy Rotary month celebrating many happy occasions with our Clubs, hopefully inspiring and thanking many Rotarians for the projects they undertake and celebrating awards.

Surely May will not be as busy………..  !!!





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