June: My Valedictory Blog as DG 2017/18

The clock is ticking away.  I can feel the pressure coming off slowly: suddenly the hundreds of  emails will come to an abrupt halt but let’s see what’s been happening through June.

Beryl’s birthday cake, made by Kirsty

5th June:  It might be the DG’s birthday but nothing stops Rotary.  Tonight off to Rhuddlan to join an information meeting for the proposed satellite club.  Unfortunately it was not a good attendance and Rotarian  Gareth had to report back to St Asaph Rotary Club Council.   It was decided that the membership kiosk and recruitment would continue at the St Asaph Country Fayre in August.

6thJune – The final General Governing Council webinar which starts at 8 a.m.   The proposed 2nd membership seminar was postponed as there had not been a huge response and this has been postponed until September 2018.

8thJune – Final Governors Continuity meeting of this Rotary year and an opportunity to thank the team for their support and friendship.   Hopefully everyone has felt the meetings have been productive and helpful.9thJune – off to the Llangollen Rotary fete at Plas Newydd – welcomed by President Lyn and Barry.   The rain managed to keep off all day (until 4 p.m. when it was okay for it  to put in an appearance).     The fete runs like a well oiled clock.  Great to see the brand new ‘Dial a Ride’ community taxi – also suitable for wheelchair users – the Club’s amazing project.   PDG Nigel explained how the club managed to finance the new vehicle.

After walking around the fete we all enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea organized by Enid Law.    A couple of go’s on the Coconut Shie  and then lots of children’s laughter at the Punch and Judy.   I enjoyed assisting with  judging the children’s garden boxes – such talent this event was sponsored by a local  storage company.

Tuesday 12th June was a rather special day when Jennifer Burlingame and Peter Atkins were married at the University of Chester Chapel, followed by a wedding breakfast at the Abode Hotel.   





Jenn was the Inaugural Charter President of the University of Chester Rotaract Club and spoke at District Conference 2018.

Great to meet up with her parents again, including her sister, Taylor.   We also  met Peter’s  parents and family.

Peter’s father officiated at their marriage Ceremony – with Special Dispensation from the Archbishop of canterbury.   It was a magical day and so lovely to see Jenn and Peter so very happy together.


Wednesday 13thJune – a club visit to Willaston.President Paul kept the secret as I wanted to attend to present Colin and Debra Jerrett with a Certificate of Appreciation for their Rotary service.   Paul had assured me it was not the Club Assembly evening but actually I discovered it was.   AG John could not attend and AG Paul came along later after a hospital appointment.   Anyway, why appearance  did not appear to be a problem and after  the presentation Tony and I  stayed with the club to hear about their plans.   Willaston appear to be stronger than ever and looking forward to next year with PE Sheila in the hot seat.   Lovely to hear what they have planned for 2018/19.     Good to have a good chat with AG Paul after the meeting had closed.

Thursday, 14thJune: Up early to get over to Colwyn Bay to spend some time with Rhos on Sea Rotary at their breakfast meeting at the Wetherspoons in Colwyn Bay.

A hearty breakfast and an update on what the club have been doing and plan to undertake .  President George told me all about their walk next week to Aber Falls and they have a planned visit to the Lifeboat Station in July.

Monday, 18thJune –  it could have been a walk across the fields to spend time with Flint and Holywell Rotary – I could not believe that I was there within 2 minutes of leaving home by car.    The Springfield has had a face lift and looks quite splendid.    World Cup Football on this evening but still a good turnout to the Rotary meeting.       President Neil and President Elect Dave appear to be working together very well.   This is  a traditional single gender club.     Sadly they will not be attending the handover lunch as they will be entering the Chester Raft Race.

There was a speaker who was passionate about  presenting his research into the Flint and Holywell heroes of World War I.  This club works very very hard in their local community.

19thJune – back on the road to Caernarfon to be with Rtns. Adrian Ford and  Liz Millman. Tonight we met at the Galeri and had a quiet corner overlooking the quay.  This proved to be an ideal spot for future meetings.    We had two prospective members and it was a very successful planning meeting.

It was good to see Adrian back after his minor health problem and Liz returned from her travels.     We felt much more confident tonight and more certain that we shall see this club grow.   We are very much aware that Caernarfon is a Welsh speaking Community and we need to embrace the language in all that we do.

Friday, 22ndJune – a very early start to get to Gobowen Junior school to be with President Sherie of Oswestry Borderlands to charter a Rotakids Club at the school.  What a great delight…Congratulations to all!

Saturday, 23rdJune – will it arrive in time – yes it has – the Charter certificate to celebrate the Charter of Penny Bridge Wallasey Rotary.   

They always said they “will do things their way” and they have,  and why not.


All clubs are unique: we have to allow our new clubs to form in their own special way.     It was touch and go whether they would receive their Charter this year but probably the right time for them to mature into  full club

We thank Rotary Club of Wallasey for all their support over the years.   It was four years to the day since that first meeting with the carrot cake in the home of Manojit and Raj.   Unfortunately they could not attend on the evening but I know they keep in very close touch with the club.  


Many Rotrians have supported and encouraged the club and it will be easy to not mention someone who has played an important role but I have to mention AG Ray Allan who is delighted that the Club has received its charter. Thanks President Bill for your support.


Monday, 25thJune – the penultimate charter celebration of the year with North Wirral Rotary at the Bromborough Golf Club.


I have met President Mike Morris on several occasions  – not only in his role as Club President but as partner of Sandra who has been the Inner Wheel Chair for D18 this year.    


Like my husband Tony, he can laugh at the position as being the chauffeur and bag carrier but is also a confidante and staunch supporter of Sandra.

Would you believe four Sandras on the top table !  Excellent speaker – Sandra from the Liverpool Philarmonic

Wednesday, 27thJune – Another early start to be with the newest satellite club in the District: Nantwich Rotary 2.   
We are celebrating the induction of nine members into Rotary.   This new satellite club has been formed to introduce younger working people into Rotary, to provide networking opportunities and support in their daily working lives. This programme  offers local prospective members choice.   With a population of 114,000 in the area it is great to know that another 20 plus people are wanting to join our wonderful organization, getting together as friends to serve their local community and beyond.    To deny these people this opportunity would be a great sin and crime and it emphasises that there are people out there who want to join our organization.   I congratulate President Tony Hoy and Rtn. Tony Coxhill of Nantwich Rotary on their achievement  and appreciate the assistance; once again;  from Mike Constable.    Any doubters of new clubs forming  should refer to the four way test and ask themselves if they really want to keep Rotary service just to themselves.    By working together we can really Make a Difference.

28thJune – Presidential handover for Saughall Rotary from President Denise to President Elect Terry – the event being held at the home of Andrew and Jeanne Storrar.   Andrew and Jeanne have always been keen supporters of Saughall Rotary and we are delighted that they are our two Honorary members.    We are very appreciative that they allow the use of their extensive garden to hold events such as this: they are very generous people.     President Denise has had a good year at Saughall Rotary and I am sure she will be justly proud of her achievements as Club President.   The great thing about Rotary is that we build friendships and achieve so much by working together.  I am looking forward to  supporting Club activities once again.  We are all looking forward to welcoming Terry as our new Club President 2018/19. He is a working Rotarian and we will all need to help and support him in his role.  He has a very full Agenda of club events planned for the New Rotary Year.  We wish him well…and we also have a three year leadership plan in place as Terry will be followed by Mike and then Anthony.   

Friday, 29th June – a trip to Formby Squirrels to enjoy their Presdents Handover and cheese & wine event.  President Elect Ruth was installed as president 2018/19.  What can I say:  it was a very lively evening.      We tasted 8 different wines and probably most attendees got a little bit tipsy.   We finished by playing bingo.

President Mike informs me that Squirrels raised just over £600 on the night which will go to local good causes. Saturday, 30th June – first stop after work was to attend my Daughter in Law’s birthday party and then onward bound to Thorndale Tennis Club for the second celebration of  Penny Bridge  Wallasey  Rotary Club receiving its club charter from Rotary International.      The club had arranged a quiz night and wow were the questions tough.   I think the team I was on ended up about 4th – thanks to Hilary, Tony Cotton and AG Paul Dutton.      After a delicious buffet I was able to say a few words again regarding the club receiving its Charter on 23rd June – especially as some of the members and followers (Manojit and Raj) had been unable to attend their little celebration.    Good to see DGE Steve as well who had literally arrived back from Toronto a few hours earlier.

Sunday, 1stJuly – the handover lunch at the `Mercure Abbots Well.    The final event of the 2017/18 Rotary year/ the first event of the new Rotary Year 2018/19.   Although a perfect handover date it is also a date when many clubs are holding their own events i.e. Chester Raft Race.  We had over 140  sitting down to lunch, consisting of Presidents and Presidents Elect to celebrate their year in office and look forward to the year ahead, along with the outgoing and incoming District team.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon held at a new venue for the lunch and the room looked most welcoming, spacious and airy.  The staff were most attentive and we all enjoyed a two course roast beef lunch with scrummy profiteroles. The first task of the day was to have the pleasure of inducting a new member into Rotary.   A person who has attended many events, conferences and fund raisers and whom I promised if she joined Rotary I would like to induct her.   A promise is a promise and  she has joined  and with the permission of President Val and incoming President Denise, I  had the great pleasure of inducting Elizabeth Walton into the Rotary Club of Northwich. Club Secretary Sue Gidney read out the objects of Rotary and  it set the scene of the day.    Secretary Gordon kept the day running smoothly.  We all thanked Bob Maskall (incoming  DGE) for arranging the day but who could not be present.      I do hope my  speech did not extend too long (the longest I have made this year)  but sometimes things have to be said and Rotarians need to be acknowledged.     I thanked everyone for their hard work and support.  I acknowledged several Rotarians who have given, in my opinion,  exemplary Rotary service this year:  Mike Lade, Andrew Errington, Ged Whittle, Tony Cotton, David Barton, PDG John Bird.    Andrew Storrar and Jean Storrar were guests of the District and Andrew was presented with a PHF.       Barry and Ann Evans were acknowledged by the Rotary Foundation for being Major Donors and presented with a piece of crystal, 3 star donor pins and a pendant.   Also, President Tony Hoy from Nantwich read out the citation for Ann receiving a PHF.   Three Rotaractors also  joined us for the lunch.

Club Presidents 2017/18 and all District officers were thanked.  Our District Secretary Gordon is retiring and was delighted and surprised to receive a sapphire PHF.

It was great to see PDG Les Wilson and Pat at the lunch and Les presented myself with an amazing cake (made by his granddaughter Sarah).


It was a pleasure to hand over the baton to Steve  and I did not feel emotional as I thought I might.     I thank District 1180 for the honour and privilege of serving its members as District Governor.

I was presented with a gift by President Jon Atkinson 2017/18 from the City of Liverpool Rotary (the mother club in our District) .  There was not an opportunity to unwrap the gift but it is a gorgeous art piece to hang on one of my walls to remind me of a very happy year in office.   Thank you for the very many cards and emails that I have received which mean so much to me and are greatly appreciated.  


I I wish Steve and Maria all the very best for the year ahead and know if they have as enjoyable year as myself and Tony they will “be an inspiration”.   The future looks bright as we look ahead with a strong District.

So that it folks.   All over bar the shouting.    Next job is New Club Formation Officer 2018/19 and I have agreed to lead the District Membership Team for Steve for 12 months – oh! and of course I will now be known as Immediate Past District Governor.   Not sure what to do with my facebook page.  I think I will re-title it.      

I currently have three amazing social media books which have come from my facebook  photos and they will be a reminder of a very happy year as District Governor 2017/18 Rotary District 1180.  Thank you to everyone for your support and friendship.

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