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.

May Blog: Thinking outside the Box….

One of my greatest worries being DG was always being on time for functions but I vowed to myself at the beginning of my year in office  not to get stressed out about this.

Our roads today are unpredictable and you can be held up for minutes or hours due to unforeseen circumstances.

However up until my visit to Machynlleth Club everything had been great.    Its nearly two hours to get there and winding country lanes and I knew that despite all attempts I was going to be 10 minutes late so managed to ring ahead. It was not a problem and I found the President and Secretary were waiting downstairs in the bar for me and had a little chat before we went upstairs.

I made a fine entrance and joked and it completely broke the ice.  What a smashing evening of fun and fellowship we all enjoyed.  .  It was lovely to meet up with the members and hear about the Challenge and all the other events.  Of course, Machynlleth was in the news 5 years ago and it has taken some time to come to terms with what happened in the Town.

2nd May:  it has proved very useful this year to attend all the AG meetings which are chaired by our DGE Steve.     The connection between the DG and AGs is so important and attendance at these meetings has been most important to maintain the link.

Thursday 3rd May:  it was a delight to take the journey to Bala to be with the satellite club Glannau Tegid who had a social evening held at Neuadd Mynach, Cwmtirmynachmm, Bala.    I have never seen so many delicious cakes and goodies that had been prepared by one of the members.    We had a presentation by Clare Mackintosh – local author (ex policewoman) about her life and the story of her three books.     It was a great evening and so good to be with the new satellite club members.

4th May:  The monthly gathering of the Governors Continuity team – this is a very important meeting to talk through management issues facing the District.     We are very fortunate in this district to have such a strong Governor team – all singing from the same hymn sheet.

Saturday, 5th May:  Willaston and South Wirral Charter event where I came across my friends Colin and Debra Jerrett (well, Debra had a new puppy so was actually puppy sitting) along with President Paul and all the members.   Two other very good friends were Simon the Village Barber and Rhian Carys Jones, vocalist whom I have previously met at Willaston functions and who both kindly donated their services at the Governors Christmas Party.    Lovely to see and chat with  them both again.

Tuesday, 8th May:  The first information meeting of the satellite club of City of St. Asaph Rotary held at the Castle Public House, Rhuddlan.     Thanks for the support of President Tom and Gareth (prime mover).    We had two interested parties and look forward to seeing them again in a couple of week’s time.

9th May:  up bright eyed and bushy tailed for a webinar of the Governing Council. Unfortunately the webinar was not the best with technology and a shame as the DGEs were present on this webinar meeting.   Matters are dealt with that would take up much time at the face to face meeting so it is a very effective meeting.

Friday, 11th May:  Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr 46th Charter night and what a happy evening we all had.    It was held at the Split Willow (their usual meeting place).

The entertainment was by Cat McKardle a local singer who had been away to search for fame and come back home.  She had such a lovely bubbly personality and I had to smile as she sang five numbers only and in her short speech she paid tribute to “the Rotary”.     She told of a heart string story with the santa sleigh and one realissed just what an important role “The Rotary” plays in the local community.  Thanks to President Ron Watson Jones and the members.

Saturday morning off to a new venue to myself – the Leverhulme Hotel, Port Sunlight to celebrate the 29th Club Charter  with Mid Wirral Rotary and President Ian MacKenzie and members.  The guest speaker was Professor John Reid at  this brunch event.

 

After the meeting a drive down to Alcester for the last Governing Council of the Rotary year.     It was good to meet up with my fellow District Governors for dinner and this time most of  the DGEs were present to shadow at Governing Council. It hardly seemed like 12 months since I shadowed IPDG Molly.

Monday, 14th May was  the Membership Seminar “Thinking Outside the Box” at the Catrin Finch Centre,Wrexham Glyndwr University with 70 members from the District  attending to hear the hear the key note speaker Jonathan Miller who is a Leadership Development, Innovation and Change Specialist.  Jonathan is a seasoned professional with many years of experience in major corporates, the senior civil service and more recently in the voluntary sector. He sees both opportunities and threats within our fast-changing and complex world.

Jonathan has worked at executive level, in people orientated change roles in organisations such as: Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Logica, Glaxo, Financial Services Authority and the Senior Civil Service.

Jonathan told it “as it was” and gave all who attended food for thought.   We did not all agree with some of his ideas but he did continually stress they were his views. Sometimes it is good to enjoy controversial conversation.

Rotary has achieved many great things over the years and now, like other organisations, needs to modernise. Jonathan believes that there can be a great future ahead for Rotary, if we can seize the moment and show that we are truly ‘People of Action’.

Tony Cotton, RI Assistant Membership Coordinator spoke about the progress of satellite clubs.  We organized an A to Z Wallpaper (the idea of Lisa Carlin)  picking up some punchy words for membership and public image.  Following this the group split into clinics on Club Health Check, Satellite Clubs, Rotary Club Central, Visioning, Public Image, Membership Retention etc

Thinking Outside the Box Membership Seminar 14th May 2018 Membership Alphabet
A B C D E F
All are welcome Business networking Cost of Rotary: cup of coffee Direct action Energy Fellowship
All ideas are good Blackballing OUT! Collaboration with other clubs Diversity Enthusiasm Friendship
Age is not a limit Belt out message Community Champions Diverse from tradition Enterprise Family involvement
ASK: ‘Just ask’ Broadcast message Demographics Environment Fit for purpose
Attract people who Buy into the publicity Feeling for others Forward thinking Fabulous Feisty
 ‘Think outside the Box’ Focus Finance
G H I J K L
Go get ’em Helping society whilst having fun Interact Journey Knowledge, skills we bring to the table Lead by example
Generations Help & happiness Image: colourful, artisic, vibrant Joint ventures Keep going Literature: use it!
Gregarious High hopes irrelevant? Jump in & have fun! Kick ass! Learn from others
Giving Hope for the future Instigation of new ideas & support Just join us! Knock down barriers Listen to all ideas
Insularity: Status? Let people have their head
M N O P Q R
Make them welcome No negativity Oooh! Presentation Quest for fulfillment Respect
Making a difference with Rotary Networking Objectives People Question the status quo Responding to needs
Meeting when & where we need to New thinking Of course! Profile Que up to help others Reinvent
Modern means of making contact Next idea Options galore Personal development Question the cost Rejuvinate
Opportunities Rotarians Rotaract Reactive?
S T U V XYZ XYZ (Cont.)
Structured membership over first years Time Understand club needs Visions Xtraordinary Young generations
Sharing responsibility Topical issues Undertake a project Values Xciting Zero Beureaucracy
Strength in depth Think differently Use the expertise Value added Xcruciating Zesty Rotarians
Support in numbers Think outside the box Xstatic Zen & the art of being
Supporting the community Team work W W (Cont) X Rotarian? an effective Rotarian
Strategic alliances Transparent Websites Worth You are important Zip the negativity
Safer society Transforming lives Women   Wealth You can make a difference Wanted
Willing weekends Welcoming Wired for sound Your comminity needs you
Well-grounded Wholesome,   Well planned Working together Warm Youngster power Winning

Everyone left the event with plenty to think about.  Jonathan spoke out loud and clear about the future of Rotary if we do not all address the ageing membership and it is up to each and everyone of us in District 1180 to ensure our membership continues to flourish and we introduce younger members into our organization to ensure that we do not roll off the end.  This event has been funded by a grant from RIBI and feedback will be given.

Wednesday, 16th May – a visit to Oswestry Borderland  – it was some time since I had visited the Club as their AG.       Not a bad turn out considering the DG was attending but quite a few were away on holiday.      I have spent some considerable time with President Sherie this year, at their Christmas Parade, The District Conference, the Oswestry Life Line Event and time at RYLA 2017. Sherie is going to serve as an AG 2018/19.  It was good to be able to thank the members first hand for supporting the District Conference.Thursday 17th– off to Crosby to the West Lancs Golf Club for a Cheque Presentation evening.   This was some event.   Very well organized with many local groups in attendance and President Alan Dean took an excellent meeting.

 

 

 

 

It was a perfect evening to sit on the balcony before the event and enjoy the sunset.       After a carvery and delicious puddings the cheques were presented and each recipient was able to speak about their organization.

 

An excellent networking event and good to see a membership dividend – membership leaflets on each table and promotion of their satellite club as well as the Crosby Club. Well done Crosby!!

Friday, 18th May – off to Cardiff to celebrate with our Champions of Change Awardees.  We were very fortunate in D1180 to have three awardees – Sarah Newcombe, Bentley Cheshire Rotary, Patsy Dodd, Royden Revolve Rotary for her International project and Andrew Errington, Saughall Rotary received the Presidential Citation for strengthening our membership.

 

 

 

We enjoyed chatter, fizz and canapés in the grand surroundings of the City hall Cardiff.   A special occasion.

I knew that when we had two finalists in the National RIBI Young Musician Competition I had to attend and so up at 3.30 a.m. Tony and I travelled  up to Edinburgh from Cardiff  to attend the  final.  This was held at the  Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh on Saturday, 19thMay. The two finalists from D1180 were judged the winners of both the Instrumentalist & Vocalist Classes

Ellis Thomas, 16 years old, came first in the instrumental section.   He played
Danzas Argentinas, Op2 – No 3 Danza Del Gaucho Matrero, Ginastera, Concert Paraphrase on Verdi’s Rigoletto on the piano.   Ellis was sponsored by Colwyn Bay Rotary

Angelina Dorlin-Barlow, 17 years old, came first in the Vocal Section.  She sang:  Va! Laisse couler mes Larmes (from Werther)  (Messenet), The Shepherd Song (Elgar), The Nurse’s Song (Britten).  Angelina was sponsored by Southport Rotary.  Both candidates were supported by President Michael Harrison, Dianne Harrison and Rtn Chris Wood.  President Terry Deakin, DG Beryl Cotton and PDG Tony Cotton.

What an amazing experience to enjoy every performance at the competition.   A joy to hear such enormous talent in concert – a real privilege.  We were shattered at the end of the event – not only with the very early morning rise, the long journey but the excitement of the day.  

 

 

DG Lindsay Craig from Edinburgh had organized a meal with RIBI President Denis, Penny Spiller and my fellow DG Carol Reilly and Malcolm from District 1070.    Afterwards we had a photo shoot with the magnificent Forth Railway Bridge in the background.  Sunday was a day to recharge the batteries and start a slower journey home.No lie in on Monday morning as it was the End Polio Now Grand Tour and I was determined to be at the D1180 Checkpoint to welcome and flag off our very own DGN Bob Maskall, Rtn Kate Maskall and President Syd Bowen from Bangor Rotary.    Spot on time they arrived at 10 a.m. and we were able to wave them off.   I give my grateful thanks to PDG Mike Clutton for organizing the checkpoint at the Aldcote House Hotel, Llandudno owned by Rtn Mike Dean.  RIBI President Denis had requested the check point be on the Great Orme but there had been problems and then they lost the speck on the front Promenade.   Actully it worked out quite well being at the Hotel because there was always someone to welcome any early or late cars as the checkpoint was only manned from 10 – 4 p.m.   Over the four days 19 cars passed through and received a warm welcome and ‘safe onward travels’.      The whole event raised the profile of Rotary and the End Polio Now programme.   51 cars participated and it is anticipated that as much as £50,000 will have been raised, which when tripled by the Gates Foundation will be a magnificent achievement in aid of the polio eradication programme.

Wednesday 23rd May was the journey to Welshpool to celebrate 71 years of Rotary and was held at the Royal Oak Hotel, Welshpool.   The speaker was Andrew Rowell, Shooting the Olympics who entertained us all well and showed us his “Grammy” Award .

I was presented with a gorgeous trug filled with flowers and 10 days later it is still as beautiful and fresh as on the night.

 

 

On 24thMay Wallasey Rotary held at Membership Showcase and loaned the District Membership Kiosk.  I mention this as they had 21 attendees and hopefully will turn some of those into Rotarians.

Saturday up bright and early to ensure we were in Nantwich at 8.30 a.m. to assist with their Weaver Wander Classic Car Run –
with 140 stunning vehicles taking place.     I was delighted to meet up with the Deputy Mayor who was indeed quite a local character.   After the event he stayed and had a coffee with Tony and myself – we became long lost friends.    The event was well organized and I enjoyed being part of the celebrity team who were the Starter Flag Wavers.  (This was promotion from being the whilstle blower at Northwich’s Swimathon!)  After all the cars had

 

gone through the starting line, we headed off to Gawsworth Hall, Congleton to meet up with them and take the Membership Kiosk to Mike Constable on the field.  In the evening we travelled to Hunters Lodge to celebrate 30 years of Tripartite Fellowship with RC Cergy (Paris) and RC Nidda (Germany) with 21 visitors.  It was a rather special event with President Terry( and Judy his wife) as it was, also the President’s Evening.      I was a little overwhelmed being presented with some gorgeous gifts from the visiting Presidents.

The final engagement of the month of May was a meeting with our Zone 17 RI Assistant Coordinator Tony , DGE, DGN and DGN(D) to go through our 3 year membership strategic plan – looking at where we are, where we wanted to be and how we are going to get there   It was a very informative and useful meeting and  lot of work and preparation had been done by Tony prior to the meeting.

So another month over and just four weeks left of the DG year.   Still plenty of events to enjoy next month.West Shore, llandudno

 

 

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………..  !!!

 

 

 

 

RIBI Conference: I do love to be beside the Seaside

Spending a morning in work, we left Warrington on Thursday afternoon for the journey to Torquay.  After a bit of slow traffic around the Knutsford roadworks we had a good journey, checked into our guest house  – and went out in search of some food.   It’s a long journey but well worth the journey.    Apparently it was the first Rotary Conference in the West Country since 1924

We knew the Beafeater at the Premier Inn but were asked to wait for  an hour and a half so was guided to the main bar to order food where we  bumped into Allan and Rose Jagger.   Before we knew it we were in the restaurant with them enjoying a delicious steak.    Lots of chatter and banter and then we walked back with them to the Grand Hotel for a nightcap  where we met up with several of my fellow DGs.    Good to see everyone again for a natter.  A brisk walk back to the Hotel Montana and soon off to sleep.  After breakfast we walked down to the Torquay Riviera Conference Centre to register and  obtained our Voting Credentials  then walked into the Town to have a look around   It is a few years since I had been to Torquay and there was plenty of rejuvenation.   It was a lovely afternoon with the sun shining and a warm welcome to Torquay. The conference opened at  2.30 p.m. by RIBI President Denis with the first plenary session. One of the first to speak was RI President Ian Riseley on his third visit to England.

Liz Thomas, Inner Wheel President 2017/18 – a formidable lady who has led the Inner Wheel with distinction this year.   Her message was direct.    Inner Wheel will survive with or without Rotary.  Following the Inner Wheel presentation, National Federation of Women’s Institute Janice Langley – speaking on her organization that has adapted to change and Janice explained how the organization had moved and adapted with the times and what it offered to its members.

RIBI Awards: Of particular note was the Membership award for ‘Innovation and Change’ Jointly awarded this year to D1150 (South Wales) & D1200 (Somerset) for an innovative new satellite club project, raised by members of a club in Somerset but inaugurated at a location near Cardiff

Shaun Sawyer – Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police – gave out some very useful advice to all attendees.  End of the session  – Phil Bennett OBE was a popular speaker/entertainer.Friday evening 29 members from D1180 went to Amici Italian Restaurant for a delicious meal.    A huge thanks to DGN(D) David Hartley for arranging the evening and selecting such a good restaurant.  It was a shame that

David was not feeling too good and on antibiotics  but he did improve as the conference went on.

Rotarians attending the D1180 Celebration Dinner were: David Hartley Southport Meols, Angela & Nigel Williams Chester Riverside,

 

Sam Reeves Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr, Beryl and Tony                             Saughall

 

 

 

 

Paul Dutton                                   Ormskirk, Jenny Schwarz                               West Wirral

 

 

 

Janet and David Slinger Southport

 

 

 

Molly Youd Wrexham Yale,  Fiona and Stewart Bassett  Wrexhan Glyndwr,

 

 

Rita and Dennis Hunt Wrexham Yale, Chris Sweeney Conwy

 

 

 

Maria and Steve Martin Neston and Royden Revolve

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth & John Walton          Northwich

 

Val Godfrey                                  Northwich

Denise Watkinson                       Northwich

 

 

 

Kate and Bob Maskall                 Bangor

 

 

 

Linda and Peter Brayshaw       Bangor

 

 

 

Iain Henderson                              Wallasey,

Nick and Sue Gidney                   Northwich

 

Also at Conference:

Nancy and Graham Clarke  Tywyn, Ann & Roger Heath Liverpool City and Liverpool South, Keith  &  Ruth Foggin, West Wirral,

 

 

Neil Greg  &  Jenny Cassidy, Steve & Barbara Cole Newtown,  Andrew Kellaway,  Hershel  Levin &  Keith Housley Liverpool City

 

9  Rotaractors led by their President Emma from  University of Chester Rotaract  Club

 

 

 

Considering the distance travelled I think this was an excellent showing from our District.  My apologies in advance if I have missed anyone off this list. Rotary Music Night on the Riviera:  

At Friday’s evening entertainment we were treated to some wonderful songs performed by the Bridgend Male Voice Choir.This was followed by an illusionist act, ‘Matricks’.  Then more popular songs from a talented Tribute act.  A fabulous evening combining a celebration of music making from the Welsh tradition followed by a tribute to Popular culture. 

Saturday morning: everyone was up bright eyed and bushy tailed for the second plenary session which was opened by Liz Johnson – a Paralympic swimmer holding a gold, silver and bronze medal.   She had a very charismatic and bubbly personality.  She delivered a truly inspiring story on her journey with cerebral palsy in addition to losing her mother whilst she was  en route to The Bejing Olympics

An excellent session was given on the Rotary Technology Tournament with a demonstration of a typical test project. Tom Silverson spoke about Rotaract in great Britain and Ireland.  

Following this, we enjoyed a Harp recital given by Huw Boucher, Winner Young Musician of the Year 2016/17.  Wow! He is some virtuoso on the harp.  I don’t think I have ever heard the harp played quite like this before.  Alex Leger gave an insight into Blue Peter as director and producer and cameraman for this best loved children’s programme.   How I treasure the Blue Peter badge that I was awarded many years ago.

Finally Rotary Young Citizen Award 2018 – honouring these very special young people. The award ceremony was presented by  BBC Personality Ellie Crisell

 

 

These are really good news stories about young people making a difference.    These Rotary awards started back in 2007.

 

 

 

We were also given a presentation on cyber crime with DS Ian Kellaway and DS Gary Brown BSM.

I had chosen to attend the Foundation lunch which was indeed a delicious plated ham and cheese salad.   We were delighted to hear Jessica Tissell, rotary peace fellow 2017/18 class XVI  – currently working towards a Masters in Middle East Politics and Security at the University of Bradford.    Jessica aims to gain new perspectives on how NGO’s can support reconciliation and long term peace making goals in the Middle East while meeting the urgent needs of the region’s most vulnerable people. 

 

After lunch Rtn. Paul Harvey spoke on  Rotary Polio Vaccination in India and acknowledged the NID attendees at Conference.

Angela Rippon OBE, CBE spoke with great passion about Dementia – “A whole community response”

We were delighted that the Princess Royal was able to attend Conference.  Prior to her coming into the conference  she was introduced to several Rotarians and we were all delighted that Fiona Bassett from District 1180 had been selected.    What a thrill!!  Denis had selected a wide selection of Rotarians representing all Districts.     I understand she spent time speaking to every Rotarian!  Meantime we were all in the main hall waiting for her appearance.  Several of the DGs had been asked if they were prepared to sit behind the princess as the Police like to know who is actually sitting close to her.    Hence, I was delighted to be asked to sit right behind her with DG Nick Stilltoe, DG Chris Davies and DG Cheryl Law.     We eagerly awaited her appearance.

Then HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne was invited onto the stage to speak and she did not disappoint.  She is an Honorary Rotarian of  Elgin Rotary and praised Rotarians for the work they undertake in the eradication of Polio,   Wow – she had done her homework!  When we all left the hall it was prepared for the ABM and I think we must have missed the bell because we were a fraction late.   We were not the last but managed to make it just in time……..

Now we move onto the Annual Business meeting.   With the Princess visiting Conference things were delayed and we were running about 45 minutes late – but who cares when Royalty drops in!!  Whilst the business meeting was held there were several workshops.

I understand these were well attended but I cannot comment on them as I was in the voting hall.  The delegates voted by an emphatic majority  to modernise the RIBI committee structure,  make changes  to RIBI Executive, modernisation of General Council, eventual replacement of the RIBI Presidency and to broaden the role of the RI Director within our Zones (17 & 18a).   These changes will take several years to  complete but the ball has started to roll.      A quick dash back to the Guest House to get changed ready for the Beach Party dinner and dance. 

I was so thrilled  that we were sitting beside Rotarians from Newtown and it gave us a good opportunity to get to know them.

 

 

Also, Iain Henderson from Wallasey was excellent company.   Iain regularly serves as a steward at Conferences and enjoys this role immensely.

 

As always at these events, there was a ‘Fancy Dress Competition’ I am delighted to report two teams from D1180 were awarded prizes:

Congratulations to John & Elizabeth Walton who came 2nd and Nick Gidney & Steve Cole, runners-up.

 

 

At the beach party more Rotarians attended and we all thoroughly enjoyed the band.

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning – BBC Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes gave the thought for the day.

This was followed by an inspirational speech from RI President Ian Riseley and then Michel Zaffran from the World Health Organisation – he was just so inspirational and explained the need for Rotary to continue right to the end.  He let the audience know that he had become a Rotarian himself as a result of getting to know the work that Rotary undertakes with Polio Eradication.  After Coffee we saw again the advert for the RI Convention 2018, delivered  by our very own PDG Roger Heath and more information about the 2019 Convention which I plan to attend in Hamburg.  Also, information on the 2019 RIBI Showcase event at Nottingham and the next Rotary Institute which will be held in Stratford upon Avon.
We were all delighted to hear  Chris Tarrant.  He told stories of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ days and also praised Rotarians  for the good work they undertake and his interest in the Rotary ‘End Polio Now’ Campaign.   He gave mention of one of his school friends aged eight who contracted the disease, how they thought initially  it was just a chill and then the paralysis set in and he was diagnosed as having Polio and sadly died. As a child he said it was something he and his family dreaded.  Donna Wallbank introduced Chris and spoke about her childhood passion for the legendary Saturday morning show TISWAS. and her dream to be given the custard pie treatment. Chris obliged and got covered in custard (or whatever it was!!) all down his crisp expensive suit. Donna certainly got what she wanted and disappeared to get changed leaving Chris to give his presentation.

Closing speaker was Lydia Slack – who was absolutely hilarious. As a farmers daughter I can very much relate to her presentation!   She had everyone in hysterics.

 

 

 

 

I think that President Denis Spiller and his Conference team should be justly proud of the organization and content of the Conference.

It was a great weekend and much fun and fellowship was enjoyed by members of District 1180.   As Governor it is very gratifying that so many Rotarians from D1180 attended the Conference.  Long may it continue.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Madness

Although its officially Spring on 21 March  the weather has truly been mad this year – snow, sleet, heavy rainfall. The beast from the East has visited but it has not held me back on my visits to clubs in District 1180

Thursday, 1st March: What better way to celebrate a new month than by visiting one of our newer Rotary clubs – Royden Revolve.   The meeting was a social evening held at  Julia and David Sayle’s home.

It was an excellent turnout and fish and chips (purchased locally) were enjoyed by all, followed by the business meeting.

I was delighted to be able to personally congratulate one of the Champion of Change Awardees – Patsy Dodd and I thank the Club for undertaking all their projects .  The members  never stop and if only I could bottle the enthusiastic atmosphere around the table – it was a quality  champagne.  After discussion we all ended up playing Uno and had much fun – a new card game for me.

Friday Evening was supposed to be Wrexham’s Charter event but unfortunately owing to the bad weather it was postponed.       My plan had been to visit the Wrexham University for half an hour to call in at the District Youth Speaks Final and then go across to the Ramada Hotel.    Not having heard that the competition had been postponed as well, I dashed home from work, got changed and headed off to Wrexham.    The Uni was all locked up and no competition on this evening.  I met up with DGE Steve on the car park and we both had been on a ‘wild goose chase’.    Anyway Tony and I made the most of the evening by going to the Plas Coch for bangers and mash (my favourite)There was a bit more snow in the night and Saturday morning we had to dig ourselves out to get to Eccles to the District 1285 public image and membership seminar: ‘Thinking Differently’.    We both thoroughly enjoyed the keynote speaker Jonathan Miller, Leadership /development, Innovation and Change Specialist whom I have invited to D1180 to give a presentation at our Membership Seminar on Monday 14th May (invites to be sent out)

There were break out sessions and a final question and answer session – finishing at 2.30 p.m prompt.  Well done to the D1285 team.   It was wonderful to bump into some old friends – one in particular Carol Parry,  past Saughall member and member of District 1180 Foundation team.  Carol is now PE of Wilmslow Rotary.

Sunday 4th was the District PETS at Runcorn but it was a free day for myself so a day to catch up with life beyond Rotary.

Monday 5th March was a celebratory day with the `Inauguration of 9 new members into Rotary.    Liverpool Toxteth Rotary (the outward facing name) is the Satellite Club of Liverpool Stl Vincents Rotary – a club who itself started its days as a satellite club before chartering in the presence of the RIBI `President  of the day, Peter King and DG Les Wilson.      It was a delight that RI Public Image Coordinator PDG Les Wilson and Rotarian Pat came to the inauguration.   So lovely to see them both.  After the short induction ceremony a delicious supper was shared by all.    A night to remember  – a multi cultural, multi ethnic club in an area that was subjected to dreadful riots in the 1990’s Toxteth is now a peaceful neighbourhood with many different cultures working harmony for the good of the community.  Rotary is now a vibrant part of a bright future for the area of our great City of Liverpool.

Tuesday, 6th March – District Council at the Catrin Finch Centre, Wrexham.     After the business session we welcomed two speakers – Ruth Owen from the Alzheirmers Society, Mold and Kate Keator, Bradford Peace Fellow year XIV.This was the last District Council that I have to chair as Governor.

The Rotary Foundation 2016/17 recognition banners and ceritifcates were announced and presented by IPDG Molly Youd.  Despite us having four more months in office,   retiring officers were thanked for their work: Foundation Chair David Barton, Membership Chair and Extension Officer Tony, Community Service Chair Stephen Turner,   Mike Lade as AG and District Webmaster, PDG Roger Heath Visitioning Chair and our District Secretary Gordon Marshall.

The Council was closed at  8-30 pm  after an action packed evening.  Members   listened intently to the presentations and transacted a large amount of business.  After the meeting, several members enjoyed supper and drinks across the road at the Plas Coch.

7th March was the District Foundation meeting

Thursday 8th March – DG visit to City of St. Asaph Rotary – good to meet up with familiar faces from St Asaph.     Delighted to see that it was nearly a full house and following the business meeting  President Tom invited me to address the members.

Friday – a busy evening  with lots of Charter events around our District must be a popular date!! The first to book the DG was Nantwich Rotary celebrating 84 years.   In addition, it was Ruthin Charter (DG represented by AG Ray Allan) and, I understand,  it was Deeside Rotary Charter night.  

Nantwich Football club was the venue chosen by Nantwich Rotary and the guest speaker was  Jon Kay – well known BBC Presenter who is a local lad but now working in Bristol.  I had the pleasure of sitting with his father Sir Maurice Kay- excellent company.  Jon Kay amused the audience with his stories – remember the story that went viral when ….. prime minister David Cameron  announced he was going to hold a general election – and the lady was interviewed as to how the public felt about this.      Jon was the person who interviewed her before her story went viral.

Being a professional florist, as you can imagine, Saturday and Sunday was very busy so all heads down preparing orders for Mothering Sunday bouquets…   With orders coming in very late the stress levels were high but it is amazing what you can achieve as a team by working together.       (That sounds Rotary familiar)

Back on the road again on Tuesday, 13th and heading off to Caernarfon satellite club – information meeting.    
Tonight we had five visitors from Bangor Rotary to encourage Adrian Ford with the Beach Clean at Dinas Dinlle Beach – plastic and litter clearance on Saturday, 24th March and laying down plans for the Breathe film showing on 26th April at the Galeri in Caernarfon.

Wednesday, 14th a visit to Woodies, Kingswood, Newton to be with members of Chester Centurian satellite club at their new dementia café.   They had received a small donation from the local council to help set up the café.

Friday, 16th March was the 39th Charter Celebration of Maghull and Aughton Rotary at the West Lancs Golf Club.  Around 85 Rotarians and friends came to celebrate with President Kevin Scott.     Dame Muirhead was supposed to be the speaker but unfortunately was still not well and so Sir David Maddison stepped in and gave a thoroughly entertaining presentation on his life as a High Court Judge.

Ian Agnew was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for the work he undertakes with the Santa Sleigh which raised £15,000 in 2017.  I was delighted to present President `Kevin with a banner from Rotary Foundation being the 3rd highest Foundation giving per capita in D1180 for 2016/17.  I was also priviledged to be able to read out the citation for a Paul Harris Fellow to Rtn. Pat Wilson

Regional Young Chef competition was won by Tomas Atkinson sponsored by RC Ruthin.      A huge thank you to Rtn. Alan Tickle who took on the District Competiton at very short notice – assisted by Howard Ferdinando.  I am sure Alan will very pleased to know that Tomas has gone through to the National Final.    A huge thank you to Bob Maskall who attended the District Competiton to represent the DG on the evening of District Council.

Saturday, 17th March – off to the Brio Leisure Centre, Memorial Court, Chesterway, Northwich to be with President Val Godfrey and members of Northwich Rotary.

 

 

The Northwich Swimathon is in its 18th year and Val introduced me to all the members of the Club and visitors.    Over 18 years the event runs like a well oiled clock but I am told it has been  changed to keep it fresh and appealing.  Last year £15,000 was raised for local chairties.    I had great fun blowing the whistle to start and finish some of the Competition Heats

 

Sunday was the Regional Youth Speaks Competition organized by District 1285 at the Forest Hills Hotel, Frodsham.

Here are the results:  INTERMEDIATE: 1st place – Flint High School, 2nd place – Ripley St Thomas CE Academy. 3rd place – Bolton School (Girls), Best Chairperson – Ryan Moorhouse (Ripley St Thomas CE Academy), Best Speaker – Kate John (Flint High School), Best VOT – Carol Habib (Bolton School Girls)  SENIOR: 1st place – St Michael’s CE High School, 2nd place – Oswestry School . 3rd place – Bolton School (Girls), Best Chairperson – Hafsa Syed (Bolton School (Girls), Best Speaker – Emily Crook (St Michael’s CE High School), Best VOT – Tsveta Stratieva (Oswestry School)

Monday March 19th – a visit to North Wirral Rotary who meet at the Holiday Inn  in West Kirby.   Good to see some familiar faces here. The Chairs and Officers of the club read out their comprehensive reports.      If I was looking for a Rotary  club to join on the Wirral I think I would certainly be considering North Wirral.   Their programme of work is extensive and varied and plenty to give anyone a huge insight into Rotary.   Obviously, the Wirral Walk is their signature event and they are already geared up and plans well under way.  I wish them good luck in the fabulous project.   Some new ideas and techniques have  been introduced and the programme has been revised to maintain the public interest.  Their latest project is a concert and great hopes for a large event are planned.  The Club has applied for a Rotary Foundation Global Grant; to build a new block of classrooms and offer support at Shree Sagarmatha Higher Secondary School, Nepal.  This is going ahead now, following additional funds  from their counterparts in Nepal to help with financing the project.  A great evening – if I had a disappointment it would have to be the lack of any membership recruitment and hopefully this will be addressed when the Club finds a new meeting venue.     I believe, in common with all clubs,  they must continue to attract new members, especially as they had a few losses this year.

Thursday, 22nd March:  off to Tywyn for their lunch charter – what a scenic journey to Aberdovey to the Treffadderu Hotel – a marvellous setting and a very warm welcome by President Nancy and her husband Rotarian Graham.  After a delicious lunch everyone retired to the lounge when short speeches were given, these followed by a guest speaker.  President Nancy was worried about having a lunch time event but she pulled it off with her usual flair and everyone enjoyed a lovely afternoon in splendid surroundings.   Good to see AG Richard Withers and President Stephen from Dolgellau

Not much time to enjoy the area as a swift drive back to North Wales for a splendid Evening event:  The Inauguration of Llandudno Gogarth satellite club.    Well done to Llandduno Rotary for having the foresight to start a satellite club. 

President John   inducted 10 new members at the Llandudno Bay Hotel – in an  ideal room where over 30 friends, family & Rotarians attended.    President Chris Drew and his small Team organized this joyful celebration.

New members were:  David Davies-Jones, Stephen Davies-Jones, Diane Dean, Louise Hillier, Mark Jones, Natalie Jones, Graham Jones, Karen Jones, Sarah Kennedy-Ratcliffe, Ray Kahn, Laura Thompson.
Congratulations to the prime movers of this satellite club: President John,  Roz, Michael and Chris Drew.

A weekend in Southport, so after work, headed up the Motorway to Southport on Friday evening – funny the traffic was not as heavy as it usually is.   My car is beginning to know this journey well

Friday – Southport Links Charter event at the Royal Clifton Hotel .    A very warm welcome was received by Tony and myself and this was a very enjoyable  29th celebration of Southport Links Rotary.

Comedian  Norman Prince was a lovely person to sit beside and hit just the right note for the evening.  Owing another charter celebration in Southport the following morning it was a luxury not to have to drive home to Flintshire and could not have chosen a better place to stay over but the Premier Inn right next door to tomorrow’s morning  charter event.

Saturday 24th:  Southport Sunrise Charter BrunchWe were all enthralled by the 11 Rotakids who attended and entertained us with a presentation on what they had been doing.  

They were an absolute  delight and so well behaved.  They certainly all ate a good sized breakfast and I noticed that Rotakids President Callum liked his pancakes with maple syrup!

 

Sunday – DOTS 2  at the Mercure (Woodhey) I have given my apologies as I felt it important to support the D1180 candidates from

Young Musician and a visit to Darwen (D1190) to represent D1180 at the Regional Young Musician Final.

What another huge treat to listen to these talented young people.  District 1180 had four candidates:   The Regional Final held at the Darwen Vale High School Darwen was for D1180, 1190 and 1285.    

 

 

 

 

In the morning we heard Nicholas Rushworth play the alto saxophone, Angharad Huw play the harp, Declan Molloy the piano, Izabel Forrest the cornet and Ellis Thomas play the piano.

The winner was Ellis Thomas aged 16 years sponsored by the Rotary Club of Colwyn Bay from Ysgol John Bright, Llandudno.    The runner up was Nicholas Rushworth playing the Saxophone sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tottington and Bury West.    Ellis was truly amazing, he played the following virtuoso pieces :  1) concert Paraphrase on Verdi’s Rigoletto by Franz Liszt and Danzad regentinas op.2 no. 3’ Danza del gaucho matrero’  by Alberto Ginastera.  Ellis will now go forward to the National Final to be held in Edinburgh on 19th May.In the afternoon we heard the vocalists, Angelina Dorlin-Barlow, Florence Bunday, Saffron Doherty, Leah Montgomery, Gwenan Mars Lloyd and Mia Graham.  I am delighted to say the winner was Angelina Dorlin-Barlow (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Southport) and will go forward to the National Final.   Angelina sang Val Laisse Couler mes Larme (Werther), The Shepherd’s song by Edward Elgar and The Nurse’s song by Benjamin Britten.    The runner up was Saffron Doherty sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tottington and Bury West.  It was great to see Rtn. Barbara Bolton supporting Ruthin’s two candidates – Angharad (playing the harp) and vocalist Gwenan Mars Lloyd. 

Also, President Michael and another member from Southport Rotary supporting Angelina & Jenny Schwarz from West Wirral Rotary.

All the students did really well and if you ever get an opportunity to attend one of these events – please go along – it is amazing.

Monday, 26th March – Conwy Rotary –  celebrating 80 years.    A very happy relaxed evening at the Old Station at Llandudno Junction.   About 39 Rotarians and partners gathered to have a happy celebration.   

Good  company and very good value food was enjoyed and a scrummy chocolate cake  was cut up and shared by PE Alan Swinson.    Everyone had been asked to bring along some information on 1938 and we had some very interesting facts presented.    

A bottle of wine was the prize for the best story – which was given by Rotarian Richard who told us that in 1938  there had been a vote of no confidence  in the House of Commons in Winston Churchill  and how our world might  have been  changed if it had gone through.

 

Tuesday – Abergele Rotary – I had been disappointed when Abergele’s charter event was cancelled but good to see everyone  tonight.  President Hannah chaired  an excellent business meeting.    Secretary David and Treasurer Viv are a great asset to the club.    A recent vocational/social visit had been enjoyed to Airbus and plans were underway to organize the Presidential handover on a river cruise the last week in June.      Debate ensued as to the price, whether it was a good place for the handover and the journey itself.   Decisions to be made. It was really good chance to meet up with three out of four  newly inducted Rotarians.  Well done to all concerned and keep up the good work on membership recruitment.  You are Making a Difference.

Wednesday 28th March – General Council webinar – plenty of information regarding the Annual Business meeting of RIBI. – an early start 8 – 9am. Later in the morning,  a meet up with AG Mike Lade to walk around Llangollen and look at the relaunch of Llangollen Dee Valley Club.

The membership kiosk is out to Chester Riverside tonight for their social event at the Handbridge Hotel.    President Peter has had several good events to promote memberhip  and deserves to do well.

Well the weather is still cold but I hope everyone has enjoyed  a happy Easter Weekend.

April will bring on more events and special moments.

 

RI Presidential Peace Building Conference

 Conference Centre, Ricoh Arena, Coventry: Disease Prevention and Treatment, 24th February, 2018

Thought it might be good to put a few lines together following my visit to the Peacebuilding Conference.

 

This is the 3rd of six conferences taking place all over the world to explore connections/relationships with Peace and the six areas of focus – if we understand them we can do a better job and work done in one area helps another.

This was the first Peace Conference in England.   14 Countries were represented from all over the world.  Attended by over 400 Rotarians and 125 young people sponsored by local Rotary Clubs.

Coventry is a Historic City of sanctuary and has welcomed more refugees from Syria than any other City in the World. Coventry is bidding for City of Culture  2021.

Coventry is the City of Peace and it was good to visit the Cathedral before heading home.      

I felt that this unique event was a very thought provoking conference where Rotary was acknowledged for what it does but where Rotarians went home realizing what they have to do if we want peace in the world and realizing it all begins with us as individuals.

Thoughts:

  • Todays enemies are tomorrows friends
  • Healing the wounds of history
  • Living with difference and celebrating diversity
  • It’s easy to make peace with like-minded individuals but not too easy to make peace neither in a diverse situation nor with your enemies
  • Some dreams are not fulfilled because of failure of defeat
  • We are so afraid of failure we forget about our dreams. Any setback could be a prelude to a bigger victory.

Don’t ever question investing in young people studying peace and conflict: can we in D1180 invest in a scholar?   Invest in educating young people

 Be at peace with yourself

The Conference was informative and thought provoking. All speakers were passionate about peace and conflict resolution. They were all interesting and spoke well from the stage.  I feel that the conference has helped Rotarians to better understand how our work can build peace, and encourage us to put that understanding into action with thoughtful, carefully planned projects that meet the immediate
needs of our communities, whilst building goodwill and peace for all.

Keynote Speakers:  Nobel peace Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi – Shirin became the first female judge in Iranian history in 1969 when she was 32 years old and went to receive a Doctorate in law from Tehran University in 1971.   When the Islamic clerics grabbed power in 1079 and it became no longer legal for women to serve as judges, she was focused on her family and working to get her job back and acquired her lawyer’s licence in 1992.

Dr. Ebadi prioritized cases that involved the unfair treatment of women and children and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts for democracy, peace and women’s rights in the Middle East.   Sine 2009 she has lived in exile in the United Kingdom because of death threats from the Iranian government but continues to work for human rights around the world.

 

From Iran,  Dr. Ebadi has been involved with promoting women’s rights, fighting against and continuing to combat unfair treatment of women and children in the Middle East (for which she was once imprisoned) and ensuring the need for peace and democracy for all is given priority.   A real role model for our Peace Scholars.

Dr. Ranieri Geuerra – Assistant Director General for Special Initiatives. A physician from Italy who has more than 30 years of public health experience.   Since 2014 has served as Director General for preventative health and chief medical officer of the Italian Ministry of Health.  Professor Joe Vakladez – Chair of International Public Health Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Harriett Baldwin MP, Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State for International Development

Professor Mike Hardy:  Lets find a way to make young people at ease with themselves. Lets build peaceful, resilient neighborhoods. Break stereotypes, deny clichés and give a voice to the voiceless.

Lonnie Hackett:  Rotary Scholar – travelled to Zambia – realized problem with illnesses, infections and poor sanitation.   Ongoing work improving children’s access to healthcare.

Magnus Riley:  Peace project speaker – spoke about the impacts on “lad culture” on young people in modern Britain and the conflict which arises from it.   He is an advanced peace Advocate.

Jean Best:  Creator of the Peace Project – something D1180 wants to get involved with. We are awaiting mutual dates to get the first training session in one of our Schools.

Caroline Millman – Chairman of the Peace jam UK

Reverend Cannon Dr. Sarah Hills, Canon for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral

Mark Krawxzynski:  Acting Chair of Hoc for RI Convention for Warsaw President of RC Warszawa Cith, Warsaw

Jessica Tissell:  Rotary Peace Fellow 2017/18 – working towards a Master in Middle East Politics and security at the University of Bradford.

Natalia Gutierrez: Rotary Pace Fellow 2017/18 – after completing her Master’s Degree in Conflict, security and development as a Rotary Fellow she aspires to become an expert in security public policies and development especially for rural areas affected by armed conflict.

The Bill Huntley Endowment for Rotary Peace Fellowships

Several peace fellows in attendance – plus Katherine Keator who will be speaking at District Council D1180 on 6th March, 2018

I felt the venue was excellent – easily accessible from the Motorway.   I did not stay at the Hilton but close by.

Lets hope all Rotarians can aim to take on projects and support others who help towards making our World a more peaceful place to be.

Spring is on its way – just be patient.

Thursday 1st February: District Executive – a gathering of the District support team to ensure everyone brings  problems and success stories to the table.    I thank all the team for their service in
District matters.

2nd February  -Ormskirk Charter – this will go down as a real night to remember.  At Briars Hall in `Ormskirk , President  and members of the club celebrated their 81st Charter evening.

Congratulations to Dudley Waine on being awarded a PHF

 

The musical entertainer was just perfect.   Someone said to me “ Even Ormskirk Rotarians dance “     – this apparently  was quite a surprise to everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 3rd February – District Final of the Young Musician – this was some day.   Held at the home of Caroline and Scirard at Poulton Hall, Bebington in their music room.  The morning was taken with instrumentalists and what a delight it was. In the afternoon,after a light lunch, organized by Rtn. Gill Mackeen, we were given the pleasure of hearing the vocalists.

I was proud that I picked 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the morning but it was more difficult for me  in the afternoon with the vocalists.
All six  finalists will go forward to the next heat.    Thanks to RC Neston  for their support with car  parking etc.  In the afternoon one or two candidates had cancelled at short notice  which affected the running order and and a few other little problems  so poor Rotarian Scirad had his work cut out to organize everything but, as always,   coped exceedingly well .   This type of event makes you feel so proud of our Youth and their achievements.     Good luck to everyone in the Regional Final.

Sunday, 4th February  DOTS –  DGE Steve’s first big moment – setting out his stall for 2018/19 to his District team.    The day ran smoothly and was very constructive – led by our District Trainer Ged.      Held at the Mercure Hotel (Woodhey).    The Rotary theme for next year 2018/19  is “Be the Inspiration”.

5th February  – walk around Caernarfon – I got offered a job this afternoon selling properties  at Beresford Adams – they said I could sell ice to the eskimos.     Adrian, Tony, Bob and myself walked around all the local businesses telling them about the new Club in formation.     We were warmly received.  They all confirmed Caernarfon should have a Rotary club!

Evening: 5th February – Prestatyn Club Visit  – The Beeches Hotel at Prestatyn really look after this club.     Good to see Bob back at the club after having a bit of a rough time with his health.   Devastated to hear that Robert has left  Rotary – a long standing member of Prestatyn.  After my presentation there were several questions on the Rotary Foundation and Public Image.  The club have sent a very generous £2000 donation to the Rotary Foundation.  The meeting was well attended by Prestatyn Rotarians.

6th February – Crosby satellite  –  the buzz of seeing a new club forming is just amazing.     The coffee shop is a great place for this new club to meet and they soon got planning their first event, officers were selected and plans made.

The Crosby Rotarians led by Geriant Short give support but don’t over-power this new club.       A bank account will soon be opened and
one of the members will take over the facebook page that I have opened for them.

 

7th February – joined the RIBI Webinar for General Council members to get through some of the matters needing attention to save time for the face to face meeting on Sunday.

7th February – B irkenhead Charter – Good to be with President Tom celebrating 89 years of Rotary in Birkenhead.    Good to meet up with their latest new member and speak with some old friends.     Dame  Lorna Muirhead was supposed to be the speaker but she was poorly so President Tom took over and ably entertained everyone.

8th February –  Liverpool Exchange – off on the train to Liverpool Lime Street on a magical mystery tour to the Athenaum.    President Martin was a little bit late on arriving and had to leave early owing to having to look after his unwell  dad etc but I spent an enjoyable time and good to chat  with Angela and the members.

8th February – Saughall – a little bit strange doing a DG visit to your own club.  I felt it was important to get the Rotary message across and the three main strategies outlined by RI President Ian and then, as we have many new members to Rotary I thought they would like to hear a little bit about the history of the club and a few details about Rotary and our District.   I was, also, delighted to be able to present Rotarian Andrew Errington with a Paul Harris Fellowship for the work he has undertaken in the Club, as President and Treasurer – gaining Charity Status, organizing the Dragon Boat Race and beer festivals and for his work in visiting around 30 clubs speaking about change and Rotary Showcase events.   Further for his support and hard work as Chair for the Dsitrict Conference 2017.    Well deserved Andrew.

9th February  – St. Asaph Charter – over to the Rhuddlan Golf Club  to meet up with President Tom Yulle.   City of St. Asaph Rotary celebrating 34 years of Rotary service.     Guest speaker was the former Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd Trefor Jones and Tesni Ones soprano  delighted everyone with four  pieces.  Good to see my old friends IPP Roy and Alan Duke along with lots of local Rotarians who were supporting St. Asaph.

10th February – Chester Charter –  The Town Hall of Chester was the venue for this splendid event.    96 years of service – the charter granted by RI in 1922.  After a champagne reception in the Lord Mayor’s parlour  after which we were assembled in the correct order to enter the  Charter Event .      I was delighted to be sitting by the Lord Mayor of Chester Councillor Razia Daniels. along with PE John McLintock.   Good to have a chat with John.      I have become  good friends this year with the Lord Mayor.    In responding to the toast to RI and  proposing the toast to RC Chester I gave the assembled throng a little story about Greggs Sausage Roll. It seemed to go down really well.    The guest speaker was the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire  – Mrs Joelle Warren MBE, DL who gave a very inspirational speech on “Women in the Public Eye”. The Lord Mayor invited me up to her

 

parlour  after the event which was quite an honour and once again it was rather a late evening.      It was good to get to know her consort Stephen a little bit better on this occasion.       Good job I had decided not to drive to the function.

 

Sunday, 11th February  – General Council  – a very early start to ensure that I arrived at Alcester for 9.15 a.m.    The bed pulled but with three alarm clocks ringing it was best to get out of bed.   Good to meet up with fellow DGs and some big decisions were made to go forward  at this General Council.

13th February – Caaernarfon  – the second information meeting and we doubled our numbers.   Grateful thanks to Bob  Maskall for his support.   After the meeting when a plan of action was decided upon – I treated everyone to a pancake as it was Shrove Tuesday.  Thought we deserved it!

15th February – Beer Festival at Crosby – 1st night of the beer festival and I was determined to attend to support Crosby Rotarians.    The festival is now held in the Church hall which seems an unusual place for a beer festival but indeed it was absolutely perfect.   The members get sponsorship for all the major items – each beer, the hall.   It was relatively quiet on the first evening but still plenty going on.   Tony and I had gone to work but indeed there was little for us  to do on the first night.   Good to mix and mingle.   Geraint  helped Tony put up the membership kiosk and it looked good – everyone who came through the door would see it.           Raffle tickets to be sold.      There were 6 Gins to taste.

Sadly I only got to taste the Crosby Gin and the Rhubarb gin.
Well done to Crosby Rotarians for holding this event which is now in its 10th year.   I understand the provisional figure of profit on the night was well in excess of £5,000.

16th February – Denbigh Charter  – It was good to see President Robin, his daughter Olivia and wife present to support him.    I had never been to the Oriel Hotel and Spa before (passed it many times) and it was an excellent meal.  I enjoyed the company of Rtn Michael Roberts, President Nominee who plays a huge role in getting local businesses to sponsor the club for the Roll the Barrel.

Good to see a full table of Round Table Club members to support Denbigh in their 90th year.     The band soon got several up to dance –    The Wee Bag Band, a 5-piece dynamic Irish/Celtic band with Scottish and Bluegrass threads throughout     Rotarians were still having fun when I had to leave at 11.30 p.m.  So good to see everyone happy and having a real good time.

Sunday, 18th February – Llangefni Charter lunch – what an enjoyable drive out to the charming town of Beaumauris .  The Bulkley Arms Hotel occupies a prime location on the promenade and we had a happy afternoon with President Jackie Blackwell and her members.     I had the honour of presenting two long service awards to Trefor Edwards and John Jones, in addition, it was an honour to present  a PHF to Bill Rogerson MBE.   Good to see PDG John Bird and Sue, along with PDG Geoff Uttley and Brenda, along with Sam Reeves our District International Chair.  A delicious

roast beef lunch was very enjoyable.   Nice to see the Presidents fron Bangor, Holyhead, Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr sharing the celebration along with some of their members and two Rotarians who had travelled some distance to be with Llangefni Rotarians.    Good to be able to have a long chat with President Jackie and meet up with her husband.

Last time we were together was at the National Eisteddfod when we climbed aboard an Ambulance to get some quick resucitation  training.   We discovered our ambulance man tutor was the son of a Rotarian and we didn’t leave without trying to encourage him to join the organization in the future.

Wednesday, 19th February – Scalextric event with Prestatyn and Flint and Holywell had to be cancelled as Chris Porteous had hurt his back.   Speedy recovery Chris.

21st February – Llandiloes visit to their Fellowship Evening. 

It was July when I first went out to Llanidloes and they have gained several new members this Rotary year and have more waiting to be inducted.

Well done to all concerned.  A collection was planned to celebrate Rotary Day – outside the Co-op and the PE spoke about a project he would like the club to undertake in September to raise funds for the Dogs for the blind.  A big project which will need some good planning but all the members were soon “on board”.

I had just mentioned that Paul Harris had a dream 113 years ago when he founded our organization in Chicago.   He had a vision but I  think he would be well impressed today to know that Rotary now has 1.2 million members in 33,000 different countries.   One man or woman’s dream or vision and together we can make a difference.

Friday, 23rd February: travel to Coventry to the RI Presidential Peace Conference.  But prior to hitting the road, met up with a Rotarian to discuss the formation of a satellite club.     Arrived in Coventry late afternoon so able to chill out before the 9 a.m. start tomorrow at the Ricoh Arena.   I have fond memories of the Ricoh Arena.        I worked at this venue a few years ago when I was part of the organizing team for a celebratory  event for 900 people.  We must have done a good job because I have been invited to be on the same team in 2019 when it will be held at the Grosvenor House in London!

24th February – Peace Conference – I have written up a separate blog on the Conference which was very thought provoking.

24th February Charters:  Liverpool Exchange covered by David Hartley, Wrexham Yale covered by Mike Lade.  Hope they were both happy occasions.

26th February – up early for a General Council Webinar.    Planning for the RIBI Annual General Business meeting at Torquay in April.

Monday, 26th February – a quick dash from work to   Governors Continuity meeting at the Beaufort Park, New Brighton, Mold to work together to ensure continuity and support to our Clubs.

27th February Maghull and Aughton presentation evening.     Sad that PDG Les Wilson was not able to be present at this event organized by his club but I know he would be proud of their achievements.      We all send Les our very best wishes whilst he is undergoing treatment and we hope he will be feeling better before too long.  This club has their Christmas collections down to a fine art.    We can all learn a trick or two here.   They are out with the Santa Sleigh all through December and give out the proceeds to all the groups that help them but in a away that brings everyone together at a celebratory event.

Another month draws to an end – one that I have had the pleasure of meeting a lot more District Rotarians and seeing or hearing  first hand some of the amazing projects and voluntary work undertaken.

Four months left of this Rotary year and there is so much work still to be done.

Today, after some very late nights working on them,  I have finalized the  District Standing Orders – brought them up to date and they have been put on the District website and our District Secretary has circulated to club secretaries.         It is a document that we only refer to from time to time but essential to the well being of the District and there when we need it.     I hope that its contents will be ratified at District Council next month.

On my travels I try to inspire and enthuse Rotarians and thank them for the work that they undertake in the name of Rotary.       I guess they  don’t seek praise – we just do a job – but it is good to know that what Rotarians undertake is appreciated and acknowledged.

I have been encouraging clubs to support our Rotary Foundation – indeed every club I visit, every Rotarian receives a copy of the District Foundation leaflet which explains the workings or OUR Foundation.     Some clubs are so generous not only to the Annual Fund but to the End Polio Now Programme as well.

Branding is a real problem – sometimes Clubs do not realize that they are using out of date branding and certainly don’t like anyone pointing it out to them.

I watch with great interest the Co-op who have rebranded and as I am driving around `I look at the stores with the new branding and the ones with the old lime green.  Funnily, the stores with the new colours and new branding look modern and appealing and the old lime green colours now look out of date.    Dare I ponder, is this the same thing the public perceive about our Rotary branding?

At Charter speeches I have got the message over that if only our volunteer hours and funds raised are entered onto Rotary Club Central then Rotary will be able to shout out about all the work that is undertaken all over the world as well as in our own islands.    Again, it is hard to get Rotarians to take on board “change”.   I guess we all get into our comfort zones and like everything we do.    However, we must constantly ensure that we look to the future, keep modern, and continually attract new blood into our organization.

Finally, let us all be conscious of gender diversity in our clubs and ensure safeguarding procedures are in hand.   Remember it is YOUR responsibility to check everything is well in order.

New Year’s Resolutions: January

Well, after lots of turkey and mince pies and a good old rest (that means watching box sets on the TV  of an evening) it was really good to be back on the road again as DG D1180!

Actually, the  first week in January was still very quiet although eventful.   It started off with a General Council webinar at 8 a.m. on Wednesday 3rd January.    A date I won’t forget as I got caught in a police speed radar on my way into work.    Ah well, have been travelling that route for the past 35 years so perhaps time was up!    Now I shall be attending a speed course.

After a Thursday evening bridal fayre, I managed to get to the Greyhound Pub in Saughall to see some of my club members at an informal meeting.  Friday evening, 5th January:  although not a Rotary event I attended St. Asaph Cathedral to hear the New Sinfonia.    There were several Rotarians at the Cathedral    It was truly amazing hearing all these young people play in an orchestra.    My first visit to St. Asaph Cathedral.

8th January – the year really began with a meeting at The Coffee Roast Cafe in Wallasey to meet up with members of Penny Bridge Satellite Club.  This meeting was also attended by several members from Wallasey Rotary, including President Bill, AG Ray and Manojit to name but a few.    Chair Cassandra, assisted by Liz took the meeting and it was good to hear the plans and aspirations of these new Rotarians.  Membership is now 16 and they assured me they have four potential new members in the pipeline so we have booked the date of 30 June for their Charter Event.      This will be a Charter Celebration  with a difference so I very much look forward to this.   I think there should be some carrot cake there as this was served by Raj & Manojit at their home – the very first meeting of the satellite club.

Tuesday – out to Crosby to meet up with Rotarian Geraint Short from Crosby Rotary, prime mover of the formation of Crosby Rotary 2.    We met up with four potential new members and Geraint assures me he has another four potential members who are planning to attend the next information meeting.    He is really rising to the 13 week challenge.    Watch this space for Rotary 2 in Crosby.

Wednesday evening – 10th January:  heading up the M58 to Ormskirk Clocktower.

Sadly President Sue had the dreaded  “lergy” so the meeting was ably taken by PE Alan Tickle.  The venue – the delightful Aviary Restaurant – where I met up with Matthew, his teacher and parents, the winner of the Ormskirk Clocktower young chef competition.     Matthew had overseen the preparation of the meal in the kitchen at the Aviary and they had used his winning recipes.  Also great to meet up with a potential new member Mark  who AG Julie had recruited from the Christmas collection at Tesco – all you have to do is engage people and ask…  I hope  to hear Mark has joined Clocktower very soon and look forward to sending him a “Welcome to Rotary D1180 letter”

11th January – attended a business meeting at Saughall and all members had Dropbox training from Rtn Terry.

Friday, 12th – a social visit with Llandudno Rotarians to visit the Assembly member Janet Stringer   at her constituent office in Madoc Street.    Good to see AG Terry and Barbara there and Llandudno Rotarians who are planning the launch of a new satlellite club in Llandudno.  We wish them every success with this venture.

Sunday 14th – a day of rest but our DGE Steve and Maria start the RI  Leadership Assembly in San Diego and we hear the new theme for 2018/19 – Be an inspiration.     Photos of Steve and his classmates on facebook take me back 12 months and make me realize that the Rotary wheel rapidly keeps turning.  Only 6 months to continue to “Make a Difference”.   So much work to be done.

15th January – Tony had an appointment with Andrew Errington at Premier Foods in Moreton but Tony was really poorly with the dreaded lergy.    I went instead and had a productive meeting with Som.      The evening meeting at Toxteth was postponed by Rtn Humayun so needs to be rescheduled.

Tuesday, 16th – off to Caernarfon to meet up with Adrian Ford – who was a Rotarian in Dorset and who is helping form a new satellite club.    Very much appreciated the support of DGN Bob and Kate Maskall.      We have outlined a marketing plan and watch this space for a new Rotary Club in Caernarvon.

Arrived home to a layer of snow and there were high winds in the night. Not looking forward to the very early start in the morning in this weather….

6 a.m. on Wednesday 17th a text came through from DGE Steve in San Diego.

It was like an early wake up call as I was fighting getting my leg out of bed to get up to travel  over to Wrexham Yale Rotary for their business meeting.   Unfortunately President Barry did not make the meeting because of the weather  – well we later found out he was still on Barbados time!! but  PE `Peter took over.  There was a very happy atmosphere and, you know,  despite the worry when they lost their meeting place, they have really done well to find their current morning venue and it is a win win situation.    I hope that I was able to enthuse, inspire and praise the club.   Indeed, lovely to see IPDG Molly and to be able to thank her for her continued support.  AG Hywel was also present so I could thank him for his work in District  and P/P Andy was acknowledged publicly for the work that he undertook in producing the Conference 2017 Programme handbook.

Friday 19th – I had been invited to the Hilton Hotel by Dr John Patterson, Liverpoool St Vincents Rotary but due to an important work commitment I could not attend and was delighted that  DGN(D)  David Hartley  attended on my behalf.

His report follows: ‘It was as recently as last Friday I represented DG Beryl at the presentation to the Lord Mayor of Liverpool of the artwork depicting the Great War created by the pupils of St Vincent’s School for Visually Impaired. At the centre of the artwork is the Rotary rondel.  I was privileged to be amongst over 260 Headteachers from around the country as well as many dignitaries. Not only was the artwork on display but a SIghtbox too. This has again been created by the school. They are trying to send these aids for the Visually Impaired throughout the world. In fact last Friday morning Rtn Angela Williams of Chester Riverside, an Ambassador for Sightbox,  delivered one to The Gambia.

Friday 19th – supporting Oswestry Borderland and other Oswesty clubs at their private showing of the film Breathe.     At the Kinokulture Centre Rotarians collected for the  End Polio programme before and after the screening and President Sherie was busy selling purple crocus.    I just happened to have some of the new A6 membership leaflets in my handbag and ensured everyone leaving the cinema knew a little bit more about Rotary.     The film was enthralling and if you  haven’t seen it, I truly recommend it.

Monday 22nd off to accompany Tony who had been invited to Bebington to speak in more detail about Satellite clubs , following my DG visit just before Christmas when the seed was sewn.

Once again, a very warm welcome and Tony gave a lot of information, examples and what would be involved if the club decide to go for a satellite club to ensure their legacy continues…

23rd January – Membership meeting – a productive and informative meeting with 5 AGs in attendance as well as the membership committee.     Lots of topics covered including strengthening our Clubs, visioning and the new satellite club plans and update.      Time for lots of action!!

24th January – Ellesmere Port Charter night at the Woodhey.
It was a delight to attend the 63rd Charter celebration with President Fritz Schafer at the Woodhey. The guest speaker was Reverend Jackie Bellfield with Minister’s Musings which went down very well.

Thursday, 25th January – Liverpool Exchange meeting was postponed for two weeks. 

Friday 26th Holyhead Charter night: Having dropped Tony off at Manchester Airport to visit a Rotary function in Stockholm to speak about satellite clubs, I headed off to Holyhead to the amazing Treaddur Bay Hotel.

Its an excellent road – such a shame I lost the daylight on the latter part of the journey.

Welcomed by President Robyn who immediately introduced me to his family and the guest speaker  Greg Evans, Opreations Director Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa, Newydd.     After an excellent meal we were entertained by Steph Parry, A most enjoyable evening (home at 1.15 a.m.)

 

Saturday, 27th – Wrexham Glyndwr at their Burns night. – a warm welcome received from President Fiona and Pene from Wrexham Rotary.    All four Wrexham clubs supported the event and good to spend time with President Graham from Wrexham Erddig Rotary.

Delighted to present two special service awards to Rtn Sam Foulkes and President Fiona Bassett.  Congratulations to those hard-working Rotarians.

Monday 29th – Governors Continuity meeting followed by an AG meeting chaired by DGE Steve.      Lots to catch up on after the Christmas Break.

Its not been too busy this month but with the bad Winter weather – it has been challenging enough.    The nights are beginning to draw out so journeys around the District will become much easier.

Roll on Spring – it can’t come quick enough!

 

Christmas Bells

December 1st – headed off to Royal Clifton at Southport to join Southport Rotary for their 95h Charter celebration – guest speaker was Stephen Finnigan MBE,  ex Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary.

Saturday, December 2nd – what an amazing sight to be with Rotarians fromOswestry Borderland at their Christmas Parade. 

President Sherie had told me all about the parade but nothing prepared me for the size and colour and excitement of the six deep followers in the streets of Oswestry.

 

I met President Sherie at the Cattlemarket where all the lorries were gathering with excited children and adults – all with their own theme,.  

The judging categories were:

 

Best Childrens Float, Best youth Float, Best commercial float, best non commercial and best walking float.       The Mayor of Oswesty, Vince Hunt arrived with his daughter,  Amber –   and fortunately we all agreed on the winners. They each received a stunning trophy – a much coveted possession I am sure.

After judging we drove into Oswestry and then got our collection buckets and joined in the parade through Oswestry.

I could not believe the number of people that gather into the market town to see the parade.  All the Rotary Clubs in Oswestry assist Borderland.

The proceeds of the day went to four charities.   A truly marvelous event – well done Oswestry Borderland for keeping this Christmas tradition alive that means so much to the local people.

 

Monday 4th – Governors Continuity meeting at the Beaufort Park.

 

 

Then onto Bebington Rotary to meet up with President John Hulse who I was delighted to see was looking very well.     What a happy and warm welcome I received .       I arrived a little bit early and had a few special moments with a couple of the members and how much I enjoyed being with the club members.

I really am hoping that the Club will sponsor a satellite group in Bromborough – an area ripe for a new satellite club and District have offered their full support.

Thursday 7th – off to Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr to see how the Rotarians under the leadership of President  Ron Watson Jones are getting along.

Good to see Mike Vick looking good after retirement and the club is organized by Secretary PDG Geoff Uttley.     A membership showcase event is planned for the new year following a suggestion by Rotarian Andrew Errington. Good luck Llan Pen.

I was looking forward to the Carol Concert at All Saints parish Church, Gresford with President Pene Coles and Wrexham Rotarians but unfortunately it was cancelled owing to the very heavy snowfall.  The new Toxteth Rotary meeting at the PAL Centre, also was cancelled on Monday 11th. This beastly seasonal weather has disrupted a few events but there we go.

Thursday, 14th – off to meet prospective Rotarian Adrian Ford who is helping to start a satellite club in Caernarvon.       We had a walk around the Royal town to look at venues and made an action plan to have two information meetings at the Black Boy in January.

Thursday evening – with President Sydney to join members of Bangor Rotary for the annual carol concert at St. Marys Church Menai Bridge.  Then on for a meal a the Victoria Hotel.   I was thrilled to meet up with the Rev. Ray Smith – a member of Bangor and P/P and `I was delighted to listen to the Chair of the Rotakids Club read one of the lessons so fluently.   Well done to Kate, Pauline and Bob for all they have undertaken in getting this Rotakids Club up and running.  A most pleasant Christmassy evening.

Friday 15th – a trip out with District Youth Service Chair David Brigden to be with the Rotaract Club of Woodfall Primary School.  

I went well equipped with my funky glasses meeting up with President Alan Brown, DGE Steve Martin (a regular visitor to Woodfall and Maria Martin.

 

 

We had a fun morning with the Rotakids and finished off with a cuppa tea and mince pie.

 

 

Sunday, 17th – out with my own Club Saughall at Costco with the Santa sleigh.

Great to be collecting and appreciating the wonderful public that support Rotary so much – especially at Christmas time – but lets be honest – throughout the whole year.

 

 

When I had finished my shift at Saughall and eventually got off the very busy car park at Costco (took ¾ hour to get out), I headed to Flint to meet up with another Santa Float –

 

Flint and Holywell Club were busy at the Flint Retail Park.   Good to meet up with them and spend a short time assisting – even the lahma came along to say “hello”.

 

 

Tuesday 19th December: Flint & Holywell member Paul told me about the Club’s Santa Call at the Druid Inn, Gorsedd, Holywell on Tuesday night so after work, I headed up to Dyserth to wait for the arrival of Santa and his sleigh. The excitement of the children, in the pub with their parents waiting his arrival was electric.     Then off it sailed into the night…..

Wednesday: I met up with DGE Steve to go through his plans for San Diego – the Rotary International Leadership Assembly and chat about the year ahead – the weeks are flying by.

It felt very strange the last week in December not having any Club visits to undertake.   However, it was rather busy at work so most evenings it was work, home, tea and sleep.

Christmas day was, as always, a special family day and we were so fortunate to spend it with our two sons, their lovely wives and our grandchildren.       Paul cooked a delicious meal for us all and after opening gifts, some of us ‘nodded off’  and others played some party games.

At Christmastime we count our blessings but always think of those who are lonely, have lost loved ones, are homeless or in great need.     It is, also, a time when we reflect and remember our own parents who have sadly passed away but who worked hard all year to give us all a happy Christmas.

Boxing Day – Tony and I set off to Denbigh to join the Denbigh Rotarians at their annual ‘Roll the Barrel Contest’ held in the Denbigh High Street.  

 

Rumour has it that the only year a DG has visited was when the late  Gwyn Dryhurst Dodd was DG – a member of their own club – so whether this was truth or not, I had planned to visit the day and enjoy.

I was not disappointed! Now in its 59th year – what a project they undertake.  Raffle tickets had been on sale since my visit to their Club – indeed I bought the first book from them on my club visit  – and they were selling them on the day, also. Plenty of sponsorship had been gained.

 

Straw bales lined the high street and the day began with a tractor parade.

 

 

 

We are right in the heart of Welsh farming country and the tractors were followed by the Denbigh Hunt.   It was a parade of some fine horses, the hounds and riders.   I noticed quite a high Police presence but there was no trouble.

 

Soon the bales of straw were moved across the road and the roll a barrel competitions began.

I was dying to have a go, I must say, but I would have probably fallen to the floor so best I just helped with the Bucket collections.     As always, the public were very generous – especially when they could purchase a raffle ticket with a hope of winning £500 as first prize!

I don’t know how long it took to set up but it took a little time to clear away all the straw, load the bales, sweep up and use ‘blowers’

By 1.15pm. the high street was opened again and was spick and span.

Then off to the pub to enjoy a tasty pint and look back on the morning.

 

Well done Denbigh.   This event gives so much pleasure to the local community on Boxing Day and it is Rotary at its best.     There were so many Rotarians on show flying the flag and I was told the whole club, except one poorly Rotarian, were in attendance.

What a way to end 2017 with an amazing Rotary event.

The first six months of my Governor Year 2017-18 has flown.   I have enjoyed every second – the training, preparation, the club projects, the celebratory occasions, the Rotary business, representing D1180 at General Council, District Conference, etc etc but most of all it’s the Rotarians that I have met and the work that they are undertaking in the name of Rotary.     We are certainly “making a difference” and I now look forward to welcoming in 2018 and the final six months of my Governorship.

The strategies will be continued:   to strengthen and modernize our Clubs, to increase membership in our Clubs and open new Clubs.     I am hoping that some of our satellite clubs will go onto chartering.     We must encourage our Rotary Club members to increase their Foundation Giving and work hard to improve our public image.

Early in 2018 we have the launch of RIBI Rotary 2 (New Club formations), Champions of Change, the Banger Rally, Tree Planting and lots of Club projects.     Lets get our sleeves rolled up again after recharging our batteries over the holidays.

At this time of year it is always sad to hear of passing to higher service of some Rotarians and our kind thoughts and best wishes go out to the Clubs who have recently lost members.   We, also send our best wishes to Rotarians who are not so well at the moment and one in particular is PDG Les Wilson who has recently been in hospital and we send him our very best wishes.

I hope everyone has had a happy Festive Season,  spent with their families and friends – whatever tradition they follow.

And now we can look ahead to 2018.   With 6 months left in the Rotary year – there is plenty of work to be done.

Still some club visits, lots of Charter nights and the main focus will be on increasing our membership with new club openings, strengthening and supporting all our Clubs and increasing our Foundation giving.

Happy New Year to everyone in District 1180 and especially those who follow my Blog.

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.