Sunday, 16 December 2012

Back to Belper for Christmas Dinner - 10th December

It was quite a treat to attend the Monday evening meeting of my own Club, Belper and Duffield, for their traditional Christmas Dinner, where partners and guests are invited.   Held at our usual venue of The Lion, now a "Pub with Rooms" rather than an hotel the meal was excellent and the service equally so.

One of our guests was Andrea Fox, a local lady who started the "Drop Inn" for youngsters of the town.  Andrea had recently been to Number Ten when she was one of the top five ladies in the country, nominated for the award of the "Most Inspirational Woman in the Country", sponsored by The Daily Mail.    She told us about her visit to Downing Street and how well she and her mother, who attended with her had been looked after.

Also attending as a guest of the club was a local man, Gerard Veran who earlier this year had run over 800 miles from Belper to his home town in Switzerland, completing a distance of more than a marathon every day for a month.  Gerard is booked to come and talk to the club about his experiences during the run, in January next year.


Rotary and Inner Wheel Carol Service 9th December

On Sunday 9th December, the annual joint Inner Wheel and Rotary Carol Service was held at St. Peter's Church in Ravenshead.  The service was very well attended and after the service refreshments were served in the Church Hall.

Inner Wheel District Chairman, Ann Cottee and her team had made all the arrangements for this event and I have to say they made a spendid job of it.   The service ran like clockwork.

Many thanks to the ladies of the Inner Wheel Choir who performed several pieces for us.   

With the weather taking on a definite wintry feel and after the Christmas Concert the night before and today's carol concert,  as the song says, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" 

Christmas Concert at Worksop 8th December

At the invitation of President Graham Warburton, on Saturday 8th December Gail and I drove over to Worksop for the Club's Annual Concert.  They have been organising this very sucessful conference for over thirty years.  From what we saw this year's was just as good as the previous ones had been.  It was held at The Crossing, a new church in the centre of the town and an excellent venue.

The main performers were the Markham Main Colliery Band, a local brass band who gave a spendid performance, injecting a lot of humour and fun into their most professional playing.

Also on the programme was a local lady called Pat Taylor,who has the most beautiful voice one could imagine.  She is a retired teacher who lives in Worksop.  She also sings with the North Notts Chamber Choir.  Her contribution to the evening was very much based around Christmas and as well as singing she read out a very well received poem about Santa.

This was a concert with a diference, with a lot of fun thrown in to the Festive merriment.    We had trombone playing nuns,  members of the audience laying Rudolf eggs and much much more.  On top of it all refreshments in the interval were included in the price.   What more could you ask for.

We had a tremendous time and hope that the concert was as big a financial success as it was for the audience on the night.    Thanks to President Graham and his team for organising the event.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Hucknall Christmas Carnival 5th December

Christmas is coming and the Christmas carnivals and Lights switch ons are in full swing.  This evening Gail and I took two of our grandchildren, Maddeleine and Francesca to see the Carnival at Hucknall, at the invitation of Hucknall President, Ian Young.

We arrived about 6pm to find the fun fair in full swing and packed with people.   There was a disco adjacent to it (a very loud disco) that was attracting the youngsters.

The lights were switched on just after 7pm and the illuminated Carnival parage came through the main street to the Market Plcae about 7.45pm.  The Rotary Club of Hucknall Santa Sleigh was very impressive with its illuminated reindeer - put my own club's in the shade somewhat.

When the children had had enough of the fair and the lights we wandered back down the street to the Tesco car park for the trip home.    We did manaage to call for some festive fair on the way back to the car.

A great evening.    Well done to Hucknall for being involved.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Last Official Club Visit - Retford 3rd December

Well,  that's the last of my official club vsists done and dusted.   Last night (3rd December) I went to Ye Olde Bell at Barnby Moor to a meeting of the Rotary Club of Retford.   The Rotary Club of Worksop Dakeries, with their President Sue Sullivan were also present in numbers.    Also present for the meeting was David Tiptaft, the President of the Rotary Club of Mexborough.

President Paul Withers preseidesd over the meeting.   The meal was excellent and seemed to be enjoyed by all.    Prior to my talk to the club the respective committee chairmen and chairwomen gave a resume of the activities of their committee so far this year.   Whilst this is a club of almost 60 Rotarians, it was still impressive to hear of the scale of the activities that they have undertaken and are planning for the future.

I gave my club talk, based as always on the theme, "Peace through Service" and presented the two club Presidents each with an origami crane, a letter from Sakuji Tanaka and a theme badge.

Rotarian David Partridge of the Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield drove me to the club and my thanks to him for that. 

I would also like to record my general thanks to The Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield for all the driving they have done on my behalf since July, their outstanding attendance at District Assembly and at Conference.   I would like them all to have a relaxing Christmas (apart rom Santa Sleigh duties of course), refesh their batteries and get ready for the Charter Season to kick in early next year.

President Sue with DG Dave

President Paul with DG Dave

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Visit to Bluebell Wood Hospice 27th November

Having a fairly quiet time Rotary wise this week.  Just one small but pleasant task to do today.  That was to deliver a number of cheques to Bluebell Wood Hospice.   Accompanied by Gail we arrived about 2.30pm and were met by Emma the new fund raiser for Derbyshire who showed us round the newly created areas on the first floor of the building that had been sponsored by Wilko.

Julie, Emma, myself and Gail at Bluebell Wood.
I presented Emma with a cheque for £750 raised at the District Conference and also with two smaller ones.   One from a joiunt meeting of Amber Valley, Ripley and Alfreton Clubs and a personal one from myself.

RIBI General Council 26th November

The third General Council of the year was held on Monday 26th November.  The main item on the agenda was that of Re-Districting.  There was a lengthy debate about this and at its conclusion a vote was taken as to whether to accept Version 3 of the Plan.    This was in fact almost unanimously accepted.

One other item of interest on the agenda was a presentation on the Public Awareness campaign that has been ongoing now since the start of the Rotary year,  This seems to be working quite well with a lot of interest being shown by the public and many enquiries being received about joining.

At the conclusion of the meeting the journey home from Alcester proved interesting as the A38 had been closed between Lichfield and the Toyota roundabout because of flooding.  The diversion onto the M42 and M1 was fine but very busy, meaning a three and a half hour journey to get home.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

West Bridgford Charter Night 21st November 2012

After the enjoyment of the joint meeting of Heanor and Ilkeston on Monday evening, it was back to the business side of things on the Tuesday with the District Exercutive meeting, held at The Novotel.    The usual agenda items, including of course an update on the re-districting and nothing out of the ordinary to report.

On Wednesday, 21st November I attended the Charter celebrations of the Rotary Club of West Bridgford, accompanied by Gail and Rotarians Nick Blurton (the driver for the night) and Graham Wright.

Traffic into and through Nottingham was pretty awful and so we arrived at the Country Cottage Hotel and Restaurant at Ruddington just after 7pm,but in time for pre-dinner drinks.

President George Golledge was an excellent host, with his wife, Sheila.  The main speaker for the evening was Judy Naake who was also excellent company.

Judy spoke about her experiences growing up in Nottingham and through to being the owner of the San Tropez fake tap company, enlightening us with her encounters with Tony Blair, the Beckhams and several other well known personalities.

Thanks to President George and all the members of the Club for inviting us this evening - even if you did manage to miss Gail and I off the roll call of clubs.

Gail and I

President George with the speaker, Judy Naake

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Joint Meeting - Heanor and Ilkeston 19th November

One of the quirk's of my diary this year saw me at the Charter Night of Ileston club on 17th and then doing my official visit tonight, 19th.   Tonight the venue was The Queen's Counsel on the Market Place at Ilkeston and with almost 40 members and guests present it was more or less a full house.

The Presidents of the two clubs, John Hill from Heanor and Mike Perry from Ilkeston jointly presided over the evening.   After a roast beef dinner and club notices etc I was asked to speak.   I delivered my usual talk about our theme for 2012/13, "Peace through Service" which I followed up by saying a few words to the two clubs about developing their respective membership bases for the future. 

Assistant Governor Roger Summers, also present, was asked to also say a few words which he gladly did.

The creation of two very worthy Paul Harris Fellows followed, with the honour being bestowed upon Rtn Alan Chambers and Rtn Carolyn Stone.  Alan was clearly surprised to see his three brothers joining the meeting just before the award was made and Carolyn was surprised that she was the reason for attendance by her daughter and other friends - not an award being made to anyone for services rendered at the District Conference recently.

Rtn Alan  and family with his Paul Harris Fellowship

Rtn Carolyn with her family and Lily Taylor-Ward
An excellent evening of Rotary Fellowship.  Thanks to all for making it happen.  Thanks to Rtn John Norris who was my driver for the evening.

Ilkeston Rotary Club - Charter Night 17th November

The Sacheveral Suite at Morley Hayes was the venue for the 90th anniversary Charter celebration by the Rotary Club of Ilkeston.  Gail and I had been invited to attend several months ago but unfortunately on the morning of 17th Gail was unwell, suffering from bronchitus and a chest infection.   A quick phone call however soon located someone to stand in and act as my consort for the evening, my eldest daughter Nicola.

We were picked up by Rtn David Henson and his wife, Elizabeth and arrived at Morley Hayes just in time for the celebrations.    Hilary Surga and Alan Widdowson also  from my club, Belper and Duffield were also there.

President Mike Perry proved to be a very gracious host, together with his wife Pauline.    All guests received a glass of wine on arrival and were enteratained by "Top Brass".

A n excellent choice of menus had been offered.  The food was delicious and was efficiently served.  After the meal President Elect Elaine Minighan proposed the toast to Rotary International to which I responded and then proposed the toast to the Rotary Club of Ilkeston.  President Mikle responded to this and then proposed the toast to the visitors and guests, to which the Mayeor of Erewash responed on behalf of the guests.

Following the formalities entertainment was provided by "Park Royal" who proved to be an excellent band, providing musical entertainment till midnight.

My daughter, Nicola

President Mike, wearing one of the "props" from his speech

Fellowship round the table
My thanks to President Mike and the Rotary Club of Ilkeston for the evening which was excellent.     My thanks also to David Henson for providing my transport.   

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Five new members inducted in middle of Night !!!

Well, not quite the middle of the night but it seemed like it to me.    I rose from a lovely warm bed at just after 5am (yes, that's five o'clock in the morning !!)  and got ready for the drive to The Deincourt Hotel at Newark for a meeting with a difference of the Rotary Club of Newark at 7am.

The difference was that this was a meeting of Newark's satellite members who were being inducted this morning.   President Peter Heard presided over the proceedings.

My first and most important task when I arrived was to find the coffee.  Once I had managed that everything else was plain sailing.    We had a relaxed buffet style breakfast, after which the business of the day started.

Also at the meeting were DGN Steve Lawes, AG Sandra Morrey and the President of the RC of Newark Castle, Rtn. Glen Foreman and well as a good number of members of the Newark Club.

The five new members (all much younger than average) are Rtn Clive Richards, Rtn Helen Van Ristell, Rtn Jane Overland, Rtn Sheila Roberts and Rtn Simon Glass.  (Apologies for any spelling errors in the names but it was VERY early.)

After Rtn Andy Foreman had read out the Objects of Rotary, impressively President Peter was able to launch into the induction ceremony word for word without any written notes, a safety net or a helmet.    The five new members were warmly welcomed into the Rotary Club of Newark and I was able to briefly welcome them to the wider world of Rotary, expressing the wish that they should all enjoy their Rotary involvement.      

Rtn Jane then chaired the remainder of the meeting whilst the satellite club members discussed various projects they were already organising.   These included bag packing at a local Marks and Spencer, in aid of "Sue's Place" a charity that supports children affected by family deaths or divorce, a "Pampering Evening" in the new years with a men's hairdresser
and ladies beautician giving treatments.  The third project they spoke briefly about was a possible driving day at the showground, with buses, fire engines and other large vehicles.

I wish the new satellite club every success and would congratulate President Peter and his Club for the foresight and enthusiasm to get it off the ground.        

A Day of meetings 13th November

After Belper & Duffield's Charter last night, it was back to more run of the mill fare today starting with a meeting with with Conference Director David pedlar at St. James' Place Wealth Management, Nottingham, the company that had provided sponsorship for the District Conference.      The purpose was a de-brief  to find out how it had been for both parties - the result of which was good on both sides and importantly to pick up a cheque for the remaining sponsorship, for which we were truly grateful.

Having dropped David back at his home I then went on to The Novotel for a meeting with the District Membership Officer and Assistant Governor Roger Summers, looking for ways to help clubs where membership is falling and the age profile is rising.   We had some useful discussions, but we will have to wait some time to see if the ideas bear fruit.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon earning a living before visiting my youngest daughter, Sarah and her family at Burton for the evening.

Rare Visit by DG to Belper & Duffield

Monday 12th November was the date of the 82nd Charter Anniversary Celebration of the Rotary Club of Blper and Duffield - my very own club .   It resulted in me making a rare appearance at the club, my responsibilities as the District Governor having kept me consistently away since the start of the year.

Just by way of a change I was was not driven to this charter dinner, in fact the roles were reversed and I acted as the chaffeur for Gail, the Club President Graham Wright and his wife Liz.

The Charter was held at The Derby Conference Centre, London Road, Derby and started at 7.30pm.    With just over 100 people present the room was comfortable and we all enjoyed a meal of caramelised onion and goats cheese tartlet,  braised steak and then a delicious dark chocolate and cointreau Truffle.

President Elect Hilary Surga proposed the toast to Rotary International, using her "Rotary Moment" as the basis for the thoughful toast.  I responded to this and proposed the toast the the Club, using the opportunity to publicly thank all the members for the assistance they have so readily given whilst I have been the DG.

President Graham proposed the toast to the visitors and guests, to which Rtn Marie Adams, President of the Rotary Club of Ripley responded.

Following the formalities at just before 10pm we had an hour or so enetertainment from a couple of talented musicians, Alan Morley and Hugh Stewart.

President Graham presented bouquets to my wife, Gail and to his wife, Liz, thanking them for their respective support. 

Rotary Club of Chesterfield Charter celebrations

The Ringwood Hall Hotel near Chesterfield was the venue for the 90th annual Charter Dinner of the Rotary Club of Chesterfield.     Gail and I arrived just after 7pm with John Horwood who was the designated driver for the night.  A glass of wine was provided to all guests on arrival.

We were piped into the Ringwood Suite for dinner at 7.30pm where we enjoyed an excellent five course dinner in charming surroundings.    At the end of the evening Gail and the other ladies on the top table were presented with beautiful bouquets by President Jim Haggarty, who was an excellent host and very good company thoroughout the evening.

After the usual speeches entertainment was provided by "Kick & Rush" a comedy skiffle group who played such instruments as a washboard, a frying pan, a broom stick and various others - oh and they had a guitar as well.

Congratulations to President Jim for such a good evening and my thanks to all who arranged it.   It was a great occassion to celebrate your 90th Birthday.

Thanks also to Gail and to John Horwood for accompanying me from Belper

Friday, 9 November 2012

District Foundation Seminar 8th November 2012

The annual District Foundation Seminar was held this evening at the Novotel in Long Eaton.    I'm not sure what the exact attendance was but there were very few spare seats so I would think there were over 120 there.

After a few words of welcome from me I handed Foundation Alumni badges to the GSE Team and the Team Leader David Hood from Wirksworth.  They will be going out to Nepal early next year.  The team members then each introduced themselves.

DGE Peter Moralee was not able to be at the Seminar as he is in Amsterdam for Governor Elect training, but his report was read out by Terry Leivers. In this report his recommended that annual giving to Foundation should be increased to £47 per year per Rotarian, bringing us closer to the RI recommended level of $100.

There followed short presentations about Ambassadorial Scholars and Peace Fellows before we moved on to the main business of the evening.  This was a presentation by Rt, Mick White from Church Wilne about the way that Foundation will operate under Future Vision, emphasising the actions that Clubs need to take in order to be able to access grants from Foundation.

As with any proposed change it provoked a lively exchange of views about the demise of GSE Teams, bureaucracy and the financing of Foundation.  Change is never easy - but sometimes it is essential for survival.

The meeting finished about 9.30pm

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Wollaton Park Charter

Having been off-line for a couple of days due to a line fault, I am now just catching up again.

On Tuesday, 6th November I attended the Thanksgiving Service following the sad death of Honorary Rotarian George Lowe (Rotary Club of Ripley) at Wood Street Chapel, Ripley.      George was a dearly loved member of the Rotary Club and a member of that church.  The service was led by a friend of George, Rotarian The Reverend Mike Redshaw of the Rotary Club of West Ashfield.    Rotarian Bob Smyth from the Rotary Club of Ripley gave the tribute to George.

George celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this year with a total of seven parties - all of which I am told he thoroughly enjoyed.     He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

At 5.30pm I attended a Leadership Development Training meeting at The Novotel, chaired by John Barker from Newark Castle.  Also present were Peter Moralee, Steve Lawes and David Pedlar and Gail.  We sorted out a programme and arrangements for next year's District Officer Planning Seminars and also the Presidents' Elect Planning Seminar.  (These things don't happen on their own you know)  We made a few changes from this year, based upon feedback from delegates at this years events.

Following straight on from this (no time for tea.) was the District Team Meeting.   This was very well attended with 24 people sitting round the table.   We just managed to squeeze into the room.      President Ian Young from Hucknall gave a short presentation on the value of using Social Media for promoting District Events,

Various reports were presented to the meeting and in addition I gave a short presenatation on the present Re-Districting proposals.     More about these will be circulated to clubs over the weekend.

The meeting ended at 9.15pm when Gail and I drove back to Belper for a bite to eat before bed.

The following day saw me up quite early getting ready to attend the Volunteering Fair at Derby University where we had a stall to promnote Rotary.    I was joined by a very willing volunteer, Rtn Laura Harmer who worked really hard - bearing in mind she did not finish her night shift till 5am - that's service above self for you.

There was a steady throughflow of people in the Atrium but we were never run off our feet so to speak.

Next to us was The Rotary Club of Derby trying to drum up interest in The Rotaract Club of Derby and doing quite well itseemed.

The Fair finished at 3pm and I was able to get home and changed just in time to be picked up and taken to the Rotary Club of Wollaton Park Charter Celebration at The Village Hotel in Chilwell.  There were over 100 people in attendance and the atmoshere in the room was great.

After a very tasty meal and the usual toasts, excellent entertainment was provided by "Victory Belle" who sang and danced till about 11.30pm when the evening was closed by the Club President Mike Lucas, who had been accompanied by his wife Daphne.   The ladies on the top table were presented with flowers.   Gail was really pleased with the arrangement she was given.

Thanks to Laura for her hard work at the fair, to Peter Shepherd for acting as my driver for the Charter Night and for Gail for accompanying me again.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Rotary Club of Bretby

The morning of 5th November found me attending A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Rotarian Geoff Lambert of the Rotary Club of Derby Mercia.   Geoff passed away on 16th October.     The service took place at St. Alkmund's Church, Duffield to a packed church.   In his tribute to Geoff Mr Michael Pinder made reference to Geoff's service to Rotary.

Our thought are with his family at this sad time.

This evening saw me visiting the Rotary Club of Bretby for my official visit.  President Norman Carpenter was an excellent host and I and my driver Rtn Peter Shepherd were made very welcome by the whole club.    I talked to the club about the theme for this year, Peace Through Service and presented Pres. Norman with an origami crane and a letter from the RI President Sakuji Tanaka, which Secretary John Carr read out to the members.

It was great to meet and chat with Peter Easy, the club's latest recruit, who joined only about three weeks ago.

The club certainly know how to fill an evening's meeting.  As well as my talk they managed to pull in a very nice two course meal with time for fellowship, the normal business of the night, a Special AGM to elect new members etc and the to top it off had their various committee meetings as well.   Congratulations to Pres. Norman for managing the meeting so well and for the members for getting on with the job.

President Norman with his team


A committee hard at work
My thanks to all at the club and to Peter Shepherd for acting as my driver for the night.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Busy Weekend

Quite a few varied activities over the weekend.  The usual stack of emails to respond to on Saturday, particularly as they had built up a little.

Saturday evening was something different for Gail and I - a new experience - we drove over to Beeston to join the members of Beeston Rotary Club at their "Flat Caps and Ferrets" social evening.  Having never been to such an event before, but following the suggestion of fancy dress I donned my flat cap and other suitable attire for a night with ferrets (I think suitable attire means having your trousers legs fastened to stop an "intrusion" that you may not want !!)

Just in case any of you have never been to such an event either I won't spoil the surprise in case you too get such an invite.   What I can tell you is it was a really good laugh.    Seeing (elderly) Rotarians and others, both male an female stretched out on the floor blowing kisses down a drainpipe is not something you see every day.   (When the photos arrive I will put one or two on the blog)

Needless to say we didn't come away from this evening of betting on ferret racing any better off than we came away from the horse racing earlier this year.

A brilliant night - well recommended for a social fund raising event.  See www.ferret-racing.co.uk

Thanks to President Trevor and to PP Simon Holmes for organising it.

Sunday was somewhat different as well - once again something I had never done before and I suspect you have not done either.    I attended the 110th birthday celebrations of Hon. Rotarian Reg Dean from the Rotary Club of Wirksworth.

Reg had received a card from Her Majesty The Queen (he now has a large collection of these)  a card from Ian Duncan Smith, MP., a large framed certificate of service to Wirksworth from the Town Council, a letter from our own Sakuji Tanaka, the RI President as well as many cards and presents.

During the morning Reg had been inundated with the press and media and had The Dalesmen male Voice Choir singing outside his window.  He was therefore understandably somewhat tired when I arrived with Norman Laud from the Wirksworth Club, nevertheless he was pleased to see us.  We stayed just a few minutes so as not to tire him further.

Reg is clearly a very well respected and much loved resident at his home and in the local community and I am sure you would all join with me in wishing him well for the future.

During the rest of the day I managed to pull in a meeting with the President of my own Club, Belper to talk about our forthcoming Charter Night on 12th November and I also managed to book Gail and myself into the International Convention at Lisbon in June next year - and you thought Conference was expensive!!"

It is a busy week coming up but I will do my best to update the blog daily for all my avid readers.   Do think about posting a comment on it some time readers.

"Police" themed Charter Night at Mansfield.

After spending  Friday resting (well, almost resting - spent most of the day on the computer) Gail and I felt well enough to go to the Charter Night celebrations with Mansfield Rotary Club at the invitation of President Paul Bacon.

Paul's vocation is "Criminal Lawyer" (I always have a smile at that phrase for some reason !!).  I was a Police Officer and the speaker, Alfie Moore, is a Police Officer with Humberside Police so the evening took on a bit of a policing theme.

This was added to when it was announced that one of the President's personal guests was also a police officer.  This was Diederik Coetzee a former South African Police Officer who several years ago decided to come to England and join Nottinghamshire Police.   He soon notched up the record for the most arrests by a police officer in a single year - 366 in 2005 and 406 in 2006 - when the national average was under ten.

Sadly some time ago Diederik was the victim of a serious hit and run, which left him partially sighted and with debilitating injuries from which he is still recovering.

President Paul presented Diederik with the award of a Paul Harris Fellowship and I have to say it is one of the most deserving awards I have personally come across.

The event was a great success and a sell out with 147 guests and Mansfield having to reluctantly turn people away - so not all Charters are in danger (See my October Newsletter).    

The official chauffeur for the evening was Rotarian John Scotney from the Belper and Duffield Club, so thanks to him, not just for taking us but for risking catching whatever Gail and I had been suffering with as well.

Thanks also to President Paul and all the members of Mansfield for such an enjoyable evening.


Beeston Charter Night

On Monday 29th October Rtn John Norreys picked me up and we went to the Novotel at Long Eaton for the Charter Celebrations of The Rotary Club of Beeston.   I joined  President Trevor Martin and his other guests for a drinks reception before the meal.  From the start of the evening I was feeling a little unwell but was determined to see the evening out.

The Novotel's service and the quality of the meal was very good.  I enjoyed my chicken liver parfait followed by pork, with Apple tart for afters.

Nick Doughty the Club Secretary did the roll call of clubs and Chris Elkin gave greetings on behalf of all visiting clubs.

The Club's President Elect, David Biggs proposed the toast the Rotary International, to which I responded bringing greetings from the RI President Sakuji Tanaka.     I then proposed the toast to the Rotary Club of Beeston which was now celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the grant of its charter.

There were no major speakers during the evening, instead after the break some extremely pleasant entertainment was provided by a group of four musicians called "Formosa"  two of whom played during the meal. Unfortunately as the evening went on my feeling of being unwell developed and I had to leave early.  Not even a hot toddy supplied by the hotel manager had the desired effect, which was a great shame as the format for the latter part of the evening was a very informal one with fellowship between Rotarians and guests being the order of the day.

A good night's sleep should hopefully bring me back to my normal state of health.

Thanks to all at Beeston for my invitation and the welcome  I received.  Thanks also to John Norreys for taking me and for leaving early to take me home.

International Projects Fair - Good News and Bad News

I had no particular Rotary engagements on 30th and 31st October so spent the time engaged in trying to shake off the stomach bug from which I had bbeen suffering and doing so work.    I also tried to catch up with Rotary paperwork which seems to be never ending.   I did manage to get my monthly newsletter out as well as a letter to Clubs about the re-Districting proposals.

Thursday 1st November was a big day for Gail.   She had been planning and organising the District International Project Fair and Dinner for several months and today was the day.    Unfortunatelt neither of us was feeling too well and our persistent stomach bug was not going away.   Regardless of this we carried on, did the last minute preparations and made sure we had everything ready so that the event could go off like clockwork.

Well apparently it did just that, but without either Gail or I being present.  As the day wore on the stomach problems got worse to the extent that by 6pm we were both on our last legs and realised there was no way we could stay for the dinner and fair.   So having set it all up, we drove back to Belper from Long Eaton and crawled into bed for 7pm, not getting up till almost 9am the following morning, when fortunately we we feeling much better, if not fully recovered.

The phone and email were hot with calls about the event which according to all accounts was very successful.   Gail and I were both gutted that we could not be there, but at least those individuals who stood in at the last minute did us proud.     I don't intent to name them as I am sure I would miss someone out.   BUT many thanks from myself and Gail.    Apparently there was a call for her to do it again next year.       Maybe ???

















Sunday, 28 October 2012

Lunch at The Redbrick House, Mansfield Woodhouse

Gail and I travelled over to Mansfield Woodhouse for lunch today (Sunday, 28th October) and met up with a number of Past District Governors and their respective wives.   Also present were the widows of some past DG's, - Elizabeth Broome, June Gaunt, Jan harding and Meg Nelson who were warmly welcomed by PDG David Power.

There was a choice of menu and I opted for melon, followed by chicken - very slimming and then Treacle sponge and custard - not so slimming.

I gave everyone present an origami crane, that I had personally made to represent this year's Rotary theme of "Peace Through Service."  After the meal IPDG Gordon gave a short resume of his year in office and I was then asked to give a short presentation on the issue of Re-Districting.  I kept it nice and brief and just gave the basic facts.   After a couple of questions I was thanked by PDG David Power. 

Spent some of the evening answering emails and preparing my speech for the Charter celebration tomorrow at The Rotary Club of Beeston.

Friday, 26 October 2012

A few quiet days - 26th October

Well, since my visit to Sutton in Ashfield on Monday evening, I have had quite a quiet week with no Club visits and no charters.

On Tuesday, 23rd I met up with David Pedlar (Wollaton Park) and Noel Harrison (Sherwood Sunrisers) for a meeting with Karen Welsh from RIBI.  We were looking at producing an RIBI policy for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. It was a most productive meeting and the end result should not be that far away.   It may also help us in District with our Business Project.

On Wednesday 24th October I attended the District Finance meeting at The Novotel.   No big surprises here and nothing particularly outstsanding to report on.

With a completely free day on Thursday and just the Assistant Governors' meeting this evening (Friday) it has given me a chance to catch up on emails, letters, outstanding telephone calls and the writing of one or two speeches for forthcoming events.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Visit to Sutton in Ashfield 22nd October 2012

Nearing the end of my club visits now, with a trip to St Joseph's Social Club at Sutton in Ashfield for the early evening meeting of the Rotary Club of Sutton in Ashfield.   Rtn Nick Blurton had volunteered as my driver for the evening and also took some photos for me - so thanks to Nick.

We were initially cordially greeted by Past District Governor John Kirkland and then by President Elect John Bates and President Danny Patterson, both of whom were excellent hosts.   It doesn't seem five minutes since I sat with John and Danny at their Charter Night.

With almost 40 members present there was a good atmosphere in the room for the meal and business.    I was then invited to speak, and talked about the Rotary theme for 2012 - 2013, "Peace Through Service."     I presented President Danny with an origami crane, a symbol of "hope for Peace" and a letter from the RI president Sakuji Tanaka.

Chatter on the top table

President Danny examining his origami crane.
My thanks to Danny and all at Sutton for their friendship and hospitality.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Emotional Farewells to the GSE Team 19th September

Today is the last day of the visit by the Group Study Exchange Team from Nepel - tomorrow they will start their journey's back to Nepal.

The day got underway at the Museum of Brewing in Burton upon Trent where we held the de-briefing session, chaired by Terry Leivers, now back from his holidays.   Also at the meeting, as well as the team were Malcolm Murray, John Dain, Roger Summers, Peter Halliday and myself.

I have to say that the feedback from the team about the arrangements for their stay, their vocational days, their programme and particularly for their hosting arrangements was all very positive.  The team expressed their individual and collective gratitude and thanks for the way they had been generally looked after.

After the feedback session we had some light lunch of sandwiches and chips, before the team split up with their respective hots for some last minute shopping before their return to Nepal.

In the evening the team were all back together again at the Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion FC, for the final night get together.  Many Rotarians and partners attended and said their final goodbyes to the team, making for some emotional goodbyes.

Each of the team was asked to give a short, impromptu talk on their reflections of the visit.    It was very clear from the way they each spoke that they had all enjoyed the relations they had forged with Rotarians and their families and that they were returning to Nepal, much rounder individuals with plans to use what they had learned for the benefit of their communities.

When asked, both at the de-brief and at the get together, what the highlights of the visit had been, the one that attracted most of their attention was a visit to a crematorium, organised by one of the host families!   Now that's something to remember for the future!





All in all I think this has been an absolutely outstanding visit and I personally will remember it for a long time to come.

I think our outgoing team next February are in for a wonderful time.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Last presentation by a GSE Team 27th October

The Rotary Club of Derby Mercia hosted the Group Study Exchange Team from Nepal this evening as they made the final presentation of their visit.    There were about forty (40) Rotarians and guests present representing ten Rotary Clubs in and around the Derby area.  (Nice to see Derby Mercia getting well and truly involved in District activities - congratulations Presidents Tony and Ashley)
 
After the meal The team presentation was started by their team leader, Rtn Nugal VAIDYA from the Rotary Club of Mount Everest Lalitpur.  He introduced the first member of his team, Dipika Shrestha who spoke about her family background and life in Nepal.    This was followed by the other three members of the team, Suyesh Pradhan, Roshani Manandhar and Shresna Basnet who each contributed additional material to the talk.
 
Having heard the presentation several times, it is clear that the confidence and public speaking skills of the team members have increased significantly over the last four weeks.
 
I have to say that the team have been most professional in their approach to the visit.  I know they have all enjoyed themselves.  I have not heard one request for changes to the programme and all the feedback I have received about them has suggested that they have been outstanding ambassadors for their country, for Rotary District 3292 and for themselves.   I shall be quite sad to see them leave the District at the weekend.
 
I shall be at the de-brief on Friday morning and at their leaving party on Friday evening - I trust you have booked your place - its not too late (If you're very quick.)
 
Many thanks to all the hosts and Rotarians who have been responsible for the activities of the team in any way. 
 
The team with Origami Peace Cranes presented by DG Dave
  

Monday, 15 October 2012

Church Wilne _ DG Visit - 15th October

After a day working for a living I was collected from home at 5.30pm by Rotarian Martin Drake, acting as my driver for the evening, to take me to the Rotary Club of Church Wilne.   They meet at the Royal Oak at Ockbrook at 6pm for a 6.30pm start.

Chaired by their President, Derek Sheehy-Smith the meeting started on time and after a well prepared meal of lamb the business of the club was quickly and efficiently conducted by President Derek.   I was then invited to address the club which I had pleasure to do.

I spoke about the Rotary International theme for 2012 - 2013, "Peace through Service" - an excellent theme that no-one can disagree with.   I presented President Derek with a Origami Crane - a symbol of a "hope for peace" and a letter from RI President Sakuji Tanaka, which he duly read out to the 34 club members present.

President Derek with his Origami Crane (and the DG)
After a short spot of photography Martin and I made our way back to Belper, where we were just in time to hear the presentations by the Groups Study Exchange (GSE) Team from Nepal.   Present at the Belper meeting were Rotarians from the Rotary Clubs of Heanor, Ilkeston, and Amber Valley - including all the hosts of the Team - as well as the Chairman of The Nepal Trust (UK) - a Rotarian from Somerset - whose name escapes me at present.

Many clubs in District 1220 are presently engaged in Projects with Nepal and I would like to see a presentation of these projects at the next District Council meeting on 11th December at The Novotel, Long Eaton.


 GSE TEam with local Rotarians
Rotarian Nugal with President Graham (Belper & Duffield) and President David (Amber Valley)
Many thanks to Martin for acting as my driver, to President Derek from Church Wilne for the hospitality of his club and to the GSE Team for their presentation.

District 1040 Conference at Scarborough

After a couple of days without any Rotary jobs to attend to, today saw Gail and I set off mid morning for Scarborough to the Conference of District 1040.  We were the guests of two good friends, District Governor Keith and his wife, Edith Davison.

We stayed at The Crown Hotel on the Esplanade and I have to say that as seaside hotels go this was one of the best.  The rooms were modern, light and airy with all mod-cons.  Slightly more expensive than some, but well worth the extra.

Another advantage was that this hotel is almost immediately at the top of the Cliff Lift that goes down to the Spa Complex which made walking to and from the Spa much easier than from some hotels.

Whilst Scarborough is a very popular resort I do think it has seen better days.   As we looked round the town, we came across a lot of hotels that looked somewhat dated and worn out, a lot of empty premises and a lot of amusement arcades and the like.

The 1040 conference was of a similar format to our own and had a similar number of people attending - just over 700.    Interestingly they do not have any sessions on the Friday afternoon - just the House of Friendship open for business.

Friday evening saw a Black Tie Dinner, with an after dinner comedian. I had a sense of De Ja Vue when the comedian proved not to be what the organisers had hoped he would be and they asked him to leave the stage, because he had died a death - he was just not funny and was somewhat rude into the bargain.   The District Governor had his performance cut short - just as happened to me the previous week.  It can happen in the best of circles.

The conference programme on the Saturday and Sunday was varied and interesting.  On Saturday evening we were entertained by Driffield Silver Band - they were very good - apart from the fact that they were half an hour late starting because their Musical Director had come without the music!  A band member stood in and told some jokes and stories till they were ready to start - much better than the comedian the night before - he received a really rousing applause when he stepped down and the band came on.  Their programme was based on a "Last Night of the Proms" and went down very well.  Excellent entertainment.

We set off for home at lunch time on Sunday arriving back at tea time just in time to get changed and drive over to Clay Cross to the Gurkha Restaurant there, where we enjoyed an evening of fellowship with the GSE Team from Nepal and their hosts from the Rotary Club of Amber Valley.   Rotarian Phil Harris did his best to give everyone the "Man Flu" from which he was suffering, but hopefully we will have avoided it.

The GSE Team I have to say are great company with their Team Leader Nugal Vaidya from the Rotary Club of Mount Everest.  I shall be seeing a little of them hopefully on Monday at Belper & Duffield and then on Wednesday at Derby Mercia.   (Do come along to either if you are free - they are worth listening to.)


A second day with no Rotary commitments - Thursday 11th October

Is this a record I ask myself.  Two days in a row without any Rotary related visits or tasks?   Spent the whole day yet again catching up on my day job.  I certainly had plenty to do as tomorrow (Friday) Gail and I are off the Scarborough for District 1040's Conference.

No Rotary - Wednesday, 10th October.

Well, apart from answering the normal amount of emails I had no Rotary duties or commitments today.  In stead I spent the day trying to catch up with business matters having had six days at Southport with Conference recently.

Just one small deviation from this was at lunch time when Gail and I went to St. John's School in Belper, for "Grandparents Day".  Two of our grandchildren attend this school and this was the day when Francesca's class invited in all their grandparents to joint them for a couple of hours doing whatever activities they wanted to do.  

We ended up digging the school, laying compost in containers and planting bulbs for the spring - I was really pleased I went dressed up for the occasion - carrying dirty bags of compost went down really well with my best jacket !!  The children really enjoyed planting the bulbs that (hopefully) will flower in the spring.

It was very nice to be able to mix with the children in the school and do something to improve their environment.

Spent the rest of the day on pretty routine work related jobs and managed fairly early night.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Visit to Long Eaton Dawnbreakers. 9th October

After a good night's sleep the alarm went off at 6am to get me up ready for attending a meeting of Long Eaton Dawnbreakers at Cafe Zing in Long Eaton.

There was a good turnout at the meeting with three members of the Long Eaton Club also in attendance.  We had a most interesting and enlightening discussion about the future of District Conferences - what keeps people away - what makes them attend etc etc.

The meeting broke up about 8.30am at which point I started work on my "Day Job", which kept me busy till late evening.    A long day after a really hectic weekend.  Perhaps tomorrow will be quieter.

Back to normality Monday 8th October

Well, after all the excitement of conference today was the day when we had to resume normal duty.  After breakfast in the hotel and packing the cars and the van with all the kit, Gail and I set off for home about 11am.

Once we were home I had to go out and do some paid work, before getting ready to attend a meeting of my own Rotary Club, Belper and Duffield in the evening.

I thanked all the members of the club who had held positions on the conference team or had acted as stewards for all the hard work they had done.

I would also like to thank all the other members of the conference team for their individual contributions that went to make the event such a success.

Sunday morning - Conference finale

The Conference Director, David Pedlar, allowed us to have a lie in this morning as he called the morning briefing for 7.30am instead of 7am - Thanks David.    I enjoyed a full English Breakfast this morning as we held the briefing.

Once again the presentations this morning were first class from all concerned.  The conference closed with a reminder of all the inspiring speeches and presentations we had heard over the last few days. Cantata opened their spot with the Rotary Anthem which their Musical Director Lisa Mills had specially written for District 1220.  They followed this with a number of other inspiring and uplifting songs, between which I made my closing remarks.    Cantata's final song, "One Voice" marked the end of the conference, after which I rang the final bell.

Overall the weekend seems to have been a success.

Several members of the Conference Team had one further night in Southport to allow them to pack all the equipment that we had used and to relax for a while before the drive back home.

In the evening we all went out and had a quiet dinner in a French restaurant, before making for an early night.

Saturday - Main Conference Day

After a fairly sleepless night worrying about the Freddie Mercury act, the Conference had their daily Team briefing at 7am.    Everyone was looking forward to the day and all the final preparations had been completed.

9.30am and the First Plenary Session started with welcomes to various officials from Rotary and elsewhere.   The session after coffee break went down a storm with "Canine Partners" putting on their show with three dogs in various stages of training.  What these dogs can do is amazing - putting the washing in the machine, taking it out, opening and closing doors and cupboard doors, picking up things that have been dropped - even credit cards, pressing the buttons on pedestrian crossings - the list goes on and on.

All the presentations from the stage were very well done and when I closed the conference for lunch we agreed that things had gone very well.

At the District Governor's lunch the inspiration speaker, DR. Alison Mobray had the audience enthralled and captivated as she told how she had become an Olympic Silver medallist after being useless at school sports.  Prior to lunch Lilly Taylor-Ward entertained us with just a couple of songs.   Her performance was great but was slightly spoiled by the thoughtless chattering of a number of Rotarians and other guests present.

Early evening was the time for a reception for all the Club Presidents followed by the evening meal and then the entertainment.

Gail and I in our formal attire.
No repeat of the problems of last night as all the entertainers, performed absolutely magnificently.   Cantata, Revival, Lilly and JD & the Impressions were all fantastic and made for a really great evening for everyone.

Gail and I went up to our reoom about 12.30am - tired out but having had a great day.

Friday 5th October - Conference starts

After breakfast in the hotel, it was down to work getting all the equipment we needed into the Theatre at the Conference Centre ready for the start of the Conference this afternoon.   

At 9.30am I drove over to  Formby Golf Club to T off the start of the annual District Golf Competition.  It seemed quite windy and the ground looked very wet, but the staff at the course assured us that the course was fine.   Before the start all the competitors (and myself) enjoyed a bacon butty and a cup of coffee which went down very well.  I managed to hit the ball without too much problem, wished everyone good luck and drove back to Southport to help with the preparations - although I did seem to be somewhat superfluous to requirements most of the time.

By lunchtime the "Rotary Showcase" hall was filling up nicely with stalls and exhibitors, ready for opening at 1pm.

The RIBI President, John Minhinick and his wife Sheila arrived as did the RI President's representative, Lynn Deavin and her partner Bruce.

By the time I had to leave to start the second set of golfers off on their way at Formby the Showcase was looking quite busy with a lot of Rotarians calling in to collect their registration packs and browsing the stalls.

The table cricket game being organised by Cerebral Palsy Sport was getting quite busy and although I had a go, my score never really looked like being a winner.

The golfers had a fairly rough day with what was clearly a waterlogged course.  Several golfers lost their balls in deep water on one of the fairways and others got very wet from slipping over in the terrible conditions.   Oh well, they're made of strong stuff these golfers.

The Showcase was buzzing all afternoon and everyone seemed to be enjoying the new format, except for the Conference treasurer, who was getting more and more worried about how much the free  tea and coffee was costing us.   All the RI, RI BI and District officials wore badges announcing "Ask me a Question".  This was taken on board by a lot of members who took the opportunity to chat to the senior Rotarians present.

In the early evening there was a reception for guests of the conference, VIPs and some stewards, during which professional photographs were taken.

Following the evening meal came the entertainment in the theatre.    The first act, Johnie Casson, a comedian was fine and went down well with the audience.   The same definitely could not be said for the second act, a Freddie Mercury Tribute act.    He went down like a lead balloon and I can't see him being re-booked for any other Rotary events.




Overall though a good start to the conference.

Last minute preparations for Conference.

The day before Conference starts and most members of the District Conference Planning Team and some of the lper and Duffield are now arriving in Southport.    One or two last minute details have to be arranged, such as plants for the stage etc.  Generally though a fairly low key day.

In the evening we held a small reception for members of the Team and the Stewards.    Just a couple of people had not received their ticket for the reception, but other than that it went off very well.

View from our hotel room

Enjoying the reception
After the reception we had our evening meal in the hotel, following which Gail and I had a fairly early night so that we were ready for the start of Conference on the Friday.

Drive to Southport for Conference 3rd October

Just a couple of days to go now till the District 1220 Conference starts on Friday. Gail and I spent the morning load up the car and then setting off for Southport.

It was an uneventful journey and we arrived in Southport about lunchtime when we met up with David and June Pedlar for a bite to eat at Carrisbrick Marina. After a light lunch we went the last few miles to the Ramada Hotel. We booked in and unpacked, before having a quick look round the town.

In the evening we went to an Italian Restaurant called "51" just opposite the Ramada, where we had an excellent evening meal with a couple of glasses of wine - just to relax the nerves.

Ready for Thursday and the arrival of the conference team.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

CHarter Night at Sutton in Ashfield - 2nd October

The 82nd Charter celebration of the Rotary Club of Sutton in Ashfield too place at the Hostess Restaurant, at Sookholme on 2nd October.  With one hundred Rotariansd and guests present it was a very enjoyable evening. The quality and quantity of food served was excellent, with several options for ech course on the menu to choose from.   Service was efficient and generally the venue did extremely well.

President Danny Patterson was in the chair and his main guest for the event was Tim Robinson a former Nottinghamshire and England cricketer, who recounted a number of amusing stories of his time in the game.

Prior to his talk and during the familiar roll call of clubs, all the members of the Rotary Club of Kirkby in Ashfield gave a rendition of "Danny Boy" with new words penned for the occasion.  Apparently singing the greetings of the club is a long standing tradition at this charter - and it was highly entertaining.

The whole evening was relaxed and very enjoyable and as they say, "a good time was had by all".

My driver this evening was Rotarian David Collard and many thanks to him for accompanying me.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lunch at The Lighthouse 30th September

After spending the morning writing my Newsletter for September (which incidentally it is very important that all Presidents read) at lunch Gail and I joined a number of Club Presidents and Presidents Elect at "The Lighthouse" Restaurant at Boyleston, near Church Broughton in Derbyshire for Sunday lunch.

The lunch was the idea of the Presidents in one of their regular meetings with their Assistant Governor Colin Gell (also present with his wife Annie).  The restaurant is owned by the President Elect of Etwall and Hilton, Robert Heed, who allowed us exclusive use of the premises.

The meal was completely social, with no Rotary input, other than the conversation around the tables.    It provided an ideal venue for people from different clubs to mix and socialise in a relaxed environment.

The meal (I had duck) was absolutely faultless, as were the premises themselves and the service we all received.    Many thanks to Robert and to the staff at the restaurant.   It made a nice interlude from Rotary.

"Last Night of the Proms" Rotary Club of Ashbourne.

Gail and I had been looking forward to attending this "Last Night of the Proms" Concert being organised by the Rotary Club of Ashbourne for some time and we were definately not disappointed.  The Mayor and Mayoress of Ashbourne were also guests for the evening.   The venue was St. John's Church on Buxton Road at Ashbourne and having managed to find somewhere to park for the evening made our way to the church, arriving in plenty of time.

With an audience in the region of 200 the church, whilst not full to capacity was more than enough to create a really good atmosphere. 

Music was provided by the Ashbourne Town Band, under their conductor, Russell Bevan, a young man who really made the evening buzz.    One of the presenters fro Ashbourne Radio, Steve Jenner was the compere for the evening.

The music took a tour around Britian with Men of Harlech, Mull of Kintyre, accompamnied by a lady called Liz on the bagpipes(sorry Liz but I can't recall your surname), Londonderry Air and British Grenadiers setting the scene.   We were marvellously entertained to several solos, from Cathy Oldfield, who I believe is a local celebrity.   

After a refreshment break the music stepped up into the realms of Pomp and Circumstance No 1, Dam Busters March and Jerusalem,  all with accompanying flag waving and hearty singing by the audience.

Conductor - Russell Bevan

President Chris amid a sea of read white and blue

 Pres. Chris, with Notty and the Mayor and Mayoress
The piper - Liz
At the (almost) conclusion to the evening, the President of Asbourne Rotary Club, presented cheques to three First Responder Units from the Ashbourne area and thanked the various people that had arranged the event and made itr happen.

Amber Valley Charter Night - 28th September

The Boundary at Broadmeadows, South Normanton was the venue this evening for the 30th Charter Anniversary celebrations by the Rotary Club of Amber Valley.    Their President David Hickton chaired the event, with Rotarian Richard Moulder doing an excellent job as compare.   There were about 115 Rotarians and guests present and we enjoyed an excellent three course meal, before moving on the toasts and speeches.

I was delighted to be asked to respond to the toast to Rotary International and to propose the toast to the Rotary Club of Amber Valley.   Once the formalities were over the assembled throng enjoyed some entertainment provided by a female singing group called "Another Dimension".   These four ladies had a varied repertoire and were absolutely great.  They were all local people and they donate all the fees that they earn from their singing to local charities.     So you know where to go if you need a vocal harmony group.

Overall a really good night and my thanks go to President David and Amber Valley for inviting Gail and I as their guests.  At the end of the evening all the floral table decorations were presented to various members and guests who were present.


"Another Dimension"

President David addressing the audience
Looking forward now to tomorrow night at a "Last Night of the Proms" at Ashbourne.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Busy Few Days 27th September 2012

On 25th September I went to the Rotary Club of West Ashfield at the Derbyshire Hotel at South Normanton.  It was a 7pm start and Paul Taylor from the Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield acted as driver for the evening.

It was a joint meeting with the Rotary Club of Mansfield and so there was a fairly large audience there,  The two Presidents (Peter from West Ashfield and Paul from Mansfield) were excellent hosts for the evening and were great company.

I talked to the members present about the Rotary International theme for the year and presented each President with a letter from RI President Sakuzi and an origami crane.

I also talked briefly about our upcoming Conference in Southport.

At the end of the meeting I had an interesting chat with Rtn Tony Balding about Youth Exchange Programmes (He was formerly the District Youth Exchange Officer) and about the numbers of youngsters that we used to send off on exchange visits.

Thanks to all at the two clubs and to Paul Taylor for acting as the driver.

On Wednesday 26th September I drove down to Alcester for a 9am start to the RIBI General Council meeting.   The main item on the agenda was the issues of Re-Districting.  We heard that the proposal was for the number of Districts to be reduced from the present 29, down to 24 from 1st July 2015. The proposals for the boundaries of the new Districts and the clubs that each will consist of were revealed.    Whilst this is not the place for a disclosure of this information I am in possession of the details and will be communicating it with clubs over the next few days.

I excused myself from this meeting at 3.30pm and made my way home to get changed and pick Gail up, just in time to set off for a meeting of the Rotary club of Mapperley and Arnold where the Group Study Exchange Team (GSE) were making their first formal presentation.   

It was a very lively meeting and the presentation from the team was very informative and the assembled members and guests found it most interesting.  I am now looking forward to meeting up with the team at Conference.
Presidents Peter and paul with DG Dave


The GSE TEam
Thanks to all at Mapperley and Arnold, in particular President David, for their efforts in putting this evening on.