Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Sherwood Sunrisers and Trent Bridge 31st July

Well, this is the last day of my first month as DG and my visit to Trent Bridge this evening was my 28th Club visit since the start of the Rotary year.      The day however started - very early - with a 5am wake-up call ready for the trip to the  Rotary Club of Sherwood Sunrisers.    I have never seen such a happy bunch of people so early in the morning - it's frightening.

Sunrisers start the day with a coffee, which I have to say went down really well, followed by the business of the day and then the speaker.    I delivered my talk and after photographs etc we all went and had a serve yourself breakfast, which I have to say was very nice.     After breakfast, with everyone refreshed, there was an opportunity for any final business before the final Rotary toast taken by all present with a glass of water.

Between arriving home from Sunrisers and setting off for Trent Bridge, with President Graham Wright of the Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield, I spent the whole day, preparing my first monthly newsletter, answering emails and generally catching up (again) with Rotary matters.

Graham and I set off for the Trent Bridge meeting, being held at the Country Cottage Hotel at Ruddington at 6pm, arriving just before 7pm.    After welcoming drinks in the bar we made our way through to the restaurant for the meal and meeting at 7.30pm.

It was great to see some young people in this club, mixing freely with the "more mature" members.   After some club business I delivered my talk to the club about this year's theme of  "Peace through Service".   Afterwards several members asked questions of a general Rotary nature that I did my best to answer - hopefully to their satisfaction.

Quite a bit of discussion then followed about the club's annual Duck Race which is due to be held as part of the Riverside Festival at Nottingham on Sunday.    I shall be attending to see the ducks sailing serenely down the Trent and also having a quick look at what else is on offer at the Festival.

Breakfast at Sunrisers

President kevin - Sherwood Sunrisers
President Rick, Trent Bridge

Monday, 30 July 2012

Burton upon Trent - Keyworth & Ruddington 30th July

Today started off with a Strategy Meeting with Peter Moralee and Steve Lawes at the Novotel in Long Eaton.   The aim is to make sure we are all three aware of all the latest news and issues involving the District and to work on the three year Strategy Plan.   

When this meeting finished at 11.30am Gail and I drove straight over to the Pirelli Stadium at Burton for a meeting of the Rotary Club of Burton.   The pitch is looking in fine form!  I was made very welcome by the Club and after the meal I addressed the members present.   Many thanks to President William for his company and for the hospitality of the Club.

By 5.30pm Gail and I were setting off for the meeting of The Rotary Club of Keyworth and Ruddington, where the President, past District Governor Tony Stimpson welcomed us to the club.     After a very nice meal and the usual club business I addressed the Club about this year's theme, "Peace through Service".     President Tony gave the vote of thanks, although most of his thunder had been taken by the other past District Governor in the Club, Roy Parsons.

The Presidential Team from Burton with DG Dave

PDGs Roy and Tony with DG Dave and Rtn Gail at Keyworth and Ruddington
Thanks to everyone for making us both so welcome.  Particular thanks to Gail for sitting through my talk again and for driving today.  

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Car & Bike Show, Ashover 29th July

Well, after a couple of "Rotary free" days it was back to work today.   In the morning I drove over to Ashover and had a look round the Car and Bike Show, organised jointly between the Rotary Clubs of Matlock, Chesterfield, Chesterfield Scarsdale and Clay Cross.

Judging by the queue of cars trying to get into the site at 11.30am when I arrived I think the day could be considered as huge success.   There seemed to be hundreds of cars and motor cycles being exhibited and hundreds more in the visitors car park.  ( I tried to find a 1960 - 62 Ford Capri - a model I owned in my younger years but the closest I could find was a couple of Ford Classics)  The sun shone all the time I was there so all in all it seemed like a good day.

I managed to chat to quite a number of Rotarians as they were busily engaged in directing traffic around the site.  I have no idea of the financial result of the event, but in terms of Rotary awareness it was difficult not to be impressed - and with the Inner Wheel out in force as well.    I also saw Scouts helping out - so thanks to them.

I am not going to mention any particular Rotarians as it would be totally unfair.  Everyone was doing a great job.  Just to say, "What a great event - I look forward to next year's".

Three oldies together

After leaving the Car and Bike Show I made my way back to Belper, where I undertook stewarding duties on behalf of my own Club (Belper and Duffield) at a band concert in The River Gardens - These gardens must be Belper's best kept secret - a beautiful spot next to the river and entertainment laid on - what more could you ask.

Monday sees me back on to the round of Club visits with a trip to Burton upon Trent and then to Keyworth and Ruddington

Friday, 27 July 2012

Castle Donington 26th July

It was nice to have some free time today whilst the sun was shining - Gail and I took our youngest grandaughter to the park, but 6.15pm soon came round with Rtn Nick Blurton knocking at the door to pick me up for our visit to Castle Donington.      On arrival we were greeted by a number of members including the joint presidents Sukhdev Atwall and Patrick Parkes.     

Patrick is in the hot seat for the first six months of the year and Sukh for the remainder.    We sat down promptly at 7.30pm for a meal after which the normal club business was conducted.   I then spoke to the Club about the theme for this year, "Peace through Service" and in passing the Presidents and the club greetings from the RI President, Sakuji Tanaka, handed them an origami crane and a letter from Pres. Sakuji.

Presidents Sukh and Patrick with DG Dave
Nick and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the company and I am looking forward to meeting up with Castle Donington Club again during the year.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Mapperley and Arnold Club 25th July

Sadly this morning I attended the funerals of Rotarian "Chas" Shooter of the Rotary Club of Ilkeston followed by that of  Honorary Rotarian Bernard Malkinson, of the Rotary Club of Castle Donington, a Past District Governor, District 122.

In the evening and in company with Rotarian John Scotney, I attended the Rotary Club of Mapperley and Arnold.   John and I were met on the car park by a young lady called Ann-Marie who told us she was attending the Rotary Club meeting for the first time.  We escorted her into the venue, The Bestwood Lodge Hotel and introduced her to some of the members who were expecting her.

President David Gratton introduced himself to us and as the meeting began we found the company entertaining and very friendly.   At the meeting it was announced that Rotarian John Berrington had just become engaged to Rotarian Julia Abbott, both of the Mapperley and Arnold Club, so my congratulations and best wishes to both.

I addressed the club in the usual manner and presented President David with an origami crane and a letter from RI President Sakuji.     President David then gave the vote of thanks before asking for the final toast, which was linked to the recent shootings in America.

President David gets the bird

The newly engaged couple see the funny side
My sincere thanks to President David.  He was a charming host and to the members of the club.  Also to John Scotney for taking on the chauffeuring duties this evening.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Ashbourne, Hucknall and kids 24th July

Well, today has been a really hot day with temperatures up at about 28c.   The day started off for Gail and me, with all four of our grandchildren coming for the day so that we (well Gail really) could babysit.   By the time that Rtn Peter James collected me at 11.50am I was ready for any excuse to have some "child free time".  Just hope Gail copes for the rest of the day.

l to r - Sebastian, Francesca, Xanthe and Madeleine

My lunchtime meeting today was at Callow Hall, Mappleton, a hotel / restaurant  set in a really beautiful area of Derbyshire, where the Rotary Club of Ashbourne meet.   After a refreshing drink on arrival we went through to the dining room for lunch and the meeting.    President Chris Hornblower proved to be an excellent host and indeed Peter and I were made to feel really welcome.

Club members enjoying a joke
The bell presented by Mother Club, Derby to mark Ashboure's 21st birthday

President Chris with DG Dave
After my talk photographs were taken to record the occasion.

After spending the afternoon with grandchildren again - picking peas and broad beans on my allotment - early evening saw me off again whilst Gail held a District International Committee meeting at home.  This time I was off  to The Rotary Club of Hucknall at their meeting at The Horse and Groom in Linby, a delightful, Nottinghamshire village - famous for its "locks" that apparently were bombed by the German air force in Word War II.   Rtn David Harris took driving duties for this evening.

Hucknall appeared to be a club with a fairly wide age range - so nice to see younger people in our membership.   President Ian proved to be an excellent host and both David and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit.    With two past District Governors in the audience I was pleased that my talk to the club seemed to be well received.

Many thanks to President Chris (Ashbourne) and President Ian (Hucknall) for their friendship and hospitality.  My thanks also particularly go to Peter James and David Harris of my own club for providing me with transport.
Members of Hucknall Club

President Ian reading out letter from RI President Sakuji

DG Dave addressing the meeting.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Derby & Nottingham 23rd July

At lunchtime, incompany with Rtn John Lowe, I attended the meeting of the Rotary Club of Derby, held at the Derbyshire County Cricket Ground.   The setting was beautiful, with groundstaff preparing the pitch for a forthcoming game.

Everyone enjoying lunch

Handing over letter and origami crane
We sat down for lunch promptly at 12.40pm.   President Tim Wherlywas an excellent host and conversation around the table was varies and enjoyable.   John brought greetings from President Graham of the Belper and Duffield Club.  I gave my talk to the club and the meeting ended, again promptly, at 2pm.

After doing some work and paying an overdue visit to my sister, Jennifer and her husband Bob in the afternoon I made my way to the centre of Nottingham for  the meeting of the oldest Club in the District, The Rotary Club of Nottingham, who I was proudly and reliably informed are six weeks older than Derby.   Nottingham meet in the Crowne Plaza Hotel where they eat in one of the restaurants and then move to a meeting room to conduct their business. 

President Peter was an excellent host, making me most welcome.   After giving my talk I answered several questions from the floor before we said the final toast.   After the meeting I accompanied several members to The Heart and Hand pub on Derby Road for a pint of real ale, which, with the heat of the day went down very well.

Relaxing with a pint of real ale.

My thanks to the members of both clubs for making me so welcome and to Rt. John Lowe for accompanying me and acting as driver.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Vale of Belvoir 22nd July

An hour's drive to the village of Granby saw us at the home of Rtn. Stan  and his wife Shirley's home for a lunchtime barbecue.    Stan's house is really something, eco friendly and beautiful.    There were just a few of the Vale Of Belvoir members and their partners present when we arrived, but the gardens soon filled up and the unmistakable smell of the barbecue soon came wafting across.

Loads of great food, including more sweets and puddings than you could eat were on offer.     About 3.30pm President Alan Folwell, thanked Stan and Shirley for the use of their home and everyone who was involved in the preparation for the day.

DGE Steve on the patio

Gail and DGE Steve's wife Janet

Chefs at work

The house and garden
Thanks from Gail and I to everyone concerned.  We had a great time.

Meet The President, Ilkeston 21st July

Having accepted an invitation from President Mike Perry, The Rotary Club of Ilkeston, to attend his "Meet the President" evening, Gail and I drove over to his home in Ilkeston for the evening.   When we arrived shortly after 7pm there was already a good sized crowd of Rotarians, partners and guests enjoying Mike and Pauline's hospitality.

We both met up with a number of friends and acquaintances, some that we had not seen for a while and some we see more regularly, as well as a number of people who we hadn't previously met.   Fortunately the weather was kind to us, although it did turn chilly as the evening went on.

Gail and Pauline Perry

Members of Ilkeston and some guests

President Mike

The food queu
Thanks to Mike and Pauline for their hospitality and to all who were there, for their friendship.

Friday, 20 July 2012

RC of Chesterfield 20th July

With Rtn John Frankland driving we set off for Chesterfield in light rain, which became torrential en route.   We were greeted by President Jim Haggarty at The Rotary Club of Chesterfeild.    Present at the meeting were members of several local Probus clubs and also Rtn Frank Clifford of the Bolsover club.

After the meal I gave my talk.    This was the first time I had received a hearty cheer from the members before I had started -  when I said my talk would not be about membership retention and recruitment.

Greeting from President Jim

My old boss from the police - John Moss in pensive mood
The meeting finished promptly at 2pm.  My thanks to all at Chesterfield for their warm welcome and to John Frankland for driving me again.

In the evening Gail and I hosted the Assistant Governors for a light meal and a meeting.  We had some very productive discussions about their role in the District and how we can move things forward.     As we ran out of time, we planned to meet again in three weeks to continue these discussions.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Derby Daybreak and Clay Cross 19th July

I didn't seem to have been in bed five minutes - actually I had slept for five hours - when the alarm woke me at an unearthly hour to go to the meeting of the Rotary Club of Derby Daybreak.   As I was a few minutes early I even had time to send a few texts whilst I waited.  The Club's venue is the Roundhouse on Pride Park at Derby.  It is a magnificent restored railway building that has been carefully added to to combine old and new technologies and a great place to meet, not least because the breakfasts here are so cheap (don't tell anyone though)
The meeting underway

There were about 14 or 15 members present, including President Clark Field and we spend the first part of the meeting on the ground floor in the main "Roundhouse".  Once we had all eaten we moved upstairs to a meeting room.   The usual club business was discussed and then I talked to the club about President Sakuji Tanaka's dream of "Peace Through Service" during which I presented President Clark with an origami crane and a letter from Sakuji.
President Clark and myself

The meeting broke up about 8.25am, allowing me just enough time to drive back to The Strutt School, Belper where I presented Year 5 children with certificates for successfully completing the Cycle Proficiency Course.   This training is organised in several local Schools by my club, Belper and Duffield.   Rotarian John Scotney who was the organiser and chief trainer for this school's event was also present.

Children with their certificates
I then had some free time till 2pm till David Pedlar arrived for a scheduled meeting with me to decide the format, layout and content of the District Conference brochure.   (These things don't just happen - they have to be planned.)

At 6.30pm I set off  for an evening meeting of the Rotary Club of Clay Cross.  Once again Rtn Peter James had volunteered to drive me this evening and once again it was raining.   We arrived a few minutes early at the Higham Farm Hotel and had a soft drink in the bar waiting for the club members to arrive.   We then went through into the restaurant where the meeting was being held this evening.  (The club's usual venue being unavailable owing to a wedding)

Clay Cross club is one of the few clubs that has a three course meal, though in deference to my waistline I just accepted a starter and a main course.   The food was excellent as indeed was the friendship shown to me round the table.   President Rtn Elect Cheryle Berry, who I sat next to seemed to me to be an absolutely inspirational person, with boundless energy and enthusiasm.    

President Neil Greatorex presided over the meeting with calm and a good humour.    I delivered my talk to the club and presented an origami crane and a letter from our international President, Sakuji Tanaka, to him.   I was thanked by Neil for my talk.

During the meeting it was announced that a volunteer for the post of Vice President had come forward.  That was Rtn Bob Adams.  Congratulations to Bob and to the club.   I wish them all my best for the forthcoming year.

My thanks to the club for their hospitality and welcome and to Rtn Peter James for acting as my driver yet again.

Vice President Bob, President Elect Cheryle, myself and President Neil
One more club to visit tomorrow, bringing the total Club visits in the first three weeks to eighteen - just forty left.  Also tomorrow a meeting with the Assistant Governors at my house, partly business and partly social.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Visits to Bulwell & Basford and Sherwood Forest 18th July

Today turned out to be one of the busiest but most enjoyable days that I have had so far as District Governor.   The day started with a drive over to the Westminster Hotel in Nottingham for a meeting of the District Training Team, where the main item on the agenda was how to introduce "Social Media" into the District.    It is now common knowledge that social media is the communications tool of younger generations and if we want to interact with them then we must be able to talk to them using their language.

The Training Team consists of myself, John Barker (Newark Castle) David Pedlar (Wollaton Park) Noel Harrison (Sherwood Sunrisers) Peter Moralee (Bretby) and Steve Lawes (Vale of Belvoir).   After considerable debate and discussion we agreed that we would use ourselves as a pilot scheme for a closed group before trying it on a larger group, such as the whole District Team.   Hopefully we shall see some results within a couple of months.

The team (minus me) getting down to business

The Training Team meeting was still in full flow when I had to make my excuses and leave, so that I could quickly change and make an appearance down the corridor for the meeting of The Rotary Club of Bulwell and Basford.   President David Smith, must have seen how much in need of sustenance I was, plying me straight away with a (non-alcoholic) drink, followed in due course by a very non-slimming salad, followed by black cherries and ice cream.  It was great to see Rtns Terry Leivers and Bill Smith there.

Following the meal I gave my presentation to the club and this was followed by questions, one concerning my views on the membership debate and the second asking me how I pulled in all the visits and other events that I am required to attend as the DG.   The first was easier to answer than the second.

My thanks go to President David and all the members of Bulwell and Basford for their hospitality, welcome and friendship and for the positive way they received my talk.

Having concluded my Rotary business at Nottingham  I drove over to Derby to try and catch up on some paid work for the afternoon, before driving to my youngest daughter's house at Burton where I managed to sit down for ten minutes, before heading off to The Rotary Club of Sherwood Forest with my wife Gail at the wheel.   With the assistance of the sat-nav we managed to find our way to South Forest leisure with no trouble at all ready for the 7.30pm start.

President Tony made Gail and I very welcome and we also met up with old friends Mike and Stella Herbert and Rtn Laura Harmer, who you may well recall was Group Study Exchange Student a couple of years ago.   She joined as a full Rotarian early this year and is now Vice President.  After a tasty and filling carvery and ice cream for pud, I again delivered my talk to the club, about "Peace Through Service".    I also urged members of the club to think about coming to the Conference in Southport and hopefully this will have increased the numbers by an extra one or two.

From l to r: me, Pres. Elect Mary, Vice Pres Paula & Pres Tony
President Tony pointing out the Theme

After thanking me for my talk, President Tony said that he had a surprise and Stella produced a beautiful bouquet of flowers which she presented to Gail as a belated gift for her birthday on Monday this week.  (It's amazing what people can find out about you on Facebook)  Our sincere thanks to President Tony for the bouquet, for his company and to all the members of this fairly small club that seems to be punching well above its weight.  The range of their projects, activities and achievements is inspirational.   My thanks also to chauffeur Gail.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Inner Wheel Induction 17th July

At lunchtime today Gail and I attended the Induction of Inner Wheel District 22 President Ann Cottee at the Lindhurst Rooms, Civic Centre, Mansfield.    The induction ceremony was preceded by lunch.    About 220 members of District 22 Inner Wheel were present for the lunch and ceremony that followed.    Also present was Rotarian Gwillym Griffith of the Rotary Club of Ravenshead and Blidworth.

During the proceedings a talk was given on behalf of the Headway charity of Nottingham and Derby that Ann intends to support during the year.

I took greetings from District 1220 to Ann and all members of the Inner Wheel District 22.     President Ann asked me to convey her greetings back to the District.

DG Dave, President Ann & President Gwillym

enjoying lunch

No such thing as a free meal
At the close of proceedings Gail was presented with a beautiful basket of flowers.  The lunch and following ceremony was extremely enjoyable and would would like to thank Ann  for inviting us.

Following the Inner Wheel function Gail and I went straight to the home of Rtn Dave Pedlar for two meetings making detailed arrangements for this year's District Conference, which don't forget is at Southport from 5th to 7th October.  Register and pay on line NOW.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Visit to Long Eaton 16th July

After some glorious sunshine on Sunday, it was back to the usual weather today, rain and more rain.   However it did not dampen the enthusiasm for my visit to the Rotary Club of Long Eaton at Cleve Lodge in the town.     Long Eaton meet at lunchtimes as I believe they have always done.   Prior to today they had 34 members, but after inducting two new members today, this figure went up to 36.

Rotarian Peter James kindly drove me again today and in fact is taking me to the RC of Clay Cross on Thursday - He must really like my talk.

On arrival at the club we were met by a number of members and made very welcome.    President Graham also greeted us in similar fashion.    There is certainly no shortage of Rotary Fellowship here.

Long Eaton is one of a relatively small band of clubs that enjoy a three course meal, which I have to say was extremely tasty and most efficiently served and cleared by the staff of Cleve Lodge.     After the meeting a few matters of business were dealt with before President Graham had the privilege to induct not one, but two new members.

First on the list was Rotarian Kevin Miller, a politician, followed closely by Rotarian Christopher John Bowley, an anaesthetist.    They were warmly welcomed into the club by members of the club and myself.

Unfortunately immediately following his induction Rtn Kevin had to leave early for other pressing business.

Following on from the inductions President Graham invited me to address the Club.   I gave my talk to the club, following my usual pattern, presenting President Graham with a letter from RI President Sakuji and an origami crane.  (The significance will become apparent when I make my visit to your own club.)

Rotarian John with his sponsor

DG Dave with President Graham
(What a posh chain!!)
The meeting broke up at 2.20pm and within a very short space of time all the members had left and the room  was set up for its next function.  My thanks to all at Long Eaton for making me so welcome and to Peter James for driving me again.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A get together with Gordon and Lorraine July 15th

Today was almost a day off from Rotary, but not quite.  After spending the morning working on my "day job", in the afternoon Gail and I set off on what was a fine sunny day to enjoy everything that Darley Dale had to offer - well at least the hospitality and friendship offered by Past District Governor Gordon and Lorraine McGlone.    The occasion was a simple "Thank you" party for members of the District Team from Gordon's year in office.

Greeted at the door by Lorraine offering a Pimms, the afternoon looked set fair.    The sun was shining and there was laughter and chatter coming from several rooms already.    (We were a little late having made the elementary mistake of trying to drive through Matlock Bath and Matlock along the A6 in the afternoon on a fine sunny summers Sunday.  Wall to wall motor cycles,  riders seemingly with a death wish, coupled with the usual sprinkling of Sunday drivers was not the recipe for a steady drive.)

Lorraine and Gordon, as always, were fantastic hosts and the table, straining under the weight of so much food, seemed to be a bit like the "Magic porridge pot" - it never seemed to lessen in quantity.   Guests spread across the lawn, a gazebo, in the conservatory and the lounge, all enjoying stress free  chats with people they perhaps had not seen for a while.

During the afternoon, someone found out that it was Gail's ??th birthday tomorrow, which immediately resulted in a, quite tuneful by Rotary standards, of Happy Birthday

Towards the end of the afternoon Past DG Val asked everyone to come to order whilst she said a few brief but sincere words of thanks to Gordon and Lorraine for the work they had done during their term of office.    She then presented Gordon with a gift from Clubs and members of the District Team, for which Gordon said a big thank you.  During his short speech he commented on how few emails he was now receiving since stepping down, to  the extent that he sent himself one to check the machine was still working.    So, if you read this, just send Gordon an email to make him realise we still like him.

Under the gazebo - what's so interesting in the house??
Once the party broke up we drove back to Belper and made our way to our daughter Nicola and son in law Chris's house where my other daughter Sarah and her husband Craigtogether with all four grand children (Maddie, Francesca, Xanthe and Sebastian) were waiting to give Gail a birthday cake and sing happy birthday (for tommorrow) to her. 

Presentation to Gordon and Lor

At the party


Daves Clan - Gail with Sebastian, Francesca, Xanthe and Maddie
Tomorrow it's back to Club visits with Long Eaton at lunchtime with two new members being inducted (not inducedas someone described it to me the other day).  Looking forward to that.

General Council Meeting 14th July

Today was the first meeting of the RIBI General Council for the Rotary year 2012 - 2013.    It was an all day meeting starting at 9am and with just a 30 minute break for lunch.  It was held in the Council Chamber at the RIBI Headquarters in Alcester, Warwickshire involving all the District Governors and other officers of RIBI.

The day was taken up with business and with two presentations. The first one was in relation to the "End Polio Now" campaign with particular reference to Pakistan, one of the three still endemic countries.   We were told of the massive funding gap of over $940 million that is needed to finish the job of eliminating the wild polio virus and being able to declare the world polio free.  Tremendous strides are being made but Rotary the world over, must still remember that ending polio is still our no. 1 goal.   The drive now is to seek more funding from national governments.

The second presentation, by Past District Governor and chair of the RIBI Membership Development Committee, Amanda Watkin was on the five year Regional Membership Development and Retention Plan that has recently been sent to RI.    She highlighted the continuing and sustained decline  in our membership (RIBI) over a number of years and set out the steps that were being planned to reverse this decline.

The planning document that was produced reflects Rotary International's stated aim of having 1.3 million members by the end of June 2015.

From a personal perspective I thought the plan was well thought out, thorough and most importantly achievable.   It has been accepted by the RI Board and it is now up to us, Rotarians in Clubs and Districts to pick it up and run with it.  It can only make us stronger.    Full details will be circulated in due course.

The meeting broke up about 4.30pm and by 5pm Gail and I were on the road and back home by the late evening, for a well earned drink.

Off to Alcester 13th July

After catching up on emails and general paperwork all morning, at about lunchtime Gail and I set off for the RIBI headquarters in Alcester, Wawickshire ready for the first General Council meeting of the year, scheduled for tomorrow. 

All the District Governors are expected to attend and with one or two exceptions everyone was there.   On this occasion we had arranged to have a meal together at the hotel tonight giving us all a chance to catch up and compare notes.   It was great to see all the people that we had last met at the RIBI Assembly in Birmingham and before that in San Diego.

Unfortunately I had been suffering with an upset stomach for a couple of days and it wasn't getting any better, resulting in me taking myself off to bed half way through the meal and leaving Gail with some friends.   So sorry no photos.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Visit to Swad - 12th July

The last of my club visits for this week was to the Rotary Club of Swadlincote - or "Swad" as it is affectionately known by the locals.      With Rtn Peter James as my driver for the evening we set off in bnright sunshine and arrived in plenty of time - in fact we were the first there at the Club's normal venue, The Lakeside at Moira.

As members arrived I was able to say hello to most of them, including Rotarian Kim Coe whose name immediately struck me as being familiar because I had written to her and to her husband Rob, just a few days earlier welcoming them as new Rotarians in the District.

Swadlincote Club is not a large club, with just 20 members including Kim and Rob, who incidentally were both recruited as a result of the Rotary Showcase event held in the town centre a few weeks ago.

During the meeting I learned that another new member was being inducted next week - so many congratulations to President Terry and the members for their hard work - it is paying off.

After a very tasty meal with a choice of sweets (I had the healthy option of course)  and a couple of items of business I was invited to address the club.    the subject of my talk was the Rotary theme for this year, "Peace through Service" and afterwards I was thanked for the "refreshing" nature of the talk.

The meeting closed about 8.45pm.

My thanks go to Peter James for providing the door to door service, to President Terry de la Fuente and the members of the club for looking after us both so well.    I am already lookingforward to joining up with them again in a more informal situation.

Saturday is the fist Rotary in Britainand Ireland General Council Meeting of the Rotary year at which I am required to be present.    I shall  be starting the club visits again on Monday next week.

President Terry with DG Dave

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Rotary Club of Derby Mercia 11th July

Well, it seemed that summer had arrived this evening as I set off for the Rotary Club of Derby Mercia, being driven by the longest serving member of the Belper and Duffield club, Vernon Barnes.   I believe Vernon has been in Rotary for something in the region of 54 years - I'm sure he will correct me if I am wrong.

We arrived at the Mackworth Hotel in Derby in plenty of time for the meeting, to be met by Rtn Ashley Murdock, one of the two joint Presidents - the other being Rtn Tony Odell.  Ashley and Tony are sharing the Presidency but tonight Ashley was in the chair.    I recognised one of the members straight away, but could not initially put a name to the face.   When he introduced himself as David Pinder I realised that when I was a young detective in Derby, David was a defence solicitor there, so we had previously met - but under somewhat different circumstances.

The meeting at Derby Mercia is split into two.  The first part when they have a meal, taken in one of the restaurants before they move into a meeting room to conclude their business.

The presidents had kept the agenda very light for the evening and my talk was the only item of business.      After talking about the Rotary theme for 2012/13 and about various issues of importance I was thanked by President Ashley.

Photographs were taken to record the event and the meeting closed around 8.45pm allowing me a relatively early finish, although that was delayed somewhat as we had to de-tour to Vernon's home as his intruder alarm had activated - fortunately a false alarm.

My thanks to Ashley and Tony for their gracious hospitality and to all the members of Derby Mercia for the warmth of their welcome.    I hope to meet up with many of them again at the District Conference in October.

My thanks also to Vernon for providing me with transport.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Club Visits 10th July

The Rotary Club of Dronfield

After my visit to Drone Valley yesterday, today I was back up the motorway to the Rotary Club of Dronfield's weekly lunchtime meeting at the Sandpiper Restaurant at Unstone.  In company with Rtn. John Frankland from my club we arrived safe and well and  in good time after driving through a pretty horrific rainstorm that left  a lot of standing water on the roads.

We were greeted by President Michael Whetton and other members of the club who all made as feel very welcome.   There were several other faces that I knew well including Tony Bethell, Andy Ledbetter and Alan Hepworth who incidentally was the Club President when I completed a round the District Cycle ride some four years ago and in fact he rode with me for some time, despite only recently having undergone knee surgery - they make em tough up north !

After a very tasty chicken pie dinner I was invited to speak.  I addressed the assembled audience on the theme for this Rotary year, "Peace through Service".       The meeting ended about 2pm and John and I made our way back to Belper.

My thanks to John for driving in such attrocious conditions, to Present Michael and the members of the Rotary Club of Dronfield for the warmth of their welcome and the interest shown in what I had to say.

President Michael with Rotary Club of Dronfield's display boards

The Rotary Clubs of Alfreton, Amber Valley and Ripley

As now seems to be their normal practice the Alfreton, Amber Valley and Ripley clubs held a joint meeting to entertain the District Governor on his official visit.    On this occasion Alfreton acted as hosts and the meeting was held at The Boundary at South Normanton.

Presidents Colin Fox (Alfreton) David Hickton (Amber Valley) and Marie Adams (Ripley) shared the top table with Owen Briggs, Sgt at Arms,  myself and Gail who was my driver for the evening.

With in excess of 50 Rotarians from the three clubs present the atmostphere in the room was extremely warm and friendly, with Gail and I being made really welcome as always.

Rotarian Stuart Rice (Ripley) managed (as always) to get himself fined for interupting the Sgt at Arms to tell him that the S at A sash was clearly made for someone of a lesser stature than Owen himself.  By the end of the evening Stuart was not the only person to be fined for alleged misdemeanors.    My thanks to everyone who happily paid up as the cash raised was given to me for distribution to the charity of my choice.      I shall in fact split it between two charities, The Bluebell Wood Hospice and the Rainbows Hospice, which I have said will receive my support during my year in office as the District Governor.

Many thanks to the three Presidents and all the members of the clubs for making the visit so enjoyable and of course to Gail for accompanying me.

(L to R) Presidents David, Colin and Marie displaying their origami cranes with DG Dave

Hon. Rtn. George Lowe (100 years and still going strong) with Rtn Stuart Rice 

DG Dave with Rtn Kevin Doyle and Rtn Alan Kenny