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.