Friday, 31 August 2012

Golf Practise 30th August

It's been a quiet day for me today on the Rotary front so I took the opportunity to get to know one end of a golf club from the other.   Rtn John Shipman, Assistant Governor from Matlock took me over to Morley Hayes and showed me the finer points of being able to hit a golf ball. 

He was very helpful and very patient.   I got through a big bucket of balls before we called it a day and went into the bar for a drink and a bite to eat.   

Thanks to John for giving up his time on such a lost cause.   I thoroughly enjoyed it, but have to say I don't think I shall be taking up the game just yet!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Rotary Clubs of Bolsover and Eckington & District 29th August 2012

This evening I attended the weekly meeting of The Rotary Club of Bolsover, held at the Ringwood Hall Hotel.   Members of the Rotary Club of Eckington (Joint Presidents Jake Jackson and Tony Dungworth) were also present.   Rtn John Norreys from RC of Belper and Duffield was acting as my driver for the night.
Having set off in plenty of time and encountering very little traffic en route we arrived at the venue a little early and so settled down in the bar for a quiet drink.   The Ringwood Hall Hotel is an impressive building in grounds that are very well maintained.
Club members soon started arriving and introducing themselves to us, making us both feel very welcome.  The meeting, chaired by President Leigh Holland started at 7.30pm we we served a most tasty meal of roast beef with the usual trimmings.  After the meal and a couple of items of Club business I addressed the two clubs, talking about the theme of "Peace through Service".  I presented each President with an origami crane and a signed letter from the RI President Sakuji Tanaka.
My thanks to President Leigh and all the other Rotarians present for their hospitality and for making us feel so welcome.    Thanks also to Rtn. John Norreys for acting as my driver for the evening.
On arrival back at home, I turned on the TV to catch some of the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games.  I was surprised and delighted to see an old friend of District 1220 performing at the ceremony.   Denise Leigh, a blind opera singer was one of the stars of the show.  Denise has previously performed at several District 1220 events, including a prestigious  fund raising concert held at Derby Cathedral about four years ago.  I shall be writing to Denise to congratulate her on her performance last night.
Tomorrow will see me practising my golf swing (I'm not a golfer) in preparation for the Golf Competition at the District Conference.
President Leigh receiving origami crane and letter from DG Dave

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Worksop 28th August

After a weekend away on the Isle of Wight enjoying ourselves with some friends, it was back to a more "Rotary" related routine - and some work - today. 
This evening I had the pleasure of visiting the Rotary Club of Worksop, which by co-incidence meets at The Lion Hotel on Bridge Street - the same as my own club.    The meeting started at 7pm and so I was picked up by Rotarians Alan Widdowson and Hillary Surga at 5.45pm for the journey to Worksop.   
We arrived in the car park at exactly the same time as the club President Graham Warburton who escorted us into the venue.   Among the members present at the club was Past District Governor Bernard Simcox.  I had the pleasure of chatting to Bernard for a few minutes both before and after the meeting.   Bernard in fact was the first Governor of District 122 in 1972 - 1973, after we stopped being District 107 - and he is still as bright as a button.   Worksop has in fact been quite a good breeding ground for District Governors with not just Bernard, but also Rtn. Peter Swinscoe in 1992-93 and Barry Harding in 1997-98.
After a meal of Shepherd's Pie followed by Bakewell Tart, President Graham dealt with some items of business before introducing me as the speaker for the evening.  I talked to the club about the theme for the year, "Peace through Service". I managed to get to the end with a little voice left, having had a sore throat for several days.   During my talk I presented President Graham with an origami crane and a letter from RI President Sakuji Tanaka.
My thanks go to PDG Bernard, President Graham and all the members of the Club for a most enjoyable evening.    Also thanks to Rtns Hillary and Alan for accompanying me for the evening.
DG Dave with PDG Bernard Simcox

DG Dave handing over the origami crane and letter
My next Rotary visit is to a joint meeting of the Rotary Clubs of Bolsover and Eckington tomorrow.  After that I shall be practising my golf swing on Thursday and will be at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton on Saturday evening for a Charity Variety Show being put on by The Rotary Club of Long Eaton Dawnbreakers.   It would be great to see as many Rotarians as possible enjoying the night out there.  

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Chesterfield Scarsdale at B2Net or ProAct Stadium 23rd August

Just one visit again today,  this time to the home of Chesterfield Town Football Club, the B2Net Stadium or as it apparently is now called the ProAct Stadium (Apologies to any true blue fans if the spelling is wrong).   Chesterfield Scarsdale Rotary Club were meeting here tonight because of difficulties at their normal home, the Red Lion at Stonedge, nr Chesterfield.   The room was well set out and the tables very smartly laid for the start of the meeting at which over 40 Rotarians were present.

I was made very welcome by President Rodger Heathcote and other members of the club, having only been in the room for a minute when a glass of lager was thrust into my hand.   The Rotarian tasked with saying Grace, even managed to include a reference to the District Governot in it - so thanks for that.

With a view over the pitch, it was a fine setting for a meeting.   Tonight was quite  special meeting with a new member being inducted (or is it an old member being recycled??)   Anyway Peter Beardsley became a Rotarian at Scarsdale again tonight so many congratulations to him.

Also present at the meeting were representatives from the Special Care Baby Unit at Chesterfield Hospital and Ashgate Hospice, to receive cheques from the club to support their respective establishments.

It was great to see Assistant Governor John Shipman come into the meeting - obviously he just came to listen to my talk !!!  Nice to see you John.

The other guest at the meeting was Rotarian David Soul from my club, Belper and Duffield, who had been my driver for the night.  Many thanks to David for this.

After the meal, the induction ceremony and the presentation of cheques, President Rodger dealt with a few items of business before introducing me as the speaker for the evening.    I talked on the theme of the year, Peace through Service and presented Rodger with an origami crane and a letter from the RI President, Sakuji Tanaka which Rodger dutifully read to the members.

Many thanks to everyone at Scarsdale for their warm hositality and welcome to both myself and to David.

By the way they have a golf day coming up at the end of next week so all you golfers out there - give the Secretary a ring and go and have a round with the Scarsdale Club.

The sayer of the Grace

Fellowship at the tables
Presentation of cheque - Ashgate Hospice 

Presentation of cheque - Special Care Baby Unit

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

West Bridgford Rotary Club 22nd August

This evening I had the pleasure of visiting the Rotary Club of West Bridgford at the Country Cottage Hotel at Ruddington.     President Graham Wright from the Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield accompanied me on the visit.
On arrival we were met by a number of club members who all made us feel exceedingly welcome.     The "buzz" in the meeting was tangible with an informal approach to the proceedings of the night.  Here is a Rotary Club in which the members truly enjoy each other's company and enjoy doing what they do.   Pleasingly the staff of the Hotel had to set up an extra table to accommodate the number of club members (and one non Rotarian guest - a potential new Rotarian) who had come to the meeting

President George Golledge ran the meeting in a quiet, relaxed but efficient manner dealing a a few matters of business in a most effectyive manner.  Once the tables had been cleared away after an excellent meal George introduced me.  I then spoke for 20 minutes about Rotary and the theme for 2012 / 13, "Peace through Service".      Afterwards I was thanked by Rotarian Brin Chawler.

President George with DG Dave
My sincere thanks go to President George and all the members of the Rotary Club of West Bridgford for making the evening so enjoyable and for their very positive attitude towards Rotary.   Thanks also to President Graham Wright for driving me to the club

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Derby South 21st July

The evening meeting today was at the Grange Banqueting Suite at Littleover, Derby, the home of The Rotary Club of Derby South.  Their meeting is an early evening one with a 6.15pm start - so a nice early finish and a short drive home.

Rtn Alan Widdowson from my club picked me up and drove to the club where we were warmly greeted by President John Cavey and lots of the other members of the club.   It was explained that attendance was somewhat down this evening, mainly as a result of members being on holiday whilst others were absent due to Ramadan.

A most tasty meal of soup (with extra portions) followed by roast chicken was served, followed by a few club notices.  After this I gave my talk to the club, based on the theme for the year, "Peace through Service", during which  I presented President John with an origami crane and a letter from the RI President Sakuji Tanaka.

After the vote of thanks the meeting closed at 8pm.

I would like to thank President John for his generosity and hospitality and the members of the club for the genuine warmth of their welcome to myself and Alan.  I would also like to thank Alan for acting as my chauffeur for the evening.

DG Dave presenting President John with origami crane

Monday, 20 August 2012

20th August

I had the sad duty today of attending the funeral service of Godfrey Pratt, a founder member of the Rotary Club of Newark Castle.  The service took place at Grantham Crematorium.  During the service Rotarian John Lewington spoke movingly about the life of Godfrey and lso read out an abbreviated obituary penned by Godfrey himself before his death.

After the service I joined family, friends and fellow Rotarians at the Cedric Ford Pavilion at Newark, the usual meeting place of Newark Castle - a suitable and apt venue to remember Godfrey who had been a keen Rotarian for 25 years.  Godfrey will be very much missed by those who knew him.

In the evening I chaired the District Team Meeting at the Novotel, Long Eaton.  Twenty five members of the Team attended.  During the evening David Pedlar and Noel Harrison gave a presentation on The Rotary Business Initiatve.  This exciting initiative is currently being developed and trialed with a view to circulating it district wide later in this rotary year.  The object is to renew and to develop our links with business and industry with a view, longer term, to assisting in our membership drive.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Afternoon Garden Party

This afternoon I attended a Charity Garden Party hosted by President David Falkner on behalf of the Rotary Club of Carlton.    The weather was kind throughout the event, although a few rumbles of thunder did make us look skyward at the dark clouds looming above.

With entertainment being provided by a jazz quartet throughout the afternoon, the atmosphere was warm and friendly, but sadly touched by the overnight death of one the the Carlton Club members.    I'm not sure how many people were in attendance but there was a fairly good crowd there.

As I left the party was still in full swing with everyone enjoying the music, food and drinks on offer.   Proceeds from the event are going to local children's charities.

Rtn Derek Ringer enjoying the food on offer

President David "mingling"

View of the garden

Many thanks to President David for inviting me along.   Sorry I could not bring Gail with me, but she was at home, suffering from a suspected absess on her gum - very painful.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Stapleford & Sandiacre 16th August

With no Rotary activities to do on Wednesday I was looking forward to my visit to Stapleford and Sandiacre at the Novotel today.     This is one of the smallest clubs in the District with just nine members.    Shortly before attending the meeting I was given the news that this number had now gone down to eight with the sudden and unexpected departure of the Club President, due to personal reasons.

With a couple of members including the Immediate Past President and the President Elect away on holiday, the Club Secretary, Richard Taylor, took over the running of the meeting.   I have to say that the attitude of the club members towards the departure of their President was very positive and supportive of him if that was what he felt he needed to do.   The members seem determined to carry on.  We had a long informal discussion about their situation and they recognise the difficulties that they face to try and make a go of the club with the present level of membership.

I also addressed the club on the subject of "Peace through Service" and presented Richard with an origami crane.

Rtn Maureen Tinsley (winner of the wine raffle) with Reg Bee

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Social Media Training. Visit to Melbourne. 14th August

Training team meeting - hard at work
Today started with a meeting of the District Training Team (John Barker, Noel Harrison, David Pedlar, Steve Lawes, Peter Moralee and myself) at the John Godber Centre at Hucknall. The President of Hucknall Club, Rtn Ian Young joined us for today's meeting to try and impart his knowledge of Social Media to us. The session went very well and by lunch time we all had a much clearer understanding of what exactly is meant by the term, what we in Rotary want to get out of it and how we intend to do so.
Ian has now gone away with the task of moving this project forward to the next stage by producing some simple documentation that can be used by Clubs to introduce themselves to the concept of Social Media.
My plan for the afternoon was to spend some time familiarising myself with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but in the event I ended up going to the Spanker pub at Heage for lunch and then to the Crich Tramway Museum with two of our grandchildren, Xanthe and Sebastian.
Arrived home just in time to shower and change ready for a trip to “Jacks” at Melbourne for the meeting of the Rotary Club of Melbourne. When I arrived I thought I must be late as all the members were sat round the table, deep in debate. It transpired that it was just the end of their Club Council meeting.
I was warmly greeted by President Phillip Rosser and the rest of the members. It was nice to see Kate Dumelow and Terry Clay who I knew well from District activities. After a very tasty meal I addressed the Club and gave the greetings of RI President Sakuji Tanaka to the Club. The meeting ended just a few minutes after 9pm.
Presient Phillip receiving letter and origami crane

Monday, 13 August 2012

Big burgers at The White Hart 13th August

This evening I managed to pull in a visit to my own club of Belper and Duffield, who were meeting at the White Hart at Duffield, rather than their normal venue of The Lion Hotel in Belper.    This was part of a review of the Club's programme, designed to stimulate further interest in the club.

We had a choice of pre-booked meals and I opted for the "White Hart Burger".  What arrived on the plate was something to behold.    The other choice, of chicken and asparagus pie was equally mouthwatering.

There were a number of guests at the meeting, including Sean and Eileen Murphy, guests of myself and Gail, Ian Breach a guest of President Graham Wright and the guest speaker Mr Ashley Franklyn, well known from his time on Radio Derby and latterley for his photography and reports about villages in Derbyshire, for the publication, "Derbyshire Life".

Ashley, who lives at Milford, gave a really interesting and fascinating illustrated talk on his work since leaving Radio Derby.   It made a nice change to visit my own club and also not to have to "sing for my supper".

DG Dave tackling the "White Hart Burger"

Guest Ian (left) with President Elect Hillary and Rtn Alan
Now looking forward to a training session on "Social Media" in the morning, before heading to Melbourne for their Tuesday evening meeting.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

End of Olympics 12th July

Have just finished watching the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games and thought that it was fantastic.   I found it quite touching when the flame was finally extinguished.     Earlier in the evening in company with Gail, I had attended the Marehay Methodist Church, Ripley where the Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Ripley (and current District Sergeant at Arms) had organised a Songs of Praise evening.

It was held to celebrate the seventeen years that he has been driving a number of ladies to this church as a volunteer driver for Amber Valley Community Transport and to raise funds for the church.

In the congregation were members of the Rotary Clubs of Ripley, Amber Valley, Alfreton, Clay Cross and Wirksworth, as well as my own, Belper and Duffield.  Apologies to any that I may have missed - I am sure you will tell me if I did.

Mrs Lee with DG Dave

Memorabilia of the last 100 years

Rtn Owen Briggs
The theme of the evening was the last 100 years and this was done to celebrate the 100th birthday of one of the ladies that he regularly transports to church.    Mrs Vera Lee was one hundred years old just over a week ago and is still a regular member of the congregation.     Whilst talking to her after the service it emerged that she could remember my mum who was born a year before her in the same village of Codnor.   She well recalled my mum's parents' shop, "Kensit's" in the village.

Congratulations to Vera on her birthday and I am sure we all wish her many more to come.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Visit to Southwell 9th JUly

This morning I attended a get together to look at the way forward in respect of Future Vision.   The meeting was chaired by Mick White, with Terry and Val Leivers, Steve Lawes, Peter Moralee and myself present.     It provided a useful update on what is happening and a timescale for addressing the various issues that we need to agree upon prior to the start of the next Rotary year.

An afternoon of Rotary paperwork followed and then at 5.45pm I was picked up by Nick Blurton of the Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield who kindly took me to The Saracen's Head Hotel at Southwell for the meeting of the  Rotary Club of Southwell.  After a quite delicious meal I addressed the club on the subject of "Peace through Service".  The talk seemed to go down well and was followed by some interesting questions from the members about my route to becoming the District Governor and several other issues.

President Peter Littlewood was a charming host and the welcome that Nick and I received was second to none.    My thanks to all concerned.

President Peter and DG Dave chatting

An informal chat to a group of Rotarians after the meeting

Presentation of the origami crane and letter from RI President Sakuji.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Visits to Newark and Beeston 6th August

With Gail undertaking driving duties today, we set off for my visit to the Rotary Club of Newark in what we thought was plenty of time.   However after crawling along in a very slow moving line of traffic behind a tractor and trailer we arrived with just minutes to spare.  Our arrival was met with looks of relief by President Peter Heard and President Elect Bob Crowe who were getting naturally worried that I was not going to turn up.

Arriving at the same time as us was Assistant Governor Sandra Morrey from the Rotary Club of Trent Bridge - Sandra is not renowned for arriving early  !!   Sorry Sandra.

After a meal of salmon President Peter dealt efficiently with a few items of business before introducing me as the speaker for the day.    I gave my talk on "Peace through Service", the RI Theme for 2012 - 13 and present Peter with a letter from RI President Sakuji and an Origami crane.

After the talk, Pres. Elect gave a vote of thanks.    Photos were then taken to record the occasion.  Gail and I both enjoyed our visit to Newark and were pleased by the friendship of people in the club towards us.

My thanks to President Peter, President Bob Crowe and the members of the Rotary Club of Newark.   Thanks also to Gail for driving today.

DG Dave, AG Sandra and President Peter

DG Dave with President Peter and an origami crane

In the evening we were off again, this time to the Rotary Club of Beeston, who meet in the beautiful surroundings of Beeston Golf Club.   We were met by President Trevor Martin and various other members who made us feel most welcome.     After the usual club business and a very tasty chicken dinner I was invited to address the club.   I gave my talk, on "Peace through Service" and presented President Trevor with an origami crane (a symbol of hope for peace) and a letter from Sakuji Tanaka, the RI President.

A lively question and answer session followed, in which the cost of Rotary membership and our falling numbers featured heavily.

Many thanks to President Trevor and the members of the Rotary Club of Beeston for their welcome and hospitality and to Gail for once again listening to my talk and for taking the driving duties.

Duck Race at Nottingham

It's been a fairly quiet weekend, with just a meeting with David Pdlar to discuss the District Conference brochure layout etc on Friday afternoon and a free day on Saturday.

On Sunday 5th July I joined several others, Rob Gray, Terry Leivers, John Lewington, Sandra Morrey, Steve Lawes, and David Hood (I'm sure I've missed one out but can't think who - suggestions please.) to interview candidates for the forthcoming Group Study Exchange visit to Nepal.  We had nine candidates to choose from and of course we were only looking for four.

The standard of the candidates was so high that we could have easily selected two teams, however, we could only choose one team so nine candidates will be .     I will not mention who got through until everyone has been personally informed of the results.

After leaving Bingham where the interviews were held, I went to the Riverside Festival at Nottingham.   It was a really pleasant, sunny afternoon and the crowds were out in force.  The Rotary Clubs of Carlton and Trent Bridge were also out in force selling tickets for their Duck Race, which took place at 4.30pm.

I will not mention the names of the Rotarians who were there, as I would without doubt miss someone out.     As 4.30pm arrived, the sunny sky changed to heavy, black clouds. Just as the ducks were released from the suspension bridge, the heavens opened and there was thunder and lightening and one of the heaviest downpours of the summer.   Needless to say, by the time I had walked back to the car (or rather ran) I was absolutely soaked - ah well its all for a good cause.

Ducks entering river - see the storm clouds
Rotary proudly on display

One of the stalls selling tickets.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Carlton 2nd August

Well here we are into the second month of my term as District Governor and along with it a small but significant milestone is reached.    I have now completed half of my official club visits, 29 done 29 to go.

This evening The Rotary Club of Carlton was my destination.   In company with IPP Martin Drake from my own club, we set off for Carlton a little earlier than perhaps we needed to - I think we hadn't factored into the equation that the schools were closed and so lots of people were on holiday and therefore the roads were quiet - very quiet.

Arriving at Carlton, although we were early it noticeable that we were not the first to arrive by any means.   They clearly enjoy their Rotary at Carlton and are anxious to get there.     The buzz around the room was great and the company of President David Falkner and President Elect Ian Scott was great.    After a well prepared and tasty three course meal the President dealt with the business of the day, before introducing me as the speaker.   During the business Martin brought greetings from President Graham and the Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield.

I delivered my talk on "Peace through Service" and also talked about a number of other important Rotary issues.  After a couple of questions President Elect Ian gave the vote of thanks.

I would like to record my personal thanks to Martin Drake for taking on the role of driver for the night, to President David and to all members of the club for their generous hospitality and the warmth of their welcome.
Pres. Elect Ian, DG Dave, Pres. David, Pres. Elect Michael

Rotary Club of Carlton at The Vale Social Club