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.