Monday, 28 January 2013

Group Study Exchange Team - Presentation rehearsal

Derby University this evening hosted a get together of the Group Study Exchange Team that will be travelling to Nepal next month and various members of the District GSE Committee.  The purpose was to allow the team the opportunity to give their proposed presentation to Rotarians with a view to receiving constructive feedback and so allowing improvements to be made if appropriate.

The presentation last about 35 minutes and was really professionally done. 

The Team Leader is Rotarian David Hood of the Rotary Club of Wirksworth and the four team members are:-
Sarah Durnan - sponsored by RC of Newark Castle
Tom Erskine - sponsored by RC of Mapperley and Arnold
Nighat Malik - sponsored by RC of Nottingham
Deborah O'Brien - sponsored by RC of Drone Valley

The team travel out to Nepal on 19th February and thereafter you can follow their activities on their blog -

They have received their programme from Nepal and it seems they will have very little free time.   They are going to be very busy. I wish them the very best for their visit and look forward to hearing about their exploits on their return.

Sherwood Sunrisers Charter 26th January

President Kevin was getting a bit concerned when I had not arrived for the Club's 18th Charter.  Unfortunately we got a little lost and then stuck in traffic, but managed to just get to the Park Inn for 7.30pm - start time.

The evening started off with musical entertainment by a talented young pianist, David Somers.   We had a very well prepared and efficiently served three course meal before the roll call of clubs and the usual toasts.   PDG Rami Seth presented to President Kevin, the paperwork associated with the chartering of the Club back in 1994/95.

Entertainment was provided after the speeches by a great young singer - Caroline Budden (an Honorary Rotarian from the Ilkeston Club) and a young Tenor Sax player by the name of David Williams.    They had never performed together before but were absolutely excellent and had to do an encore because of demand from the audience.

I was honored to present a Paul Harris Fellowship to Rotarian Eddie Woolrich, who was absolutely overwhelmed by the presentation.

Overall this was a really enjoyable night.   My thanks to all concerned.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Funeral of Honorary Rotarian Revd. Reg Dean

At 12noon on 23rd January 2013, I had the honour of being present at the funeral of Honorary Rotarian Reg Dean, who passed peacefully away on 5th January 2013 aged 110 years and 63 days.  The service was held at St. Mary's Church, Wirksworth, conducted by Revd Camilla Veitch, MInister of the West Derbyshire United Reformed Church and Canon David Truby, Team Rector in the Wirksworth Team Ministry.   The preacher was Revd Simon Lumby.

The Dalesmen Male Voice Choir sang seven numbers in the church prior to the service.    The church was full it was stated that Reg had himself decided on the contents of the service, about five years ago.

The service was very fitting and Reg's son Christopher spoke about his long life and some of the more memorable events.

I am sure we all wish his family all the best at this difficult time.

Derby South Charter - 22nd January 2013

For a fairly small club - less than 25 members I believe, Derby South and their President - John Cavey - certainly know how to put on a good charter and attract the crowds.  Pride Park Stadium was the venue, looking out over the pristine grass being warmed with heaters because of the cold night and with the stands illuminated it was a wonderful sight.

With 152 persons present at the event the buzz round the room during the evening was great.  John proved to be an excellent host, not just to the table where he was sitting, but to the whole gathering.

Being transported to the venue by Rotarian David Henson from Belper and Duffield and also accompanied by my wife Gail, we arrived in time for a Guests Reception and photographs.

The Charter started at 7.30pm prompt and some excellent entertainment was provided throughout the meal by two young lads from Derby Grammar School - they were absolutely great.

After a really well served three course meal and the usaul Rotary toasts the main speaker of the night was Charles Hanson of "Bargain Hunt" fame, who has an auction business in Etwall.   (Charles and his wife Rebecca by the way were excellent company during the evening).  

After the toasts President John presented a Community Achievement Award to Bill Smith (not the one from Bulwell and Basford) for his work in organising the Poppy Day Appeal in the Derby Area.   This came as a bit of a shock to Bill who was clearly overwhelmed by the gesture.

 Charles spent about 20 minutes regailing the audience with tales from the auctions - highly entertaining.

Thanks to everyone who was involved in organising the evening and to David Henson for driving me.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Lunchtime Charter celebration by Bingham and District. 20th January

Lunchtime on Sunday 20th January saw Gail and I, accompanied by Rtn David Partridge and his wife Sue, driving over from Belper to the Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club for a Sunday lunch to celebrate Bingham and District's 38th Charter Anniversary.

We attended at the invitation of President Andy Vose and sat with Andy, Claire his wife, The Mayor of Rushcliffe and his wife, Mr Stephen Wardle a consultant from the Neo-natal Unit at QMC and Lizzie Wright a fundraiser from the hospital.    The atmosphere round the table and across the room generally was very convivial and relaxed.

President Any had brought a number of members of his family along with him and it was great to see his young daughters, Isabella (7 yrs)  and Evie (2 yrs), enjoying the occasion.

After a very tasty, well prepared and well served three course meal, PDG Rex Barnett did the roll call of clubs.   There then followed the toast to Rotary International, proposed by President Elect Maureen Stockwood, to which I duly responed, before proposing the toast to The Rotary Club of Bingham and District.

When it was President Andy's time to respond, he had just started speaking, and used the phrase, "So here goes" to which Evie immediately responded by saying, in a voice loud enough for the whole room to hear, "Here he goes" which almost brought the house down.

Stephen Wardle then spoke about the work of the neo-natal unit and how they need charitable funds to help them deliver the best possible service to babies and their families in the care of the hospital.

It was a really pleasant event and I would particularly like to thank Andy and Claire for their company.  My thanks also go to David and Sue Partridge for providing Gail and I with transport for the day.

President Andy, his family and guests

President Andy in contemplative mood

Jaipur Limb Talk at Dery Daybreak 17th January

Gail had agreed to talk to Derby Daybreak today about her role as the District International Coordinator.  Unfortunately having fallen down the stairs a few days earlier and still not being mobile she had to cancel.   Being a good egg I agreed to stand in for her and give a talk to the Club about the Rotary Jaipur Limb Project (RJLP).    At such short notice, President Clark was happy to accept anyone to fill in.

I have to say that Derby Daybreak have the cheapest meals of any club in the District and I managed to pull in a full English with a coffee and still come out with change from £3.  Not bad.

RJLP is a Rotary supported organisation that provides artificial limbs for amputees in developing countries, for under £30 each.

The talk seemed to go down well and there was talk of the club possibly making a small donation at some stage in the future.

Back Home to Belper 7th January

Well, what should have been my first official visit of the Rotary year, turned out to be my last one instead.   I was booked to attend my own club, Belper and Duffield on Monday 2nd July but owing to some unforeseen circumstances the date was cancelled.  The first free Monday I had after that was 7th January.

As the vast majority of members had already heard my club talk, about "Peace Through Service" and the history of the origami crane, I decided instead to talk in general terms about the first six months of my years in office.

It was an excellent opportunity to thanks the club members for the support and assistance they have all so readily given to me as I approached my year in office and more so during the first six months of it.

I was also privileged during the evening to be given the opportunity to induct a new member into the club.     That was a friend that  Gail and I had known for many years, Eileen Murphy.

Eileen who was proposed for membership by Gail, lives at Swanwick and has just retired from working for the Derbyshire County Council.  She now feels that she has the time and energy to devote to becoming a Rotarian.      She has been to a number of club functions previously and I am sure she will soon feel at home at the Belper and Duffield Club.

With a couple of other prospective members and a visitor from the Derby Club present, it turned out to be a very lively and interesting evening.

Rotarian Eileen with her proposer, Rotarian Gail

Add captioPresident Graham with Rtn Eileen and myself.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Thanksgiving Service for Malcolm Whitt

After a couple of weeks break from most things Rotary, my first job of 2013 was one tinged with sadness,   I am sure that you will all be aware of the sudden and unexpected passing of Rotarian Malcolm Whitt shortly before Christmas.     I attended a Thanksgiving Service to celebrate Malcolm's life, held at Kingswood Methodist Church at Wollaton on 3rd January.

With the church filled to capacity with about 350 people present this certainly brought home  to me just how well thought of and respected by his peers Malcolm was.

A number of people, including Mike Lucas representing Rotary, spoke about their recollections of Malcolm.    It was a beautiful service and am sure that seeing so many friends there to celebrate Malcolm's life will have been heartwarming for Joyce and the family.