Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Charter Night with Rotary Club of Drone Valley 29th April 2013

The Sitwell Arms at Renishaw was the venue for the eight annual charter celebration of the Rotary Club of Drone Valley.

Rotarians Gill Harvey was in the chiar, being the fourth President of the club during this Rotary year.

Gail and I were collected by Rtn John Norreys from the RC of Belper and Duffield for the drive up to Rennishaw on what was a beautiful, sunny evening.   We arraived well in time, to find Ian Young the President of Hucknall busy taking photographs in the hotel grounds.

We were met inside by President Gill who made us very welcome.  We had an opportunity for some social chat with many Rotarians, including some from clubs outside our District, before we were called in for dinner.    After the top table guests were introduced by President Gill we enjoyed a very tasty meal, after which there was an almost traditional roll call, read out by Rtn Jill Bethell.

The speaker for the day was a local pharmacist, David Smith, who gave a most interesting illustrated talk on the many marathon runs he has undertaken.  Some of them were serious marathons and many more he has done for charity, getting into the Guinness Book of World Records on a number of occassions for the fastest marathn dressed (for example) as a schoolboy, or as a boy scout.  On one occasion wearing flip flops.  He has run marathons on every continent.

President Gill presented him with a cheque as a contribnution to his next marathon, in aid of MS and Ashgate Hospice.

Davids wife and Gail each received a gift of a plant.

I would like to thank Rtn John Norreys for driving, President Gill and the team at Drone Valley for inviting us and for giving us such a great evening.

President Gill with DG Dave

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Thanksgiving service planning & Bolsover's Charter 24th April

Gail and I had a meeting this morning at All Saints Church in Ripley, with Sue Hall the Musical Director of the Inner Wheel Choir and officials of the church to finalise the details for our Thanksgiving Service.  This is due to be held in the church on Sunday, 16th June commencing at 2.30pm.

The meeting went very well and the planning is now more or less complete.

The evening was a much more interesting event altogether.  Gail and I attended the Charter celebratiuons of the Rotary Club of Bolsover, held at their normal meeting place, The Ringwood Hall Hotel at Brimington near Chesterfield.   The event was publiciused as not formal - "Wear something smart and bright" were the instriuctions that went out from President Leigh Holland.

The theme for the evening was Indian, with Indian food, an Indian disco and Indian dancers.

The relaxed attitude was absolutely great and formalities were kept to a minimum.

After the meal and the various toasts the Indian dancers gave a demonstration dance befor "inviting" - I think inviting was the word - members of the audience to join them.   Needless to say I was dragged up onto the stage with much encouragement from Assistant Governor John Shipman - no slouch in the Indian Dancing Stakes.  A few photos show the nature of the evening.


Examining, walking and talking 23rd April

Well, nothing much happened today - in fact I did consider not writing a blog today, but I knew you would all miss it.

So after having my teeth checked out at the dentist first thing, I went out for a 6 miles training walk - getting ready for my sponsored walk on 3rd - 6th May.

After lunch I had a meeting with the DGE Peter Moralee, the DGN Steve Lawes and the incoming DGN Roger Summers.  We meet on a regular basis, very informally to have a chin wag about what may or may not be happening within the District.    Due to meet again on 4th June.

Monday, 22 April 2013

St. George's Dinner at Bretby Club 22nd April

Gail and I accompanied by Rtn David Soul (Belper and Duffield)  and his wife Carole attended the St. George's Dinner at the Branston Golf and Country Club on Monday, 22nd April, the eve of St. George's Day.     The dinner had attracted about 200 Rotarians and their guests.

On arrival we were greeted by the sounds of  a traditional organ being played in the foyer of the building and were ushered in, along the red carpet by toastmaster, Tom Reddy.   After mingling with the other guests and getting a drink in the bar the assembled guests were called to their seats for dinner.    Grace, appropriate to the occasion was said by Rtn Robin Trotter, a past president of the Bretby club, following which we had a three course meal that was absolutely delicious, with service that matched it.

The Loyal Toast was said by Club  President Norman Carpenter , after which we had a raffle and an auction of a number of special prizes, including a signed Derby County football and  a meal at a local restaurant.  There then followed a most entertaining toast "To England and St. George", proposed by Professor Nigel T. Ratcliffe, the Chairman of the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partership NHS Trust. 

But that was just the entertainment starter.  The main course came in the form of "Dramatic Entertainment & Patriotic Pronouncements - A Romp through the Regency." presented by Mr John White, Principal Interpreter of "Select Society", who managed to give a most amusing account of the Regency Period which required a lot of very willing audience participation.

To bring the evening to a fitting conclusion there was a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory and  The National Anthem which were accompanied on the piano by Clare Carpenter, wife of President Norman.

Organ Grinder, Patrick Cooke

Guests enjoying the evening.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

District Assembly and a Brass band Concert 20th April

My two Rotary jobs today couldn't be further apart in terms of content.     The morning was taken up by the annual District Assembly held at the Clifton Campus of Nottingham Trent University.  This is the occasion that the incoming District Governor, on this occasion Peter Moralee, speaks to the membership about his plans and aspirations for the forthcoming year.  Each District officer and Committee Chairman then sets out in detail the potential work in each area.  

With sessions for Secretaries, treasuerers, all the various project teams, Foundation, Membership, MPRC and also a session for new Rotarians (chaired by me) there was definately something for everyone.

Also this year for the first time we had a session on the use that can be made by Clubs of Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.    This went down very well with a good attendance.

For the first time in recent years we also asked clubs to pre-register the names of attendees.  This helped the Clubs to focus on ensuring they had sufficient members there and also assisted the District Team to know how many people we would be dealing with.

The attendance this year seemed quite high and I would like to thank all those who took the morning out of their busy lives to come along and see what is happening in the next twelve months.

Thanks also to St. James' Place Walth Management of Nottingham for part sponsoring the event - helping to keep our costs down for the members.

Rotarians chatting to the staff on the St. James Place stand.

Rotarians from Bretby manning the Registration Desks

In the evening I had the pleasure of attending Bolsover Assembly Rooms, where the Rotary Club of Bolsover were holding a concert with the Shirebrook Miners Welfare Unison Band.   The concert was a complete sell out and the entertainment was absolutely first class.   I would recommend this band to anyone looking to have some good musical entertainment.

My thanks to President leigh for inviting me along to this event.   It was a great evening - even if I didn't win a prize in the raffle.


Church Wilne Charter at Littlkeover Lodge 19th April

About 75 Rotarians and guests attended the Littleover Lodge Hotel in Derby on the evening of 19th April to celebrate the  28th anniversary of the granting of the Charter of the Rotary Club of Church Wilne.    Rtn John Scotney from my club picked me up at home and accompanied me to the Charter.

We were warmly greeted by a number of Rotarians and the President, Derek Sheehy-Smith.   After a delicious and well served meal the traditional speeches followed the similarly traditional Roll Call of clubs and members present. 

The speaker for the event was comedian Bob Webb ( a Londoner from Cardiff ! ) whose style of humour had the audience in fits of laughter and not a blue joke amongst it.  

Many thanks to President Derek and to the members of Church Wilne for inviting me and for their subsequent hospitality and friendship.   Thanks also to John Scotney for taking on the role as driver.

55 year certificate at Chesterfield - 19th April

I had a pleasant drive over to The Old House at Loundsley Green, Chesterfield, at lunchtime today for the meeting of The Rotary Club of Chesterfield.     The reason for my visit was, at the request of President Jim Haggarty, to present an RIBI certificate  celebrating 55 years of Rotary membership to Rotarian Jim Boden. Jim has been a member of the Chesterfield club for all the 55 years.  During his working life he owned and ran a very well known fish and chip shop/cafe in Chesterfield.  I well remember as a young policeman calling in for chips occasionally whilst stationed at Chesterfield.

The award came as a bit of a surprise not just to Jim, but to the majority of members of the club, who thought they were due to have their regular business meeting.    I had the pleasure of presenting not just the RIBI certificate, but also a letter from the RI President Sakuji Tanaka congratulating and thanking him for his length of service.    I also presented a certificate from myself as the District 1220 Governor.

Jim responded by saying that he only wanted to say a few words - and went on to recount in some details his early life in 41 Club, Round Table and Rotary.

Rotarian Jim with his certificate alongside President Jim and DG Dave

Friday, 19 April 2013

Rotary Club of Wirksworth - Charter Night, 18th April, 2013

Rtn Paul Taylor, from my own club picked Gail and myself up early this evening to take us to Matlock Golf Club for the Charter celebrations of the Rotary Club of Wirksworth.   We were met by President John Dolan and other members of the club.   The view from the window of the function room was out across the golf course and into the far distant countryside.   It really was a beautiful setting - it almost made me want to take up golf - but I quickly shook myself and told myself not to be stupid !!

The meal of beef bourguinon, followed by Belgian Chocolate Tart was delicious and was efficiently served  by the staff of the Golf Club.  Following the meal there was the traditional Roll Call of clubs and persons present.   After traditional toasts the main speaker of the evening was Jill Clarke, a colleague of President John.  She entertained us with accounts of her childhood, being brought up in a family where cycling was the centre of attention and how this in turn led her to become a Gamesmaker at the London Olympics last year.

It was an enlightening glimpse into the Games and also into her life. Jill spoke very well and backed up her talk with a series of photographs.  No-one would have guessed that this was the first time that she had ever strayed into the field of after-dinner speaking.

President John with speaker - Jill

My thanks go to Paul Taylor for driving us, to John Dolan and the members of Wirksworth club for inviting us and looking after us so well on the night.

Assisting Derby University 1th April

I spent the working day today at Derby University, on a panel of people listening to and judging presentations by students for an extra curricular activity - "The Derby Award".  It's amazing whast the DG is asked to do.

Some of the presentations were really exciting and showed true potential in the students.    I can't say much about them as the work was confidential to the students.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Presentation on Sand Dams at Bretby 15th April

Gail and I attended the regular weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Bretby this evening, along with quite a number of other visitors to the club from Swadlincote, Bakewell, Vale of Belvoir and Wirksworth.    One of our Ambassadorial Scholars, Courtney Rachel, from the United States was also present with her host counsellor, IPDG Gordon McGlone.   Danielle Easton who took part in the District and then Regional finals of the Rotary Young Chef Competition was also present with members of her family, continuing her association with the Rotary Club of Bretby.

The reason for the interest by Rotarians from clubs in the District in this particular meeting was a presentation about Sand Dams by Richard Barnes of Excellent Developments.    His presentation coupled with a short film clip about Sand Dams was extremely informative and inspiring.    The benefits to local communities in sub Saharan Africa by the use of this simple process is staggering.    The installation of a dam, which once the rainy season arrives will quickly fill up with water contained in sand, allows women and children free time for work or education, cultivation of the land to allow them to become self sufficient, abundant supplies of clean water prevent disease - the list goes on and on.

Dams typically cost between £8,000  and £13,000 to build.   Once built - by local people - they will last a lifetime and more.  A single dam will be sufficient to provide safe, clean water for up to ten years, even in times of drought.

Gail has been co-ordinating  the names of clubs that wish to take part in a Sand Dams project and at present about 14 clubs have expressed an interest.    Rotarian John Spence, Rotary Club of the Vale of Belvoir has now taken over the project for the forthcoming Rotary year, which will hopefully see the building of at least one such dam erected by clubs in 1220.

Many thanks to President Norman and his team for laying on the evening which proved to be an excellent social occasion.

Rtn Ralph Grenville, Rotary Club of Bretby. 15th April.

One of the sadder duties  of the District Governor is attendance at the funerals of Rotarians within the District.   Today saw me at yet another such funeral, that of Rotarian Ralph Grenville of the Rotary Club of Bretby who passed away recently.  The service was held at the Parish Church of St. Modwen at Burton upon Trent and was attended by a large congregation, a sign of the affection in which Ralph was held.

My sincere condolences go out to Ralph's family and friends.

RIBI Conference at Harrogate 12th - 14th April

Gail and I went up to Harrogate on Thursday, before Conference started on Friday.   We had a nice relaxing time and spent some valuable time just in each other's company.   I understand that there was an audience of about 1,800 Rotarians and spouses.

Conference started on Friday afternoon but I don't intend to go through every detail of it.   Suffice it to say there was a really wide mix of speakers, with inspirational ones such as Simon Weston, switched on go-getters such as Sir Tim Smit, the Founder of the Eden Project and of course a number of Rotary speakers.

The President of RIBI chaired the weekend and I thought did a very good job.

On Saturday we were present in the hall for the filming, by the BBC of the Rotary Young Citizens of the Year Awards, which was broadcast on BBC News 24.    The afternoon was taken up with the Business Meeting - the results of which should appear on the RIBI website in due course.

There were a number of social activities available - at a cost - each evening.  My particular favourite was a group of four musicians who call themselves "String Fever".  What they could do with a violin or a double bass had to be seen to be believed.    

The House of Friendship was regularly busy throughout the weekend and with almost 100 stalls it took a fair while to get round them all.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Visioning - Update Training 10th April

During the evening today fifteen Rotarians from across the District attended the Novotel at Long Eaton for an update training session on Visioning which is now available to any club in the District.     We had some really useful discussions, chaired by Rtn Noel Harrison our Membership Services Officer and streamlined some of the training elements.

Any club that is interested in Visioning is asked to contact Noel direct.  I would stress that it is NOT just for ailing clubs - it is appropriate for any club that wants to look any formulating a strong five year plan to ensure its success.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Inner Wheel District 22 Rally 9th April

The District 22 Innner Wheel Rally started with a Service of Thanksgiving, held at St. Peter's Church in Ravenshead.  The service was conducted by the Reverend Chris Rattenbury, who had clearly researched the activities of Inner Wheel and as a result the service was absolutely spot on.   The District Inner Wheel Choir sang a number of pieces during the service and I must say I am looking forward to them being at our Thanksgiving Service on 16th June at Ripley.

Following the service at Ravenshead we all drove over to the Civic Centre at Mansfield for the Rally lunch.    With over 200 members and guests at the event, there was a great buzz around the room.     After the meal, which was delicious and efficiently served, there were a number of formalities, including the bringing of greetings by myself and by President Gwillym Griffith, Rotary Club of Ravenshead and Blidworth.    The Inner Wheel Association Present Sheila Halliday-Pegg then addressed the meeting on the present situation within Inner Wheel and the changes that are occurring at this time.

The hospitality, warmth of welcome and friendship displayed to Gail and myself was magnificent throughout the day. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Many thanks to Ann Cottee and her team or inviting us and looking after us.

Inner Wheel - Pre Rally Dinner 8th April 2013

This evening Gail and I joined members of the Inner Wheel District 22 for their annual Pre-Rally Dinner held at 281 Restaurant on Nottingham Road, at Mansfield.     We we hosted by District 22 Chairman Mrs Ann Cottee.  The event was attended by members of their Executive Committee, members of Ann's own Inner Wheel Club, Ravenshead and by guests from other Districts.

It was a very pleasant social evening and for a nice change I was not required to make a speech.

Looking forward to the Inner Wheel Rally tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Joint Inner Wheel and Rotary Concert 6th April 2012

The Parish Church of St. Andrew's at Swanwick was the venue for a concert featuring, "Sonara" Ladies Choir, jointly organised by the Inner Wheel Club of Alfreton and the Rotary Club of Alfreton.    Gail and I were greeted on arrival by Rotary Club President, Colin Fox and by Inner Wheel President Clair Nightingale.

Neither I nor Gail had heard Sonara before and were really impressed by the range of their repertoire and the impeccable quality of their singing, under the musical direction of Liz Moulder.    With Rtn Richard Moulder acting as MC for the evening what could possibly go wrong.

Refreshments at the interval were included in the realistically priced entry fee of just £5.

Gail and I had a really good evening, which was rounded off by an invitation to join Jenny and Phil Harris and several members of the Rotary Club of Amber Valley and their wives. A very pleasant couple of hours was spent eating, drinking and talking about old times.

Our sincere thanks to Presidents Colin and Clair for the excellent concert and to Phil and Jenny for their later hospitality.

Funeral Service for Rtn Ian Charles, R.C. of Hope Valley 5th April, 2013

The funeral service for Ian was held at the Parish Church of St. Barnabas, Bradwell at 12noon on 5th April.   The assembled congregation far outstripped the seating capacity of the church leaving many people standing.   Ian was clearly a very popular person .  Rtn Jane Weightman gave a very moving tribute to Ian as a Rotarian and several other tributes were paid by family and friends.

Commital was held after the service at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium.

The Grouse Inn, Longshaw, home of Ian's Rotary Club, played host to a reception for friends and family after the service.