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Summer 2018

Voted Best Magazine in RIBI 2018


100 years of Rotary in Southern Wales Spokesman summer 18.indd 1

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By the time you read this article, our District will have almost completed its Centenary year, quite an achievement. Two of our Clubs, Cardiff and Llanelli turned-on the style with well represented banquet celebrations. The challenge for the future will be to ensure Rotary in Southern Wales will celebrate the second Centenary, with the certain knowledge that none of us will be around to witness the event. Survival and sustainability will be key factors for many Clubs, however we need to recognise our current and past impact within our local communities, and consider judging the effect of loss should Rotary’s presence have disappeared for whatever reason. We do make a difference, so please review your approach to encourage and invite younger people - yes - even Rotaractors as members to your Club. Rotary 2 is already underway and is beginning to show positive results within our District. As a District, we were challenged to recognise 8 different locations for a new Club

There was a definite Welsh theme to the RIBI National Conference in Torquay in March, in celebration of the Centenary of Cardiff and Llanelli clubs. Bridgend Male Voice Choir and Phil Bennett gave sterling performances and the District picked up several awards. As Editor, I am more used to writing about other people’s awards, so it was a great honour to receive the award for Best Magazine in RIBI. This is a testament to the correspondents in the clubs who diligently send in their news. It’s an interesting barometer of the strength of clubs, because it stands to reason that if clubs are busy, and doing things in their community, it naturally follows they let others know about it. Having too much material from some clubs is a good problem to have but please forgive any cropping of your efforts. Full story and pictures of awards at National Conference on pages 3-6. Spokesman is the ideal advertising media to reach like-minded people throughout the region at nominal cost. Sponsorship and advertising contributions would go a long way to supporting Spokesman. Please contact editor for details. Submissions to Spokesman. Grateful for your club articles, letters, photographs and members adverts. We reserve the right to edit. Published articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor, nor does the Editor take responsibility for errors of fact by writers. Text: Word document attached to email. Please no Excel, Powerpoint, hand-written articles, printed hard copy or links to Facebook. Club newsletters will be read with interest but anything for favour of publication in Spokesman should be sent in the format above. Please don’t embed pictures in Word as the resolution is reduced and often unusable. Images. Preferably full size JPEG. Ideally hi-res image straight from camera. Thanks for sending in newsletters, particularly as I find myself as the judge of club newsletters at Conference. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that by sending a newsletter that means you don’t have to send separate stories. If I can get into pictures embedded in newsletters, invariably the resolution is far too low for print use, and you are also gambling on the human frailty of this one-man band to read every one that is sent to me. Cover picture: a delightful image from father Ashok of 5 years old Katya Ganesh, with her bear Patapon, wearing the Beat Polio Now jumper her grandad Ganesh of Merthyr Club gave her. Editor: Rtn Doug McArthur Copy deadline for next issue: 28th September, 2018.

District Governor Elect, Clive Edwards and wife Gill during 2017-18 and a further four for 2018-19 – a total of twelve. All Rotarians are encouraged to enhance and embrace the modern approach being introduced by RIBI, progress will be closely watched by other Rotary regions of the world such as Japan and particularly Australia. On the home front, structure changes were introduced by RIBI in 2017 and I have implemented these for the next Rotary year. The objective is for our movement to become more streamlined, cost effective and fit for purpose. In recent years, our DG Maggie has made all of us aware of Dementia Friendly Communities and encouraged us to become Dementia Friends plus supporting Rotarians’ decision to fundraise for the Tenovus “Closer to Home” appeal. I pledge my support to continue promoting both projects. One project I wish promote is the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme – a good leveller for aspiring youngsters from various backgrounds within our District. Our efforts to help these youngsters could be Rotary’s gain in years ahead. On Friday, 7th September a joint Charity Golf Tournament will be held at the Cradoc Golf Course Brecon – please support either by entering a team, and/ or donation/sponsorship. To achieve our objectives I will require the support of many, including Club members and the District Team. We need to be an inclusive District, together we will succeed. The RI theme for the next Rotary year is “BE THE INSPIRATION” and that affects us all. In-coming RI President, Barry Rassin is quite optimistic that our standing as a very well-respected service organisation - will continue to attract individuals who are prepared in whatever chosen avenue to assist those who are considered less fortunate. By the way, three vital priorities are to be observed: 1. Membership; 2. Polio Eradication and Humanitarian projects at home and abroad; 3 Enhance Public Image and Awareness. Rotary’s Vision Statement “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves”. For those who are taking office at either Club, District, RIBI or RI, I wish you every success for an eventful year. To conclude, it was an honour to be elected your District Governor for 2018-19 and, I look forward to leading and supporting all Clubs during the coming year and trust we will enjoy a year of friendship and fun. Two such events will the Handover on 1st of July at the Best Western Aberavon Beach Hotel, Aberavon, and the second will be the District Conference in Plymouth 12-14 October. It will be for others to see we are People of Action to BE THE INSPIRATION.


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Sustainability & modernisation in Centenary Year Our year of celebrations for the Centenary of Rotary in Wales is coming to an end but what a year it has been, writes DG Maggie Hughes. As I write this article, we are still looking forward to our Centenary reception at the Senedd on May 25th where we will be recognising all those Rotarians and non-Rotarians who you nominated as our Champions of Change. Our very special Kids Out day plus we will be “all aboard” for the steam train event being organised by Area 1 on 30th June. I am so grateful to RIBI President Denis Spiller who made sure that the Centenary of Rotary in Wales was celebrated by all Rotarians across the UK & Ireland. The National Champion of Change Award ceremony is being brought to the City Hall, Cardiff on 18th May; Phil Bennett OBE was the main attraction during the Friday session of the RIBI conference in Torquay and he was wonderful. Plus, Bridgend Male Voice Choir made a major impact on Friday evening when they performed on stage at the Riviera Centre. RIBI President Denis has also attended the Centenary celebrations hosted by the Rotary Clubs of Cardiff and Llanelli, and yet it’s not until June that he will be making his “official” visit to our District. RIBI President Denis, together with Vice President Debbie and Vice President Nominee Donna, have set us on the path to ensure the sustainability and modernisation of Rotary. Our challenge was to identify areas within our District where we felt we could open new Clubs and/or satellite groups of existing Clubs and with your support we have identified 14 possibilities. We have increased our membership this year and, as a result, we were awarded the trophy for the highest membership increase in the UK. However we must not become complacent and every one of us must continue to work to attract new members of all ages, but especially young business professionals, into our wonderful organisation by ensuring our Clubs show the flexibility that this younger generation require. It has been very interesting to be part of the Governing Council of RIBI to help make decisions for change and ensure we are fit for purpose for the Millennials. The start of the process for the modernisation of Rotary was endorsed by our membership at the ABM in Torquay when over 98% of you voted for change. The start of 2018 saw the national “People of Action” public image campaign. Nine short videos featuring new style Clubs, followed by a huge market research campaign which resulted in the RIBI “State of the Nation” report and this shows how the public would like support in their communities. Many Rotary Clubs are already supporting these initiatives, but before making your plans for the next Rotary year, take a look at the report which can be found on the homepage of the RIBI website. Could you be supporting any of these community needs? Being your District Governor has been a wonderful opportunity

DG Maggie with the certificate for the District which had the highest percentage membership increase during the Rotary year. We were awarded jointly with DG Stewart Cursley of District 1200. and experience and I would like to thank you all for making Bill and I so welcome. We have enjoyed every one of our “official” Club visits plus every other event and project you have also invited us to attend. Will we leave a legacy from this centenary year? Of course we will, we have planted trees; become Dementia Friends and turned iconic buildings purple to publicise our End Polio Now campaign to the general public. You are the “movers and shakers” in your communities, please continue to Make A Difference. Thank you to my District team for all your support during the year and my wish is that DGE Clive and Gill enjoy their year of office as much as we have.

Bridgend Male Voice Choir entertaining delegates - RIBI President Denis Spiller was very keen to support the Centenary of Rotary in Wales at the national conference by including Phil Bennett and Bridgend Male Choir in the programme. Left, AG Christina Thorpe explains Brynmawr’s Lifestraw initiative to Princess Anne.

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At the recent national conference in Torquay, Rotarians in the UK and Ireland were left in no doubt by RIBI President Denis that we are celebrating the Centenary of Rotary in Wales. Conference delegates were entertained in style by harpist Huw Boucher, last year’s national winner of our Young Musician competition and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cardiff Breakfast. Rugby legend Phil Bennet OBE took to the stage on Friday afternoon and had the audience crying with laughter at some of his tales both on and off the rugby field. It was a great pleasure for Bill and myself to host Phil and his wife Pat, they were blown away by the variety and extent of projects supported by Rotary when they visited the House of Friendship. Wales was once again at the forefront of the celebrations at the “Music Night on the Riviera” show. More than 60 members of the very successful 90 strong Bridgend Male Voice Choir took to the stage and performed a wide variety of music from their repertoire including a few Welsh favourites, traditional pieces and songs from the shows. Compere Gareth Davies was a tremendous support to the conference team when he entertained everyone with some humorous stories as they were changing the staging to welcome the next act. Our proudest moment came during the presentation of the 11 national awards to Above left, RIBI President Denis Spiller Districts. It wasn’t just one award, but three! keeps up the seaside theme at national Congratulations to Editor Doug McArthur for conference. Left DG Maggie receives the being recognised for producing the Best District Rotaract Award, above Editor Doug the Magazine. We also received the Rotaract Award Best Magazine award. Below left, Phil Bennett with wife Pat and – this was presented to our District for providing the most significant support to Rotaract – well Maggie. Right, Huw Boucher, last year’s RIBI Young Musician, playing the harp. He done Alison, our Rotaract Officer. Our third received a standing ovation and was later award was for achieving the highest percentage membership increase – well done EVERYONE. presented to HRH The Princess Royal.

A very Welsh flavour at Conference


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You’ve been flanned!

In Donna Wallbank’s own words: “As a participant in the National Conference,it was my task to introduce Chris Tarrant to the stage on the Sunday Morning. “To that end showing that Rotary is serious about what it achieves had been realised over the weekend, but importantly to us all, Rotary should also be enjoyable - so to give everyone an insight into the fun times Rotary gives each of us in the opportunities to enjoy while giving valuable service, I asked Chris to Flan me…why? Well the Phantom Flan Thrower of Tiswas fame wasn’t there so Chris Tarrant had to do! – And it seemed a funny idea on Saturday Night! “I thought it a good introduction to Chris and for me to re-live being a 10 year old [which I was when Tiswas started] and didn’t all 10 year olds want to be on the programme and enjoy the fun? I did, rather than go food shopping with my Mum! “He was there, so was I, the opportunity presented itself and I had fun being flanned! [I think!] “So in my simplistic view of what I believe, ‘the more you put into your Rotary service the more you benefit yourself in feeling good about what you do, and in the actual doing good in your community, be that Nationally or Internationally and if as a by-product a few personal dreams come true, then even more reason to go and do more while enjoying the Rotary service opportunities. Rotary is after-all something we give our ‘free’ time for and don’t we when we have free time enjoy ourselves?” Right, Donna, every inch the National President of RIBI Nominee. Below, Chris wonders if he has done the right thing. Below right, proving he still remembers how to flan.

Gardens open for Tenovus appeal

Cowbridge Rotary is opening six gardens in support of the Tenovus “Closer to Home” appeal in May. The Closer to Home appeal is to raise £1m towards a state of the art Mobile Support Unit. These units (pictured) are set up in local car parks, supermarkets and community venues where patients can park. A course of chemotherapy can take anything from six weeks to six months and sometimes longer. As part of their support, Cowbridge Rotary are opening six gardens between 12.00 and 5.00 pm on Sunday 6th May. The varied gardens are Ty Canol, Maendy, with a wonderful use of a quarry face, Ashby House, Maendy, a conversion of a graveyard, Thira Cottage, Cowbridge, a very pretty and interesting use of space, St Quintins Cottage, Llanblethian, a Ralph Hancock designed garden, Gadlys Farm House Llanmaes, colourful Welsh cottage garden and Old Froglands, Llanmaes, a woodland and wetland garden. Entry is £5 covering all gardens with all proceeds to Tenovus. Cowbridge Rotary would appreciate support for this excellent cause by taking the opportunity to see a variety of gardens in the area. 5

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Oldest and youngest Swansea clubs to merge

The oldest and youngest clubs in Swansea are to merge. Swansea Bay Club is 26 years old this year and will merge with Swansea Club which celebrates its Centenary later this year. The merger came about after the four clubs - Swansea, Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Morriston - met for a Visioning session last autumn looking at the future of Rotary in the city. Following on from the session Swansea Bay members felt there would be benefit to both clubs by joining forces with Swansea. A club poll showed the majority of members from both clubs were in favour and a merger team was set up to negotiate the way ahead. There are still some issues to be ironed out but a date has been set of 29 June to complete and celebrate the merger. Swansea Rotary has been a very active club over its hundred years of existence working to develop young people from primary to school leavers. It works closely with Swansea City Council on the High Five’s initiative. High Fives celebrates young people who are going above and beyond to support their families, overcoming barriers to raise money for charity, building bridges across different communities, or making their school a better place to be. Swansea Bay Club is also a very active club and organises a variety of fund-raising events such as Fashion Shows, Curry nights and bucket collections. Most notably it works with the South Wales Evening Post and Queens Hotel in the city to organise an annual Boules/Pentanque tournament in Swansea Marina, which over the years, has raised thousands of pounds for the charity fund of the incumbent Lord Mayor and has led to a spin-off Mumboules tournament with Rotary Mumbles. Swansea President Mervin Jones said: “Our hope is that as the two clubs joining together will ensure we are able to continue the good work and initiatives achieved by Rotary in Swansea during the previous 100 years into our next century of service”. Swansea Bay President Steve Bolchover will continue as President of the merged clubs to ensure continuity. He said: “We are two quite different clubs but all of us at Swansea Bay are hoping we can bring a new energy to Rotary in Swansea and develop into a bigger dynamic club ready to take on the challenges that face service organisations like ours in the 21st Century.” Pictured, the two Presidents, Swansea left and Swansea Bay, right.

‘We are People of Action’

The Princess Royal has paid tribute to Rotary members for the work they do in communities across the globe. Princess Anne, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Elgin, in Scotland, spent more than two hours visiting the RIBI annual conference in Torquay. Besides giving a speech to delegates at the Riviera International Centre, she spent considerable time touring both the Rotary Showcase and exhibition area chatting to Rotary members and charity representatives. She said “This is an organisation I have grown up with, meeting and seeing Rotarians almost wherever I have been all over the world. And they have always been busy,” she told delegates in a 15-minute speech. If you asked the man or woman on the street if they knew about Rotary, many would recognise the name but few have an understanding of our work globally, nationally or locally. To combat this Rotary International has created a global marketing campaign called People of Action. The aim of this campaign is to narrow the gap between awareness and understanding by bringing the stories of Rotary members to life and show those who don’t know us exactly who we are, what we do and how Rotary differs from other organisations. At the same time Rotary needs to increase membership by creating new style clubs that appeal to a wider age range whether they are young people or the newly retired looking for a new challenge. Rotary Great Britain and Ireland President Denis Spiller has laid down a challenge called Rotary 2 with the aim to gain 50,000 new members by 2020. To coincide with the People of Action campaign and the launch of Rotary 2, Rotary Great Britain and Ireland filmed a series of videos showing Rotary in Action and concentrating on clubs that are breaking the mould of how Rotary works in the community. The short films featured Rotary Clubs such as Wrexham Glyndwr and Maidenhead Bridge – clubs that are appealing to younger Rotarians. They meet twice monthly in an informal setting and are achieving a lot in their communities. Another film featured staff members at Bentley Motors in Crewe who are running a project supporting the homeless in their community after forming the UK’s first Corporate Rotary Club. The film demonstrates that Rotary is a great way for organisations to turn their Corporate Social Responsibility ideas into action through volunteering and projects. The short films were widely distributed on social media and are now available for download on the RGBI website under Marketting Resources “People of Action”. The page also contains a link to the branding centre where you can download posters and other marketing materials that can be adapted and personalized. Rotarians share a unique passion for taking action to improve their communities and the world. Where others see problems, we see solutions. The People of Action campaign is our chance to show others what we can achieve and encourage them to join us as we go forward.


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Roy Blacker will we remembered by all who knew him as one of life’s great characters, with his great sense of fun, his enormous energy and his tremendous enthusiasm. He was someone who loved life and lived it to the full, right to the end. As the French put it, Roy had that ‘joie de vivre’, the sheer joy of being alive and that is why his sudden death came as such a great shock to us all. He was also a person of great vision, in that he saw opportunities and possibilities long before most of us and it was a measure of his skill as a leader that he was able to communicate that vision to others and encourage us to work alongside him. Roy also had an interesting and varied working life, beginning on the railways. He also had a spell working for the men’s outfitters, John Colliers, then trained as a nurse, working in two local hospitals, where his sense of humour and his lively banter, not to mention his teasing and tall stories livened up the wards no end. More importantly however it was a profession that demonstrated his tremendous compassion and care. Then in his his early 30’s, Roy changed direction completely and went to college to study youth and community work, after which he went to work for the YMCA, where he remained for more than 20 years. His first post with the YMCA was in Norwich, followed by spells in Bridgend and Mountain Ash, before taking on even greater responsibilities in Leicester and Nottingham, where he was able to use his considerable skills and talents to even greater effect. Yet everywhere he served, Roy was motivated by the same ideal, namely that of helping young people to achieve their potential and to develop their skills and interests. Indeed, so many of the letters and cards that Jennifer has received since his death have spoken about Roy’s ability to help and inspire people, not only in the YMCA but in the community as a whole, because as someone brought up in a close knit valley community, he knew the importance of community life. In fact there was one project during his time in Mountain Ash that summed that up perfectly. It was during the snow storms of

PDG Roy Blacker

1982, when Mountain Ash was totally cut off for a number of days and many people were completely snowed in. Roy realised that elderly people were extremely vulnerable in such a situation and that many of them lacked essential supplies such as milk and bread, so he mobilised people to help, appealing not only to YMCA members but to everyone in the community. Moreover, with the assistance of local radio stations, he appealed to anyone who needed help to contact the YMCA. In the meantime, he organised young people to collect supplies of milk and bread from a local railway station some four miles away, hauling it on sleighs to the YMCA, from where it was distributed to those who needed it most. It was a perfect example not only of Roy’s vision but of his compassion and empathy for people. This became even more apparent when I joined Roy and a group of professional people from Nottingham YMCA and the Rotary Club of Nottingham, on a visit to India. We were there to review some of the initiatives that Roy had set up on previous visits, including schools for disadvantaged children, health facilities for the poor and even a mobile dental clinic, all of which had received support from Rotary International and the YMCA movement. I can see Roy now striding out in front, with the rest of us following behind like sheep

‘That’ll Be The Day’ at the Follies

The ever popular ‘That’ll Be The Day’ Rock ‘n Roll tribute show is returning to the Follies Theatre at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo on Friday 6th and Saturday the 7th July 2018. Now in its 32nd year the evergreen cast of That’ll Be The Day will be performing their brand new 2018 Summer Show at Folly Farm

and the show is once again being promoted by Phil Thompson MBE as part of his Annual ‘Charity Challenge’. Phil said this week that ‘this will be the 11th year that the ‘That’ll Be The Day’ show has come to Folly Farm and over the years the show has raised £112,400 for charity, which is absolutely fantastic’. This year the show proceeds are being donated to the charity account of Narberth & Whitland Rotary who are absolutely delighted to be the nominated recipient. Narberth & Whitland Rotary Club in turn have pledged to support several worthy charities from the

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money received namely The Wales Air Ambulance, Blood Bikes Wales, The RNLI and the Tenovus ‘Closer To Home’ appeal. Speaking at the concert launch at Folly Farm this week, Park Managing Director Chris Ebsworth said that Folly Farm were proud to support Rotary and Phil and were delighted to once again be welcoming back the ‘That’ll Be The Day’ crew, who always put on such a memorable show’. Tickets for the show are now on sale and can be purchased online at , by phoning Phil Thompson on 07767 408336 and from Dale’s Music Shop Tenby and the Creative Café, High St, Haverfordwest. The Rotary Club is also doing a ‘Punch & Munch’ pre show dining experience on both nights comprising of a Cool Pimms Punch, BBQ Burger and Dessert and these can be booked online at or by phoning Liz Burns on 01834 860686.

trying to keep up with him During our stay, we received an invitation to meet the President of India in his palace, a privilege usually reserved for heads of state; and even there, Roy managed to introduce a note of humour into the proceedings. When the President invited Roy to sit beside him, he told him that he was sitting in the seat that John Major had sat in the week before. Making himself comfortable and with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, Roy grinned and said ‘oh I feel just as important as Mr Major’, to which the President smiled, as if to say, ‘I agree’. Roy then made an unscheduled move, when he rose from his chair to ask the President if he would sign the book he had just given him, but when the security men saw Roy put his arm on the president’s shoulder, they moved forward in unison and thrust their hands into their jackets, giving us the distinct impression that one false move and Roy was a dead man walking, but as usual he got away with it! During our three week stay in India, it became obvious just how much the YMCA and Rotary meant to Roy, not least because of their commitment to helping the poorest of the poor. In fact, Roy rose to prominence in both organisations. In the YMCA, he rose from being a youth leader to chief executive and in Rotary he served as President on three separate occasions and as a District Governor. He also founded a new Rotary Club in Radyr and was awarded the highest honour that Rotary can bestow, when he received the Paul Harris Fellowship. Yes, Roy lived a rich and varied life enriching the lives of others along the way, but in addition to the memories that so many of us share there are the even greater memories of his family. He was a caring and supportive father to his sons Stephen and Huw and a doting grandfather to their children. In their 56 years together, he was also a loving and caring husband to Jennifer and she in turn was the ‘wind beneath his wings’, supporting him in everything he did. So in giving thanks for his life we entrust him now to God’s eternal care. Bishop David Yeoman


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Howard is our Community Champ Howard Craven of Swansea is to be honoured with the prestigious Community Champion award for his work in helping Parc Prison inmates reclaim their lives. Howard will receive his Community Champion award, alongside other unsung community heroes from across the UK, at the Champions of Change Award ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff in Cardiff City Hall in May. The prestigious Rotary Champions of Change awards night is being held in Cardiff City Hall on Friday 18 May as Rotary celebrates its Wales Centenary. It’s the fifth annual Champions of Change awards night and previous venues have included the House of Lords. Winners will be presented with their awards by National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ Chair Peter Kellner (renowned international journalist) and RIBI President Denis Spiller. Award winners have all been chosen for outstanding and inspirational work at home and abroad.  They include Rotarians and other heroes who have worked hard to change peoples lives under the categories of home, international and community.  Swansea based Howard did not have the best start in life. He was taken into care at an early age and sadly this had a negative effect.  But at the age of 36, after a number of prison sentences through his own behaviour and drug use, Howard realised unless he changed his life he would either end up dead or in prison for the rest of his life.      Howard started work in HMP Parc in 2015 after spending many years working in the community supporting prison leavers. Howard was instrumental in setting up and the running of the Endeavour Unit (a unit for former servicemen and first time offenders coming into prison). For the past two years, Howard has been working alongside Rotarian Alison Sutherland delivering an intervention called ‘You Can Change’.  The intervention runs over three days and has been very successful, reports Alison.  Its aim is to inspire and equip the prisoner to return to their families and community and live a fulfilled life, free of crime.  Howard is a great inspiration and clear proof that they too can change if they really want to. The search for Rotary Community Champions was carried out across Great Britain and Ireland with Rotary clubs looking for members of the public who have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. Denis Spiller, President of RIBI, said: “The selfless actions of our champions really demonstrate that every person, everywhere can make a difference. Howard’s work has helped so many people who could easily have become lost causes and given support to their families. He is a very worthy recipient of the Rotary Community Champion award.” Denis Spiller, President of RIBI, said: “The selfless actions of our champions really demonstrate that every person, everywhere can make a difference. Howard’s work has helped so many people who could easily have become lost causes and given support to their families. He is a very worthy recipient of the Rotary Community Champion award.”

Purple 4 Polio Grand Tour


a concert by


Saturday 7th July 2018 at 7.00pm Doors/bar open from 6.30pm

Tickets £20 (£15 in advance by June 22nd) Knighton Community Centre Knighton LD7 1DR All profits to Air Ambulance and Local Charities Tickets: Kim Smith 01547 540593 Tower House Gallery Knighton 01547 529530 Open 10am to 4.30pm Wed to Sat Prize Draw Programme £1

At the time of going to press Rtn Gordon Wellington and Rt Russell Thomas of Morriston Rotary are gearing up to take part in an amazing road trip across Britain They will be travelling across Britain along with other Rotarians who have entered vehicles for the Purple4Polio Rotary Grand Tour. The tour aims to raise awareness and funds for the eradication of polio. Many of you will have seen the car on its travels around our District as Russell and Gordon work to raise sponsorship from individual Rotarians and from advertising on the vehicle. They will be joined by other fellow Rotarians - one from Morriston and one from Swansea Valley club. All the expenses for the trip will be borne by the travellers and not taken from the money raised. This is to ensure maximum funds are raised for this worthy charity. A special Facebook group has been set up to track progress and they will set off in grand style from Brynmawr Market Square 9.30 Monday May 21. Please join them for a grand send off. Pictured above: RIBI President Denis Spiller with President Gordon Wellington and Secretary Russell Thomas at the Llanelli Centenary celebration.


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Celebrating 100 years of

Rotary in Wales

Happy Birthday Llanelli! Llanelli Rotary is the second club in Southern Wales District to celebrate 100 years of serving the community in this Centenary Year for Wales. Celebrations have been taking place throughout April and May with a Centenary Dinner in the club’s home venue of the Stradey Park Hotel on Saturday 7 April. The event was attended by Rotary Great Britain and Ireland President Denis Spiller, District Governor Maggie Hughes and Rotarians far and wide.  The historic Llanelly House was the venue for a Gin and Tapas event on 12 April. Celebrations will continue with an array of stars performing a very special evening of song on Saturday 19 May. Shân Cothi, one of Wales’ most popular sopranos, will be sharing the stage with two of Wales’ international choral ambassadors Côr Meibion Llanelli (musical director D. Eifion Thomas) and the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers (musical director John Hywel Williams MBE). Joining them will be the delightful sounds of Côr Ysgol Heol Goffa (musical director Bridget Radford) ‘Harmoni’ an ensemble comprising pupils and ex-pupils from Ysgol Y Strade and Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm (musical director Catrin Hughes), and the Lewis- Meredith Sisters - Calley, Sarah and Steffi.  Compère will be Past President Robert Lloyd.     


District Governor Maggie Hughes invites Rotarians to join her for a Senedd reception to celebrate the Centenary of Rotary in Wales on Friday 25 May 11.30 for 12. The celebration is sponsored by the First Minister, Honorary Rotarian Carwyn Jones, AM. The day will highlight the work and achievements of Rotarians over the 100 years who have been serving communities within Wales as well as nationally and internationally. Free tickets are available but need to be reserved by Friday 18 May – contact Rtn Pauline Owen, The dress code is lounge suit with regalia and there will be an opportunity to enjoy a traditional cream tea and have a tour of the Senedd.

Prosecco Lunch

The Centenary Celebrations will continue with a special steam train on the Gwili railway, just outside Carmarthen, Saturday 30 June. Following a Prosecco reception, there will be a four-course lunch on board for Rotarians, family and friends, together with Tenovus supporters only (100 seat capacity). The event will run from 12 - 4.00pm. Tickets are still available at the inclusive price will be £30. Contact Rtn Kevin Sivyer. Tel 01559 395305 9

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A Song for Heroes,

Thanks to Dan and Laura

Cast members from numerous London shows will represent the West End in recording a song to honour those who have served their country, composed by new Rotarian Daniel and wife Laura Curtis of Cardiff Satellite Club. Daniel and Laura are award winning musical theatre composers and lyricists. Their work is now a staple in the repertoire of artists performing musical theatre internationally and has been performed at the Royal Albert Hall and the London Palladium. The couple have now created a very special song to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. Daniel and Laura have received sponsorship from Fortnum and Mason as well as other very well known brands in order to produce their CD free of charge and ensure that all monies are donated to Help for Heroes. The Rotary Club of Cardiff and District are

supporting this appeal by promoting the CD which will include the Rotary logo. “Cardiff Rotary Satellite Club was formed in July of last year and has eight members but is recruiting as we speak and we aim to get to around 20 in the very near future,” said Dan. “I support a large number of charity and community projects and it is a fundamental part of my life. I love what Rotary stands for and was very keen to become involved and part of the worldwide family of Rotarians.” The couple found success developing new music for some of the worlds most celebrated performers such as Lea Salonga, Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo. This culminated in the production of their first album, Love on 42nd Street and the commission of their second album, Overture, released in October 2016. Their numerous single releases have all topped the iTunes and Amazon Vocal Charts alongside Love on 42nd Street. BBC Radio 2 has championed their music on programmes such as Elaine Paige on Sunday and Weekend Wogan, Daniel and Laura have also appeared on BBC Breakfast and The One Show to discuss their work.

Rhondda ‘In the Groove’

Most recently they wrote the single ‘Standing On My Own’ for Glee’s Jenna Ushkowitz Aston Martin is to sponsor a The Hero is an original song written spectacular Glenn Miller hangar by Daniel and Laura to pay tribute to dance, a joint venture between the bravery and sacrifice of those who Rhondda Rotary and Royal Air serve and have served in the armed Force St Athan. forces. Cast members from numerous Stars of the show will be the RAF London shows will represent the West Central Band’s big band sound “The End in raising funds for Help For Squadronaires”, plus Kirsten OrsHeroes by recording the song. born, Royal Marines official forces The song will be released on 2nd “sweetheart” and Michael Buble November 2018. tribute Tom Carey on Saturday 27 District Governor Maggie is to ask October. each District Governor about supportThe dance is to celebrate the ing this project. So even though it is centenary of the Royal Air Force being supported by Cardiff Rotary, and the 80th birthday of RAF St there is a bigger, wider appeal throughAthan. Proceeds will go to the RAF out Rotary. Benevolent Fund and local charities. Martin, who are currently building a car plant at MoD St Athan, Dan will publicise The Hero at the It is hoped that 1000 tickets will be has agreed to act as the main sponsor for the event. Photo shows sold. The venue for the dance will be Mark Brayson, Aston Martin VIP Operations Director meeting Brian District Council Meeting in Swansea a hangar, at what is now known as Plenderleith and John Bollard, Rhondda Rotary, together with Tony on June 9th. All proceeds from the sales of The MoD St Athan. The price of a ticket Missen of Aberdare Rotary Club, at a recent visit to the company’s Hero will be donated but we also will be £25. Hot food is included car plant at Gaydon in Warwickshire. Aston Martin cars will be on ask that people consider making an in the price and bar facilities will be display at the hangar dance. additional donation if it is within their available at extra cost. For ticket details contact Dave Thomas on Tel: 07570 793029 means here https://www.justgiving. The organizing committee is or e-mail or Brian Plenderleith on Tel: 01443 com/fundraising/westendthehero pleased to announce that Aston 430992, Mob: 07743 482412 or e-mail 10

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Friends lay out the welcome mat

Cowbridge businesses are signing up as Dementia Friends, working to become dementia friendly. And recently a number of businesses were presented with door mats which broadcast their support. The Cowbridge Dementia Friendly Community Committee is asking individuals and businesses in Cowbridge to be even more considerate of those living with dementia and their carers. The Committee is running a number of dementia awareness sessions produced by The Alzheimer’s Society in order to become a Dementia Friend. Cowbridge Rotary Club is actively supporting the initiative. One of its members, Colin Jones has secured the production of brightly coloured mats from Millennium Mats to both record businesses’ support and to demonstrate welcome to those living with dementia. David Harris, President of Cowbridge Rotary Club and Steven Blackman Chairman of Cowbridge Dementia Friendly Community presented mats to Amanda Jones Jewellers, Arthur John Hardware, The Bear Hotel, Costa Coffee, Cowbridge Cycles, HSBC, Cowbridge Library, United Free Church, Fulgo Developments and Cowbridge Town Council There are over 850,000 in the UK with dementia and possible many more undiagnosed. Cardiff University plays a major role in

Cowbridge businesses receiving their new Dementia Friends mats. If you would like to join our Dementia the UK’s biggest dementia research initiative Friendly initiative please contact Steven with their £13m dementia research centre Blackman Chairman, Chairman Cowbridge established earlier this year. Dementia Friendly Community via The Public Health Wales has a six step strategy Cowbridge Rotary Club Web site; www.rotato help reduce Dementia Risk including being physically and socially active.

The Living Memory Group at Narberth - extends the hand of Friendship. The Group has been meeting at Narberth Museum for nearly 12 months says Past President Mary Adams. Initially set up in March last year as a Dementia Cafe as an initiative by Narberth and Whitland Rotary Club in West Wales to help people socialise we have received more and more requests from various people who don’t have dementia to attend the group. So we have recently decided to rebrand the group to invite anyone over 50 and to make it a Friendship Group. The aim is for people to come along, socialise, have a cuppa and enjoy themselves. We also have recently revised the help of the newly established Narberth School Rotakids Club to do some meaningful activities with the group. Recently everyone got involved with decorating cakes and great fun was had by all. The young and the young at heart interacted socially. The school as part of the Rotakids pledge are becoming active within the community and the Head Teacher is amazed at how the children have bonded so well with our group. “Intergenerational activities are nothing new but we are trying to turn Narberth and its surrounding rural area into a caring community which enhances the lives of all generations. The key is to change social norms to encourage relationship building

Intergenerational Socialisation with Narberth Rotakids at the Living Memory Group. Snakes and Ladders very competitive! between generations. and can tell the children about Narberth years “What has become quite apparent is ago”. the way the school children interacted so The group meets twice a month and we wonderfully well and we hope in the future to wish to invite anyone who is lonely, and wants gain historical knowledge sharing sessions. to make new friends. Narberth Museum has wonderful photos More information can be obtained through digitally of the town and surrounding area and contacting Past President Mary Adams on many of the group have worked in the town

Living Memory Group rebranded

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The Vinod Patel Memorial Limb Centre in St Thomas Hospital, Changanacheri, Kerala When PDG Ganesh went on his annual trip to India for six weeks he was joined by a group from his club for the last two weeks. The group consisted of President Anthony Wade, his daughter Beverley, President of the Inner Wheel Club of Merthyr Tydfil Gillian Rowles and Rotarians Peter Brill, Keith Jones and David Nash. They joined Ganesh in Bangalore just after New Year, where they were hosted by sister Club Bangalore Peenya. They stayed in the guest house of the State Cricket Club at the cricket stadium for four days. They visited the annual mega limb camp run by RC Bangalore Peenya every day and spent some time there observing the work being done there and talking to the beneficiaries, volunteers helping out, technicians and Rotarians.

The intrepid adventurers in Mysore.

and scope of these projects and the dedication and commitment of the Rotarians and the staff working at the various projects. Sightseeing visits in Mysore included visits to a bird sanctuary, the magnificent palace in Mysore, a silk factory and a bonsai garden and aviary with over 2000 birds. From Mysore the party travelled to the Kabini River Lodge, a resort situated on the banks of the river Kabini right in the middle of the forest, for an one night stay.This used to be the hunting lodge of the old Maharajas of Mysore and provided luxurious accommodation and all amenities in a number of buildings situated in well kept gardens. The group enjoyed a three hour safari into the forest. While they saw many different animals and birds they were disappointed not to see any tigers or leopards. The next day saw an early start with a five hour journey through forests, busy little villages, banana and coconut groves, tea plantations and paddy fields. There was also a tortuous descent of the western ghats before they reached Calicut in Kerala. From there a five hour journey by train and another hour by road saw them reach their hotel in Changanacheri in Kerala. The group was warmly welcomed by PDG Scaria Jose. The following day was spent visiting and observing the work of the Artificial Limb Centre at St Thomas Hospital. The centre was run by RC Changanacheri and a limb camp was in progress. The next day, the group left Changanacheri and went on a 24 hour lazy cruise of the backwaters of Kerala. The group boarded three Mums teaching children to lip read. The houseboats and sailed in convoy. The houseboats were luxurious with mother does not teach her own child ( in en suite air conditioned bed rooms. The group disembarked and travcase she gets frustrated and punishes her elled to Kochi where they visited Fort Cochin with its chinese fishing child!) but several other children and nets. From Kochi it was a flight back home after a tour that left the each child is taught by several different group impressed by the service projects undertaken by Rotarians in ladies. India and fascinated by the sights and sounds of an exotic country. On one afternoon they helped to serve lunch to the people attending the camp, a task that took about two hours during which they served over six hundred meals! The camp which lasted a week helped over 2400 beneficiaries with artificial limbs, crutches, calipers and LN-4 forearm prostheses. Other Rotary projects visited in Bangalore included a renal dialysis centre and a diabetes education and treatment centre both run by the same Rotary Club. They also visited an artificial limb centre run by another Rotary Club. Another visit was to The ISKCON temple from whose kitchens nearly 200,000 midday meals were prepared and served every day to schoolchildren in Bangalore and the surrounding area! RC Bangalore Peenya had donated three vehicles to transport the meals. From Bangalore the party travelled by road to Mysore where they stayed for three days in a hotel, being looked after by members of Rotary Mysore, the oldest club in the city. During their stay the group visited numerous Rotary Above, We help serve lunch. On any day there are over 500 people in the camp projects including an artificial limb centre, a school for including beneficiaries, attendants, staff, technicians, volunteers, Rotarians and deaf children where the mothers taught lip reading to the visitors. They are all served the same food. While the catering staff prepare the food, children, a school for children with learning problems volunteers are needed to serve it. Other volunteers collect the food on behalf of those and children with autism, a children’s library and a blood who cannot stand or walk and deliver it to them. We decided we wanted to help and one bank.The group were amazed and impressed by the variety afternoon helped to serve over 600 meals over a period of two hours. 12

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Jonathan Stevens of Usk Rotary decided at 72 that he would volunteer for the Polio Immunisation Day in India, working in the slums of Delhi, an incredible experience. The poverty and living conditions were terrible, and seeing the extremely challenging hygiene conditions in the slums, it is staggering how much has already been achieved in defeating Polio and other diseases in India. This is his story. I saw the general requests for volunteers for the India National Immunisation Day (NID) sent out to all clubs by Mike Yates of Buxton Rotary. I responded, as a rather late volunteer, because I was planning to go out to Singapore to see my son who now lives and works there, and thought that I could combine the two trips. I thought that the NID, would be valuable and interesting work, although the thought of working in the slums of Delhi was a little daunting! We ended up as a total party of between 80 and 90 going out from the UK, but there were Rotarians from a number of other countries also there to help. We met Rotarians from, Australia, Japan, and USA among others. The task was huge - I understand that there were 700,000 booths set up around the whole of India, and I was assigned to one in the outskirts of Delhi. This was in a very poor area, but I now hesitate to describe it as a slum, because the conditions were quite civilised compared to the living conditions we saw the following day. We were taken to the booth by Indian Rotarians - but they were frankly rather arrogant, and had no intention of doing any work (apart from administering a single dose for the purpose of a photo opportunity), and left us to get on with the job. It was a little galling that we had gone to considerable personal expense, and travelled a long way, to help - and there were plenty of Indian Rotarians,who seemed perfectly capable of doing the job - but were simply not prepared to do so! On the Friday after we arrived, we attended a rally at a school in the suburbs with the objective of publicising the NID which was due to take place on the Sunday. Then on the Sunday we spent the day manning a “booth” that had been set up by local Rotarians, and frantically trying to deal with hordes of local children who had turned up (largely out of curiosity) and gave them all the required two drops of vaccine, and then marked the little finger of their left hand with indelible purple die, so that we could check who still had to be given a dose - each child was given a small gift (perhaps a pencil or a balloon), and it was amazing how many came round for a second try! After running out of children to vaccinate in the late afternoon, we went to the local organising centre which was in the neighbourhood maternity clinic - that seemed quite organised, and staffed by very dedicated women - but in terms of Western hygiene, it was quite staggering that you had to step across a foul smelling open sewer to enter the front door. The following day we went on a mopping up exercise to find children who had not attended a booth on the day. I was sent, with one other volunteer, and a local health worker into an area that really was a slum. The housing consisted of single rooms each measuring about 8

Top, polio immunisation. Above, Jaipur Limb Centre. Right, the publicity rally, drumming up trade

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x 6 feet or thereabouts, stacked three high in many places, and opening out onto a “lane” which was no more than a passageway about 3 feet wide (and in places so narrow that you had to squeeze through side on. Access to the upper rooms was by a bamboo ladder. We spent many hours in this slum, and found about 80 children who had not been vaccinated the day before - so this did seem like a valuable exercise and very worthwhile - we felt we had done something useful. And there is no way that the Indian Rotarians would have ever ventured into such a place! After this activity, while we were in India, we were also taken to see other Rotary projects, including a Blood Bank set up and funded by Rotary, and the Jaipur Limb Centre - again a Rotary project, where amputees are fitted with artificial limbs made at the hospital using relatively cheap and simple materials/methods. Overall, I found the whole experience very rewarding, and felt that we had made a contribution to the End Polio campaign. Jonathan


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New classroom opened Some 800 pupils (3-15 years old) and their parents attended the opening of the new classroom at Nkiria School on the slopes of Mount Kenya. Construction was funded by Newport Uskmouth Rotary Club and building work was completed by a team led by Squadron Leader Jack Holt RAF. The pupils were dancing and singing as they received books bought by The Scientific Exploration Society and their supporters. Horse Patrol led by David Langlois of Jersey are working with game guards and vet Danielle Jackson has been working with the Mount Kenya Trust treating horses and guard dogs captured from poachers. A medical team under Lieutenant Colonel Kam Khan RAMC has treated over 100 local people, while dentists Dr. João Branco of Portugal and Yolima Cipagauta of Colombia are attending to many patients. All teams have encountered wildlife and a bull elephant tried to break through the electric fence near the main camp.

Ensemble’s first performance

A Saxophone Quartet, “Pedwar Gwynt” (Four Winds) playing above, at a Musical Supper organised by Abergavenny Rotary Club. The performance was at the Chapel, Abergavenny in May which raised over £1,000 for the Bridges Centre Befriending Scheme to combat loneliness and isolation. The Quartet has only been playing together for two months and presented a programme of nine light classical and contemporary pieces as a support act for Synergy, award winning close harmony choir. Pictured left to right: Lionel Elton, President of Abergavenny Rotary on Soprano Saxophone; Robert Parker, Secretary of ARC on Alto; Jack Tait, new member of the club on Baritone; and Richard McCulloch, Tenor Saxophone.

The Auschwitz Goalkeeper still rebuts Holocaust deniers

“The Auschwitz Goalkeeper”, Mr Ron Jones, gave Bridgend Rotary a harrowing insight into his time as a prisoner in Auschwitz and emphatically rejected the current deniers of The Holocaust. “This was not a book I ever intended writing, until I was persuaded to do it as a joint project,” he said. “ I never spoke about my experiences in Auschwitz, and the “Death March” that followed, until I was in my eighties, and would not do so now but for the need to set the record straight, because suspect testimony is seized upon by Holocaust deniers to further their wicked attempts to prove that Hitler’s “Final Solution” never happened – that it is no more than a Jewish myth. “The Nazis’ extermination of millions of people whose only “offence” was their race, did happen, and I was a horrified witness to how it was done. The story has been told before, of course, and I would not want anybody to think I am retelling it with any financial motive. At 96 I have no need of, or

desire for “blood money”. “I have chosen to speak out 70 years after the event because I am concerned by other accounts which focus on personal heroism and downgrade the conduct of honest, less fanciful prisoners. “It was a truly terrible time, but I take

comfort from the knowledge that we British did as much as we could to help those poor, suffering Jews. This was acknowledged by The Jewish Chronicle in February 2012: As many as 1,400 British prisoners arrived at Auschwitz towards the end of 1943 and hundreds were forced to work at the IG Farben chemical factory. Each one of these men was a witness to The Shoah [the Hebrew name for the Holocaust]. Their story has never been fully told, nor has the British government paid full tribute to the dignity and humanity these men demonstrated in helping the Jewish inmates in the camp next door. “Over the 68 years since the camps were liberated, there have been many attempts to tell the story of the British prisoners of war at Auschwitz. “This is my belated attempt to do just that. No exaggerations, no lies. As they say in court, this is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”


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Eve carries our hopes to Edinburgh

Harpist, Eve Price won Regional Young Musician and will represent the District and Region 6 at the RIBI Final in Edinburgh. Eve, (18), sponsored by Aberdare, Llantrisant and Rhondda clubs will compete on May 19. Runner-up was trumpet player Cameron Chin-See, sponsored by Wednesfield Rotary Club, District 1210. Vocal winner was Seren Devismes sponsored by Ellesmere Rotary, District 1210 and Runner Up was Sophie Benfield sponsored by Lichfield St Chad Rotary, District 1060. This saw eight young people – four Vocal and four Instrumental - from Districts 1060, 1100, 1150, 1210 take part in a competition of the highest standard, reports District Young Musician organiser Ray Bevan from Pontllanfraith Club. “The three adjudicators, Daniel Bickerton, Iestyn Griffiths and Stephen Bard certainly had their work cut out when making their decisions on the winner and Runner Up in each section”. Eve’s journey started with her club competition, area, then District before the Regional Final. Runner-up in the District final was flautist, Samuel Finch, sponsored by Porthcawl Rotary. During the District competition at Islwyn High School a small but very appreciative audience were treated to an outstanding competition by the eight vocalist finalists. There was an interesting mix classical, traditional and musical theatre music performed. The standard of performance was very high with each competitor showing a level of technical skill and competence singing a range of difficult and challenging pieces. The three adjudicators, Stephen Bard, Paul Cook, and Jayne Williams were certainly given a difficult task when it came to deciding on the winner. The winner was 14 year old John Rhys Liddington sponsored by Pontllanfraith Rotary who certainly captured the audience with the brilliance of his accurate and emotive performance. Runner up was 18 year old Manon Ogwen-Parry sponsored by Cardiff Bay. Above, Eve, at the Regional Final, Vocalist John Rhys Liddington, and Eve with her District Trophy. Regional Finalists with DG Maggie and Carol Reilly, DG District 1210. District Instrumentalist finalists, left, District vocal finalists.


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Strong Support for Regional Youth Speaks and wide range of topics By Ceri Pridding

After the disruption of the March snow, we finally saw the Regional Final of Youth Speaks at Lydiard Millicent Village Hall. There was a tremendous turn out of supporters from all Districts and the competing teams once again did not disappoint with their broad range of chosen topics. These included “Could there be a solution to the housing crisis”, “The true meaning of happiness”and tough subjests such as gender and pay inequality, fact v fiction and freedom of choice . The skills on display were truly inspiring particularly when considering the age range is 11-17 year olds.   Congratulations to all who reached this stage and gave such excellent presentations. The judges included Carl Rosier-Jones, current president of the Swindon Speaker’s club who’s a serving Detective alongside Mary Champion, twice Mayor of nearby town Royal Wootton Bassett who has a history of supporting youth programmes and projects. Both agreed that the standard and abilities was extremely high. There could only be two winning teams, the Intermediate category was won by King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls District 1060 with “The True Meaning of Happiness” and the Senior Category was won by Redmaids High School from Bristol with “True love is not the stuff of Pop Songs”.  Both teams were awarded individual trophies and certificates and also a further version of both as a memento for their schools. The judges, in recognition of the skills on display, also awarded a certificate and book to the Best Speaker, Chairperson and Vote of Thanks in each age category. Intermediate Category: Best Chairperson: Rachel Williams (D1210 Shrewsbury High School) Best Speaker Yameena Rushdy (D1210 Shrewsbury High School Best Vote of Thanks: Nicole Rowlands (D1150 Bryntirion Comprehensive School) Seniors: Best Chairperson: Hannah Murphy (D1150 Cwmtawe Community School) Best Speaker: Niki Mehta (D1100 Redmaids High School) Best Vote of Thanks: Kay Boucher (D1060 Kineton High School) Bryntirion School was allowed to field a team in the Regional Final because the team missed the re-arranged District Final.

District Final plagued by Mothers Day....... and the rugby!

Senior winner of the District Youth Speaks was Cwmtawe Community School, sponsored by Swansea Valley Club. The Intermediate competition was won by King Henry VIII School, Abergavenny. Both teams went on to the Regional Finals in Wootton Bassett, but neither team was successful. The District Final had been postponed from the previous Sunday because of snow but the only date left before the Regional Final meant competing with Mothers Day and Wales versus Italy rugby, but youngsters still travelled from all over South Wales to compete in close competitions. David Davies MP led the judging teams and commented afterwards how difficult their job was because of the exceptionally high standard of debating. Pictured, David Davies MP, (at the back with right, Rtn Paul Jordan) with the District Final senior teams, and the three girl team from King Henry who won Intermediate, chair, Alice Neville, Speaker Bethan Parry-Jones and Vote of Thanks Lucy Jones. Their subject was ‘The Gender Pay Gap’. 16

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Cystadleuaeth Siarad Cyhoeddus Rotari

Cystadleuaeth yw hon i fobl ifanc sy’n dal i fod yn yr ysgol a thrwy’r ysgol y byddant yn cystadlu er bod ambell i Glwb e.e. Aberaeron, Llanymddyfri a Chwm Rhondda yn eithaf “hands on”, ond gyda’r ysgolion yn uniongyrchol y bydd y cysylltiad mwyaf. Er hynny mi fyddem yn gwerthfawrogi’n fawr mwy o gysylltiad drwy’r clybiau os oes yna glybiau fyddai’n dymuno cymryd mwy o ddiddordeb. Dechreuwyd y gystadleuaeth gan Griff Thomas o Glwb Y Rhondda nol yn yr 80au ac ers hynny mi fues i a gofal am sbel ac yna bu David Marks o Gwmtawe un ei rhedeg am nifer fawr o flynyddoedd a nawr mae nol yn fy ngofal i. Mae’n gyfle gwych i rhoi llwyfan i dalentau bobl ifanc ym myd siarad cyhoeddus ac ynghyd a chystadlaethau’r Ffermwyr Ifanc mae wedi ysgogi nifer o fobl ifanc sydd nawr i’w gweld yn gohebu neu weithio ar sianelau teledu Cymru. Dwi ddim yn ymwybodol o neb sydd yn y Cynulliad a gymrodd rhan ond falle hoffai rhywun fy nghywiro? Yn 2017 fe gynhaliwyd dwy ornest gyn-derfynol yn Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Llandeilo ac yn Ysgol Treorci – da oedd mynd nol i ardal sylfaenydd y gystadleuaeth ac fe gafwyd croeso bendigedig yn y ddau leoliad. Y beirniaid ym Mro Dinefwr oedd Gethin Thomas ac Eryl Mathias ac yn Ysgol Treorci roedd Robat Powell a Wyn Mears. Hoffen i ddiolch yn fawr i rhain am gytuno i feirniadu (rhai ar fyr rhybudd!!) ac am wneud y gwaith mewn ffordd sy’n ysgogi pob un o’r cystadleuwyr, ta beth yw ei safon. Ym Mro Dinefwr bu 10 ysgol yn cystadlu sef Ysgolion Cyfun Aberaeron, Bro Dinefwr, Bro Myrddin, Bro Teifi, Bryn Tawe, Dyffryn Aman, Maes y Gwendraeth, Gwyr, Preseli a Strade a chafwyd ystod eang o bynciau o’r Nadolig i Genhedlaetholdeb a sawl man yn y canol. Fe aeth 5 tim ymlaen i’r rownd derfynol gan fod siwd gymaint yn cystadlu. Yn Ysgol Treorci bu 6 tim yn cystadlu sef Ysgolion Cyfun Bro Morgannwg, Cwm Rhymni, Cwm Rhondda, Gartholwg, Treorci ac Ystalyfera. Falle byddai rhai Clybiau eraill am gysylltu a’i ysgoilion lleol i ysgogi rhagor o dimau o’r dwyrain i gystadlu? Roedd hi’n braf cael cynnal y gystadleuaeth yn Ysgol Treorci ac roedd y brwdfrydedd at y gystadleuaeth yn amlwg ymysg y Prifathro a’r staff a diolch iddynt. Fe aeth tri tim drwyddo i’r rownd derfynol sef hanner y rhai fu’n cystadlu.

Cynhaliwyd y rownd derfynol yn Nhy Hywel, Bae Caerdydd drwy drefniant gan Ceri Jones (CR Bae Caerdydd) a thrwy wahoddiad Adam Price AC. Y timau ddaeth drwyddo oedd Aberaeron, Bro Morgannwg, Bro Dinefwr, Bro Myrddin, Bryn Tawe, Cwm Rhondda, Maes y Gwendraeth ac Ystalyfera ac fel hyn y dyfarnwyd y gwobrau gan y beirniaid hynod brofiadol sef Dr. R Alun Evans, Gethin Thomas a David Williams Cadeirydd Gorau- Cyntaf – Seren Farrup (Cwm Rhondda), Ail – Dafydd Daniel (Bro Dinefwr), Trydydd – Ffion Anderson (Maes y Gwendraeth) Cynigydd Gorau – Cyntaf – Heledd Jones (Bro Myrddin), Ail -Nansi Eccott (Bryn Tawe), Trydydd -Jenni Page (Cwm Rhondda) Gwrthwynebydd Gorau - Cyntaf – Evie Connolly (Cwm Rhondda), Ail- Garmon Dyfri (Bro Myrddin), Trydydd – Heledd Haf (Aberaeron) Daeth hi ddim yn syndod felly mae Ysgol Cwm Rhondda oedd y tim buddugol eto eleni ac mae’r siaradwr gorau oedd Evie Connolly, eto am yr ail flwyddyn yn olynol. Mae gan Evie y ddawn o dynnu chi mewn i’w phwnc a dyw hi ddim yn rhoi dewis i chi – mae’n rhaid gwrando a dwi’n siwr fe glywn ni mwy wrthi ar rhyw lwyfan yn y dyfodol ynghyd a sawl un arall oedd yn y gystadleuaeth eleni! Y tim ddaeth yn ail oedd Bro Myrddin ac yn drydydd oedd Bryn Tawe. Mae yna ddiolch yn arbennig I Dan Jones o Glwb Rotari Llanymddyfri am gynorthwyo ar hyd y ffordd ac am gofnodi amser ac hefyd i Gwenda Griffiths a Maggie Hughes am wneud y cyflwyniadau yn ystod y Rownd Derfynol. I gloi gau annog holl glybiau Rhanbarth 1150 i ysgogi ei ysgolion lleol i gymryd rhan. Does dim rhaid eu bod yn ysgolion penodedig Cymraeg ee dyw Bro Dinefwr, Aberaeron, Llanbed, Dyffryn Amman na Threorci ddim yn rhan o’r diffuniad hyn, ac os oes angen mwy o wybodaeth arnoch chi neu’r ysgolion yna cysylltwch drwy ebost at Fe gynhelir y gystadleuaeth yn nhymor yr Hydref bob blwyddyn. Diolch i bawb Dai Dyer Clwb Rotari Llanymddyfri

Eight teams from across District 1150 gathered at Ty Hywel, Cardiff Bay for the final of the Welsh District Youth Speaks. The subjects covered by the teams were diverse and thought provoking – Football players salaries, Ta ta to Christmas, Devolution and the Welsh language – to name but a few. How the judges – Dr R. Alun Evans, Gethin Thomas and David Williams were able to adjudicate such excellent presentations, was indeed a difficult job. The presentations were excellent by all the teams Winning team was Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Rhondda). The team members were Seren Farrup (chairperson), Jenni Page (proposer), Evie Connolly (opposer). Seren also won the prize for best chairperson, Jenni was 2nd for best proposer. Evie won best opposer and best overall speaker. Runner-up was Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin (Sponsored by Carmarthem club) and 3rd place was awarded to Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryn Tawe (sponsored by Morriston club).   The event was sponsored by Adam Price AM.  17

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Crickhowell girls make their mark

Young Chefs turn up the heat The fight for a place in the Regional final of the Rotary International Young Chef Competition took place in the kitchen at Cowbridge Comprehensive School in early March. The District Final had to be postponed because of bad weather which meant that two competitors were unable to attend the revised date leaving just four Young Chefs in the competition. They were Kate Floyd, sponsored by Cowbridge RC, Sophie Layton, sponsored by Haverfordwest RC, Millie Senchall, sponsored by Llanelli RC and Phoebe Terry who was sponsored by Crickhowell RC. They had to create, in just two hours, an appetising three course meal for two with a total ingredient cost under £15. The overall winner was Phoebe Terry with Kate Floyd as runner-up and both went forward to the Regional Final in Telford. The chief competition judge, Giovanni Malacrino, owner of Giovanni’s Restaurants in Cardiff, said, “All the competitors showed a very high standard of cooking skills that would do justice to a professional kitchen. It is wonderful to see such talented young chefs.” The District Young Chef Competition was organised by Rtn Ann Jones of Narberth & Whitland Club who thanked Kath Mallows, Head of Design and Technology at Cowbridge Comprehensive School, for hosting the competition so efficiently. Judges, Giovanni Malacrino from Giovanni’s, Cardiff and Craig Brookes from La Luna in Talbot Green were “Blown away with the high standard of dishes prepared and served by the contestants”. The results were very close, which gave the judges a difficult task.   Overall winner was Phoebe Terry from Crickhowell High School, sponsored by Crickhowell Rotary.  Runner Up was Kate Floyd

from Cowbridge Comprehensive School, sponsored by Cowbridge Rotary. Both Phoebe and Kate went on to the Regional Final in Telford later in March. Sophie Layton from Thomas Picton School, sponsored by Haverfordwest Rotary and Millie Senchall from Coedcau School, sponsored by Llanelli Rotary were joint third. Thanks to Cowbridge School and in particular the Food Technology Department; Maggie Hughes DG and Cowbridge Rotary for assisting in what was a very successful evening enjoyed by all. Pictured with Giovanni is 12 year old Phoebe Terry from Crickhowell High School, sponsored by Crickhowell Rotary. She was the winner in the District competition and Kate Floyd from Cowbridge School was runner up. They both went on to the Regional Competition, suffered some adventures but did not get among the prizes. Left, the contestants with DG Maggie.

Lowri puts Shadow Defence Spokesman on the spot

The annual final of the Rotary Young Interviewer competition was won this year by Lowri Jenkins from Crickhowell High School who was sponsored by Crickhowell Rotary Club. Lowri and the other finalists were able to interview another in a long line of eminent people, The Rt Hon The Lord Touhig, who is a former Shadow Spokesman on Defence, and who chose as his topic the “Need to increase our defence capacity.” This was timely as the interviews were held against the background of the Salisbury poisoning and at the time, a worsening North Korean situation. Inset picture, Lowri quizzes Lord Touhig. Organiser, DGD Alison Sutherland, would like to express her thanks “to Howell’s School for hosting the final, the adjudicators Nick Partridge, Morgan Jenkins and Joni Alexander, the Rotary clubs who sponsored the contestants and Cardiff Breakfast Rotary club for sponsoring the final” 18

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During the past six months we continued to work within the community and encouraged other community groups to work with us by holding an Organisations Together evening inviting members of other local organisations and groups to come along and tell each other what each does and hoping that we can all work together at local community activities. Hoping to see results of this incentive throughout this summer events. At the local care home, we supplied fruit harvest baskets which were well received, this encouraged us to then provide Christmas baskets providing toiletry items. We took part in the district quiz night and lost marginally to Lampeter. We chartered our Rotakids in November to complete our Rotary family, with 12 children from the local primary school - two from each school year initially. We entertained young people from the local special needs unit at the school for a Christmas Kids day out. Ella MacConnaghie was runner up in Area 1 for Young Chef competition. Our Christmas street collections this year over two weekends in Cardigan and Aberaeron, saw people giving very generously with lots of stories to tell of their life saving gratitude to the Welsh Air Ambulance, raising an amazing £2094.96 for the much needed cause.

We met members of families who had stories to tell of the Welsh Air Ambulance services, how they were indebted to the medical treatment and efficiency supplied in this life saving work, some had personally received. One gentleman went home and came back with his coin bottle only too pleased to empty into our buckets, in gratitude of his families health following a road traffic accident the Welsh Air Ambulance attended (pictured). It was said on numerous occasions

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throughout the collection that certainly in rural communities in Wales, this service was invaluable and needs to be supported. Total in buckets throughout the collection was £2094.96. At our Rotary Christmas meal we were pleased to have with us DG Maggie and Bill Hughes, AG Kevin and Kirsti Sivyer and Mike Parry to present five of our members with Paul Harris awards for their generous contributions to Foundation. We enjoyed a Burn’s night supper to celebrate our 15th Charter night in January.

We applied and received sapling trees from the Woodland Trust to fulfil the challenge of President Ian Risley and with the young children of the local primary school we took part in the Rotary Tree-Mendous Challenge in March and planted 30 trees in the school grounds. Above, the children with their tree planting certificates. Following last year’s success in the Rotary Bike ride we are repeating this on the 10th June and hope for a bigger line up of participants. Members are trying very hard to raise our profile and encourage new members.


What a start to 2018 for Aberdare Rotary Club! The weather caused major events to be put on the back burner - Young Presenter inter-schools competition and the St David’s Day breakfast were cancelled as there was no bread or milk available for the golf club caterers.

Then came our annual International evening and what a bright and warming night was had. Mathew, a Chino-American multi-lingual student from San Francisco, and Arthur, a young Rotarian with a Taiwanese background from Vienna, (above) visited us from Atlantic College. Both aged 18 they impressed us with their easy attitude to strangers, their amazing international experiences and their knowledge and dedication well in advance of their years. The club was held in awe of their commitment to the integration of all colours, faiths and social background of all. Introduced to Welsh male voices by the choir from Mountain Ash singing in the college foyer, all Rotarians and guests were well prepared for the evening. We are grateful for the choir’s attendance and look forward to their next concert with us. Special thanks go to Vic and Gareth for

organising the whole event. In a word, “WOW!!” Select members of Aberdare Rotary Club on their Autumn Bus-pass day out! A great day was had by all travelling FREE from Aberdare, Merthyr, Brecon to Llandrindod Wells by bus, then onto Knighton by train on the lovely Heart of Wales line ALL FREE USING OUR WALES BUS-PASS! We then had lunch at the excellent Horse and Jockey in Knighton - which we would highly recommend - then even strayed across into England! The journey home saw us retracing our steps, arriving in Aberdare at 6.30pm. Great day out - all travel was FREE! So here is Aberdare Rotary Club’s challenge! How far can you get on your bus-pass (and back) in a day? And why don’t you join a Rotary Club for some real enjoyment - and service to others both locally and around the world!


The fledgling Abergavenny Writing Fest received a boost from the club which enabled more children’s workshops to be held. Pictured, writer, Sarah Kilbride who took the ‘Giant Bogeys and Stinky Stories’ workshop on Saturday morning. “The family day at the Abergavenny Writing Festival was a huge success,” said organiser Lucie Parkin. “The backing received from the Rotary Club enabled us to hold five workshops during the day as well as free activities throughout. Children’s writers who took part included Sarah Kilbride, Naomi Doyle, Ross Montgomery, Eloise Williams and a Welsh language session with Carys Glyn. “Visitors commented on the warm and welcoming atmosphere and the children enjoyed

a fun and educational day. So huge thanks and gratitude to all at Abergavenny Rotary Club.” A Sub-Committee has worked collaboratively over the last two years with local First Responders, the Welsh Ambulance Service, local shopkeepers and the community to identify strategic sites, provide training and work with local tradesmen to install a total


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of eight defibrillators in the town. Funding for the first five of these defibrillators was provided by the club over a year ago, and a match funded District Grant of £1,000 was secured in the current year to part finance three further units which were installed this year. Outreach was the chosen project for this year’s President Lionel Elton. The club has worked collaboratively with the Bridges Community Centre in the last twelve months in developing a Befriending scheme supporting isolated and lonely people in Abergavenny and the surrounding area. Outreach has several club members involved either as ‘drivers’ or befriending volunteers and we are hopeful these numbers will increase in the coming year. The Lottery Fund funding for the Befriending Scheme is coming to an end in October 2018 and the club is working with the Bridges Centre to identify new sources of funding and also working with the local Town Council to find ways of providing continuing financial support. President Lionel Elton said “I am delighted that we have been able to make some significant progress with this new venture for the club this year and for Rotarians to be able to devote their time not just in fund raising, but to providing a service to people in need of support”.


The club along with Inner Wheel staged the usual summer pig roast. The club’s share of £470 went towards the purchase of a Shelter Box. Members were involved in the stewarding of the lantern procession at the Christmas lights switch-on and ran a stall selling the Club’s Christmas cards, calendars and crocus corms. The Christmas collection at the supermarkets and on the main street raised £3,200. Carol singing by Cor Meibion Aberystwyth added to the occasion. Six local charities as well as Kids Out, benefitted from the generosity of the public. The Lionel White fund gives financial support to young people up to the age of 25 wishing to travel abroad for humanitarian work and experience-widening purposes. This year three excellent candidates will work for several weeks with organisations in Sri Lanka, Dar es Salaam and Fiji . The Youth Services committee has arranged mock interviews, KidsOut and RYLA. In addition a local round of Young Musician was held in the Autumn and the area competition took place at Penglais School in January. The club will reach its 75th Anniversary in 2023 so an appropriate programme of activity should be in place at least one year in advance. The club’s 70th Charter Night was

the Tenovus Closer to Home Appeal. Congratulating them at the end of their run, President Jill Osborne thanked Lisa and Bailey for representing the club and for supporting this very important appeal. They raised an amazing £255!! Left to Right: Rtn Ian Blackhouse, President Jill Osborne, Lisa Harrhy and her son Bailey. Heavy snow at the beginning of March meant that Barry’s tree planting ceremony had to be postponed. It finally took place in the Knap Gardens in Barry on a chilly Saturday in March and was followed by hot drinks and fellowship in Romilly’s cafe!


A Paul Harris Fellowship was presented to PP Mike Evans Club dinner by current President Owen Hughes. A recent speaker to grace the club was Roy Garnell, who sells all manner of ironmongery in Brecon market.


Abertillery and Blaina club have been busy since October.We held our Junior School quiz at the Swyffryd school, six schools took part. First prize of £50 was donated by Rtn Bob Hall and his wife Christine. The club attended the remembrance services at all the local cenotaphs Abertillery, Blaina, Bournville and Llanhilleth. We took part in the district quiz travelling to Buillth Wells for the last round. Our Xmas carol concert was a casualty of the bad weather but we managed to arrange a Xmas lunch for fifteen locals who may not have had one, well done to Chris and Jo Wilkins for organising it and getting the food donated, also to everyone who helped out on the day. Well done to Rotarians Bob Hall, John Hale, President Stephen David and Sharon and Steve Harford and Richard Bevan and Nurses Amanda and Louise for helping out at Abertillery Tesco.

celebrated in March where the guest speaker was the MP for Ceredigion, Ben Lake. Adverse weather conditions prevented our District Governor from attending. Pictured, from left, Russell Jones (Probus Chair), Ben Lake, Ceredigion MP, President Martin Davies, Aberystwyth Rotary and Hon Member, Lord Elystan Morgan.


Associate Member Lisa Harrhy and her 10 year old son Bailey represented Barry Rotary and ran one mile as part of the Rotary Centenary Mile Event where clubs in South Wales were invited to obtain sponsorship for covering one mile to celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Wales and to raise awareness and funds for

Our Stroke Awareness day was a great success we managed to get quite a few residents to get their blood pressure checked, perhaps President Stephen’s blood should have been checked after posing with the nurses (above).

In 1965 Roy signed on as a boy soldier. Three years later he joined the special investigation branch of the Royal Military Police. In no time at all he was posted to Londonderry at the height of the IRA’s concentrated attacks in that city. One of the highlights of his tour of duty there was to discover a cache of armaments which had evaded searches by other forces. His trick had been to drain a series of reservoirs, thereby exposing the guns as well as the account book that laid the blame at the IRA’s door. Roy interspersed time in Northern Ireland with Germany, where he discovered booby traps. The one he showed us would normally have been left under the driver’s seat of a Land Rover with devastating effect. He was in Berlin in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down, and was sorry that he had never visited the east of the city while it was in Russian hands. There was mention of Donna Maguire, whom Roy described as a demon, and it was she who was held responsible by the German authorities for laying traps for the British forces, and was eventually extradited to Germany to be sentenced. In 1985 Roy was awarded the BEM and later, in 1991, a bar to put above it. He spent the last ten years of his working life with the South Wales Police. Continuing our support of other local organisations, we helped steward at both the Nikki Grist and Harry Flatters Rallies, despite the less than inviting weather on the Eppynt (above right). Later in the month we joined with Brecon Lions for an evening of Pub Games, with the Lions winning back the Cecil Armitage Cup; and the following week with Crickhowell Rotary Club for a petanque


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competition, thanks to the help from Brecon Petanque and Rugby Clubs. We had our marquee at Brecon Show which proved vital shelter against the elements during the day! We also launched our second round of Community Chest and planted up the flower beds on each of the roads entering town.

To mark the centennial of Rotary Foundation, Bridgend club held a dinner to celebrate the Foundation’s many achievements particularly the imminent eradication of polio. Welsh rugby legend, JJ Williams, was guest speaker for the evening. JJ was not only a very lively and entertaining speaker but also a very convivial guest, speaking to all the members and guests, most of whom seemed to be long-standing friends. He told entertaining stories about his rugby career and also spoke about his early athletics career (narrowly missing out on a Commonwealth Games Bronze). In addition he spoke about his charity work as Chairman of NSPCC Bridgend, where he helped raise £10,000 for the cause. A highlight for many was the large screen compilation of JJ’s tries compiled by Rtn Phil Davies.

CARDIFF BREAKFAST Armed with gardening gloves and gardening equipment some of the children from Penmaes School helped plant hundreds of purple crocus bulbs around their school. These were donated to the school by Brecon Rotary club as part of the Purple 4 Polio campaign. As part of their gardening lesson and supported by their teachers and Rotarians Anne Ingham, Roger Reese and Mike Mellors the children enjoyed digging holes and planting the crocus bulbs along some paths and around a tree, to give them a show of purple colour when they bloom in the spring.


Bridgend Club was pleased to welcome Rtn. Brian Stoyel, a current Rotary International (RI) Director, a Past President of RIBI and a Past District Governor of two differing Rotary Districts. Brian had just returned from a meeting at RI Headquarters in Evanston, Chicago, and earlier in the day was at a medical research meeting in London - so a special effort had been made to be at Bridgend. In introducing Brian, Rtn. Dr William Williams informed members that 212 million people were affected by malaria last year and the mosquito is the deadliest creature on earth. In that vein, it was appropriate that International Committee, had put malaria as its charity of choice for the coming year. A warm welcome was given to Brian as founder and Chairman of REMIT - Rotarians Eliminating Malaria in Tanzania. His talk provided detail background of REMIT and an enthusiastic description of the ongoing and planned work of the charity. In his vote of thanks, Bridgend President, Major Wayne Morgan MBE, thanked Brian for his commitment and enthusiasm for the cause and presented a cheque for £500 for REMIT, (pictured).

Cardiff Breakfast again sponsored a successful and enjoyable concert by the Cardiff County & Vale of Glamorgan Youth Orchestra in the Dutch Barn concert hall at Whitchurch High School. The hall was full almost to overflowing for this excellent and most enjoyable event. The orchestra presented a Night at the Movies, with music from 007, Pink Panther, Harry Potter, Star Wars and many others. The evening was enhanced by stellar performances from two outstanding young sopranos from the Rotary Young Vocalist competition, Llinos Haf Jones and Manon Ogwen Parry. The profit of £3408 from the evening has been split between 75% to the orchestra, and 25% to other charities supported by the Club. As this excellent young orchestra no longer receives any local authority support, the club’s efforts were much appreciated.

Bethan Powell is an Honorary Member of the club and Chair of Trustees & Volunteer Coordinator for the 5Cs charity (Chernobyl Children Cancer Care Cardiff). President Steve took the opportunity to present Bethan with a cheque for £500 (pictured above).

Michael S and Chris (pictured here) brought out their tool kits and got to work.


A group of volunteers from Llanishen Club have brought their community together to transform their local train station and plant hundreds of purple crocuses. Members of the club enlisted the help of local schoolchildren from Christ the King RC Primary School to lay hundreds of crocus bulbs which will erupt into a stunning mauve floral display for commuters next spring at Llanishen train station. The flowers were planted in recognition of Rotary International’s latest campaign, Purple4Polio, which is designed to unite communities to engage in activities as part of the final push to eradicate polio for good. Llanishen adopted the unstaffed railway station through Arriva Trains Wales’ national ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme, which aims to improve links with local communities and customers across its network. In addition to sowing the crocus bulbs, the volunteers have potted three new planters filled with seasonal blooms to brighten up the station. Youngsters from the primary school visit every week to water the new plants. Tony Fundell, from Llanishen Rotary, said: “We were approached by Arriva about the possibility of taking on the local station and thought that there was great potential to deliver benefits for the group and the wider community. It was only at a later date that we realised we could use the station as a way to help spread an important message and raise awareness of the charitable work of the Rotary club. “Polio is a highly infectious disease which mainly affects children under five years of age and cannot be cured, only prevented. Over 2.5 billion children have received vaccinations thanks to the help of Rotary and eradication is now closer than ever. “A group of us visited Chirk train station near Wrexham and met their volunteers for inspiration and advice because they are a very active group who have won multiple awards for their gardening efforts. They are continuing to give us tips and it would be fantastic to enter a competition for our work one day.” For more information on Arriva Trains Wales Adopt a Station scheme or 03333 211202.

CEFN SIDAN One of the club’s vocational projects is to provide assistance with reading in primary schools, and this includes Bryn Celyn school in Pentwyn. Head teacher Mrs Keys asked whether the club could help with the erection of a playhouse. So in February, Steve F with

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Founder member and double Past President David Gravell PHF of Cefn Sidan Rotary was awarded a BEM in the New Year’s Honours for services to charity, sport and education. David follows his father, Tom, also a member of Cefn Sidan Rotary Club who received an MBE. It is estimated that he has fundraised more


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than £500,000, supporting a range of local and national charities. He’s been a trustee of the Ray Gravell Charitable Foundation, President of Llanelli Male Voice Choir, Cor Dyffryn Tywi Choir, supported Morriston Orpheus Choir and many more local groups and activities. Back in 1981, he organised a Rotary fund raising night for MENCAP and even managed to persuade the then Secretary General of MENCAP, Lord Brian Rix to attend as Guest of Honour. He has supported the Urdd for over 15 years, and been a major sponsor of Scarlets Rugby for more than 15 years. For many years David was Chairman of Llandovery College PTA and established the Tom Gravell Scholarship in honour of his father, allowing a student from Patagonia to study at the college as a fulltime student supporting the use of the Welsh language in Patagonia.

In recognition of his services to Cefn Sidan Rotary over the last 45 years, he has been the recipient of two Paul Harris Sapphire Awards. President John Prickett said “This award has been long overdue and very well deserved. Along with the other Founder Members they demonstrate vision and hard work to ensure that Rotary remains a community driven charity in this part of Carmarthenshire. David continues to attend meetings and is always happy to give support and guidance in his own inimitable way”

helped make the work possible”. The green fingers of Cowbridge Rotary do not stop at the car park. On 6th May the club is sponsoring “Rotary Spring Gardens” to raise funds for the Tenovus “Closer to Home” appeal. Cowbridge Rotary held their rescheduled St David’s Day celebration with a traditional supper and entertainment at Ramoth Church. The concert was postponed due to the snow but rearranged later in the month. A capacity audience was treated to homemade ‘cawl’ and ‘bara brith’ in the vestry, before being invited into the church for a concert given by three extremely talented young musicians from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Tenor, Osian Wyn Bowen, who is in the final of the Milford Haven Opera Competition, and is currently singing in the College’s production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, sang Welsh favourites such as David of the White Rock and Ryan Davies’ Pan fo’r Nos yn Hir, and also delighted the audience with his rendition of the classic American ballad Homeward Bound. Two harpists, Elin Kelly and Mared Pugh Evans, already international artists, played solos by John Thomas, Tchaikovsky, York Bowen and a newly commissioned work by former Royal Harpist, Catrin Finch, entitled Môr Arianrhod, depicting the calm sea between Anglesey and the mainland. At the mid point of the programme, Rotary President, David Harris, recited the famous Eli Jenkins’ prayer from Under Milk Wood to harp accompaniment. An enjoyable evening was had by all, and £931 was raised that will go to the charities of Headway and MS.



Following major work to tidy up the main car park in Cowbridge last summer, twenty members of Cowbridge Rotary Club were back there this Spring to make further improvements. A number of the ‘island’ beds in the car park were cleared of weeds, dug out and filled with material provided by Cowbridge Compost. The beds were then levelled and seed sown which should result in a display of wild flowers later in the summer. President of Cowbridge Rotary, David Harris, said “The main park in Cowbridge is not a particularly attractive area and yet it is one of the first places seen by many visitors to the town. Members of Rotary therefore welcomed the chance to support the community and make this area of the town a little more attractive. This is the second year that we have worked there and we plan to repeat it each summer for the foreseeable future. We are particularly grateful for the support of the team from Cowbridge Compost who have

We had an interesting presentation by District Officer Lieutenant Commander Sue Gittens. Sue, who we knew as the Commanding Officer of Fishguard Sea Cadets has moved on to dizzy heights in the Sea Cadet hierarchy. Sue gave us an enlightening overview of the structure of the Sea Cadets. She now has responsibility for all sea cadets in an enormous geographic area and as a volunteer,

the work load and responsibility set a demanding schedule that requires total dedication. Sadly, Sue reported that the number of new recruits into the sea cadets is steadily declining. The club wished to support the Fishguard Folk Festival and agreed to sponsor a concert by the “Flying Toads”. President Richard Richard Goswell met the organising committee at The Royal Oak and presented the organisers with a cheque for £250. The club agreed to help the Fishguard Sea Cadets raise £600 to pay for berths on the Sea Cadet Training vessel MV Jack Petchey by running a Race Night. The club made up the shortfall on the money raised on the evening. Photo shows President Richard presenting the cheque (below).


We have had a sociable few months, as we now have our third Wednesday meeting of the month as a flexible venue. As a consequence, we have a number of our members offering to do a “frugal” lunch in their homes, where we pay our usual meal price of £12 plus drinks (supplied by the host) and all money raised (after expenses) goes to charity. So far this year from five lunches we have raised over £800 with £200 going to Rotary Foundation and the remainder to our community-based projects. We also raised £200 at our charity quiz for Tenovus cancer care - we have a number of “Friends of Rotary” who join us for this twice-yearly event. In addition we attended a screening of “Breathe” at the Knighton Community Centre to raise awareness of Rotary’s involvement in polio eradication. Finally we have the Treorchy Male Choir visiting us on July 7th to help us raise money for the Wales and Midland Air Ambulances (both cover our patch) and local charities. This will be our major fundraiser for the 2018-19 Rotary year – a great start after a very satisfying 2017-18 year under President Howard Goslyn. As Rotary and its partners get ever closer to eradicating polio from the world forever, we are trying to spread the word about this achievement. We have only a small rural community with which we are always trying to form closer bonds and bit by bit it is working. One of our newer Rotarians Nick Stimpson, who is passionate about Rotary, has become a member of many community and youth groups in Knighton and is working to improve further our standing in the community. With the support of club members Nick suggested we have a stall at both the Knighton Community Market and in Brookside Square


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in October to promote Purple4Polio. This received a positive response especially as one of our members, Angela Ellis produced a number of Purple4Polio cupcakes to give away to the public and Rtn Ivan Jones. Although we did not expect donations, people were generous and interested in chatting about polio and Rotary. That month we also attended Knighton Primary School’s assembly, with the support of the dynamic Head, Mary Strong. President Howard Goslyn gave a presentation about the history of polio and polio vaccination, as well as our progress with eradication in those more vulnerable countries. With some reinforcement by Ms Strong we felt the message got across to the students. We also donated crocus bulbs to the school for their planters and these should be emerging as we speak. A similar presentation was made by PP Kim Smith to the audience at a screening of the movie “Breathe” at the Knighton Community Centre in March and people came during the interval to our stall for a chat about polio and Rotary’s involvement.

John Newton, secretary to the club, was also given the runner’s up certificate for the Caring for Our Environment award. Howard Hughes, President was very active at the award ceremony - being presented with the club award and taking the opportunity to tell the large audience about Rotary, presenting an award to Connor Webb for being the Young Fundraiser of the Year and presenting a cheque for £1,100 for the Bedwas Workmens Hall Lift Appeal. From the £6,900 collected by our Sleigh activity, we have made grants to a number of individuals and bodies such as Rotary Foundation, Rotary Polio Eradication Fund, ShelterBox, Life Straw, the Gwent Wildlife Trust, Machen Primary School, the Machen Junior Soccer Club, the National Trust in respect of the tree planting campaign, and welcome further bids. Howard’s New York Marathon Run raised over £2,200 and a cheque will be presented to the Royal Gwent Hospital Acute Cardiac Unit in the summer. The club has been involved with Young Musicians competition, Kids Out (helping send about 30 children to the seaside), making bird boxes with the local primary school and working with children to maintain the wild flower garden created for the community at St Johns church, Machen. Events coming up include diabetes testing and working with Caerphilly Lions at the Caerphilly Big Cheese event in July, playing a major support role at the Machen Agricultural Show in July and, of course, RYLA.


We decided to do something different in Mumbles (naturally!) for RI President’s call to plant trees. We planted a Flowering Cherry in the heart of Mumbles - it’s different and we think a pretty good outcome. We have permission to plant a good mass of crocus bulbs around the tree later in the year to tie into Rotary’s ‘Purple4Polio’ campaign. Yes that battle is almost won! We also plan to have an appropriate plaque or sign to record this event.

Pictured, Mumbles rotarians and the local authority planting team early on site in Oystermouth Castle grounds.


To celebrate Purple4Polio Day, the rotarians of Narberth & Whitland encouraged the local primary school and the Queens Hall to get involved in the purple theme. On the outskirts of the town the Primary


Machen’s main winter activity has been its Santa Sleigh activity, visiting many locations in Caerphilly, Bedwas, Trethomas, Machen, Lower Machen, Rudry, Waterloo, Draethen, Bassaleg and Rhiwderin in the days and nights prior to Christmas. We were supported by a large number of others, particularly Machen RFC and the local soccer club. Recruiting new members continues to be a problem, exacerbated by the fact that we lost two of our stalwart members in Tony Nowell and Lewis Richards in the latter months of the year. However, we are attracting good publicity and were delighted to have been given the Community Engagement Award at the Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen Community Council award ceremony in April as recognition for the club’s work in the community.

This project is a response to RI President Ian Risley’s call for Rotarians to plant trees. We consulted the local parks dept, and The Woodland Trust about the trees and where to plant. The trees are all different. The 4th Merthyr Tydfil Scout Troop was very happy to assist as it will go towards their community service award.

Howard with BTM Award, following the presentation by Chris Morgan, Chair of the Community Council and Inspector Gavin Clifton.


Members of Merthyr Tydfil Rotary, with help from Merthyr Tydfil Scouts Group planted 125 trees at the Millennium Park in Treharris. Pictured is Past President Keith Jones with one of the scouts. School pupils also joined in with the permission of head teacher Nia Ward. The club donated a large box of purple crocus corms which the pupils have enthusiastically started to plant alongside the grass verge in front of their school (above). President David Haward commented that he is grateful to his members, Mary Adams, Yvonne Llewellyn and Ann Jones for helping to get the crocuses planted and the inception of the “Rota Kids” scheme. 23

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Sheds Cymru, and a local established shed in Cardiff, from where a speaker gave a talk to the club. The initiative was launched in Nov 2017 and gained formal local Rotary Club Council authorisation at a meeting in the Newport Civic Centre in early January. Since then the project has become a core activity of the Evening Club.

The Pembrokeshire Foodbank, based in Narberth received a welcome present for Christmas from Narberth & Whitland Rotary Club. This has supplemented the work done by other organisations such as the Narberth Primary School, Bloomfield Community Centre and many church congregations who all support this worthwhile charity obtaining and providing food for those people desperately in need in times of financial personal crisis. A cheque for £200 was donated to Theri Bailey, manager of the centre, based in the former Magistrates Courthouse at Market Square, Narberth. The club also donated one dozen Christmas Puddings purchased from Cwmbran Vale Rotary to support their nominated charity MENINGITIS NOW. Sitting next to the puddings and the packed food parcels is foodbank volunteer Hayley Archer and in the background Nicola, Irma, Carol, Richard, Theri Bailey and Roy.

Excellent progress has been made in the short time that the project has been running. An ideal site has been found at a local Baptist Church in Maindee, a suburb of Newport, and agreement in principal reached on the use of the ground and facilities. Since launching the project the Evening Club has undertaken a wide range of activities aimed at promoting awareness within the city and beyond, and recruiting shed members including potential committee members. Newport County FC have also agreed to include a flyer in a home match programme and to allow a bucket collection that will provide working funds in advance of grant applications.


The Mayor of Newport, Cllr David Fouweather and the Mayoress Mrs Paula Fouweather, were our guests at a recent lunch meeting. He told us with great enthusiasm about the charities he was supporting in his year of office. They are St David’s Foundation, Amazing Grace Spaces and the Motivation and Learning Trust. The Mayor was very impressed with St David’s support of families in their homes as well as the magnificent cancer care they provide for patients in their day and bedded hospices. He was passionate about the need to look after, rather than ignore, those whose unfortunate experiences had resulted in their becoming homeless. The Amazing Grace Spaces project is making safe places for homeless people to recover. They turn shipping containers into self-contained studio flats with a bathroom in each one. The Mayor’s Charitable Fund has already received a number of donations and is pleased to report being half way towards their target. We made a significant donation at the music concert in May but topped it up with a further sum in recognition of the Mayor and Mayoresses visit.


The newly formed Newport Uskmouth Evening Satellite Rotary Club, in association with Men’s Sheds Cymru, has launched a project for the first Men’s Shed in Newport. Last week the club was seeking suitable innovative projects to adopt. It became apparent that Newport was one of the few major towns and cities in Wales not to host a Men’s Shed. More research established links with Men’s

Newport Uskmouth Rotary part-sponsored Edward Jones, a pupil of Rougemont School, to attend the United Nations annual youth conference in New York. It brings together young people from all over the world not only to discuss the issues of sustainable development but also to take back action plans to help them become ambassadors for change. Edward came to the Uskmouth Rotary club to tell members about his experience at the conference and how this had affected him. Edward has recently been appointed a local ambassador for Holocaust remembrance after a visit to Auschwitz and he believes that the implementation of the seventeen UN goals for sustainable development would assist in moving the human rights agenda forward.


Pembroke Rotary Club’s annual drug awareness workshops is making its tour of schools in the Pembroke and Pembroke Dock area, sponsored again by Valero Pembroke Refinery. Led by Theatr Fforwm Cymru, the workshops use interactive drama and group activities to help Year 6 pupils explore some of the risks around drug taking and peer pressure that they might encounter as they go to secondary school. Valero Refinery Public Affairs Manager,

Stephen Thornton stressed the ongoing benefits of the long running initiative: “Pembroke Refinery is delighted to continue our support for these drug awareness workshops, which we have been doing now for nineteen years. The joint efforts put in by Pembroke Rotarians and Theatr Fforwm Cymru in educating our young children about what to expect in secondary school is incredibly important, and the use of these drama workshops to help children explore these issues in a safe and positive environment is a brilliant way to get that message across.”

Pictured: William James from Valero and Dennis Jones of Pembroke Rotary Club with members of Theatr Fforwm Cymru and pupils from Penrhyn Church in Wales VC School. Dennis Jones of Pembroke Rotary, said, “Pembroke Rotary is very grateful to Valero for their ongoing support for this initiative. Helping our young children navigate these issues at this age as they prepare for the future is a big challenge, but being able to involve Theatr Fforwm Cymru and having the willing cooperation of the schools makes it a delight to be able to organise year after year.” This year 4,550 tickets were sold in the draw and entertainment at St John’s Community Hall, Pembroke Dock, raising over £4,500 for local organisations and the club’s charity account. Over the past four years the annual raffle has raised over £19,800. The event was again organised by Rtn Bernie Scourfield. Entertainment was provided by two guitarists, Leoni Eve, a young student from Pembroke Dock and the ever popular Roger Ferris. Between them they gave their own rendering of popular songs made famous by the Beatles, Eva Cassidy, Queen, Johnny Cash, The Kinks, Paul Simon, Van Morrison and the Eagles – a thoroughly enjoyable evening.


This has been a busy time for all members of the club. The Annual Businessman’s Lunch was again a great success with over 250 local businessmen enjoying an afternoon of fun and fellowship. We were joined on the day by 100 year old Ron Jones, “The Goalkeeper of Auschwitz” and now a famed Poppy Seller even at his age. The Christmas sleigh did the usual local community tours and also the static days in Tesco’s Caerphilly and Ystrad Mynach. At the last meeting of the year Christmas Jumpers were the order of the day and partners joined members for the annual Carol singing. We presented two new blood pressure machines to the Outpatients department at the local hospital in Ystrad Mynach and sponsored the redecoration of the Old Age Pensioners Hall in Woodfieldside We joined Rotarians from the four local clubs at the Maes Manor Hotel in Blackwood for a presentation given by Mercy Ships.


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The Burn’s Night celebration took place in January and after President Allan had stabbed the “beast” to death members enjoyed a starter of haggis, neeps and tatties (below). The pints and poems and fellowship that followed were enjoyed by all.

The St. David’s Day Concert was scheduled to take place in the new Islwyn High School but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to heavy snow. Members and partners met at Blackwood Cricket Club for an International evening which included a quiz, cheese tasting and an Easter Bonnet competition for both ladies and gents. Youth activities have again played a major role in the club’s programme. The start of the Rotary year saw year 11 pupils competing in the School’s Technology Competition. In September 204 year 6 pupils from six local primary schools were presented with dictionaries. The presentation included an interactive talk on the work that Rotary does locally and in the world. Youth competitions were again supported with pupils from two local schools taking part in Youth Speaks and competitors from four schools entering the Young Musician competition. The club organised and ran the Area 5 Young Musician final which was held in the new Islwyn High School. The annual skittles match against Newport St. Woolos was a great night of sport and fellowship with our club again coming second, we look forward to revenge next year. The Annual Boxing Evening is planned for May 11th and we will again join other clubs from East Wales on the annual Kids Out Day at Barry Island on the 13th of June.

referred to the Rotary motto of Service above Self and stressed that this was the forefront of the club’s activities in the Pontypool area. “We wanted to be in a position of promoting by greater advertising the involvement of the club in the various activities in Pontypool, which would include fund raising activities for local causes. “By this promotion I hope that membership will continue to increase in order that the work of Rotary in Pontypool, started so long ago can move forward and continue to support those in need for years to come.” She is pictured talking to Princess Anne at the RIBI National Conference in Torquay.

During the year, a Race Night raised over £900 for polio eradication. A concert by the Arianne String Quartet raised £600 for ALLHIM ( Abundant Life Living Hope International Missions).There is also a concert by the Blaenavon Male Choir scheduled for 18 May. We have seen joint fellowship meetings with other clubs, regular guest speakers and are hoping to take part in obtaining a global grant to help a hospice in Swaziland. In addition we have helped to raise funds for a treatment room at St David’s Hospice.


In January Swansea Rotary Club played host to 109 pupils and supervisors from Sea View Community Primary School, each holding a tube of Smarties and wearing party hats. They were attending a matinee performance of Aladdin at the Grand Theatre. The club has organised such events for several years, each year choosing a different school where most of children have not been to the theatre before. Kevin Johns, as Widow Twanky, gave the school a special mention, commenting on their distinctive head wear. The Headteacher reported to us that the awe and wonder on the childrens’ faces was a sight to behold.

like this remind us that we can still perform valuable service by choosing projects wisely, despite funding constraints.


For over twenty years, Rhondda Rotary has arranged its popular Nativity Scene Christmas Collection in the main streets of the valley and more recently at the major supermarkets and stores in the Rhondda and beyond. It is the club’s main source of revenue and Rotarians and ‘buddies’ brave the winter weather in a well organised rota to fundraise for local and national organisations. The traditional carols and music are always welcomed and help to engender the Christmas spirit. Club President Susan Morgans said: “the Christmas collections have been organised for many years with ‘military precision’ by Rtn Gwyn Rees, who continued his efforts again in 2017. Christmas 2016 resulted in a record collection, but 2017 surpassed that with another record totalling £8,330, helped by the favourable weather”.

Photograph shows club members collecting at Sainsburys Pontypridd. The club introduced a Community raffle in 2016 and due to its success held another in 2017. The winning tickets were drawn in December 2017. President Susan Morgans said: “Over 15,000 tickets were sold at £1 each, by 45 participating organisations. With the club covering the cost of prizes and printing of tickets the value of the tickets sold by the participating organisations was given back to them, helping them raise funds to support their operations within the local community”.


The first lady President of Pontypool Rotary, Rtn. La Bessa Warren has looked back on her year in office and confirmed that she was proud, honoured and yet excited to lead the club this year. During the year, the club has increased membership by 33%, with more members in the pipeline and currently has four lady members. She emphasised the importance of the work undertaken by Rotary Clubs throughout the world and that to be the first lady President of a club formed so long ago was a true honour and “I hope that I have undertaken my duties and responsibilities in the same manner as Presidents before me,” she said. Speaking about her year of office, she

A few days later the club received a charming letter from the head boy and girl. They said that their top funny moments were the flying carpet that took off like magic, seeing Wishy Washy fall off the stage and having toilet rolls thrown at them. They also thanked us for the chance to get out of school! Letters

Rhondda Rotary is proud of its membership diversity, with 30% being female. The current Rotary Year saw Sue Morgans become the club’s first female President. Taking over the chain of office in 2018-19 is Alyson Furlong, with Ann Balby becoming President Elect, “Girl Power” for sure! photograph shows the ‘Presidents’ at the Club’s recent Charity Lunch, left to right Alyson, Ann and Sue. 25

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Steam Rally to the rescue

When local mountain rescuers put a plea out for help, Abergavenny Rotary Club came to their rescue. Longtown Mountain Rescue Team needed to raise more than £70,000 for a new control vehicle which is used on call outs to injured and lost people. Rotary came to the rescue by donating £20,000 towards the cost of the state of the art vehicle. And recently the team took it to the club’s HQ at Monmouthshire Golf Club, for members to see. The Rotary Club is the sole shareholder in the town’s Steam Rally and is responsible for distributing the majority of profit from the rally to worthwhile good causes and projects in the town. Normally the proceeds are distributed to a number of different causes and charities. But last year the decision was taken to make a big impact by donating the vast majority of the cash to one cause - Longtown Mountain Rescue’s control vehicle. Community Committee chairman, Rtn Don Cecil, said: “The Steam Rally has become our number one fund-raising activity. We have distributed a lot of money to a vast number of good causes and organisations in the town. For the first time we decided to make a big impact with one project which would make a huge difference to one organisation in the town. “We looked at Longtown Mountain Rescue and liked what we saw. Our contribution will help a worthwhile local organisation and will undoubtedly save lives.” The control vehicle – call sign 700 - is the team’s mobile operations room from where it runs its rescue operations.


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Luke Lewis, Longtown MRT team leader, said: “Our old vehicle was well past its use by date and we desperately needed a new one. “The new control vehicle is equipped with the latest satellite technology which allows us to receive information in the remotest locations – in some situations we can use it to pinpoint the exact location of missing walkers. “The team is almost totally reliant on public donations and raising the extra money for the new vehicle was an extra mountain to climb for us. “We are incredibly grateful to the Rotary Club for such a generous donation. “Without the control vehicle we cannot operate, and it really can mean the difference Abergavenny Steam Rally, last Bank Holiday, between life and death.” 27-28 May.

Get on your bike for Prostate Cancer

Rotary Ride is a series of bike rides organised by Rotary across the country on and around Father’s Day weekend, 16th-17th June 2018, to raise money for prostate cancer charities: Prostate Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer Scotland, Prostate Cymru and the Irish Cancer Society as well as local charities. From family days, fun rides, static bike rides to more challenging events, there will be something to suit all abilities and you will help more people to beat prostate cancer, reports district organiser Keith Davies of Cwmbran Vale Rotary. “However having created high interest in 2016 with about 10 clubs in District running events in 2016 and raising over £10,000 for PROSTATE CYMRU. RIBI changed in 2017 to End Polio Now so clubs in many Districts completely lost interest in 2017. “So far there is not one Rotary Club in District 1150 South Wales registered or are organising any ride and only 12 rides registered throughout the UK compared to about 50 to 60 rides registered this time in 2016. “District Governor Maggie Hughes and Prostate Cymru CEO Tina Tew have encouraged me to promote the event as best as I can which I am trying to do, all be it an uphill battle.” Your club will be able to personalise the ad, left, as a poster for this year’s Rotary Bike Ride for Prostate Cancer Cymru. For more information please contact our District organiser Rtn. Keith Davies, RC Cwmbran Vale. email: The RIBI guidance pack is available from – media/2017/11/Rotary-Ride-Guidance-Pack-2018_finalpdf

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Welsh Cap says hi

to Rotakids

Leo Straczek Renaud aged 11 years from Ysgol Meidrim, had a fantastic afternoon meeting one of his rugby idols Welsh Cap Mike Phillips. Leo was particularly interested in Mike as he will be starting in Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in September, the same school that Mike attended. They also share another connection, Mike has recently married a French lady, and Leo’s Dad is French; from Clermont Ferrand, the home of ASM and where he met Jonathan Davies another local rugby player who has inspired Leo. Leo is a keen rugby player and has played for St Clears since the age of 6 years. Coming from a French and Welsh family Leo is able to speak three languages, Welsh, French and English. Leo hopes that all of these languages will help him in his pursuit to become a sports journalist when he is older. Leo and all of his school mates were very excited to become part of the Rotary Family. Ysgol Meidrim were the second school to receive the charter for the Rota Kids club from Whitland and Narberth Rotary. This is particularly close to home as both Leo’s Mamgu and Tadcu are also Rotarians with Whitland and Narberth. The whole school is looking forward to getting involved and are hoping to be linked very soon with a school in Malawi.

Young People’s

achievements celebrated

Cowbridge Rotary hosted its annual Youth night at the Bear Hotel focusing on the splendid achievements of young people. Guests included Mrs Debra Thomas, Head Teacher and Jonathan Ling Deputy at the Cowbridge Comprehensive School and Mrs Julia Adams, Head Teacher at Y Bont Faen as well as the young students. Penny Weir and Tom Vardy, who attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Award activity at Storey Arms in the summer, gave a marvellous insight into the leadership activities. These involved canoeing, caving and gorge walking and leading teams in previously untried activities in this outstanding, development week-long course. Dylan Lloyd Doyle and Isobel Davies, President and Secretary of

the Comprehensive School Interact group laid out their varied and exciting programme for the year ahead including their fundraising activities. David Harris, Cowbridge Rotary President presented them with the prestigious Rotary International Presidential Citation for the work of Interact, above. Head Boy, Dan Marshall and Head Girl Henrietta Glanville spoke eloquently about their work in providing the bridge between the pupils and the leaders in the school. The evening concluded with a review of the work of Rotakids at Y Bont Faen Primary School. The new club, for 7 to 10 year olds, has made a great start and continues from strength to strength. Mrs Thomas, Mr Ling and Mrs Adams all talked about the excellent relations between Rotary and School and the inspiring competitions and support Rotary provided. David Harris, Rotary President, concluded the evening by saying how impressed he was with the students involved. Their maturity, action and energy were truly impressive. He also commended the support the club had received from the schools in Rotary activities.

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Pudsey takes the cake

Aberystwyth Rotaract spent a whopping 10 hours on a baking marathon for its fundraising day. Our Secretaries Rhianna and Kira prepared all kinds of delights from vegan lemon cake to gloriously indulgent chocolate brownies. Michelle and Dimitra also provided some brilliant bakes for the day. We set up our stall just outside the Arts Centre on the university campus at 9am, in the freezing Welsh weather and sold cakes all day to passing students and lecturers. Mark, now our President, dressed up in the Pudsey outfit, graciously donated by Aberaeron Rotary Club, and walked around campus taking selfies and giving out hugs. That evening Mark, still dressed as Pudsey, accompanied by Kira, Michelle, Jack and Connor armed with donation buckets, headed into town for an evening of many more photos and hugs that finally ended at 3am. It was a brilliant day with £385.51 being raised. Aberystwyth Rotaract would like to express their thanks to Aberareon Rotary Club for their support and of course to the students of Aberystwyth University for their generous donations throughout the day.


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KNOW YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE City of Cardiff Rotaract have received several awards for their Know Your Blood Pressure event. The event was conceived by one of the Rotaractors, a medical student, Charles Pope. He negotiated with the University of Cardiff Medical School and the Stroke Association for a partnership to provide this service to members of the public. There are on average three or four events per year at the Capitol Centre, Cardiff (and an additional event at Tesco, Merthyr Tydfil). About forty first year medical students take their very first opportunity of working directly with the public by carrying out blood tests. Rotaractors (together with some of the medical students) approach the public persuading them to check their blood pressure. The event is overseen by Cardiff University Medical School Clinicians. Each event, on average, checks the pressure of some 250 members of the public.

Budding entrepeneurs join the polio campaign ROTAKIDS raise funds to vaccinate 2718 children against polio. The RotaKids at Whitchurch Primary School in Cardiff have been learning about polio and how Rotary together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is fighting to eradicate this crippling disease worldwide, and they understand how every £1 collected by Rotary is matched 2:1 by the Gates Foundation. In December RotaKids sold books and toys at the PTA Christmas Fair and managed to raise a staggering £120 in three hours. All items not sold at the Christmas Fair were gratefully received by the Barnardo’s charity shop in Rhiwbina. RotaKids decided in consultation with the PTA that the money raised would be used to purchase three boxes of purple crocus lapel pins. Despite atrocious weather in January, the RotaKids sold the purple crocus lapel pins at the entrance to their school every morning and afternoon. They collected the splendid sum of £302. With the matched funding this generated £906 for the Rotary’s “End Polio Now” campaign, which is enough to vaccinate 2718 children for life and help to end polio. The Whitchurch RotaKids are sponsored by RC Cardiff Breakfast.

PRIMARY PUPILS PURPLE POLIO PROJECT PARTICIPATION Narberth & Whitland members are promoting awareness of the “End Polio Now Campaign” by involving their local primary school. In 1985 Rotary International launched its Polio Plus programme, the first initiative to tackle polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. In 1988 it became the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and more recently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotary President David Haward said: “We are grateful to the primary school Head teacher Mrs Nia Ward and four of her pupils who have helped to plant purple crocuses in the Charles Salmon Memorial Garden below the Town Hall in Narberth to start off Purple Polio week”. The Rotary Club of Narberth & Whitland will also be donating hundreds of purple crocus bulbs to Mrs Ward at the primary school so that the pupils may plant them in the grass verge fronting the school carpark as a reminder to all who pass by that the aim is to eradicate polio worldwide. The head teacher also commented that she will inform all of her pupils in a school assembly of the dire consequences of disability caused through the Polio virus thus emphasising worthwhile cause of the “End Polio Now Campaign”. 28

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On yer bikes kids! Four of the pre-school age youngsters at The Cylch Meithrin are seen proudly mounted on new bikes with broad smiles thanks to Narberth Rotary. President Elect Elaine Bradbury commented: “In our Rotary Club we like to support the education and physical development of young people. We learned that due to financial cut backs and increased rental costs The Cylch Meithrin in the Bloomfield Community Centre, Narberth had to hold a number of fund-raising events such as car washing to try to supplement their finances, but they were still short of money for important items of kit. The President and members of our club had received a letter requesting our support which after a little debate was supported wholeheartedly”. Mrs Nia Ward headteacher of Narberth Primary School. has agreed to get involved with the Club to set up RotaKids in the school.

Past President Mary Above: new bikes equals smiles all round. Adams explained: “RotaKids is an exciting way for those 12 and under to lead and engage in important, lively activities that will make a positive difference in  their school, in their local community and globally. At the same time RotaKids develop the ability and confidence to take their place in society as responsible, successful, effective citizens”.

Respite help for Young Carers Bridgend Young Carers is a project run under “Action For Children”, which seeks to give Young Carers a brief respite from their caring duties. Young carers are children who help look after a member of the family who may be sick, disabled, has mental health problems, or is misusing drugs or alcohol. Aberaeron Rotary President Aneurin Roberts presenting Charter certificate to Wil Stone, Rotakids President.

Bucket shaking with a smile

The Bridgend project caters for groups of 15 children every three weeks for a period of six months. The project is managed by Gemma Jury, Victoria Bailey and Llianne Day, who provide activities and opportunities for the young people for two evenings. Bridgend Rotary has made several donations in past years, and this year’s donation will fund the Young Carers’ Christmas party. Club President, Major Wayne Morgan MBE visited the project recently, to present a cheque. He was impressed and moved by work going on in the project, and was pleased that the Club was able to sponsor the Christmas celebrations. Pictured: L-R Gemma Jury, Victoria Bailey, Rtn Major Wayne Morgan MBE

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Aberystwyth Rotaract combine acting as fireworks display stewards with a spot of fund raising.


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Pictures by Jen and Alan Fleet

Disabled Sports

‘A Highlight of the Year’

Some 14 teams took part in the Disabled Sports at Newport Sports Village in what has become a highlight of many competitors year. The Sports are held annually and bring together people from a wide area of South Wales. Some of those attending are regulars, greeting their fellow competitors with handshakes and hugs. It is a privilege to see such camaraderie, sportsmanship and competitiveness. Newport St Woolos Club once again supervised the game of Pool in their professional way, sporting dinner jackets with white gloves. One competitor asked if they were actually professionals. I did not wish to disillusion the young man. Our Club was well represented with the Satellite as well as the Wednesday lot. Well done all who came along and hopefully they too found the event very awe inspiring. The whole day finished with prizes, giving the winners as well as the competitors the opportunity to let their hair down. Another very successful Disabled Sports and a big thank you to all who helped make this yearly event so important in the Rotary year.


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Young Gymnasts show their skills

The final of the Rotary Welsh Schools Disability Gymnastics Championships at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff in March, treated us to a final which exceeded all expectations with the children competing to a very high standard, reports David Curtis. Our thanks to Maria Gaynor, her staff and judges of Welsh Gymnastics for organising and running the competition on behalf of District 1150. The staff at the schools spent many hours working with the children to make it a memorable day, which was evident seeing their smiling faces collecting their ribbons and trophies. District Governor Maggie and members of Rotary had the honour of awarding the prizes Rotary in our District have been involved for more than 20 years and it would be nice to see more Rotarians support this competition.

Special Schools soccer gets a boost

Pupils from all over South Wales have been helping to inject some life into a waning special schools’ football league. Many schools struggle to meet the demands of regular football but the Festival is a competitive boost and welcomed by the many who took part. The South Wales Special Schools’ Soccer 11-aside Challenge Festival is an annual event, which, for the past 18 years, has been organised by Rtn Edgar Burt of Bridgend Rotary and Heronsbridge School and sponsored by Past Rotarian Derek Gaynor of the Gaynor Group. Over one hundred players and reserves from eight Special Schools from across South Wales took part in the Festival (Heronsbridge, Woodlands, Ysgol Bryn Castell (YBC), Headlands, Penybryn, Hendrefelin, Greenfield and Maes Gwyn. The eight schools were divided into two pools with YBC and Woodlands School winning the pools and going on to the final. Ysgol Bryn Castell (Brynmenyn) won the final to lift the trophy with Woodlands as runners up. The award for the most improved team of the festival went to Woodlands School from Cardiff and the “Player of the Tournament” Shield to Cain Dickenson of Ysgol Bryn Castell. The winners of the Tony Phillips “Fair Play” memorial shield were Greenfields School from Merthyr Tydfil.

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What a great weekend in store How can you possibly miss it? We were looked after so well, and had such a successful conference last year, that we decided to return to the newly refurbished Crowne Plaza Hotel, on The Hoe, Plymouth. Bob Lewis, Conference Chairman reports: “The Crowne Plaza could not have been more helpful. The venue is on The Hoe, a truly historic setting and there is plenty to do in Plymouth. We had no hesitation in booking it straight away, as soon as last year’s conference was over.” Conference will be held on12th-14th October and there are a few options available to meet specific requirements Package 1 - 2 nights bed and breakfast, a 3-course dinner on Friday evening, a 2-course finger buffet lunch after the close of the morning session; a 3 course Dinner plus coffee on Saturday evening for a cost of £190 per person with 2 persons sharing and includes car parking. Package 2 - for those who will not be dining at the hotel on Friday evening but attending all remaining functions the cost will be £170. Package 3 - for a single room occupation over 2 nights and attending all functions the cost will be £190 including car parking – please note there are a limited number of rooms available at this price and on a first come first serve basis. Package 4 - for persons residing away from the Conference Hotel but wish to attend all functions there will be a cost as follows: Friday evening £22.50 per person and £35.00 for Saturday evening. Note the Hotel will require a non-refundable deposit of £50 per person and balance payment on arrival. Registration Fee will be £30 per Rotarian and £25 per non-Rotarian partner. The hotel has offered accommodation plus breakfast for additional nights (Thursday & Sunday) at £100 per room per night. Telephone no. 01752 639988 Transport – if you wish to take advantage of a coach starting in Haverfordwest with service station pick-ups along the M4 motorway as far as Newport, please advise the hotel when you reserve your accommodation. The hotel will advise you of a HIT number. The cost per seat will be £10 - first come, first serve. Speakers - there is an excellent range of speakers who will provide you with many interesting stories, thought provoking subjects

and many who will inspire you. Bridget Forster is a Senior Programme Officer with the United Nations Mine Action Service, latterly serving in Libya. Her team is tasked with mitigating the threat from many thousands of tons of explosive hazards. This involves explosive ordnance disposal, emergency trauma medical training for clearance teams, mine risk awareness and engaging with female civil society activists in peace building initiatives focusing on the risk associated with unfettered use and possession of small arms in their communities. Mandy Hickson’s route to the top was tumultuous in every sense – awarded a RAF flying scholarship at 17, long before she even passed her driving test, she went on to win aerobatic competitions while still a student. However, despite her prowess in the skies, she failed the computer-based tests, taken by all potential RAF pilots. Undeterred, her self-belief and dogged determination persuaded the RAF to take her on as a test case, thereby overcoming seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Mandy relates her experiences of working within an elite team of fast jet operators with great clarity, outlining how the same values apply within any environment. She demonstrates only too well the importance of remaining calm under pressure and leading, quite literally, from the front, in order to get the best from herself and her team. Ken Billington has been a Rotarian for over 20 years and was District Governor 2014/15 in District 1070. Ken is passionate about Rotary because being able to serve and make a difference to individuals and communities around the world is a privilege. For the past nine years he has been a member of the Trade Aid Team, a project supported by RIBI. Currently District Leadership and Development Officer and RYLA coordinator Ken was appointed a Rotary International assistant zone coordinator for Public Image in July 2017 and is an active member of the RIBI Constitutions committee. Bristol-based photographer and motivational speaker Alex Rotas has won awards for her photographs of elite athletes in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s who still compete in national and international events on the world stage. Alex also enjoys documenting the transformative power of sport and exercise by photograph-

A refined Plymouth hotel with a leisure club and rooftop restaurant, Crowne Plaza® Plymouth hotel is an easy walk from the seafront and the city centre. The Drake Circus shopping centre, shows at the Theatre Royal and the shops and cafés of the Barbican harbour are all within walking distance. A stroll to view the sharks at the National Marine Aquarium takes you past the Mayflower Steps, the departure point for 17th-century pilgrims. Did I mention Plymouth Gin? ing older people who are new to exercise or picking up activity again after serious illness. Tori James, at the age of 25, became the first Welsh woman to climb Mount Everest. Tori stars in the BBC documentary ‘On Top of the World’ which was produced about her expedition and she is also the author of ‘Peak Performance’ which describes her record breaking climb to the summit. Prior to working for DofE Wales, Ian was a Director for The National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Dan yr Ogof. His current role as Partnerships Manager enables him to create partnerships with many leading companies and Trust and Foundations in Wales with their support enabling more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop better skills for work and life through the DofE programme. Did someone mention entertainment? Relive the authentic ABBA experience with Sensation ABBA Tribute Band. Sensation will take you back to the golden days of ABBA. These guys have it all – the harmonies, the costumes, the choreography and a sprinkling of light hearted humour. The Opera Boys are four leading men from London’s West End who combine in a powerhouse of vocal harmony to deliver a stunning blend of music ranging from opera to Pop and everything in-between. More info on the District website.

The Barbican and Sutton Harbour, Plymouth

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The award winning magazine for Rotary in Southern Wales


The award winning magazine for Rotary in Southern Wales