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September 2017

Faringdon Rotarian The newsletter of Faringdon & District Rotary Club Editor: Michael Bell @RotaryFaringdon


‘The Rotary Club of Faringdon & District Trust Fund’ is a registered charity No: 1023771

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE I can’t believe I’ve been in post for 6 weeks already. I think it’s because, as a Club, we’ve been busy with Fund Raising and Social activities. There appears to be no honeymoon period to relax in or passage of easing yourself into the role of president when we have a vibrant, energetic and enjoyable club such as ours. The phrase ‘hit the ground running’ springs to mind. We started this year with the Buscot Run, with over 200 runners, good weather and excellent support. Thank you to everyone involved and Lord Faringdon for letting us use the estate. We managed to raise almost £2,000, and the feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive. This bodes well for next year. Although we didn’t formally support RIAT as a Club, our Satellite Club – White Horse Rotary Group and a few main club members were involved which was appreciated by Cirencester Rotary who co-ordinate the volunteers from Rotary each year. The Satellite Club also organised an evening BBQ at Nathan and Rebekah’s home and were blessed with great weather and potential new members. It is a positive thing this year to have our Satellite Club represented at Council and Business Meetings. I am delighted that we have an enthusiastic new Rotakids leader and wish Amy success and enjoyment with this venture. Whilst on the subject of Rotakids, it was a joy recently to present Rotakid Mabry Williams with her award for achieving third place in the Rotary International Junior Writers competition. A great achievement! Our drive for new members is being focussed upon by our Club Services Committee who have several plans for social activities coming up to invite friends and potential new members. A quality BBQ is being arranged for 2nd September. Please contact David Langford for more details and consider who you might be able to invite. Truckfest under Roddy’s direction again saw us selling Pizzas and Garlic Baguettes. Unfortunately, there were many more food outlets at the festival this year and the weather was not kind. I helped on the early Friday session and then clearing up on the Monday. The contrast between the field of grass on the Friday and sea of mud on the Monday was shocking! Again, thank you to all who supported this venture. I believe we made over £11,000 which is good considering the factors already mentioned. I am proud to be able say I am a Rotarian, especially a Faringdon and District Rotarian. There are many activities which help us to give service above self. Most are good fun and I also hope our Club meetings are interesting and provide an opportunity to socialise and learn new things too. Thank you to all our friends and partners for your support, enabling Rotary to “Make a Difference.” Tim

Handover On Wednesday 28th June, The Woodman Inn at Fernham hosted this year’s Rotary handover. The black tie event was well attended and President Sarah opened the evening by welcoming honorary member Nigel Lee. In summing up her year Sarah mentioned the highlights: forming a satellite club which now has 7 members, raising almost £50,000 mainly from the efforts at Truckfest and Dragons Den which enabled 10 local charities and individuals to benefit financially and at the same time learn about Faringdon Rotary. The annual awards were made with Peter Walker receiving the ‘members’ member’ award and the award for the Rotarian who had made a significant contribution in the year. Douglas Dalrymple received the Mike Cornley ‘Vote of Thanks’ plate. A Paul Harris Fellowship was awarded to Shaena for her outstanding commitment to RotaKids from conception to today. Sarah then proceeded to hand over the baton to President Tim who outlined his thoughts and aspirations for the coming year. During his year as President Tim is particularly interested in helping the elderly and supporting those that care for others. Tim reiterated the need to find potential Rotarians and invite guests along to meetings. All Rotarians know someone who might like to enjoy fellowship whilst helping the community and they should encourage them to at least see what we have to offer. The average age across RI at the moment is 72, and as an aging organisation this average will only increase, unless we take action. Tim thanked all those who had helped make Sarah’s year successful and those taking up Officer and Committee Chair roles for the coming year. He then challenged us all to ‘Make a Difference’ in 2017/18 by giving ‘Service above Self’. Michael Barrett

Faringdon Rotary and AAA go to the Wildlife Park This is what has become an annual event for us; having the privilege to take a group of youngsters from the AAA group in Faringdon to Burford Wildlife Park. The routine is always the same and yet they always want to go to the park and look forward to it every year: in fact so do we. We issued tea shirts and bought them baseball caps. The weather was lovely. We started with watching the penguins having an early lunch then moved on to see the Meer cats troop eating whilst one kept look out. This was followed by Prairie dogs, birds, snakes and other reptiles. The Wildlife Park is a safe environment for the youngsters and we had reserved the conservatory area for lunch. They all had a choice, which they don’t normally have, but most chose the fish and chips. Mobility for some is a problem so following lunch we headed for the train taking up the first two carriages. They had the opportunity to see the rhino’s, giraffes, zebra, dromedaries, camels, wallabies, cranes and may more. Only one hat was lost in the cross wind as we passed the rhino’s and was retrieved later by Roddy. David then bought badges for all which stated ‘I’ve ridden the train’. The train was followed by ice cream for all and then the gift shop which saw wriggly snakes, soft monkeys, cars and motorbikes purchased. After the group photo it was regretfully time to go back to the bus but we have next year to look forward to. This day out does make a huge difference to these youngsters David Langford

Buscot Run The day dawned bright and sunny with a cool breeze, perfect weather for the annual Rotary Buscot run! Buscot Park looked magical in the early morning sunshine when I arrived at 8.30 am and I took the opportunity to take in the beautiful surroundings for a few moments before my thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of a busy stream of cars carrying runners of all ages, sizes and abilities keen to get started! The 5K runners were the first to go closely followed by the 10K field and we were kept busy registering them and sending them off to the start clutching their numbers and a handful of safety pins! The excitement was palpable and I found myself thinking what an amazing event this was, bringing together people with one shared love – running!

I listened to so many personal, inspiring and moving stories. One gentleman said he had been told he only had a 20% chance of surviving 10 years ago after a serious illness; he had then lost 13 stone in weight and taken up running. He met his partner through his new interest, last year had run the London Marathon and this year he was running 10 x 10K runs! On his back his message read ‘I must be mad’! I don’t agree!

I confess that the lady with severe sight impairment who ran the 10K tied by her wrist to the friend, who guided her round the course, made me shed a tear as they appeared at the finish and raised their arms together in celebration. I spoke to the Granny, whose whole family; from all over the country seemed to be running. They had gathered from miles around to come together as a family for the weekend and the highlight was the Buscot run! She was bursting with pride for them all and waited patiently at the finish to applaud each and every one of them home as they finished. It was so lovely too to see our own Gordon and Bjorn take part and finish in such style. There was such camaraderie throughout the day too, not only amongst the runners themselves but also from the team of Rotarians, including Satellite Club members and family helpers that helped make the day such a success. So many stories to tell, so many lives touched by this event. I was even left wondering if I could have a go next year myself! Maybe‌‌!

Once again, I headed home after a lovely day, feeling very lucky to be part of such a great Rotary Club which makes such a difference to our community and is full of such special people. Catherine Blaxhall

A Day in the Life of a Pizza Palace Roadie Truck Fest 2017 was upon us again with an expected crowd of 13,500. Thurs 20th July was set up day and I’d been roped in to act as a roadie for the pizza barons Benson and James. All the thinking and preparation was complete, sites agreed, pizzas, ovens, power, lighting, freezer vans, napkins, rubber gloves, pizza cutters etc were ordered and the set designed: so all that was needed to be done was to put it all together in preparation for Friday’s opening. Off at 8am with Glyn to collect a large trailer, then to Friars Court to collect Clanfield Festival Committee’s Marquee before picking up the Pizza Palace “sets” from Robert Sharp’s barn. The first job was to set up the main Palace in the charity marquee. Should things go here or there, this way or that? After some interesting discussions all was agreed – phew! Pallets had to be sized and stacked to ensure a level stable base for the 12 ovens that were soon to be delivered and so the “set” was put together, screwed, stacked, and decorated with Italian bunting; all signage and pricing boards appropriately sited and tables laid out for preparation and serving areas – simples! Then to the second location near the late night stage where the hoards were destined to pour in at 11pm after the main stage acts had ended. The marquee, as per all marquees had all the poles labelled but no erection plan was to be found. We duly put all the poles together only to find we had mixed our purlins with our rafters. Nothing fitted so we had to take it apart and start again: what fun! On went the roof and up came the wind. Without the help of Oxford Isis club we would have seen it take off. We managed to hold on to it, get the sides on and pegged down without further mishaps. It was getting on for 3pm now and we were all starving. The pizzas had been delivered and the ovens connected so Rod went off to do a test run for us to try while Glyn and I carried on setting things up. The pizzas were great and gave us the energy to finish the job just after 5pm. Pop band roadies usually get to see some fantastic bands as a reward for their efforts, but I would like to say that Truck Fest bands and selling pizzas was reward enough for us after a fun filled hard days graft. Clive

What a soggy weekend that was! A great fundraiser though. TRUCK is over for another year and we had a blast! We have never seen mud quite like it but the conditions didn't seem to stop the fun. Thank you to all 88 Rotarians, family and friends who helped.

We had two pizza outlets this is our band of happy volunteers at the second outlet including Helen and Ed from the White Horse Rotary Group.

National Recognition for Faringdon RotaKid President Tim presented RotaKid Mabry Williams with her award for third place in the Great Britain and Ireland Rotary Junior Young Writers Competition. In getting to the Rotary International finals, which were for winners from all 1500 Rotary Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland Mabry, aged 8 from Faringdon Junior School, had already won heats at RotaKids, Faringdon & District and Rotary in the Thames Valley. Mabry wrote a 500 word story of a Kingfisher diving for a fish and seeing its spiritual self in the water. The two kingfishers exchanged worlds but neither could live in its new and strange environment and so when next it dived for fish, each was relieved to return to its familiar world: a beautiful story with a strong moral theme. Well done Mabry, we are proud of you.

Duck Colouring Competition As last year we invited local schools to take part in a Duck Colouring competition as part of our annual Duck Race. Shellingford CE Primary School saw two winners: Sienna Mullett in the up to 4 year age group and Sophie Pugh 7-8 age group. Faringdon Infants were once again successful with Eva Carter-Francis winning the 5-6 age category. The girls were thrilled to have won ÂŁ10 each and also to have won ÂŁ100 for their schools. Pictures show Shellingford Head teacher Judith Terrell and Faringdon Infants teacher Gemma Woodfield receiving the prizes with their pupils.

Faringdon and District Rotary Club responds rapidly to the flood disasters in Nepal and Sierra Leone In August members donated ÂŁ650 to Shelterbox for the rapid response to the floods in southern Nepal and Sierra Leone. This was our opportunity to provide a response to two international disasters where there has been extreme loss of life and where a large number of homes have been destroyed. The monsoon season has caused the heaviest rainfall in 60 years in the southern region of Nepal. The full extent of the damage is still unknown as many places have been made inaccessible by the floods. In Sierra Leone over 400 people are reported to have died and 600 people are reported as missing as a result of mudslides and flooding in Freetown and the surrounding low lying land. These have been caused by the monsoon season which is three times heavier than expected. In both cases Shelterbox are working to ensure that all shelter needs are met. When disasters destroy homes, shelter is essential and our funds will be used to provide the tools and materials to create quality shelters, and rebuild lives e.g. tents, clean water supply. Mohinder Kainth

Safety from the elements and privacy for families

Safe, clean drinking water

RotaKids New Leader We are delighted that Amy Carter has been appointed as the new RotaKids leader. After successful business career, Amy took a degree course at Oxford Brookes University in child care and development. She now wishes to develop a new career working with children and RotaKids leadership is just one step towards this development. Amy lives in Faringdon with her partner and two children: the older will join RotaKids in the new school year.

Many thanks to Tim, Catherine, Clive, David, Mike, Mohinder & Sarah for their contributions to this edition


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