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ROTARY THIS WEEK Rotary Club of Ipswich Newsletter

Presidential Ponderings

Edition 199– 22 April 2021

Club Officers President:

The photos of Moldova in this week’s presentation were a very graphic realisation of how fortunate we are and equally how close we are to areas of deprivation -1,500 miles in distance but several decades back in time. Barry from Billericay Mayflower Club gave a very detailed insight into the current situation and the plans for putting in some new toilets. We're looking to work with Barry's club to deliver this project and I know Ian is working on others within our district (which you will find an update on in the next 4 pages).

Rev Mervyn Dye

Many thanks once again to Roger for taking on the Presidential mantle and also for being one of the people to offer to host a 6pack garden function, the first of these taking place next Wednesday 5th May at 11.00. Ralph Tyldesley has kindly agreed to act as coordinator so please register your interest with him as soon as possible. Other offers of hosting have been made by other Rotarians and Ralph will follow up with an email in the next day or so with more detailed guidance . A limited number face to face will be good though. It's also been suggested that signing up for and doing a covid self-test on these meet-up mornings would add another level of safety first to these events (see page 21).


In the meantime, remember hands, face, space.

Rev Mervyn Dye, Club President

President Elect: Roger Girling President Nominee: tbc

David West Treasurer: Mark Gladwell

In This Issue • Presidential Ponderings • Last Week’s Meeting -

TEECH trip to Moldova & Proposed Project • Rotary Members Walk

Fynn Valley • Forthcoming Meetings

(Ipswich Clubs) • The Rotating Gardener • Crossrail and the Duke • Ever Given - Update • Inner Wheel Update • Photo Corner - French


Newsletter copy should be sent to Editor Paul Seymour by Sunday evening to email:

• Notices

Last Week’s Meeting - 22nd April Barry Howe (President Billericay Mayflower Rotary Club) - TEECH Shoebox trip to Moldova in 2020/21 At the end of December 2020 (just before Brexit became fact) four volunteers driving the TEECH van and lorry set out from Harwich via the Hook of Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Romania to deliver Xmas Shoeboxes to children at various locations around Moldova. The team also took family boxes, food parcels, hospital beds and a couple of wheelchairs.

Notices Future Events ——–———————— All future meetings will be via Zoom for the time being


As BT had withdrawn their sponsorship in 2019, TEECH had been forced to buy a second-hand lorry to carry some of the bulkier items. The lorry also has a couple of bunkbeds, which allowed the team to drive more or less non-stop all the way through to Romania and on to Moldova. Car Parking at Holiday Inn Please remember that we need to register our car registration number at HI Reception to avoid receiving a fine—currently £100

Member birthdays in April Apr 19th Christopher Burns Apr 19th John Wheals A former Soviet Republic, Moldova is by far the poorest country in Europe with most of the population being subsistence farmers. Much of the country has inadequately developed infrastructure, low standards of housing (roofs tend to be asbestos sheets) and poor water quality. State pensions are approximately £50 a month of which about two thirds is spent on utilities. The locations visited had previously been scouted by TEECH, in consultation with a network of social workers and volunteers that has been developed over the twenty years that TEECH has been bringing humanitarian aid and development support to Romania and Moldova.

In addition to visiting schools to give out Shoeboxes, the team visited some of the more elderly people in the different villages, giving out food parcels and blankets. In one location they visited a house that had been bought by the local community, together with a donation of £1,000 from the four drivers, as a refuge for a woman that had been savagely beaten by her husband. Throughout the trip the team were fully Covid aware, taking temperatures daily, sanitising regularly and wearing gloves, facemasks, and visors. The team were initially surprised by the almost universal wearing of facemasks throughout the most remote parts of Moldova, which just showed how pervasive Covid has become. When giving out the food parcels and shoeboxes the team received assistance from Julia, a volunteer who had been providing interpretation help since she was 14 and who is now at university. Slavic and Romeo, who had also built the toilets at Baccealia for TEECH in summer 2020, and who is to assist with the Gradinita project (see below) also provided invaluable help throughout the visit. During his talk Barry included slides of the unusual way in which gas is delivered to houses (a true Soviet artefact), the common way in which water is obtained (shallow wells) and examples of the extreme poverty that many families, and particularly the elderly, experience every day. On occasion Barry and his colleagues dipped into their cash reserves to provide temporary help to bedridden individuals and others in distress or dire need. Throughout the trip, despite the obvious hardship experienced by many of the people they met, Barry, Rob, John and Steve got great pleasure from the smiles on the faces of the children receiving parcels or other Christmas goodies and from the gratitude shown by the old lads and lassies that received food parcels – on one occasion this even extended to the gift of bottle of local “wine”.


Proposed School Toilets and Washroom Project, Grădiniţa, Moldova Throughout the visit in January 2021, the TEECH team and Barry visited a number of schools to scope possible sites for a school sanitation project. During these visits Barry identified the school in the village of Grădiniţa as a project that could be carried out as a wholly Rotary supported project. As is the case with many rural schools in Moldova the toilets are just holes in the ground with minimal privacy and no handwashing facilities – definitely not good in these COVID days.

The project is estimated to cost a little over £6,000 and the work would be carried out under the supervision of Romeo, using local labour and locally purchased supplies – a model that worked successfully in the construction of the washroom and toilets at Baccealia in August 2020. Financial oversight and will be provided by the Rotary Club of Chisinau, who Barry was able to meet during his visit and with whom he has been able to have a Zoom meeting recently.

It is hoped that the Ipswich Rotary Club will partner the Billericay Mayflower Rotary Club in this project – which will also be a first collaborative effort in the new inter District links being set up between D 1080 and D 1240. The project is to be presented at the D 1080 Projects Fair on 24th April 2021 and will also be “sold” to the Andover Rotary Club, who separately send Xmas Shoeboxes to Chisinau Rotary for distribution throughout Moldova. The TEECH teams trip concluded with a visit to a hospital in Causeni, where beds, mattresses and other equipment were delivered as part of the overall humanitarian cause. The trip back proved fairly quiet until the team got to Dover, where the queue of lorries waiting for the ferry extended for a several miles – however with a bit of judicious manoeuvring they were able to work their way to the front and in due course arrived back in England, tired but feeling a good job had been done.

Ian Rossiter

Rotary Members Walk Fynn Valley Suffolk is full of surprises and none more so than the Fynn Valley which runs across the agricultural hinterland just north of Ipswich. Rotarians were pleasantly moved to discover an easy yet varied walk following the River Fynn from Playford to Tuddenham and back, not on the same path but on the other side of the valley.. Setting out from Playford Hall, home of Thomas Clarkson, the anti slavery campaigner and the real driving force behind William Wilberforce MP (who had a voice in the House of Commons) Rotarians followed a well constructed path through the coppice to the north of the hall. Stepping out of the wood they crossed the river on a farm bridge and on into the water meadows and sheep walks running down from the railway. The trees alongside the railway at Alder Carr are being felled to prevent accidental falls onto the track, necessary but devastating to the ambience of the wood, and probably to the high nesting birds at this time of the year. We passed within yards of the Rushmere motorcycle scrambling track but saw nothing of it, the railway embankment hiding the devastation created by motorcycles cutting up the ground. The path is excellent, expensive kissing gates contain the livestock in their meadows, but wandering ramblers feel welcome and at peace with nature. Covid restrictions meant we couldn’t stop for coffee in the ‘Fountain’ so the Rotarians and their partners returned to Playford, first along Donkey Lane and then through the Warren plantation, a little wet underfoot but plenty of opportunity to step to the side and remain dryshod. Our thanks to Rotarian John Norman and his wife Christine for leading the two separate parties, each of six socially distanced throughout the walk. Incidentally those Rotarians who went to Kesgrave Kitchen for a coffee after the walk recommend the excellent cake.

John Norman




2020 Thurs 6th May 2021


Chris Leworthy - `The Battle of Britain’

Thurs 20th May 2021


Michael Warren - general knowledge Quiz suitable for all Rotarians. Pen & Paper required.

Thurs 03rd Jun 2021


Christopher Norman (John’s son) - COVID restrictions in Copenhagen.

Contact Us We meet on Thursdays at 13:00 (We gather from 12.30pm for fellowship) The Holiday Inn Hotel, London Road, Ipswich IP2 0UA 0870 400 9045 email:

We welcome Rotarians from the other Ipswich Clubs to join us. Meeting ID and Password are below: The log-in details are: Meeting ID: 829 2197 6372, Passcode: 548698 Visit us on our website at

All meetings will now be via Zoom while the current Government regulations are in force

Rotary Making a Difference


Club WhatsApp Group Merv has set up a WhatsApp Group for Club Members. This allows us instant communication where the need arises to pass messages to all in the group - either important news, updates or something to brighten your day. We all need a bit of light relief in these troubled times. If you want to join the group, you need to have a Smart Phone, upload the WhatsApp app and let Merv have your phone number (if different from what is in the Club Directory). Merv will then invite you to join. There are currently 23 members in the group.

Holiday Inn meetings – blue Other Events - black - currently all via Zoom Meetings

Rotary Club of Ipswich Wolsey

Programme 2021

May 2021 24th - Simon de Last - East Anglian Air Ambulance Invitation to all members of Rotary Club of Ipswich Please see above our programme for your club's information. We start our meetings every Monday at 7.00 pm, except for those Mondays which are Bank Holidays when we do not meet. Should any of your club wish to join our club zoom meetings one person from your club should collate and provide to John Quarmby (our zoom meeting host) the names of your club members who will be joining any specific meeting. John should be contacted by email and he will provide the zoom meeting ID and password. Kind Regards, Tony Box Programme Co-ordinator Rotary Club of Ipswich Wolsey As usual, our meeting by Zoom will start at 7.00pm with the talk lasting up to about 30 minutes plus questions afterwards Our Zoom Id is 87288265296 and password 548752. If other clubs are attending this Zoom meeting would one member of that club please collate their club attendees and inform the Rotary Club of Wolsey' host, John Quarmby, by email ( Visiting club members are welcome to stay for the rest of our meeting or leave once Michael Strand has finished his talk.

You are invited to the next Ipswich East Club meeting on Tuesday 27th April at 7.30pm (room opens at 7.15pm) - Lewis Tyler 'Keep Smiling - the Golden Days of BBC Wireless Humour' The log-in details are: Meeting ID: 873 4741 1522 and Password


The Rotating Gardener Week No.42 A sharp-eyed reader noticed that on my picture of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, that his shoes were highly polished but the gentleman with him had filthy shoes. The gentleman was John Dalzeil, Secretary of the London Gardens Society, who like myself, had been slipping around in the mud after heavy rains. It was also freezing cold too, so much so, that when HM The Queen and the Duke arrived, my hand was white with cold and I couldn’t feel the shutter release on my camera! Sadly, as soon as the Royal visit finished, everyone packed up and set off for home leaving so much to see.

HM The Queen meeting Gardeners' Company members. LH Side The Master, Daniel Caspi wearing regalia

Daughter of Miles Watson-Smyth (Windowflowers MD) presenting HM a bouquet. Michael Fitt, Royal Parks, wearing wellies!

Now, another reader’s question. Her Alliums have foliage ‘going off’ and looking unsightly. This is normal as they run up to bloom. They are best planted between/underneath the foliage of perennial, thus hiding this natural feature in their growing cycle. Purple Sensation I have found to be the most reliable variety here, others have just disappeared! Calling on a friend at Willisham I couldn’t help admiring his Polyanthus, they may have gone out of fashion but what a colourful show. His neat Beech hedge retaining it’s leaves through Winter was neatly clipped and controlled.

Polyanthus for Spring colour

I hear there is a shortage of ‘chips’ world-wide. I am not surprised, potatoes like eggs are so versatile. What would we be eating if they’d not been introduced from South America. Also, think of the skill that has gone into breeding of new varieties and making them blight-resistant resulting us being able to buy them at £6.50 a bag of 25 Kg. Beech Hedge retaining leaves through Winter. (Fagus sylvatica)

Having planted mine recently reminded me of my first introduction to gardening, helping Grandad at Wattisham during the war when I was around four years of age. Start ‘em young, sow the seeds of interest and it stays with you. My Father rarely talked about his experiences as a soldier in the Suffolk Regiment but he did mention that when in France with the expeditionary force, pre Dunkirk, bitterly cold & hungry, they crawled across a Farmers yard at night to ‘borrow’ potatoes from his clamp. Boiled in a five-gallon oil can that had been opened up they had added flavour! After a few uses the oil taste had all gone but then a hole burnt through and a new can started! Digging trenches near Rheims they came across something more refreshing although he didn’t rate Champagne that highly after that!

Ranunculus 'Brazen Hussy', an invasive attractive Celandine

Here in the garden the lawn looks good after scarifying (GreenThumb’s treatment had killed the moss), as I mentioned above, the early potatoes were planted, carrot, parsnip, beetroot, lettuce, and radish seeds sown. In the greenhouse peppers, tomatoes, tomatillo’s, cosmos, nicotiana, coriander and mina lobata have either germinated or been potted -on. The cold frosty nights are dreadful, trying to harden-off plants during the day but remembering to take them in at night.

Lawn looking good

Sweet red peppers (bell peppers in the USA) are good for you I was told by a Doctor of nutrition at a dinner in Crete whilst with the IDS on a botanical tour. So, how to use them? Adding colour and crunch to salads is fine in Summer but I have finally perfected a stuffing mix! Left-over chicken is ideal or cook some, one breast or two thighs, chop up and combine with some sage and onion stuffing makes enough for three peppers. Home grown peppers never seem to have as much ‘meat’ on them as bought ones, grown on hydroculture no doubt. Red Peppers are good for you. Even better stuffed !

What’s in a name? Well, you can get a plant named for a loved one but for example, a Rose used to cost a £1000. So why not Google plant names and find one with the appropriate name such as Magnolia ‘Lois’ which we have. Only two flowers again this year but how perfect, just like my Lois.

Magnolia 'Lois'

Zoom meetings continue to grow, both in numbers and length from several of the gardening organisations I belong to. Some are excellent such as the recent one by Marianne Willburn on Tropical Plants. Marianne originates from the UK, is a member of our Garden Media Guild (GMG) but lives and works in North Virginia. Her lively talk was so enthusiastic that I ordered some Calocasia corms from Farmer Gracy and have just been diving into her book on the subject which is now available over here. We hope to have even more colour and interest in the garden this Summer. Happy Gardening. Michael Warren enjoys hearing from you on: 07748 908907

Michael Warren Tropical Plants book by Marianne Willburn

Erythronium 'Pagoda', doing well now that Rosemary shrub has gone

Tulipa 'Lilac Wonder', must order more later this year

Anemone coronaria appeared again this year

Crossrail and the Duke A story about Prince Philip that is not Rotary related but might be of interest to those of you who have been following the trials and tribulations of Crossrail in these columns over the past couple of years. Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail chief executive invited Prince Philip to visit Farringdon underground station and review progress on the new railway. In negotiation with Buckingham Palace November 4th 2015 was selected for the date of the visit, the majority of work at Farringdon would be complete and it would look like a station, rather than a building site. What’s more, knowing that the Prince couldn’t resist an opportunity to see technology and modern construction techniques in action, the results of science and engineering working together Crossrail were onto a winner. Photo-opportunity coming up. There was however one major difficulty to overcome, the Prince hates the formalities of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and has previously said, when told the hard hat was to prevent objects, accidentally dropped from above, landing on his head, he has suggested that he’d previously observed that when he was ‘on site’ all work usually stopped and the risk diminished. To a certain extent he was right; all tunnelling work on the project had been completed in June 2015. However the absolute rule on all of the Cross Rail sites was full PPE, no exceptions, no excuses. So who was to tell the Duke? The Duke’s chest size was established (for the florescent orange bib), as was his hat size and, thanks to his valet he was wearing a pair of stout shoes. On arrival (at ground level) he was greeted by men and women in suits, taken into a prepared briefing room (out of sight of the press) where each member of the escort party started putting on their PPE. The Duke found himself standing at a table on which rested a hard hat, an orange vest and pair of grey gloves. Nobody said a word and he was left with no choice but to dress just like everybody else.

They all descended 30 metres in the lift, walked along the platform and the photographer took pictures which went around the world as a good news story. That’s not, however the reason why I’m relating this story. The Duke, of course, did have a comment or two on progress. Prince Philip asked Andrew Wolstenholme” when will the line be open?” An over optimistic host replied “2018” to which the Duke added “Oh so too late for me then”. As it turns out the Duke kept his side of the bargain whereas the Crossrail team have let him down. Crossrail will now not be finished until mid summer 2022 Crossrail is Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, more than 10,000 people are working at some 50 construction sites and 485 apprenticeships have been created. There are 40 stations, connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. An estimated 200 million passengers will travel on Crossrail each year.

John Norman

Ever Given - Update An update on the Ever Given (12 noon on Tuesday 20th April) - she is still impounded in the Great Bittern Lake (Suez Canal). The Ever Given became wedged in the Suez Canal on 23rd March, was freed on the 29th, moved to Great Bittern Lake where she has remained ever since. The Egyptian authorities are demanding £655 million compensation for delaying other traffic in the canal.

John Norman

Inner Wheel Update

Inner Wheel Newsletter - 21 April 2021 ‘It wasn’t that Frugal’ The far-from-Frugal Lunch, as described by one participant, took place on Thursday, 12 April with attendees sitting in four lovely gardens following the rule-of-six. In all, 20 members and one guest enjoyed fun, fellowship and frugality on a warm day when the sun smiled benignly. Members agreed how lovely it was to see each other again and that a very real friendship lunch was enjoyed by everyone. The four lunches were hosted by Beryl Tyldesley, Pat Morphew, Eva Alston and President Isabella Wainer who, along with Anne-Marie Clements, served a variety of home-made soups, delicious breads and fresh fruit platter desserts. The Frugal Lunch, in aid of International Inner Wheel with donations from those in attendance and others, One of the 4 groups all wrapped up against the cold - in true British raised over £630 for Inner Wheel Inspirit ternational Charities, with the great generosity and fellowship shared by our 21 Frugal Lunch attendees and more than 7 other member donors. Thanks go to Mary Butters and Sharon Johnson, our programme committee members, who organised the event and who are also responsible for our next Pocket Coffee Morning on Monday, 10 May with four volunteer hostesses opening their gardens. Please refer to Mary Butters’ email asap so that she can match guests to hostesses while keeping to the rule-of-six. A reminder about the Garden Party Lunch on Saturday, 29 May at the West’s home. If you haven’t booked, please contact Mary asap as numbers are limited to 30.

Another of the 4 groups - ready for lunch

Inner Wheel Update The photo below, at The Willows, show what an international mix of our own Ipswich IW members we have, with very strong personal International connections/ homes : Lois Warren - Spain Jackie Gabriel - New Zealand Isa Graham - France Lori Neville-Thomas - South Africa Lily Leighton - Serbia Isabella Wainer - Hong Kong, China

We also used this opportunity to present the Past President's pin and give thanks to our IW Past President Isa Graham for her great service during the year 2019-2020, as well as to welcome new member Lori Neville-Thomas, and induct her with her IW Name badge. We look forward to welcoming our members to the Pocket Coffee morning on Monday 1030am 10 May.

Isabella Wainer, Club President

new member Lori Neville-Thomas, receiving her IW Name badge

Another of the 4 groups enjoying each others company

Member Photos This week, I share some photos taken by John Skeates in FRENCH POLYNESIA

After an 11 hour flight to Los Angeles, and a stay there, we took another 9 hour flight to Tahiti, a total of about 9,600 miles. We then visited the islands of Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea. French Polynesia is an overseas collectivise of France and its sole overseas country. It comprises 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) in the South Pacific Ocean. The total land area of French Polynesia is 4,167 square kilometres (1,609 sq mi). The Archipelago is divided into five groups of islands: the Society Islands Archipelago, comprising the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands; the Tuamotu Archipelago; the Gambier Islands; the Marquesas Islands; and the Austral Islands. Among its 118 islands and atolls, 67 are inhabited. Tahiti, which is in the Society Islands group, is the most populous island, being home to nearly 69% of the population of French Polynesia as of 2017. Papeete, located on Tahiti, is the capital of French Polynesia. Although not an integral part of its territory, Clipperton Island was administered from French Polynesia until 2007. Scientists believe the Great Polynesian Migration commenced around 1500 BC as Austronesian peoples went on a journey using celestial navigation to find islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The first islands of French Polynesia to be settled were the Marquesas Islands in about 200 BC. The Polynesians later ventured southwest and discovered the Society Islands around AD 300. British explorer Samuel Wallis became the first European navigator to visit Tahiti in 1767. French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville also visited Tahiti in 1768, while British explorer James Cook arrived in 1769. Cook would stop in Tahiti again in 1773 during his second voyage to the Pacific, and once more in 1777 during his third and last voyage before being killed in Hawaii.

John Skeates



The UK Government wants everyone in England to carry out twice weekly Lateral Flow Tests at home, to control the spread of Coronavirus. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus without any symptoms, so getting tested regularly is one of the simplest and easiest ways we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I’d encourage everyone to take up the offer and test twice a week.

Alongside the successful roll-out of the vaccination programme, rapid testing will be one of our most effective weapons in tackling this virus and ensuring we can cautiously reopen our economy and parts of society that we have all missed.” I think it would be a good if you could put a summary of this testing, in case anyone is not aware of this, or not yet ordered (or collected) their pack of tests, and may be spreading the virus in ignorance. These sites may help : New campaign urges public to get tested twice a week - GOV.UK ( Twice weekly rapid testing to be available to everyone in England - GOV.UK ( Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (

With the possibility of groups of up to 6 Rotarians meeting in gardens (see Presidential Ponderings) all participants should consider carrying out one of the tests before attending - far better to be “safe than sorry”.

£1,000 to Marie Curie Well done everyone and a big thanks to all who contributed. I am very pleased to say we reached our target of £500 from members’ donations and which was then matched by the Club’s Trust Fund to enable us to send £1,000 to Marie Curie. In past years, we have dressed up as daffodils and stood in the entrance to a local supermarket collecting money for the charity. This was not possible due to Covid 19 restrictions in either 2020 or this year. Back in January, Marie Curie contacted us to suggest various ways in which we may be able to help individually and these options were circulated to the membership. However , we still wanted to do something as a club and thanks to you we have been able to do that. Below is a copy of extracts of my email exchange with the charity and which highlights how well the donation has been received. Dear Angela I trust you are well. Some good news. I am pleased to say that from member donations topped up by our own Charity trust fund we have raised £1000 for Marie Curie. So many people in this country are grateful for the work that your charity does and I hope this will go some towards helping Marie Curie to continue its great work and support after what I am sure has been a difficult year or so . I have copied in Alfred Reeves who is treasurer of the trust fund and would like to electronically transfer the funds direct . I should be grateful therefore if you would let us have the charity’s bank details including account name, sort code and account number. Best wishes Roger

Hello Roger and Alfred, I don’t know what to say……………………THANK YOU This is amazing and will help our services so much, like you said, at this time, funds are low as we can’t organise any collections or fundraise in the way we normally do so this is very special to us. Thank you again to everyone, it is so good to know that our services are known out there and reach patients and families that desperately need it. Many many thanks Angela

So as you see, we may have been in lockdown but we haven’t been completely inactive! Thanks again.

Roger Girling Chairman Fundraising committee

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