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August/September 2017 ŠUnicef/Modola

The Official Magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

Back on the frontline Martin Bell reports from Lebanon's refugee camps

©Peter Croan









Best Beginnings


Letters to the Editor

Megan Sadler


Talk from the Top

Grenfell Tower


Rotary Young Musician Competition


Rotary Young Writer Competition


Rotary Young Chef Competition


Rotary Young Photographer Competition


Century of Welsh Rotary


Woodland Trust


Rotary International President


Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland President


RI Director


The Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair


Meet & Greet


It's Gone Viral


Rotary Effect


Martin Bell


The Heart of the Matter


Rotary Atlanta Convention


And Finally… 50 Rotary Young Writer Competition

Get in touch Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland Kinwarton Road, Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PB t: 01789 765 411 Editor: Dave King e: PR Officer: e: Designer: Martin Tandy e: Advertising: Media Shed (Agent for Rotary) Contact: Connor Banks t: 01354 818011 e:

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The Official Magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland



Best Beginnings

Tackling mental health head-on Alison Baum heads the charity Best Beginnings which looks to give children the best start in life. Now, having teamed up with The Royal Foundation as part of their Heads Together campaign, she warns that when it comes to mental health, society is at a tipping point. She tells Dave King why.


OU'VE got to thank the young Royals there is no longer a stiff upper lip when it comes to tackling mental health. Comments made earlier this year by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry over the impact of their mother’s death nearly 20 years ago has laid down some very clear markers. And their Heads Together campaign, which seeks to combat the stigma surrounding mental health issues, is now encouraging more people across the country to speak openly about emotional distress. A spokesperson for the Heads Together campaign said: “Too often we have seen that people feel afraid to admit they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families, and end lives. “People need to feel much more comfortable with their every day mental well-being, and have the practical tools to support their family and friends.” One person who is delighted to see The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry spearheading the Heads Together campaign is Alison Baum, Founder of the charity Best Beginnings. Launched in 2006 after Alison’s two sons were born with serious health problems, Best Beginnings has reached 4 // ROTARY

“I invite Rotarians and Rotary clubs across the country to become part of the Best Beginnings family. Together, we can make a difference for future generations.”

more than two million families across the UK, focusing on the period between conception and a child’s third birthday, where the foundations for a healthy and fulfilling life are laid. Best Beginnings was invited by The Royal Foundation to become one of eight charity partners in the Heads Together campaign to change the conversation around mental health. “What The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have is this extraordinary convening power," enthused Alison. "The Duchess stood up at the launch of Heads Together and said, simply and clearly, that mental health is just as important as physical health. "It was so powerful. “We are incredibly proud to be part of the campaign and to be working collaboratively to take the country to the tipping point as far as mental health is concerned.

“We have all got mental health. And most of us will experience emotional challenges or mental illness at some time in our lives. We all, as a society, can make a difference to the people around us. “It is about asking honest, open questions of the people we love and the people we work with about how they are feeling, and being welcome to receive whatever the answer may be.” Alison spoke at the Rotary conference in Manchester last April where she is hoping clubs across the British Isles will support Best Beginnings and the work it is doing. This includes developing practical education tools to help parents-to-be and new parents, including an innovative, free multi-award-winning app called Baby Buddy which takes mums and dads on a very personal parenting journey. The app is so popular that it is receiving 1,200 downloads a week, and rising. Best Beginnings works with parents, Clinical Commissioning Groups, local authorities and NHS Trusts to create a local plan which enables the Baby Buddy app to be used within the health system and communities. Baby Buddy has been developed to help reduce child health inequalities across the UK. “If you support the early years, it doesn’t only support health outcomes,

The founder of Best Beginnings, Alison Baum (right), with The Duchess of Cambridge

you end up with children who are more resilient, have better language development, arrive at school ready to learn and are more likely to leave school with qualifications,” explained Alison. “Then you can increase social mobility and reduce inequality.” The charity has also created a series of 70 films called “Out of the Blue” with parents and professionals talking candidly about maternal and infant mental health. The Duchess of Cambridge spoke at the launch of the films, which can be viewed in the free Baby Buddy app. Through her presence and words, Her Royal Highness shone a bright light on the importance of Best Beginnings' work, the early years and maternal and infant mental health.

Alison said she was delighted that Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland’s Immediate Past President, Eve Conway, had agreed to be one of the charity's patrons. She added: "Rotary's active involvement in Best Beginnings will be game-changing for the charity. "With the help of Rotary we are about to springboard Best Beginnings into our second decade by raising £5 million to reach three more million mothers and fathers, and enable them to give their children the best start in life. “I invite Rotarians and Rotary clubs across the country to become part of the Best Beginnings family. Together, we can make a difference for future generations.” l



Beginnings supports parents •Binestgiving their children the best start in life.

eveloping practical, simple, •Deducational and interactive tools

to support parents-to-be and new parents.

of the things •Rthataisingcanawareness affect new mums, dads, bumps and babies

ngaging with government, •Eauthorities and society to

influence change.


Letters to the Editor On the beat

Conserve your coins

Inspiring all round

I WOULD be very grateful if you can publish a follow-on to the report in the last issue of Rotary magazine (page 38) on the highly successful project between Rotary District 1260 and the Community Heartbeat Trust charity (CHT) to place 15 defibrillators at key sites agreed with the ambulance services throughout Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Bucks. This project was undertaken by CHT with District 1260 by utilising the grant opportunities from The Rotary Foundation, as well as other fundraising activities. The project ensured not only high quality equipment has been used, but also that a full and extensive governance system is in place. The project follows on from an earlier successful project between CHT and the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Central Bedfordshire Council, to place 110 sites throughout the county, which, as your report highlights, have saved lives. As your members will be aware, CHT now has a preferred vendor status within Rotary. The basis of this is to ensure that all community defibrillation projects are done to a high standard, addressing the correct equipment, ensuring a long term resilient approach, and of course making sure all aspects of governance are addressed. We have prepared a set of information leaflets for clubs, available either from the Alcester office, or via CHT, and we would be delighted to assist any clubs wishing to support the placement of defibrillators into the community. CHT also exclusively partners BT in the conversion of telephone kiosks, and the Rugby Football Union, various councils and commercial retail chains, The Club Cricket Charity and others. We have an extensive library on best practice, equipment choice, VAT, planning consents, case histories, and fundraising ideas, and this is available to clubs working with CHT. The aim is to ensure all these types of projects are done to a very high standard, and adhere to governance. If any club wishes to undertake this type of project, please do get in touch, or ask us to visit you. Martin Fagan, National Secretary

WHEN our club received the Tiptree jam, our president asked that we fill the empty jar with loose change. I rarely use cash, so decided to hold a coffee morning. But when I counted up the number of people I could invite, I changed it to having an open house for the weekend. As many non-Rotarians would have no idea what End Polio Now was, I printed invitations including its history - the facts that in 30 years we had spent $800 million and had reduced the annual infection figure from 350,000 to, so far this year, five. I also stressed Bill Gates’ two for one offer. I spent a couple of days baking and then waited at the weekend. For an hour, no-one came, then the doorbell hardly stopped ringing. I had a leaflet on the table with the cakes and biscuits repeating the End Polio Now info, which was fortunate as some guests brought friends. By Sunday night I counted the donations - over £200. I then received further donations from people who had not managed to come and so I topped up the figure up to £267. This may seem an odd figure, but if you add Gift Aid and Bill Gates' incredible offer, End Polio Now will receive in excess of £1,000. Perhaps this is something other Rotarians might consider when fundraising. Ken Jarrett Rotary Club of Largs

CONGRATS on a great June edition of Rotary. Excellent read and I couldn't agree more about the Manchester Conference truly inspiring all round! Great story on the utterly awesome Ade Adepitan - my main reason for going. Thank you! Liz Yardley Rotary Club of Bicester


A dignified reply I HAVE just got round to reading the June/ July edition of Rotary and my hackles rose when reading the letter from Roger Glew who objected to the Dignity in Dying advertisement in the previous issue. On what information does he base his assertion that the organisation is campaigning 'for a minority and extreme cause'? Just because he has one point of view it does not mean that the majority agree with him. Personally I would like to see a referendum held on this subject. My blood pressure only returned to normal when I read your excellent reply in the editor’s letter. Thank you. Roger Groocock Rotary Club of Rushmoor

Carbon omission Good job! THE reason for my sending my first ever letter to the Editor of "Rotary" is to say what a good job you are doing. The magazine is becoming more relevant, readable and pertinent issue by issue. I particularly congratulate you on your excellent "back page" letter in the June/July 2017 number. What a refreshing breath of air! Keep up the good work. Chris Pelley Rotary Club of Leatherhead

PLEASE ask your printer to put more carbon in his black ink. The longer I am in Rotary, the fainter your message becomes. Be bolder! Allan Kavanagh, Rotary Club of Harrogate

We welcome your letters on any subject to do with Rotary. Submissions should not be more than 150 words long. Please include your name and address. Email: or write to: Rotary magazine, Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland, Kinwarton Road, Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PB.




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Megan Sadler

Growing pains Megan Sadler is back in South Wales after successful spinal surgery in the USA


HE captured the hearts of Rotarians on both sides of the Atlantic, and now ten-year-old Megan Sadler is back home in South Wales after a successful spinal operation. Rotary magazine reported in April how the Milford Haven youngster was about to undergo a delicate operation in Philadelphia to tackle her scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, which meant she wore a back brace 23 hours a day. Rotarians in South Wales and in Philadelphia joined forces to drive a £20,000 fund-raising appeal which enabled the talented gymnast to make the 3,000 mile trans-Atlantic trip along with her family for the life-changing surgery. The six-hour operation at the Shriners Children Hospital was a success, and after spending a month in Philadelphia recuperating, the Sadlers flew back to the UK in late June. “Everything went fine and Megan’s now grown four-and-a-half inches,” revealed dad, Phil. “The surgery went really well, better than they expected, and they have reduced the curvature of the spine from 65 degrees to 40 degrees. "As Megan grows, the curvature will become even less severe.” Megan underwent vertebral tethering surgery in Philadelphia, with a tether put into her back and screwed to the spine.

As Megan grows, the tether gets tighter helping to reduce the curvature. Ted Trevorrow of the Longwood Rotary Club in Pennsylvania, has been the lynch-pin of activities in the States, after he was contacted earlier this year by South Wales District Governor Steve Jenkins, asking if Rotarians could help. Following an initial visit by the Sadlers to the city of brotherly love in March, Rotary members helped Megan and her family to their hotel, as well as handing over toys, gifts and food to help settle them in. Similar hospitality was shown for the follow-up visit in May. A fund-raising appeal in the UK and USA helped meet the Sadlers’ living costs. “Everyone has been so brilliant, and Rotary both here and in the States have been absolutely fantastic,” added Phil. “We didn’t expect anything, maybe to meet us at the airport, but everyone has been so kind and helpful.” Megan is steadily gaining fitness at home with her family. A return to the gymnastics club is still a few months away, and she return to the USA in December for the first of a series of six-monthly checks. The fund-raising will continue, not just for Megan, but for the Shriners Hospital, who carried out the surgery free of charge, and for other children in the UK who might need the financial support to make the trip to Philadelphia.

Megan (third right) pictured with her family In Philadelphia, and with Steve Hughes and Ted Trevorrow




HEN someone asks you, “What is Rotary?” what do you say? I think we’ve all had the experience of being asked that deceptively simple question and finding ourselves suddenly at a loss for words. Rotary has always had a difficult time conveying the scope of our work: not just what we do, but how we do it, and the value of what we contribute to the world. As an accountant, I like numbers. That is why, in this Rotary year, I am asking each club to provide Rotary headquarters with two numbers: the amount of money, both in cash and in kind, spent on humanitarian service; and the number of hours of work performed in Rotary’s name. If we want these numbers to be useful, they have to be accurate. That means beginning now to accurately track the hours and the money clubs spend on their service. The simplest way for clubs to provide this information at the end of the year will be by entering it every month on Rotary Club Central – a tool that has been completely rebuilt and relaunched to be significantly more useful, and user-friendly, than it has been in the past. If for some reason (for example, limited internet access) your club is not able to connect to Rotary Club Central, please be in touch with your district governor, who will ensure that your information can be submitted through other means. I cannot emphasise strongly enough that the goal of this effort is not getting the largest and most impressive numbers. There is not going to be any competition, recognition, or public use whatsoever of the numbers reported by any individual club. The goal is accurate and reliable numbers that we can present confidently in our public image work, in our membership materials, and to our partners – numbers backed by specific data, on the club level, that answer not only the question, “What is Rotary?” but the question, “What does Rotary do?” I strongly believe that with these numbers, we will be better able to demonstrate the value of Rotary: Making a Difference – which in time will enable us to make more of a difference, for more people, in more ways, than ever.


A president with

2020 vision Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland's new President, Denis Spiller, talks to Dave King about how membership growth will be the theme of his stewardship over the next 12 months.


ENIS SPILLER is on a mission. The man charged with guiding Rotary in these isles over the next 12 months is determined to break down a few barriers and reconfigure public perception with the goal of pushing membership through the 50,000 barrier by 2020. Working in tandem with the next two Presidents, Debbie Hodge (201819) and Donna Wallbank (2019-20), Denis is hoping the 3-D 2020 vision will reinvigorate Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. A clever tag phrase, maybe, but one month into his new term, Denis knows that failure is not an option. “We are making Rotary relevant to people’s lifestyles and what and how they want to contribute,” he insisted. “Our theme for the next three years has to be growth.” Denis, a member of the Rotary Club of Strood in Kent, and a former IT training manager with Hewlett Packard for 22 years, is not a man who pulls his punches. His assessment of Rotary is blunt: “we’re too old!” When asked why this is so, Denis believes that Rotary took its eye off the 10 // ROTARY

Rotary GBI President Denis Spiller

recruitment ball some 20 years ago. Then, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland had more than 50,000 members, club sizes were 30 to 35-strong, with an average age of around 60. “That meant we had members in their 40s and 50s who were still working,” explained Denis. At that time, the flow of 40something Round Table members making the transition to Rotary began to dry up. This, coupled with existing Rotarians retiring and losing work contacts, has led to a lack of new recruits. It’s been a recipe for decline and if we don’t stem that tide, warned Denis, then the consequences will be uncomfortable. Dark clouds hovering, but then what is the plan? Denis talked about the need for clubs to get their eyes back on the recruitment ball, grasping the nettle and leaving a legacy in their communities. Some clubs will merge, some will fold, and new, more dynamic clubs will set up in their place, who are ready to hit the ground running embracing the Rotary ethos of serving their communities. His focus for the next 12 months is to create new image clubs – something the new president describes as ‘Rotary 2’. Denis has challenged assistant governors to create a new club in each of

their districts which, when achieved, would mean 250 fresh clubs and potentially 2,500 new members. “Rotary 2 is not a new Rotary,” he explained. “It is a new image of Rotary and these new groups must take full advantage of the new flexibility rules. “People can meet when they like, do what they like and, importantly, not be tied by tradition. Too many new clubs have become clones of the parent thinking you must have a toast, you have got to say grace, and you have to have a meal, because we gain fellowship though eating together. “Well you don’t. And the truth is there is not a single rule in the Rotary rulebook which says you must have a meal. "The rule book simply says you have to meet regularly. “I know of one club which meets at Costa Coffee on a Saturday morning. My wife’s club, Kings Hill Rotary Club near Maidstone, started five years ago. They said ‘we are not going to be like other clubs’. "They don’t have a meal, they meet in a pub room, they have informal meetings and it works. “One difference is that this club is almost all couples, as opposed to individuals. They have got about 25 members and they are focused on

New Rotary groups will be a product that people aged between 30 and 50 want to be a part of

“What has changed is people’s lifestyles, how they communicate, how they travel, and when they want to be available.” raising more than hands-on. But they do all sorts of things, from beer festivals to farmers’ markets to support the local community.” It is a formula which may meet with resistance from traditionalists, but Denis is adamant that the previous Rotary model is no longer as relevant as it once was. It is important to take away some of the formality so new clubs can create their own identity. Clubs need to be more familyoriented, and be mindful that society has changed, along with the demands on people’s time. Denis wants to see new Rotary clubs emerge which are project-led. We live in a society of corporate and social responsibility where volunteering is encouraged as part of career development. So let’s embrace this and not be afraid of using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook to promote and seek new members, he said. “I don’t personally believe the pressures have changed dramatically from 50 or even 100 years ago,” added Denis. “Because, even then, people were running businesses. They still had the

pressures of sales, and fulfilling orders. "However, things happen faster today, without a doubt. “Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris had exactly the same challenges, so I don’t accept when people say they have not got the time. It is an easy excuse. If you can get people along and show them true added value, then that will make the difference and they will come again. “What has changed is people’s lifestyles, how they communicate, how they travel, and when they want to be available. “The 'new image' club needs to be a product that people aged between 30 and 50 want to be a part of. “It could meet in the early evening, or on a Saturday morning, or even online. They won’t want to be tied into a meal every week, or any of the traditions like the loyal toast or the wine draw. “Let them create their own traditions, let them meet as and when they want, and get involved in the things which are important to them and their community.” Above all, said Denis, it is about making Rotary relevant – relevant to today’s generations and their lifestyles. l



as a member of Rotaract for •Wthree years, sponsored by Rotary clubs in Rochester and Strood in Kent.

•Joined Strood Rotary Club in 1985. arried to Penny, Rotarian •MFounder President of Kings Hill Rotary Club, Medway.

ree children, Sam, Alice and •ThIsabel. orked at Hewlett Packard for 22 •Wyears, and retired in January. D irector Trustee of the •Kent YouthandTrust, and Executive Chairman of Malling District Scouts.

long history in voluntary youth •Awork in Kent, a past canoeist and a DIY fanatic.

 @DenisRotaryGBI ROTARY // 11


Grenfell Tower

Rotary rallies for one of the worst fires in modern times


HE deadly blaze at the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in West London in June was one of the worst fires in modern times. At least 80 people are feared dead after the blaze, started by a fridge-freezer, destroyed 151 homes in and around the Kensington tower block. The fall-out over outside cladding and insulation failing safety tests, plus possible future criminal charges, lingers on. For Rotarians, this was an unprecedented disaster with the Rotary Club of Kensington and Chelsea at the heart of the community response. “We have all been appalled by the Grenfell Tower disaster, and the scale of loss in our community is enormous,” explained Graeme Thomas who, along with colleague Iris Hanking, set up a Response Unit to become a visible part of the relief effort. They were among dozens of governmental, business and community organisations who rallied round the victims and survivors of the June 14th tragedy. 12 // ROTARY

“We have all been appalled by the Grenfell Tower disaster, and the scale of loss in our community is enormous,” Rotary in London, the umbrella body representing clubs in the capital, decided that their funding efforts, in collaboration with the London Community Foundation, should be channelled to the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund. Together with the British Red Cross, Kensington & Chelsea Foundation, this group has raised over £11 million, making grants to those who have been affected. Edmonton Rotary Club has been involved by working with the Salvation Army in staffing a night canteen. They have also acted as a point of feedback. Graeme pointed out that the Rotary club has been working with partners to

consider what long-term support will be needed as the community rebuilds. The Rotary Club of Kensington and Chelsea is partnering with the Dorset-based Rotary Club of Swanage to help re-establish a nursery at Grenfell Tower, by providing furniture, furnishings and equipment destroyed by the fire. They are also looking to join forces with Edmonton Rotarians to take some of the children affected on a special day out. He added: “Grenfell Tower lies close to hundreds of homes untouched by the fire, but now damned to live with this apocalypse hanging over them for some time. Imagine that, if you can, waking up to this each day. “The sight of this terrible incident in our midst has drawn support for our response from across the country and it is heartening to see the speed and generosity displayed when this happens. “The Rotary spirit is a strong bond which unites.”


Rotary Young Musician Competition



Youth brings

music to our ears

©Nigel Kaszubowski

The Welsh hills were alive with the sound of music as Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland crowned the 2017 winners of its annual Young Musician competition.


Winner Huw Boucher

OURTEEN-year-old Huw Boucher, sponsored by Cardiff Breakfast Rotary Club, took home first place in the instrumental category at Rotary's Young Musician competition after he wowed the audience with his performance of Étude de Concert by Félix Godefroid and Prélude No. 6 by Naderman on the harp. This is just the latest of a number of awards Huw, who is a member of the Cardiff County and the Vale Youth Orchestras, has picked up in recent years, including being named the Young Instrumentalist of the Year at the Music in the Vale festival in both 2015 and 2016. The other winner on the day was 14 // ROTARY

16-year-old Eyra Norman, sponsored by Godalming Rotary Club, who scooped the top spot in the vocal category for her stunning rendition of works by Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss and Benjamin Britten. Eyra started singing at just nine-yearsold and is currently preparing for auditions at a number of prestigious conservatoires and universities, including the Royal College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music, the Juilliard in New York and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Second and third place for instrumental were awarded to Ellis Thomas, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Colwyn Bay, on the piano, and Anna Crawford, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Rochester, on the cello, respectively. Karen McLeod, sponsored by Gourock Rotary Club, picked up second in the vocal category and Katie Marshall, sponsored by Rutland Rotary Club, was awarded third. The national final, which was sponsored by Yamaha, who donated vouchers worth £500 to the two overall winners, was held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Rotary’s Young Musician was created to give young people across Great Britain and Ireland the chance to develop and showcase their exceptional musical talents. The competition is open to all amateur musicians in full-time education up to the age of 17.

N representing Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, it is my privilege to join the 16 other members - of diverse nationalities, thoughts and cultures - who form ‘The Board of Directors’ for 2017/19. To engage within the board room at our headquarters in Evanston, surrounded by experienced staff and interpreters, truly exemplifies our organisation as ‘Rotary International’. Rotary is synonymous with action hence the principles of Rotary are acclaimed throughout the world and so, together with our team from Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, Rotary International Coordinators and the Rotary Support Centre in Alcester, we will actively promote those principles ensuring our members, clubs and communities have a voice where it matters - on the Board. For me Rotary is not just a talking shop, but hands on - to inform, promote, enlarge, engage our membership, clubs, districts and to support our Rotary Foundation. Every organisation needs to look within itself to broaden its horizon and this Board is certainly aiming to make changes where best for the longevity of Rotary topics already under discussion include a Rotary vision, the format of the Council on Legislation and Action Groups, Fellowships and Alumni as meaningful resources. So what are my goals? - to establish effective communication with clubs and the media - to increase membership thus encouraging club flexibility, diversity and innovation - to raise the profile of the Family of Rotary - to promote our Foundation - to complete the process for the eradication of Polio and to support our six areas of focus: Promoting peace, Fighting disease, Providing clean water, Saving mothers and children, Supporting education and Growing local economies. Maxine and I believe it to be a wonderful privilege and opportunity to serve Rotary and our communities, we thank Peter Offer for his guidance in our preparation and we look forward to working with every one of you during our tenure. We firmly believe as a TEAM we can ensure Rotary will be Making a Difference throughout the world.

Willow Trust

Children with dreams of home As an experienced former BBC reporter, Martin Bell OBE, has witnessed firsthand death and despair in war-torn countries across the globe. Now, as a Unicef ambassador, he is trying to do something about it. Martin Bell writes for Rotary about what he has seen, and how Rotarians can help.



was established in 1946 by •UthenicefUnited Nations to safeguard the lives of children struggling to survive in the aftermath of World War II.

n 2016, Unicef was working in 190 •Icountries and territories. fter six years of war, 6 million •Achildren inside Syria are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance –12 times more than in 2012.

ith grave violations against •Wchildren at their highest level on record, 2016 was the worst year for children in Syria.

16 // ROTARY


BECAME a Unicef ambassador in June 2001, the countries I’ve visited have invariably been the ones where the cruise ships don’t go, either because they are war-torn or landlocked – or both. My Unicef visits have taken me to Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo – all still torn by conflict. The conflict in Syria has now entered its seventh year. Out of a population of 22 million in Syria, around 11 million – a half – have been forced from their homes by the fighting. It is one of the great humanitarian calamities of our time and it is a crisis that hits children hardest. After six years of war, nearly six million children are in urgent need of humanitarian

assistance inside Syria – 12 times more than in 2012. Over 2.3 million children are now living as refugees. Earlier this year, I travelled with Unicef to Lebanon, a country I last visited in 1973 during its own civil war. One in four of the population of Lebanon is now a Syrian refugee. These people, many of them children, are not living in refugee camps but informal settlements that have sprung up across the country. Too many children there are working to survive and so cannot attend school. I met eight and nine-year-olds who were totally illiterate. The children I met dreamed of a return to the homeland many have not seen or cannot remember. The role of Unicef is to work with its partners to ensure all children have access to education and healthcare, as well as campaign to protect children

Martin Bell speaking at the Rotary GBI Conference in Manchester


Unicef ambassador, Martin Bell, on a recent visit to Lebanon

from things like underage marriage, the risk of which has increased since the conflict began. Lebanon is one country where Unicef ’s intervention, day by day, is making a real impact on the lives of children. I spoke to the headmaster of a school which teaches mainly Lebanese children in the morning and Syrian refugee children in the afternoon. I asked him what difference the funding from Unicef had made. “Without Unicef ”, he said, “We would not be able to do what we are doing.” It is donations from the public and organisations like Rotary that fund this work and mean Unicef can respond immediately and help them to rebuild their lives in the long term. The realities of life for these children are there to see – but our perception of them is not as clear as it used to be. This struck me throughout all my travels for Unicef – I didn’t meet any journalists in any of them – with the exception of Peter Greste of the BBC and later Al-Jazeera. Foreign

news – especially from zones of conflict – is expensive and dangerous to cover. The result has been a withdrawal. So we depend on such organisations as Unicef, not just to help the afflicted, but to inform us all and to be prime witnesses of what is going on in the unquiet corners of the world. They do it either through the work of their ambassadors or by helping journalists to access to such places as Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan – emergencies which otherwise would be completely unreported. Being a Unicef ambassador is not so different from being a TV reporter. It is a matter of bearing witness – or, if you like, journalism with a purpose. Certainly it is the best job I ever had. In Lebanon, I met an old Unicef friend, Luciano, an Italian whom I had previously encountered in Goma in the eastern Congo. I asked him what should we be doing? He said: “Help us by raising money, obviously.” But beyond that, we should counter what seems to be a rising xenophobia, and a growing feeling in Europe that the plight of refugees is none of our business. In an interconnected world, it is all of our business – both in terms of our national interests and our security, and in terms of our common humanity. And this is the reason the UK’s aid programme is such a fantastic promise from our country to the world’s children.

UK aid prevents people dying, gives children an education, keeps the vulnerable from the hands of those to plan to exploit and abuse them, and helps millions fleeing the brutality of war. With this help, the next generation can go from being the most vulnerable to having a chance to flourish. UK aid helps ensure Britain is great and good to the world and we should take great pride in it. Unicef and Rotary always have been and will be international. Since 1988, the relationship between these two organisations has raised over £27 million for children worldwide. Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland have regularly responded to emergencies, allowing Unicef to provide aid to children immediately. Just last year, Rotary Great Britain and Ireland members raised vital funds that supplied Syrian children with clothing and blankets to survive sub-zero temperatures. Through agencies like Unicef, Rotary supports life-saving causes. Its interventions have an enduring impact and Rotary can and should be proud of them. It has chosen to make a difference, because that is what Rotary does. l

To find out how your Rotary club can support Unicef’s work for children, visit ROTARY // 17


Rotary Young Writer Competition

Afghan Girl

continues to provoke reflection One of the most iconic photographs of all time was the inspiration for a winning story in this year’s Rotary Young Writer competition.


S is often the case with the Rotary Young Writer competition, entrants have their creative flair put to the test with a theme that serves up a great deal of imagination. For 2017, that theme was ‘Reflection’, something which Mia Kellner explored through her short story entitled 'The Eyes of War', which was inspired by Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’, a photograph which famously appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985. “What provoked me to write ‘The Eyes of War’ was the look in her eyes.” said Mia, a pupil at Grove Academy in Dundee and supported by the Rotary Club of Dundee. “Her stare epitomised the indifference that is omnipresent in every war and the people who bear its brutal consequences. “But in my writing, I wanted to portray the humanity and hope that can be found in these war-torn countries and how these emotions manifested themselves in the eyes of this one young girl.” Over 30 years on and 15-year-old Mia, was inspired by the relevance the photograph has today, “The past story of the ‘Afghan Girl’ and the hope she represents is now extremely relevant in our present times and essential in sustaining our future humanity. I wanted to explore 18 // ROTARY

the themes that are intrinsic to war: hope and the passiveness found in human nature and all forms of suffering.” The power of the written word is that it can transport the reader to a whole different time and place, something which the judges, felt Mia’s submission did beautifully. The competition featured thousands of entries, covering everything from fiction and non-fiction, to prose and poetry, and while Mia triumphed in the Senior category for 14-17 year olds, two more talented writers excelled in the Junior and Intermediate categories for those aged 7-10 and 11-13. The junior category winner was 10-year-old Marla Payne, supported by Worcester Severn Rotary Club. Marla’s poem, 'A Flash of Orange' was praised for its mature themes and described as “mystical and thoughtful” by the judges. In the Intermediate category it was Tara af Forselles’ “beautifully crafted short story about 'Grandpa’s ashes' which impressed the judges, who were moved by the story’s emotion. Tara was supported by Ashford Rotary Club in Kent.

To read the winning entries in full visit



HAT does the Chair of The Rotary Foundation Trustees do, anyway? These questions are often asked of me in different ways. The Board of Trustees manages the business of the Foundation, the charitable arm of our organisation that transforms your gifts into sustainable outcomes that change lives – both close to home and around the world. One thing we do is listen. We listen to you, the members. Your voice comes to us through many different channels and connections with feedback, ideas, concerns, and recommendations. We listen to our Rotary Foundation committees. We listen to our regional coordinators and advisers, to the district Foundation committee chairs, and to our district governors. We listen to our associate Rotary foundations which provide local tax benefits in seven countries. We listen to our colleagues on the Board of Directors, to our trusted Rotary staff, to our incredible PolioPlus committees and our polio partners, to our Rotarian Action Groups and to the Cadre of Technical Advisers. We listen to feedback from our six Rotary Peace Centres. Rotarians are the backbone of the Foundation, so it’s important to listen to you. For example, listening to Rotarians’ ideas at the 2016 Council on Legislation (COL) led to several significant reforms to enhance the membership experience. These reforms offer clubs more flexibility. An exciting rules change allows a service project to count as a meeting. Importantly, Rotaractors can now become members of Rotary clubs while they are still in Rotaract. How do these changes benefit The Rotary Foundation? The strength of the Foundation starts with our members, and we believe the new club flexibility options will attract and keep more members. This is where the COL’s three-year cycle is your opportunity to bring forward ideas to continue the evolution of Rotary. The deadline for submitting proposed enactments for the 2019 COL is December 31st. Share your ideas at: COLproposals You are our greatest strength. Let me hear from you. I can be reached at:


The Heart of the Matter



Congenital Heart Disease is one of the most common types of birth defect, affecting up to nine in every 1,000 babies born in the UK. Meet one Rotarian who is helping children around the world to battle this deadly disease.


OR any parent, being told your child has a life-threatening condition which is likely to be terminal is devastating. Fortunately in the UK, access to the support of medical professionals in this situation is usually fast and relatively local in most cases. However, it is a very different story for parents and children in many countries across the world. Take, for example, Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) which impacts one in every 1,000 youngsters in countries as diverse as Sri Lanka, Palestine and Morocco. At the forefront of the battle against CHD is an international charity called Save a Child’s Heart (SACH). Supported in Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Holland, it was set up by Dr Ami Cohen who moved to Israel in 1992 where highly complex surgical procedures are performed at the Wolfson Medical Center on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. The charity works in co-operation with the Center so that once a child has been diagnosed with the disease, they are taken there for life-changing surgery – completely free of charge, with a parent or carer travelling too.

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Rotarian Walter Felman had, until recently, headed up the charity’s UK wing where he is joined by a team of determined group of specialists, volunteers and fundraisers. A long-standing member of the Rotary Club of Mill Hill, and a Rotarian for over 35 years, Walter described the charity’s mission as attacking CHD “in the same way that Rotary is working to combat polio, small pox and measles”. Walter explained: “Children with CHD usually die in or before their teenage years. The disease causes continual and increasing damage over time, and this makes surgery often very difficult. This one disease can result in several procedures needing to be done to achieve a positive result.” What is particularly important is not just treating the children, but also setting up clinics in their home countries to train surgeons, nursing staff and hospital professionals who can then provide vital treatments on a more local basis. In some cases, these clinics are directly established by Save a Child’s Heart which can literally make the difference between life and death for a child diagnosed with CHD. So why is CHD so prevalent today?

Sadly, this is a combination of genetic inheritance, plus poor nourishment. Over the growing years of a child’s life, the impact of the disease will gradually become severe, so surgical intervention is critical. Sometimes described as ‘the quiet killer’, CHD is experienced by children in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, African countries, and across the globe. SACH records reveal that over 4,000 children from 51 different countries have received surgery in Tel Aviv. Approximately half of all children are from neighbouring countries of Israel, including the Palestine Authority, Iraq, Syria and Jordan. They will have been referred to Israel by the child’s local hospital after their parents have discovered the facility on the internet. Interestingly, youngsters on gap years, who are not necessarily looking at a future in medicine or surgery, are volunteering at SACH children’s homes and, in their words, the experience can be life-changing for them, too. Of course, such a truly international mission requires funding and Walter is often asked to be a guest speaker at Rotary clubs, describing how SACH not only provides individual children with a lifeline against CHD, but also ensures the skills

"Visiting the Wolfson Medical Center is an amazing experience - you have to tell people about it."

needed to treat it surgically and postoperatively are developed through training missions. Funds raised by SACH charities in several countries provide for the transportation and care of the young patients, as well as some of the essential equipment. During his many years as chairman of SACH, Walter has made repeated visits to Tel Aviv where the standard of care and success still impresses him. “It’s almost impossible to describe unless you go there,” reflected Walter, who received a prestigious ‘Point of Light Award’

from the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, for his work with the charity. “It is such an amazing experience and all so wonderful. It’s unassuming, modest; but you get a sense of the enormous difference it makes. “SACH aims to combat CHD by providing developing countries with the skills and equipment needed to treat the children of their own communities and be independent of outside charity. “Tanzania is the latest success story, and SACH is still undertaking missions out there to train surgeons so the children there can be treated locally, or in Israel.”

The work of SACH continues to grow apace, with new commitments in China. Walter has recently stepped down as Chairman, handing the baton to Olly Honigman, but he will remain as SACH’s Honorary President. “When you are involved with something like SACH it almost takes over your life. You feel you have to tell people about it,” added Walter.

For more information about Save a Child’s Heart visit: ROTARY // 21


Rotary Young Chef Competition

Tabitha cooks up a storm with Rotary Teenage Scot produces a masterful menu to win the Rotary Young Chef of the Year Award at the finals in Lincoln


CCORDING to dad Mark, Tabitha Steven is the queen of the fahitas. She’d eat them every night of the week, he insists. Well, there wasn’t a Mexican dish in sight as the 14-year-old Scot was crowned Rotary Young Chef of the Year following the finals in Lincoln. “I was shocked. It was the first competition I have won,” admitted Tabitha. “Ever since I was young I have enjoyed cooking and have helped out in the kitchen. One day, my dream is to open my own patisserie shop, but winning this award has made me very happy.” Eight youngsters, drawn from an original starting entry of 5,000 chefs, cooked off in the finals of the competition at Lincoln College. The competition was once again sponsored for the ninth year by olive oil specialists, Filippo Berio, which is this year celebrating its 150th anniversary, and whose Managing Director, Walter Zanre, was one of the judges. Tabitha, who was representing Rotary District 1230, pipped two young Hampshire chefs to the crown, with 16-year-old Jonny Smith from Gosport (District 1110) finishing ahead of Miranda Watson, 14, from Fleet (District 1145). Walter praised Miranda’s perfectlyexecuted lemon meringue, and described Jonny’s crab tortellini as outstanding and which would grace the table of any Michelin-starred restaurant. Rebecca Wilkinson, 14, from Ramsbottom in Greater Manchester (District 1285), was awarded the dish of the day for her outstanding smoked haddock soufflé. However, it was Tabitha from Bearsden and a pupil at the High School of Glasgow, winning a cooking trip to Tuscany courtesy of Filippo Berio, who won the day with three perfectly-executed dishes. “Tabitha’s asparagus soup tasted deliciously fresh and full of flavour,” 22 // ROTARY

Winner of Rotary Young Chef 2017, Tabitha Steven

“There was a lot of sea bass on the finalists’ menus today, but Tabitha’s was the most perfectly cooked piece of fish.” explained Walter. “There was a lot of sea bass on the finalists’ menus today, but Tabitha’s was the most perfectly cooked piece of fish. “And Tabitha finished her meal with a panna cotta. With my Italian roots, I’m a great lover of panna cotta,

and Tabitha’s was one of the best I’ve eaten.” For Tabitha, who was one of the youngest contestants in the finals, it was second time lucky. Last year she got knocked out of the competition early, but returned with her recipes refined and that persistence paid off. She admitted that her dad, Mark, was her main culinary influence, but she was looking forward to the trip to Italy where she is hoping to learn how to make her own pasta. “I cannot wait, and I am very keen to pick up a few tips,” added Tabitha. Morag McIntosh, President of the Rotary Club of Glasgow who sponsored Tabitha, commented: “We’re incredibly proud of Tabitha, she has displayed such incredible talent and a flair for cooking and her final dishes looked delicious. "We wish Tabitha the best of luck for the future – we know she’ll go far.” Rotary’s Young Chef was created to give young people across Great Britain and Ireland the chance to display their culinary talents, while discovering the importance of healthy eating. The competition is open to anyone aged 11-17 and entrants compete to make it through to the local and regional heats, in the hope of making it to the national final. Previous competitors of Rotary Young Chef have gone on to enjoy hugely successful culinary careers working with Michelin star chefs and Martha Collison, a finalist in 2012, even starring on The Great British Bake Off.

Tabitha's winning panna cotta dessert ©Alice Boucher Photography


Rotary Young Photographer Competition

Picture perfect Rotary Young Photographer Competition Perfectly capturing a single moment in time is one of the gifts of a talented photographer. Budding snappers put their skills to the test in the Rotary Young Photographer competition.


HIS year’s theme of “reflection” allowed entrants to explore both literal and metaphorical ideas around the word. For some, reflection was about capturing the juxtaposition of natural and man-made structures in water, but for others it was about telling a story through thoughtful moments of personal,

junior Junior category, Faith Merry, supported by Wantage Rotary Club “I used a mirror to reflect my guinea pig, Freckle. I took the photographs in the garden with the reflection of the tree in the background. I also like seeing her white whiskers against her black face and the reflection of her double chin and mouth.”

human reflection. With entries submitted in both colour and black and white, as well as using traditional and digital methods, the judges in the 2017 Rotary Young Photographer competition had the unenviable task of selecting three winners from an innovative selection of portfolios.

senior Senior category, Paula Averkamp, supported by Norwich Rotary Club “The chosen photograph interprets the theme ‘reflection’ by showing human observations of their surrounding environment. This photograph shows the reflection of raindrops and haze on a window.”

intermediate Intermediate category, Corbin Bate, supported by Wellington Rotary Club Inspired by his visits to the Somerset Levels, Corbin said: “I took this photo whilst fishing with my dad as we waiting for the sun to rise. What made me take this photo was that I wanted to capture the mood of the night sky.” 24 // ROTARY

To find out more about Rotary youth competitions visit

ROTARY // 25


Rotary Atlanta Convention

DROP toZERO Outgoing Rotary President, Eve Conway, reflects on an inspiring Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia

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©Peter Croan


EING part of Rotary’s biggest get-together of the year is always an inspiring experience, and this year was no exception, joining around 34,000 Rotarians from 174 countries at Rotary International’s 108th convention in Atlanta, Georgia, to celebrate the Rotary Foundation’s 100 years of “Doing Good in the World”. The buzz in the Georgia World Congress Centre, as delegates headed to hear the impressive line-up of speakers or to the many break-out sessions, was amazing - with the echo of different languages as we rubbed shoulders, squeezing onto the busy escalators heading to the main halls and the House of Friendship. Among the convention highlights was keynote speaker Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who spoke about the extraordinary progress that’s been made towards a polio-free world. He thanked Rotary for being the catalyst and visionary partner for ending this crippling disease worldwide. Just six wild polio virus cases have been reported this year, the lowest number in history. “More than 16 million people who would otherwise have been paralysed by polio are walking today. The scale of this effort is phenomenal,” said the co-founder of Microsoft. All of us in the audience of more than 22,000 had been given LED bracelets to wear. And as Gates reviewed the historic

Actor and philanthropist Ashton Kutcher spoke about human rights

milestones of the fight against polio, sections of the arena were lit up by the LED bracelets reflecting regions of the world which have been declared polio-free. “Rotary laid the foundation with its unwavering sense of purpose and its belief that anything is possible if you put your mind and body to it”, he added. In a moving moment, the then Rotary International President, John Germ, and Bill Gates renewed their long-standing support for ending polio. Rotary committed to raising $50 million (£39 million) per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Gates

Foundation. This expanded agreement will translate into $450 million (£350.8 million) for polio eradication activities, including immunisation and surveillance over the next three years. This critical funding helps ensure countries around the world remain polio-free and that polio is ended in the remaining three endemic countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. “The vision of eradicating polio began with Rotary, and its support of that effort has been unwavering for more than 35 years,” added Gates. In this section of the Convention entitled “Drop to Zero”, there was then the

“The vision of eradicating polio began with Rotary, and its support of that effort has been unwavering for more than 35 years,”

©Peter Croan

Bill Gates

Bill Gates speaking at Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia

impressive sight of global leaders coming on stage to pledge additional resources and reaffirm their commitment to achieving a polio-free world. Leaders from countries across the world joined Bill Gates and Rotary in pledging new money totalling $1.2 billion, towards filling the $1.5 billion gap in the funding that the Global Polio Eradication Initiative estimates is needed to achieve eradication. The next morning, I spoke on a panel at a breakfast event launching the End Polio Now: Countdown to History Campaign Committee. The committee is chaired by RI President 2016-17 John Germ, I have been invited to be a Vice-Chair. The panel outlined the committee’s role in raising financial support for the final phase of Rotary’s polio eradication efforts, including individual, club, and district activities.

Other guest speakers at the convention included golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, who contracted polio at the age of 13. His nickname is the “Golden Bear” and he was presented with a Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Purple4Polio teddy bear by the then RI Vice-President Jennifer Jones, who spoke about our Purple4Polio campaign. Thousands of Rotarians also joined in an innovative virtual reality experience, which brought Rotary’s polio story to life. Actor and philanthropist Ashton Kutcher took to the stage to address a major human rights issue: human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Kutcher is co-founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, an organisation that combats human trafficking. He joined other prominent voices, including Gary Haugen, CEO of International Justice Mission, and Rebecca Bender, a survivor of sex trafficking in the US, for a panel discussion on trafficking

and how communities can combat it. There was also an anti-slavery candlelit vigil in Centennial Olympic Park. More than 200 Rotarians from Great Britain and Ireland kicked off celebrations for “The Great Get Together” at the Rotary International Convention, at the Blue Jeans and Bluegrass Opening Night event in Centennial Olympic Park. “The Great Get Together” is inspired by Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, who was murdered in a brutal attack in June 2016. In Jo’s first speech to Parliament, she said: “We are far more united and have more in common than that which divides us.” Despite being 4,000 miles from the UK, Rotarians were keen to honour that sentiment and signed a “Great Get Together” notebook with messages of inspiration, community and togetherness to mark the occasion. l ROTARY // 27



Rotary Club of Westminster International Solicitor (BT Group Legal) How did you become involved with Rotary? I feel I’ve been “in the family” all my adult life. I joined Letchworth Rotaract in 1982, where I met my wife Caroline, at my Rotarian (and double Paul Harris Fellow) father’s suggestion. I left in 1990 under the age rule and was then in Letchworth Round Table from 1993 to 2007 – serving on the National Council for the last two years. After a few years’ break, I felt the time was right for Rotary. Why the Westminster International Rotary Club? I visited a number of Rotary clubs in London. It’s amazing how different every club is. I immediately felt at home with the vibrant and diverse approach of WIRC. Rarely a week passes without a visit from an overseas Rotarian. And it supports great causes – some in central London and some globally. How do you find the time to fit in Rotary with other hobbies and interests? We are all increasingly “cash rich/time poor”. So, it’s all about the programme. If your Rotary club’s programme and the causes it supports continue to appeal, you will find the time to participate. Tell us about IFFR The International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians is a group of Rotarians dedicated to promoting aviation as an opportunity for fellowship and service. It has 1100 members worldwide (around 150 in the UK), many of whom are private pilots. Each section holds fly-in meetings, with a special fly-round each year following the Rotary International Convention. In 2017, it started in Atlanta and toured the Eastern states.

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What do you get out of being a member of Rotary and IFFR? As a member of WIRC, I really enjoy having the chance to give something back for all the good things I have in my life. And it’s a pleasure to spend time with fellow Rotarians who feel the same way. IFFR is a great way for me to indulge my passion for flying, to visit new places and make new Rotary friends. If we granted you a wish to change something about the organisation, what would it be? Louis Marchesi founded Round Table for young men to learn about service, leadership and fellowship and be ready to join Rotary at 40. The link between the two appears to have been lost and far too few ex-Round Tablers (and Ladies Circlers) join Rotary. I would press for it to re-establish those links to grow a younger Rotary membership. How would you describe your enjoyment of Rotary? I enjoy being with like-minded people who want to do some good in the world, to have fun and share fellowship, and who have a truly global outlook that brings all of us Rotarians together as one. l

If you would like to be featured in Meet & Greet, email editor Dave King at:


Welsh Rotary Centenary

Hitting a century


OTARY in Wales is celebrating its centenary, and to commemorate the anniversary, a “Beating Retreat” ceremony and reception was held in the historic surroundings of Cardiff Castle. The band of the Royal Welsh Guards performed the Beating Retreat and entertained guests who included Eve Conway, the then Rotary GBI President, the Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Morfudd Ann Meredith, along with Southern Wales District Governor Steve Jenkins and Maggie Hughes, shortly before she was installed as District Governor. The formation of a Rotary Club of Cardiff had first been mooted in May 1917, and a year before the end of World War 1, it was chartered in November, to become the first Rotary club in Wales. Llanelli Rotary Club will be the next to celebrate its centenary having been formed in 1918, and Swansea Rotary Club celebrates its 100 years in 2019. A number of events are planned across the Southern Wales District (1150) over the next 12 months to mark this important milestone. One key legacy initiative is to work with the adjoining District 1180 to make Wales a dementia-friendly country. There are also plans for a Centenary Mile and Party in the Park. Cardiff Rotary will be holding a gala dinner at their charter hotel the Park Hotel (now Jury’s Inn) in November. A delve into the archives of The Rotary Wheel – the magazine of British Rotary in 1917, uncovers an article in the May issue headlined: Two new Rotary clubs – Bristol and Cardiff. On May 22nd 1917, a preliminary meeting was held at the Park Hotel, Cardiff, when a group of nine men from the city convened to meet and listen to Tom Stephenson of Edinburgh, the Secretary of the British Association of Rotary Clubs, and Lyon Scott. After a lengthy discussion, it was proposed that "a Rotary club be formed in Cardiff under the auspices of and in affiliation with the British Association of Rotary Clubs". The nine present were appointed as

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Past Rotary GBI President Eve Conway with the band of the Royal Welsh Guards

"One key legacy initiative is to work with the adjoining District 1180 to make Wales a dementia-friendly country" a 'Provisional Committee' to make the necessary arrangements for a meeting place and to try to obtain additional suitable members. Some doubts were expressed over the appropriateness of starting a Rotary club during wartime, but by July 18, 1917, several new names had been added to the list, and the club was clearly a viable concern. On September 7th, 1917, the first formal luncheon was held at the Park Hotel at a cost of 3 shillings and 6 pence (17.5p) plus 10% 'war charges'. W.A. Chamen, an electrical engineer, was in the chair as Founder President and

31 members and several guests were also present to hear Rotarian A. Home-Morton, President of the London Club, speak about the elevating influence of Rotary. Delaval Story, the Vice President of the Bristol Club, expressed his pleasure at the foundation of a new club in Wales. Greetings were also conveyed from 13 other clubs. The November 1917 issue of Rotary Wheel records that: “Applications for affiliation from the Rotary clubs of Cardiff, Bristol and Perth were submitted. In all three cases, the required conditions had been complied with, and the affiliations were passed unanimously.”



It's Gone Viral



What is being watched, posted, liked, shared and tweeted around Rotary in the world of social media, including highlights from the Rotary 2017 Convention.

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

THANK YOU ROTARY ONE SMALL ACT $450 MILLION POLIO PLEDGE The highlight of the Rotary Convention was undoubtedly Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s $450 million pledge to help eradicate polio in the next three years. Joined on stage by World Wrestling Entertainment star John Cena, Bill Gates was the convention’s keynote speaker and announced the pledge in front of 20,000 Rotarians in Atlanta. Watch the pledge highlights on the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Facebook page.

Another highlight of the convention was the debut of Rotary’s latest virtual reality film: "One Small Act". The immersive, 360 degree experience allows viewers to engross themselves in the work that Rotary does, as well as the impact we make. Head to to view Rotary’s first 360 degree film, "I Dream of an Empty Ward", on YouTube.

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Without the work of Rotary, the world wouldn’t be on the brink of eradicating a disease that used to affect 350,000 children a year. Our partners Unicef and the World Health Organization wanted to say a big thank you for our tireless work. Check it out on the Global Polio Eradication Imitative YouTube channel at ThankYouRotary.

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram



Head to the Rotary International Facebook page to relive a live broadcast from the Rotary convention with our project partner, ShelterBox. Tens of thousands tuned in to for a hands-on demo of their life saving equipment with a dedicated member of the ShelterBox response team.




Zero matters because it means we have eradicated polio from the world. Visit the Rotary International YouTube channel or to see the polio journey in numbers.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

MAKE CHILDREN HAPPY The National Rotary KidsOut Day was another huge success, with Rotary helping 29,000 disadvantaged children enjoy fun days out across the country. Head to to see all the best tweets from the day or search #MakeChildrenHappy.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland


The Woodland Trust REBECCA WARNER

Plant a tree

with Rotary Be a force of nature with a new Rotary eco-challenge.


OTARIANS are digging for environmental victory and doing it with great gusto as they aim to plant at least one tree per member in response to the goal set by Rotary International President Ian Riseley. That is potentially over 47,000 trees in Great Britain and Ireland, the equivalent of a forest the size of 100 football pitches, and a million more across the rest of the world. With over half of the UK’s forests having disappeared since the 1930’s, Rotary’s actions cannot come sooner. Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President, Denis Spiller, reckons this is an investment of time and effort which will have a long-term impact. He said: “We are doing much more than planting trees in the ground, we are leaving a lasting eco-friendly legacy. “As these young trees grow and replenish our woods, they will provide shelter for wildlife as well as create cleaner air. I am very optimistic that we will not be alone in our endeavours and I welcome offers of help from the public.” The trees will be purchased by clubs and then placed in publicly accessible woodlands across Great Britain and parts of Ireland. There could be an area near your home which would benefit from a boost in tree numbers. Planting will be taking place in early November this year or in March next year which avoids colder weather and helps the young trees to take root successfully.

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John Tucker, Director of Woodland Creation with Rotary GBI President Denis Spiller

Special shields around the trees will stop hungry wildlife taking a bite while a stake will keep them upright during windy weather. The Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, is supporting Rotary in these islands through expert advice, the supply of trees and suggestions of where to plant. John Tucker, Director of Woodland Creation, is offering their help to Rotary clubs to ensure the project succeeds. He said: “Great Britain has one of the lowest tree covers in Europe and with all the benefits that trees can offer we desperately need to be planting more now. It is fantastic to see Rotary taking up this challenge and at the Woodland Trust we will do everything that we can to help Rotarians to fulfil it.”

President Denis believes the more help, the better. He added: “I would like to see this green challenge going beyond this Rotary year. Our planet badly needs this initiative. With the help of the public and community groups, we can keep developing forests for the future.” Inspired? Contact your local club, which can be found using our club finder on our website and be part of the adventure. With your enthusiasm, hundreds more trees can be placed in struggling woodlands. All you need is some sturdy footwear, suitable outdoor clothing and a few hours to spare.

For more information visit: rotary-tree-planting-challenge.

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ODDESDON Rotarians are on a high – literally – after returning from an amazing service project in the Himalayas. The Hoddesdon to Himalayas Project was the culmination of two years’ preparation with youngsters from two Hertfordshire schools working in an earthquake-ravaged village in Nepal before making a trek to the Mount Everest Base Camp. “This has been a life-changing experience for us all,” explained Rotarian, John Hiscock. “Our students and Rotarians have developed lasting community links, expanded personal horizons and benefited from doing good where it was seriously needed.” The Rotary Club of Hoddesdon initiated this ambitious and challenging project, helping to raise £18,000 towards the cost of the adventure – with the students also pitching in by fundraising £750 without dipping into their parents’ bank accounts. On the back of scaling Mount Kilimanjaro for charity, the then Hoddesdon Club President, David Johnston, was the driving force behind the project. He had watched a television programme about the highest classroom on earth, and wanted to support such a school in Nepal which has been damaged by the April 2015 earthquake. It’s with a touch of irony that this inspirational programme was produced by BBC journalist and Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Immediate Past President, Eve Conway, who had also been involved in putting together two other television


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packages about schools operating in hot and cold climates. Working in partnership with the Kathmandu Mid-Town Rotary Club, they identified a school in the Nepalese capital which desperately needed help. Then an orphanage was identified and added to the project. Six Hoddesdon Rotarians joined the students and teachers to decorate the Jana Sewa School and Shanti Orphanage, having brought with them 6,000 exercise books, other school items as well as 200kg of toys – and a computer! “Conditions at the orphanage were desperate, and the environment outside was lunar,” added John. “Many of the children at the orphanage were street kids, but when we arrived with these gifts, they were greeted with ecstasy by the Nepalese children, who brought tears to one or two seasoned Rotarian eyes.” The Jana Sewa School had also been

badly damaged by the earthquake. There they painted furniture and decorated 11 themed panels in a Wall of Friendship. The work inside the orphanage was physical and demanding, as the team set to work on the four-floor building. They provided bedding for the children, plus a shoe box for each child containing gifts. “The Shanti Orphanage was a great contrast, characterised by poor environment, poverty, dilapidation, street kids desperately short of material and psychological kindness,“ said John. “The need was clearly greater here. The human contact between us and the Nepalese children in the school and orphanage was hugely rewarding,” added John. “The bonding between all parties must have stood Rotary in very good stead - maybe it laid the foundations for future links with Rotary in Nepal continue.” The project work was the key to the adventure which left an indelible impression on the Hertfordshire students and Rotarians, who completed their 19-day visit with a trek to Everest Base Camp at 17,600 feet above sea level. Twenty one of the 22 members of the party reached their destination, despite problems with digestion, altitude and exhaustion. John was airlifted from Everest at 11,300 feet with a calf tear. “I am a hill walker, but this was the steepest, protracted climbing ever, complete with wonderful scenery and company. “The team kept in touch daily and we even managed a live link to Hoddesdon Club during their Monday lunch meeting.”

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NEWS IN BRIEF BOXING CLEVER THANET Rotary Club recently dished out cheques for more than £32,000 to a series of Kent charities. The then President Richard Gardner made the presentations to the Pilgrims Hospice, Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and to the Ramsgate Amateur Boxing Club. The cheques were handed out at the 12th annual gala boxing night held at the Winter Gardens in Margate, jointly staged by Thanet Rotary Club and Ramsgate Amateur Boxing Club. More than £370,000 has been raised for charity and it is to be hoped that next February’s event will smash the £400,000 mark.

BOPPING FOR INDIA THE Women In Need charity, which works to improve the lives of underprivileged adults and children in India, has been boosted by funds from the Rotary Club of Washington. The Tyne & Wear-based club held a Bop at The Biddick rock ‘n roll night, and a cheque was presented to the charity’s founders, Leah Pattison and Usha Patil, who had been affected by leprosy from the age of 10-years-old. Usworth Colliery Primary School RotaKids organised a fundraising disco for water filters, one of which was presented to the charity in India.

GOLFING GESTURE THE Rotary Club of Waterlooville held its annual Charity Golf Day at Southwick Park Golf Club and delivered a significant amount of money for local charities. Teams were playing for the Joss Cleeve Memorial Trophy, in memory of a Rotarian and local farmer who was a huge supporter of the event. The £5,000 proceeds were divided between the New Blendworth Centre, which provides day provision for people with varying degrees of learning difficulties, and Hampshire causes.

BY GEORGE, WE DID IT! THE Rotary Club of Roborough Plymouth raised £1,000 for local charities following a St George’s Day celebration. Local Guides and dance groups took part in the event which featured participants aged from 8 to 80-years-old.

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HERE are many fundraising events taking place under the Purple4Polio banner, but surely none so sweet as the one devised by the Rotary Club of Huntly. With the help of ice cream producer James Rizza & Sons Ltd, the Aberdeenshire club is promoting a blueberry flavoured purple ice cream. The ice cream has been manufactured in two sizes – 125ml and 1 litre cartons - with all proceeds going to Rotary’s “End Polio Now” campaign. Every 125ml and 1 litre carton of ice cream enables one and six polio immunisations. When a Rotary club buys the ice cream, the contribution towards immunisation has

already been included in the buying price. However, any profit a Rotary club makes by selling the ice cream at more than the recommended selling price (£1.75 for 125ml and £4.50 for 1 litre) could then go towards that club’s End Polio Now contribution. By the end of May this year, the total number of polio immunisations made possible from the sales of Purple4Polio Ice Cream stood at 6,364.

FOR MORE INFORMATION The Purple4Polio ice cream is now available across the whole of the UK and Ireland via a network of distributors, details of whom can be found at



HE Bulgarian Folklore Club in Oswestry, in partnership with the Oswestry Cambrian Rotary Club, held a "Together in the Park" event in Cae Glas Park. On a sun-kissed day in Oswestry, it was the perfect opportunity for locals to enjoy Bulgarian culture for an event which featured Bulgarian dancers, food and music. The "Together in the Park" was a free event featuring Bulgarian dancers, food and music, with visitors able to join in with the folklore group. Besides the Oswestry Folklore Club, Bulgarians from the UK

joined other groups of dancers in traditional national costume who had travelled over from various parts of Eastern Europe especially for the event. Cath Baldry from the Oswestry Cambrian Rotary Club said, "This was the second time the event has been run but the first year our club has been involved. “We are very proud to be working in partnership with the Oswestry Folklore Group and the event is looking like it will be a yearly calendar event for Oswestry and will probably get bigger each year".

NEWS IN BRIEF DOWN’S SYNDROME HONOUR THE Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group has awarded the Rotary Club of Northwich Vale Royal a 'certificate of commitment and contribution' for its support over the years. Now celebrating their 10th birthday the Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group has supported over 100 families across Cheshire with Down’s Syndrome children. Training courses have been run for families and professionals, educating and changing perspectives of the condition.

ON THEIR MARKS THE Rotary Club of Folkestone and Folkestone Channel Rotary Club have contributed to an appeal to raise funds for Folkestone athletes aiming to participate in the Special Olympics National Summer Games, which take place in Sheffield later this year. The £500 donation, split equally between the two Rotary clubs, will go towards the entry fees, board, kit and transport costs for the athletes and their coaches and carers.

QUIZ KINGS CALDERDALE Rotary clubs Primary School Quiz is beginning to gain attention across Yorkshire. The fourth year of the contest was won on a tie-break by Salterhebble Primary School in a tight final. Over 70 primary schools were invited to take part, and the finals night featured support from the Halifax Rotary and Inner Wheel clubs. The Rotary Club of Bridgend held its annual junior quiz at Tondu Primary School. Litchard Primary School took top honours in the seven-team contest, and prizes were presented by Dr Bob Broughton OBE.

EVERY WITCH WAY! THE Rotary Club of Bilston & Wolverhampton West brought a little bit of witchcraft for its major fundraiser of 2017. It was a hot night in many ways at the Ramada Park Hotel. Lesley Smith, a curator and historian from Tutbury Castle, was joined by Dr Gareth Williams from the British Museum to present a history of witchcraft in 17th century England.



NEW world record looks to have been set in Dorset as part of the fight to wipe out polio across the globe. Rotarians from across the south coast joined forces with visitors in Wimborne in May to create the new global mark for the longest line of letters. Dan Hancock and Jen Ormond from The Short and Sweet Company had set the record for the longest line of books 12 months ago. After being approached by the then Rotary Wessex District Governor, Chris Slocock, they agreed to create the world record in support of the Purple4Polio campaign.

It was performed by people each holding a letter of a message promoting the campaign. John Gully, from the Rotary Club of Wimborne, said: “The attempt went well. The record needs to be verified by Guinness, but we believe we’ve set a new world record. “We had about 270 people there, and each of them held up a letter of a message which essentially highlighted the work which Rotary has done to eliminate polio. “We were well-supported, and the rain held off until the record had been set.”



DWARD Timpson former MP for Crewe and Nantwich and former Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, presented prizes at the Rotary Club of Nantwich Primary Schools’ Art and Handwriting Competition. This ninth edition of the competition smashed all previous records with 985 entries, as 13 of the 14 primary schools in the Cheshire town submitted entries vying for record prize money of £850. The theme for the competition was “The Great British Countryside”, which was interpreted in many different and creative ways by the children. Judges for the competition included local artist and architect Martin Greenwood, Brine

Leas School art teacher, Claire Somerville and calligrapher Frances Passmore. The presentations were made at Nantwich Museum, where many of the entries were displayed. Individual prizes were awarded, while Pear Tree Primary picked up a trophy and a £250 cheque for the school achieving the highest standard of entries in both the art and handwriting categories. Rotary President, Tony Hoy, said: “This year’s Rotary Club of Nantwich Primary Schools’ Art and Handwriting Competition is the biggest and best yet. With a record number of entries, our club continues to increase its promotion of artistic excellence in local school children.”

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N overnight sleep-out alongside Colchester Castle raised around £12,000 for the local Samaritans group and Beacon House Colchester - a charity which helps the homeless. The then Colchester Mayor, Julie Young, The Bishop of Colchester, The Right Reverend Roger Morris and MP Will Quince were joined by around 20 local business people and individuals sleeping alongside the castle in the not so warm May weather. Organised by the Colchester Forum Rotary Club, participants were sponsored and asked to collect a minimum of £500. They slept in a range of shelters, and fortunately the weather kept dry, though cold. The sleep-out participants were kept supplied with hot drinks provided by local companies and served by volunteers from the Samaritans.



OTARY clubs in the North Midlands are pioneering an exciting new project to promote ecology in schools. The District 1220 Business Partnership has successfully established a project that ticks so many boxes for Rotary, education and the business community with its Eco Bottle Greenhouse project. According to David Pedlar, the national co-ordinator, the Eco project is a great benefit to schools and meets National Curriculum guidelines for Year 6 students. “Schools have limited funds, but with our help and initiative we can deliver this valuable addition to the education system,” explained David. “We have joined forces with an approved manufacturer of school equipment to supply each greenhouse kit at a cost of £185, plus VAT. The children collect the plastic bottles and learn about recycling. The greenhouse is then erected by volunteers drawn from the business community. “With a volunteer force requirement

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of just four people for two four-hour sessions it is ideal for companies to fulfil corporate social responsibility objectives by releasing employees and perhaps funding a greenhouse without a huge commitment.” David pointed out how Rotary clubs can be a driving force for good in their communities by brokering these projects and making a difference for schools and the business community. Recently, the Rotary Club of Wollaton Park in Nottinghamshire was the broker to fund an Eco project with Middleton Primary School in the town. The supermarket chain Waitrose served as the business partner. “Experience to date has shown there is real enthusiasm from schools and from companies of all sizes,” he added. “The real bonus for Rotary is the enthusiasm that we are finding from the teachers who see the value of Rotary in their schools. “We are already getting feedback to suggest that they would join Rotary to further their school ecology projects, for networking

and open exciting new doors. “This has the potential for new Satellite Clubs, using the teaching profession and business partner volunteers as a nucleus. Together, we can deliver hands-on projects without compromising the limited recreation time of the working population. It is hoped the Eco project can be rolled out to schools on a national basis. For details, contact David Pedlar at for more information and guidance pack. You can also find details on the Rotary Business Partnership Initiative Facebook page.

NEWS IN BRIEF LUTTERWBELARUS YOUNGSTERS HOSTED THE Rotary Club of Lunesdale teamed up with the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children to host a dozen youngsters from Belarus on their first visit to the UK. The youngsters, aged between seven and 11-years-old, were accompanied by two interpreters for their day visit to the Kendal Climbing Centre in the Lake District.

STALWART HONOURED DAVID Pagett, a long-standing member of both Kidderminster Rotary Club and the Wyre Forest Scout Association was remembered when a new archery facility was opened at the Rhydd Covert outward bound centre. The shelter for budding scouts and guides was funded jointly by both organisations. David was the Kidderminster District Commissioner, a former President of Kidderminster Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow.

BEST FOOT FORWARD THE Beckenham-based Rotary Club of Langley Park was once again at the fore for the St Christopher’s Hospice Fun Walk held on Keston Common. The event, was the brainchild of Rotarian David Stoneham raising £29,000 in its first year. The club remains involved with the event which attracts thousands of walkers, and this year it is expected £208,000 will have been raised for St Christopher’s Anniversary Centre in Sydenham and Caritas Centre in Orpington.

ENTENTE CORDIALE SIXTY years of twinning was marked with an anniversary event on the south coast with Christchurch Rotarians and the Rotary Club of Cognac enjoying some entente cordiale.The celebrations were marked with a dinner at Highcliffe overlooking the Solent. The international flavour was emphasised by the presence of Cognac Rotary youth exchange student, Fernanda Caravesi from Brazil. The then President Marc Cordier from Cognac spoke of the long and fruitful association of the two clubs, beginning in June 1957.



HERE'S simply no stopping Elgin Rotary Club whose fundraising activities look set to top £700,000. That’s the result of the popular Marafun, the June running race around the streets of Elgin which has been raising money for local charities since 1991. This year, in between rain showers and blue skies, hundreds of runners took part in the 14th biennial Marafun, featuring a 5.2-mile five-strong relay around the streets of the former cathedral city lying on the banks of the Moray Firth. The primary school race featured children running one lap of the relay course. Three local pipe bands kicked off the

day’s athletic endeavours by marching down Elgin High Street. There were displays of cars and new car dealerships, a range of stalls, as well as entertainment provided by musicians, gymnastics, Highland dancing and taekwondo. This year, 100 local organisations will share the monies raised, to help them with their good work in the community. Elgin Rotary were indebted to Diageo who have agreed to continue as platinum sponsor for the event. The event takes six months to plan and has in excess of 100 Rotarians, friends and family, supporting the event from set up at 8am right throughout the day.



T'S tough enough completing a marathon in normal running gear, but in fancy dress?. Robert Morphet from the Rotary Club of Bradford West, managed to survive the Edinburgh Marathon while wearing a bear suit. He managed to raise more than £7,000 for End Polio Now – a sum which will be doubled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “I could hardly walk afterwards,” said Robert, who has just become District Governor for 1040. “I managed 5 hours 59 minutes in the bear suit. The more water I splashed on myself to keep cool, the wetter and heavier the costume got. “I have chafed legs, a black big toe and a blister. Was it worth it? Absolutely.” Sarah Shears has just become the youngest ever President of the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh. Shortly before taking office, Sarah completed the 12-mile extreme obstacle course at the West London Tough Mudder near Henley. She managed to raise nearly £700 for the mental charity Mind.

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NEWS IN BRIEF TOP GEAR FOR ROTARY SHOW LUTTERWORTH Rotary Club’s 11th plant, craft and food fair attracted 1,100 visitors to Misterton Hall in the Leicestershire market town. Crafts from jewellery to art and garden gifts, were all on sale in lovely surroundings. The Concours d’ Elegance of cars prompting many appreciative comments of the vehicles displayed. The winning car was an immaculate 3 litre 1962 Austin Healey owned by Ian Robertson.

CHIPS FOR CHARITY KENILWORTH Rotary Club made a meal of things to support the Spinal Injuries Association. The Warwickshire club held a fish and chip supper to support the charity which it has backed for a number of years after one of its members, Colin Sallis, suffered a serious spinal injury. A total of £670 was raised from the evening, with music provided by a group of young students from Kenilworth School, called Kryptic.

CASTLE FUNDRAISER THE Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs of Rushen & Western Mann in the Isle of Man held a cheese and wine charity event at historic Castle Rushen in May and raised over £1,400 for charity. The 80 guests, gentlemen in black tie and ladies in evening dress, were entertained by the Castletown Metropolitan Silver Band and the Musicale Singers, with the magnificent castle proving to be a splendid venue for the event. Both Rotary and Inner Wheel play an active role in community life on the Isle of Man and the valuable funds raised will be used towards the charitable ventures of both clubs.


Got a story for us? Send it in (with a good quality picture) to

Look for us online at or follow us on Facebook: /RotaryinGBI Twitter: @RotaryGBI YouTube: Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

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ROTARY-driven project to remember loved ones over the festive season has won a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Telford Tree of Light, which is organised by the Rotary Clubs of Ironbridge, Telford Centre, The Wrekin and Wellington has been picked up an award, dubbed the MBEs for voluntary groups. The Tree of Light in Telford town centre allows Shropshire citizens to remember loved ones who have passed away over Christmas. Over the past 20 years, 50,000 people have remembered their loved ones, and more than £500,000 has been raised. Among the first to congratulate the Telford Tree of Light on their achievement was Rotarian John Sayer, the then 1210 District Governor which covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands. He said: “This is excellent news – congratulations to all concerned. It is a wellearned reward for many years of service to the local community.” Rotarian Paul Booth, the then Chairman of the Trustees, said the four Rotary clubs, were both ‘honoured and delighted’ to receive this significant award. He said: “It is especially appropriate that the award has been received at the end of its 21st year of operation. “From small beginnings, the operation has grown into a major annual undertaking,

with the preparatory work commencing in April and culminating in a presentation evening in February/March. “The bulk of the activity takes place from late October to Christmas when people are given the opportunity to commemorate the names of their loved ones. These names are then displayed around a tree in the Telford Shopping Centre and in other locations around the town. “They are also printed in the local paper, the Telford Journal, and on the Tree of Light website. Over 5,000 names are now regularly remembered each year.” Fifty per cent of the funds raised are given to the Severn Hospice with the remaining 50 per cent shared between local charities nominated by each of the four Rotary clubs.

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Adonia returns to P&O Cruises Set sail for the Caribbean this winter

P&O Cruises has welcomed small ship Adonia back into the fleet with a range of attractive cruises taking in off the beaten track ports of call across Europe, the Mediterranean, Iceland, eastern Atlantic Islands and the Caribbean. Adonia’s first cruise following the return to P&O Cruises was a seven-night round-trip of Europe’s west coast in June. And that was followed by a 14-night Iceland cruise through the Icelandic fjords to ‘The Home of the Viking Kings’ before sailing to Klaksvik in the Faroe Islands, Portree on Skye and Londonderry. Now, following a European summer cruise schedule which is taking in western Europe, the western Mediterranean, the British Isles, the Iberian Atlantic coast and the Atlantic Islands; she is preparing for a transAtlantic sailing to the Caribbean and a six-month stay for winter cruise itineraries around the Caribbean. P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow, is delighted to have Adonia back among the P&O Cruises fleet. He said: “Guests love our bigger ships, but Adonia has always had a special place in the hearts of many of them, who enjoy the intimate and country house hotel feel, the 44 // ROTARY

discovery itineraries offered and the refined gentleness of the on board experience. “The new programme of P&O Cruises holidays on Adonia will rekindle that intimacy for our regular guests, as they explore destinations across Europe, the Mediterranean, Atlantic and the Caribbean.” Based in Southampton, P&O Cruises has a fleet of eight ships offering holidays tailored to British tastes combining genuine service, a sense of occasion and attention to detail, ensuring passengers have the holiday of a lifetime. Britannia, a design-led 141,000-ton ship, was named by HM The Queen on March 10, 2015. A new 180,000 ton LNG-powered ship is on order for delivery in 2020. P&O Cruises is offering a selection of 21-night Transatlantic and 14-night Caribbean fly cruises featuring some of the most intriguing islands in the Caribbean. There is also the option to travel beyond the Caribbean and experience the Amazon.

For more information or to book call P&O Cruises on 0843 374 0111


Oceana to be based in Dubai for round trip cruises in 2019

P&O Cruises has announced full details of its Arabian Gulf fly-cruise itineraries, which will commence in January 2019 and will be the first time P&O Cruises has ever based a ship in the region. Between January 10 and April 4 2019, P&O Cruises will sail five 10-night cruises from Dubai on Oceana. The Arabian Gulf fly-cruise programme is now on general sale and includes:

• January 10

• February 28

• January 29

• March 10

• February 8

• March 20

20 nights from Southampton to Dubai visiting Cadiz, Valletta, Salalah and Muscat as well as transiting the Suez Canal. Fly/cruise prices from £1,549 per person. 10 nights round trip from Dubai visiting Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Manama, Khor al Fakkan and Khasab. Fly/cruise prices from £1,699 per person.

10 nights round trip from Dubai visiting Manama, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Muscat and Khasab. Fly/cruise prices from £1399 per person.

10 nights round trip from Dubai visiting Manama, Abu Dhabi, Khor al Fakkan, Khasab and Sir Bani Yas Island. Fly/cruise prices from £1399 per person. 10 nights round trip from Dubai visiting Manama, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Khasab and Sir Bani Yas Island. Fly/cruise prices from £1399 per person. 15 nights from Dubai to Valletta visiting Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Salalah as well as transiting the Suez Canal. Fly/cruise prices from £1599 per person.

• February 18

10 nights round trip from Dubai visiting Manama, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Khasab and Sir Bani Yas Island. Fly/cruise prices from £1399 per person.

Visit or visit your local travel agent.

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Editor's letter

and finally... with Managing Editor Dave King

Is Rotary value for money?


Now there’s a thought!

T is a point I hear quite a lot on visits to clubs and at conferences about the level of subs we pay with questions over where the money is going to? Actually, part of your subs is going towards paying for this magazine. I was chatting about this on Facebook recently, asking whether you could compare our Rotary fees to say membership of a golf club, visiting the gym, or the cost of going out to dinner or the cinema each week. “What about a weekly cup of coffee at £2.50 if you are realistic about the cost?” chirped one Rotarian. Another pointed out you can't measure Rotary in terms of value for money since, you get nothing tangible in return. “You are paying to offer a service, instead of being paid to do so,” he wrote. “The rewards are making a contribution and service to the community, both here and abroad. If you offer something the public wants, they will respond.” Cost is not a driving factor against people joining Rotary, there are clearly other issues which RIBI president Denis Spiller neatly addresses in this magazine. But what do you think? Email me at: - I’d love to hear your thoughts.

MY hobby is a pretty cheap one – running. Well, it gets you out of the house and from under the feet of she who must be obeyed! I was in Swansea in June as one of the pace-makers for the city’s half marathon. This was two hours of running along to The Mumbles looking like a tourist guide, wearing a backpack with a flag, and dishing out jelly babies! Then I made a quick dash back to the hotel, a shower, a splash of Old Spice, and off to the Tower Hotel for the District 1150 handover from Steve Jenkins to Maggie Hughes. It was a great event, and Maggie has big plans to tackle dementia in Wales. I had a lovely chat with Alison Sutherland, who is doing some great work with refugees in south Wales, more of which in Rotary magazine later this year. This year is the centenary of Rotary in Wales, and it was wonderful to catch up with some lovely people – I just hope the deodorant wasn’t too overpowering! ROTARY magazine is clearly a publication of influence – and read in regal surroundings! No sooner was Rotary World’s Greatest Meal founder, Susanne Rea, featured in the June issue, than she had been awarded the

Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List! Hounslow Rotarian, Mukesh Malhotra, who has been a driving force behind this End Polio Now culinary fundraiser, rightly described the award as “recognition for all that Suzanne does as an amazing humanitarian”. Very well said. APOLOGIES to Patricia Hoggarth from the Rotary Club of Workington who was missed out from June’s issue of Rotary celebrating the winners of the international awards in the Champions of Change. In the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines in November 2013, Patricia initiated a fund-raising campaign which initially raised £5,000 with a street collection. But, under her leadership, this was eventually turned into £44,000 enabling the financing of 80 motorised fiberglass fishing boats to help replenish the lost fleet on the island of Kinatarcan. A great and inspirational story. l

Editorial material and opinion expressed in Rotary do not necessarily reflect the views of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland or the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure that the magazine’s content is accurate. Information is published in good faith, but no liability can be accepted for loss or inconvenience arising from error or omission. The editor welcomes contributions of articles, news items, photographs and letters, but is under no obligation to publish unsolicited material. The editor reserves the right to edit for clarity or length. Contributors must ensure that all material submitted is not in breach of copyright or that they have obtained any necessary permission, in writing, for its reproduction. While every care will be taken with material submitted to Rotary magazine, no responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage. Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland believes in the highest standards journalistic integrity. Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland and the publisher do not accept responsibility for advertising and insert content. Advertisements are accepted at face value and no liability can be accepted for the actions of advertisers.

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Rotary Magazine August - September 2017  

This issue we speak to Unicef Ambassador and former BBC Reporter Martin Bell having witnessed first-hand death and despair in war-torn count...

Rotary Magazine August - September 2017  

This issue we speak to Unicef Ambassador and former BBC Reporter Martin Bell having witnessed first-hand death and despair in war-torn count...