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Joint-president Mike Hadfield presided at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Chesterfield held at the Olde House, Newbold, on Friday 4 March 2016.

The president welcomed Barry Thompson, guest of past-president John Keeton, and regular guest Frank Clifford, past-president of the Rotary Club of Bolsover, who in recognition of forthcoming Mother’s Day brought greetings from Chesterfield Rotary’s daughter club, Bolsover.

Information boards circulated included:- the club calendar, a theatre visit to see Chesterfield Operatic Society’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in April 2016, and Wirksworth Rotary 68th Charter Anniversary at the Town Hall, Wirksworth on Thursday 14 April 2016.

Past-president Jim Haggarty reminded members that the club’s annual Whisky Tasting Social Evening was being held this night at the Olde House (7.00pm for 7.30pm).

Past-president Jim Savage reported that a letter of thanks had been received from the charity Parkinson’s UK following receipt of the club’s donation of £90 from the roll-a-coin feature at the recent Burns Night. The money will be used locally by the charity.

As chairman of the club’s vocational service committee, rotarian Ian Gordon, reported that the finals of the annual Chesterfield School’s Public Speaking Competition will again be held as part of Ladies Day on Friday 18 March 2016. He was pleased to report that nine students from the following schools were taking part in this year’s competition:- Hasland Hall, Netherthorpe, Outwood Academy, Springwell, and Whittington Green. A preliminary round is due to be held at Hasland Hall on Wednesday 9 March (2.30pm).

The after-lunch speaker was Andy Hoe who provided an absorbing insight into Namibia, a large and sparsely populated country on Africa's south-west coast.  The country, which is rich in minerals, fishing and tourism, has enjoyed stability since gaining independence in 1990 after a long struggle against rule by South Africa.  Chesterfield is twinned with Tsumeb in Namibia. More details about Namibia:

Andy Hoe (centre) with joint-president Mike Hadfield (right) 

& speaker host, past-president John Keeton (left)

A vote of thanks was proposed by the past-president John Keeton. The meeting was brought to a close when past-president John Moss proposed the closing toast.

The next meeting on Friday 11 March is the monthly business meeting, which also includes an SGM to elect the club’s president-elect for 2016-17.  Duty rotarian is Ian Gordon.