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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 18 March 2016.  He welcomed wives and members of Chesterfield Inner Wheel to the club’s annual Ladies Day, and the finalists and teaching staff from local schools taking part in the final of the annual Chesterfield Schools Public Speaking Competition.  Also present was Maria Benney (Hady Primary School), the winner of the club’s Junior Verse Speaking winner held in October 2015, and the club’s Young Chef competition winner Hannah Parnaby (Parkside Community School), after her win at the event in January – more details at


Visitors included Frank Clifford, past president of the Rotary Club of Bolsover, and Brian Whiting, past-president of the Rotary Club of Mansfield.  The president conveyed birthday wishes to Chesterfield Inner Wheel member, Margaret Mitchell, whose birthday it was this day.


Information boards circulated included:- calendar of events, and the club’s theatre trip to see Chesterfield Operatic Society’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Pomegranate Theatre on Thursday 28 April 2016.


The president reported that the next meeting of the community service committee was on Monday 21 March, and the third meeting of the Chesterfield Rotary Satellite Club for busy younger professionals was on Wednesday 23 March at Calabria (5.30pm). 


In formally introducing the public speaking competition, past-president John Roberts revealed that this was the 50th year the club had organized this event for local secondary schools. He introduced the finalists:- Emma Nash (Netherthorpe), Libby Widdowson (Springwell), Luke Beresford (Netherthorpe), and Louis Elliott-Hammond (Whittington Green). He recorded his thanks to the participating schools and the five other contestants who had competed in the preliminary round held recently at Hasland Hall Community School.


The speeches on a range of topical topics were delivered with confidence and judged by the audience of nearly 70.  Whilst the votes were counted, the club’s junior verse speaking 2015 competition winner, Maria Benney (Hady Primary School) recited her winning poem entitled ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’ by Roald Dahl. 

Joint president Mike Hadfield with public speaking finalists, the cup

winner Louis Elliott-Hammond, and junior verse speaking winner

Maria Benney (front centre)


The winner of the Fraser Cup for Public Speaking was adjudged by the audience to be Louis Elliott-Hammond (Whittington Green) for his talk on ‘Technology’.  Certificates and gift vouchers were presented to all the finalists. The event was organised by rotarian Ian Gordon, the club’s chairman of vocational service, and the time-keeper was past-president John Moss.


Chesterfield Inner Wheel president, Cath Bradley, thanked Chesterfield Rotary on behalf of her members for the annual invitation to Ladies Day and congratulated the students for taking part in another enjoyable public speaking competition.


The meeting was brought to a close when past-president Ian Gaunt proposed the closing toast. As there is no meeting on Good Friday the next meeting of the club is on Friday 1 April when the guest speaker is Hardyal Dhindsa, (Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire) on ‘The Role of the Police and Crime Commissioner’.  Speaker host is George Freeman and duty rotarian is John Moss.