President Peter Barr presided at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Chesterfield held at the Olde House, Newbold, on Friday 7 July 2017. It was the first meeting of the new Rotary Year and the official visit of the new district governor, Michael Longdon (West Ashfield).
The president formally welcomed district governor Michael Longdon (West Ashfield), and regular visitor, past-president Frank Clifford (Bolsover). Both brought greetings from their respective Rotary clubs.
President Peter Barr (right) welcomes the new district-governor
Michael Longdon (West Ashfield) for his official visit to the club
Information boards circulated included:- attendance register, club calendar of duties and events, board seeking volunteers for duty at the Ashover Classic Car & Bike Show on Sunday 23 July 2017.
Disbursements for Rotary Year 2016-17
The president reported on a Council recommendation that a total of £3,000 be distributed to twelve nominated local charities and this was approved by the members. A full list of the nominated charities is with the treasurer. It was also revealed that, during the past year, members had raised the sum of £548 from a weekly collection, and it was agreed that a total of £550 be donated to Foundation - Rotary’s own charity. On charity collections, secretary John Hare reminded members that return of their Wilkins Tiptree Purple4Polio jam jars, filled with coinage, was now due.
Secretary John Hare reported that a new copy of the District Directory for 2017-18 was now available for members to collect. Members were asked to check their entries and report any discrepancies.
Report from the District Governor
The new district-governor Michael Longdon (West Ashfield) was making his official visit to the club. He brought greetings from Rotary International president Ian Riseley, whose theme for the Rotary Year 2017-18 is ‘Rotary Making a Difference’. All rotarians are being challenged to drive and embrace change to ensure Rotary remains as relevant now as when it was first set up in providing support for local communities 112 years ago.
A worldwide challenge for Rotary is membership, either by recruitment or the setting up of new clubs and satellite clubs. He commended Chesterfield on taking the innovative step to set up a new Satellite Club, which now has fifteen members. This was an example for other clubs to follow. To support clubs with recruitment, a district membership seminar is being held at the Post Mill Centre, South Normanton, on Saturday 7 October 2017. To help raise the Rotary profile, a Rotary Roadshow for clubs to use is being launched by the District this year and is available for use at any public events.
The DG highlighted the success of the Polio Plus campaign to eradicate polio from the world but there were still three countries where the disease still remains – Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
The DG was keen to re-energise youth activities in the District, by setting up Rotaract (18-30) and Interact (12-18) groups for youngsters, and re-introducing short fourteen day youth exchange visits, as was the original concept so many years ago. Past-president David Windle asked to be kept informed of progress as he was interested in helping with this type of project. Past-president John Heath was willing to share his previous experiences if this would be of any help.
The DG reported that RIBI had an initiative on the environment which aims to plant a tree for every member in Great Britain and Ireland. The ‘district tree officer’ is the district environmental officer, Peter Moralee (Bretby) who will co-ordinate any district involvement.
The DG was keen to promote this year’s district conference which is being held in Llandudno, on the weekend of 29th Sept to 1st Oct, with a range of good quality speakers, including Geoff Miller, and entertainment, all aimed at helping attendees to be inspired, motivated, and have fun. There will be a revamped showcase area, and a Q & A session with RIBI president Denis Spiller organized on a ‘Question Time’ format with questions submitted by clubs in advance. There is still time to register for the conference, which is open to all rotarians, wives/partners, Inner Wheel members, Rotaract, and guests.
The DG concluded with a lively and pertinent question and answer session which highlighted the change of emphasis at district into club support teams, rather than clubs supporting district. A member highlighted that working together with district was a two-way street where some change of approach may also be necessary by club members to make it work well. The DG suggested that every club in the district may like to either start or finish the meeting with a joke. All the best will be gathered in for inclusion in a district joke book that will be sold to raise money for Foundation – Rotary’s own charity. Finally, he suggested that members embrace change and move forward together to make a difference.
Gordon Taylor Trophy for the Best Club in District 1220
The DG made a surprise presentation when he revealed that the Rotary Club of Chesterfield was this year’s winner of the Gordon Taylor Trophy for the Best Club in District 1220. The club was adjudged to be the best all-round club out of the 69 clubs in the district for Rotary Year 2016-17. This prestigious award not only recognizes the club's varied programme of charitable projects for both young and old, but the success in promoting Rotary's aims by the innovative setting up of an associated satellite club for busy younger business people in the area - the first such club in District 1220. Stunned members were surprised but appreciative of the recognition, which was totally unexpected.
District Governor Michael Longdon presents the Gordon Taylor Trophy to
president Peter Barr (right) and immediate past-president Mike Cudzich-Madry (left)
The meeting was then brought to a close after the closing toast was proposed by past-president Alan Clarke.
The next club meeting on Friday 14 July 2017 is the monthly business meeting. Duty rotarian is Roy Willett.