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President-elect Barrie Thompson presided at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Chesterfield held at the Olde House, Newbold, on Friday 5 January 2018.  He welcomed visiting rotarian, Dr Hans Diebolder a retired dentist from  the Rotary Club of Isny-Allgau, Bavaria, Germany, and greetings were exchanged.


Apologies and news of sick members


Apologies have been received from president Peter Barr (cold) and past-president Jim Haggarty (hospital visit). There were progress reports on past-president Ian Gaunt (recovering from a broken leg) and rotarian Roger Peck (visiting hospital for further tests).


Members Birthdays


Wine was provided by past-president John Wilkins who is this week celebrating his 80th birthday. Birthday wishes were also expressed for past-president Jim Savage who also celebrates his birthday in January.


Information Boards


Information boards circulated included:- Burns Night at the Olde House on Tuesday 23 January 2018; Whisky Tasting Evening at the Olde House on Friday 9 March 2018; attendance register; club calendar of duties and events.


Chernobyl Children Life Line


Past-president Mike Horton reported that the club has been presented with a certificate by Richard Street of the charity organising committee for the Pinxton and East Derbyshire Link, which arranges for groups of youngsters from Belarus to enjoy a beneficial stay in the UK each year in Derbyshire.  One child is sponsored by the club and members agreed to continue this sponsorship for a further year.


     Celebrating over 20 years of help 


In 2006, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, an updated book was issued chronicling the story of Igor, a courageous but severely handicapped child who was the subject of a shameful secret in the former USSR.  He was born after the disaster had affected his pregnant mother and discovered by the Chernobyl Children Life Line at age six hidden away in the children’s hospital and given the chance to come to the UK where eventually he was reunited with his parents. 


  Copies of the book are available for members to read


Kids Out Trip to the Pantomime


Rotarian George Freeman, chairman of community service, reported that the youngsters from William Rhodes Junior School had thoroughly enjoyed the club sponsored visit to the pantomime ‘Peter Pan’ held recently at the Pomegranate Theatre. As a group, the children had discussed their visit and fully appreciated it was a Christmas treat provided by the Rotary Club of Chesterfield. After an exercise of writing thankyou letters, one child’s letter, which was representative, had been sent to the club and was read out to members.  The club appreciated the gesture.


Santa’s Fundraising Sleigh


Past-president Alan Clarke reported that a total of £5,127 had been raised for local charities by Santa’s Sleigh which had visited local supermarkets in the build-up to Christmas.  The club wishes to express its thanks to the local community for their generosity. Secretary John Hare agreed to send a letter of thanks to the supermarkets for their kind co-operation.


A German Perspective


Visiting rotarian, Dr Hans Diebolder, from the Rotary Club of Isny-Allgau in Bavaria, introduced himself and gave a short update about his Rotary club, which is just 15 years old, and his personal rotary experiences. In an interesting question and answer session, the retired dentist gave a fascinating insight into a German view on topical subjects, such as, Brexit, Mrs Merkel, Immigration across Europe, Islam, and comparisons between the British and German way of life - basically we are a bit too laid back!  President-elect Barrie Thompson proposed a vote of thanks.


   Dr Hans Diebolder (left) with president-elect Barrie Thompson (right)


Next meeting


The next meeting on Friday 12 January 2018 is the club’s monthly business meeting.  There will also be a New Year Quiz with prizes. Duty rotarian is Jim Savage.