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President Peter Barr presided at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Chesterfield held at the Olde House, Newbold, on Friday 23 March 2018. It was the final of the annual Chesterfield Schools Public Speaking Competition organised this year by past-president John Roberts and rotarian Paul Davies (Satellite Club) for what is the 52nd consecutive year of this competition. 


Welcome to guests


He welcomed guests which included:- John Daramy, guest of president-elect Barry Thompson; Debbie Heath, guest of past-president John Heath; Janet Wood, guest of past-president Jim Haggarty; past-president Frank Clifford (Bolsover); from St Marys Catholic High School - students Anton Causey and Beverlyn Agyemang, teachers Rhonda Calladine and Maria Deigate;  from Whittington Green School, student Matthew Perryman and teachers Helen Lewin and Audrey Ward; from Chesterfield Inner Wheel Club, Shirley Cudzich-Madry, Margaret Haggarty, Adrienne Handley, Margaret Meeney, Margaret Mitchell, Maureen Thompson, and Joan Wadd. 


Ladies Day


The president reported that the club’s annual Ladies Day will be held on Friday 20 April 2018 to which Rotarian’s wives and Chesterfield Inner Wheel members are cordially invited.  The theme of this year’s special meeting will be a celebration for St Georges Day, so after lunch, and a toast to St George, expect some hearty community singing of traditional English anthems which will be led by past-president David Windle, accompanied by past-president Tim Stubbins on keyboard.  A board will circulate at a future Rotary meeting and a notice has been sent for circulation at the next meeting of Chesterfield Inner Wheel on Friday 6 April.


Chesterfield Schools Public Speaking Competition


Past-president John Roberts introduced the three finalists for this year’s public speaking competition, Anton Causey and Beverlyn Agyemang from St Marys Catholic High School, and Matthew Perryman from Whittington Green School.  He revealed that there had been a high quality preliminary heat to eliminate two further contestants from the competition, including one from a third participating school – Springwell Community College.  He thanked all schools and teachers for their hard work and support, and rotarian Paul Davies for providing essential administrative support.


First finalist to speak for his allotted five minutes was Anton Causey whose very topical talk was entitled ‘Is Russia the threat we make it out to be’?  He was followed by Beverlyn Agyemang whose thought-provoking topic was ‘Who am I’. The third finalist was Mathew Perryman with another topical talk entitled ‘Environmental Problems’.  The content and individual presentation by the three finalists was of an exceptionally high standard and thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.  After a secret ballot by all those gathered the winner of this year’s public speaking final was declared as Beverlyn Agyemang (St Marys), with Anton Causey (St Marys) and Matthew Perryman (Whittington Green) joint runners-up. 


President Peter Barr (left) with winning finalist Beverlyn Agyemang and the two

joint runners-up Matthew Perryman (right) and Anton Causey (far right)


The president presented the winner’s cup and certificates to all three finalists and the closing toast was proposed by past-president Rob Wadd.  


Next meeting


There is no club meeting on Friday 30 March 2018 as it is Good Friday.  At the next meeting on Friday 6 April the after-lunch speaker is Lt Col Stu Wiles (retd) on ‘The Soldiers Charity’.  Speaker host is John Keeton and duty rotarian is Garth Rendle. The president will be absent for this meeting as he is leading the club delegation to the Rotary National Conference at Torquay.