Tom Warren City Fellowship Meal

Each year the five Rotary Clubs of Wolverhampton come together to celebrate the life of Tom Warren. A member of Wolverhampton Rotary Club Tom was Rotary International Association for Great Britain and Ireland ‘s President in 1937-38 and Rotary International President 1945-46 – the second of only five Britons to hold that office.

As president of Rotary International Tom had a reputation as a great mediator and was a tireless campaigner for world peace both during and after the Second World War.

This years event was hosted by the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton – our mother Club. We were pleased to welcome one of Tom’s successors, immediate past Rotary International President John Kenny, as the keynote speaker. In his first official function since stepping down as President John paid tribute to the work which Tom had carried out and spoke of the inspirational work of ordinary Rotarians which he himself had witnessed during his year of office.

Youth Orchestra Concert

Today saw the pre tour concert of the Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra and the Wolverhampton Youth Wind Orchestra. This is the sixteenth year that the five Rotary clubs of Wolverhampton have come together to support the Orchestras summer tour and once again we were treated to a truly outstanding performance.

Prior to the concert musicians and Rotarians were invited to attend a civic reception with Councillor Malcolm Gwinnett the current Mayor of Wolverhampton.

During the concert the considerable achievements of these young musicians was recognised by the award of a number of certificates – and the presentation of the Young Musician of the Year award to Rafal Gerard-Gierut.

The Orchestras are now travelling to Slovenia where they will participate in a number of music festivals.

Our best wishes to the Orchestras for a successful tour.

Rotary Dictionary for Life

The promotion of literacy has been an emphasis of Rotary International since 1986.

Each year the Tettenhall Rotary Club supports this by distributing free dictionaries to local school children who are leaving their primary schools.

The Rotary Dictionary 4 Life helps children to develop their language skills. By using dictionaries efficiently children explore spellings, meanings and derivations for example by using alphabetical order, abbreviations and definitions with understanding. One of the most positive aspects of being able to use a dictionary is that it helps to develop autonomy and confidence — one of the core goals of education.

Throughout this week members of the Club have been visiting local schools to distribute the dictionaries and my thanks go to Ray Hill, Izeham Chedan, Bert Finch and David Earp for the giving of their time and to Brian Barnwell for his work in organising this years distribution.

Inner Wheel Visit

One of the more pleasant duties that befalls a President of the Rotary Club of Tettenhall is to visit the Tettenhall Inner Wheel Club to deliver a life talk.

The Inner Wheel organisation was originally formed by wives of Rotarians to support the work of their Rotarian husbands. It is an all female organisation and membership is open to female relatives of Rotarians or former Rotarians, Inner Wheel members and Rotaract. Inner Wheel aims to promote true friendship, encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding.

The Tettenhall Rotary Club has been greatly strengthened by the support given to it by the ladies of the Inner Wheel Club and we thank President Shirley and her members for that support and look forward to working with them in the future.

Club Meeting – Halfpenny Green Vineyard

Our monthly fellowship meeting this month was held at the Halfpenny Green Vineyard near Bobbington.

Members of the Club were treated to a tour of the Vineyard’s production facilities and learnt how the wine is produced and how an Englishman is really to thank for the invention of champagne.

Growing from a small half acre plot the vineyard is now amongst the largest in the UK producing prize winning wines which the members were pleased to sample.

Thanks go to Ken Swash and Mike Unwin for organising the evening.

Wightwick Hall School

Wightwick Hall School caters for students with a wide range of individual needs from the ages of 11 to 19 and since September 2008 the school has been a Business & Enterprise Specialist College.

For the second year running Tettenhall Rotary Club has been pleased to sponsor the School’s Young Enterprise competition. This competition aims to help students develop confidence, ability and ambition to succeed – qualities which will help them as they move into the world of work.

The success of last years competition had encouraged many more schools to enter the competition and I am sure that the team at the school will continue to build on this in years to come.

Through the week members of the Tettenhall Club were involved in judging the businesses which the students had developed prior to the prize ceremony on Friday when I was joined by BBC Apprentice finalist Claire Young to award the trophies to the winning contestants.

The School held a BBQ event in the evening where the students had the opportunity to test the market with their products and which was well supported by members of the Club.

Thanks go to Chris Kraushar, Brian Barnwell, Eric Johnson, John Lochhead, Ernie Edwards, Derek Evans, John Whitten, Bert Finch, David Eaton and Doug Evans for their work in making the competition such a success for the students and special mention to David Cave who stepped in at the last minute to help the School with photography

Fordhouses ATC visit

It was a pleasure to visit 1046 Squadron again today.

Over the past few years, thanks mainly to the work of Club member Les Bouts, we have developed a close relationship with the Squadron helping with the purchase of a minibus for their activities and supporting their overseas trips.

The ATC aims to encourage a spirit of adventure and to develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship – aims which the Rotary movement shares and which the Tettenhall Club looks to encourage. I was pleased to be able to hand over a £500 cheque to help the squadron along to reaching its fundraising target for its next visit to the Battlefields and Service Cemeteries of Normandy – which I know from previous visits has a great effect on the Cadets.

Thanks to Les Bouts and Ian Rigby who accompanied me on the visit.

Rotary Young Citizen 2010

Each year Rotary celebrates the work carried out by young people with the Rotary Young Citizen Awards. The awards are run in association with BBC News and celebrate the positive citizenship and vital responsibilities assumed by many young people.

The members of the Tettenhall Rotary Club were pleased to propose Ami Whiston for the award in recognition of the her work in Tanzania. With the assistance of the Club Ami, a trainee nurse, visited Tanzania and worked along side local clinicians in one of the country’s rural hospitals. Whilst there Ami forged a connection with a local orphanage which she has continued to support following her return to the UK.
The judging committee recognised Ami’s personal qualities and her community spirit and we had great pleasure in awarding the certificate of recognition to her.

Thanks to Derek Evans for his work in submitting the  Club’s proposal.

Club Meeting – Bridgnorth Cliff Railway

We were pleased to welcome Alan Reynolds, the owner of the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, to our regular Monday meeting.

For over a century Bridgnorth Cliff Railway has been transporting the people of Bridgnorth up and down the 111 ft sandstone cliffs that separate Bridgnorth High Town from Low Town and the River Severn.

Alan explained the fascinating history of the railway and brought with him the original company minute book – a real piece of local history and well worth a visit.

Our thanks and best wishes to Alan and his team for their continued success in preserving and operating England’s only remaining inland electric funicular railway.