Club AGM

Following on from our wonderful Ladies Weekend in Cambridge it was back to business tonight at the Club Annual General Meeting. As well as receiving reports from this years committee chairs the Club also approved the appointment of the Committee Chairs who will take post from the 1st July.

To ensure that our Club can provide service to its community, retain members, and grow we have to make sure that we operate efficiently. Our Club committees are charged with carrying out the Club’s long-range and annual goals.

Our congratulations and thanks go to:

  • Mike Unwin – Fellowship and Social Chair
  • Roger Timbrell – Community Service Chair and Protection Officer
  • Chris Kraushar – Money Raising Chair
  • Chris Bowyer – Sleigh Committee head
  • David Eaton – Programme
  • Brian Nicholson – Membership/Retention Chair
  • Ivan Hill – Communications Chair
  • Izeham Che Dan – Foundation Chair
  • Doug Evans – International Chair
  • Derek Evans – Youth Activities Chair
  • Greg Instone – Attendance Officer
  • John Whitten – Sports Officer
  • Wasil Buczkowski – Regalia Officer
  • Bert Finch & Sammy Chung – Family of Rotary

Ladies Weekend 2011 – Cambridge

Our weekend was rounded off today with a walking tour of Cambridge. Given the quality of much of the architecture we’ve seen in the City it is truly amazing that so many of the buildings which the various colleges have erected in the last 40 years are in this context nothing short of eyesores – and hanging the skeleton of a dead whale under them does nothing to hide the fact.

Thankfully what was there before more than makes up and after a tour of the grounds of Queens’ College we were simply blown away by the splendour of Kings College chapel which definitely was the icing on the cake for us- so familiar through the Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols but in the flesh so much more imposing.

Blessed with fine weather and good fellowship we’ll all take away happy memories of our visit to Cambridge and look forward to our next Ladies Weekend in 2012.

Ladies Weekend 2011 – Dinner

A traditional part of every Ladies Weekend is the Saturday black tie dinner. This year we were based at the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge and our dinner was held in its Newton Rom which overlooks Parker’s Piece – its a perfect venue for this type of occasion, the food was good and the staff really took care of us so our thanks to all of them.

The toast to the Ladies was formally proposed by President Jim in recognition of all of the invaluable support which they give to the members during the year – a vital part of this Club’s success. The Presidents Lady, Alison, thanked the members for all of the support which they had given to Jim and herself during his year of office and for making it such an enjoyable time before the ladies toasted the members of the Club.

Clearly weekends such as these don’t just happen and the success of this Ladies Weekend is due to the hard work of Peter and Pat Maddox who put a tremendous amount of time into preparing the event and selflessly gave of their time during the weekend to make sure that everything ran smoothly. Alison and I, together with the other members attending, are all extremely grateful to them for making such a great weekend and leaving us with such happy memories.

Ladies Weekend 2011 – Ely

A few years ago we had the pleasure of hearing from the Dean of Ely Cathedral who visited our Club as a speaker. Today we were able to return the visit as the Ladies Weekend crowd took the opportunity to tour the Cathedral. Thanks to our most knowledgeable tour guides we were given an insight into the history and architecture of this most beautiful of buildings.

Ely was also home to Oliver Cromwell and the house there is one of only two surviving buildings where the Lord Protector is known to have lived. Whilst our tour guide explained the history of the house, of Cromwell and of the Civil War it was plain that she only found our true level when she let the group loose in the dressing up room.

There is no doubting the beauty of this City and all who visited wished that we could have spent more time there.

Ladies Weekend 2011 – Cambridge

A large part of the success of the our Club is down to the support which we all receive from our wives. Each year we recognise how important this support is by honouring our wives at our annual ladies weekend. This year thanks to the suggestion of John Margetts the event takes place in the beautiful university City of Cambridge.

Following a excellent meal at our home base at the University Arms hotel we spent a very enjoyable evening in the company of John and Norma Major at the Cambridge Arts Theatre where the Agatha Christie Theatre Company were performing Verdict. The play features an all-star cast led by Dawn Steele, from the hit BBC drama Monarch of the Glen and the popular ITV series Wild at Heart. She was joined by Robert Duncan (Witness for the Prosecution, Absurd Person Singular, Drop the Dead Donkey) Ali Bastian (The Bill, Strictly Come Dancing, Hollyoaks), Peter Byrne (Dixon of Dock Green), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter film series), Elizabeth Power (Eastenders) and 60’s teen idol Mark Wynter.

Well OK we weren’t exactly in the company of John and Norma – but they were sitting on the same row and we’d like to think that they had heard we’d be in town.

New Member – Mike Dickerson

You might have seen over the last few months adverts in your local paper inviting you to ‘Join Rotary and Make a Difference’. Mike Dickerson saw one of those adverts and after attending a few of our Club meetings decided that he could make a difference. Tonight we had the pleasure of inducting him as the newest member of our Club.

Mike operates a foot health care business in Wolverhampton. As a member of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, he joins an organisation of more than 55,000 men and women who, as members of over 1,850 Rotary clubs, volunteer their time, talents, professional skills and energy to improving the lives of people in their local communities and others around the world.

As a member of a Rotary club, you have the opportunity to give something back, to give hope to those less fortunate and to make lives worthwhile and fulfilled. If you’d like to find out more about joining Rotary then click here – How to Join Rotary.

‘Allo ‘Allo John Pittwood

As more of the veterans of the Second World War pass it becomes more important than ever to keep their stories alive. This evening we had the pleasure of hearing from John Pittwood a member of the Rotary Club of Brierley Hill and Kingswinford.

John’s father – a navigator with 207 Squadron -was amongst the thousands of Allied airmen who had to bail out over occupied France following a bombing raid on an enemy target. Fortunately for John his father survived and based on his recollections and on the research work which John has since undertaken he has managed to piece together the story of his fathers meeting with members of the SOE resistance and of his journey to freedom.

The friendships which John’s father made with the members of the resistance survive to this day and now span the generations of the families. Our thanks go to John for preserving his father’s story and sharing it with us.

Mayor attends Charity Casino Evening 2011

Following on from the success of the Club’s first casino evening last year this evening over 100 Rotarians and friends gathered in the company of the Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton to find who would carry away the title of the Rotary Casino Champion 2011.

The evening started off on a special note as the Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Gwinnett, announced that having met his fundraising target for his two nominated charities – Promise Dreams which aims to fulfil the wishes of seriously and terminally ill children and the Deanesly Centre which treats cancer patients at New Cross Hospital – he would continue to raise funds for the remainder of his year to benefit the MS Therapy Centre in Wolverhampton – a charity dear to the heart of many Rotarians in Wolverhampton.

Whilst the President’s wife came a notable second  the winner proved that with gambling as with most other things in life experience counts as Rotarian Bali Singh was the clear winner and our new Casino Champion 2011. Our thanks to all who attended and helped to make the evening a success and in particular to Rotarians Jag Gill, Bali Singh and Sammy Chung who organised the event. Monies raised will be used in support of local Rotary charities.

Renowned Gardening Broadcaster helps Rotary Water Aid Charity

Nearly 100 Rotarians and their guests spent this evening in the company of horticultural Broadcaster, Howard Drury.

Born in Lincolnshire, Howard started his horticultural career early selling lettuces at the age of 6 and working in local nurseries before going on to Edinburgh Botanic Garden as a Student, leaving with honours and all but one of the top awards. Following a move to Birmingham he worked for 20 years as a Horticultural Training officer and as a researcher and presenter on Central TV’s popular Gardening Time programme.

Howard’s entertaining and informative presentation included 50 illustrated gardening tips and hints as well as a quiz and a valuable opportunity for the keen amateurs in the room to find the answers to their gardening problems.

The event, which was organised by Club member Doug Evans, was a huge success and raised funds for Village Water, a project supported by Rotary International which provides clean water and sanitation in underdeveloped countries.