Rotary Service Shield Award 2012

The moto of Rotary International is ‘Service Above Self’ and it’s not only a moto that Rotarians live by but an idea which we look to encourage in others. One of the ways that we encourage this service ethos is to recognise the work of others and this year we have presented Smestow School with the Rotary Service Shield to be awarded annually to the student who best demonstrates this quality.

This year’s recipient is Grace Wylde who received her award at the school’s presentation evening tonight. In addition to the engraved shield, Grace received a certificate from President Ian and was presented with a personal cheque and a cheque to be given to her chosen charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer by Dal Kalirai representing Midcounties Cooperative Society, who have kindly sponsored this years award.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer works to save lives through enabling and ensuring access to improvements in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Headteacher Martyn Morgan said ‘We recommended Grace for the award because she is a carer who managed to balance her responsibilities at home with participating in the life of the school and achieving good GCSE results with great determination and courage’.

GSE Team Presentation

Rotary’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) programme is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers.

The programme is designed to develop professional and leadership skills amongst young adults so that they can address the needs of their communities in an increasingly global workplace.

Rotary provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

Rotarians in the host area provide meals, lodging, and group travel within their district, participants in the programme live with Rotary families during the exchange, thus learning at first hand all about living in the visited country.

In a typical four-week tour, team members participate in five full days of vocational visits, 15 to 20 club presentations, 10 to 15 formal visits and social events, two to three days at the district conference, three to four hours per day of cultural and site tours, and three to four hours per day of free time with host families.

Following a successful visit from a GSE team from Rotary District 5550 which spans Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada a team from our own District visited the prairies of Canada in May and June of this year

The team included Jayne Lawrence, a member sponsored by the Tettenhall Club and this evening she was joined by fellow team member Victoria Talbot and team leader Lorraine Boothman to tell us all about their experiences.

You can read a full account on the team’s blog but for a flavour of what they got up to here is a poem which Jayne penned at the end of the journey:

We landed in Winnipeg after a mammoth journey
It was night time in Canada but in England it was early!
Flying Manchester-Washington-Toronto-Winnipeg
We were absolutely shattered and ready for bed
A tour of Manitoba province was the place to begin
Brandon, then Neepawa and onto Dauphin
We crossed the border to Melfort along the way
And experienced rain, snow and sunshine all in one day!
That’s because we’ve toured Seskachewan too
As far north as Prince Albert and stunning Waskasieu
Saskatoon was the next place on our list
Where we stayed in a B&B for our time of rest
Next was on to Regina for lunch
Then Watrous and Weyburn – we’ve done SO much!
We finally came to our journeys last leg
A 6 hour trip back to Winnipeg
Staying for five days for District Conference
Presenting to a big audience to further boost our confidence
Never did I imagine we’d do so many wonderful things
We even tried shooting a shotgun at metal tins!
We saw museums, farms, and watched Ice Hockey games
In addition to our informative vocational days
We had lots of pot luck suppers and BBQs too
Trying waffles, maple syrup, Bison burgers and Ukrainian food
Never before have we eaten so much
Three course meals for breakfast, supper AND lunch
We’ve met mayors, MLAs and the provincial minister of health
Who all epitomise the Rotary saying “service above self”
We saw the venue of the brilliant country fest
Crikey – when we get home we’ll be glad of the rest!
We visited Wasagaming and found out it was just a name
Unlike our District Governor who thought it was a game
Dancing at a polka fest and visiting Hutterite colonies as well
Amazed at the things they manufacture, grow and sell
Whilst here we celebrated the Queens diamond jubilee
Wearing British flags, hats and feather boas for the world to see
Drinking coffee in Tim Hortons and shopping in Walmart
Our cases ending up even heavier than the start!
We saw bison, elk, deer, coyote but not the elusive Moose
We’ve been on radio, in the paper and on TV – yes, we’re famous!
What a wonderful trip, it sad it’s coming to an end
but what a fab experience and we’ve made so many Canadian friends
All of this thanks to Rotary members far and wide
All the individuals who wear their pins and badges with pride
People who help individuals and communities get a good start
All through the goodness of their own hearts
We’ve had a bearilliant time here in the Canadian Prairies
And are going home with such wonderful memories
Thank you to our hosts and especially Rotary
We’re heading home soon to have a cup of tea!

Record Signing for Club – Steve Daley

It was great for us to spend this evening in the company of former Wolves player Steve Daley.

Originally from Yorkshire Steve joined Wolves as an apprentice making his professional début with the Club in 1971 going on to establish himself as a regular in the first team and earning caps with England’s B team.

1979 saw his transfer to Manchester City for a then British Record £1,437,500 – though played out of position the move did not go well leading the Observer to class it as number 1 in their top 10 list of the biggest wastes of money in football history.

Parting company with City two years later Steve crossed the Atlantic for three successful seasons as a player in the North American Soccer League.

Since leaving the game Steve has made quite a name for himself as an after dinner speaker – so much so that he was recognised as ‘Soccer Speaker of the Year’ in 2009.

It’s easy to see why Steve won the award – his has been a career which has seen both its ups and its downs and he’s got some great stories to share as a result. Steve gave the lads in the room a great nights entertainment  – he had us in stitches all evening – and we give him our thanks and wish him continued success in his speaking career and in his charitable work with other ex Wolves players raising money for local charities.

In Memory – Remembrance Day 2012

Remembrance Day has been observed since the end of the First World War and today President Ian together with Club members Ivan Hill and Brian Tranter joined the Mayor of Wolverhampton, service men and women and representatives of ex service and civic societies to pay our respects to the fallen by the laying of wreaths of poppies at the City’s War Memorial.

Attendance at the City Service of Remembrance grows each year – an opportunity for us to contemplate and to recognise the sacrifice of those who fought for our freedom during the two World Wars and those who have lost their lives in more recent conflicts.

In Flanders’ Fields

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.

John McCrae

Armistice Concert

There’s nothing to beat live music and this evening the Perton Community Hall was filled with the music of the Sharmanaires Big Band who were performing at the Club’s Armistice Concert to help raise funds for local Rotary charities.

The Sharmanaires have been entertaining audiences in the Midlands since the 70’s with a mix of traditional hits made famous by the likes of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Ted Heath, Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Harry James and they certainly didn’t disappoint with tonight’s performance.

As the Club prepared to remember the fallen of the Second World War at Sunday’s Civic Service of Remembrance the Sharmanaires helped us remember the music that inspired troop morale and bolstered morale on the home front.

Our thanks go to impresario Peter Maddox for his work in organising a great evenings entertainment.

Malcolm Bason Award

Each year the Club recognises the pivotal role played by our first President, Malcolm Bason, by the presentation of the Malcolm Bason Award in his memory.

The award is made by the Club’s Presidential team to recognise the contribution of a member Rotarian to the ongoing development of the Club. This years award is made to Club Communications Officer David Cave. A professional photographer by trade David gives freely of his time and skill to help to promote the work of the Club and of our partner organisations and as a former Foundation chair he has been instrumental in the success of past GSE team visits and in ensuring that our Club met the Gates Challenge as a further step towards the eradication of polio.

As part of the award the receiving Rotarian is entitled to nominate a charity or project of their choice to receive a donation of £250 in Malcolm’s memory. David asked that the donation be given to help the work of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research a charity which is dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myelom.

A Leukaemia survivor himself David can testify to the valuable work carried out by the Charity but for which he would not be with us today.