Serving the community of Coventry and further afield
The Four Season's Restaurant,
Kings Hill Nursery,
Kings Hill Lane
Coventry, CV3 6PS
12.30 - 2.00pm
except bank holidays.
I think I am correct in saying that I am only the second female to be president of this 98 year old club, set up by founder President Victor Dodd JP. That is a great honour, I will do my best to fulfil all the goals we as a club set ourselves and try to live up to the reputation of the best of the past presidents.
Every day in our community and communities across the country, and around the world, our neighbours face tough challenges.
Rotary is a community of 1.2 million men and women from all continents, cultures, professions and experiences, who connect through local clubs. As clubs we tackle projects of every scale and inspire fellow Rotarians, friends, neighbours and partners to share our vision and exchange ideas for lasting solutions. We take action to bring about those visions, making them a reality.
During my year I would like to support two local charities, Life Path Trust, which is a very professional and outstanding trust that supports vulnerable citizens an my second charity is Young Carers. This supports young people who find themselves becoming a carer for a family member, a role which most of us would find daunting.
I believe publicity is the key to us becoming more recognised as an organisation and ensuring our longevity. Any opportunity to publicise what we do should be taken so that the people of Coventry get to know who we are, and the many charities we do support.
As our club meets at lunch time and this often precludes working people, we will, with renewed impetus start up the Satellite Group. The club will meet once a month. It will be an informal social meeting in the evening, open to all who are unable to commit to a lunch time, but they will have a project to work towards and will report back to the club every couple of months.
I believe that we would be far more effective if we joined forces with the other local Rotary Clubs for social events and undertake some projects together to bring about change. The clubs have prepared a joint bid to district for the City of Culture Grant, to fulfil this we will undertake a joint project on mental health in your people.
We are going to set up a social Committee who will undertake to organise the main bulk of the events for the club.
I look forward to my year as president. I have it on good authority that the males do not like bossy women. Bossy me!! I like to think I'm organised. Wives and partners, how would they survive without us being organised,
I realise the year ahead may well prove to be a rather interesting year from my point of view. I will endeavour to remain calm when faced with the cantankerous, I'll leave youth work out who they are! I'll attempt to be understanding when faced with intransigence, and I will do my best to invigorate participation in all our undertakings.
All I can do is to have courage. In the words of Harper Lee of 'To kill a Mocking Bird' fame, she said: 'Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.' So here I am!
by Bill Parkinson
There was no speaker today as it was one of the club's business meeting days.
A swimathon is planned for the 28th of March to be held at the Excel Centre. The event will run from 6pm to 9pm. Currently three members are signed up to take part but to ensure the event is viable and a success at least two more volunteers are required.........last year the swimathon raised over £700.
In his capacity as centenary committee secretary, Peter Cooke gave a brief report on how preparations to mark the club centenary were proceeding.
There are two major projects: locally, the planting of an avenue of trees, to be called Rotary Way to be planted along the road leading to The Charterhouse and also an international project in conjunction with President Kennedy School.
It is hoped to raise around £36,000 to enable these projects and other commemorative events to take place. The full program of events will be announced in due course.
The fifth Festival of Christmas Trees, once again organised by Past President Ken Holmes, was held in Holy Trinity Church in Coventry. There was a delightful and imaginative display of Christmas trees from a wide range of local organisations, charities and schools. The trees will be in church until they are taken down in early January.
The evening of Friday 13th December saw the Festival concert also take place in Hoy Trinity Church. The audience were entertained by four choirs: The City of Coventry Male Voice Choir, singers from President Kennedy School, vocalists from the Polish Senza Nome Choir and the One Voice Choir. Every group was excellent.
The concert was well attended and the choirs provided a wide range of sacred and popular music which was a treat for everyone who attended. Refreshments were provided by members of Coventry Rotary.
All proceeds from the Festival will be shared between Holy Trinity and the Rotary Club of Coventry and will be used to support charitable causes.
Through the work of Past President Ken Holmes our club has had a connection with the Chiedza Child Care Centre in Zimbabwe for some time. Currently over 1500 children benefit from the support given by the International Children's Trust. The work of the OCT was given a boost by the Club's wonderful donation of £2000 to helping to ensure their work goes on. Below is a copy of the letter and a photograph of Ken presenting the cheque.
I have attached the photograph we have taken the day ICT received a donation from the Rotary Club of Coventry to support the work of Chiedza; in case your club wish to use it for its newsletter. An article about this generous donation (including photograph) is available on our website with a link to your Club.
Gieds is extremely pleased with this gift as it will go a long way in supporting the out of school programme.
They informed me that with the current hardships in Zimbabwe more and more children need that support. In any case we will submit in due course a short report to your club on how the money has been applied and the progress made with the out of school programme.
Members of Interact PK, based at President Kennedy School Academy in Coventry, have been exceptionally busy in the last few months collecting the ring pulls from drink cans. They have amassed what must amount to many thousands to be sent to the charity Purple Community Fund in Southampton for onward transmission to the Philippines. There they will be made into a range of products to be sold to support families in need through employment and education.
Following its establishment with the advice and support of the Rotary club of Coventry, Interact PK has continued to operate under our guidance. This project is just one of the activities it has been involved in since it was formed in 2016.
The students have also raised funds for local and international charities and have been involved within the local community in actions such as litter picking and helping young children with reading skills.
Members of Interact PK benefit from learning how 'businesses' are structured and operate and gain confidence from their interaction with staff, other students and the local community. From its inception, Past President Ray Thompson and President Judy Ryan have been prime movers in supporting Interact PK and they like everyone at the Rotary Club of Coventry have been pleased to see the club grow and flourish. We wish them every success with future projects.
A summer tea party with music
On a lovely hot sunny afternoon, Wednesday 24th July, over 55 people turned up at Woodside Avenue Church Centre to enjoy strawberries and cream, scones, cakes and tea. The aim of the afternoon was to raise money for the ISALS Project Harare, in Zimbabwe.
Also on offer for the very appreciative audience was a programme of songs and music provided by Woodside Church Minister Mark Rowland who sang a range of songs, Anna Leeson, a very talented young musician who played the oboe and Joyce Watson who ably accompanied many of the items.
Past President Keith Chapman was our able MC guiding the audience through both halves of the musical programme. During the interval we all tucked into our strawberries, scones, cakes and tea which had been prepared and were served, among others: Sue, Jenny, Wendy, Janet and Mary ably assisted by members of Rotary. The food was delicious and plentiful.
As part of his opening remarks and welcome Keith gave a short presentation on the important work of Chiedza Child Care Income Saving Scheme and Lending Project (ISALS) in Harare South District, Zimbabwe. The Rotary Club of Coventry International Service Committee is supporting this important project, aiming to raise £2000,
The purpose of the this project is to increase the level of income and security of 1800 poor and vulnerable households in Harare, particularly those headed by widows or single parents; those orphaned or vulnerable children at risk of dropping out of school; those with disability and also those with who one or more family members living with HIV. Each targeted household must have at least one child under the age of 18 years.
The project provides training in income saving and lending, project and financial planning and micro-enterprise management. Since 2015 the project has created 150 savings and lending groups providing benefits to an estimated 1800 participants.
Profits from ticket sales and donations from the Retiring Collection raised over £400 + Gift Aid and will ensure that the International Committee reach their goal of £2000.
Well done to everyone involved in planning, organising and running this very successful event. What could be better on a lovely warm summer afternoon? A good time was had by all!
The Tree Planting Ceremony was held at The War Memorial Park in Coventry on 25th February 2018. As President of the Rotary Club of Coventry. I was honoured to greet the following guests to the park -
Along with PDRI Peter L. Offer, it was Rotary Club of Coventry PP John Hartley and VP Michael Hammon who were instrumental in arranging for the Hiroshima Memorial tree to be nurtured, delivered and planted within the park, without both of whom it would not have happened. Thanks also go out to the other Rotary Clubs of Coventry - Phoenix, North, Breakfast and Jubilee for their contribution.
The day itself was bitterly cold but the sun shone and all those present dismissed the cold and enjoyed the ceremony where I gave a brief history of the tree and introduced RI President Ian who gave a short speech prior to placing the tree and digging the first sod of earth.
All those present then had the opportunity to place the soil around the tree. The tree will now be cared for by the City of Coventry's Parks Department.
The full story of the Hiroshima Memorial trees goes back to 6th August 1945 when the Atomic Bomb destroyed Hiroshima City. In the spring of 1946 it was noticed that a tree which had been located near the Head Post Office and apparently destroyed, began to show signs of life and shoots were showing from the root stock. The Japanese council officials had the stump transferred to the site of what was to become the Peace Park. In the following years when the tree seeded, these were collected and put into sachets of 24 seeds as tokes given by the Mayors of Hiroshima to international dignitaries who visited the city as symbols of peace and reconciliation throughout the world.
In May 2008, Mr Jose Hiraga, a friend of PP John Hartley, visited Coventry and brought a packet of 24 seeds for the Council to germinate and plant the trees around the city. These were presented to Lord Mayor Dave Batten in the presence of George Miles, the then Chairman of Coventry Association for International Friendship. There was always an intention to plant a tree in the Memorial Park although enquiries with the Parks Department some time after revealed no evidence of any seeds which had germinated. John had however removed six seeds from the packet prior to the presentation. Three were given to George Miles and three to Mr David Carriage from Nuneaton. Unfortunately George Miles died. Mr Carriage however, eventually managed to raise two of the three seedlings. After nearly ten years these are now 14 inches high. One of which we have just planted in the War Memorial Park. We are informed that when mature the tree could reach 35-40 feet.
Robert Villette President Rotary Club of Coventry
Youth Speaks, A Debate 2020 was held on Friday 24th January in the drama studio at Bablake School. There were eight teams from Whitley Academy, Stoke Park School, Sydney Stringer Academy, President Kennedy School and Coundon Court School. A wide range of subjects were addressed by the teams and the students did very well giving the judges, Andrew Turner, Lynn Fairbairn and Richard Lapworth a difficult task in choosing winners.
As usual the event was successful in large part to the support and work of Rotary Club of Coventry members. President Judy Ryan not only welcomed everyone but also presented certificates to all competitors and the winners. PP's Terry Bond was MC and kept the evening rolling along, Ray Thompson and Phil Hodgson were timekeepers, Kevin Vaughan acted as photographer, Robert Villette was questioner and Ken Holmes gave a short talk about the international aspects of Rotary's work. Members, partners and fiends worked hard to provide refreshments.
The competition runners up were President Kennedy School with their chairperson Arya Bassi being chosen as best on the night. The winning team was Sydney Stringer Academy - Team 1 and their proposer Ridica Alam was best speaker in the competition.
The event was a great success and the new format proved popular with teams and many audience members. No doubt more to come in 2021!
President Judy Ryan presents certificates to Sydney Stringer Team 1 with their teacher Eleanor Sowden
Ridica Alam was awarded best speaker in the competition
The Rotary movement consists of men and women who want to help: young children here in Coventry and overseas; those who need a helping hand here in the UK; those faced with natural disasters overseas.
Rotary initiated the Polio plus campaign in 1984 when there were hundreds of thousands of cases worldwide. This year there were just 343.
Rotary runs countless humanitarian projects both locally, nationally and internationally. For more information see “Rotary at a glance”.
Each member enjoys business as well as social networking opportunities, whilst giving something back to those less fortunate and having a great deal of fun at the same time!
Henceforth it has been decided that the duties of both the Steward and the Visitor's Book shall be combined. Members are reminded that it rests with them as individuals to arrange for a substitute and then to notify the Secretary. The change should be recorded by deleting the printed name and writing the amended name on the list on the notice board.
Andrew and Lis Blaxhall - Mercy Hands, Uganda
Fellowship Lunch followed by Rotary Business
Council at 2:00pm
Finance Meeting at 11:30am
Caroline Stanton - Guatemala Literacy Project
Fellowship Lunch followed by Service Committee Meetings
NO LUNCHTIME MEETING
Friday 27th March - Skittles Night, Barnacle Village Hall @ 7.00pm for 7:30pm start
Monday 30th March - Curry Night at De Laban Restaurant, 82 Dawlish Drive, Coventry CV3 5NA @ 6:30pm £20:00
Here you'll find our past newsletters. Simply click on the newsletter you wish to read and it will download the PDF file for you to read and/or print at your own pleasure.
Here are some of our latest events
On Friday 28th Rotary members had the pleasure of taking part in the Treasure Hunt which was once again ably organised by Past President Ray Thompson. So popular was the event that there was a waiting list to take part! Members pitted their wits against Ray's devilish clues to find the answers. In the end 'Team Bond' managed to pip everyone to the winning post. Keith Chapman has reported the event in poetic style!! Hope there will be more odes in the future.
A Friday Night in Allesley
At the Rainbow Inn in Allesley Rotarians did meet.
We came there for a purpose - our annual walking treat.
The Treasure Hunt, devised by Ray, commenced from this location,
requiring skill and knowledge too, with careful observation.
As we set off along the path the rain was light but steady,
though some remained in dry surrounds with liquid comforts ready.
But as we walked the rain grew fierce, and clues were hard to find,
with KBO we pressed right on, though some grew faint of mind.
At last some golden words appeared within the instructions neat:
'Now cross the road and make return' - a dignified retreat!
And so we did - the second lap more tricky than the first.
The rain it eased, but not the clues - some of them got worse!
At last, in drizzle faint, the welcome Rainbow came in sight.
There was a choice to carry on - but that would take all night.
So welcome food and drink were there, along with friends and fun.
The fish and chips are wholesome - when they eventually come!
The Peter Harris trophy shield was well and truly won.
The soggy sheets were analysed to find what we had done.
The usual gang of spritely youths had carried off the prize,
alongside those more senior, who role was to advise.
And so we thank Nelly and Ray for such a jolly night
of fun and fellowship and guile, which turned out quite all right.
But next year just a little ask, and please don't get upset -
for easier clues, and earnest prayers - that it will not be WET!
On Friday 7th July, members of the Vocational Service Committee visited the Herbert Museum by invitation and were treated to an excellent introduction to the work of Herbert Media by Kerrie Suteu, Creative Media Officer and Simon Wellman, Film-maker & Trainer, both highly qualified in their respective fields of education and training.
Herbert Media is an established body within the Museum, with a specialised media team which enjoys the use of a professional digital recording studio, broadcast-standard video production equipment and the necessary incidental facilities to enable the full use of the array of equipment. It has an outreach of fundamental importance for school children and students in Coventry; primarily from the special schools and colleges in the City such as Hereward College and Baginton Fields.
The experience afforded by Herbert Media to these young people can be life-changing, turning any one of them from an introvert, uncertain and socially-unresponsive individual into an outgoing, confident person with an awareness of personal capabilities. The great majority of those who have passed through Herbert Media have gone on to lead successful, independent lives in their chosen careers in art and architecture, design, film-making and theatre. All this comes from a dedicated team of just four people.
We had the pleasure of being guided by Kerrie and Simon through the different media components and who spoke with evident enthusiasm of their roles in the work of Herbert Media. It was quite a revelation for all of us, visiting club members, who had known little or nothing of that work which was so clearly explained to us.
If you have any queries, or wish to join Rotary Club of Coventry, simply complete this form and our Club Secretary Ros Thomas will be in touch in due course.