Serving the community of Coventry and further afield
Coventry and North
Warwickshire Sports Club
Coventry, CV3 1HB
12.30 - 2.00pm
except bank holidays.
I have been involved with Rotary for four years now and was honoured to become the President of the Rotary Club of Coventry 2017-2018 and receive the President's chain of office.
What is Rotary? Well, it's not a secret organisation, it's not a religious organisation and it's not a political organisation. At the 'top' level we are a worldwide organisation with over 1.2 million members spread across 200 countries and geographical areas.
Here in the UK there are over 1,800 clubs consisting of more than 50,000 men and women from all walks of life. Clubs are based in local communities where members meet on a regular basis to enjoy friendship, networking and to plan projects that will benefit the lives of others. We utilise the skills, expertise and dedication of our members to help improve the lives of people in communities both at home and abroad.
We are an active club, both within the local community and across the globe with connections to schools and Sea Cadets locally and through associations with other Rotary Clubs internationally in Scotsburgh SA and Volgograd in Russia. Hopefully this year will see us twinning with the Vaslui Club in Romania.
We support many good causes locally, nationally, and internationally. This can be through either financial help or by giving our time. The pages of our website will give you more of an insight into what we do and what we are about.
If you like what we do and feel the time is right to 'give a little back' please get in contact with us or come along to lunch where you will be given a warm welcome by all.
by Bill Parkinson
Following the singing of The Grace President Robert asked all members to join him in wishing Past President Sid Creed a happy 90th birthday by singing Happy Birthday.
Robert went on to comment on the recent photograph of Rotarian Pru which had recently appeared in the Coventry Telegraph showing her in her role as Coventry Carnival Queen in 1977.Also Ian Talbot was congratulated on completing The Two Castles Run successfully on Sunday. Past President Ray Thompson was pleased to announce that the latest Interact Club had been granted a certificate and he went on to say that if further Interact Clubs are to be established and nurtured members will be needed to act as volunteers and liaise with the new clubs by attending their meetings: approximately six each year.
Before calling on Past President Ray Thompson to give his presentation on his suggestion for an International Centenary Project, Robert pointed out that next week will see a further two short presentations before members decide on which project to take forward.
Ray was proposing that we should celebrate our centenary by supporting the building of a school in Peru. the proposal is supported by the Vocational Service and Youth Activities Committee and links into plans already in place at the Interact Club PK to send students to Peru. Ray was keen to emphasise the point that the future of Rotary depends on encouraging and nurturing young people.
Why was Ray suggesting Peru? Education provision in rural areas of the country is very patchy and schools if they exist are very rudimentary. Three days education a week is the most children can expect.
Pupils will spend 4 weeks helping build a school which will help develop their own life skills and confidence. The practicalities are undertaken by an organisation called Camps International, a British registered charity, which Ray has investigated the company accounts and he is confident they show them to be sound and profitable.
For each pupil the cost to Camps International is £4000, 42% of which goes to building materials and tools. Ray is proposing that we fund the 42% element and this would allow us to support up to 17 students. There is a Rotary Club in Cusco and it would be hoped we could partner up with them when the project was in place.
We were pleased to welcome 10 President Kennedy Interact Club students and they teacher Michelle Arnott to the final part of our meeting. After welcoming them and asking Michelle to say a few rods Robert presented her with a cheque for £500.
Members were reminded that Serena will be holding a coffee morning at her house on Saturday from 10 to 12. Bacon rolls will also be on offer so no need to have breakfast!
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.
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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
Friends we made in Russia are high in our thoughts at the moment and Past President Brian Winstanley was reminded of the close contacts he made.
Just like us. This is a photo of Igor Chernov and his family. Igor and his son Georgie, were with the group from the Rotary Club of Volgograd (our twin Club link) when they visited in 2013 with the Volgograd Youth Orchestra. We met them again in 2014 when a group of us went to Volgograd to mark the 70th anniversary of Coventry's twinning with the then Stalingrad, the first two cities to be twinned. Unfortunately the government in Russia today regards Rotary as an American organisation and therefore has a negative approach to it. But, like here, life goes on and we look to a brighter future.
Any adult doubting the commitment, passion and determination of young people to grapple with major issues confronting our society, would have been reassured had they attended this annual event organised by our Rotary Club.
Seven schools entered ten teams in all, and all speakers presented lucid, and knowledgeable arguments on a range of topics, including gender equality, lowering the voting age, mental health, astronomy, technology and its impact on our social skills, animals in zoos, technology and education, and air ambulance.
The standard of the presentations was, as usual, extremely high. All present will undoubtedly have left the evening marvelling at the confidence and determination of the contestants (age range 11 to 13), and with expanded horizons.
As usual, no one envied the judges their task. However their role was to determine a winner.
The result was a win for Bablake School Red Team who will progress to the District Final; Barr's Hill School, arguing whether Pluto was a planet - or not, were runners up.
The Best Speaker was from Whitley Academy, for her presentation on mental health.
Whilst the judges discussed their findings, all present were encouraged to sign a petition urging central government to take responsibility for the funding of Air Ambulance services. Bablake School Red Team were determined to make sure their argument was reinforced!
Thanks must go to Bablake School for the use of their excellent venue; to our friends in Coventry Inner Wheel for the refreshments; Methodist Central Hall for the loan of equipment; ADECS Ltd for the programmes; to the judges especially and finally to all the many Club members without whom there would have been no 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.
Door Steward & Visitors' Book:
Door Steward & Visitors' Book:
Elly Pittaway, Friends of The Memorial Park
Door Steward & Visitors' Book:
Door Steward & Visitors' Book:
Door Steward & Visitors' Book:
Door Steward & Visitors' Book:
12th May - International Evening at West Orchard Church Hall
14th May - Club Assembly - no speaker
21st May - Council Meeting @ 11:30 am
28th May - Bank Holiday
9th June - Collection at Morrison's Binley
Council Meeting @ 11:30 am
14th June - Inner Wheel, Presidents tea at the home of Mary Maginniss @ 2:30 pm
16th June - Coffee Morning at the home of Dr Serena Calder @ 10 am - 12 noon
25th June - Handover
1st July - District Handover at Warwickshire Cricket Club, Edgbaston, Birmingham
2nd July - Inner Wheel Handover meeting at the Royal Court Hotel @ 11:00 for 11:30
6th July - Treasure Hunt
9th July - Council Meeting @ 11;30 am
14th July - Party in the Park, Baginton
13th August Council Meeting @ 11:30 am
8th October - Council Meeting @ 11:30 am
19th - 21st October - District Conference - Southport
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.
A Level James Aitken - Multi-purpose Workbench (Ernesford Grange Community Academy)
GCSE Archie Payne - Phone Docking Station (King Henry VIII School)
A Level Aryan Malakzi - Carabow - Archery Storage Carousel (King Henry VIII School)
A Level Emma Coxon - Modern Lighting (Coundon Court School)
GCSE Esnes Parsons - Art Nouveau Inspired Lighting (Barrs Hill School)
If you have any queries, or wish to join Rotary Club of Coventry, simply complete this form and our Club Secretary Brian Winstanley will be in touch in due course.