latest-news - rotarycoventry


Get the latest news from our regular Club Meetings.

CLUB MEETING - Monday 17th February 2020

by Bill Parkinson

President Judy opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and following lunch she introduced the speaker for the day Colin Cartwright who is an Aquabox Ambassador.

When disaster strikes, whether it is natural or man-made, the people affected are in desperate need of safe drinking water and humanitarian help. Aqua box responds by sending its AquaFilters and humanitarian aid. 

        They work closely with aid agencies and distribution partners who ensure that the aid reaches those in most need.

        Since its formation in 1992, Aquabox has sent more than 110,000 aid boxes to more than 50 countries around the world, helping hundreds of thousands of people in times of crisis.

        Each Aquabox Gold Box, which is tailored to support family group, contains water purification filters as well as items of humanitarian aid to help 

                with shelter and also shelter building, lighting, cooking and feeding, education and hygiene.

                They rely entirely on donations and the fundraising activities of the supporters to fund the work and purchase the items in the aid boxes.

                Judy was pleased to present Colin with a cheque to further the work of the charity.

                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 3rd February 2020

                  by Bill Parkinson

                  Our meeting on Monday 27th January, which coincided with Holocaust Memorial Day also marked the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Past President Geoffrey Jackson spoke very movingly of one of our past members, Henry Hopfinger.

                  Henry's father was despatched before their journey to Auschwitz in a gymnasium in vienna. His mother was immediately showered, gassed and incinerated on her arrival.

                  Geoffrey was heard in silence by all members present.

                  At the meeting on Monday 3rd February President Judy welcomed everyone and shared the sad news of the death of Harold Smart which had been a popular, well respected member of the club for many years and president in 1992/3. A minutes silence was observed to remember Harold.

                        Judy went on to explain that in order to come to a definitive decision regarding whether to continue with an application for an award of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service an email was to be sent to all members asking them to vote on the matter.

                        Judy then introduced our speaker for the day Susan Dunnett who was representing The Medical Detection Dogs Charity.

                        Bio-Detection Dogs are trained to find the odour of diseases  such as cancer, in samples such as urine, breath and swabs. The medical Alert Assistance Dogs are trained to detect minute changes in an individual's personal odour triggered by their disease and alert them to an impending medical event. They receive no government funding for the work they do and rely entirely on the generosity of donations from trusts and the public.

                                All dogs and breeds have the capability to detect cancer, other diseases and crisis situations in humans. However because the dogs screen samples on a laboratory carousel situation they select working breeds with a high hunt drive. The dogs are a mixture of breeds including Labradors and working spaniels and are chosen according to their ability. It is important that they have good noses and love searching and hunting for toys.

                                Judy was pleased to present Susan with a cheque to further the work of the charity.

                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 20th January 2020

                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                  President Judy welcomed members. As there were 5 Mondays in March she proposed holding a curry night on Monday 30th of that month. Details and a signing up board will be circulated soon.

                                  Judy went on to say she had visited an event for young people where a rap artist had performed some of his own work. She had been impressed by his enthusiasm and although this type of entertainment is new to many members it was a good way of gaining the confidence of young, sometimes hard to reach young people.

                                        Our speakers for the day were the Rev. Hillary Hackett and Claire McArthur who were representing Rosie's Rainbow Pantry which is a charity which supports parents and families who have children with life limiting conditions.

                                        They provide families with food hampers at the most vulnerable and difficult times, often when children have just been diagnosed. These hampers allow parents to concentrate on spending time with their children rather than having to spend precious

                                                time shopping.

                                                The charity is named in memory of Rosie Abbot a local teenager who when diagnosed with a brain tumour didn't give up but lived a life to the full in her all too short 16 years.

                                                Judy was pleased to present a cheque to further the work of the charity.

                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 13th January 2020

                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                  President Judy opened the meeting by wishing members a Happy New Year.

                                                  She went on to thank everyone who had contributed to the success of Santa's Sleigh and the Festival of Christmas Tress at Holy Trinity Church. Santa's Sleigh had raised £11,343 plus gift aid and the Festival of Christmas Trees raised £683.

                                                        There will be a presentation evening on 19th February at Hearsall Golf Club when the money raised by Santa's Sleigh will be presented to the nominated charities.

                                                        Judy went on to remind members about the Volunteer Expo which is being held at the NEC on 1st - 3rd May 2020. It is the new, national event to harness the power of volunteering.

                                                                Volunteer Expo will connect, educate and inspire volunteers, organisations and charities to change lives and take action in their communities. 

                                                                Past President Rod Drew was the speaker for the day and continued the story of his working life as a Pharmacist. He was most entertaining and informative. The story gradually moved from his time working in Cheltenham, moving to a small pharmacy in Worcestershire and hen to Queen's Square West Bromwich.

                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 16th December 2019

                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                  Over seventy members, partners and friends enjoyed a traditional Christmas Lunch which was a chance to catch up and share in the fellowship of Rotary.

                                                                  Our guest speaker was the Rev. Buff Forbes Stone, Vicar of St Catherine's Church and Pastoral centre, Stoke Aldermoor. Buff has overseen the building of a new church and is proud of the thriving Pastoral Centre which runs among other things, a Foodbank,

                                                                        a Youth Cafe, Credit Union, Afternoon Tea sessions and Play and Stay activities for young children.

                                                                        The church has built up strong relationships with the local community and has become central to the life of the Stoke Aldermoor area.

                                                                                President Judy was pleased to present Buff with a cheque to help further the important work of St. Catherine's.

                                                                                The next lunch meeting of Rotary will be held on Monday 13th January 2020.

                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 25th November 2019

                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                  The main part of our meeting was Special General Meeting which was opened by President Judy Ryan.

                                                                                  The minutes of the last SGM held on Monday 18th November 2018 were proposed and seconded and approved.

                                                                                  The Club Accounts for the year ending 30th June 2019 which had been emailed to all members prior to the meeting were presented by Past President Ray and approved by members.

                                                                                  Members approved a proposal to confirm Vice President Serena Calder as President Elect for 2020/21.

                                                                                  Members approved a proposal confirming that Rotarian Bill Parkinson be elected as Second Vice President Elect for 2020/21.

                                                                                        Members accepted a proposal that Rotarian Peter Cooke be re-elected as Honorary Assistant Secretary and Rotarian Bob Kemble be re-elected as Honorary Treasurer.

                                                                                        There being no nomination for the post of Honorary Secretary the position was left open for the time being.

                                                                                        Members accepted a proposal that Secretary Ros Thomas and President Judy Ryan be elected as voting delegates to the annual conference of RIBI in April 2020. The two Vice Presidents Elect were also approved as substitutes.

                                                                                                As there were no other motions or business to consider the meeting was closed.

                                                                                                Judy was pleased to report that Roma was on the mend and has been out and about. She is hoping to join us for Christmas Lunch.

                                                                                                Past President Ken reported that there has been a slow response to collecting donations during the switching on of the Christmas lights in Coventry City Centre. In all just over £60 was collected.

                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 18th November 2019

                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                  President Judy opened the meeting by thanking members for their contributions for the food bank run by City Missions. We will be collecting food each week leading up to Christmas. Judy is also keen to collect donations during the first two weeks of December in order to present a cheque to City Missions to forward their work. 

                                                                                                  Next week is the SGM which will be followed by the service Committee Meetings.

                                                                                                  Our speaker for the day was John Miles who was representing Global Sight Solution. The mission of the charity is to treat and prevent avoidable blindness. 

                                                                                                  The charity was founded by in the 1980's by Dr Sam Das a former eye surgeon. His mission was to provide 1,000,000 free cataract operations to patients in the Indian sub continent, Africa and other economically emerging areas.

                                                                                                        Global Sight Solutions strives to make blindness history. Their main focus is the setting up of Specialist Eye Hospitals in areas of need. they also invest in Eye Buses to transport patients to clinics.

                                                                                                        Because nearly all involved are volunteers or medical professionals sympathetic to the aims of Global Sight Solutions, a complete cataract operation, service can be provided in India, Africa and other parts of the developing world for just £15! Incredibly, grants can often be obtained which drives down the cost of provision to £5.

                                                                                                        It is Global Sight Solutions' proud boost therefore that for a donation of just £15 they can solve critical sight problems and often enable the blind to see again!

                                                                                                                An essential part of the charity ethos is all hospitals are run by specifically formed Trusts which regularly undertake medical and financial audits thus ensuring transparency of both funding and surgical quality.

                                                                                                                By establishing eye hospitals in the areas of need not only only can the poor have permanent local access to services, but as each hospital is administered locally, the services provided can be tailored and adapted to individual community requirements.

                                                                                                                In addition to the provision of cataract surgery Global Sight Solutions' facilities also provide treatment for glaucoma, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy and similar clinically treatable sight problems.

                                                                                                                Judy was pleased to present John with a cheque to further the work of the charity.

                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 11th November 2019

                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                  There was no speaker and the meeting was for general club business. 

                                                                                                                  President Judy opened the meeting by thanking members for their good wishes and messages on the birth of Joshua, her second grandchild.

                                                                                                                  Judy went on to report on her recent attendance at an International Conference which although not very well attended had been a most interesting event. She had been astonished at how many International projects have Rotary Support. It had been especially pleasing for ur club to have Past President Ken talk about his projects.

                                                                                                                        Two projects in particular Judy had picked were two simple ways of supporting less fortunate communities abroad. One was by collecting unwanted spectacles which could be reused. The second was through the Mary's Meal's Charity which collects donated rucksacks and fills them with basic learning tools such as pencils and note pads. This not only enables children to go to school but also to have at least one meal a day.

                                                                                                                        Judy has also started collecting donations of tins and dry food for the food bank. She thanked members for their donations which she hopes to continue in the future. 

                                                                                                                                Past President Ray gave a brief update on the work undertaken by students from President Kennedy School on their recent visit to Peru where they helped with building, reforestation and community projects. The school is planning to send students to Ecuador in the near future.

                                                                                                                                Judy reported on a planned 200 Club fundraising project which is going to be established and run by Second Vice President Martin.  There will be 200 numbers for sale at £5 each per month collected by standing order. There will be a monthly prize draw and monies collected will be split 60% going to charity and 40% going to members in prize money.

                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 4th November 2019

                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                  The meeting was opened by Past President Ken Holmes who was in the chair. Ken explained that President Judy was unable to be with us as she was with her daughter and of course baby Joshua.

                                                                                                                                  Vice President Serena was unable to attend the meeting.

                                                                                                                                  Joining members for lunch were Wahiba Kirared our speaker and Anna Heathcote, Assistant Head at King Henry VIII School who was accompanied by lower sixth students, Daya Bhamra and Milla Spyczak. 

                                                                                                                                        Wahiba who was representing The International Children's Trust outlined the scope of the charity's work which is spread around the world - Equator, Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, Burkina Faso, India and Sri Lanka.

                                                                                                                                        She gave more detailed information on the project which is based in Chiedza, Zimbabwe. Our club has been supporting this vital work with families and children who are very poor but given the right support adults find work and children attend school regularly which is key to opening up their future prospects.

                                                                                                                                                The project has targeted 1800 households. Women have been taught agricultural skills and the establishment of a nursery has helped low income families work to sustain themselves. 

                                                                                                                                                Following Sahib's talk Ken invited the students from Henry VIII to come forward to present two cheques each worth £700: one for the International Children's Trust and the other to help in the purchase and refitting of an ambulance. On behalf of the school Daya thanked members for their warm welcome and hospitality.

                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 21st October 2019

                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                  Following the singing of The Grace President Judy opened the meeting by giving a brief report on the weekend District Conference in Nottingham. The whole event was well organised and she, along with other Coventry members, had enjoyed several inspirational speakers. The event was well worth attending. 

                                                                                                                                                  The next District Conference is to be held at Liner Hotel in the heart of Liverpool. The hotel is situated next to Lime Street Station and hosts conferences in The Britannia Suite. Certainly something to look forward to.

                                                                                                                                                        Our speaker for the day was John Wilford who is a member of the Institute of Professional Will writers, a regulated body which ensures clients receive sound advice. John pointed out that almost 60% of adults have no will an din the event of death this can cause many problems for families.  

                                                                                                                                                        John gave a rundown on the importance of having a correctly draw up will and also the need to regularly ensure your will is up to date as family and personal circumstances change.

                                                                                                                                                                A will ensures that your estate is dealt with properly and in accordance with your wishes. In a will you appoint executors to ensure your wishes are carried out properly. 

                                                                                                                                                                John also emphasised the importance that a lasting Power of Attorney can have in looking after your welfare and finances, including property if you become ill or mentally incapacitated.

                                                                                                                                                                Finally John spoke about the benefits of pre-paid funeral plans.

                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 14th October 2019

                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                  The meeting was opened by Vice President Serena Calder who invited Past President Ken to lead us in The Grace.

                                                                                                                                                                  Following lunch Serena was pleased to welcome staff and students from President Kennedy School who gave a presentation on their recent visit to Peru where they spent a month taking part in a Camps International project to build a school in a remote rural area.

                                                                                                                                                                        As part of the presentation we were shown a video which had been put together by the students and it was very interesting to see the range of work and activities they had been engaged in. They had even made many of the bricks which were used in the construction work.

                                                                                                                                                                        The students told of the difficulty they had encountered in adapting to the different culture 

                                                                                                                                                                                and way of life in Peru but they had found the experience very rewarding and were keen to return to South America again.

                                                                                                                                                                                A highlight of their visit was a five day trek along the Inca Trail to reach the ancient mountain site of Machu Picchu. The going was hard, especially getting used to the thin air but the reward of standing among the ruins was wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 7th October 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                  After opening the meeting President Judy was pleased to report that a cheque for £2500 had been presented to support The International Trust's work in Zimbabwe.

                                                                                                                                                                                  October 24th is world Polio Day and volunteers are needed to help steward the event in Coventry City Centre and also promote the work of Rotary.

                                                                                                                                                                                  During the Coventry City of Culture year all five Coventry Rotary Clubs will be working together on projects around raising awareness on mental health in young people and how they can be supported. 

                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy had also presented a cheque to the Lord Mayor for £250 which had been raised in the Automarta machine in the market.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Members not attending any Monday lunch in the next two weeks should inform Secretary Ros as Peter is on holiday.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Our speakers for the day were Dee SPurdle and Sophie Sweatman who were representing The Langley House Trust which is an award-winning offender rehabilitation charity. It has been awarded accreditation against the Investors in People Standard which demonstrates their commitment to supporting people as they face very difficult times in their lives. 

                                                                                                                                                                                        Dee explained that a third of offenders leaving prison have a learning disability which is often around poor literacy skills. Langley House attempts to break the cycle of reoffending and 

                                                                                                                                                                                                They have been very successful in offering targeted help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The trust has number of projects countrywide which can offer up to 6 months support when people leave prison. Among offenders who have been helped by Langley House only 3% reoffend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Murray Lodge in Coventry is run by the trust. Murray Lodge provides housing, support and resettlement for men with multiple needs, mental health issues and substance issue issues. It also provides floating support to men and women in their own homes. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                Judy was pleased to present a cheque to Dee and Sophie to further the work of the trust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 30th September 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                  As it was the fifth Monday in the month we held a fellowship evening meeting which was very well attended. The event was more relaxed than formal Monday meetings and after a two course meal members were treated to a Beetle Drive kindly organised and run by Wendy Kemble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        At the end of the evening the winner was Carole Bond and the honour of the wooden spoon went to Geoff Lea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The evening was a great success and a good time was had by all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 23rd September 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Following the singing of The Grace President Judy opened the meeting by reminding members that our meeting next week would be a hot buffet and beetle drive starting at 7 for 7:30pm at Kings Hill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Assistant Secretary Peter informed members that he would be away for the next weeks and if members were not going to be present for lunch they should inform secretary Ros.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy introduced our new District Governor Bala Jaspal who greeted members and took the opportunity to say a few words. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her theme for the year was to be Rotary Connects the World.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bala went on to congratulate Judy taking over the Presidency of Coventry Rotary Club and she wished her every success during her year. Bala then presented certificates to Past Presidents Geoffrey Jackson and Victor Keene as long standing members of our club. She then went on to thank The Rotary Club of Coventry for the many projects and initiatives which she worked on and supported. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bala ended her short address by reminding members about the pioneering work undertaken by Rotary worldwide in the eradication of polio and she was looking forward to the Coventry Lights Up Purple to be held on 24th October to celebrate World Polio Day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Judy was pleased to present DG Bala with a copy of our club directory. Members then went into meetings of our three Service Committees, a new initiative instigated by President Judy at the start of her Presidential Year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 16th September 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Following the singing of The Grace, President Judy thanked everyone for coming to her President's Tea on Sunday 15th September. There had been a very good attendance and the lovely food, tea and chat was much enjoyed by all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy had recently attended a District event and one of the topics under consideration had been the structure of future conference: what do we want from them and where should they be held?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Something for members to think about as no doubt we will come back to the topic as a club in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Judy went on to remind members that Godiva Day will be held on Friday 20th September. The event which will be headed by Rotarian Pru Porretta, begins at 10:30am at the Lady Godiva Statue, Broadgate Coventry City Centre. The Procession will make its way to Priory Garden where live music, songs and dance will be performed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Our speaker for the day was Past District Governor Gary Dancer who spoke about Volunteer Expo which is to be held from 1-3rd May 2020 at the NEC. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of its main purposes is to reach out and talk to the public about Rotary and its work. There is also to be a dinner and speakers. The event is free to Rotarians.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gary also spoke about an upcoming event next year when there will be a major sponsored walk which will centre round the vital work of George Thomas Smith Clark, inventor of the much improved iron lung, who spent much time living and working in Coventry. Nearer to the event local clubs will be asked to provide volunteers to help and organise the Coventry section of the walk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 2nd September 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Following The Grace said by James Coleman, our speaker for the day, President Judy reported that the recent BBQ had been very successful and several people had suggested it should become a regular event in the Rotary Calendar. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy went on to say that in line with the new pattern for meetings there would be no speaker next. She asked members to consider the present arrangements for reporting attendance and preparing a meal in advance. The new system did not appear to be working successfully and the club was regularly out of pocket for meal payments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There will be a discussion next week as to how change or adapt the system to make it more user friendly. Also, next week there would be reports from the centenary committee and the Santa's Sleigh team.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our speaker for the day was James Coleman accompanied by his wife Joanne. they are on an extended visit from Utah, USA. In addition to his work for Rotary, James are prominent members of The Church of Latter Day Saints commonly called Mormons and that was the subject for his talk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith in New York in the USA in 1830. Smith had received a revelation from God, first through an angel, and then through a book inscribed on golden plates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Smith translated the writing on the plates into the Book of Mormon, which tells the story of the ancient people of America. It was published in 1830.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Church was founded in 1830 and soon attracted members. From the start it actively tried to convert people and sent missionaries out to win members.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee and drugs are all specifically banned in the Word of Wisdom. The Mormon prophets have made it clear that drugs, other than for medical use, are also banned, Mormons are also strongly discouraged from drinking soft drinks containing caffeine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gambling in any form is condemned as a moral evil, and Mormons are admonished not to participate in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Family life is very important in the life of the Mormon religion and great store is placed on inculcating sound values into children. Regular family time and meals are integral to Mormon family life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Mormons arrived in Britain at the very beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria. The number of Mormons in the UK has risen from 6,500 to 190,000 members.