latest-news - rotarycoventry


Get the latest news from our regular Club Meetings.

CLUB MEETING - Monday 12th February 2018

by Bill Parkinson

following the singing of The Grace, President Robert thanked everyone who attended the evening meeting on 29th January making it such a success. The next evening meeting will be held on Monday 26th March.

As part of the Peace Conference there is to be a tree planting ceremony in Memorial Park on Sunday 25th February.

Our speakers for the day were the winning Youth Speaks team from Bablake School. The three members of the team were Rosie Jeffs, Daniella Freeman and Natish Nyamayarn.

      Aided by her team-mates, Rosie gave a powerful argument for The Air Ambulance Service being state funded rather than relying on charitable donations. She spoke from personal experience having been airlifted to hospital after a road traffic accident.

              The team are keen to raise awareness of this important issue through an online petition which they hope will reach the required number of supporters in order to have the subject debated in Parliament.

              For those wishing to support the petition the email is:


              CLUB MEETING - Monday 29th January 2018

              by Bill Parkinson

              The second of our evening meetings was held at the Manor Hotel in Meriden and was attended by well over 500 members and guests. The meal and the convivial atmosphere added to the success of the event.

              President Robert invited Past President Ken Holmes to say Grace. In the absence of Silver Ted, Robert led everyone in a game of Heads and Tails which raised £107 with the eventual winner and runner up being guests from the President Kennedy Academy.

              Following the meal Robert invited Ken to present cheques to charities from more money raised during the third and very successful Festival of Christmas Trees held in Holy Trinity Church. The Festival, included a very well attended concert, at which over 160 voices had performed.

              Ken thanked the Rev. Graeme Anderson and the church wardens of Holy Trinity for hosting the event and was already looking forward to running the festival next year.

                  Cheques, sponsored by Agco and Michael Hammon, were also presented to the trees judged best on show. The winners were President Kennedy Academy, C & W YMCA and The Friends of Finham Park School.

                  Our speaker for the evening was Ian Harrabin, Chair of the Historic Coventry Trust which has been formed to take over ownership of a number of historically significant buildings in the City Centre which are underused or in need or repair.

                      The Trust, initially founded to save The Charterhouse from being sold, has gained control over some of the most significant historical and important buildings in Coventry.

                          At the centre of the portfolio of buildings under the care of Trust is the Charterhouse and a proposed 70 acre Heritage Park of landscape including 2 miles of river and woodland walk.

                          Other significant historic building which have come under the umbrella of the Trust are Whitefriar's Gate, Draper's Hall, the two chapels in London Road Cemetery, Swanswell and Cook St Gates, Lychgate Cottages, Priory Row, Hales St and The Burgess and Whitefriar's Monastery.

                          Ian spoke with determination and enthusiasm about his work to protect, restore and ensure the bright future for the historic legacy these buildings have for our city. His work was central to the bid to become City of Culture in 2021 and will no doubt play a major role in the success of that exciting year in our city's story.

                          CLUB MEETING - Monday 22nd January 2018

                          by Bill Parkinson

                          Following the singing of The Grace President Robert opened the meeting by reminding members about the upcoming Peace Conference, the Foundation Dinner and the evening meeting next Monday at the Manor Hotel in Meriden at which cheques will be presented to several charities. Anyone planning on attending the evening meeting must let Robert know by email no later than Thursday. 

                          This Friday the Youth Speaks debating competition takes place at Bablake School, starting at 6:30. This annual event gives young people from Secondary School in Coventry the opportunity to showcase their confidence in public speaking. This is a chance to see the talents on many of our students speak and debate so confidently. Well worth attending.

                          The speaker for the day was John Wetherby who spoke on the work of Tools for Self Reliance - Practical help for practical people.

                              The charity was formed about 48 years ago in Portsmouth and today there are 40 volunteer groups in the UK. Coventry and Warwickshire Tools for Self Reliance are a friendly group who meet on a Tuesday at Grace Academy Workshops, Potters Green from 3:30 - 6:30.

                              The charity collects and restores pre-used tools which are then made into kits which can be used in developing African countries.

                                      Courses and training in using tools and becoming proficient in a trade are given in 6 African countries: Ghana, Sierra Leon, Tanzania, Uganda =, Zambia and Malawi. Training is given in building, carpentry, blacksmithing, electrical engineering, auto-mechancs and tailoring. These courses enable trainees to earn a sustainable living.

                                      Training courses last approximately a year and trainees and not only learn a trade but also become more proficient in numeracy and literacy. Between 2500 and 3000 people are given help each year.

                                      President Robert presented John with a cheque to help with the work of the charity.

                                      CLUB MEETING - Monday 15th January 2018

                                      by Bill Parkinson

                                      Following the singing of The Grace, President Robert reminded members of the important upcoming Peace Conference and he was keen that the 1060 area was very well represented and urged as many as could attend to do so.

                                      Robert went on to tell members of his recent visit to the Meriden Club where he had listened to a speaker who had been a child in Holland during the German occupation. The speaker had spoken from the point of view as a child and spoke movingly and with sensitivity about the Holocaust.

                                      .Robert had also attended a Membership Meeting where the importance of increasing members in all of area 1060 clubs was emphasised, something our own club actively thinks about.

                                      Past President David Kershaw has produced a book Thanks Shanks with the help of Chris Arnot, former editor of The Coventry Evening Telegraph which tells the story of how as a young man his life was changed by meeting some famous people in the world of football. The book, costing £10, is being sold to help Earlsdon Library which is in danger of closing.

                                          Our speaker for the day was Carolyn Marshall. Carolyn runs the Slimming World Group which is based at Coventry and North Warwickshire Sports Club. She outlined how the national organisation had been stated Margaret Branwell in 1969 when she met with some like-minded young mums to try and lose some weight. From those early days Slimming World has mushroomed into a very successful nationwide business.

                                                  Over one million people meet each week in twenty thousand groups to aid weight loss through learning to eat more healthily and through peer support. Members are guided in their food choices, especially which foods to eat in moderation or to avoid completely.The importance of changing eating habits is key to success.

                                                  The talk stimulated lots of questions from members who were possibly feeling guilty after indulging in so much food over the holiday period.

                                                  Secretary Ros made her debut having taken over from Brian as she explained to members that Roma and Second Vice President Judy had taken over as welfare officers. If members knew of any member needing support would they speak to Roma or Judy.

                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 8th January 2018

                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                  Following the singing of The Grace President Robert opened the meeting by reading a thank you from Roma offering thanks for the poinsettia plant which she had received at Christmas and she also expressed her gratitude for the recent support she had had from so many members of Rotary.

                                                  Robert reminded members about the forthcoming Peace Conference and he was keen that the club should encourage as many young people aged 12 to 18 to attend the conference. He asked that members with any contacts in local schools to help in this regard.

                                                  .Monday 29th January sees the next evening meeting of the club which once again is  being held at The Manor Hotel in Meriden. Robert has been assured that the hotel will provide a ground floor room which will make for easy access.

                                                  The speaker for the day was Paula president of the Rotaract Club bases at Coventry University.

                                                  Paula spoke of her wish to ensure that the club which has shown a decline in membership this year continued to thrive in the future. She has contacted several other clubs bases at universities around Britain but had had mixed success in getting responses from them.

                                                      She was keen to see the Rotaract Club recognised as an official society by the university which would give more opportunities to recruit members, especially in 'freshers' week'. As an official club the university would attach an advisor to Rotaract and also liaise with our own club. Also it would be easier to book a university venue for meetings and to cooperate with other university societies.

                                                      Paula was keen to try and get as many members joining in their first and second year which would help with continuity of membership.

                                                          There was a lively question and answer session with members.

                                                              Past President John Hartley informed members that the collection at Arena Park had raised £501.62 which would become £627.00 once gift aid was claimed.

                                                              Second Vice President Judy reminded members that the Foundation Dinner was being held on the 28th February Tickets would cost £25.00. A board would be going round next week.

                                                              Martin Cooper reported that currently approximately £19,000 had been raised by Santa's Sleigh and there was still money to come in.

                                                              Past President Ken Holmes reported that the Festival of Christmas Trees and linked events had raised £1200 and would be increased considerably when gift aid was added. It was hoped that the winners of the tree competition club lunch  would attend on the 29th January.