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LATEST CLUB NEWS

Get the latest news from our regular Club Meetings.

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 plan 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.


                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 12th August 2019

                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                  Following the singing of The Grace, President Judy opened the meeting by informing members that Past Presidents Michael Hammon and Bob Hall were in hospital and she along with everyone at the meeting wished them both a speedy recovery.

                                  Judy, who had been asked by Martin Cooper, went on to discuss our involvement in the upcoming Santa's Sleigh. The club needed to decide on its level of involvement taking into account the increasing age of many of our members. One suggestion was that we could be more involved in the static collections rather that the street collections. The driving would be undertaken by two designated members of the lead club. Martin was content to carry on as our representative but was happy to hand over to someone else.

                                  The general feeling at the lunch was that we should continue to be involved as it was a major fund raising event for all the of the rotary clubs. Judy and Martin will attend the meeting this week where further details of the event will be discussed.

                                        Our speaker for the day was Charlotte Smith, community Fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charity which provides accommodation to families when their children are in hospital. The charity provides families with a free 'home away from home' which enables them to stay close by while their child is in one of the partnered children's hospitals. Families can stay for as long as they need to; the longest stay in one of the Houses currently stands at over two and half years.

                                        There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses across the UK all located close to specialist children's hospitals. The Houses are open 365 days a year and are equipped with everything you would find in a family home. Families can get a good night's sleep, prepare their own meals and feel at home, knowing that they're only a moments away from their child.

                                        The nearest Ronald McDonald House to Coventry is located at Birmingham Children's Hospital and it is one of the largest purpose built accommodation facilities. As well as providing 66 bedrooms, the Birmingham House offers families the opportunity to cook together, to eat together and share their experiences. The House also offers a lounge, kitchen and play area for families visiting the hospital for the day.

                                                The House is round the corner from Birmingham Children's Hospital enabling families to continue their lives with some degree of normality, knowing they are just moments from their child's bedside. To make them feel even closer to their child each room in the House has a direct phone-line to the children's ward.

                                                The charity does get support from the MacDonald fast food chain which allows it the space for its admin and head office.

                                                Judy was pleased to present Charlotte with a cheque to further the work of the charity. Judy closed the meeting by informing members that as there was no speaker and lunch would allow time for fellowship time. She also asked members to give thought to whether we ought to continue with the process to gain the Queen's award for Voluntary Work as it was becoming clear that the work involved was considerable. If we were to go ahead with the bid Tim would need help from members 


                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 5th August 2019

                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                  Following the singing of The Grace President Judy Ryan opened the meeting by showing members the new regalia she has organised because the previous ribbon on the Presidential Medallion had become warn and untidy. The ribbon now holds the name badge of Victor Dodd the founding President in 1921 and also the badges of the last 48 Presidents and when Rotarian Martin Cooper becomes President in our centenary year his name will be the fiftieth on the ribbon as the Centenary President of the Rotary Club of Coventry.

                                                  Our speaker for the afternoon was Sheila Leddington Wright who spoke about Organ Transplants, The Gift of Life and the importance of fitness and sport in helping those who have had an organ donated keep fit and enjoy a healthy life.


                                                        Sheila is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and an honorary Member of The Society of Sports Therapists. She worked as a therapist within sport for over 30 years before moving into academia. She is now an Associate Professor of Sports Therapy at Coventry University.

                                                        Over the last decade she has championed the development of the research base related to transplant Games and was awarded the Peter Griffin award for services to Transplant Sport UK in 2018, She has a track record of presenting her research at national and international conferences, including her work with transplant athletes.

                                                        Many of the people Sheila helps are local and are students of Coventry University where she is based. Coventry students past, present and future have once again triumphed at the British Transplant Games of competing during four days of competition. 

                                                                The mixed team of competitors, sports therapists and physiotherapists all did their bit at this summer's games in Birmingham, helping to celebrate the life-saving impact of organ donation and raise awareness of the annual event. The effort is the latest in Coventry University's longstanding involvement with Transplant Sport which this year saw Sheila presented with the Peter Griffin award for outstanding contribution to Transplant Sport.

                                                                The Transplant Games were developed 40 years ago to show the benefits of transplantation and increase awareness of the need for organ donation. The university first got involved in Transplant Sport in 2009 when the Games were held in Coventry.

                                                                This year The World Transplant Games are to be held from 17th - 23rd August in Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne.

                                                                Following a vote of thanks, Judy presented Sheila with a cheque to further the work of transplant sports.

                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 29th July 2019

                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                  Following the singing of The Grace President Judy opened the meeting by commenting on the very successful Strawberries and Songs event organised by the International Committee which had raised over £400 for the Chiedza Child Care in Harare Zimbabwe.

                                                                  Our speaker was Paul Leddington Wright the well known local musician who is renowned nationally and internationally for his enthusiasm and outstanding contribution to choral music. Paul proved very entertaining.

                                                                  Paul was born in Maidenhead and from an early age he was interested in music which resulted in him having piano lessons and by the age of 15 he was organist and choir master at his local Methodist Church. 

                                                                        His father worked for the Royal Household at both Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace and in the course of his work visited The Albert Hall and eventually Paul was practising on the renowned Albert Hall organ, one of the largest in Europe.

                                                                        He then won an organ scholarship to Cambridge and continued his conducting alongside his studies. Following university he embarked on a career in Musical Theatre, having had much experience as a musical director in amateur productions as well as at Cambridge. His work in this period included a spell as Musical Director during a nation-wide tour of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

                                                                        He was Director of Music at Coventry Cathedral for 11 years during which he became involved with religious broadcasts at the BBC.



                                                                                He then went part-time in order to concentrate on his expanding work abroad and also continue with the BBC.

                                                                                He has been conductor of the Saint Michael's Singers since 1984 and conducted many of their concerts including their recent outing with the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra in Coventry Cathedral which featured Elgar's Music Makers and the Siant-Saens Organ Symphony.

                                                                                As principle conductor for BBC TV's Songs of Praise  series, he has conducted over 300 programmes. He has not only worked with top London session orchestras, nut also the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, The BBC Philharmonia, and The Northern Sinfonia. He is currently Associate Conductor with the English Symphony Orchestra.

                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 15th July 2019

                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                  President Judy Ryan opened the meeting by telling members that her first week in office had been a good one and in particular she and Past President Ray had had the pleasure of visiting the Interact Club at President Kennedy School and handing over a cheque from our club to further work with their projects. Judy had also attended the handover at Coventry Phoenix.

                                                                                  She reminded members that orders were being taken for the new club polo and sweat shirts. Our speaker for the day was Darren Burgess who was representing the Coventry City Mission Charity which was established over 35 years ago. Darren is Executive Director.

                                                                                  In 1988 CCM had the opportunity to move into one room of the Deedmore Christian Centre in Wood End. It rapidly took over the whole building and in the next ten years refurbished it and established a centre for the Wood End community which is one of the most deprived wards in the UK. For over 30 years CCM, through its staff and volunteers, has continued to serve the community through a range of projects.

                                                                                        The quality of this work was recognised in 2014 when CCM was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of an MBE for an organisation.

                                                                                        Darren described how the work of the City Mission had grown and changed over the years but the support it offered is more important than ever. The number of people helped by the food bank had grown from a handful initially to over 50 each week.

                                                                                        Among its many projects the Mission operates a cafe called The Eating Place which is open Tuesday - Thursday 9 am - 2 pm. The Eating Place is a not-for-profit, pay-what-you-can community cafe run by the staff and volunteers of Coventry City Mission. They want the cafe to be a safe and accessible place for people to come and enjoy a nice meal without the worry of whether they can afford it.

                                                                                        Their policy is: If your pockets are full, pay a bit more. If your pockets are light, pay what you can. If your pockets are empty, pay nothing and enjoy your meal on us!


                                                                                                The Mission also operates a charity shop which is a boon to the one of the most needy areas in our city. Donations of good quality second used clothes are always welcome.

                                                                                                The Mission runs adult literacy classes, organises weekly lunches for the elderly and there are regular play sessions for young children.

                                                                                                Darren gave an open invitation for members to visit the Mission in Deedmore Road where the charity has its base.
                                                                                                All of this vital work is funded 90-95% through charitable donations. Judy was very pleased to present Darren with a cheque to further the work of The City Mission.

                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 8th July 2019

                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                  Following the singing of The Grace President Judy Ryan opened her inaugural meeting by reporting on the recent Positive Images in Coventry which had been very successful in raising the profile of Rotary and several members of the public expressed interest in joining, especially the new evening Satellite Group which will meet monthly. The new flyers worked well in drumming up interest.

                                                                                                  President Judy had placed flyers for each member to leave in appropriate prominent places.


                                                                                                        Judy went on to ask members to be at the weekly meeting in time to start  the meal at 12:30 prompt in order to allow plenty of time for the speaker to give their presentation.

                                                                                                        The planned speaker for the day had been unable to attend so Past President Rod Drew gave a very enlightening and entertaining talk on aspects of his working life as a pharmacist.

                                                                                                         Rod outlined his early career and how precise every measurement, especially of 



                                                                                                                drugs had to be. With 480 rains to 1 oz and 480 minims to 1 fl oz there was no room for error. He used scales which were capable of weighing accurately to 1 grain.

                                                                                                                Rod came across cyanide and strychnine which are deadly poisons and he also used hydrochloric and sulphuric acid in his daily work. Health and safety at work was a long way in the future! 

                                                                                                                Members were very appreciative and showed great interest in Rods fascinating talk.

                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 1st July 2019

                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                  President Michael opened the dinner by welcoming over 70 Rotarians, partners and friends including the new District Governor Bala Jaspal and three presidents from other clubs.

                                                                                                                  Michael introduced Brian Winstanley and spoke about the 39 years of commitment, including 9 years as secretary he had given to the Rotary Club of Coventry. In recognition of this service Michael was pleased to present Brian with a long service certificate. 

                                                                                                                  Michael went on to welcome long standing member and Past President Sid Creed who had been unwell. Michael was pleased to announce that Sid had been made an honorary member of the club.

                                                                                                                  Following the meal Michael spoke briefly about his year in office. He thanked Past President Robert Villette for chairing the Centenary Committee, Secretary Ros Thomas and assistant Peter Cooke for their work. Michael was pleased that fund raising and plans for our centenary year were well in hand. he was also pleased to announce that the application for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service was beginning and Bishop Christopher of Coventry had the necessary paperwork in order to be our sponsor.


                                                                                                                        Michael made special mention of 'my Janet' for her unstinting support throughout his year as President and she was presented with a bouquet.

                                                                                                                        Michael presented incoming President Judy Ryan with the Presidential Medallion, Past President Michael wished Judy every success for the coming year.

                                                                                                                        As her first duty, Judy presented Michael with his Past Presidents' Badge and then she went on to present 1st Vice President Serena Calder and 2nd Vice President Martin Cooper with their medallions. 

                                                                                                                        Judy opened her remarks by saying how honoured she was to be only the second lady president in the 98th year history of The Rotary Club of Coventry and she would do her very best to uphold the high standards of the club.

                                                                                                                        Judy went on to outline how she hoped to increase the profile of the club and generate more publicity through a special leaflet which could be left in prominent locations, members wearing sweatshirts and polo shirts displaying our name and logo, starting a satellite group which would meet on one evening each month and also undertaking more joint projects with other Rotary Clubs.

                                                                                                                                From the 1st of September, Judy is going to change the pattern of weekly meetings;

                                                                                                                                • 1st and 3rd Mondays would be a traditional meeting with a guest speaker
                                                                                                                                • 2nd Monday would be a fellowship time when a fellow Rotarian could speak
                                                                                                                                • 4th Monday after our usual meal committees would meet
                                                                                                                                • if there was a 5th Monday in the month this would be a social evening meeting when friends and family could join us

                                                                                                                                Judy then went on to report that all officers of the club were willing to continue in their roles. Judy thanked them for their work and support. Service Committees would be chaired as follows; Past President Ken Holmes - International; Bill Parkinson - Vocational; Tim Sawdon - Community and Past President Bob Hall - Foundation. Judy was keen that each service committee should also have a Vice Chair nominated in each chair.

                                                                                                                                A Social Committee would also be set up and Roma Hawthorne, Past President Keith Chapman and Past President Ray Thompson had agreed to serve.

                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 24th June 2019

                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                  President Michael opened the meeting by reporting on the recent Centenary Committee meeting. He had spoken to the Lord Mayor's PA and was hopeful of getting a civic lunch or dinner with the incumbent Lord Mayor during our centenary celebrations. 

                                                                                                                                  Work on the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service continues and Tim and Judy are planning to meet with Bishop Christopher, who has agreed to sponsor our club, soon to start the process of preparing our submission.

                                                                                                                                  Our speaker for the day was Mark Rechett who was representing Precious Sisters UK which is a small charity that finds sponsors for academically bright Kenyan girls from disadvantaged backgrounds so that they can receive a secondary education. 



                                                                                                                                         They also mentor them through all four years in school so that they have every chance to realise their potential.

                                                                                                                                         In Kenya, primary school education is free, but secondary education is not. Many families cannot afford the school fees and so their children do not receive a secondary education. In such cases, the girls in particular, stay at home to do household chores, work on the land or work as 'house girls' with very poor pay. They might be married off at a young age, get pregnant as early as 13 or 14 or even resort to prostitution. 

                                                                                                                                        Precious Sisters works with five excellent Government schools to identify students whose families cannot afford the school fees and finds sponsors for these girls.


                                                                                                                                                As well as paying their school fees, they provide mentoring support: three weekend events each year plus 1-1 follow up several times during each term - designed to help them to realise their potential.

                                                                                                                                                Thanks to donors and sponsors, Precious Sisters makes a difference to the lives of these young women - giving them a chance to shine rather than being confined to the poverty into which they were born.

                                                                                                                                                Michael was pleased to present a cheque to Mark in order to help the charity continue its excellent work,

                                                                                                                                                Roma was pleased to report that John Hartley had been released from hospital. He had not suffered a heart attack but was still unwell.

                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 17th June 2019

                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                  Following the singing of The Grace, President Michael opened the meeting by giving a brief report on the recent Centenary Committee meeting. It is being proposed that in addition to an avenue of trees on the approach to the Charterhouse to be named Rotary Centenary Way, there would also be two benches and an information board detailing some of the 100 year history of the club. Also two events have been booked to take place at the new Coventry Telegraph Hotel.

                                                                                                                                                  Michael went on to introduce our speaker for the day Paul Isherwood who represented the charity Penny Dropped which supports young people who have been drawn into a gambling addiction.




                                                                                                                                                        Paul spoke from personal experience having developed a gambling addiction as a teenager, firstly for arcade Slot Machines and then moving on to Fruit Machines. It was only with the support of his mother who persuaded him to attend Gamblers Anonymous that he was eventually able to break the cycle of compulsive behaviour which resulted in him lying, stealing and losing his friends and his integrity in order to fuel his gambling habit.

                                                                                                                                                        What had started out as harmless fun ended up with Paul spending every penny he could lay his hands on, his secret gambling addiction. 



                                                                                                                                                                A member of Gamblers Anonymous came to his house and spoke frankly of his own 50 year gambling habit and he helped Paul and made him realise he himself didn't want to end up in the same situation.

                                                                                                                                                                Michael was pleased to present Paul with a cheque to further his work for this important charity.

                                                                                                                                                                Michael went on to report that Past Presidents David Cule and John Hartley are both in hospital. We all wish them a swift recovery and look forward to seeing them at our lunch meetings soon.

                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 10th June 2019

                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                  Following the opening of the meeting with the singing of The Grace, President Michael expressed concern that as he arrived at the lunch, Past President David Cule had sustained a fall and had been taken to A and E by ambulance. We have subsequently heard from Past President Ken that David is in hospital.

                                                                                                                                                                  Martin Cooper explained to members that the formation of a 200 Club had been accepted by Council and although a few members had some reservation the majority was in favour. He was going to investigate further and draw up plans aided by Treasurer Bob Kemble.

                                                                                                                                                                  Our speakers for the day were Caroline and Bethany from The Alzheimer's Society.

                                                                                                                                                                  Dementia is a broad term used to describe a wide range of conditions. In fact there are approximately 100 different types of dementia, some much more common than others. The word 'dementia' describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.

                                                                                                                                                                  These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life.

                                                                                                                                                                        A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood pr behaviour.

                                                                                                                                                                        Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.

                                                                                                                                                                        There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, but there is a lot of support available to help someone live well with the condition. This includes drug treatments, and care and support without drugs. The person should have a chance to talk to a professional about their diagnosis and what help and support is available.

                                                                                                                                                                        For most people with Alzheimer's, the earliest symptoms are memory lapses. In particular, they may have difficulty recalling recent events and learning new information. These symptoms occur because the early damage Alzheimer's is usually to a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which has a central role in day-to-day memory. Memory for life events that happened along time ago is often unaffected in the early stages of the disease.

                                                                                                                                                                                Memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease increasingly interferes with daily life as the condition progresses. The person may:

                                                                                                                                                                                • lose items (eg. keys, glasses) around the house
                                                                                                                                                                                • struggle to find the right word in a conversation or forget someones name
                                                                                                                                                                                • forget about recent conversations or events
                                                                                                                                                                                • get lost in a familiar place or on a familiar journey
                                                                                                                                                                                • forget appointments to anniversaries

                                                                                                                                                                                There are currently around 700 volunteers nationwide supporting people with the disease and in Coventry there are over 100. More volunteers are always welcome to joint he society.

                                                                                                                                                                                Members were appreciative of the excellent talk and made some interesting comments. President Michael presented a cheque to further  the work of The Alzheimer's Society.

                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 3rd June 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                  There was no speaker at the lunch but several members brought up points of interest.

                                                                                                                                                                                   President Michael spoke about his concerns regarding membership which seemed to remain stuck on 40. His aim throughout his year of office had been to reach the 50 target. Several people had expressed interest and it is hoped they will join us. 

                                                                                                                                                                                  Past President Phil had visited Exmouth recently and had seen a local Rotary Club Wishing Well which was used to collect funds and he had thought it was something we could possibly adopt in Coventry. Some long standing members could remember when Coventry Rotary Club did have a similar Wishing Well located in Broadgate.


                                                                                                                                                                                        When the area was redeveloped it had to be moved and a suitable location could not be found by the City Council.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Martin Cooper put forward the suggestion that the club could set up a '200 Club' in order to help raise funds. Members could have a number by paying a monthly subscription and there would be regular prize draws. It was generally agreed that it was a sound idea and Martin and Bob Kemble are to look into the practicalities of setting up a 200 Club. Council would also discuss the proposal.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Past President Robert Villette gave an update on Rotaract which was now also receiving support from Coventry University. The club had recently elected a new Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. 


                                                                                                                                                                                                Robert has been supporting the club but during his recent illness, Alan Taylor from the Phoenix Club had stepped in and he is willing to take over from Robert. Robert, because of work commitments, is keen to set back from his commitment to Rotaract but he strongly feels that he should stay within the remit of Coventry Rotary, the Mother Club. Consequently Robert is seeking a member to take on the role of supporting Rotaract. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                Past President Keith reminded members that there was to be a Tea Party at Woodside Church Centre on 24th July at 3pm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Vice President Judy had brought examples of polo shirts and sweatshirts which she is suggesting members buy it to wear when talking part in events in order to present a smart image of Rotary. 


                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 21st May 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                  President Michael opened the meeting by welcoming members and guests to our new venue, The Four Seasons Restaurant, King's Hill Nursery for the first time. He reminded members of the need to confirm attendance at the next meeting when the attendance sheet came around during lunch. Non-attendace must be notified to Assistant Secretary Peter by 10am on the Friday prior to the Monday lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our speaker for the day was Peter Gregory Hood. His family have a long association with Coventry, especially the southern area and Styvechale. 



                                                                                                                                                                                                        Peter spoke about the Gregory (later Gregory-Hood) family's involvement with Coventry and especially Styvechale. The family have been in Styvechale for nearly 500 years and Peter recounted the history of his ancestors and their ownership of land in Styvechale. In the 17th century the family became owners of the Styvechale Grange farmhouse. Peter told of the introduction of the railway line from Coventry to Leamington in 1844 and the building of the Coat of Arms Bridge which displays the coats of arm s for both the Gregory and Hood families.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is a Gregory family obelisk in Coat of Arms Bridge Road. Peter also spoke of The Manor House which we remember as Bremond College and which is now apartments. The War Memorial Park was developed on land sold by the Gregory Hood family to Coventry City Council. The family still has connections with the area today. Land around King's Hill was owned by his family are regularly used for shoots. Peter, who now lives in Loxley, was warmly thanked for his very detailed and informative talk by President Michael who presented him with a cheque for his charity.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 15th May 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  President Michael opened the Club assembly by welcoming everyone and he made special mention of Past President Brian Hammond who had come to his first meeting for several months due to his back problems. It was certainly good to see him at what would be our last meeting at Coventry and North Warwickshire Cricket Club which has been our venue for several years. Due to a change in management at the club they wold not be catering on Mondays and Tuesdays. Michael thanked Past President Robert who was going to organise the moving of all Rotary items and remove the plaque from outside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Starting next Monday, 20th May, our new venue will be the Four Season's Restaurant, Kings Hill Nursery where several of our members are Trustees of the charity which runs the independent nursery.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Members will assumed to be attending the weekly lunch at The Four Seasons Restaurant, Kings Hill Nursery unless they indicate otherwise by crossing their name of the attendance sheet for next Monday which will be circulated at the weekly lunch or by emailing or telephoning Assistant Secretary Peter Cooke by 10am the Friday prior the Monday lunch. Unless informed of being absent meals will have to be paid for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Michael also welcomed Jas Dhaliwal one of our Assistant District Governors who was to be our speaker for the day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Michael thanked everyone who had attended the Presidents Lunch at Coombe Abbey Hotel on the previous day as his guests. In addition to being a very special meal and an opportunity for members and guests to enjoy good company and fellowship over £1400 had been raised for the Centenary Fund.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Following the lunch and the Loyal Toast Michael handed over to Vice President Judy Ryan who in turn asked each committee chair to present they report to the meeting. Just also informed the meeting that the two charities she would be supporting during her presidency would be the Life Path Trust and Young Carers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Judy then invited Assistant Governor Jas Dhaliwal to speak. Jas congratulated Judy on her forth-coming year of office and wished her well. She spoke at length about the work of Rotary and how through cooperation we can move Rotary forward. Her themes were Unite People and Take Action.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 30th April 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Following the singing of The Grace President Michael asked members to stand and observe a minute's silence in memory of Tony Vincent, Past President 2002/03 and a well-regarded former members of The Rotary Club of Coventry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Michael then reminded members that our lunch on the 13th May would be the last to be held at C&W Cricket Club as we will be moving our meetings to The Four Seasons Restaurant at Kings, Kings Hill Lane, Coventry, CV3 6PS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Vice President Judy informed members of arrangements for catering and lunch. The venue needs to know numbers on the Friday before the upcoming Monday lunch. It will be assumed members are going to attend unless they inform Assistant Secretary Peter by 10am on Friday that they will be absent on Monday. In the event of non-attendance without prior notice members will be charged for their meal.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Our speaker for the day was Past President David Kershaw who spoke about the growing problem of knife crime in Coventry and the terrible effect it is having on some young people in the city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nationally there were 48,000 knife offences in 2013/14 and in Coventry there had been 25 serious knife attacks in the last 12 months.The peak age for knife crime is 15 which brings school and educational problems for young people who are involved. They are often excluded from school. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There have been calls for young people to be placed in offenders institutions but often this  only serves to make the situation worse because of the bad influence inmates have on young people.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Coventry has attempted to ease the problem by setting up a 15 place referral unit but this number of places is just not enough to cope with the young people who need support. Coventry has also been pioneering a system whereby a multi service approach is used to ensure appropriate help and support is given.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Past President Ken Holmes announced that £425 had been raised to help flood relief in Malawi and at a recent event Ken had been presented with a cheque for £150 to recognise the work undertaken in Chiedza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Past President John Hartley was pleased to announce that £508.63 had been raised by members collecting outside Morrison's Store.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 15th April 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The evening meeting which was held at Hearsall Golf Club was attended by over sixty members and guests including Rotarians from the Torquay, Warwick Avon and Southam clubs. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Following The Grace, President Michael welcomed members and guests, including Jim Coleman from the St George rotary Club Utah who is visiting the UK for an extended period during which he has been visiting various Rotary Clubs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After the meal Michael invited Jim to speak.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jim spoke about his life and work with Rotary and his church and the shared values to found in both organisations. During his visit to the UK is theme was 'BE the Inspiration - Friends through all Nations' 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jim is keen to promote the message of Rotary - Service Above Self. He also spoke of about the importance of the 4-Way Test and its importance to his Rotary Club in Utah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4-Way Test of the Things We Think, Say and Do.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        First, is it the TRUTH?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Second,is it FAIR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Third, will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fourth, will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jim ended his presentation by accompanying himself while singing a song he had composed about the importance of Rotary in his life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A vote of thanks was offered by Past President Victor Keene who had visited several Rotary Clubs in America and seen at first hand the importance of The 4-Way Test in their lives.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 8th April 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Following the opening of the meeting by President Michael he invited Secretary Ros Thomas to give the annual club report which proved to be a full and interesting account of our activities over the past year. As part of her report Ros thanked various members for their valuable contribution to the running of Coventry Rotary Club.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Michael thanked Ros not only for her report but also for her hard work over the year. Michael then went to ask Service Committee Chairman to give their reports.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tim Sawdon presented  the report from the Community Service Committee and he also made special mention of Past President John Hartley who gives so unstintingly of his time for our club.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Past President Ken Holmes gave the report from the International Service Committee. he also announced that £315 had been raised during the lunch in order to support work in the efforts to help those caught up in the dreadful aftermath of cyclone Idai in Malawi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rotarian Bill Parkinson outlined the year's events when he presented the report from the Vocational Service and Youth Activities Committee. He also thanked all those members of the club who helped at the events organised and supported by the committee and made them successful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        First Vice President Judy Ryan gave the report from the Foundation Committee and outlined some of the social events which had been organised. She also informed members that during her up-coming Presidential year Past President Robert Hall had agreed to step in as chair of the committee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Honorary Treasurer Bob Kemble presented his report and informed members that Club subscriptions for the coming year would remain at £150.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        President Michael thanked everyone for their reports and then he spoke of Brian Winstanley and his 39 years of service to Rotary until his recent retirement and move. He moved that it would be fitting to make Brian an Honorary Member of the Club. This proposal was accepted unanimously by members.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Past President Ray Thompson and Rotarian Serena Calder were stepping down after completing their three year term as members of Council and Past President Kevin Vaughan and Jee Lee were elected to replace them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Past President Jeff Rowe had completed his term as a Trustee of The Rotary Club of Coventry and Rotarian Bill Parkinson was to take his place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The following offices were confirmed:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1st Vice President Rotarian Judy Ryan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2nd Vice President Serena Calder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Honorary Secretary Rotarian Ros Thomas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Honorary Assistant Secretary Peter Cooke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Honorary Treasurer Bob Kemble

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In closing the AGM President Michael announced that the 2020 AGM would be held on the 22nd of April.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 1st April 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Following the singing of The Grace, and President Michael's opening remarks he introduced Jane McGaffney who is a Community Fundraiser for Zoe's Place Baby Hospice based at Easter Way, Ash Green in Coventry. The hospice is one of three, the others being located in Liverpool and Middlesbrough. Zoe's Place which takes children up to the age of five is the only dedicated baby hospice in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was founded because many babies with terminal and life terminal and life threatening conditions received limited treatment. the hospice is able not only to give help to the children who are ill but also to parents and families at a very difficult time.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The majority of the support given at Zoe's Place is respite care. All of the babies at the Hospice have a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and require differing levels of 24 hour support on a one-to-one basis. Zoe's Place offers parents and carers a chance to recharge their batteries or to spend time with their other children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The value of this respite care to families cannot be underestimated and many would not be able to cope without the help and support of the team and trained staff and nurses.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Alongside the care that we offer to the children we also support the whole family through our aren't support network and the sibling groups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Zoe's Place Coventry needs to raise £1.4 million pounds each year in order to provide this vital service to local families. In the past Rotary Club of Coventry has regularly raised money and following Jane's talk President Michael was pleased to present her with a cheque to support the outstanding work of this vital service  to local families.