On a very cold but bright and sunny 12 November 2017, a substantial group of Rotarians assembled in Whitehall for the Remembrance Sunday event that takes place in London each year. With the Elizabeth Clock Tower’s refurbishment work suspended so that Big Ben could chime the hour, this is always a sombre occasion when Rotarians remember the fallen in all actions since the Great War of 1914-1918.
After the short Service of Remembrance led by the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Dean of the Chapel Royal, there was the long wait whilst the estimated 9,000 ex-servicemen, auxilliaries and service organsisations marched past the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
Pictured here, the group of Rotarians braved the cold and remembered those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
The District Team, supported by the RIBI President Denis Spiller (above), were present to see the Charter for the Rotaract Club of Canary Wharf being presented to the Club President Karolina at the Holiday Inn, Stratford, London on the evening of 02 November 2017.
RIBI President Denis told how he had moved from being a Rotaract Member to being a Rotarian, and he hoped that many members of the Rotaract Club of Canary Wharf would do the same.There was strong support from our District Governor Mike as well, and then the Board of the Club was recognised as well.
We all wish the Club every success, and look forward to working with them in the near future.
Some ten Rotary Clubs in and around London got together to run the Sixth North London Rotary Disability Games on Sunday 15 October 2017 at the Aspire Leisure Centre, next to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London.
Each Club looked after one of the events which included Table Tennis, 21st Century Curling, Indoor Bowls, Boccia, a Wheelchair Slalom, Deck Quoits, Stick Ball, Darts, Bagatelle and more.
The event was well attended, and a great success, and Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals were available for each category in each competition.
The Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council and the Deputy Mayor of Harrow helped with the presentation of the medals to the winners. Immediate Past District Governor Helen stood in for District Governor Mike Hodge. Our thanks go to Scott Maclachlan and his team for organising this superb event.
We are now looking forward to the Seventh Games next year.
A group of Rotarians travelled to Whitechapel in East London on Friday 25 August 2017 to see the London Rotarian’s Helivan and to have a closer look at one of the two London’s Air Ambulance Helicopters.
The Helivan was safely locked away in a secure car park whilst it (and its driver) were having a day off. The Helicopter on the roof landing pad of the London Hospital however was not having a day off, and was called into action whilst the visit was taking place. Our group curtailed their session and stood aside; from the initial phone call to take-off was timed at 4 minutes. With a 10 minute journey time to the London Orbital Motorway, that allows an enormous area and a population of 9 million people to be covered at great speed.
The Rotary District Helivan was given a formal invitation to take part in the London New Year’s Day Parade taking place in Central London on 01 January 2018.
The Rotary in London Helivan was handed over on 23 June 2017, as the Rotary Year was coming to a close.
After a year of hard work fundraising, with Past District Governor Trevor Johnson acting as Project Manager, the London District Governor Helen Antoniou had the privilege of handing over the ‘Helivan’ purchased for London’s Air Ambulance (LAA) with funds raised by the Rotary Clubs in London.
In the photo are (left to right) Sara Jane Woods – LAA Head of Community Fundraising and Outreach, Mark Wingett – Actor and TV Star, Mark Davies – LAA Director of Development, District Governor Helen Antoniou, and Doctor Michael Kim wearing his LAA uniform.
District Governor Helen said, “The total funds raised of £38,000 for this high profile project is a wonderful achievement, and demonstrates just how effective Rotary is in the 21st Century for our capital city. After this, we will continue to move forward to a bright future for the Rotary Clubs in London”.
The Helivan will be used to promote the work of London’s Air Ambulance, and to encourage children and students to move towards a career in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects). At the same time it will promote all the Rotary Clubs in London and their work in the community.
At the Imperial Hotel in Central London on Tuesday 16th May 2017, a large number of Rotarians from London Rotary Clubs assembled to celebrate the presentation of the Charter to the new Rotary Club of Mayfair, UK.
DG Helen (pictured above) congratulated all the members of the District Team that had supported the embryo club over several years, and presented the Founder President of the Club, Christoph von Luttitz with the Charter Certificate. Each of the members of the new Club was presented with a “Founder Member” Rotary pin.
Membership Chairman PDG David Palmer played an important part in the proceedings and it was the work of his team that kept the provisional Rotarians on track. Also thanked was the President Elect of the new Club, Andrey Kirikhin, who had done so much to build a sound structure for continuity and growth in the Club.
As is often the way these days, several members of the Club were away on business on the evening – even as far away as Australia. But by coincidence the London Rotarians were joined by a Past District Governor John Campbell from Adelaide, South Australia who was visiting London and presented the new club with the Rotary Club of Adelaide Light’s club banner – one of the first to be presented to the new Club.
We all wish the Rotary Club of Mayfair, UK well in its Rotary career.
Many Rotarians came to Canon’s Park, Stanmore in North West London to support District Governor Helen and Foundation Chairman Tom (see photo) at the Allium Planting Event aimed at claiming a Guinness World Record for Rotary for simultaneous planting.
The main purposes of the event were to celebrate the Centenary of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, and to celebrate the excellent achievement of Rotary International in working towards the eradication of Polio in the world – just 5 cases so far this year.
Behind the scenes, District Public Image Chairman Danielle was working hard, bringing in Civic Leaders and Members of Parliament (at least Members before the snap general election). The media were there in force too.
We will have to wait and see if the Guinness World Records organisation ratifies our attempt. but it was a very well supported event by the public that brought out a large crowd for the actual planting, and to talk about the work of Rotary International.
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Members of the District Team assembled at the House of Lords on 26 April 2017 to congratulate Peju Oluyomi (wearing orange) as a national Rotary “Community Champion of Change” award. The award was presented to Peju by Rt Hon Baron Lord Hague of Richmond in recognition of her work as a palliative care nurse.
Peju has a heart for charity and for the community – in Basildon and abroad. It was her commitment to the elderly both in her fundraising and using her professional care skills at home and overseas that led to her nomination by Rotary in London, District 1130.
As well as working unstintingly for the elderly in Basildon, she has championed a home for under-privileged children in Uganda as well as setting up a free health screening and treatment centre for thousands in Zimbabwe.
She has also been active in improving the infrastructure and facilities for health in Sri Lanka as part of the project partnership.
Peju is ‘not yet a Rotarian’, but her work sets an example to all Rotarians. She is a most deserving awardee.
Debbie Hodge (RIBI President 18-19) and District Governor Helen were present at the event.
Some 152 Rotarians arrived at the Imperial Hotel in Central London on Tuesday 25 April 2017 for the once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate 100 years of the Rotary Foundation “Doing Good in the World”. They were entertained by Rotarian Ron Burton from the Rotary Club of Leytonstone and Woodford before they went into the dinner.
The event coincided with the annual dinner organised by the Rotary Club of Barking in memory of Past District Governor Robert Hunter, and Dennis Bloomfield of that Club was given the opportunity to speak about the appreciation that the District still holds for Robert’s memorable year as District Governor.
Incoming Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President Elect, Debbie Hodge of the Rotary Club of Ware in Hertfordshire, spoke movingly about the work of the Rotary Foundation. Her talk cleverly dealt with both the Global View of the work of the Rotary Foundation, and the effect that it has had on individuals living in poverty in challenging parts of the world. It was an informative and moving address that was much appreciated.
From the serious side, we took a wild leap to Rotarian Geoff Mackey who had us in stitches of laughter with his quirky outlook on the difference that the Rotary Foundation needs to make in the world. At times a little ‘risqué’, when he finished our mood had been uplifted and we were ready to work again for the Rotary Foundation.
District Governor Helen presided and proposed a vote of thanks to all our speakers. The event was run under the auspices of our District Rotary Foundation Chairman Tom Hunt, and he is to be congratulated on organising such a fun and such a successful event.
The Wheelchair Relay that started in Manchester at the Great Britain and Ireland Rotary Conference, under the supervision of Ade Adepitan visited Stanmore on 21 April 2017 on its way to the Stoke Mandeville Games.
The wheelchair has visited all the Spinal Units in Great Britain and Ireland in partnership with WheelPower, who were present in strength at Stanmore.
District Governor Helen took to the wheelchair for the final 200 yards, and commented that being in the chair gave her a different outlook on the event and on the world. Firstly she found it difficult to control – “much harder than I was expecting” – but also, she commented on the fact that it is difficult to look at people eye-to-eye. That was not something she had expected. She added, “this experience has given me much more respect for those that are using wheelchairs everyday”.
Those attending finished the event inside the Aspire Sports Hall where there was a demonstration of wheelchair-based sports.