Each year, District 1130 – Rotary in London – hosts more scholars than any other District, because of the draw that the University of London represents. This year we are hosting 31 Scholars in our District and even that was not enough to fulfil the demand. This year we are working with the next door District – D-1260 – who will be hosting four ‘overflow’ scholars studying at the University of London.
The group met for the first time on Sunday 01 October 2017, where there was a briefing on living and travelling around London, complete with information on reduced fares for students, how to stay safe and within budget, and the benefits of regular visits to Rotary Clubs!
The students’ number one priority is their studies however, and DG Michael Hodge provided useful hints on coping with reading lists.
We wish all the scholars a most successful year, and look forward to meeting them all again at the District Conference later this month.
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.
We heard today that The Rotary Foundation has finally closed the file on our District’s Minibus Project for the Revival Centre in Chernihiv in Northern Ukraine.
Planning for the project commenced in September 2012, and the project received verbal approval in January 2013 whilst DGE Dick was being trained in San Diego. After just over a year of fundraising within our District, we had sufficient funds to apply for our Global Grant, and did so in June 2014. It was at that time that some obstacles were put in our path, but with tenacity and hard work the obstacles were overcome.
The Grant finally arrived at the end of April 2015, and within 10 weeks we had purchased the Minibus and delivered it to Ukraine in early July 2015, with DG Helen and PDG Dick sharing the driving. A year later, we made a follow-up visit to see how the vehicle was doing (see photo above) and were impressed with how it was being maintained.
On 10 March 2017, The Rotary Foundation accepted our final report and confirmed that the project has been completed to their satisfaction!
District Governor Helen proposed a toast to the Eradication of Polio throughout the world at the Tea Party held specially to celebrate Rotary’s progress on eradicating the disease. The event was also the “Media Launch” of the Purple4Polio campaign and coincided with International Women’s Day.
Featured guests at the event included Jane Garvey, Woman’s Hour Presenter for BBC Radio 4, Konnie Huq who used to present Blue Peter, Emily Buchanan who used to be a World Affairs Correspondent for the BBC, Julia Roberts a polio survivor who became a professional dancer and TV Presenter, Bethany Hare who leads the Bethany Smiles Charity, and the principle sponsors Somnath Saha (CEO Typhoo Tea) and Liz Baker from Wilkin and Sons – makers of Tiptree Jams and Preserves.
RIBI was there in force with RIBI President Eve Conway, Janine Birtwhistle, and James Bolton doing an excellent job on the social media. Professional videographer Jonnie Allan recorded the whole event and the many interviews, ably supported by BBC Producer Helen Shreeve.
After short presentations from all the principle players, there was a tea-tasting organised by Typhoo, and then the specially baked celebration cake, made by a former Rotary Young Chef champion and which contained Tiptree preserves, was cut. Deaba was also there, serving refreshments to ‘fill out the corners’.
York Gate was packed to capacity with more than 70 people present, and the event scored an enormous number of hits whilst trending strongly on social media.
Despite forthcoming examinations, seminars, tutorials and lectures, some 20+ Rotary Global Grant Scholars were hosted at Radlett Cricket Club by President David Rose and the Rotarians in the Rotary Club of Radlett on Monday 13 February 2017.
Despite falling temperatures and a nearly-full moon, the scholars that had managed to get time off attended this annual event in Hertfordshire. With scholars from Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the USA and several other countries besides, each of the scholars was welcomed in their own language (or a very close approximation) by the Club Host Nigel Rogers.
District Governor Helen attended the event as did District Governor Elect Mike, with RIBI President 2018-19 Debbie. Helen thanked the Rotary Club of Radlett for hosting the event, the Scholars for making the journey out of London, and the Rotary Foundation for its continued work in supporting Rotary International’s postgraduate scholarship programme for the last 60 years.
District Governor Helen made a ‘Virtual Visit’ to the Rotary Club of London Centenary, the Rotary e-Club that is based in our District. With a little help from a laptop computer, Helen was able to meet and discuss Rotary with members in England, and in alphabetical order Cyprus, France, Germany, Holland, India and Zimbabwe!
After giving her inspiring address to the Club, there were questions on a Youth Programme for youngsters in Uttar Pradesh to work jointly with Rotarians in London, the availability of District Assembly training sessions to e-Club Rotarians, developing the use of Rotary Ideas with a PayPal Account, and developing the Communications network within the District.
With the Rotarians in central London shown above was the Rotary Global Scholar, Jeremy, who is being hosted in London by the e-Club.
The meeting lasted just one hour, but a lot of Rotary was done, and new friendships were forged. With just one meeting shared by Rotarians in seven countries, e-Clubs may have a key role to fulfil in the future of Rotary. What better example can there be of “Rotary Serving Humanity”?
A large number of Rotarians gathered on Tuesday 15 November 2016 at the Imperial Hotel in Central London for a dinner to receive Appreciation Awards and Certificates from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
Our principle guests were our District Governor, Helen Antoniou, and our Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator and Director of Rotary Foundation UK, John Dunkley from the Rotary Club of South Foreland, near Dover. The event ran like clockwork under the masterly control of our District Rotary Foundation Chairman Tom Hunt and his team of helpers.
There were certificates for many Clubs, Banners for the Per Capita Awards, and cerificates for the Clubs with the most donors to the Foundation. The Surya Varsani Award was presented to Stella Russell of the Rotary Club of London Centenary in recognition of her work for over 5 years coordinating the 30+ post graduate Rotary Scholars who come to study at the many schools of London University.
John Dunkley then gave a short address describing the history of the Rotary Foundation, and outlining the difference that it is still making in the world today.
All those who attended had a superb dinner, and a most enjoyable time socialising with their friends, both old and new!
Today, Sunday 02 October 2016, an all day event was held at District Headquarters in central London for more than 35 students studying in London on a Global Grant Scholarship.
After an ice-breaker to get to know each other, and a few photographs for the Scholars Brochure, it was time for lunch. Lunch was organised by a Rotarian in London with a catering business, and then it was back to the main room for more presentations.
The main purpose of the event was to introduce the scholars to life in London, our transport system, our websites, and a little of our history and culture. The whole event was supported by our neighbouring District, District 1260 from Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire which helps London out when there are too many scholars for the London Clubs to support.
All the scholars had a chance to talk with District Governor Helen who came to support the District Team.
Following an arduous climb with other Rotarians from the London District, our District Governor Toni Finkel finally conquered the summit of the O2 Dome near North Greenwich in London. You can support Toni through http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ToniFinkel
On reaching “terra firma” once again, a slightly breathless Toni declared that the journey down was less tiring!
The event was a fundraiser for Rotary’s campaign to “End Polio Now”. Whereas, when we launched the campaign in 1985, we were expecting one thousand cases per day, the total number of cases in 2015 was just 74, and so far this year there have been just two cases in Pakistan. The project is not coming to an end however, as there is still much to do. The funds raised for the climb will be matched twice over by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
At a dinner held in Central London on 3 February 2016, both Rotary Founder Paul Harris and Past District Governor Robert Hunter – who served for 60 years in the Salvation Army – were remembered.
The succession chain of District Governors were present at the dinner, and District Governor Toni Finkel gave an excellent address, pulling together Paul Harris’s life and travels, Robert Hunter’s life and travels, and also Robert Burns – Robert Hunter was born in the same street.
Numbers at the dinner were affected by the sudden move of date, caused by the threatened Tube strike, but the quality of the friendship was not.
Those present were entertained by Robert Ellison and his accompanist David who rendered many familiar songs from musicals and a selection of ballads.