Pauline Craven and Alan Hilliar of Felsted Aid for Deprived Children have won a National Rotary Community Champion Award. The award recognises their work providing aid to a treatment centre in Ukraine coping with 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation consequences of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in 1986.
The couple met in 2000 when both were part of a convoy taking aid to the Revival Centre in Chernihiv, the nearest city to Chernobyl, and in 2003 they formed their own Registered Charity – “Felsted Aid for Deprived Children”.
Since then, the couple have been organising and participating in the three or four convoys a year taking toiletries, clothing, shoes and cleaning materials to Ukraine.
The Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Community Champion Award is a highly prestigious award, and all the Rotarians in London are agreed that Pauline and Alan are very worthy recipients.
Many Rotarians from London attended the Rotary “Youth Makes Music” Concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 22 February 2018. The programme included a wide range of music from choirs, to a string quartet, to a concert band, to a jazz orchestra, to carnatic music, to a steel band, to a full symphony orchestra, to a rock band and even a solo rock guitarist.
Under the compere for the evening, the BBC’s Ellie Crisell, the audience were introduced to each of the acts. All of the artists were schoolchildren or students studying in schools or colleges within the Rotary in London District.
All agreed that the performers produced music of a very high standard, and the event was a wonderful window on the young musical talent in London.
More than 100 Rotarians sat down to the Rotary Foundation Appreciation Dinner in Central London on 15 November 2017. Amongst the guests of honour at the dinner were Mike Webb – Main Board Trustee, John Dunkley – Foundation Chairman for Great Britain and Ireland, Debbie Hodge – President Elect for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, Steve Munns – Endowments and Major Gifts Coordinator. In addition our District Governor and District Governor Elect, along with many Past District Governors were present.
Many awards and certificates for achievements were handed out on the evening. However, the Surya Varsani Trophy this year was presented by Mike Webb to both The City and Shoreditch Club (above left) and the Enfield Chase Club (above right) for their per capita achievement in donations. That two clubs should achieve the same highest per capita donation is a first for us!
All told the event was a great success, and tribute goes to District Foundation Chairman Tom Hunt and his team for organising this most enjoyable evening.
A group of incoming Club Presidents met at our District Headquarters in central London on Saturday 18 November 2017, to start the process of preparing for the Rotary Year 2018‑2019.
Rotary in London’s training programmes are the envy of many, both within and outside Rotary, and this event set the Agenda for the coming months for those starting a year as Club President in July 2018. There is much to know for a Club President, and there are skills to be developed. The meeting covered many aspects of Rotary that have changed in the last year. Unusually, with Rotary’s main computer system being upgraded in the USA on the day, there were problems accessing the live systems. However, carefully planned videos, specially made for the day, allowed system features to be studied despite the upgrade.
A similar event will be held on Sunday 26 November 2017 for those that were not able to attend the event shown here. With luck, they will even be able to use the new faster systems for their event. Initial feedback on this event was very positive!
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.
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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