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Welcome to Stuart At the Club's meeting on April 5th we formally welcomed Stuart Cranidge into membership. A retired barrister, Stuart recently moved to York, and has previously been a member of Round Table for over 25 years. In addition he was on the founding committee of the North Lincs Association of Governing Bodies and served as a School Governor [including the position of Chairman] for 25 years. President Ian and all members present warmly welcomed Stuart to the Club.
Promoting International Human Rights At the Club's meeting on April 12th we welcomed Rotary Grant Scholar Taelor Lewis as our speaker. Taelor, a confident Californian from Los Angeles, through her earlier career in education developed an interest and skills in teaching English to refugees in California, primarily from South & Central America. From this developed a realisation of the relatively poor protection that human rights legislation offers to refugees world wide, especially to women. She secured a Rotary Grant Scholarship to study at the Human Rights Centre of the University of York. Clearly the most memorable part of her course was time spent in Malaysia where she was part of a team attempting to bring separated refugee families together with the help of human rights lawyers who could challenge and lobby the Malaysian authorities. Taelor rounded off her talk by observing that her time in York had provided a very different, less hectic lifestyle to Southern California, but a wonderful and welcome experience making many friends. Clearly Rotary, through Foundation funding of her course, is helping her achieve a career that will make a real difference in the world
International Charity Walk Susan de Val reports.... This annual Club event on April 18th was centred this year on Terrington, looking very charming in the sunshine, with daffodils and blossom. Let’s start with lunch, as it’s the easy bit where all 70 or so of us were in one place at once, including partners, Friends of York Rotary, and Rotarians from Knaresborough RC; and Rotary Grant Scholar Taelor Lewis and her visiting family. I hadn’t been on this walk before and rather expected a nice sandwich and a slice of cake, but no, this was a wowzer of a two course buffet masterminded by Diana and the team. We did earn lunch, well, most of us did…. Two walks of 6 and 3 miles respectively, although there was a debate about the length of the 6 mile walk, which I think came out at 6.2 miles. The longer walk was ably led by Mark Sessions, and the shorter one by Nigel Naish. We stopped briefly in the beautiful hamlet of Ganthorpe, which like Terrington pre dates Domesday, before descending back through woods dappled with sunshine. And why we were all there? Hope and Aid Direct is a charity sending supplies to refugee camps in Europe, in the Balkans and currently focusing on Middle East refugee camps in Greece. It was good to know we raised around £1000 for this vital cause. Thank you to Diana, all her team, and to the whole International Committee for organising the day.
Fellowship at Doxford Hall David Impey reports.... On April 23rd and 24th, 43 Rotarians and wives enjoyed a visit to this lovely hotel in Northumberland. On the Tuesday afternoon 13 of the group played nine holes golf at Seahouses and although the standard of play was not good it was very enjoyable with splendid views of the sea and the harbour. Fittingly our organiser David Sweeney was this years winner. On the Wednesday a group walked the very well know coastal path between Newton by the Sea and Craster. Some walked to Dunstanburgh, visited the castle and returned, others walked to Craster, visited the pub and returned. Others visited Holy Island, Almouth, Alnwick, Warkworth and other nearby attractions. After dinner on the two evenings there was a quiz, a photo quiz from John Lacy and a George themed quiz from David Impey on the Tuesday and a general knowledge one by Janine Jackson on the Wednesday. Both were won by the "egghead team" of Janine and Tim Hinton. Thanks to David Sweeney for his excellent organisation. Overall a very enjoyable Fellowship visit.
International Visitors Joining us for our meeting (and AGM) on April 26th we were delighted to welcome Tor Berge & Vicolai Jakhelln from the Sagdalen Rotary Club of Norway; and Dietrich Wienecke from the German Rotary Club of Brunsbüttel. From this photograph, our Scandinavian friends appear to dwarf President-Elect Ian Tarbet, who ran the meeting in the absence overseas of our current President!
Supporting Community Sparks Community Service Committee Secretary Dennis Adamson recently presented a cheque for £250 to the Community Sparks management team. Community Sparks is a charity which assists adults with learning difficulties and meets at Door 84 on Tuesday and Thursday for art and craft, games and outings. Our cheque will be used to finance a bowling outing in June.
A Record-breaking Fundraiser The Club has been raising funds at St Crux - with a cafe and sales of bric-a-brac and other items - for very many years. More recently the format has been updated, with more "as-new" items and new categories such as Ladies Accessories and Home Produce, being added; and very smart Rotary branded polo shirts, aprons, Gazebo, and banners. On May 1st, with good weather but despite moderate "footfall", the resulting sales broke all records, and achieved an amazing £1450 net for our Charity Fund. Congratulations to Diana and her team who worked so hard on the event, and to all Club members who contributed sale items and their time on the day. It was a great team effort.
A special thanks also to Marlise Heaton who baked a superb cake for the cafe, and brought it along in the morning, as she has done for many years.
Keep Your Pet On May 3rd a fascinating introduction to a project of which many of us were unaware was presented by Julia Cludery (wife of Rotary Ainsty President-Elect Steve) and then expanded on by her colleague, Ann Windus. Keep Your Pet is a collaboration between Age UK York and RSPCA York & District. They claim to be unique to York but it is so successful that it surely ought to be taken up elsewhere. The scheme marries up volunteers with the pets of owners who need help when ill or in hospital, possibly even longer term. Plans are flexible to meet owners’ needs, such as support for pets in their own home until the owner is recovered (feeding, walking etc). he clients are usually dogs or cats but other animals have been registered including hamsters and even a bearded dragon. There are currently 120 registered pet owners and over 100 volunteers. They need to fund-raise a minimum of £8000 per year to meet these expenses, including emergency vet bills, publicity and equipment. Clearly KYP provide an important service in helping to relieve people from worrying about their pet, and that speeds up the recovery process.
Support for Youth Programme at Peat Rigg Once again this year the Club had provided financial support for the Youth Programme at Peat Rigg, through Door 84 Youth Centre, that provides such valuable help to disadvantaged youngsters in our city. Heidi from Door 84 has sent this "thank you" letter for our support, and some photo collages (click to enlarge these). This area of support for the local community has been a priority for Rotary for many years.
At this meeting, we welcomed two visitors from California - Stacy Trevenon and her husband Doug Mallon. Stacy (pictured right with President Ian) is Past President of the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay, a small town just south of San Francisco.
We also welcomed Stephanie Sumner from the Two Ridings Community Foundation (TRCF) - pictured left with Sheila Weatherburn (l) and Diana Naish (r) - who was presented with a cheque for £700, the proceeds from the International Womens Day lunch last March which Diana and Sheila organised
(Click photos to enlarge)
Also during the meeting, President Ian presented a cheque for £1100 to Diane Roworth for Hope and Aid Direct, the result of the recent very successful International Walk - see report below. Diane is pictured giving her thanks to the Club; she is very active with Hope and Aid organisation and joined their convoy last December to refugee camps in Lesbos, Greece. .
York CVS Our speaker on May 17th was Alison Semmence, Chief Executive of York CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) who has been in post for 6 months, having moved back to her native Yorkshire from a similar position in Southend. She explained the background of York CVS which, as Barry Campbell explained in the recent Rotagraph newsletter, was founded in the 1930's largely with the help of our own Rotary Club at the time, and was originally named York Community Council. Their aim is to work with support the voluntrary and community sector in York, which includes various threads such as advice on grant funding, encouraging networking, and representing the third secor on local, Council, and national bodies. Alison described some of the key social issues locally from CVS's perspective - affordable housing, food poverty, inadequate mental health service provision, and loneliness/social isolation. The voluntary sector in York make a huge impact in these areas, but a lot more clearly needs to be done. Our Club continues to keep a close link with York CVS both directly and also through our "Friends of York Rotary" organisation.
Behind the Scenes Russ reports.. On May 10th we had a wonderful, behind the scenes view of what goes on in the making of TV programmes and films from our guest speaker Sally Joynson, from Screen Yorkshire. Asked what sort of programmes we like, and which we don’t, Victoria was cited as a drab and unattractive series by some. Sally then went on to describe how this ‘jewel in the crown’ (no pun intended) was the current flag ship of her company! A disused hangar at Church Fenton has been turned into the spitting image (no that wasn’t one of her programmes) of Buckingham Palace. And this series is now paying back handsomely with sales to many countries. Screen Yorkshire, Sally’s company, aims to “support and invest in the TV and film business to grow Yorkshire as a centre for programme production”. Having aimed for Yorkshire to be in the top 5 UK locations, we are now in the top 3. Speaking about the recent film Dad’s Army, she explained how from a chance conversation with a film producer on the beach at the Cannes film festival, Bridlington was the chosen location for making the film. Within days of the start of filming, hotels were full, Bridlington was buzzing and the local economy benefitted enormously. As well as top-rate, home-grown Yorkshire talent such as Doncaster lad Jeremy Clarkson, Screen Yorkshire is bringing international stars to the area. In summary, Screen Yorkshire is a feel-good success story and Sally’s upbeat and positive enthusiasm shone through.
Of Calves and Ings Graham W reports... May 16th’s walk took us to Ledsham and new walking country for many of the 14 strong gathering of Rotarians and partners. Ledsham is a well-heeled village – its church has quite a history, as it claims to be the oldest extant building in West Yorkshire. The oldest part of the church dates from the year 700 - over 350 years before the Norman Conquest. We dropped down to Fairburn and entered Fairburn Ings, a very extensive RSPB Reserve, walking initially alongside a stretch of the River Aire – a river which has undergone a renaissance over the last 40 years from its heavily polluted former state. After a brief pause at the Visitor Centre, we returned to the rural countryside, where a field of spotlessly clean calves stared at us inquisitively – or was it with amazement – as we headed for Ledston, another well-heeled village dominated by Ledston Hall – a rather magnificent Elizabethan pile – home of the famous ‘Lady Betty’ Hastings, one of Yorkshire’s most generous 18th century benefactors, supporting education and the relief of poverty The last two miles, again through beautiful undulating rural countryside took us back to Ledsham and The Chequers Inn where we enjoyed a well-earned drink and a wide range of excellent food. A thoroughly enjoyable walk - thanks to Nigel.
Welcome to Paul On May 24th we welcomed Paul Harvey into membership of the Club. Paul is transferring from the Rotary Club of Bishop's Stortford, where he has been a very active member since 2011. He and his wife Pat have been particularly supportive of Rotary's Polio elimination programme, having travelled out to India six times to help conduct immunisations, and he was also a keynote speaker on the subject at the National Rotary Conference in 2018. Now retired from his career in Further Education, his community involvement in Bishop's Stortford, both in Rotary and elsewhere, has been wide and extensive. He will undoubtedly be a significant asset to our Club as he transfers his home base up to York. .
President's Cup Golf David Sweeney reports... As in previous years The President’s Cup was played at Fulford Golf Club on May 29th. The weather was kind and despite the attendance being slightly lower than usual for a number of reasons, the quality shone through with some very good scores. President Ian presented the prizes and results which were as follows:
Winner: Mike Sullivan 35 Pts
2nd: Dennis Adamson 31 Pts
Longest Drive: Dennis Adamson
Evening meal was excellent and good fellowship ,humour and fun had by all.
A big thank you to all who came and played. .
Supporting St Leonard's On May 31st Sarah Ross, the Fundraising Manager at St. Leonard's Hospice, spoke about the end of life care the Hospice provides for their patients. Their in-patient unit is about to be refurbished and converted into seven rooms which will be all single rooms with en-suite. The Sunflower Centre is a day unit offering arts and crafts as well as aromatherapy and other complementary therapies. The Hospice will celebrate their 35th anniversary next year. The cost of running the Hospice is £5.2 million per year (£595 per hour!) and only a small part of that is publicly funded. They run 13 shops which together raise £500,000 a year. The Hospice employs 209 people as well as being supported by 560 volunteers. Sarah spoke of the challenges they will face in the future in being able to raise the funds to provide a high standard of care to an ageing population. Sarah thanked Rotary most warmly for choosing St Leonard's Hospice for the third time to receive the proceeds of the Dragon Boat Race.
Picnic amongst the Trees On June 2nd the Club hosted a Family Picnic for over 100 parents and families who had registered their baby's birth as part of the Rotary Tree Partnership project. With the rain just about holding off at the Haxby Road site, the families picniced amongst the 1250 saplings that had been planted, and did a little "weeding" around the trees to aid their growth. There was a lively, exciting atmosphere as the families heard from Cllr Keith Orrell (lately Lord Mayor of York) who unveiled the plaque explaining Rotary's project and acknowledging our many partners in the programme. Keith has been a great supporter of the Trees Project, having planted the first tree back in June 2018. Many thanks to the many local supermakets for their generous donations of supplies of drinks and snacks, to Inner Wheel for their assistance, and to Frank and his team for making this a really successful event, and great publicity for Rotary! There are more photos of the event on a special web page here.
Fastnet Forty Years on Our guest on June 14th was Roger Sutton, from the Rotary Club of Pocklington and a long-time friend of our own Club. He spoke about the Fastnet Yacht Race, and in particular about the 1979 event (which he witnessed although not competing in it) when the Admiral's Cup Race was thrown into disarray by a vicious storm which the the 303 yacht skippers were unaware of as the forecast just beofre they sailed did not predict the strong gale force winds. Of the 303 starters, only 85 completed the race, the remainder either finding shelter or being abandoned and/or rescued at sea. A Nimrod aircraft, helicopters and 13 lifeboats were called in and completed over 600 hours of rescue. However, in the end 13 crew died and 5 yachts were lost completely. This disastrous event became the impetus for many changes to the rules for ocean racing, and of course modern equipment, radios and GPS make a recurrence of this scenario most unlikely. Our thanks to Roger for his interesting lesson in ocean yachting history.
Off to Sinnington for Tea! One of our regular, and most pleasurable, contributions to our community is the outing to Sinnington, where Rotarian drivers escort elderly guests from many parts of York, including in particular Abbeyfields, on a leisurely drive across the Howardian Hills ending up at Sinnington Village Hall, where they are treated to a cup of tea, sandwiches, scones, and cakes galore, prepared and served by members of Sinnington Womens Institute. The outing on June 18th was in perfect sunny conditions, and much enjoyed by all. For many of our guests, it is a very rare excursion out into the countryside for them, and their gratitude and obvious pleasure, reflected the true spirit of Rotary in the community. Many thanks to the ten drivers from the Club, the additional escorts, and especially Sinnington WI. And many thanks to Keith Hayton who masterminded the arrangements - not an easy task!!
Gilling East and Ampleforth David Rayner reports... A lovely summer’s day set the scene for our June 20th walk at Gilling East in Ryedale. 16 of us and 2 dogs headed east out of the village, following the wooded boundary of Gilling Castle park, past the well known miniature railway, as far as Little Holbeck stream. There we turned north to climb towards the village of Ampleforth, with glorious views of the Abbey framed in sunshine against the hillside. Once in the village we headed east down Back Lane, taking our coffee in the company of a inquisitive chestnut horse anxious for a share of our biscuits. Walking on we entered the Abbey’s manicured grounds, barely a soul in sight, it being exam time, and traversed the front of the Abbey Church and its buildings, now with lovely views south over playing fields to the Ryedale countryside beyond. Moving on, we head back down through the meadows towards Gilling, following for a while the Holbeck stream and into the village, walking back to the Fairfax Arms for a well earned pint and an excellent lunch. Thanks to Dave Thompson for planning and leading our 6 mile tramp through a beautiful bit of North Yorkshire countryside.