York Rotary

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York Rotary News page 3

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2019-20 News continues on page 4  

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Winter TLC for Rotary Trees Frank reports...  A team of volunteers from Nestle IT department, co-ordinated by York Cares, applied some tender loving care to  some of the 1240 rotary family trees at the Haxby Road site on November 21st. Pleased to report that they all seem to be flourishing and in good health. We had to replace a few bamboo canes but otherwise they seem to be in good shape for the winter

Update on 'our' Sundial Project  Steve B reports... Our meeting on November 22nd had the added bonus of a presentation by Aliana Schmisseur, the conservationist who has recently effected the splendid refurbishment of the Sun Dial on College Green, our 'Gift' to the City to mark our Centenary Year 2020-21. Representing one of only 220 Schmisseurs worldwide, a US citizen who has settled in York, set up her own Conservation business and is about to take British citizenship. She described the history of the Sundial from the 1750s, but would love to know where it was between 1934, when given to the Minster by it's Friends, and its installation on College Green in mid-fifties. Her restoration involved gentle washing and scrubbing on the eroded decayed areas, coping with the ravages of weed killer, graffiti and dogs offerings, described in great scientific terms, which basically removed the 'green stuff'. Our gift looks great - members are encouraged to take a look - the final touch to be the installation of a big stone ball finial shortly.



Sundial Oct 2019 4 Aliana 2 Aliana 1 Aliana 4 Trees Nov 2019 1 Trees Nov 2019 2

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Mary elected as VP During the "Special General Meeting" of York Rotary November 22nd Mary Lumley was elected as Vice-President-Elect - meaning she will take over as President in July 2022.  (not long to wait then, Mary!)   Mary will be the second female president of York Rotary, following in Eileen's footsteps  (see story above) and members were delighted she has agreed to stand for this position.  We wish her well.


President's Lunch full of sunshine On November 29th over 100 members, partners and guests sat down at the Dante Suite at York Racecourse, bathed is beautiful sunshine overlooking the racegrounds, to enjoy a celebration of York Rotary and in particular the support received by members' partners during the past year.  After a sumptious lunch of Lamb Rump and Shoulder, followed by fruit crumble and custard, we heard from our speaker Judith McNichol, Director of the National Railway Museum, who explained first her background, following a career in engineering from a very early age, then progressing to managing the exciting future that awaits the NRM as it takes advantage of the new York Central development to expand and add new features, especially interactive areas for children and a focus on the future of travel, rather than just its past.  Her enthusiasm and energy were obvious and bode well for the NRM's future.  In addition to the many partners present, our guests included Christine Smith, president of Inner Wheel, and we welcomed Colin and Ruth Perrot representing Rotary York Ainsty.  An inspiring event, full of sunshine and joy!  


with the Friendship Cup Judith McNicol Pres Lunch 2019

Eileen awarded a PHF During the President's Lunch, a special presentation was made, by President Ian, of a Paul Harris Fellowship to Eileen Davis.  This recognises Eileen's outstanding 20 years of service to Rotary and our community, and  in particular her many contributions to York Rotary over the past eight years, including serving as President three years ago, and encouraging change in our public image, external marketing, support of Foundation, and work with both community service and youth teams.  There was was warm applause for the recognition of Eileen's unique contributions to our Club.      

Eileen and Keith 1 Eileen PHF 2 Mary with Ian

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President Ian and David Fotheringham with the "Friendship Cup", a gift to York Rotary from Geoffrey and Edna Brown

Rotary in the Community Over the year, York Rotary has raised, through our annual Dragon Boat Challenge, plus numerous other fundraising events, a total of over £100,000 for various charities. This includes about £9500 that is distributed by our Community Services team to smaller charities in York, and on November 15th eight representatives came to the Novotel to receive their cheques.


Those assisted this year include:


Brunswick Nursery

Minds in Motion

Special Olympics

ATC (Burtonstone Lane)

Theatre Royal (Little Feet)

Age UK (York)

Door 84

MySight York


Dream Holidays

York Carers

Wilberforce Trust (Easter visit)

Salvation Army Xmas Appeal



During January there will be talks from four of the receiving charities at our lunch meetings to give all members a picture of some of the work their funds are supporting.


Cheques 2 Cheques 1

Helping refugees through "Hope and Aid" On November 15th, one of our members, Diane Roworth, reported on her very recent  9-day Humanitarian Aid trip with Hope and Aid Direct. They were delivering aid to NGOs supporting thousands of refuges living on the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos. Last year, York Rotary donated £1,130 to Hope and Aid Direct.  In 2019 over 50,000 refugees reached Greece, around 42,000 arriving by sea in rubber dinghies having set sail from Turkey. The majority come from Syria and Afghanistan, but also from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Morocco, Palestine and many other countries. Around half are women and children. There are roughly 14,000 refugees on Lesvos, 6,000 on Chios and 6,000 on Samos. While the politicians argue, volunteers from all over the world get on with caring for their fellow human beings. Hope and Aid Direct supports those voluntary organisations who have direct contact with the refugees, by taking them the basic essentials of human life – clothes, food, shelter, blankets, toiletries – nothing luxurious, just basic essentials.

Hope and Aid

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November walk  Graham T reports Our walk was on November 21st , What a lot of rain there had been. On the first recce The Derwent was only just in flood and hopes were high for our walk near to Kirkham Priory. Two recces later, the last in glorious sunshine the day before, it was obvious that although we were enjoying dry weather the Derwent was still rising. Eleven walkers took to higher ground and enjoyed a stroll across fields and forest tracks. After a couple of miles we headed down hill towards Firby. Excellent conditions through the field and down a leafy track between hedgerows. Even more solid when we turned onto newly laid tarmac. Taking the bridleway, we turned back towards Westow church and on arriving we discussed why the church was so far out of he village. We concluded that the village, originating from Roman times, had probably moved in medieval times due to the plague (checking past records this still remains conjecture). We all agreed that it had been an enjoyable 5.5 miles and then enjoyed our lunch at the Blacksmiths Arms in Westow.

Nov walk 1 (Custom) Nov walk 3 (Custom) Nov walk 4 (Custom) Nov walk 5 Chicago 2 (Custom) Chicago 1 (Custom)

A Visit to Chicago! On November 30th a group of 30 members partners and friends travelled out to Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate for a fundraising dinner and show arranged by the Rotary Club of Knaresborough.  The excellent dinner, in a huge marquee, book-ended the school's drama department's production of "Chicago", a brave choice given its very adult theme!  The performance in the King's Theatre was excellent, as was the whole evening.  Funds were raised for Knaresborough's charities and for the PPR Foundation (brain tumour research) which is approaching its £1m fundraising target.  An extra bonus was the fact that the three York Rotary tables managed to claim three of the raffle draw prizes, including the first and second prizes!

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Sock it to them this Christmas Led by John and Linda Lacy, York Rotary members, family and friends have once again donated large quantities of socks for CARECENT at the Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate, York. Last year Nicky Gladstone  spoke to us explaining that Carecent is a breakfast centre for the homeless, unemployed or otherwise excluded members of our community. At this time of year just putting on a clean , dry pair of socks, having a hot breakfast and access to warm water is so comforting.  President Ian is pictured with the collection - more than 250 pairs!  A great result.. many thanks to Linda and John for their efforts.


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The Power of RYLA When James Kilham and Sam Deal visited us on December 6th and spoke about their experiences on RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) we heard a powerful endorsement of how this programme changes the lives of young people and gives them confidence, social skills, and such a positive outlook.  No more so than James explaining how it led to his putting himself forward (successfully) to be Head of School at Woldgate School Pocklington.  Their confidence and skills are evident when they are interviewed by Mike Fieldsend in the short video clip ..

RYLA 4 WhatsApp Image 2019-12-06 at 15.12.37(1) RYLA 3

Turkey Trot?  Steve reports... The 2019 ‘Turkey Trot’ on December 9th would have been better named the ‘Turkey Slither’. 12 intrepid golfers with various levels of punctuality and golfing skill took to a water sodden York Golf Club for the annual 9 Hole Stableford competition – 2 even managed to slide, less than graciously into the ditch, to the side of the 6th – on top of each other! After a long wait for the stragglers our Turkey lunch was served to the 12 players plus 4 non players. After lunch the ‘particular’ or ‘peculiar’ draw for partners took place, with the ‘low’ handicappers cards been drawn with a high ‘handicappers’ and their accumulated scores to count. WInners were Roger Sutton and David Impey; runners up Ray Smith & Steve Burton. David Impey thanked David Sweeney for all his hard work in keeping the Golf Section in action over the years and wishing incoming Organiser Stuart Cranidge every success in the future.  

Young Chefs  Christine reports.. It’s that time of year again and Fulford School were taking part in “The Rotary Young Chef Competition 2019”. All youngsters ranging from 11 years old to 14 years old were taking part thanks to their Food Technology teacher Sarah Urmston. Their task was to prepare a healthy, 2 course meal in 2 hours for £15. I was also very lucky to have 2 prestigious judges, Elaine Lemm, cookery writer and Steph Moon, executive chef at Rudding Park. All the food produced was delicious and beautifully presented but we could only have 2 winners and a highly commended. Henry Sorrell and Amelia Thompson were the joint winners. Sienna Sykes was our highly commended runner up. Well done to all our youngsters and the staff of Fulford School for taking part. Henry & Amelia now go to York College to take part in a further heat at York College on the 20th January 2020.

All Around the Campus There was a record turnout of 25 walkers - members, partners and very friendly sommeliers! - for the December 12th walk organised by Nigel, who took us about 5 miles round the West and East campus grounds of the University of York.  Who knew there was such lovely countryside, and pathways, in this area?  It was a bit boggy, but the rain was intermittent and only very light, so we ended up back at the Deremore Arms in good spirits for our hearty lunch.  A great local walk - thank you Nigel!

Being Dementia Friends On December 13th a group of 20 members and partners attended an education session on being Dementia Friends, run by Friends of York Rotary member Leah Bull and Nic Gibbons, both from Alzheimer's Society Yorkshire.  We learnt a lot about the facts and myths of dementia, a brain disease often misunderstood and confused with "ageing" (there being no direct correlation); and how to help us and others understand the needs of people who have dementia.  It was a very helpful, interactive and enjoyable hour - many thanks to Leah and Nic for coming over to help us.

Turkey trot 2019 Young Chef Fulford 1 Young Chef Fulford 2 Dementia session 1 (Custom) Dementia session 2 (Custom) Dec walk 1 Dec walk 3 Dec walk 5

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It's Christmas!! On December 20th members and several partners celebrated Xmas in the traditional way, at our last meeting of the year.  With a superb turkey meal prepared by the Novotel, and festive musical accompaniment from Tom Jackson's combo, fun was had by all.  Then a few carols and band numbers featuring amazing cornet solos from Alan Morrison, interpersed with reading both (really) quite funny and nostalgic from Darrell, Mike and Frank, we ended our year in very good spirits.  A Merry Christmas and festive wishes to York Rotary members who were unable to join us on this occasion.

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Sur-prise!! President Ian took the opportunity to make a presentation to Julie, Events Manager at Novotel, and very good friend of us all, of a cheque for gratuities for the Novotel staff who serve us so well.  She looked surprised!

Julie laughing

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Sad losses Over the Christmas and New Year break in our activities, members were saddened to hear of the death of member David Sweeney.  A member of York Rotary since 2011, David was very involved in the organisation of Fellowship activites, particularly the weekends away in North East, and, until recently, the Club's golfing activities.   We also learnt of the death of former member Ian Hardie.  


They will both be missed.  Our sincere sympathies go out to Carolyn Sweeney and to Ian's wife Diana.

David Sweeney 2

David Sweeney

The Essence of Rotary Happy New Year!  As we enter a new year - and decade - here is a video filmed during the presentations made last November to the many charities that York Rotary has helped in 2019.  There are also several additional "short" videos (below)  of individual remarks from those present explaining how York Rotary's donations will be spent.  These will all be  shared on social media over the coming weeks, and serve as a reminder of what Rotary is all about - "making a difference" in our local community.

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Rotarians visit Hermanus Club projects in South Africa  Frank reports.. Six of us from York Rotary have just visited South Africa and spent a day with Rotarians from the Hermanus Rotary Club who are seeking our support for a global grant project. The photos are of a partnership project with a South African charity Pebbles. The club restored an old farm building which is now used  as an early learning centre for over 60 children between the ages of one and five.  They are picked up daily in the Pebbles bus from farms over a wide catchment area and this allows both parents to work in the vineyards. It is a very worthwhile project with dedicated care assistants who spoke excellent English but teach the children in Afrikaans.Very impressed by the loving care shown . the disciplined children, and the good facilities.! The Hermanus Club also gave the York visitors an excellent day out in the Wine Valley visiting two the major projects undertaken by Hermanus RC and enjoying a superb lunch at a wine estate.


Asian Fusion Fundraising Dinner 75 members, partners and friends gathered at the Novotel on November 12th for an evening of Asian food and entertainment organised by York Rotary's Fundraising team.  Whilst enjoying the delicious range of nine dishes - mostly of Chinese and Thai derivation - a Table Quiz of questions relating to Asia challenged the grey cells, and a slide show of Asian sights, people and events was a visual feast.  Then the highlight of the evening was a performance of both traditional and modern Chinese music and dance, from Yǎ yuè fang  (Elegant Music Group), 10 students from the University of York, organised and introduced by Ling Ding, International Liaison Officer at the Dept of Music.  It was a wonderful and professional performance.  Finally, raffle prizes - all of Asian origin - were drawn and Diana Naish announced that the evening had raised over £2400 for our Charity Fund.  A special thanks to Yǎ yuè fang - and to the Novotel for their generosity in providing the meal for us. A great night!


Remote Map Action! On November 8th, our speakers came to us through a web-link from "darn sarth" Through Secretary Mike's skill and advance preparations we experienced the first ever remote presentation to the Club. Nigel Press and Jonny Douch spoke to us over the internet from MapAction's offices in Kent. Their Chairman Nigel opened the talk giving a brief overview of the organisation and its activities, which are focussed on ensuring that disaster aid spend is correctly targeted and efficiently used wherever the needs are greatest. This is done by providing bespoke up to the minute mapping services free of charge to all humanitarian agencies responding to a crisis. Since the charity's formation in 2002, it has responded to over 100 disasters and emergencies. Operations Director Jonny who gave us a step by step guide as to what they actually do when tasked to a crisis using this year's hurricane in Mozambique as an example. During March and April this year Mozambique was faced with the two strongest tropical cyclones ever to hit East Africa and the consequential outbreaks of malaria and cholera affected over 30,000 of the population. Arriving on site, usually within 48 hours of a disaster, the MapAction’s team of mixed volunteers and staff are faced with situations of utter chaos and their job is to make order out of this chaos by providing accurate geographic intelligence.  A fascinating insight into real-time emergency response and its invaluable contribution to disaster recovery.


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Asian night 3 Asian night 4 (Custom) Asian night 5 Asian night 7 Asian night 1 Asian night 2

View Video snippets of the Chinese entertainment from Y yuè fang

hairspray programme Outing to Hairspray map action 1 map action 2 map action 3 map action 4 Nov 7 networking 3 Nov 7 networking 2 Nov 7 networking 1

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