York Rotary

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Visitors from Germany and USA  At our May 1st online Zoom meeting, we were delighted to welcome Micah Covert, Past President of the Athens Sunrise Rotary Club, in Ohio, USA, to our meeting.  Also  two old friends from Erlangen Rotary in Germany, who had visited us in May 2018 for our International Fellowship weekend. Wilfried Schneidinger and Heinz Gerhäuser were warmly greeted by all.  Wilfried explained the current "lockdown" situation in Germany, very similar to our own.  He also confirmed that the International Reunion in Erlangen, planned originally for this month, has definitely been put back on the agenda for next year (from May 13th to 16th, 2021) and many of us attending welcomed this news.

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Congratulations to You!  On May 2nd Nigel and Diana Naish, currently our only "married-couple" members, celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. We all send them huge congratulations and good wishes.  It was a more subdued celebration that would have been possible in normal times, but they nevertheless enjoyed it.  Nigel writes... "We attach some photos, showing that we were able to celebrate the day, not quite as we intended, but nevertheless with good cheer. We wish to thank everyone for their very kind wishes, cards and gifts, helping to make it a memorable day."

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Then and now..

Two Ridings update  At our May 8th weekly Zoom meeting - attended by over 50 members - we were delighted to welcome Jan Garrill, CEO of Two Ridings Community Foundation, as our speaker.  She is also a member of "Friends of York Rotary" and very well known to many members. Jan updated us on their newly-set up Coronavirus Grants scheme, which is providing support to struggling local charities in North & East Yorkshire.  They have raised £1.75m so far and have, in just a few weeks, already distributed grants worth £300,000 to 137 groups, including many charities we also support.  Quite a remarkable achievement considering the TRCF staff and their many volunteers are all working from home. Jan's presentation is available to view here,  and we are very grateful to her for taking the time to update us on this vital work.    

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How to win the Lottery!  Our speaker at the May 1st online Zoom meeting was our own David Fotheringham, who drew on his experience of work in connection with lottery projects over the last 25 years. He explained the process and illustrated by reference to the North York Moors Railway Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project (YMJ).  The project is a £9m overall scheme involving a new carriage stable, renewal of three bridges, restoring and converting three carriages for Fuss free access, Creation of an education carriage and trail at Goathland, an apprenticeship scheme and other activities.  The process of making the application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund took in excess of four years. YMJ received a stage 2 award at the beginning of 2019 and so the first project, renewal of bridge 27 has been completed. The site work was carried out during the period 6th January to 23rd March with a view to the railway being able to re-open on 6th April 2020.  To erect the bridge two specialist Kirow rail cranes were used.  The steel and pre-cast concrete and the rail cranes were delivered to Goathland 3rd January. The bridge structure was cut whilst supported by one of the cranes, it was then lifted onto rail wagons to be taken to Pickering for transfer to road transport to scarp the steel.  After lifting the steel structure into place permanent formwork was placed on the bridge followed by reinforcement and then the bridge deck was completed.  The construction of the bridge was completed on the 23rd March so that rail transport could come to site to take away the second rail crane.


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Challenges facing Marie Curie At our May 15th zoom we were delighted to welcome Emma Williams the Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie, covering York and NE Yorkshire. Emma told us about the impact that Covid19 is having on people living with a terminal illness particularly those who are isolating and live alone, and how Marie Curie is supporting them in the Community as well as supporting all the patients in Marie Curie hospices all over the country. She explained that their Fundraising had been badly affected by the virus and that their key fundraising event – The Great Daffodil Appeal – was stopped in its tracks in March of this year. 25,000 people in York and N E Yorks had needed support at the end of their life and that it costs £13,888 per hour to fund the Marie Curie service across the UK. The lack of PPE on their work in the community as been a challenge, in particular, in that if they were unable to source PPE for their community nurses and the carers of patients, then they were unable to visit their patients with devastating effect. Hospices had also been affected but the situation with PPE had now improved. A Petition to support a Day of Reflection for Covid is being introduced and anyone can support this.    

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A Possible Twin from Monza?   One of our guests at our May 15th meeting was Paul Anderson.   Originally from York, Paul (pictured right) now lives in northern Italy and is a member of Rotary Monza Est.  As well as giving us an update on the state of COVID in Italy (improving...) he also expressed his enthusiasm for exploring the possibility of having exchange visits (along the lines of those with Erlangen, Germany) betwwen our two clubs.

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Paul Anderson

Paul Harris Fellowship Awards  During our May 22nd zoom meeting President Ian announced that York Rotary had awarded a PHF award to our secretary Mike Hay, for his outstanding service - since 1993 - to the York Club and his previous Club (Edinburgh Breakfast).  Mike has been secretary of York Rotary since 2014.  Read the citation here


Ian also announced that a PHF Award has been made by Rotary Foundation to Kevin Grogan, our President Elect, to recognise the efforts made by Kevin in raising funds for Polio Plus through his running  "55 Marathons at age 55" last year.  Read the citation here


Many congratulations to both!

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Mike Hay

Kevin Grogan

Ein Willkommen aus Deutschland  A “special” meeting between members of York Rotary and Erlangen Rotary in Germany took place on May 24th, by Zoom.  This was the day that was originally planned for a visit by our Rotarians to Erlangen for the international friendship weekend, but due to Coronavirus this has had to be postponed until 2021.  Not to be thwarted, however, our German friends organised this on-line meeting to show us some of the delights that we would have seen (and will see next year) A total of over 40 members of both Clubs, and partners, spent a very friendly and informal hour+ hearing explanations – illustrated by video clips – of Coburg, birthplace of Prince Albert and as a result the first users in Germany of the British “water closet” (who knew?).  After this, a boat tour of the Danube including stops at The Befreiungshalle (Liberation Hall) above Kelheim; and the monastery at Weltenberg (also famous for its beer!). We were promised 32cm sausages for breakfast, Bavarian food for lunch, plus their famous gingerbread.  Everyone’s appetite was whetted, in numerous ways, and we thank Wilfried and our hosts in Erlangen for this wonderful meeting and friendship.

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