Rotary Club of Malling

Humanity in Motion

Latest Club News from President Pamela

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Dear All


Having spent part of yesterday morning with a group of very able, and entertaining volunteers helping to put up the marquee in Doreen’s lovely garden in preparation for the President’s Handover tomorrow, I am very much aware of the fact that this is my last President’s newsletter and I wanted to express my thanks to you all for giving me such a splendid year.


The next event after the President’s Evening at Leeds Castle was the “Call My Bluff” evening at Ryarsh Village hall on Saturday 17/05/14. It was an evening of fun and entertainment, the panel were amazing, indeed astonishingly untruthful but entirely plausible, and the supper provided was excellent. Our thanks go to Dennis (and Valerie) who planned the evening and the questions and to all those who took part. We all had a good time and the response from the many that supported us was very positive. We raised well over four hundred pounds for Rotary charities and the event is likely to become a fixture in our calendar for the future.


Club assembly on 20/05/14 gave our President Elect, Liz Simpson, the opportunity to publish her programme for the next Rotary year. It was a strong and thoughtful programme, building on the decisions reached this year and giving us an exciting glimpse of things to come. We were lucky to have our current ADG Brian Portway in attendance, with his wife Rotarian Ruth Portway and they were delightful guests affirming future plans and very warm in their recognition of the strength of the fellowship of our Club and in their recognition of what has been achieved this year.


On the 25/05/14 the Club, for the first time, supported the East Malling Village Event, “Picnic in the Park”. It was a lovely day and the members who supported the event, and their friends and partners, through assistance with the parking and programme selling and the sideshows “Stone the Crows” and “Hook a Duck” made a strong contribution to the success of the day and to the funds raised. It is clear that the Club can provide real support to the many local events taking place in the summer and we will need to think how that can be managed in the future without over-extending the membership commitment.


The last meeting in May, 27/06/14, was our Guest and Partners Evening and the guest speaker, Terry Myall, entertained them with the interesting subject “Only Fools and Hearses”. Clearly a business which affects us all, the speaker brought humanity and humour to his subject and the response was most appreciative and positive.


June


Club Council on 02/06/14 focussed on the finance issues and the proposed spending and on the organisation of the many events planned for the summer, and these were reported to the Club at the Business Meeting on 10/06/14. Decisions were then finalised by the members with votes on a series of issues regarding both finance and future event management.


The informal Club evening on 03/06/14 was a particular success. All members were informed and entertained by a talk on Egyptian Hieroglphics given by our Treasurer and Past President Tony Williamson. His passion for this subject, beginning when he just a boy, was evident and infectious and his knowledge and expertise amazing. We are all aware of the extraordinary achievements of the people of Ancient Egypt and of the legacy they have left for the world as a whole but both the simplicity and the complexity of their systems of communication was a revelation. I don’t think we are ready yet to use their forms of communication but there is no doubt that the interest of the Club was engaged by a thought-provoking and entertaining talk. Hopefully this was not the last we will hear on this subject.


The intended Tasks/committees evening planned for the third Tuesday in the month was replaced by a Guest and Partners evening on 17/06/14. The guest speaker was Francis Osei Appiah, the CEO and Presenter for the charity Reform, Restore, Respect. He is part of a very successful anti-crime initiative in Kent and uses his own painful experience of serving a lengthy prison term and the notion of desistance to bring home the harsh reality of life in prison and the consequences of crime. It did not, of course, end there. His present life, based on the way in which he used his prison sentence to gain a degree in social work is an extraordinary and uplifting story and one which resonates very effectively with the young people with whom he works. Having successfully turned his own life around, he uses his experience to divert young people and adults involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in, criminal activity or gangs.


The extent of the questions was a clear indication of the impact this remarkable young man had on the members and their guests and I am confident that this will not be the last that we will hear of his work and the charity he leads.


Our next meeting on 24/06/14 will be the president’s Handover, to be held again this year in Doreen’s garden. Her generosity in hosting this event is very much appreciated as the environment enhances a very special occasion. She has a large and very supportive group of members working in various ways to ensure the success of the occasion and, if anything like the evening last year, it will be truly memorable.


By the time you read this, I will truly be Past President Pam, and this is my last opportunity to say how grateful I am for the privilege and pleasure that I have had in my temporary occupation of the role of President. It has been challenging, fulfilling, and above all, enormous fun. I cannot imagine working with a more interesting, able, supportive and entertaining group and I know that Liz has much to look forward to when her year begins on Tuesday. Thank you for your confidence in me, and my best wishes to our next President, Liz, who has already demonstrated that she will be an amazing leader of an amazing club.


Pamela

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