It is 11 years since I was last President of Roding Rotary Club. We are no longer a breakfast club and in the Queen Victoria we have a venue that suits us very well. We are a happy, sociable club raising large amounts of money for charity each year. I have every intention of making sure that continues.
A few weeks after finishing my last presidency I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am not cured but with excellent care I have survived for ten years and hope to do so for many years more.
During my presidential year I would like to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK. This organisation funds research and helps to train specialist nurses to support those diagnosed with the disease. I intend to do a sponsored walk in September. I know I can count on your support.
At Easter my wife Linda and I visited South Africa and had some wonderful experiences. On the coast of KwaZulu-Natal north of Durban is an amazing resort called St Lucia. It lies on a river between iSimangalisu wetland park and Hluhluwe game reserve. It is a paradise for bird-watchers and during my year I hope to raise money to support a centre which aims to educate local children about their environment, train new guides among the local Zulu population and encouragelocal people to develop their land to encourage bird life.
You can read more about these two projects and our other supported charities on our projects pages.
We will of course be organising events to raise money for our projects. More about these anon but they will include a Halloween party on November 2 and a concert at Forest School on March 7 with music for all tastes.
We are making a small change to our meetings this year, making the fourth Monday of the month an informal evening which is open to all. If you are reading this and would like to join us just come along and introduce yourself to a Rotarian (we should be wearing badges). If our last open evening is anything to go by there should be a really friendly atmosphere.’
And of course I am organising a weekend away for club members and their partners. This will be to Richmond in Swaledale, North Yorkshire, the town where I spent 13 years of my early life and was described by Arthur Mee as ‘Yorkshire’s most romantic town’. If you haven’t been before you’re in for a treat. Swaledale is of course where many of the scenes in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ were filmed and there is, for me, nowhere more beautiful on earth.
I will be giving illustrated talks about Prostate Cancer UK, Zulu birding and about Swaledale during the Autumn and I look forward to sharing lots of information with you, and with other clubs in our area.
Meanwhile (weather permitting) Linda and I would like to invite club members and their families to a braai (South African barbecue) at our house in Chingford on August 10 from 1pm onwards.
I’m really looking forward to my year.
If you would like to get to know us, come along to an Open Meeting or, if you would like to hear one of our speakers, text the President, Bob Bishop, on 07962 206218 and let him know you are coming.