Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Our meeting on Tuesday May 17th at Pepe Sale will welcome Martin Butler as our speaker.
He is a Community Fundraising Officer for the Royal Berks Charity.
Last Tuesday 21 of us joined via Zoom and we were pleased to welcome David Tigwell, a prospective member, as a guest once again. Frank Parkinson told us that Graham Broadhurst was no in the Community Hospital in Didcot and will be there for 3 weeks. Graham was making slow progress. Jackie Hammond, Ian's widow, had been going backwards and forwards between hospital and care home, but as of last Tuesday she was back in hospital. Frank subsequently let me know the care home address where she should eventually be permanently. It is Penhurst Gardens Nursing Home, New Street, Chipping Norton, Oxon, OX7 5ED. Frank had also spoken to Morvyn who had changed medication and was in good form.
Chris Nicholls noted that advertisers for the Centenary brochure were still being sought and also raffle prizes for the Centenary evening. Donations of worthwhile prizes or money to buy them should be given to Chris and Jack Holt suggested that those who were unable to attend the evening could make up for that by helping with raffle prizes.
Matt Andrews noted that he was arranging a Fellowship Weekend in Chirchester for 14/15 October whilst he also mentioned the Hong Kong Friendship Festival on Sat. 28th May from 11.0. a.m. to 4.0. p.m in Christchurch Meadows . to which all Rotarians and their families would be very welcome. He was arranging a visit to Launchpad for those coming for our Centenary from Caen Abbayes.
The Secretary announced that our next Zoom meeting would be on Tuesday 24th May at the usual time when Alice Gostomski would speak about the Reading Fibromyalgia Support Group.
The rest of our meeting was a Business Meeting looking forwards to the new Rotary year. Eric Moyse spoke on Membership and said he was about to write to members' spouses and partners to invite therm to consider joining the Club. He urged that Associate Members be involved in our projects and also that members invite friends to meetings.
Amir spoke on Youth matters. The number of dictionaries will be back to their normal numers covering 17 schools after a drop because of dictionaries not used in the previous year. Gardening in local schools may be extended to others. Last year's RYLA candidate was hoping to take the course asgain as last year the vcourse was abandoned because of a Covid case and there was also a second candidate in the pipeline. A presentation about the YMCA project was being prepared. Help was needed for the mock job interviews of Lower 6th pupils at Theale Green School on 11th July. Tim Metcalfe noted that there would be a Club event to fill the Shoeboxes and also a Garden Party to help with the costs of this on 31st July at Home Farm during the afternoon. There would not be tickets, but simply a bowl for donations.
Eydis spoke on the Santa Run and noted that Council was considering the idea that people might bring their own Santa Suits as these were increasingly expensive and hard to obtain. It was also hoped that we might team up with the University and relocate the Run to the University area. Using the town centre costs too much . Matt Andrews was going to speak to the University authorities and then Eydis would let us know the outcome.
On Community matters, Matt told us that the Oxford Road Residents' Association had approached the Club Council for help and Matt had replied to say that once the Association had got going we would see about what support we might give. The team are also working with refugees in Reading from Afghanistan, Hong Kong and, once they arrive, Ukraine. Matt is collecting tools for "Tools for Self-reliance" so if anybody has any they wish to donate, please let Matt know.
Leslie Green was not able to be present, but had sent notes on Foundation and International matters. On Foundation, he noted that the team hoped to sponsor a scholar next year whilst on International, he reported that through Bob the team were investigating a possible project in Cameroon for next year. Leslie also mentioned the need for more funds for projects and for more members on the International team. The people who benefited from our projects in Uganda and Tanzania had conveyed their thanks to the Club.
Bob Castelijn noted how successful the walks had been during the last Rotary year and mentioned that the next would be on 13th July in the Henley area. Any ideas for future walks would be warmly welcomed.
The walks had been amongst he highlights of Club Fellowship, but it was hoped to encourage members to visit the Matins Club at their new venue and we also needed someone to lead a visit to the Bombay Distillery.
As President-Elect, Roger Butler spoke of hopes for the next year and noted that Rotary International was using the slogan "Imagine Rotary" and Roger suggested that as a Club we needed to imagine what Rotary could do to help people. He hoped for closer links to other local Rotary Clubs and possible joint initiatives. There were already links with 2 other Clubs in the hope of cleaning up the River Thames in our area, but no action as yet. Roger also thought that the effects of the pandemic on young people meant that they needed our support in new ways. He wondered if the Club should have a special Environment team. He also expects that support for refugees in Reading will be a major feature next year.
Under A.O.B., Tim Metcalfe pointed out that some of our Club were going to the Matins Club 30th Anniversary dinner.