Rotary District 1220 – Shoulder to Shoulder with the Royal British Legion

Rotary District 1220  – Shoulder to Shoulder with the Royal British Legion

Poppy Appeal 2013 – 45 clubs in District 1220 involved!

The Poppy Appeal is one of the most recognisable charity appeals and for every £1 raised 78p is spent on charitable activities. A staggering £1.6million per week is spent on health and welfare for families in need.

2013 is the third year that Rotary clubs in District 1220 have worked shoulder to shoulder with members of the Royal British Legion branches throughout our District on the Poppy Appeal. The idea for this worthwhile collaboration began in June 2011 after the Rotary Showcase in the centre of Nottingham when I had a meeting with the then Lord Mayor, Michael Wildgust, who asked for our help.
It was clear that the Nottingham City branch of the RBL had difficulties in covering large venues for two weeks with their dwindling and ageing membership and that there was great potential to increase revenue from the Poppy Appeal if extra manpower was available to cover collections at the major shopping centres and stores.

I decided initially to ask clubs in the Central and Trent groups for their help and we ran a pilot project in November 2011 which proved to be very helpful and successful. The RBL were delighted with Rotary’s involvement locally in Nottingham so I asked for support to make this an initiative across RIBI where the RBL needed our help and this was duly adopted. I had the opportunity to speak to a meeting of RBL Poppy Appeal co-ordinators from all over the UK in Birmingham and they were very enthusiastic about the liaison with Rotary. They were given Rotary contacts in every District and the Poppy Appeal results since have been phenomenal across RIBI with our help.

Firstly I will speak about Rotary involvement in central Nottingham, purely as I have been closely involved in the planning and execution of collections in four large venues for two weeks. Clubs in Central and Trent groups offered their services again and each club accepted responsibility to cover collections on their allocated dates. Some clubs have been involved with the Poppy Appeal for many years.

No doubt many readers of this article will know the difficulties we have in Rotary with our sleigh collection schedules so just imagine organising a rota for a total of 360 hours with two people on duty at all times over a two week period, a total of 720 hours to cover!

After endless emails and telephone calls the rota was complete and collections began on Saturday 26 October. In central Nottingham alone over 350 Rotarians, their families and friends took part in the collections and the feedback has been excellent. Everyone really enjoyed the experience again and it truly reflects the strength of the “Poppy Appeal” brand which is so well supported by the generous public. It also gave Rotarians wonderful opportunities to be highly visible, wear their club tabards and engage the public in talk about Rotary. Many leaflets were handed out and the awareness of Rotary has certainly been improved. No longer will Rotary be remembered just for our sleigh collections!

Turning to the rest of the District it is apparent that many clubs have been helping the RBL for many years and I had not realised that we have so many RBL members in our ranks as well. DGN Roger Summers has again been co-ordinating Rotary help in Derbyshire where needed and overall throughout District 1220 over 45 clubs have been very active with the Poppy Appeal this year.
All of this effort to fill the tins is not the end of the project as hundreds of tins have to be retrieved from other collection points, the proceeds counted and banked. At the time of writing the three central venues manned by Rotarians in Nottingham have passed £30,000 which is a record amount and a suburban, Sainsbury’s again manned by Rotarians, collected a staggering £8,350.
Figures for Derbyshire are not yet available, they are still counting. It takes weeks to finalise the collection total but we should be well up on last year’s figure. Rotary has really made a difference.

I wish to say a huge “thank you” to everyone who has willingly taken part throughout the District and given freely of their time. It has been wonderful to see so many Rotarians spending time together with a smile on their faces, chatting to the public and really enjoying the experience. The way that clubs and individuals have worked together has been inspirational.

At the RBL Ball recently I was surprised and delighted to be presented with a framed certificate awarded to Rotary District 1220 recognising the help and support given to the Poppy Appeal. I was even more surprised to receive a similar personal award but as I have said on previous occasions, none of this would have happened without the help and support of fellow Rotarians.

We are already planning next year’s Poppy Appeal and I am confident that Rotarians will once again be shoulder to shoulder with those RBL branches that need our help. Long may it continue as we support the largest charity that helps service personnel and their families!

Val Leivers

RBL Award DistrictVal RBL Award



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DG Peter’s Musings – November 2013

DG Peter’s Musings – November 2013

A real roller coaster of a year!
I have now reached 54 Clubs visited and 16 Charters.
Meeting so many new friends; regrettably far too many to remember all your names, please forgive me when we meet again if I cannot recall yours instantly.

Past District Governors have spoken to me about the incredible breadth and depth of Service carried out by our Clubs. I now know what they were talking about! Also the enthusiasm is palpable when Clubs speak about the plans they have and Projects already in train.

My visit to Rotary Club of Church Wilne was interesting in a rather special way, the Club President Greg Maskalick, has adopted the practice of talking about various US Presidents and likening them to Rotarians. He chose to likened me to Abraham Lincoln the 16th US President, Greg who hails from the America, gave a jocular explanation of why he thought I was like him, much to the amusement of everyone in the room. I’m not sure but I believe it was an honour!

The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire over late October and the first week of November were well supported by Rotarians from our Districts Clubs. We understand a record amount has been collected and final figure will be recorded on the District Website. Keep a look out.
The Local and Nation ‘Legion have expressed their sincere gratitude for our help.

I know you will all have seen the terrible devastation in the Philippines caused by Hurricane Haiyan in the early hours of the 8th November. Can I say a sincere “Thank You!’ to all those Rotarians who were galvanised into action, appearing on the streets and Supermarkets collecting money for the relief efforts led by Rotary’s Emergency Boxes, in particular our own AquaBox and of course ShelterBox. Please make sure we congratulate and thank our local communities for their generosity in any and everyway we can, plus telling them where the money has been spent.

Carol & I had the pleasure of attending the Rotary International “Foundation Seminar” and “Rotary Institute” held in UK this year at Horwood House Hotel, Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire, just outside Milton Keynes, although you would hardly know you were close to MK, ‘cause the hotel is situated in beautiful rolling countryside. This three-day weekend event is by way of a review of all things Rotary, new initiatives and other newsworthy items and how we are doing as an organization against our goals and the RI Strategic Plan.

The highlights of the Foundation Seminar, were the review of the implementation of the Foundation New Grants Model worldwide, the lessons and difficulties and problems this has thrown up, plus the remarkably positive publicity the resulting bigger projects are generating, and how many of the world’s significant charity benefactors and humanitarian Foundations are joining us with some of these initiatives. Progress with Polio Eradication was also covered, in particularly how we are tackling and are determined to eliminate the outbreaks in the Horn of Africa and Syria, plus the lessons learnt from the transfer of Polio from the three endemic countries into these two areas and how we must try and avoid it spreading into other vulnerable countries including, surprisingly, the UK!!

The two-day Rotary Institute covered many interesting topics, the two significant highlights were, first, the speech by Justine Greening the Governments Secretary of State for International Development, first she announced she was a Rotarian and supported and praised Rotary’s humanitarian activities. She then announced the first £100M of the £300M pledged by the UK Government to support the Polio Eradication Endgame Programme had been released in part to support the massive immunisation initiative underway in the Horn of Africa to halt the outbreak there. She also announced her Departments Officials were looking at other ways to work with Rotary in some of its major humanitarian projects and initiatives. Normally I am skeptical at politicians’ announcements but this all seemed to be positive from Rotary’s perspective and supported by facts.

The second highlight was on the Sunday morning, Remembrance Sunday. The two minutes silence at Eleven O’clock was followed by an hour of spellbinding narrative by Zigi Slipper a Holocaust survivor. He spoke of his experiences all without any bitterness or hatred, a really moving and unforgettable moment. At the conclusion of his speech was followed by a young musician playing a violin rendition of the theme from Schindlers List, there was not a dry eye in the room!

American Airlines have a competition to give away 10 million air miles, all Rotarians and anyone else can vote once a day until the 31st December for Rotary to be the winner, last viewing showed Rotary in second place. The air-miles will be used for Foundation purposes such as funding poorer scholars to get from home to their Host locations, and for medical teams going out for humanitarian projects overseas, none will be used for official travel by staff or officers! It is free so get voting via:

Finally, one of our RIBI Districts, District 1290 has produced a song for Christmas a single called Christmas Time, (Children Sing) which has reached number 10 in the Amazon chart and Rotarians around the world are now downloading it with the proceeds going to our Rotary Foundation. Rotarians in our District help keep up the momentum by downloading the song for 79 pence by clicking below if you haven’t already done so.

As this is my final newsletter before the festive season may I wish you and your family a Great Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

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Birthday Bash for Local Rotarians

The Rotary Club of Chesterfield celebrated its 91st Charter Anniversary at the Ringwood Hall Hotel on Friday 22 November 2013 with a special celebratory dinner to mark the 91st year since the club’s formation in 1922.

Charter Nov 2013

Principal guests pictured from left to right:- Guest speaker John Roberts, District Governor’s wife Carol Moralee, District Governor Peter Moralee, Chesterfield Rotary president’s wife Shirley Cudzich-Madry, Chesterfield Rotary president Mike Cudzich-Madry, Chesterfield Inner Wheel president Ann Elliott

Over 100 people were in attendance when president Mike Cudzich-Madry welcomed principal guests District Governor Peter Moralee and his wife honorary rotarian Carol Moralee, Chesterfield Inner Wheel president Ann Elliott, assistant district-governor Peak Group John Shipman, along with members and guests from local Rotary Clubs and Inner Wheel. Guest speaker was local raconteur John Roberts, joint president-elect of the Chesterfield Rotary Club. MC was past-president Mike Hadfield, OBE, JP, and main organiser of the evening was joint president-elect Rob Wadd. Musical entertainment was provided by classical pianist Mark Briggs.

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Framework 2013 Big Sleep Out

Keith Turney attended Framework 2013 Big Sleep Out on the 28th November 2013 in Sneinton Square. Keith Turney was representing Keyworth and Ruddington Rotary Club. Enclosed is Keith’s account of the evening:

My Prize Winning Structure at the Big Sleep Out

Keith Turney in 'Box Factor'

Keith Turney in ‘Box Factor’

The theme of Framework’s sleep out this year was ‘Covent Garden’ and I made the effort to join in. Covent Garden is famous for two things, the Opera and its fruit market. Don’t worry it was the fruit market theme I pursued. I left the Opera to a trio of talented ladies who entertained us all with unaccompanied recitals using their classically trained voices. For my part I could empty the square with my pub singing efforts.

I made the effort to join in the Box Factor Challenge and my fruit stall turned out to be a prize winner! but bear in mind my den’s ‘Prize Winning Status’ for later on! Being an entrepreneur I made an effort to win a prize and I was glad to learn that you could begin your efforts off site (it’s in the rules). The evening before the sleep out I constructed what I considered to be a sturdy double skin box which was even reinforced by ribs made out of tightly rolled cardboard bound by masking tape. I even added a user friendly detail, if you had read my article last year you will remember I woke up realising my glasses had fallen from where I had perched them and had joined me in the sleeping bag. I did manage to retrieve them intact but I could not rely on such luck again. A design detail brought about by experience resulted in a ‘glasses shelf’ being installed to the back wall of the den. Ribs in place I then constructed the roof of the stall. This too was double skinned and was ribbed to stop it sagging and, of course, it had some weight. Before constructing the supporting legs I gingerly placed the roof onto the box base. My spirits were crushed as the square opening to the box den took on a parallelogram shape in slow motion. Being on my own I could not retrieve the roof quickly enough without distorting or damaging the box section and the ribs were parting from the inside wall. As well as placing too much demand on my construction the cardboard was beginning to weaken as it absorbed moisture from the evening air. Needless to say that concluded my efforts for that evening, and my comments as I switched off the lights were certainly not of self congratulation!

During the following day which was in fact the day of the sleep out, I was on business in North Yorkshire and was very conscious of my half collapsed efforts. One of my visits involved visiting one of my gangs working on site. I am still wondering if my startled client actually understood what I was planning to undertake after I asked him if I could help myself to the cardboard from behind the wheelie bins. With the back of my car crammed with cardboard I headed for home hoping my additional materials and the modification I had in mind would provide me with a viable structure for the event. I reinforced the base with lathes of timber (I know it’s not cardboard, but that had failed remember, only the original bearded one could walk on water and make soggy cardboard stand upright)! Gingerly and with help this time, and after installing the uprights which were a complication in their own right we lifted the roof onto the base and thankfully there was no failure. We dismantled the construction and then borrowed a truck from work to transport it to site. The fruit? (You will remember the theme was Covent Garden) Well, bless Google images, one chooses a fruit and calls it wallpaper and you get a choice of wall to wall lemons, strawberries and so on. The stall is a cardboard replica, I am assuming I was not expected to provide anything other than paper fruit!

It had been a long day up to the point we arrived at the Sleep Out camp just 5 minutes after the gates had officially opened. I spent the evening being snapped with cameras and mobile phones and I even went onto one or two Facebook pages. I wondered if I was going viral. (In my youth in the 70s I would not have admitted to that in case my contemporaries thought it was anti social and/or catching, surprising how the platelets of the English Language move) However, apart from being the object of some attention more rewarding, as in previous Sleep Outs, was the camaraderie which is obvious within the camp. We are there to benefit those whose luck is low or even nonexistent, but we also gain. Wandering around we talk, sometimes being surprised at what mutual friendships we have. There are a lot of young girls there dressed in their ‘Onesies’ and behaving as if they are on a ‘Sleep ‘Over’ not ‘Sleep Out’. I have seen these sights each year, all I can say is these girls are harder than they look and they do the distance along with those of us who are attired for a Polar Expedition. My neighbour was a young woman who, like others, was repaying Framework for the time it provided her with accommodation when she needed it. It would be unfair to repeat what she told me and I will not give her name, but she now lives in a far nicer neighbourhood than she began life and supports her son and is now an employer. She had raised over £550.00 via her Facebook page. It is important to remember that those who benefit from Framework are just like you and I but often have no support network which most of us would assume would be there for anybody. There is also another important item in our lives which we take for granted and which I will describe towards the end of this article. Then came the prize giving and I won the ‘Box Factor’.

I was awarded with a No 7 Toiletries Pack. For those who do not know what that is it contains a face scrub and after shave and such like. I am the original hippy so my 15 year old grandson became the ultimate beneficiary, and he thinks I am ‘well cool’. Earlier I asked you to remember that my effort won a prize. I am from the construction trade and as anybody in the construction trade will tell you, Award Winning Designs can prove to have useless practical detailing. At 3.30 a.m. I understood the original meaning of the term ‘well cool’.

View from within the den with no door

View from within the den with no door

Because I had not provided a front door to my den, (in previous years my constructions resembled mounds which were ‘closed off’ after I crawled in and were therefore warmer or less cold to be in) the searching early morning late autumn breeze regularly washed over my face, even with my head at the far end of the den from the opening, but I was tired so tried to ’sleep it out’. I slept , woke, slept, then came a period when for an hour I put off a visit to the loo, hanging on to my tiredness in order to gain more sleep, necessary to get me through the following day (later on that day I should say!). The moment came when the visit to the loo could not be put off any longer and I knew that when I was up I would be up for the day.

At 4.30 a.m. three of us stood shivering at the tea/sandwich caravan. The camaraderie is even strong at this time and we make a laugh of it. “A bacon sandwich, tea and a hot water bottle” I order, the others laugh in sympathy “I can do the bacon sandwich and the tea my sweet”. This lovely woman was good natured last night and having had no sleep because her role was to be available for nourishment throughout the night, remains nice natured, (not natural if you ask me) “That will have to do” I reply.

Fortified and slightly warmed by our early breakfast we are talking when suddenly the shape and the direction of the gust of wind raises and lowers discarded polystyrene cups and paper from the night before. There was a sea wave of vulnerable looking polythene and tarpaulin coverings and some corners strained and began to fail. A site wide groan soon followed this gust, and so too were some half asleep screams as a number thought their dens were about to fail around them. “That woke a few” I commented. 15 minutes later there is a constant slamming of sprung loaded portaloo doors being let go as the occupant perhaps now more awake than when they went in gingerly re-entered the outside air, drawing their bedding up as far as their chins and around them as they walked around the square. By 5 a.m. there was a long queue for the sandwich and tea caravan. The square was awake! Social groups sat in circles cross legged in their torn dens waiting for 7 a.m. to come, the official end of the sleep out, quieter than the night before but having completed a mission.

My prize winning structure being recycled in the morning

My prize winning structure being recycled in the morning

I will be at the Sleep Out again next year. So why do I want to do it? For the crack to begin with, but my neighbour for the evening reminded me of a reason. I am a male, and therefore familiar with the loss of my keys, and like most males I don’t know what agency is responsible for hiding them, I never find them where I last left them (who is pig headed – moi?) Losing keys can be infuriating. The temperament is not helped when your beloved comes out with that immortal phrase which must exist through different languages and cultures, “where did you last see them?” For the sake of decency I will paraphrase the usual reply “If I knew the answer to that my dear, I would not be asking…..WOULD I?’ But occasionally some of us have lost our keys and it is upsetting. It is as if you had provided uninvited access for somebody into the world which you cherish, your fort against the outside world. Imagine though that you do not possess a front door key, that you have no place to think, to rest, no nest. Worse, imagine you have children who need you for support, guidance and nourishment and you cannot provide that.

Framework is about supporting those who, through no fault of their own, find themselves without something, or about to lose something which gives the rest of us that mental base, a place where we can make our plans, recharge our batteries, laugh, cry, relax, decorate according to your taste, a place you can organise in your own way, a space where you form and nourish your identity and to have your own thoughts in private, that place is the home. What if you have no home and no key to symbolise this. A key is about dignity as well as about the necessary material things a person or a family needs.

I will end with Framework’s own tag line. “I slept out and raised money in order that others don’t have to”.

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DG Peter’s Newsletter

DG Peter’s Newsletter

August to October 2013

Three months more have just flown by.

I have, since the publication of my first newsletter of July, had the pleasure of meeting, “on their home patch”, many hundreds more of our friendly and dedicated Rotarians, as the schedule of the Official District Governors Visits continued. I have now reached 46 Clubs visited and 10 Charters.

My own Club have been magnificent in their support, providing a driver on most occasions and for Charters the drivers have often taken their partners to accompany Carol & me.

I know those members of my Club who have accompanied me have found the experience, visiting clubs, both as interesting and rewarding as I have!

August seems to have been a month of Club Visits, each one unique and enjoyable and I thank all of you who have welcomed me, for your kindness, hospitality, attention and company.

September had as well as Club Visits the added spice of Carol & I attending the four District Conferences. The first was with District 1160 (Ireland), held in a Castle just outside Dublin. A great weekend full of the legendary Irish hospitality although they did require me to speak on the Sunday. The compere for the weekend was one who had to introduce each speaker with a quip or two, some barbed. I was holding my breath as to what he would say when it was my turn. In the end he said he had tried to find out some black secrets about me and had failed and all he could say was, “I had a lovely wife!’ Now how does one respond to that!

The conference included some excellent speakers including ‘Bono’, via a video link together with a U2 band member David Howell Evans, better known as “The Edge”, his father, a Rotarian, arranged this coup. It was superb presentation linked together with movie clips and photographs showing all Bono and U2 do by way of humanitarian activities, very impressive!

The next weekend was our District Conference in Scarborough, 4th to 6th October.

By all accounts from the feedback it was a great Conference. I cannot find suitable words to thank the Conference Team enough for all they did, led ably and expertly by Conference Director David Curtis, they put together such a fantastic weekend but, of course, if you were not there it would have been all for nothing! So thank all of you who supported me so magnificently.

After 4 more Club Visits we found ourselves at District 1200s District Conference at a Hotel in the Cotswolds, a lovely venue only spoilt by the main functions being held in a large tent (marque) and when it rained, as it did very often, the noise nearly drowned out (pardon the pun!) the speakers. The theme of the Conference was “Encouraging and Celebrating the Spirit of Youth”. The speakers were excellent in their fields of expertise and very inspirational which made the Conference, whilst enjoyable and moving, somewhat serious too.

We got home late Sunday, thank goodness for washing machines! And after four more Club visits we were off to Jersey for the final District 1140 Conference, held at the Hotel de France. (Final because they are joining with an adjoining District ending up with 110 Rotary Clubs in total!) The whole Conference was accommodated in the one Hotel, a really huge building with something like 450 bedrooms.

‘A Conference with a difference’. Much fun and laughter but too many Charity Speakers seeking money from Rotary for my taste.
The following week included three Club Visits, a slot on Radio Derby talking about World Polio Day and Rotary’s “Polio Plus” Polio Eradication Programme.

Carol & I then drove to Bradford for the Annual Bill Huntley Memorial Peace Seminar preceded by an evening Banquet attended by the two classes of Peace Scholars, outgoing and incoming, and their Hosts and other guests including the new (third week in post) Pro Vice Chancellor of Bradford University. A very interesting man, not just an Academic but also successful Researcher and Businessman to boot.

We had the privilege of sitting at dinner with our Districts distance hosted Peace Scholar for 2013-14, a charming young lady from Florence (Firenze) in Italy, Caterina Becorpi. Someone who I hope we will see a great deal of whilst she is in our Country. I cannot better the hackneyed phrase, she is a superb ambassador for Rotary and her Country.

If you have not attended one of these Bill Huntley Memorial Peace Seminars, I urge you to give serious consideration to going next year, they really do explain, using the words of the Peace Scholars themselves, why this Rotary Programme is so important and worthwhile, there have been some positive and demonstrable benefits and achievements in ‘the field’ by past Scholars already and I am sure we will see many more in the future. Unfortunately by its very nature, conflict resolution cannot receive too much open high profile publicity.

To finish off the month, Sunday 27th Carol & I attended the annual get together lunch of the sages of our District, the Past District Governors. They expect a progress report from their Governor and also to take this opportunity to send off the DGE with our good wishes to his training Seminar in San Diego. My, in my case that seems such a long time ago (11 months). The lunch was a very relaxing and enjoyable way to round off a busy week.

The last few days of October maintained the pace, with three Club Charters on consecutive nights! All very enjoyable, so I thank all the attendees for your kindness and hospitality. This year has been a fantastic rollercoaster ride of experiences and its not even half over yet!

‘Till the next edition, keep up your good works!

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District U12 Football Tournament

Please see the poster below regarding the football tournament to be held on Saturday 7th June.

The District knockout competition will be organised by Burton upon Trent Rotary Club in conjunction with Burton Albion Community Trust and the Burton Junior Football League.

Winners of the District event will go forward to play in The 2014 National Rotary Football Trophy

Download (PDF, 1.08MB)

The competition will be between teams of 5 players, who must be in year 6 or 7 at the start of the 2013/14 academic year or play

Under 12 football at the start of the 2013/14 football season.


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Aquabox working hard on all fronts – please support

As is the case with all relief agencies, Aquabox is working hard to support those millions of Philippine people effected by the tragic and devastating typhoon Haiyan. Our hearts and very best wishes go out to them. Thanks to the efforts of our volunteer teams, we have prepared 100 Community Filters for immediate airlift to the Philippines and onward distribution to effected areas.

This will not be an easy or speedy task. In the effected areas, little if any infrastructure remains operational, making any and all aid problematic. However, Aquabox believes that y working with its Rotary partners at District level in the Philippines its aid will best be delivered to those needing it. Local people know the terrain, the language and culture, and “the system” at local level so much better than might outsiders.

But Aquabox has been and will remain busy in other regards, too.

Since August of this year, Aquabox has despatched 1500 Aquabox Gold boxes to support those effected by the conflict in Syria, working with our long established, internationally recognised distribution partner organisation, Muslim Aid.

Aquabox, in addition, has deployed 60 of its Community Filters (each producing a minimum of 600,000 litres of safe and clean drinking water) direct into communities within Syria. The UNHCR estimates that there are twice as many people inside the boundaries of Syria effected by the conflict (more than 4 millions) as there are refugees from it in surrounding countries, such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Aquabox is one of the very few international agencies to have distributed its aid directly in Syria.

Aquabox Community being used in Syria

Aquabox Community being used in Syria

Aquabox had also distributed 400 Aquabox Golds (each containing an AquaFilter family unit, of course) directly to support families and schools in Malawi, working with our distribution partner, Christian Africa Relief Trust.

ALL of Aquabox’s operation depends on the active support of its volunteer teams, assembling our Filters and packing our Gold boxes, and undertaking the various logistics and administrative tasks necessary for the delivery of its life saving aid. None of this work would be possible without the continuing and generous financial support from its donors, including many Rotary clubs within RIBI.

Every penny of money donated to Aquabox goes to directly support its aid. Aquabox has no salaried staff and only minimal fixed overheads.

THANK YOU TO EACH AND AND DONATE TO AQUABOX, still after 20 years of operation a Rotary charity.

At present, the Aquabox website has limited functions, as it is undergoing re-design, but online donations can be made through its “Support Aquabox” pages. Updates on Aquabox’s operations can presently provided by mini-blogs on Facebook; search under Rotary:Aquabox.

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Chesterfield Citizens of the Year

Pictured from left to right: Gerrard and Julie Wood (managers of the Olde House), Chesterfield Rotary president Mike Cudzich-Madry, Ray Wheeler, regional area manager for Marstons Brewery

Pictured from left to right: Gerrard and Julie Wood (managers of the Olde House), Chesterfield Rotary president Mike Cudzich-Madry, Ray Wheeler, regional area manager for Marstons Brewery

The managers of the Olde House Pub and Hotel at Newbold are the Citizens of the Year for 2013. Gerrard and Julie Wood received the award from the Rotary Club of Chesterfield for their excellent charitable work not only in support of the Rotary Club’s charities, but also the help they give each year to the East Derbyshire Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, and other good causes.

Members gave a standing ovation when the Citizen of the Year Award was presented to the deserving couple by the Rotary president Mike Cudzich-Madry in a special ceremony at the Rotary club meeting held at the Olde House on Friday 8 November 2013. Also in attendance was Ray Wheeler, regional area manager for Marstons Brewery, the UK’s leading independent brewing and pub retailing business.

In response, Gerrard Wood thanked the Rotary Club of Chesterfield and highlighted how delighted he and his wife were to receive the Award.

He said: “We are honoured to receive this recognition as we have great respect for all the good work that Rotary does. Since taking over management of the Olde House nearly nine years ago we have been keen to support local charitable causes as this is also consistent with the ongoing community objectives of Marstons Brewery, the owners of the Olde House Pub and Hotel.”

Olde House Hotel

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Record Breaking Poetry Readers

Poetry reading in Chesterfield was the focus when children from local junior schools took part in Rotary’s annual Chesterfield Junior School’s Poetry-Reading Competition.  Staged for the 26th consecutive year by the Rotary Club of Chesterfield, the event was hosted this year by Calow Primary School and held on Wednesday 23 October 2013.

A record fifteen contestants took part from five local schools, which were Abercrombie Primary School, Brimington Junior School, Calow Primary School, Duckmanton Primary School, and Hady Primary School.

The winner was 10 year old Christopher Chiad from Hady Primary School with his rendition of Roald Dahl’s poem ‘The Centipede Song’. Runners-up, also from Hady Primary School, were Isobel Woolley with ‘The Adventures of Isobel’ by Ogden Nash and Melissa Moxon with ‘The Visitor’ by Ian Serraillier. 

from left to right:  Rotarian Ian Gordon, Rotary President Mike Cudzich-Madry, Inner Wheel past president Margaret Mitchell and president Ann Elliott, with winner Christopher Chiad (front centre) and runners-up Melissa Moxon (left) and Isobel Woolley.

from left to right: Rotarian Ian Gordon, Rotary President Mike Cudzich-Madry, Inner Wheel past president Margaret Mitchell and president Ann Elliott, with winner Christopher Chiad (front centre) and runners-up Melissa Moxon (left) and Isobel Woolley.

President Mike Cudzich-Madry who presented the prizes is himself a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.  He spoke highly about the standard of entry and the confidence of the youngsters. He said: “Taking part in competitions like this will help the youngsters with their communication skills should they choose to go to university in the future.”

The three judges were Chesterfield Rotary vocational service chairman Ian Gordon and president Ann Elliott and past-president Margaret Mitchell of the Inner Wheel Club of Chesterfield. The main organizer and compere was Chesterfield Rotary past-president David Windle.

Chesterfield Inner Wheel president Anne Elliott, who felt it was an honour to be a judge, praised the teachers and parents for supporting the children in their quest to read poetry.  She told the audience: “I am amazed at the talent so the choice of a winner was difficult due to the high standard of the entrants.”

She added that: “There are no losers here as all the children have gained by the experience.”

Group picture of all the entrants, judges, and organisers

Group picture of all the entrants, judges, and organisers



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