RIBI President’s visit

Pictured left to right: Matlock President Peter Wigglesworth, RIBI President John Minhinick, DG Dave Ashley 

Rotarian John Minhinick, the President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) and his wife Sheila, left our District yesterday after three days with us. Before leaving, President John asked me to thank everyone who had been involved in either the arrangements for or attendance at all of the different parts of the visit. He and Sheila have had a wonderful time in District 1220 and were most complementary about everything they saw and heard and the activities they took part in during their visit. Brief details of the visit can be found on my blog on the District website.

On a personal level I would wish to echo those sentiments. Everyone involved has clearly worked very hard to ensure that their part of the visit went off without a hitch. There was no part of the visit that did not present Rotary in this District in the most positive light to him.

The arrangements for the visit were particularly intended to highlight the range of work we are doing in our local communities, with schools, the sick and the elderly, our forward planning in respect of membership retention and recruitment and the help we provide to local charitable causes in our communities and in this regard it was extremely successful. We also tried to give him just a very small glimpse of the natural beauty, history, culture and lifestyle within the District. Once again John gave great praise to this element of the visit.

Unfortunately as with any three day visit, it is not possible to include all clubs in the arrangements but Pres. John was exposed to almost one third of the Clubs in the District, giving him a fair picture of the health of the District.

Thanks once again

Yours in Rotary

Dave Ashley

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DG Dave’s September Newsletter

Dave’s Diary 

The Monthly Newsletter of the District Governor

31st August 2012

DG 2012-2013 David Ashley

Well, we are already two months into this Rotary year where we have been asked by our International President Sakuji Tanaka to seek “Peace through Service” and as most Rotarians in the District will by now be aware it is this theme on which I have based my talks to clubs. Of course whilst delivering this talk I have also been acutely aware of my wider responsibilities as the District Governor.

I would like to thank all the clubs that I have visited for their hospitality and for the warm welcome that I have received everywhere that I have been. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone in the District of a number of other matters that are also of importance during this year and beyond.

District Conference

As I am sure you are all aware, the conference, one of the highlights of the Rotary year, is this year being held in Southport from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th October 2012. The Conference Planning Team have looked critically at every aspect of the conference and where we have identified a need for change, improvement or update we have taken the steps needed. Everything is now planned and arranged. We believe that this year’s conference will be the best yet. This district has a history of excellent and very well attended conferences, but as with all things we have to keep them fresh and relevant to Rotary of today. We cannot live in the past or on the glories of yesteryear.

If you have not yet registered to attend, there is still time. You can register on line and pay on-line at www.2012conference1220.co.uk/registration

Just have a look at what is on offer:

  • Friday afternoon
    Rotary Showcase with over 30 stalls to browse, presentations from a small stage – and the opportunity to chat informally to the RI President’s Representative, the RIBI President and of course a number of District Officers. There is free tea and coffee on offer and the bar will be open.
  • Friday evening
    Sit back, relax,be entertained by Tony Grant’s acclaimed Queen tribute & comedian Johnnie Casson.
  • Saturday morning
    They wowed the RIBI Conference – now fall in love with “Canine Partners” live on-stage
    An Olympic beginning and International Fire and Rescue
    The difference that Rotary scholarships and youth exchanges make to young lives including a video from Rob Avery-Phipps in China
  • Saturday DG’s lunch
    Join me and a truly inspirational guest speaker, successful Olympian Dr. Alison Mowbray.
    Listen to the delightful singing of Lilly Taylor-Ward
  • Saturday night
    Is party time with Revival and Cantata in the Floral Hall and JD & Impressions and Lily Taylor-Ward in the Waterfront Suite. No tickets – just select what you want throughout the evening.
  • Sunday morning – a session not to be missed
    Keynote speaker Paralympian and Polio victim, Anne Wafula Strike, hopefully fresh from success.
    A focus on Youth.
    Come and celebrate the Family of Rotary with inspirational speeches and music

    A fitting finale with a celebration of Rotary with Cantata leading you all in song.

I am really excited about Conference and hope you are too. There are still plenty of places available so get your registration forms in and have a really good “Rotary” weekend.

District Foundation Seminar

Terry Leivers, Mick White and the District Foundation teams for this year and next, are busily working away to produce a fantastic Foundation Seminar, due to take place at 7.30pm on Thursday, 8th November 2012 at the Novotel, Long Eaton.

It is vitally important that all clubs in the District are represented at this seminar as the vast majority of the evening will be taken up with information about Future Vision and the qualification process that Clubs will need to undertake in order to take advantage of the new grants procedures etc.

Please make sure that your club does not get left behind. Make a note of this date and ensure that at least your Club Foundation Chairman and President for 2013/14 attends

District Link Evening

Just a bit of advance warning of this event. The originally published date has now been changed and the Link Evening will be at The Civic Centre, Mansfield on Wednesday, 13th March 2013. This is likely to be the last such Link Evening under the present Foundation arrangements and we shall have the outgoing Nepal GSE Team, a number of Ambassadorial Scholars and hopefully a Peace Scholar. Make a note of the date and keep it free. Although at this stage we do not expect to have any restriction on numbers, it is anticipated that demand for places will be very high and early booking is therefore recommended. Look out for the full details that will be circulated in due course.


At my club visits I have not been pushing the issue of membership. However it still remains at the top of the agenda for Rotary in these islands at the present time. At RIBI level following some extensive research a “Five Year Membership Development and Retention Plan” has been produced and submitted to RI.

As a part of the overall strategy for developing our membership base RIBI has recently published a small booklet for use by clubs and a DVD “We’re for Communities” that I am assured have been sent to all clubs. Please make best use of these tools for promoting Rotary and your clubs. Further supplies can be obtained from RIBI.

I am sure that many members of Clubs in the District have heard rumours about the “Re-Districting” of RIBI. This is an exercise that is currently under-way. It is looking at reducing the number of Districts in RIBI from the present 29 down to about 24. The team of Rotarians who have been asked to do this work have not as yet reported their findings and so I cannot comment at this stage as to how it might (or might not) affect District 1220. Once they have put their proposals on the table I will share the information with you.

Another aspect that forms a part of this five year plan is “Visioning” where Clubs who recognise that they are struggling for members can ask for and receive assistance from a team of Rotarians appointed by the District and trained in this process. This process has been successful in other parts of the world and there is no reason to believe it would not work here.

At the present time we have two clubs with less than ten members, nine clubs with between 10 and 20 members and a further nine with between 21 and 25 members. Almost one third of our clubs therefore have less than 25 members. In others the numbers are gradually going down and we need to reverse this trend. Despite these issues, many clubs still do not have a dedicated, long term, Membership Officer. Has yours? If not think about appointing one.

Noel Harrison, the District Membership Chairman, is receiving training in Visioning and will be selecting a team of volunteers to help him shortly. If you feel that your club would benefit from this assistance or indeed in any other way to do with membership, then please contact Noel and see if he can help.

A number of officers from the District have also been very busy producing and implementing a “Business Initiative”. At the last District Assembly a briefing was given about this project to incoming Presidents. The project has now moved substantially forward and it is hoped that we will be in a position to spread the net much wider over coming months.

I am hopeful that at the District Council meeting in December we should be able to have a full presentation on the project.

International Projects Fair and Dinner

The District International committee have organised an “International Projects Fair and Dinner” to be held at the Novotel, Bostocks Lane, Long Eaton on Thursday, 1st November. It will consist of a number of stalls displaying Club Projects and some selected international charity stalls. There will be some entertainment with an international theme and presentations by representatives of the charities, “Sand Dams” and “Save the Children”

You will be able to browse the stalls from approx. 6pm onwards and the dinner will be served at 7.30pm with the presentations afterwards.

It is a long time since we have held such an event in this District and obviously we would like it to be a success. Please check your diary and see if you are available, then book by contacting the International Coordinator, Gail Ashley (details as per directory).

District Posts – Opportunities

Rotarian Steve Moore, Sherwood Sunrisers, has just been successful in his application for a new job, which unfortunately from our point of view will mean that he is leaving the District. Steve has held the District post of “New Generations – Rotaract and Interact” for some time and so we now need to find a suitable replacement for him. If you would be interested in taking over this position, which works closely in liaison with other members of the New Generations Committee, please give me a call so that we can discuss the implications.

On behalf of the District I would like to wish Steve every success for the future, both in his vocation and in his Rotary life.

A second position on the New Generations committee has also recently become available since Kim Armstrong stepped down owing to business pressures. Kim looked after the two RYLA courses that are held each year. Much of the work is to do with the administration of the courses and liaison with The White Hall Outdoor Pursuits Centre, as well as attendance on the course itself. Once again should anyone be interested in taking up this position, please speak to me or to Caroline Stone of Ilkeston Rotary Club.

As with Steve, I would like to express the thanks of the District to Kim for the work he has done and wish him all the best for the future.

General Topics

Lastly, but very importantly, don’t forget the District Council Meeting being held at The Novotel, Bostocks Lane, Long Eaton on Monday 24th September, starting at 7.30pm. You may well notice a few changes to the structure of this meeting from that of the past. As well as the normal business there will be a number of presentations including:

  • The Fishtail Project – Martin Beaumont, Dronfield
  • Nottingham Showcase – Noel Harrison, Sherwood Sunrisers
  • Kedleston Showcase – John Cavey, Derby South
  • Lisbon Conference – Ian Halliday, Amber Valley

Because this is YOUR District Council meeting we want to know your views about it. Therefore at the end of the meeting, delegates will be asked to complete a short feedback form that we will use to improve the design, nature and content of future meetings.

Inner Wheel

Whilst on the lookout for new members don’t forget our colleagues in District 22 Inner Wheel. As always any female relative of a Rotarian is eligible to join. Please remind members of this when they join us. In addition now, any female, whether or not they are related to a Rotarian can be accepted into membership of Inner Wheel. If Rotary is perhaps not right for someone, give a thought to passing them on to Inner Wheel.

District Governor’s Blog

Don’t forget to have a look at what I get up to on a daily basis on my blog on the District Website.


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DG Dave’s August Newsletter

Dave’s Diary 

The Monthly Newsletter of the District Governor

31st July 2012

DG 2012-2013 David Ashley

Wow – how quickly has the month of July flown by.   It seems less than five minutes since the handover at the Novotel on 1st of the month.     Over this last four weeks or so I have begun to  realise how being the District Governor truly takes over your life.

In this time I have addressed twenty eight (28) clubs, carried out two sets of interviews for a GSE Team Leader, attended the Rotary Showcase at Kedleston on two separate days, attended the RIBI General Council over two days, taken part in three Conference planning meetings, one Assistant Governor’s meeting, one training meeting, a Strategy Group Meeting, presented certificates for cycling proficiency at a local school, attended the Inner Wheel District 22 President’s Induction, two club social events, a classic car show, welcomed  10 new members and attended two Rotarian funerals.

I am of course open to invitations to any activities, planned by clubs if they think my presence would be of benefit.

But, what else has been happening in the District and on the wider front during this time?  The District Membership chairman, Noel Harrison, the chairman of the Marketing, Public Relations and Communications committee, David Pedlar, together with a number of other Rotarians have been preparing a strategy for membership recruitment to see us into the next few years.   A major part of this strategy is a business initiative, aimed at securing partnerships with businesses throughout the District.     It is very early days yet, but a pilot scheme at Rolls Royce, Derby seems to be showing signs of success.    I hope to be able to pass on some good news about this pilot scheme in due course and subsequently circulate the package for use by Clubs, so watch this space.

Members of the District Executive have been looking for ways to improve the attendance and feedback from District Council Meetings.  Over recent times attendances have been falling sharply and we need to reverse this trend.   Several initial steps are being taken and these include

  • Improving the PA sound system in use
  • Introducing more Club led items onto the agenda
  • Removal of the “top table”
  • Changes to the reporting practices, to include more Club information
  • Introduction of a simple feedback form from attendees at next Dist. Council.

I hope these changes will be seen as positive, but if you have any ideas, please let me know.  This is after all your District Council I look forward to seeing you all there.

There is a snippet of advance information to pass on.  The RIBI President, Rtn. John Minhinick, will be making his annual visit to the District from Monday 10th to Wednesday 12th September.   His programme of activities will be published shortly when it has been finalised.   He will be addressing us at two meetings, those of Belper and Duffield and at Mansfield.

The District Conference is fast approaching.  The programme has been finalised, the entertainment is sorted and the speakers are all lined up.    David Pedlar has worked tremendously hard on creating a programme that will be varied, exciting, entertaining and inspiring.     If you are regular Conference attenders, you will find the Friday tea-time plenary session has been replaced by a new format and the final session on Sunday morning will be so inspiring and joyful that you will go home with spirits lifted and with the joy of Rotary in your heart.   Don’t miss it.

If you have not yet booked you have till just 25th August to do so before the price goes up by £5 per head to £43.

You can find a daily update of my activities on the District Website, www.rotary1220.org under “DG Dave’s Blog”     Have a look at it and make a comment about it.

And finally,  Don’t forget –

“You don’t stop laughing because you get old, 

you get old because you stop laughing.”


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