DG Dave’s November Newsletter

Dave’s Diary 

The Monthly Newsletter of the District Governor

31st October 2012

DG 2012-2013 David Ashley

Group Study Exchange Team

The Group Study Exchange Team from Nepal has now left us and flown back home, no doubt full of good words to say about their stay in the District. At the de-briefing meeting and their Farewell Party on 19th November, Team Leader Nugal and team members Suyesh, Dipika, Shresna and Roshani all spoke very highly indeed of their host Rotarian families and of the content of their programme. I would like to thank everyone from Rob Gray who coordinated the whole event, the area coordinators, the host families and all others who were involved in the arrangements in any way for the excellent arrangements that resulted in such a great final GSE Team visit to District 1220.

District Conference

The District Conference, another major event in the Rotary calendar has also now passed for another year. Numbers attending the Conference were considerably down this year on previous years (about 700 attended including about 400 Rotarians) and we need to look closely at the Annual Conference for the future.

Organisers of the Conference have to prepare a budget based on the number of people attending and when numbers fall as they did this year it can leave the District with an overspend on the budget. Various members of the organising teams for the conferences this year, next year and the year after will be meeting later this month to discuss the situation and agree on a way forward.

This may well include ascertaining the views of members who do not normally attend the Conference and those who normally do but stayed away this year. Why don’t they attend? Is it the location? Is it the cost? Is it the content? Is it age related? Is it a result of previous bad experiences? We need to know these things if we are to make the conference accessible to all.

One element of the discussion will no doubt focus on the funding of the Conference. We are required by Rotary International to hold a conference, so should the cost of the whole Rotary element of the Conference come from our subscriptions? After all the Conference is open to all members to attend. At present just a proportion is funded by this means, with the remainder coming from the Registration Fee payable by delegates.

Charter Celebrations

We are now well into the Charter season and already a couple of Club Charter Nights have had to be postponed because of such a low take up by visiting Rotarians – a similar situation to the District Conference. I attended a Charter a few days ago where the numbers were just over 60. With the average price of a Charter Night now being (I estimate) in the region of £25 we have to ask “Are the days of annual Charters now numbered? Perhaps we need to have that debate.

The holding of an annual event to celebrate the granting of a Club Charter is not universal. In many areas this does not happen whilst in others just significant anniversaries are celebrated. There may well be other alternative ways of celebrating the granting of a Club Charter. In any case we need to make sure that we cannot be accused of “re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” whilst the ship sinks. Perhaps instead of a charter we should plough a similar amount of finance into promoting our clubs, re-establishing ourselves in our local communities and seeking out new members to carry on the traditional work of Rotary. Just a thought.

District Council

The next District Council meeting will be held at The Novotel on Tuesday 11th December 2012 at 7.30pm. Attendance by voting representatives of all clubs is sought as there will be an important discussion and vote on the Re-Districting proposals mentioned in my last Newsletter. I have today circulated a letter about this to all Club Presidents and Secretaries. It is important if you wish your club’s views to be heard at the Council meeting that you are represented.

We did ask members attending the last District Council meeting to complete an evaluation form. These forms have been collated and the results suggest that the meeting was viewed positively by those attending. Various suggestions were made as to how future meetings could be improved but as with all such exercises some views expressed were diametrically opposite other views. It just shows – “You can’t please all the people all the time”.

Once again there will be presentations by clubs on projects in which they are involved. If your club has a project it would like to advertise to the District via a short presentation at District Council please let me know.

District Website

Have you had a look at the new improved District Website recently? If not spend a few minutes seeing what there is on it that may be of interest to you and if you have any items that may be of interest to a wider Rotary community, please send them to Mark Snape, the Webmaster.

On the website there is a note of the amount raised for District funds (helping to keep subscriptions down) by sales on Amazon through the website. It seems to have been stuck on £2,314 for some time now. Don’t forget – if you are buying anything from Amazon, do it by going onto the District website and using the Amazon link provided. There is no extra cost to you the purchaser. This is simply a donation to us by Amazon.

Sponsored Walk by District Governor – “H2H Walk”

In order to support Bluebell Wood Hospice and Rainbows Hospice I am planning to do a sponsored walk from Bluebell Wood in South Sheffield to Rainbows in Loughborough. The planned dates are Friday 3rd May 2013 to Monday 6th May 2013 (May Day Bank Holiday). The District Sergeant at Arms, Owen Briggs, has already committed to joining me. Any other Rotarians (or indeed non-Rotarians) are invited to join us, either for the whole walk or just for a part of it. We shall be finalising and circulating the route shortly.

I have set myself an ambitious target of raising £5,000 from the walk. The idea is to ask Clubs to hold events along the route of the walk as we pass through their area, mainly during the evenings of 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th but at other times as well if they fit the walk route.

Would anyone who wants to assist in any way, either walking, organising an event,or in any other way please drop me an email to Let’s just hope for dry weather

Foundation Seminar

Don’t forget the Foundation Seminar that is being held on Thursday, 8th November at the Novotel, Long Eaton, commencing at 7.30pm. The outgoing GSE Team to Nepal and their Team Leader David Hood from RC of Wirksworth will be there. The main item of business though will be ensuring that Clubs within the District are prepared and qualified to take on projects etc under Future Vision. It is important therefore that all Clubs are represented here. Terry Leivers is able to give you all the information you need.

Birthday Wishes

Honorary Rotarian Reg Dean from the Rotary Club of Wirksworth will be celebrating his 110th (yes that’s right – 110th) birthday on Sunday 4th November. I understand this makes him the oldest person in Britain – unless you know differently. Reg was a Rotarian at Wirksworth for many years before becoming honorary is later life. Until very recently he attended Wirksworth Club meetings on a regular basis.

I shall be visiting Reg on his birthday and taking best wishes from the RI President Sakuji Tanaka. Why don’t you send him a birthday card from your club and help him to celebrate this VERY special occasion.

Yours in Rotary
Dave Ashley

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