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Club President Jayne Harrison sumarises last month's activities.
Jayne’s Jottings April 2013
On 2nd April Maria, Susan & I travelled over to Dunkirk to meet up with Pippa who was driving us to Bruges so that we could find a suitable venue for our 20th anniversary celebrations we are planning to hold in Bruges on 19th October with our twin clubs from Evreux and Geldermalsen.
It was an interesting trip as we stayed in a Monastery; had time for shopping; found a venue and visited Ypres!
The Monastery, just outside Bruges, had been the idea of Pippa’s as 3 of her uncles had been monks there. The rooms were very basic but the monks were very kind and friendly. The only drawback was that they closed the monastery at 8pm but if we stayed out as late as 9pm then we could enter via the church! After this time we would have had to have slept in the car!! I befriended one of the monks – Jean-Paul – we spent some interesting time together having the odd cigarette whilst I learnt more about the Monastery and their daily routine.
We visited a few restaurants in Bruges away from the main square but finally found a very suitable one overlooking Market Square with a private room just right for our needs and they even adapted their group menus to suit us.
We met up with Rtn. Willy Bilaey from the Bruges Rotary Club at the Crown Plaza Hotel where his club meets. We had a good chat with him whilst enjoying a drink and then shown the hotel’s private function room where our lunch could take place. Although the hotel is modern, whilst they were building it, they found and have kept in tact the medieval foundations of St Donatian's church which now forms part of the function room. Unfortunately, the room didn’t have any windows so we felt that although of historical interest it wouldn’t be so suitable for us which is why we decided on the first floor of a restaurant overlooking the square. We are very grateful to Willy for his help and advice.
On our last day, after doing a little shopping in Bruges (well we did have Maria with us) we decided to do a slight detour on our way back to Dunkirk and visit Ypres.
Outside of Ypres we visited one of the World War I cemeteries and found it so moving. It contained hundreds of graves – immaculately kept. So many without names and those that were named were so young. We then went into the centre of Ypres and saw the Menin Gate which bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. Nearly 100 years since the First World War, they still play the last post every evening at 8pm in remembrance of the dead.
At our breakfast meeting on 16th April we were pleased to welcome Iain Leithead who is President of the Rotary Club of B&H Soiree but is also the incoming Assistant District Governor.
After Easter, on 18th April, we resumed our literacy programme with the children in Y3 at Westdene School. Although we were there to listen to them read we couldn’t help asking what they had done during the Easter break and were amazed at how far a field some of the children had travelled. In my day we were lucky to go as far as Eastbourne! If anyone is interested in helping out once a week for one hour 1.30-2.30 pm, please let me know.
Graham Smith OBE, Managing Director of Toyota Europe came to our dinner meeting on 23rd April to talk to us about “Car technologies of the future…..and will people still be driving in 2030”. It was a really interesting and fascinating talk and I was so pleased that he spoke in ‘layman’s’ terms so that the ‘non technical’ audience (like me) could understand it. Technology is advancing so quickly that the thought of a car that will drive itself and you only have to steer it certainly made me realize that by 2030 when I’m old(er) and (more) decrepit there was still a chance that I might still be driving. Graham certainly gave us all food for thought.
There are only 2 more months before my presidency finishes and it has gone so quickly. Don’t forget the handover dinner is being held on 25th June. Although there are no more fundraising events this Rotary year I do hope that everyone will make a concerted effort to help out at the Hove Carnival on Monday 27th May where we will be promoting Rotary. We are having a few games to occupy the children whilst we try and convince their parents that joining Rotary is rewarding, social and fun!
I look forward to seeing most of you at my ‘president’s dinner’ at the Bali Brasserie on 16th May.
- Richard Robinson
- Cheque presentation to Martlets Hospice
- Kids who went to Para Olympics
- Visit to Rotary Club Evreux, Normandy, France
- Induction of Jane Thomson and Jason Palmer
- October Quiz Night
- Kids Out 2012
- President Jayne greets Nick Pardo
- Induction of Friends of our Rotary Club