The Clash of Empires
Tue 23rd September 2014 at 19.30 - 22.30
A Fellowship visit to Stort Valley Rotary Club and a brilliant talk by Baroness Shirley Williamsthumbnail view
Fellowship, Friendship & Knowledge
It was before 6 p.m. that three members of our club - Malcolm Acors, Michael Sinclair and Peter Greene - set out to drive to Bishops Stortford to attend the regular meeting of Stort Valley Rotary Club at the Lemon Tree in the centre of town.
Why suffer the hours drive to the other side of the District you may ask? Well, several reasons.
Firstly Peter Greene had been working with Peter Latham and David Scott of that club on our Websites and Newsletters to see what we can learn from each other, and had been looking for an opportunity to meet up with them face to face.
Secondly, as part of that exchange of information, he had noticed that Baroness Shirley Williams would be speaking at the club on the 23rd September. The subject of her talk was her reflections on the consequences of World War One. In a wide ranging and erudite talk she covered the effects as she saw them, summed up best as the “Clash of Empires” and the “Breaking of Nations”.
Her key points were that pre-WW1 Europe was a continent of old Empires - the Ottoman, the Austro-Hungarian, the French, Spanish, Portugese, Russian, and the British. Germany and Italy, as relatively newly formed countries, mainly from principalities, didn’t have empires, and felt hard done by. Shortly after the end of the war, most of the empires had failed and Europe was a continent of Nations. The inter war years were characterised by inter-country disputes, the rise of dictatorships culminating in World War 2, and the invasion of most countries in Europe by the Axis powers. More recently the Soviet Union had broken up into many of its constituent parts.
Little surprise then that most countries see the co-operation of nations and the formation of transnational groupings such as the European Union, as a way to ensure peace between them.
She then drew parallels with the recent Scottish referendum. The debate had focussed almost exclusively on internal factors and the problems (currency, jobs, etc) which an independent Scotland might face (depending which side was talking) and hardly at all with the positive aspects and benefits of a United Kingdom. She had many connections with Statesmen and business people around the world, ranging from the USA to Malaysia, the Middle East and the Far East and Australia. In the light of the World Wars, why would any country seek to create more national break-ups. They couldn’t understand why a country which had been, and remained, such a force for good in the world, could voluntarily break up.
It was very educational and informative, and expressed in a down-to-earth and understandable way. An event not to be missed.
On top of this, Stort Valley members went out of their way to make our Mike, Malcolm and Peter feel welcome, and they were most impressed to learn how the club has grown from a low point of 6 or 7 members to its current strength of 27, and with a nearly even split of men and women. Inn addition, the club seems to be heavily involved with primary school children. It is progressing both the Life Education initiative and Rotakids.
Christmas Charity Lunch
Our annual Partners Christmas lunch at Reids on Monday, December 10 - fun for all and money raised for St. Lukes Hospicedetails
Morris men at the Menin Gate
Club member Ken Smith and his fellow Morris Dancers travelled to Ypres in the WWI 100th anniversary year to lay a wreath for fallen Morris Mendetails
Trip to Twickenham 2018
Social outing to Twickenham for England vs. Japan, and perhaps a little food and drink...details
President's day 2018
The day was built round a trip through the most picturesque areas of northern Essex and south Suffolk, with lunch at the Fox in Finchingfield and a traditional champagne cream tea at the historic Swan Hotel in Lavenham.details
Rotary National Conference 2018
An inspiring conference reminding all how much Rotary achieves, through the conscientious effort and work of club members from across Britain and Ireland. Then add in eradicating Polio and you see the power for good that Rotary represents worldwide.details
2018 Basildon Handover Dinner
Club members enjoyed a terrific evening out at the Presidential Handover meal from Kevin Howard to Mike Barrettdetails
2017 Basildon Charter Celebration
A great evening out celebrating the Charter Anniversary of our fellow Rotarians at the Rotary Club of Basildon.details
Plant a Tree for Rotary 2017
On his visit DG Nick Sillitoe motivates us all with news of the Rotary Wood, membership trends and international charity.details
Royal Opera House Tour 2017
Club members, partners and friends visited the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden London for an official back-stage tour on May 27, 2016.details
Charter Lunch 2016
The club congregates to celebrate its 57th year since it received its charterdetails
Visiting Chelmsford Mildmay Rotary Club
A group of our members - Mike, Keith, Peter, Ed, and Ben - visited the Rotary Club of Chelmsford Mildmay to socialize and share experiences and plans.details
2016 President's Day
Members, partners, family and friends gave retiring President Ed Harrison a great farewell for the annual President"™s Day at a garden party and barbecue on June 19, 2016details
Partner's Dinner - A Fun Night
The club took over the top floor of the "Giggling Squid" restaurant for a Fellowship dinner with Partners and Rotary friends. A great time was had by all.details
Spreading the word
Club members help other Rotary clubs with the why and how to use websites, Facebook and Twitter to get the message out about Rotary's achievements etc.details
Associate with Us!
Only a few months after adopting a new category of membership, Associate Membership, the club welcomes its first Associate memberdetails
President's Day Bluebell Line trip
Members of the club will celebrate President Mike's year of office with a trip on the Bluebell Railway steam trains departing 09.30 from The Coach & Horses. Bluebell train between Sheffield Park Station and East Grinstead. Carvery at Sheffield Park Statidetails
All Publicity is ...
The District Media Workshop on May 16th, 2015, promoted new ways to get our events and good works publicized. Better publicity, more public involvement, better fundraising .... and more membership?details
Making a Production out of it
The majority of club members, their partners and friends, visited the new Royal Opera House Workshops to experience this great institution.details
2014 Charter Lunch
A very successful Charter Lunch celebrating 55 years of service to our communitydetails
OF Britain, not IN Britain
Great Fellowship and a heartfelt and erudite talk from the first female President of the Islamic Society of Britaindetails
Pioneer of Progress
A Company Plane before a Company Car! - Member Norman Wilson regales us with tales of his life with the Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Company (1939-65).details
President's Night 2014
We celebrated President Keith's successful year as our President with a formal meal in this local restaurant, accompanied by partners and our fellow Rotarians from Billericay Mayflower and Basildon Clubs.details
Paul Harris Sapphire Award
Past President Malcolm Acors was awarded his Paul Harris Sapphire in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Rotary in general and the Rotary Club of Billericay in Particular.details
Ben pulls out another Plum
Plum Valley event - the club members and their partners get together for a convivial meal out.details
A Royal Treat
We were privileged to have Arthur Edwards at one of our lunch time meetings. Arthur has a unique insight on the Royal family. He been royal photographer at The Sun since 1977. He has photographed 7 royal weddings, 4 funerals, and 6 royal births.details
Fellowship at Basildon
A fellowship visit, three weeks before our joint twining visit to Beausoleil and a talk by Harry Payne, Secretary of the "Rotarian Action Group against Child Slavery" which left us all moved!.details
Our club is one of those recognised by Rotary International's Board of Directors for its membership development.details
It's the 5th Monday so ....
On a very few times in the year, there is a fifth Monday in a month, so the club tries to do something different from its usual lunch time meeting. In July, nearly forty of us met for a convivial evening meal at a local restaurant.details
Christmas Celebration 2013
Open House to Club members at President Keith Wood's house thanks to the hospitality of Keith and Gill.details
Christmas Lunch 2013
The final meeting of the year saw club members, partners, and guests, celebrate their achievements during 2013, and handover a cheque from the proceeds of their October Concert to St Luke's Hospice.details
2013 Charter Lunch
Rotary Club of Billericay's Charter Lunch celebrated its 54th. year with Lunch at "The Chichester" Rawreth. District Governor Peter Dowse, and Honorary member The Lord Petre (who also gave a talk about his early family history) attended.details
A New President for 2013-14
Members, wives and visiting Rotarians meet to celebrate the successes of outgoing President Trevor Stansfield and welcome new President Keith Wood and Vice President Michael Ginn to their new roles.details
President's Day 2013 - Canal Trip
We celebrated the end of Trevor's successful year as president with a trip on the Chelmer & Blackwater canal for members, partners and friends. A great day was had by all.details
Christmas Lunch 2012
A final lunch of 2012 to celebrate our work during the year and, with Inner Wheel, to present cheques to the beneficiaries of our joint fundraising Autumn Musicfest.details
2012 Charter Lunch
Rotary Club of Billericay's Charter Lunch to celebrate its 53rd. year was held at "the Chichester" Rawreth. Honorary member The Lord Petre and District 1240 Governor Ian McMeekan also attended along with members and friends.details
Winter 2012 Wine Festival Trip
A trip was organised to attend the Laithwaites Wine Festival at Vinopolis in London. Transport left Billericay at 4 p.m. members tasted a multitude of wines followed by a great steak meal afterwards at a local restaurant before returning home.details
Clay Pigeon Shoot 2012
A Group of members went to the Essex Shooting Ground at Fyfield Essex on October 24th, for a very enjoyable day's shooting, including a tasty buffet lunch.details
Rugby (Twickenham 2012)
Some of our members planned an outing to Twickenham to see the London Derby matches between Wasps, Harlequins, Saracens and London Irish. Two great games for the price of one.details
RIBI Annual Conference 2012
The 2012 RIBI Conference returned to Bournemouth this year, with nearly 2,000 delegates attending the event under the chairmanship or our District's own - President Ray Burmandetails
Wine Festival Spring 2012
A very enjoyable social event - a day out at the Sunday Times Wine Festival.details
Paul Harris Fellowships 2012
The club has nominated six people for Paul Harris Fellowships in recognition of their outstanding contribution to Rotary and to the wider community.details
Handover Meeting 2011-12 & Paul Harris Fellowships
Trevor Stansfield accepted the honourship as 2012-2013 President of The Rotary Club of Billericay from Malcolm Acors, and 2 further Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded.details