Charter Lunch 2015

Fifty Six years and still going strong

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To a Club which is Solid and True

Can I praise them, the part they have played

In helping communities, charities too

Ensuring a difference is made.


To a club that is solid and true

To Rotary ideals of compassion and help

And the members who've dined here with you

Our Charter lunch moved this year from the Chichester Hotel, to the Beauvoir Arms at Downham, where we had enjoyed a great social evening a few months ago. 

After a very good meal, and the occasional drink, Founder member Ben Clarke read the "Objects of Rotary" to the assembled forty members and guests, and President Ed Harrison, as modest as ever, took everybody through our recent achievements and plans for his Presidential year.

The Key themes were:

  • Membership - our greatest challenge. We have our first Associate Member and another is in the pipeline
  • Fireworks Display - Next Saturday we will be helping Round Table at the Fireworks display in Lake Meadows.
  • Male Cancer Awareness - the following Saturday we will be promoting Male Cancer Awareness for the third consecutive year
  • Christmas Market - On Sunday 6th December the Lions, Round Table, the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower, our daughter Club, and our own Club will be working together to raise money for various charities at the the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower's Christmas Market in Billericay High Street.
  • Youth activities - Once again we will be supporting the Rotary Young Chef Competition and, for the first time we will be running a competition in Junior rather than Secondary Schools. Our Youth Officer James is running the District’s Young Photographer Competition for the first time. The Interact Club at The Billericay School and Rotakids at Quilters Junior School continue to thrive.
  • Billericay Fun Walk - Our participation in the Billericay Fun walk earlier this year had raised £1340 in Sponsorship.  Ed and Peter Greene had attended the Bonus Pot presentation the previous Friday evening where we received an additional £1260 - the bonus was 90% of the sponsorship money raised!
  • Soapbox Derby - our biggest event for many years scheduled for May 2016 with the objective of raising significant sums of money for local and international charities, and raising the profile of Rotary.  We hope it will become an annual event
Ed ended by proposing the toast to all the guests, without whom the event would not have been so successful.

    It was now the turn of Alan Clarke, District Governor, who proposed the toast to the Club.  Alan gave tribute to the achievements of the club and his wholehearted support for our plans for another Cancer Awareness Event this month, and the planned Soapbox Derby in May 2016 (the first such event in the District).  Alan noted that one of the charities which would benefit from the Soapbox Derby is "Hope and Homes for Children", a charity very close to his heart and one of his nominated charities for his District Governor's year.  In an emotional interlude, he explained to us how the charity had been formed and what its objectives were, and reported on his recent trip to Rumania and the situation he found there.  It is a vital charity, very deserving of our support.

    An interesting and amusing speech which brought laughter and applause for the sudience, and ended with a poem written by Alan which can be seen in full here, but an extract of which is shown above.

    The final event of the day was the draw for the winners of the 50:50 club, organised by club member Roger Kettle.  First prize went to Roger's wife Sarah, and second AND fourth prize went to President Ed!

    Other distinguished guests were Richard Rackham, President of Billericay Mayflower, Barry Schofield, President, Rotary Club of Basildon, and Angela Clarke, President of Inner Wheel.  A total of seven Basildon Club members and partners, also attended, for which we extend our thanks for their support.

    Our thanks to Norman Bishop for again arranging a superb lunch and to the staff of the Beauvoir Arms for their excellent service and support.