Club Bulletin August 2017

The Club Bulletin for August 2017

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From President Steve

It all seemed so far away when then President Eric approached me about becoming a future President of RCCN. I had only been a member for about ten minutes and tried to point out that there must be members of much long-standing who should be ahead of me in the queue but apparently that was not the case and so I became JVP and thought that I would have plenty of time to prepare for the honour of becoming your President. The intervening period has just flown by and on Thursday 6th July 2017 I found myself standing beside now Immediate Past President Peter as he fastened the chain, or rather ribbon, of office around my neck.

I must begin by paying tribute to IPP Peter for the splendid manner in which he lead the Club through his year of office. Ever calm, ever perceptive and demonstrating remarkable good humour throughout, he has left the Club in very good order; which I hope not to destroy.

The handover meeting took place at the Everyman Theatre, the New Club catering facilities having decamped to the Cheltenham Cricket Festival. Our speaker was the recently appointed Chief Executive of the Everyman, Mark Goucher, who told us something of his life as a Theatre Producer and of his hopes and plans for Cheltenham’s principal theatre.

On Sunday 9th July Adrienne and I were delighted to join other members in the garden of Janet and Peter Keenan’s home for the first of two garden parties that they are holding to raise funds for Solar Aid, The weather was good, the food was excellent the wine was plentiful, the garden had been tended to perfection and, I believe, those that rushed down the garden to spot the train were not disappointed. All that and the event raised £287.50 for a very worthy cause. Many thanks to Janet and Peter and those that helped them. I hope that the second event on 6th August is as successful.

The following Wednesday, 12th July, saw a party of Club members heading off to Monmouth to visit Nimbus records. I won’t say too much about this as a second group are booked to make the same trip on 5th September. However I will say that it was a fascinating visit, which included the opportunity to purchase some very good recordings of the work of Gustav Holst, and that the lunch and river trip that followed were also excellent. Our continuing thanks are due to Sally, in particular for this trip, and to her committee members for arranging such enjoyable visits.

For our meeting on Thursday 20th July we were back at the New Club. The one sadness of my presidency so far has been Roger Champness’ decision not to renew his membership for health reasons. However I am delighted that at our meeting prior to the Club meeting Council agreed to propose that Roger be made an Honorary Member. At the required Extraordinary General Meeting held immediately before the Club meeting this proposal, officially put by Mike Stevens and seconded by Gill Rouse, was approved unanimously and with acclamation. If all goes to plan, Roger will attend the Club meeting on 17th August to be formally welcomed in his new status.

Our speaker at the meeting on 20th July was Major Dennis Hansen of the Danish Army. He spoke mainly about his rôle with the NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, based at Imjin Barracks, Innsworth but he strayed from his principal theme to provide a brief history of Denmark and also

some of his family’s experiences of living as Danish Nationals in the U.K. A very enjoyable meeting for all attendees, which included three other guests, two of whom should soon be new members.

On Wednesday 26th July I went with SVP Beth to visit David Ranchman at the Cheltenham Ladies’ College. David is our main link at the College for the Carol Concert and this was by way of a “handover” meeting to introduce Beth to David and set the scene for this year’s event. Members will be gratified to learn that Beth has the whole thing under control and all looks set fair for a very successful concert - no pressure!

So, nearly one month in and no serious issues. I thank all members for their support so far. Long may that continue.

From Past District Governor Richard Purdon:

The Pinnacle of the RI year at the Convention in Atlanta June 10th -14th 2017

One of the many highlights of Helen’s and my year was the opportunity to go to the Rotary International Convention this June. This annual event was held in Atlanta, 100 years after the Rotary Foundation was launched in the very same city. We decided to travel a little early so we could spend some time in the city beforehand. In fact, we rather enjoyed this part of the trip more than the programme at the Convention!!

It was the first time we had experienced the true “deep south” of USA. We saw the absolute contrast between the affluent whites up until the 1970s, with the desperate conditions the Afro – Americans had suffered in until the Civil Rights movement peaked in the late 60s.

On the one hand we saw – on a guided bus tour – the fabulous splendour of the main houses of the rich and famous – including the Governor’s mansion; the beautiful Botanical gardens; the cheesy tourist attraction of Coca –Cola, whose head office is in Atlanta; the magnificent, iconic Fox theatre, where we saw “Gone with the Wind in all its glory; and the museum of the Civil rights movement, which graphically showed the horrific treatment of the non- whites through the 50s and 60s.

But the highlight, which we saw in different guises, was the home where Doctor Martin Luther King Junior was brought up; the Chapel where he preached (and where his mother was murdered after his own assassination); and his memorial burial site, where his brilliant oratory is piped around the grounds. His “I had a dream” speech in Washington in 1963 made a great impression on me. So much, so that I modified it for my District Governor’s hand over when I returned home. My version was about my dream about Rotary in GBI!!

But, the overview of the Convention itself can be summarised as follows.

· 45,000 Rotarians from around the world signed up with the partners or guests.

· The Trump travel ban probably cost as many as 7,000 who could not or would not travel.

· The organisation of housing, transporting and running the events was something to witness.

· The impact of the devaluation of the pound, post Brexit was painful!!

· Mass entertainment was available – and the opening session had to be run twice to cater for the huge number, who wanted to attend.

· The Assembly of world class speakers was a major draw – Bill Gates; Jack Nicklaus ( a polio sufferer in his teens) ; the CEO of Coca- Cola; John Cena, the WWF champion; Andrew Young – a colleague of Martin Luther King in the 60s (the best speaker) and of course the high and mighty from Rotary International.

· But, the best part was meeting up with Rotarians from around the Globe. We shared experiences of Rotary in our own Countries. The attitude and the view on the future - very diverse.

So, this was a great way for us to prepare for the end of our great year, in the DG chair. This was our 5th Conference since early March – so perhaps we were a little “over done” by then!!

But, you will not be surprised to hear that the 1 in Torquay was by far the best!!

From Roger Grimshaw: Vocational Visit to Nimbus Records Wednesday 12th July 2017

Twenty members and wives had a most interesting visit down the A40 towards Monmouth at Wyastone – an vast country house set deep down in a gorge of the Wye Valley with wonderful views across wooded land that many years ago was all part of a very large estate. Today, the house stands in just thirty acres of land including a recording studio/theatre and a small industrial estate.

The business of Nimbus has an amazingly colourful history of personalities with an eclectic mix of science – music – occasional business acumen all blended together with a sense of ‘yes you can – no you can’t drama. Personalities brought together by chance meetings led to the business starting in Birmingham with a recording studio being financed by local property renovation the business finally left the smoky Midlands in 1975 for a quieter valley near Monmouth. A fascinating commentary with battles against recording goliaths of Sony and Phillips, a major drama with Robert Maxwell, and untold restructuring problems in 1990/2000’s was recalled to us by the now general manager Antony, followed by two tours of both the technical production areas (upstairs) and the music recording (downstairs). Despite all the up/downs the Nimbus name stands proudly in the music world !

After our visit we made the short journey to Old Court Hotel at Whitchurch for a wholesome meal followed by a Kingfisher boat trip for 45 minutes on the River Wye.

Altogether, an excellent day, with glorious weather, and well organised by Sally Whittal – Thank you.

From Andrew Worthington - Boules Report

A noble team of 4 convened at Sandford Park on Wednesday evening (19th) at 6.30 to take on a very experienced Cheltenham Sunrise team at the Boules piste and after team talks, play proceeded under leaden skies.

Team Sunrise soon exposed a few weaknesses in the home team and cruised into a 3-0 winning lead but Team North stiffened the sinews (or something ) and a respectable 3-2 result (that is loss ) was achieved.

Many past acquaintances were renewed and a very sociable occasion was completed in the Sandford Ale House, ably organised by Captain Gilhead , where a swift pint washed down a filled roll – well 2 ....together with numerous pots of fries ..... I shall be in trouble !! which sealed off a splendid evening.

Next we take on old friends at Cleeve Vale’s home piste at the Plough in Prestbury. More will follow...

-----After an encouraging performance last week, Team North entered into this week’s tie away to Cleeve Vale at the Plough in Prestbury , full of confidence. Indeed , with Maestro Mike into the team, for the first 15 minutes we were ‘Golden Boules’, sweeping into a 10 – 0 lead, and seemingly unassailable.

However, that proved to be the ‘high’ of the evening, although we were ‘unassailed’ at 13 – 10 in the first game.

The next three games were intense, close, nail biting – well blister rubbing , but at ‘beer and pies ‘ break we found ourselves 1 – 3 down.

Captain G rallied the troops, down hearted ? not Team North – two wins and the tie is ours , quoth he.

Sadly, the failing light (or failing something ) did for us and neither were achieved. I leave it to the reader to work out the final result.

Undaunted, we go forward into August notably without your scribe, so doubtless the tide will turn!!

Next Bulletin

If you have anything you would like included in the next bulletin please send details to me before 30 August 2017. Thank you. Gill Rouse

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