Life and times 7/17 to 6/18

A brief summary of the clubs activities by Statler (aka J Doyle).

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford May and June 2018 

This is the last report covering the year of office of President David supported by the indefatigable Elizabeth. Although this was their winding down period there was no let-up in their activity. Apart from continuing their round of Rotary functions Elizabeth and David entertained a number of members to a garden party at their home on the 16th June. All reports confirm that it was a delightful event. 

Baldev has continued to organise our range of interesting and informative speakers. Subjects have included such diverse topics as arranging Asian funerals, orthopaedic surgery, the Jacquard loom, a children’s hospice, and funding for social care. The finale was President David’s farewell speech on the 29th June, David reminded us of the achievements of the club over the past year. A high point was the presentation of a donation of £4000 to the Marie Curie Motor Neurone Disease unit. 

Socially we had our annual Rotary Fellowship weekend away. This year our chosen resort was Cockermouth in the Lake District where we stayed at the lovely Trout Hotel. Mysteriously Cockermouth had been transported to the Mediterranean so we enjoyed three days of cloudless skies. Highlights included a cruise on Ullswater and a ride on the Ravenglass railway. On the Saturday night we had a traditional pub meal and some of us chose, naturally, Cumberland sausage. The size of these was such that had they been unfurled they would have been a yard long. 

On the 13th June we continued our Mediterranean theme with a visit to the vinecovered slopes of Holmfirth to visit the Holmfirth vinery. Several members scrambled about the plantation and then we had an hour-long lecture on the incredibly complicated process of producing the wine. It certainly beats the old method of the plastic bucket and the Boots wine kit. At question time some ingenuous soul queried the use of left over wine which was outside the experience of the bulk of the audience. We followed up with a lunch in the beautiful restaurant. A grand day out Gromit. 

At the instigation of Manoj Joshi we have established a new Ccommunity Service Award certificate. The first two were presented to the organisers of the Dragon Boat Festival and we hope we will present many more in the future. 

Our quest for new members goes on. We have been lucky in recruiting Karl Oxford, Humayun Islam, and Joseph Chiemeka. We sympathised with Joseph that Nigeria didn’t make it out of the group stages in the World Cup but he seems to be bearing up. 

Jack Doyle tel: 01274 565375. e-mail

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – March and April 2018

So, in the blink of an eye, President David is in sight of the winning post. I was going to say finish line but after an excellent year with an increasingly polished performance Elizabeth and David have definitely been on a winner. At least the bathroom scales will have a bit of a rest.

Our speaker programme started not with a bang but a whimper when our meeting on the 2nd of March was cancelled because of snow. Snow? In winter? In West Yorkshire? Amazing. Then we had a master locksmith, Graham Jones (picked a good one there), and reminiscences about the police force from Jim Walker, could be even more useful. We held our 96th Charter Anniversary on the 16th March. Our speaker was Alan Wintersgill who amused us by rattling off a series of stand-up gags. Quite surprising really, considering he is a very respected accountant, not usually known for their levity. Our chief guest was our district governor Bob Morphet. He pointed out that at one time he used to deliver the evening paper to my mother. This memory puzzled me until Bob presented a fifty year membership certificate to me and our distinguished bulletin editor John Parker. David Pollard also qualified but he wasn’t there until the following week. Talking of ancient monuments, on the 6th April our hardworking and longstanding member, Geoff Nixon celebrated four score years and ten. He didn’t get a certificate but three balloons and a cake. Many happy returns Geoff.

In April we were privileged to hear Philip Davies M.P. Politics aside, he speaks his own mind and gave us a fascinating talk. A young lady, Emily Nicholas, a girl scout told us about the World Scout Jamboree in Japan. When I was her age there were no girl scouts and the jamboree was at Wembley, I think. Our finale of the month was a formal visit from our own Lord Mayor, Abid Hussain. Instead of the usual litany of his year’s activities he spoke sincerely and movingly about his hopes for the coming together of different faiths in Bradford.

Socially, we had a different outing on the 18th April when a good number of us enjoyed a canal cruise from Skipton. This time, instead of snow, we were almost too hot. We struggled through and enjoyed a nourishing meal of pie, mash, and gravy in lovely scenery.

The gardening team under Chris Binns continued slogging away in Thornton and at the top of Oak Avenue. Chris has been involved in a long bureaucratic struggle to get a sign installed at the top of Oak Avenue indicating that the Rotary Clubs of Bradford and Idle and Greengates meet at the Dubrovnik Hotel. At last there is a glimmer of light and we may see it in place before the end of the century.

Don’t forget, any time you want to know anything about our activities or membership, please get in touch.

Jack Doyle tel: 01274 565375, e-mail:

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – January & February 2018

We had the dawn of a New Year which at one time seemed far in the future. President David and Elizabeth continue their tireless work. Although they are not yet on the home straight there is less of their year in office than has gone before.

On the 8th January a group of our members paid a visit to our near neighbours in Keighley where they were warmly welcomed. I saw a newspaper report that their local M.P. has recently become a member. Food for thought.

On the 22nd January the ‘Youth Speaks ‘ competition, ably organised by Alan Rogers, was held at Woodhouse Grove School. Three schools entered teams, Woodhouse Grove itself, Carlton Bolling, and Bradford Grammar. All reports from this annual event suggest that there are many stars in the making

On the 26th January we held a special meeting of our International Committee. The object was to discuss how we could help ‘Health Care 4 All International’. which is the project in which Tariq is deeply involved. Its aim is to bring medical care to remote parts of rural Pakistan. We agreed to earmark £1000 for a Foundation Grant in the next Rotary year and support the charity in any way we could think of.

Before he joined our club, Chris Binns spoke to us about his walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Recently a book on the walk has been published, available at all good booksellers. While describing the walk in an entertaining way, Chris displays great knowledge of ornithology, botany, entomology, history, and architecture. He must have been one of the most knowledgeable officers to have felt anyone’s collar.

Talking of ‘The Force’ we were privileged to be addressed by Dee Collins, the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire. This diminutive lady had risen through the ranks from W.P.C., through being the first ever female armed response officer, to taking the top job. She was very impressive.

Thanks to Baldev Chaggar, we had our usual fascinating range of speakers. Our own Geoff Kenure spoke amusingly and informatively about his early days at sea. Janet Appleton spoke about ‘Sal’s Shoes’. A charity started a few years ago which seized on the blindingly obvious fact that children outgrow their shoes before they are worn out. Janet organised the distribution of this perfectly good footwear to poor countries to the tune of over half a million pairs.

Other speakers included John Waterhouse who amazed us with facts about the universe,, Ms. Jo Tulloch told us about the plans for our local gem, The National Media Museum. Dr Riyatt, an audiologist had an appropriate audience. Simon Rebecchi asked us if we could reach our potential. The inspirational talk was our New Year message from the Very Rev. Jerry Lepine, Dean of Bradford.

Jack Doyle tel: 01274 565375. E-mail

The Life & Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford-November and December 2017 

So here we are, half way through the year of David’s presidency. David and Mrs President Elizabeth have continued their assiduous attendance at numerous charter events at our neighbouring clubs. In addition Elizabeth organized a coffee morning at their home on the 4th November. With scant regard for dietary conditions, serious quantities of cake were consumed and importantly over £200 was raised for President David’s charity of choice, the Marie Curie Hospice. 

Our weekly range of speakers continued to provide interest and entertainment. We had a hair-raising account of the real-life experiences of Sanily Butto, a B,B,C, journalist. We also heard of the fictional experiences of a Bradford detective from his author Amit Dhand. Lesley O’Brien, the elegant daughter of our own member Geoff Toothill told us of her successful role as a woman in the male-dominated transport business, making sure that hairy lorry drivers obeyed the rules. On the 10th November we revived our interest lunch. Possible prospective recruits attended and three of us, Tina Birch, Geoff Kenure, and myself gave a short presentation on what we thought Rotary was all about, and a audio visual presentation delivered with his expertise by John Parker. 

Environmentally Chris Binns reported a project by Harrogate club whereby a tree was to be planted for every member of Rotary at a donation of £2.50 each. Chris organised the collection from our own members to a total of £75. Council agreed to double this amount making a total contribution to the effort of £150. 

On the 9th November a group attended a weekly meeting at Bradford West Rotary Club where the speaker was the master of the filitbuster Phillip Davies M.P. An accomplished speaker, Phillip is due at our club sometime in the near future. 

Socially we had another quiz evening on the 15th November won by a team with an impossible score. Obvious Google fans. On the 6th December we held our annual Carol Service in the beautiful venue of Bradford Cathedral. Those attending enjoyed what is an uplifting and spiritual experience whatever faith you follow. 

Although later than usual, our Christmas meeting on the 22nd December was a very enjoyable affair. We had a lovely meal at the high standard we have come to expect from the Dubrovnik. With his usual skill on the piano Geoff Toothill led us in singing carols. We auctioned a seahorse brooch, very kindly donated by a friend of Jane Guest. The winning bid was from Manoj Joshi, hopefully so that he could pass it on to Bhavna or Megha. Possibly the most important part of the proceedings was our being able to present a very substantial cheque to a representative from the Marie Curie Foundation for the purchase of badly needed equipment. 

Sadly, our annual after- Christmas walk could not take place due to adverse weather. Snow?, in December? What happened to global warming?                                                                                                                      

Jack Doyle tel: 01274 565375. E-mail:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford-September and October 2017 

Incredibly, one third of President David’s year has flashed by. Elizabeth and David seem to be holding up well despite their hectic schedule. Two recent highlights for our president. First, at the end of September he was pleased to welcome back Mahmood Hussain of the prestigious Nawaab restaurant chain as a corporate member. We look forward to seeing Mahmood and his colleagues. 

The second event was the annual Rotary District Conference in Scarborough from the 13th to the 15th October. As well as the showcase of Rotary activities there were some outstanding speakers. An amazing young lady, Molly Cornish, told of how she had organised, despite studying for her ‘A’ levels, a charity to help the homeless of Dublin. Three ladies from York and another lady, told of their wonderful charity rowing exploits. The most inspirational was Chris Lubbe, a coloured man, who suffered under the South African apartheid regime, but eventually found solace in working on the staff of the great statesman Nelson Mandela. 

Courtesy of Baldev we had a raft of interesting weekly speakers. They covered diverse subjects such as The Broadway Centre, model engineering, to release our inner child, global warming, and personal development. Ex-Bradford City star Wayne Jacobs told us of his ‘One in a million’ educational concept. Reverend Jim Taylor spoke on ‘From Jail to pulpit’. It was about his transition from prison warder to parson not about being a reformed convict. We had a very confident Rotary Youth Leadership participant called Alisa Kyani who told us of her time on the annual residential course. She was transported as usual, by John and Jane Guest. Jane herself gave us a fascinating show about East Riddlesden Hall where she is a guide. She talked about the historic residence and explained the origin of everyday sayings such as ‘sleep tight, caught red-handed’ and getting plastered’. 

We held our barbecue on the 10th September rat the delightful home of Dal and Inderjit Kundi. The weather was a bit iffy but that didn’t matter. The bar was manned by Geoff Nixon and myself, known in the club as ‘Statler and Waldorf’. 

On the evening of the 11th October, jewellery expert Michael Lynes, entertained us and did a quick valuation on items submitted. Many rushed home to check their insurance. The evening raised a fair amount for our charity account. 

The diligent Chris Binns and his band of helpers continued their good work in tidying up our permanent flower beds in Thornton and doing a litter pick at Undercliffe Cemetery. We have yet to receive a report on loot recovered. 

Our annual carol service at Bradford Cathedral will be held on Wednesday 6th December at 19.00 hours. All are welcome. If you would like to attend please contact Phillip Sharp at 

Jack Doyle tel: 01274 565375. E-mail: 

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – July & August 2017 

And so we start a new Rotary year with the President’s chair being taken by Rotarian David Akester. In his inaugural address David mentioned that he had been first asked to be President in 1993. We are all sure that his eventual grasping of the nettle will be well worth the wait. One of his very first jobs was to present a Paul Harris Fellowship to Baldev Chaggar, our inexhaustible speaker finder. An honour richly deserved. David’s first social effort was the President’s dinner on the 11th July. Following the best and noblest traditions of West Yorkshire this took the form of a supper of fish, chips, and mushy peas at the Wetherby Whaler. It was only when we saw the size of the portions that we realised why it was so named. 

Following the continued good work of Alan Rogers and other colleagues, the Interact Club of Carlton Bolling received its charter also on the 11th July. That makes two Interact Clubs up and running in one year. That’s two more than in the last forty. 

The long awaited Rotary appearance at the Bingley Show came round. This was a n effort by all the Rotary Clubs in our immediate district. It was manned by volunteers who reported great public interest which we hope will manifest itself in membership interest. 

Paul Harris Fellow Baldev, I can call him that now, Baldev provided us with eight speakers. No less that five of them were our own members. After President David, Phillip Sharp motored us around Europe and Chris Binns took us wandering along the River Wharfe, both in their inimitable fascinating style. Alan Rogers talked about Speakers Clubs, a subject close to his heart and Mike Smith gave us a hilarious account of his experiences as a toastmaster. We also heard from the younglooking Mark Arthur, chief executive of our beloved Yorkshire County cricket club, We had two visiting Rotarian speakers, David Price who gave us all a chill by talking about swimming the Channel. James Staton gave us a different chill by describing his hair-raising experiences on a Rotary group visit to Venezuela. 

Still on hair-raising, we had an evening talk from James Albright, a U.S. citizen related by marriage to our own Keith Bennett. He had moved in the highest levels of U.S. Intelligence. He had served in the Presidential Guard, the C.I.A. and as a deputy director of Arlington Cemetery. He gave us a fascinating insider’s view about life in Washington. 

We were reminded of our international reach by a picture from our own Megha Joshi, daughter of Manoj, and a member of our club. She was at the assembly of Lagos Rotary Club. Standing next to her was their Sergeant-at-Arms dressed in national costume. He was about ten feet tall and his costume made him look even taller. I would imagine that the fines at Lagos club are paid without any hesitation 

Jack Doyle e-mail: – telephone 01274 565375