Rotary Club's President's Night

Wadebridge Rotary celebrates its 59th President's Night in the iconic Camelot Castle Hotel, Tintagel.

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Wadebridge Rotary's 59th President's Night

57 Rotarians and guests assembled for Wadebridge Rotary's 59th President's Night at the Camelot Castle Hotel overlooking Tintagel peninsula and castle.   Shrouded in myth and mystery, the Rotary club – sorry, what was I thinking? – Tintagel was chosen by President Mick Goward as the ideal location for the black tie dinner for its evocative position and because he lives just round the corner.

President-elect Nigel Davey and Liz Davey had helpfully prepared printed place name cards with the Rotary logo and menu choices on the back and everything. Your correspondent was distressed to find his was a hastily hand-written affair, but got over it. A mislaid sheet of place names, apparently. Shouldn't even have mentioned it, really...

President Mick welcomed everyone and dinner was served. Tomato (and basil) soup was one of the starters - with 57 people attending, there had to be at least a reminder of Heinz (and there wasn't a baked bean in sight). Service was fairly prompt and efficient, though Nick Pickles had to fend off a prawn cocktail thrust at him in place of his chosen pate. Nick achieved satisfaction at the end of the meal with his successful procurement of cheese and biscuits in place of dessert.

50s Crooner, Andy Marshall, provided the musical entertainment, for the third time in four years.

Following the loyal toast, chief guest Brian Stoyel, Rotary International Director, rose to speak. He and Mick are old friends and it became apparent that they had enough on each other for mutually assured destruction, should either be foolish enough to start something. As it was, the agog audience had to be content with the equivalent of a border skirmish, and some kind words about the Wadebridge club, mentioning Wheels in particular.

In response, Mick summarised the main events, activities and fund-raising the club has done, donating over £31,000 mainly to local charities, but also internationally to polio eradication, disaster relief and other causes. He thanked the officers and Council, and indeed all members of the club, for their support over the year, and proposed the toast to partners and guests.

Responding on behalf of partners and guests, Elizabeth Rowles, Vice-President of Wadebridge Inner Wheel Club, evoked the legendary Arthurian past of the area in thanking the President and the club for inviting them all.

Following the toast of Rotary the World Over, proposed by Nigel, people began milling around, more or less steady on their feet, to talk with those they hadn't been seated with. Some drifted into the lounge for the comfy sofas. Others stayed, singing along with Andy Marshall and throwing themselves whole-heartedly into the call and response of his final number, Minnie the Moocher. Sample lyrics: 

Hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi (hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi)

Ho-dee-ho-dee-ho-dee ho (ho-dee-ho-dee-ho-dee ho)

Skip-de-diddly-skip-de-diddly-diddly-oh (skip-de-diddly-skip-de-diddly-diddly-oh)

Bour'rrigy-bour'rrigy-bour'rrigy-oh (bour'rrigy-bour'rrigy-bour'rrigy-oh)

Try saying that after a few glasses! (Actually, come to think of it, the few glasses probably help more than hinder...)

And everyone went home. Well, not quite everyone. Some had booked to stay the night in the hotel, and one assumes they made it home the next day. Won't be sure until I see them, though. It is a place of mystery, after all.

Report and photos by Kevin Smith