District Conference 2011

Fri, Oct 28th 2011 at 12:00 am- Sun, Oct 30th 2011 - 12:00 am

Music in Bournemouth

District Conference Bournemouth October 2011

The club supported President Brion Purdy at District Conference at the Bournemouth International Conference Centre which was billed as a conference with a difference. Ray and Jenny plus Betty and Peter travelled down on the Thursday so that Ray could set up the Hope and Homes stand in the House of Friendship and Betty could meet up with her friends who lived locally.

On Friday they were joined by Mike and Hazel, Eric and Francis, Sue and Geoff as well as President Brion. As ever it was great to meet up with old friends including President Gerald and the Rotarians of the RC of Sandwich who we had recently raided and Ray has also given a presentation to on Hope and Homes. Following the Pre Conference Lunch the conference kicked off with, what was the highlight of the day, Tom Yendell a mouth and foot artist who stressed that the group of artists were running a business and not looking for sympathy. Impressively they are now supporting Teabag an Educational and Book appeal in Ghana, which was suggested something we might like to support and apply for a District grant on. This was followed by Thanet a cluster of Rotary Clubs working together even having a joint programme, now how unusual is that!

RI President Ray Burman then updated us on Polio and entertained us with his police experiences. The session concluded with Alastair Humphries a very entertaining "lunatic" who had cycled round the world. His message was Aim High he certainly did and much to his own surprise archived his objective. His nominated charity is Hope and Homes for Children which came as a surprise to Ray.

In the evening we all met up for a meal at Bella Italia before we heading off for the Motown Party at the Pavilion, Brion decided, probably quite wisely, it was not really his genre of music, it was a little loud, but everyone was on the dance floor complete with the Supremes (look a like) and our DG in period costume.

Saturday started with music as did all the plenary sessions and a presentation on "Sing for Your Life", quite bizarre with 800 Rotarians and partners singing the Lambeth Walk at 9 o'clock in the morning -Oye! This was followed by the New Forrest Wildlife Centre Otters, owls, hedgehogs and even a deer on your sofa. Inner wheel pushed the point that they meet monthly and showed us a good use for tie collections. Rotaract gave a very powerful and enthusiastic presentation and announced various Interest group meetings throughout the District. President Gloria Barnet from Dover, our own female David Belamy, entertained us with the under sea world and the highlight was unquestionably the Blob Fish. Sue Cook of Nationwide fame concluded the session with her life in "journalism" explaining that life is full of ups and downs.

After morning coffee the nest session started with an excellent cellist and the DG gave us her and her themes and thoughts followed by the amazing restoration story of the Thames barge Cambria and its use as a training vessel. Andy White of the RNLI gave us a fascinating talk on the work of the service which was an excellent prelude to the afternoon visit. The final speaker was Felicity Aston who set up and ran a Commonwealth Women's' Antarctic expedition which she described as more of a mental than a physical challenge, which was difficult to imagine with temperatures of -40.

Coaches then picked us all up to whisk us off to either the new Forrest Otter and Owl Sanctuary or the RNLI at Pool. The animals were clearly enjoyed by all and at the RNLI visitors were treated to a full scale simulator of a Life Boat followed by a cream tea thankfully in that order.

The Evening Seaside Gala with Tenors Unlimited was a departure form previous years but was an excellent evening. We were unfortunately relegated to the naughty seats near the door, still a very enjoyable evening.

Sunday started with a celebration of Rotary in music with choirs, fiddle bands and wonderful music. Chislehurst club then told us about the work of the Whitechapel Mission and then we had the treat of Malcolm Wells with his quick fire presentation on Canine Partners, highly entertaining and a very impressive display about what dogs can do. The best line being, "Where's Fido?" "He's in the kitchen doing the washing" and he was!

Hilary Lewis with some of her VTT Team that visited Kerala gave us marvellous feedback on the success of Vocational Training. It certainly seemed like a gruelling programme but with a very positive outcome. Two clowns (Rotarians) added considerable humour to their presentation on Demelza Children's Holidays and the recent trip to Euro Disney.

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