Life and times July 16 to June 17

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

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The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – May and June 2017 

With the speed of light we have reached the end of the year in office of our youthful President, Stephen Jordan. He is to be followed by an equally youthful David Akester, It’s bad enough when policemen look younger, but Rotary Presidents? At his last meeting in office on the 30th June, Stephen gave a summary of his remarkably successful Presidency during which we raised over £10000 for good causes.. Additionally he had the delightful task of presenting a Paul Harris Fellowship award to our worthy member Alan Rogers. For non-rotarians this is an award in memory of our founder presented to those who have rendered outstanding service to Rotary and to the general public. Certainly deserved by Alan. 

We have enjoyed our usual range of interesting speakers, Scott Bissett, a vastly experienced police officer, teling us about his experiences of 21 years on the force. Don Buxton told of his connection with the Urdu language and Ian Mann gave a slightly alarming account of the problems of cyber security. The phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’ comes to mind. I do not know the collective noun for parsons, ‘collar’ ?, but we had three of them. The Rev. Paul Maybury and the Rev. Peter Willox told us about their respective and amazingly worthwhile careers, and Rev.Edward Holmes movingly told us of the plight of Haiti after the disaster that wrecked their fragile economy. It is heartening when we are bombarded with news of rogues and villains to know that they are far, far outnumbered by worthy people helping humanity. 

Our social programme continued unabated. On the 12th May our members visited the sumptuous exhibition at Cartwright Hall of treasures from Southern India. On 17th May we visited the Bradford Brewery, a micro brewery with the accent on micro. Despite its small size it produces a wide choice of different beers. Gone are the days when it was mild or bitter and a pickled egg. After the swift tour we enjoyed sausage and mash with sausages about a foot long. On the 14th June we went to Markenfield Hall near Ripon which originates from the 13th century and is still lived in. One vaulted chamber next to the main hall had not been touched or altered since 1270 which sounds a bit like my front room. 

Our final event was on the 17th June, a garden party at the home of our President Stephen and his lady Rachel. Amazingly, the sun shone and we enjoyed the garden and lovely food served by Rachel and others of our ladies with help by Stephen and willing son doing their bit. A lovely afternoon. Just a reminder that there is a chance to find out more about our club and Rotary in general at our stand at Bingley Show on Saturday the 22nd July. In the meantime if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Jack Doyle. E-mail Tel: 01274 565375. 

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – March and April 2017

As we enter the home straight of our Rotary Year, President Stephen might have expected a slackening of the pace. Quite the reverse. As well as his weekly duties Stephen has attended many charter meals of neighbouring clubs and officiated at our own social and other activities. Two months to the putting up of the feet .. 

On the 10th March we held our 95th anniversary lunch and, no, none of us were present at the original meeting. It was a very successful occasion attended by a substantial number of our own members and many distinguished visitors both Rotary and civic. The speaker was Andrew Hartley the very successful auctioneer. 

In keeping with our custom of having at least one social event a month we had a visit to the Leeds Discovery Centre on the 22nd March. The main function of the centre seems to be to take masses of items that other museums don’t want. On the 12th April an outing combined the sublime with the cor’ blimey, or the other way round, with a visit to the Coca Cola factory and the Hepworth gallery, both at Wakefield. At Coca Cola the visitors were bedecked in fetching orange hairnets. It’s rumoured that some of the hairnets were kept for later use but the ladies didn’t bother. 

We recently donated £700 to the Marie Curie Hospice for remedial equipment. On the 23rd March President Stephen and John Guest went along to see it and to receive the thanks of the hospice officials. On the charity front, we had another collection, this time at Tesco on Canal Road. Not quite as busy but still a worthwhile exercise. With his band of worker bees Chris Binns kept up his antirubbish campaign by organizing a litter-pick at Undercliffe Cemetery and a tidy-up of the flower beds established at Thornton by our much missed Valerie Binney. 

Our speakers have continued to entertain and educate us, with diverse subjects including the Fire Service, the Yorkshire Bank, and memories of early crime, experienced, not committed, from solicitor Robert Stewart. We were also privileged to be addressed by our own Lord Mayor, Councillor Geoff Reid on his year in office. John Parker showed us a fascinating film about the original activities of founding members of Rotary. Despite apprehension, none of us appeared in it. 

On the 29th April 24 of us set off on our annual weekend away, this year to Cambridge. In three days we packed in on Saturday, a visit to Emmanuel College, and a dinner at a French Restaurant. On Sunday we went to the National Stud at Newmarket where stud fees that would make your eyes water were talked about. In the afternoon we called at Ely mostly to see the wonderful cathedral. In the evening we had a lovely fellowship dinner. Monday was our homeward journey with a stop at the air museum at Newark. A wonderful display of different types of aircraft. The only disconcerting note was the display of an Anderson air raid shelter as a historic icon. A childhood memory for some of us. 

Jack Doyle, e-mail Tel: 01274 565375

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – January and February 2017 

Winter is supposed to be a quiet time but our various activities continue unabated as we start the second half of President Stephen’s year. 

We have continued with our wide-ranging programme of speakers starting with the New Year message delivered on the 6th January by Professor Paul Rogers. Paul is an honorary member of our club and Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. He gave us an expert summary of international political situations.

Among others we had speakers on Sikhism in Great Britain, surprisingly long established, charities in Africa, people trafficking, and the unfairness of exploitation. We had the famously named James Mason, chief operating officer of our well-loved Bradford City Football Club. Howard Driver received a cheque on behalf of one of our very favourite causes The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Organisation where intrepid unsung volunteers do wonderful work. It’s astonishing how our own Baldev Chaggar keeps up this constant programme of excellent speakers. 

On the 11th January a contingent of 11 of our members attended the meeting of our near neighbours at Keighley. A pleasant Rotary Fellowship occasion and a chance to check out, in the friendliest of ways, the remote possibility that they might be doing something better than we do. They do have one innovation, an evening meeting once a month which we will be arguing about, sorry, discussing. These inter-club visits are very enjoyable and Eric Bentham is looking into the possibilities of expanding the programme in the coming months. 

We had a full day on the 15th February. During the day we had the Bradford round of the National Rotary Youth Speaks competition at Bradford Grammar School. This was very successful and entertaining and our District Governor Phil Poole presented the trophies for the different age groups. The senior one is the Barry Pratt Trophy named after our late long-standing member Barry. There was an added bonus in that Ursula, Barry’s widow and Barry’s daughter were able to be present. The architect of the event was our own indefatigable Alan Rogers. 

In the evening we had our fiercely contested truck-racing competition organized by Keith Bennett ,Tina Birch and Phillip and Janet Sharp and compered by the urbane Mike Smith. One of our many informal, low-cost, thoroughly enjoyable evenings which also managed to raise a few pounds for charity. 

Every time I write this blog I try and persuade non-members to find out more about Rotary. On Saturday 22nd July there is a chance to do just that, in the flesh, so to speak. The Rotary Clubs of Bradford and District will have a stand at the Bingley Show. Why not come along and see what we get up to and incidentally enjoy all the delights of the largest one-day show in the whole country. 

Jack Doyle e-mail Tel: 01274 565375. 

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – November & December 2016 

So we reach the end of the calendar year, half way through President Stephen’s year of office. As the weather grows colder Stephen has spent considerable time in his Wellington boots. On the 9th of November he joined several other intrepid labourers in a litter pick at Undercliffe Cemetery where enough dumped household appliances were recovered to furnish a small semi. Then on the 1st December he joined Chris Binns in planting bulbs at the entrance to the cemetery. On the following day he could be seen with Chris and John and Jane Guest clearing up the waste ground at the top of Oak Avenue. The idea is to put up a sign to ‘The Dubrovnik Hotel: The meeting place of The Rotary Club of Bradford and The Rotary Club of Idle and Greengates’. Continuing the agricultural note Chris and John Parker have made sure that our flower beds in Thornton are in good order.

On Remembrance Sunday, President Stephen laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of our club. On the 26th November, members of our club manned a Rotary stall at the Bradford Grammar School fair. This was particularly appropriate following the club efforts in getting the B.G.S. Interact club started. The hope was that we could arouse the interest of parents in joining Rotary. During this hectic period we have continued to be informed, educated, sometimes deeply moved by the weekly speakers arranged by Baldev. Among many, our District Governor Phil Poole addressed us on the 4th November, our own Chris Binns stepped in to help us on the 2nd December and talked about ‘Child Victims of Crime’ a subject about which he obviously felt deeply. Even more moving was an address by Mr Arek Hersh MBE. On the 11th November, in matter-of-fact terms, he recounted his harrowing experiences as a child prisoner in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. The fact that he was there at all was a miracle. 

Socially we enjoyed our Quiz night at West Bradford golf club on the 16th November and on the 7th December our magnificent Carol Service at Bradford Cathedral organized with his usual efficiency by Phillip Sharp. After the uplifting service we partook of a wonderful buffet laid on by our ladies who had obviously taken the parable of feeding the five thousand to heart but with a fair bit more than the loaves and fishes. 

The 16th December was the occasion of our Christmas meal at the Dubrovnik. There was an excellent attendance with carol accompaniment by Geoff Toothill. We presented a cheque for £2000 to Rosie Ashbourne from Centrepoint, a very worthwhile charitable cause which we have particularly supported. The year’s finale was the Christmas Walk on the 30th December. After the enjoyable walk, arranged by John Parker, participants and others took advantage of the wonderful hospitality at the home of Keith Bennett and Tina Birch, still under the principles of feeding the five thousand. 

So a New Year is with us. If you are not already a member, is 2017 a year to consider joining our great movement? If you are interested, please contact Jack Doyle e-mail, tel: 01274 565375 

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – September and October 2016 

Autumn is with us already. President Stephen is into the second quarter of his year of office, conducting our affairs with understated efficiency. Baldev Chaggar continued to entertain and inform us with his usual array of fascinating speakers. Riaz Hassan showed us some dazzling examples of his photographer’s art. He also very generously donated three pictures which were later auctioned at a charity dinner organised by our own Tariq Shah. Chris Binns nobly stepped in and, with a colleague, gave us an illustrated talk on old Bradford police stations. Some of our members seemed strangely familiar with them. Our last speaker was Bradford council chief executive Kersten England who expertly conveyed her enthusiasm and optimism about the vibrant city of Bradford. 

Every year there is a Rotary sponsored residential course for young promising students. It is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Our nominee this year was a young lad called Daniaal. John and Jane Guest had provided his transport and John said Daniaal went as a shy schoolboy and came back as a confident young man. This was borne out when he presented an entertaining report to our club. 

On Sunday 18th September Bhavna, Megha, and Manoj Joshi graciously opened the doors of their lovely home for our annual barbecue. Amazingly we were again blessed with lovely sunshine. We all enjoyed the delightful food and drink served up by so many volunteers. We hopefully bought raffle tickets, ineffectively tried Phillip Sharp’s ‘Hoop-la’ game, and stocked up on homemade jam and marmalade from John Parker. I’m still enjoying mine. A great afternoon of Rotary Fellowship which also raised a notable sum for our charity account. 

Our annual Rotary district conference took place at Scarborough from the 7th to the 9 th of October, An intrepid band from our club, some with partners, went along and as usual stayed at the Mount Hotel which serves up the best breakfast in the Western Hemisphere. Yet again the conference was a showcase of the wonderful activities of Rotary International, the greatest service organisation in the world. 

On the 19th October Keith Bennett and Tina with their usual efficiency, arranged a visit to Jodrell Bank, the brainchild of Sir Bernard Lovell. Hopefully all participating came away with a greater knowledge of the enormities of space before being brought down to earth by the latest episode of Coronation Street. 

On Wednesday 7th December we will be holding our annual Christmas Carol Service. It takes place at Bradford Cathedral at 7.0.p.m. Light refreshments are provided at the end of the service. If you are interested in attending please contact Rotarian Philip Sharp at by the 1st December. 

For any other Rotary matters please contact me 

Jack Doyle 

The Life and Times of the Rotary Club of Bradford – July and August 2016

July brings the start of a new Rotary year and on Friday the 1st we welcomed our new president Stephen Jordan. Despite his youthful appearance Stephen has been a member of our club since 1985 and will bring experience and enthusiasm to his year of office. His first event was the president’s welcoming lunch on Sunday 3rd July at the Wheatley Arms, Ben Rhydding where we enjoyed a delicious leisurely meal. The chosen good cause that Stephen particularly wants to support is ‘Centrepoint’. This is a movement that helps vulnerable young people in many ways. On the 4th August we were lucky to listen to Faye Edmondson telling us about their work. We also heard a very moving account from Harvey Sheard whose life had been put back on track with the help of ‘Centrepoint’.

We had our usual array of fascinating speakers. One highlight was a talk by a retired head teacher Stephen Taylor who had faced formidable problems in his career. An interesting point was that his preferred method of discipline was withdrawal of privilege rather than harsh punishment. Would that this idea had been in force in my far distant schooldays. Our own member Tariq Shah spoke about his enterprise Health Care 4 All ( This is a system of providing healthcare to remote third world communities. Tariq looked at an insoluble problem and devised a method of solving it.

Rotary International raises vast amounts of money for world-wide causes. As an individual club, we also raise money. Whilst supporting international efforts we try to concentrate on charities local to Bradford. For example, in the Rotary year 2015 to 2016 we donated £11,279 to local efforts and £3,335 to international. On the 10th July one of our club’s efforts came to fruition with the opening of the Heaton Woods children’s play area. Many Rotarians were involved in this exercise particularly Manoj Joshi and Eric Bentham and our President Stephen who was caught on camera trying out the swings. We were able to provide the necessary funding with the help of our Rotary District

On the 12th July we held our annual bowls evening at the West Bradford Bowling Club. Amazingly the weather was benevolent and a very pleasant evening was enjoyed by those attending without the need for police intervention. 

A fairly recent Rotary membership innovation is that of Corporate Membership. A business enterprise can nominate up to four representatives as members of a Rotary club. On the 26th August we were delighted to welcome two new members from the prestigious Aagrah Restaurant group. We are hoping that we can extend this idea.

Jack Doyle: Tel: 01274 565375 Mob.: 07866600901.