President's Diary

Club Assembly 2020 Address by President Elect Elizabeth

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Club Assembly 16th June 2020

I am honoured and delighted to be able to follow on from Garry, our outgoing president, who has worked very hard keeping us together during the previous two years, including the enforced changes of lockdown.

Our Rotary Themes for next year?    

Our Motto is Service above self, and we are still guided by the 4 Way Test: is it truthful, is it fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and friendship and will it be beneficial to all?

Rotary International’s theme from President-elect Holger Knaack is

Rotary Opens Opportunities

And RI President Holger key aims:

·        Growing Rotary – finding new members to make us a stronger organisation.

·        To focus on Environmental issues to attract younger people into Rotary and Rotaract

My theme for this Club, this year is – No challenge is too big for us.

I am very lucky to have a fantastic set of club committees, led by

Celia as President Elect, Bruce as Treasurer and Peter as Secretary who combine experience and enthusiasm. Our committees operate as project teams, sharing leadership and experience, all participants contribute and share in leadership; we share the decision making and support each other working for the Community.

·        Mark is the spokesperson for the International Committee with Janet, Pat and Carolyn

·        Sue is the spokesperson for the Community Committee with Stan, Liz, Robert, Andrew and Richard.

·        The Youth Committee is a particularly strong project team Di, Sarah, Margaret, Jayne, Judy and Jo.

·        And Foundation is Chrissie with Garry, Alan, and Dave.

·        Membership or Club Service is Celia, with Trevor, Bruce, Keith, Ian and Peter.

The Rotary Team does not stop there: Margaret is our meal administrator, Jayne overviews Health & Safety, Bruce overviews Safeguarding, Keith focuses on PR, publicity, he is our digital Zoom Guru (along with Garry) and our Welfare officer. Peter, our Secretary also co-ordinates Skittle matches, whilst our Facebook supremo is Janet who also does the District Facebook as well as our own Club Facebook. Our Website is managed by Mark. And To bring us together, Ian edits Porthole, our digital magazine.

Our Committees work closely together because we are a small club with only 30 members, projects overlap and we pull together as a Club.

Over this unusual Covid Emergency year I shall need the support of all the members, as we have to re-invent procedures. But I have committed myself to this year and shall do as much as I can to support you all through these difficult times. 

2020-21 is The Covid Restricted Year with Zoom meetings for the foreseeable future, speakers giving digital presentations and restrictions on project activities.

We shall aim to

·        Further develop the use of the club website as the main source of up to date information for everyone (us and the general public).

·        Meeting minutes continue in the members section, 

·        Meetings and events will continue to be accompanied by online pictures, 

·        A Digital Porthole (still in A4 format so you can print it off, if preferred) current and back issues under ‘What we do’. 

·        When published, Porthole will be shared in a meeting

·        To continue updating Club history, events, timeline over the years

Venue  We are happy with the Aqua Hotel, we hope to be back, sooner rather than later. I would not wish to remain an eclub.

Meetings and Speakers

Finding inspirational, interesting and informative speakers will be the key to growing our membership during Covid restrictions.

Zoom meetings after Handover will continue, but following even closer to our former conventional meetings. Peter has set-up a calendar of activities online for the whole year. The new thing is that each committee is on a rota responsible for providing a speaker event in every week 2. I hope committees will try to "out do" each other for getting the best ZOOM speaker events/presentations, that inspire us and work to boost our membership. We will discuss opening up our meetings to the general public.

We hope each committee will invite District 1200 officials to speak at the week 2 event, so Peter will be sending round the email addresses from the District 1200 web page to our Club Chairs.

As soon as you have booked a speaker or know the details of your event, tell Peter so he can enter it on the calendar schedule.

Initially (July-Dec) we are restricted to virtual Zoom meetings only, here is the NEW plan – and there are major changes here:

·        Week 1 Committees to meet separately (at a day/time to suit them), so no whole club meeting in week 1 – each committee has it’s own 40 min Zoom or Skype or Facetime, or What’s App Video call. The key things for each committee to organise first, will be speakers for week 2 – a committee will be responsible for arranging a 10-20 minute slot in week 2. The world is your oyster, you could use speakers from all round the world, show U-Tube inspirational Rotary videos (all this will require mastery of Zoom, but I believe we can do it).

·        Week 2 Zoom Meeting: On a rota each month a Committee will be responsible for introducing and organising a speaker to the meeting. This will be followed by the Council Meeting with reports from the Committee Meetings.

·        Week 3 Business Meeting

·        Week 4 Guest Night speaker/entertainment, with a 30 minute talk/activity booked by Celia or Peter. All members are encouraged to book week 4 speakers.

Week 4 should be an opportunity to show-case Rotary, to recruit new members, or even open our Zoom meeting up to the general public (this idea is to be debated).  Without new members we will not survive. A membership drive party next Summer should also be arranged as well.

Christmas would be a good time to reinstate our Rotary presence on the Island with Santa's Sleigh, if regulations allow. In the longer term, when it is safe to do so, we may have the opportunity to do some social distanced activities on the Island – we shall see, but it all comes down to access to toilets and cleaning protocols being established.


Local charities and people in the community on Portland. Let’s change people’s lives and make a difference on Portland for both local charities and for individuals in the community. The Portland Food Bank for the short-term emergency, and Life Education in the long term, to support mental health education and well-being of our local children.

            And for International Again it is Nepal.


We are 30 members and aim to increase with another membership drive this coming year. We are a club where all members get on well. We work hard. We aim to have lots of social events and Foundation feeds – thanks to Chrissy. We aim to enjoy ourselves.


Our club has a reputation for being active on Portland, Community Service is paramountWe organise many events such as Christmas sleigh and deliveries, children’s party, kids out, working with the schools, helping at external events and loads more. 

Last year our Christmas activities were a great success. We achieved a high profile in the community: our Youth Committee worked, for the first time, with the neutral Portland Mayor, Cllr Sue Cocking sharing the fees and bookings of the Children’s party, whilst our Community Committee’s ongoing project, Table Top,  works at the heart of the Easton Community.

Let’s continue to enjoy giving service, inspire others, and be a strong club, and be proud of what we do.

Working with other clubs

We have ties especially with Casterbridge through Nepal, and increasingly so with the Breakfast Club in Poundbury, sharing in their Normandy bike ride and other fund-raising events last year, and Weymouth Club and their face mask scheme. We can and should attend other club’s digital meetings to share good ideas: one small benefit from the Covid Emergency.

I would like to see the development of further links with international clubs: to continue with our French partner club in Vire,  and to maintain our 2020 RIFE connections with the Peru clubs through the District 4455 exchange, they are scheduled to visit in May 2021: but of course visits remain uncertain at this time.

District meetings/assemblies are now digital and occur quarterly. It is easy to join in and see the District perspective. All members are welcome not just committee chairs as they are a source of new ideas.


Let’s work together. Let’s have variety and do new things with events that we would all like to join in.

Once Covid restrictions are lifted, let’s have more trips, more shared long and short walks, and more visits as a club. 

In Conclusion - concentrate on 

Service and Fellowship 

Our Prime aim is Service - to our community, internationally and via Foundation. 

Let’s have a club where we support each other, and enjoy our roles both in the community and socially, bringing the club members closer together.

Let’s have a fun year

Let’s do our best within the Covid restrictions to make a difference to both our local and international community,  and enable Rotary to open opportunities for us on Portland and around the world.

Now in turn, each committee will outline their plans for the year ahead:

1.    Mark is the spokesperson for the International Committee with Janet, Pat and Carolyn

2.    Sue is the spokesperson for the Community Committee with Stan, Liz, Robert, Andrew and Richard.

3.    The Youth Committee is a particularly strong project team with Di, Sarah, Margaret, Jayne, Judy and Jo.

4.    And Foundation is Chrissie with Garry, Alan, and Dave.

5.    Membership or Club Service is Celia, with Trevor, Bruce, Keith, Ian and Peter.

Hand back to Garry.