Seven members of the RC of Chelwood Bridge and their partners recently enjoyed a great weekend of Rotary friendship hosted by members of the RC of Blanquefort en Medoc. The twinning between the Clubs dates back to 2006 and this was the fourth visit to Bordeaux. A busy programme included a morning visit to Chateau Cadet –Bon, grand cru classee in St Emilion. This was designed to improve our knowledge of winemaking prior to tasting several recent vintages and was followed by an al fresco lunch in the centre of St Emilion. We also enjoyed time to explore the beautifully restored 18th century water-front and old Bordeaux (UNESCO World Heritage City) which is complemented by the 21st century Tramway designed to ease the city’s traffic congestion. The new (2016) inter-active museum – the Cite du Vin – was very impressive and included sections dedicated to wines from all over the wine-growing world.
The official twinning dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first official exchange took place in the grand surroundings of the Automobile Club of Bordeaux. President Jean-Paul Soubret had arranged a splendid occasion and gave a speech in English and French. Past President Hugo Pike replied on behalf of the Chelwood Bridge visitors. In addition to the social benefits of the exchanges the two Clubs had supported each other in a number of Rotary projects.
To mark the occasion Chelwood Bridge member District Governor John Butler presented a cheque for €500 to be used to send students of the Pharmacy Department of the University of Bordeaux to Madagascar as part of a project to help develop associations of women. They would be encouraged to start small businesses, improve educational opportunities for their children and, through better health and hygiene practices improve the quality of life for all.