Free Portland News entry by Keith Barnard Jones/ FPN entry March 2018

By Keith Barnard-Jones

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Rotary Update

For those of you who have been before, we are going again!!

Where?  Bath.  

Date?   Saturday 5th. May

Cost?  Still just £15 per person – and that has to be great value for money.

By popular demand Janet Kench is organising another coach trip to Bath this summer so if you are interested in going (again), please contact Janet on 822864.  Once the seat are sold that will be it for this trip – first come, first served.

I am delighted at the number of people who read F.P.N., and even moreso at the number of people who make comments to me or ask me questions.    The latest question was about RYLA – or our Rotary Youth Leadership Award scheme where we sent one young “leader” on a week’s outward-bound course, usually to Dartmoor or Exmoor.  The original idea was to send someone who has real leadership qualities to be with other leaders.  However, in our club we have sent not just existing leaders, but also those who are often a year or two younger and who we think could have real leadership qualities if given the opportunity.   We have now discovered another course, run by Rotary and called Breakthrough, costing a little less, which thus enables us to send TWO youngsters at a time to experience real leadership.  At the time of writing we are waiting for a report back from the first two youngsters to try the Breakthrough course.

Now is the time to start putting on your Thinking Caps.   Each year the club gives a Community Award to a special person who has done that little bit extra, or has gone that little bit further, to help someone in, or who has done a lot for, the community as a whole.  Please start thinking and details of how to apply will be published in the near future.  While the monetary reward may not turn the winner into a millionaire, the kudos of being that “special person” for 2018 really is something worth having.        The decision on the winner will be made in May/June, so we need you to start thinking about it now please.    Any suggestions?

Years before most of you were born (in 1996 -1997 to be exact), one of the projects that was taken on by Rotarians in the UK was the UK Organ Donor Register.   During that year one million more names were added to the Register – the best year ever I believe, though not all the names came from Rotarians I hasten to add.   Even so it was a very good year for recruitment to the Register.  I have just had a very interesting phone call from the editor of a Rotary Club Magazine up North where they are still pushing transplants and where the speaker was talking about his nephew, aged 8, who was recently given a new heart and he (Max) is now recovering well.  Apparently the Prime Minister has suggested the Opt-out law going through Parliament might be called Max’s Law.    I accept that this may be a touchy subject for some, but the question is “If you were dying and a transplant would save your life, would you accept an organ from someone else?”   My belief is that most of us would say yes, so the next question has to be “So will you leave your organs to someone else please when you die?”  Heart? Lungs? Liver? Kidneys? Even Corneas?   You can’t take them with you and you may save several lives.   The young girl who died and whose heart saved Max actually saved several other children as well thanks to her other organs.    Very few people refuse to act as donors, and I respect their views if they feel strongly about it and refuse, but most of us just do not think about becoming donors. Well, now is your chance.  Register today.

Finally for this month, I have also been asked to add my e-mail address to these articles in case anyone wants to communicate with me/the club for whatever reason.  So, try