Free Portland News entry by Keith Barnard Jones/ Free Portland News December 2018

By Keith Barnard-Jones

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Welcome to 2019 from the Rotarians

As we look forward with hope to another great year – possibly the one in which we will see the last case of polio, I have to tell you that 2018 ended on a very sad note for the club as we lost one of our longest serving members.

John Heather had been a Rotarian for 25 years, having joined our club in 1984. Because of ill health he felt that he could no longer give the tremendous input which was John’s characteristic and so he became an Honorary member in 2009.  Readers of FPN will remember John as a stalwart of the Royal Manor Theatre and the person who compered all our Fiestas for us.   From the club point of view he was instrumental in bringing the Life Education caravans to Dorset – a project which earned the club the Rotary International Award for Drug Abuse Prevention in 1991. John was involved in almost everything that the club did and I can summarise that by saying that he was one of the first members of our club to be awarded the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship – named after our Founder – and of which he was inordinately proud.         John was always the life and soul of the party – perhaps a throwback to his thespian days, and, whenever we needed a comedian or someone to help with a skit at President’s Night John was the man to ask, and was always the firsts to volunteer. They do not make them like that anymore and he will be sorely missed.  A superb Rotarian.   Rest In Peace John.  Job well done.

So time moves on and Christmas is a thing of the past.  Our thanks to all those who supported our sleigh when Santa came visiting  the island, to the Mums and Dads who invited Santa to deliver presents to their children on Christmas morning, and all of you who supported us in any way during the festive season.  And we hope that we helped to brighten up Christmas a little more for you as well.

So now back to normality and we are already planning our first Table Top Sale of 2019.

It will be on Saturday 9th. February, and the beneficiaries will be the Jamboree Scouts.   We look forward to your support then and to welcoming new visitors to our Top Tale Sales. Come and have a chat, make new friends and meet old ones, and the bacon butties are great.

Regular readers will remember that, as soon as I am informed of new defibrillator sites on the island I am advising FPN readers of their location.  You never know – this could just save a life - or two.  The latest one is now at the Hayloft CafĂ© in Pennsylvania Road.   Hopefully this will never need to be used – but it is there - just in case.

So a very belated Happy New Year from all the Rotarians in our club, and I will tell you all about the Maharajah – next month.    Keith