Free Portland News entry by Keith Barnard Jones/ Free Portland News February 2019

by KBJ

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Racing with the Rotarians

In March, for the first time ever, the club will be trying something new – a Race Night.

On Friday 15th. March we will go “racing” at Pilgrim House in Hope Street, the home of the Weymouth Rotary Club.  Part of the aim of the evening will be to raise money to help, in particular, the Life Education Centre which helps youngsters to understand the problems of drug and solvent abuse, but also to help those in need everywhere, in keeping with our motto of Service Above Self.  The other reason we are trying this is to have fun!   Those that joined us for the “pig racing evening” a couple of years ago will know what I mean.  Unfortunately, although there are still over two weeks to the event, we have to get food ordered by the end of the first week in March so, if you think you might like to join us, let us know as soon as possible (and also whether you need a meaty lasagne or a vegetarian version please).   Tickets are going fast.

This is an evening of fun gambling, or just being there enjoying the fun and fellowship, in lovely comfortable surroundings.  The evening starts at 6.45 p.m. and the first race (filmed) is at 7 p.m.. Tickets are very modestly priced at £10 per head which includes a beef or vegetarian lasagne supper.  We are indebted to Albion Stone who have sponsored the evening and to those others who have sponsored individual races or jockeys.  The evening is open to all.  If any FPN reader would like tickets, please chase me –, or Stan Knight -  Hopefully you will have a fun evening, maybe the first of many if it a huge success, and you will be helping us in our aim of helping others – see you then?

So, back to more mundane matters, if that is the right word.

Rotary life is now in full swing again after the holidays and festivities, and I do thank all those who joined us at the Table Top Sale in the Community 2000 Hall on 9th. of February.  This was in aid of helping the Scouts to go to their Jamboree in the USA.  The next TT Sale will be on 9th. March and that will be in aid of the hedgehog charity.

A week or two ago we had another first – when our President Garry Urwin inducted another new member – his wife.  Ladies have been members of Rotary since 1998 and we have had lady members for many, many years, but, for some reason, we have never had a partner join us – until now.   So welcome to Judy and we look forward to your getting involved in Rotary life by helping those on the island and further afield.

We are always on the lookout for new members (workers!!) so if anyone is interested please chase me again, or any Rotarians and we can tell you all about it. 

 Interestingly I was asked at the Top Table Sale what else do Rotarians do, other than run TT Sales?  Very simply we are a bunch of business men and women who meet weekly (not obligatory but most of us do so because we meet our friends then), and our aim is to help those who need us.  We are non-sectarian, non political and have members of all colours, creeds, and nationalities.  Sometimes we raise money for a project, or we could give up our time to help teach youngsters how to conduct themselves at interviews for jobs.   Sometimes we help the slightly age-challenged in various ways, or we could be trying to wipe out polio.  Although we have a lot of fun at our meetings, and in what we do to help others, we are not just a social club so, if there is a disaster in the world we are there helping the Shelter Box or Water Survival Box organisations.  In fact we are now handing out small leaflets to those who attend the Table Top Sales giving an overview of what we do.  But the easiest way to get answers is to ask a Rotarian.   However, ask 20 Rotarians why they are in Rotary, and you will probably get 20 different answers – not because nobody knows what is going on, (I hope) but because each Rotarian will get something different out of his or her membership.  With over 1.25 million members in almost every country in the world, that probably means 1.25 million reasons why people have joined.  It is that sort of organisation – not a secret society, but an organisation to help others, and every community’s needs are different.

Enough preaching – more next month.