Club Bulletin for December 2020

The Club Bulletin for December 2020

                                                    Rotary Club of Cheltenham North

                                                             December 2020 Bulletin


There’s no doubt that 2020 has thrown just about everything possible at us - a worldwide pandemic, a messy US presidential election, the fallout over Brexit, the death of Sean Connery to name but a few. The cancellation of all our major fundraising events has left us with very little disposable income. Meetings have been by zoom but they lack the camaraderie we all miss when we meet in person. Hopefully, the vaccines will deal with the Covid infection and we should see a gradual return to some sort of normality in 2021.

From the President Richard Purdon

This really is a Christmas note as no other before.

We remember former members who we have lost in 2020. We think of those, whose family members have suffered from the Covid virus. And, we sympathise with everybody who has had to seriously self- isolate for 8 months already.

We reflect on those who have been struggling with other illness, often having had treatment delayed or cancelled. And we have concerns for those with the mental and economic state that this dreadful pandemic has caused.

But there is now more optimism ahead with the forthcoming vaccines. Most of us ought to be at the front of the queue when approval is given!!

This will enable us to regroup as a face to face Rotary Club, doing positive things for our Community, after the January to March quarter of 2021.

I really hope we can have the social gatherings again. But we know this is somewhat dependant, on how the whole country behaves, and stays well over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

And, we can start to plan renewing friendships at our previously thoroughly enjoyable dinner meetings.

I am really proud how we have coped as a Rotary Club since March. I think the progress we have made on School in the Bag; the Tree project for the 100 year celebration; and the amount of funds we have now raised towards the Community Connexion Vehicle is a great endorsement to us all.

So I hope you all enter the festive spirit with some better expectation than a few weeks ago? Clearly, it will not be the same for the vast majority of us.

But, let us be optimistic about 2021. Not going to be easy for very many people in the UK. We are the lucky generation right now!!??

Stay safe.

Sarah Lawson Mary Ann Rust

On December 1st we were privileged to be invited to attend the funeral of Sarah and to say our last farewell. She had been a wonderful family friend, godmother to one of our children, and had worked tirelessly as a director of Salters Hill Charity for many years. On her retirement from that role, she joined the Friends group of Salters Hill, fund raising and putting on events for the residents. She was exceptional in both roles.

Sarah was born in Portsmouth, and her first job took her to London where she met John who she married in 1968 a few years later they returned to Cheltenham where John joined his father in the family chartered Surveyors business. During their early years of marriage they went on caravanning holidays with the Grimshaws and the Stevens often camping on sites next to the local hostelry.

John died tragically early in 1998 while they were on holiday celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Their son Robert had just started at university Sarah supported him and was delighted when he was recently married.

Besides her active support for Salters Hill Charity, Sarah was a founder member of the

Prestbury Gardening club and enjoyed holidays touring gardens, and indeed it was on a holiday tour that she met John Prince and they became lifelong friends for 20 years. She and John were keen supporters of the Arts Society.

Sarah joined Cheltenham North Rotary club in 2008 and will be remembered for her mischievous smile and quick wit, for a time being one of the first members to be encountered at meetings as she sat collecting the dining fees.

Sarah was a loyal friend and gave herself to help others, She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Liz Thompson

Many of you will remember John Thompson who was a past member of RCCN. His wife, Liz, had been ill for the over 3 years with pulmonary fibrosis (the lung becomes rigid and cannot perform properly). It is a very distressing and debilitating condition. She very sadly died on Sunday 29 November.

In the past year or so, John had become her full time carer and this, along with the great care we have all had to take on, has put a tremendous strain on him and his family. We send our deepest sympathy to him and his family.

President’s Announcements for 2021 Richard Purdon

I have listened to the recording of the latest District Meeting.

Items worth passing on are about the 2021 District Conference. This has been cancelled for Torquay. There was discussion about returning Registration fees, held over from 2020. There is an expectation that these will be rebated.

On the same theme, our visit to the Bristol Aerospace Museum has also been postponed again. A date in October ‘21 will be confirmed.

There was also a presentation on the linkup between Rotary and Carer’s UK. There is a District Lead on this – Linda Clarke. Broadly there is a desire to help spread the word about the support that is available, but not to raise funds for them. Perhaps the Community Services Committee could review this/ and or we could invite Linda to come onto Zoom?

Within our Club, I can report back on the 2 different issues that I raised at our AGM.

The website change, to place the meeting notes only in the Members Section had a strong majority, well above the 24 needed to make this change.

The other issue – about how the President’s charity for future years are communicated and debated was extremely close. Neither option yet has a majority. Abstentions and non- returns hold the balance.

I believe that this very much confirms my desire to review this type of matter within the club. And we must recognise there are many members, who have experience of other Rotary Clubs apart from Cheltenham North and Cleeve Vale. There is no need to rush the follow up on this. But, I am sure the next 2 President’s will be mindful of the result given.

Next, I have positive news. We have been given a £2000 grant from the Summerfield Trust towards the Community Connexions vehicle. And with our other efforts we are now at £10,000. I will ask members, to either increase their standing orders or make another lump sum donation. This will get us to the point of completing the task this year.

The Ballot re supplying a representative to a committee for the review of ‘new’ Rotary in Cheltenham

Thank you to those who responded to the above, by 1/12/20.

Just over half of the club responded.

Of those, who voted, 85% were in favour.

Therefore, I have taken this as a strong enough signal to attend the next review on 15/12/20 to gain more information to bring back after Christmas.


We say goodbye to John Smith who has been a very active member of RCCN. We wish him all the very best for the future and thank him for all his hard work.

Hamper Scamper Anne Wilson

In previous years a small team of club members have helped with the packing of the Hampers and a financial donation has been given .This year has been very different so Club members have generously donated groceries and gifts to the appeal.

I am pleased to report that 31 boxes and bags were collected from me on Monday 30 November and taken to the packing centre . As you can imagine housing all these donations was interesting but we opted not to use the garage as the store for fear of an influx of hungry mice.

Thank you all for your support.

Tree Planting Sue Jenkins

This week is National Tree Week, and we are planting 10 Bird Cherry trees today – Friday 4 December - at Oxford and Priory Gardens on London Road. Some of the residents are sponsoring these trees. The area gets very parched in summer and the trees will help to regulate temperatures throughout the year.

Here are some photos of the tree planting with David Evans from Cheltenham club talking to local residents, Mark Palmer and Paul Newman, who have sponsored some of the trees.


Working with CBC Senior Tree Officer, Chris Chavasse, and CBHomes, Cheltenham Rotary have responded to Lynworth Place residents' requests to improve their environment with new trees on their Green.

Next year, to commemorate 100 years of Rotary in Cheltenham, clubs are organising the planting of 100 trees to provide a lasting environmental legacy for the town. Rotary clubs work to improve life in their towns using the skills of their members who volunteer giving of their time and expertise freely.

Sue Jenkins, a member of the Rotary Cheltenham North club, and Chartered Landscape Architect, is organising the sponsored Tree Planting project. Councils have limited funds for tree planting and Rotary clubs have had to cancel their fund-raising events due to the pandemic. Instead, Rotary members have obtained generous sponsorship from companies, individuals and charitable trusts who are interested in improving the Cheltenham environment.

The Cheltenham Rotary club applied to Enovert Community Trust (ECT) on behalf of the residents at Lynworth Place, who were keen to have tree planting to enhance the green space outside their houses. This grant application was successful and tree planting will be starting soon, with the work being carried out by local landscape contractor, Nature First.

Angela Haymonds, ECT Trust Secretary said: “Outdoor spaces are so precious and this project to plant trees in the heart of a residential area really appealed to the Trustees of ECT. Particularly heartening is the long term impact this project will have, by establishing trees which will increase the biodiversity of the area whilst also enhancing its look and providing shade for the many activities that happen on Lynworth Green. We are pleased to have been able to contribute.”

Future Events Clive O’Gorman

Thu 10th December 2020 at 17.00 - 18.30 Club Council Meeting via Zoom

Thu 17th December 2020 at 18.00 - 19.30 Club Meeting with Speaker via Zoom

A Club Meeting with speaker via Zoom Gin Tasting with Speaker, Lits Philippou, being organised by Steve Wood. Tickets available online.

PLEASE SIGN IN FROM 6PM Host Richard Purdon

Thu 31st December 2020 at 17.00 - 18.00 News Year's Greetings with Members

An opportunity to exchange New Year's Greetings with fellow Members and Partners via Zoom Sign on between 5-6 PM and look forward to 2021 Sign in details will be provided later. Host Richard Purdon

Thu 7th January 2021 at 18.30 - 19.30 A Club Meeting via Zoom

Cheltenham North Member Nigel Gilhead will give a talk on; "UN Sustainability Goals" Host Richard Purdon

Thu 14th January 2021 at 17.00 - 18.30 Club Council Meeting via Zoom

A Club Council Meeting to be held via Zoom. Sign in details to follow. Host: Richard Purdon

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