President Nick's December Newsletter

A pre-Christmas round-up of club events

Nick Tecza

On January 1st 2020 Boris Johnson tweeted, “This is going to be a fantastic year for Britain”.  

At this time he may have been feeling somewhat elated following his recent election victory and on a personal level, his engagement and announcement of partner Carrie’s, pregnancy. 

At this time, many people expressed they were ‘fed up of hearing about ‘Brexit’, “I wish newspapers would report on something else!” They said.

At this time, we were beginning to hear about the spread of Coronavirus in Wuhan but with no confirmed cases in the UK, who could have seen what was ahead?

For many, 2020 has been far from a ‘fantastic year’.  The direct and indirect consequences of the virus on everyone’s lives cannot be underestimated.  Even with a vaccine being rolled out, the impact on people’s lives will be felt for some time yet.  However, you don’t have to look too far to also find some positives.  The groundswell of people seeking opportunities to volunteer, bending to the desire to want make a difference, was visible around the country.  We saw much of this in our own Club.  Not all were Rotarians in name, but all demonstrated the spirit of Rotary. 

As a Club, 2020 has been a successful year in many ways.  In earlier newsletters, I wrote of how we missed the kind of fellowship we were used to – the meeting up, various events and face-to-face contact.  This situation has remained, and sadly, with news of a more virulent strain of the virus present in our country, it is a situation unlikely to change any time soon.  However, we must remind ourselves that, despite restricted opportunities to meet, fellowship is still very prominent in our Club.  With limited opportunities to meet family and friends this Christmas, and possible further restrictions pending, it is important to remember that we are here for one another. 

This month:

·         We celebrated with the winners of the Literacy Competition.  It was well supported and we were delighted to award:

-       1st Prizes to Catriona Robertson and Darcey-Mai Bethell. 

-       2nd Prizes to Cerys Mannion-Bayliss and Claudia Leu. 

-       3rd Prizes to Jasmine Tranter, Melanie Smith and Liberty Govier.

The standard of entry was very good and we were pleased to award all who entered with a certificate.  I would like to thank the schools for their support in awarding the trophies, prizes and certificates on our behalf (due to COVID restrictions), thus giving all the entrants recognition for their efforts.  Also, well done to St Mary’s RC School, Lugwardine Primary School and St Thomas Cantilupe CE School who received prize money towards developing Literacy in their schools.  The positive feedback we have received from schools, parents and young people encourages us to repeat the competition next year.  One parent remarked how much her daughter loved writing but there were “limited opportunities for creative writing in Herefordshire” and another told of how their child’s confidence had grown. 

·         We acknowledge Alan Blake who has so far completed over 5,500 steps.  He continues his quest to raise £100k for charity (Parkinson’s, Rotary and Burghill Parish Church) by daily climbing the 120 steep steps in his garden. To donate:  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louise-blake-1?utm_term=ra8b9x6j6

·         We continue our work with local Co-Op stores whose customers donate items for us to deliver to patients at the County Hospital.  This will continue past Christmas and into 2021.

·         We thank Heather and Paul for hosting a very entertaining Christmas quiz and auction via zoom.  Some great prizes and whopping £750 raised for charity.  Congratulations to Katie winning the 90 Club prize of £250.

·         We extend our thoughts and best wishes to members who are unwell, or who have family members who are ill, at this time.

Finally, to all our members, Honorary Members, and families, thank you for your contributions to the Club throughout the year.  Have a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas.

Nick Tecza