President’s Diary

January 2021


President’s Diary: December into January



 In the future people might ask, “What was it like living through a pandemic Christmas?” We all have different, often sad stories to tell, but I hope as a Club we shall have fond memories of our Pandemic Pantomime, “Jack in the Bean Stalk”, enacted out on Zoom. The combination of Jack with his Mother and the Old Spotty Cow were wonderfully hilarious. I should like to offer a big thank you to all the actors, the producer and the director for entertaining us and cheering us up with their performances.


Jack and the Beanstalk | Jack and the beanstalk, Stories for kids, Kids  stories online


This Christmas our usual Club activities were sadly severely curtailed. Our discussions and deliberations resulted in us having to make some extremely difficult decisions, resulting in the cancellation of the Rotary Sleigh Tour of the Island. This was because we did not want to cause a gathering, jeopardising social distancing. Our fundraising at Tesco’s was also cancelled; as with all Supermarket store doorway areas, we had to avoid creating obstacles at entry and exit pinch points. The Children’s Christmas Party was also cancelled, but it is already booked in for next year at St George’s on Saturday 11th December 2021: thanks to Sarah for booking that. Instead, a substantial donation went to purchase the “Kidsout” Christmas Toy Boxes, delivered to our local Women’s Refuges.


Santa Deliveries to the children of Portland on Christmas Day were also changed. This year, we advertised a digital version where Santa or one of his helpers, dressed as an Elf, rings up the child with the parent. Val and Chrissy had great fun playing the roles, and it was a great success, so much so that we shall do this again. A huge thank you Chrissy for organising this and to Janet for putting it on Facebook.


The Club received Christmas Greetings from the Rotary Club of Vire, our twin club in Normany, and I received lots of Christmas and New Year messages from our Peruvian Rotary friends in District 4455.  They are still hoping to complete the exchange and come to visit us in Portland, sometime in the future. We have also had contact with Bimal who is making some progress with the ongoing water projects in Nepal. However, Covid-19 has become the Hunger Pandemic there, disrupting food supply chains to the villages. Mark managed to arrange a money transfer, which Bimal used to purchase and distribute rice. Bimal also plans to purchase goats for the villages. The Club is also looking into supporting the Kigali Project in Kenya, started by the late Martyn Hastings.


Between Christmas and the New Year, I had the privilege of presenting a Club donation to Geoff Peters at the Coastwatch Station, watching the tidal race at The Bill. This money was raised by Porthole’s editor Ian, generating donations by us sending our “Season’s Greetings” through the Porthole magazine. It was a cold and foggy day, and Geoff invited the whole Club back for a visit this summer; he said he would arrange a hot sunny evening for us. I can’t wait – perhaps it could be a Foundation Feed Picnic, socially distanced of course!


Two people holding certificates

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Finally, a big thank you to Chrissy for arranging a fantastic Christmas Quiz for the Club and a big thank you to all the members, particularly the frequent users of the Portland Rotary Club’s What’s App. They entertain us and keep us laughing with so many funny contributions.  A smile is worth a thousand words comforting us through this difficult, isolating winter lockdown.


A Happy New Year to you all.

Keep safe.








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