Club Bulletin March 2021

The Club Bulletin for March 2021

                                           Rotary Club of Cheltenham North

                                                    March 2021 Bulletin

The Covid vaccination programme is now well underway and we are all looking forward to the end of lockdown. We must however, continue to show caution and keep washing our hands and continue social distancing. There will almost certainly be a rise in cases as the lockdown is lifted so it is important to follow the rules. As a point of interest, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital had over 225 cases of Covid at the peak of this last wave – this has now come down to 40 and will hopefully continue to fall. We can now look forward to the Wine Festival and the Carol Concert which, all being well, will take place later this year.

My memories of Ian Thomson President Richard

I found out early on Thursday morning, this week that Ian had passed the day before.

He was very private about his health. Very few people in his Rotary club – Cheltenham- were aware of the cause of his declining health. But it became obvious around Christmas time that he was really struggling. He had a period in hospital after this, but returned home towards the end of January.

I was told that there was a major issue with throat cancer, but some people are now saying there were other cancers too.

So, on Thursday I immediately informed all the members who had been with him and his wife Joan whilst he was a member of our Rotary Club. I am indebted to those – especially Rod Hill and Roger Grimshaw-, who have given me information that I can now pass on to the rest of the membership.

I knew that he worked for Walls Ice Cream in Gloucester. He, latterly at his time there, was involved with the logistics of moving the ice cream around to customers.

Rod first came across Ian in Round Table, when Ian was a member of Cheltenham Spa, and Rod has joined Newent. Rod joined RCCN in 1978, at which time Ian was already a member.

Ian was our President in 1988/89 the year after Roger Grimshaw’s first Presidency. Swiftly after that, Ian that became the District Governor in 1993/4. And I can recall a picture taken of the club members in this year before – outside of the Queens hotel – with Ian – on the right hand side of Peter Corfield.

Ian had many District and RIBI roles. These peaked in 2008/9 when he had a memorable year as the President of RIBI.

I am not sure which year he transferred to Cheltenham Club. I have a feeling that some people will remember the date and the reason with aplomb!!

I first met Ian in December 2007, when I attended the annual Cleeve Vale Charter dinner, held in early December. He was the guest speaker as the then President Elect of RIBI.The second time was witnessing him the District Conference of March 2012 held in Bristol. He sat in the front row of

the hall, and on 3 occasions rose to his feet to correct the procedure, and to correct the then President Elect – John Minhinick- on claiming an activity which Ian had started!!

And the 3rd, and most memorable conversation, was when I had become an AG in 2012/13. He put me right on genuine Rotary Clubs. Certainly he thought those who met fortnightly were not “proper clubs”!!!???

But, if asked he was a master at passing on sensible knowledge and experience to those who were happy to risk the questions.

To me, he was a very impressive Rotarian, once you managed to cut through the bluster. On behalf of the club I posted today a card of condolence to Joan his wife. She herself is not all well. They were planning a final home move before Ian left us.

Richard Purdon – 12/2/21


a report from Chairman Tony Pawley 20th February 2021

INTERNATIONAL: thanks to Rosanne’s Cash in the Attic, we are confident of meeting this year’s target of £5,400 to fund 360 bags for School in a Bag. Founder & CEO Luke Simon gave us a very professional and well-received presentation at our Club ‘Zoom’ meeting on 18th February.

END POLIO NOW: the purple crocuses we planted in London Road / Oxford Street near our Centenary Trees would have given us the opportunity to promote End Polio Now (and commemorate Rotary’s 116th anniversary on 23rd February). Unfortunately, Lockdown rules out any celebrations and, in any case, we must accept that a different epidemic is centre stage for now.

The good news on Polio is that the last recorded case in Pakistan was in November and there has only been one case in Afghanistan since October. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continues to add £2 for every £1 raised by Rotary in the belief that Polio, like smallpox, will become history.

ENVIRONMENT: we can be pleased, in the year of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, to be doing our bit through the 100-trees project towards the aspirations of the Environment “pillar” that Foundation now embraces.

PEACE FELLOWSHIPS: there is now an opportunity to nominate candidates for these, to train at universities around the world, including Bradford. This is a very worthwhile programme, but I don’t feel that we are able to nominate anyone at the moment.

FOUNDATON POLICY CHANGES: the pandemic has drastically reduced Foundation’s income. Policy changes have been announced to address this. I hope that RCCN members will be pleased to see that part of the Foundation operating reserves has been transferred to the World Fund and that cost-saving measures have been implemented – none too soon, I hear some cry!

In 2019-20, 1,359 global grants were awarded, worth $95.6 million. $32 million has been awarded in disaster response grants since March 2020 to projects aimed at fighting the Covid pandemic. Contributions to the Annual Fund, the primary source for global grant funding, did not keep pace. Trustees expect a financial shortfall this year and in years to come due to the growing success of the global grant program and have agreed that:

· District Designated Fund (DDF) contributions transferred to PolioPlus will be matched at 50% instead of 100% by the World Fund before being matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (The Gates Foundation will continue matching 2-to-1 every dollar that Rotary commits to polio eradication, up to $50 million per year.)

· The World Fund match of DDF for global grants will be reduced from 100% to 80%.

PLANNING FOR THE COMING MONTHS: as we move into the last third of the Rotary year, we expect to receive income from Cash in the Attic items that have not yet been offered for sale by Stroud Auctions, monitor other Foundation, End Polio and International activities and make some suggestions for consideration by 2021-22 President Geoff and his team.

FINALLY, I note that the RI MOTTO for 2021-2022 is “Serve to Change Lives”. Not bad, but my favourite was “Bridging Continents, Building Communities” – I’ve still got the tie! (The least favourite was “Humanity in Motion!”)

Cheltenham Connexions

Well done RCCN – an amazing achievement during lockdown.

Accessible car

I am writing to thank the Rotary Club of Cheltenham North for purchasing an accessible car for our charity. We have just taken possession of a Peugeot Expert accessible car and we are waiting for it to be sign-written before an official launch.

Our charity exists to provide transport to those who need us most – the most vulnerable in our communities. This includes older, disabled and those who are socially, rurally and financially isolated. We take them to health appointments, to do essential shopping, visit loved ones in care homes and, increasingly, to vaccination appointments. These are people who have no other means of transport.

A problem for has been we have to use a 16 seater minibus to transport people in wheelchairs or those who cannot access a car. This sometimes means we can’t cope with demand. This new accessible car will allow us to serve more such people in the Cheltenham area. Not only is it an extra resource, but it is more manoeuvrable in car parks etc and can be driven on an ordinary driving licence.

It is an extremely useful addition for us and will be well-used to provide accessible and inclusive transport. The car will be signwritten to acknowledge the Rotary Club funding.

It is especially appreciated how you have managed to raise funding in a time of pandemic. Our charity and, more importantly, the people we serve, are very grateful to all your members.

Thank you.

Paul Riddick, CEO, Community Connexions

Tree Planting

A very big thank you to Sue Jenkins who is working so hard for this project. 89 trees have been planted to date with a possible further 8 before end of March. This is dependent on the delivery from Holland. The following are some of the RCCN trees planted in February – all photos courtesy of Michael Rouse.

Ann Carter

I have been connected with Rotary since 1982 & am delighted to plant a tree to celebrate 100 years of Rotary. Women were not welcome as members in those days but I always supported my husband, a busy G.P. as he held many posts from President , Treasurer ,& Secretary.

The plaque says " in loving memory of John & Brian Carter "

Sadly John died aged 40 on Christmas Eve , that hit us very hard so we moved to be near our daughter in Swindon Village in Nov 2011. Brian became a member of Cheltenham North Rotary Club, but sadly passed away in May 2013. The tree will stand proudly in memory of my two much loved men and to celebrate Rotary.

Geoff Fox

Cheltenham Rotary Club will be 100 years old in 2022. In order to help celebrate this event a Centenary Committee has been set up with participants from all the Cheltenham Rotary Clubs. Because of the apparent shortage of trees in Cheltenham, and the desire to contribute to the control of climate change, the idea, amongst others, of planting 100 trees quickly took hold. We have been extremely lucky to have our own Sue Jenkins to lead this project, and are very grateful to her for her expertise and hard work.

By chance or design, our own 50th Anniversary also occurs in 2022, the Cheltenham Club being our Mother Club. Some members might be aware that a tree was planted in Montpellier Gardens to celebrate our 10th Anniversary in 1982. It is situated opposite the bandstand to the left of the path that crosses the Gardens from Montpellier, the inscription on the marking stone still being legible. Having the honour of being President at the time of our 50th, I thought it in keeping to plant a second celebratory tree in Montpellier. This tree, a Ginko, is situated to the right of the top end of the path that enters the Gardens from Montpellier Terrace. Hopefully we can mark the occasion slightly more formally closer to the anniversary in April 2022.

Ross Cole

As the Founder Secretary of The Rotary Club of Cheltenham North and the only founder

member still active in our Club Rosanne and I felt it would be a good idea to sponsor one of the trees to Mark 100 year of Rotary in Cheltenham. I have had a lifelong association with

Cheltenham, my family having been in business in the town since 1886. The chances of

having a tree outside The Famous seemed slim so we therefore agreed to Sue’s suggestion

that ‘our’ tree should be planted between Priory and Oxford Streets. My Grandparents

had their first Cheltenham home in Oxford Street and the tree’s site is where our Grandson Joshua assisted other members of our club with Crocus Planting. The additional benefit is that our dear friend Gwynne will be able to keep an eye on it on a daily basis!

Vivien Barr

The Barr family came to Cheltenham about 46 years ago when my husband was starting up a new oil/gas drilling bit company for the parent company. I decided to support the Rotary Tree project in recognition of our time here, and to help improve the present appearance of the town which has changed over the years as lovely old trees were felled and not replaced.

The photo of me holding the red company umbrella was one promoting the name “Drilling & Service” with the motto “a good bit better” (drilling bit!). The success of the range of drilling bits developed over the years was world-wide, and for many years they were superior to many others.

It was a great success story thanks to a great team of innovative and hard working engineers who always went “the extra mile”. Sadly now the company has been closed at Stonehouse and relocated to Houston, Texas, with the current down-turn in demand for oil.

I hope that all our Rotary trees flourish and can be enjoyed around Cheltenham for years to come

Steve Wood

I suppose that my primary motivating factors for sponsoring a tree was to support a Club initiative and to help the success of the Cheltenham Rotary 100 celebrations. On top of that, I think that planting trees in public spaces is undoubtedly a good thing to do for both ecological and aesthetic reasons.

An additional reason is that I think that Sue Jenkins should be encouraged in recognition of the amazing job that she has done on the project. This view was reinforced on the day that “my” tree was planted, when the timing of the planting meant that I escaped the worst of what turned out to be a very wet day whilst Sue and the planting crew enjoyed the full force of the rain.

I decided to have the tree dedicated to the Holst Birthplace Museum and so I was able to support two of my interests in one hit. The tree is located at the corner of Pittville Lawn and Wellington Road and so it is not far distant from the Museum; an easy walk if any passer-by has their interest piqued by seeing the sponsors name on the plaque accompanying the tree.

Trees have also been planted in the LINC Sanctuary Garden (Michael Rouse), Bouncer’s Lane (Michael & Elizabeth Jones), Up Hatherley (Malcolm Richards) and Pittville Circus/All Saints Road (Gwynne Tucker-Brown)

Thank you to everyone who has supported this amazing tree project. If anyone else would like to sponsor a tree – please contact Rotarian Sue Jenkins

From Hamper Scamper

We would just like to say another big THANK YOU for the support you gave to the Hamper Scamper appeal 2020. Together we gave out 1,953 food hampers and 2,200 gifts to vulnerable individuals and families who were struggling this Christmas.

Future Events

Thu 4th March 2021 at 18.15 - 19.30 Club Meeting with Guest Speaker via Zoom

A Club Meeting to be held via Zoom with Guest Speaker Laurie Bell CEO The Cheltenham Trust Host Richard Purdon

Thu 11th March 2021 at 17.00 - 18.30 Club Council Meeting via Zoom

A Club Council Meeting to be held via Zoom

Thu 18th March 2021 at 18.15 - 19.30 Club Meeting with Guest Speaker via Zoom

A Club Meeting to be held via Zoom with Guest Speaker Tom Howells who will give a talk on International Ecology Projects Host Richard Purdon

Thu 1st April 2021 at 18.15 - 19.30 Club Meeting plus Speaker via Zoom

A Club Meeting via Zoom with guest Speaker Chris Firth District Governor. Host Richard Purdon

Thu 8th April 2021 at 17.00 - 18.30 Club Council Meeting via Zoom

A Club Council Meeting to be held via Zoom Host Richard Purdon

Thu 15th April 2021 at 18.15 - 19.30 Club Meeting with Speaker via Zoom

A Club Meeting with Speaker via Zoom A talk on Maps and Mapmakers given by Cheltenham North Member Tony Pawley

Host Richard Purdon

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Club Bulletin

back The Club Bulletin is Issued on a regular basis usually every Month

'What We Do' Main Pages:

The Queens Hotel

A selection of Pictures taken at the 50th Celebration Dinner at the Queens Hotel on 14th April 2022.


Firstly a successful collection TOTALLING NEARLY £32000 on behalf.of Ukraine. See "Details" for info. Plus an update on the overall Rotary Support Also please see details for a Statement by Rotary on the Ukraine Situation

Carol Concert

A Review of our activities in a year of Cheltenham North.


The Club Officers 2022/2023 See "Details" for information.


The Club Committees for 2022/2023


The Carol Concert is held Annually at the Princess Hall Cheltenham Ladies College. For more about this event please see "Details" below


Details of the Charitable Donations made by the Cheltenham North Rotary Club


This is a summary of our activities over the past twelve months. You can also view our Club Bulletin in the "What we Do" area of the Home Page of this website.


The 2021 Event Held on the 30th October 2021 was a great success see "Details" for more information. The 2022 event will take place on 29th October 2022


The Club Bulletin is Issued on a regular basis usually every Month


Please Note the the Meeting Notes for Club Meetings are only available in the Member's only area. Details of Club Meetings are available using either the Contact form for the Secretary or the Future Events Area on the Home Page.


A selection of letters issued to all members from the District Governor For 2021/2022 onwards the Newsletter format has changed and copies are available from the Secretary.


Copies of letters received by Cheltenham North Rotary Club


Selection of Photos from Various Events


An overview of the Objects and Mission of the Rotary Foundation.