Presidents Diary

April 2021

President’s Diary April 2021


Do you recognise this?



Government planning is indicating a possible return to face-to-face Rotary meetings in July 2021, so this month Margaret and I investigated whether the Aqua Hotel will be Covid-Safe and ready for our return. We had a Zoom meeting with Martin Grigston, the new Aqua manager who was very busy redecorating and refurbishing the Castle Restaurant, the venue for all our meetings pre-lockdown. New wallpaper, new ceilings including the removal of that pull-down ceiling screen and projector mean a completely new look and set-up for speakers will be needed.  He promised a new mobile projector, a stand-alone portable screen along with a new sound system. Martin said he would try to maintain the cost of meals to pre-lockdown prices and was keen to introduce a fresh fish of the day option, as well as all our usual favourites. 



The Castletown Bar Mural has been added to, with even more detailed D-Day embarkation scenes, and the snug and café are also in the throws of redecoration. Martin was keen to have us back, he was positive and enthusiastic, keen to cater for the Club’s needs.


Members were therefore given a chance to air their views and vote for their preferred Club meeting format at the new Aqua. Now that virtually all the votes are in, I can reveal that the majority went for the continuation of a two-course meal, although I am sure there will again be flexibility here.  There was also a majority vote for was a shift to a monthly “hybrid meeting structure”, this means keeping both Zoom meetings or possible House Meetings as well as face-to-face meetings at the Aqua during our Rotary month. Week I will continue at 6:45pm as either a virtual meeting (Zoom, Facetime etc) or a face-to face House Meeting for all Committee Meetings and the 7:15pm Council Meeting.  The remainder of the month, each Tuesday at 6:45pm we shall be at the Aqua Hotel, enjoying their hospitality. Week 2 will we continue to have a speaker, Week 3 the Business Meeting, and Week 4 Guest Night.  Of course, we shall review this, so let’s see how it works out for us.


Thanks to the Youth Committee, we had the pleasure of the company of Charlotte Pascoe, who has lived all her life on Portland. She spoke about her experiences at the World Scouting Jamboree in Japan, supported by a donation from the Club. At our Zoom meeting we heard about the Venture Scouts, and her work as a talented artist living on Portland. We have invited Charlotte to join the e-Rotaract Club, that the Portland and Casterbridge Clubs are together trying to encourage.


We also welcomed Lewis Hibell, a prospective Club member and founder of the Portland Rocklings this month to our meetings. And finally, we welcomed Ric Canham to our Business Meeting. Ric is from the Axebridge District e-club and is the District Governor Nominee, as well as the District Membership guru. We shall be seeing a lot more of Ric in the future, when he is District Governor in 2022/23, after Michael Fernando.



President Elizabeth Hardy

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