Speaker Meeting, 6.15 for 6.30pm

Mon, Aug 1st 2022 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Speaker: Rotarian Jeremy Holt: "What is heroism?"


What is heroism?   Our speaker at this meeting (pictured above, on the right with Club President Terry on the left) said it’s either someone who shows tremendous courage or bravery, not necessarily physical courage, but also moral courage.  Or it is an act of self-sacrifice; someone who puts themselves in harms way to save others.

Swindon Rotarian Jeremy Holt introduced himself as a retired solicitor with a huge interest in heroes and acts of heroism, probably because he comes from a military family.

“Heroes are the stuff of films,” he said “but it’s not as simple as that. I will talk about the traditional idea of heroism, especially the view of it taken by the military, but I will question the validity and appropriateness of such a view and suggest that we should perhaps take a more nuanced approach.”

Why do people do heroic acts?  It could be because they are motivated by higher ideals or it might be from a sense of desperation.

The Victoria Cross, awarded to the military only, is given for valour: great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.  In World War 1 only 25% of those awarded the VC actually survived.

“Then a soldier, full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation, even in the cannon's mouth."  Jeremy was quoting from Shakespeare’s seven Ages of Man

The George Cross is awarded to the non-military, but it is equal in every other way to the Victoria Cross.

Jeremy firmly believes all of us have a reservoir of courage.  We are all capable of a lot more bravery in the face of danger than we think we are.  Every one of us, he said, is capable of being a hero.  But the questions is, would we regard ourselves as a hero?  Would we want to be recognised as one?

Many heroes suffer from post-traumatic damage.  Not necessarily physical damage, but PTSD or feelings of guilt.  “Why did I survive when others didn’t?”  Not wanting to be recognised as a hero is a common after effect suffered by many.

Jeremy has a number of personal favourite heroes.  One is Terry Waite who in 1987 was held captive in Lebanon for almost 5 years by the Islamic Jihad Organisation.  The first four years were spent in solitary confinement.   

Another is Captain Oates, the Antarctic explorer, who in an act of self-sacrifice chose certain death in order to relieve his three companions of the burden of caring for him. 

Captain "Sully" Sullenberger, is hailed a hero because, as captain of US Airways Flight 1549, he brought his aircraft safely down on to the Hudson River after both engines failed due to a bird strike and all on board, 155 passengers and crew, survived.   But the incident has left Sully damaged and traumatized.  

At least 200 people jumped hundreds of feet to their deaths from the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11.  They are all heroes, he said.

All-in-all, Jeremy’s talk was very interesting and very thought-provoking.


 

'What We Do' Main Pages:

We have played a role in a significant global public health achievement as the World Health Organization’s Africa region has officially been certified wild polio-free.

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Rotary’s second major donation, of £208,000, was handed over on 7th July 2021 when local Rotarians visited the Great Western Hospital to view the build progress of the nearly completed radiotherapy unit.

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All the funds will go to local charities supported by us

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Smallpox is the only human disease ever eradicated. Let’s make polio the second! Join the fight to end polio with Rotary on World Polio Day

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Brighter Futures launched their Radiotherapy Appeal in 2015. Today, 7 years later, a ribbon cutting ceremony has taken place at the Great Western Hospital

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He's taking part in the Youth Adventure Trust's Virtual Resilience Challenge from 13th to 21st February 2021

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From around the world Rotarians have responded to calls for help.

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£1286 has been sent from our Emergency Disaster Fund to the Disasters Emergency Committee UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN APPEAL

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£1,250 has been sent to both ​Prospect Hospice and Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service to help bridge the funding gap both charities are currently experiencing.

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Coronavirus is a deadly risk for vulnerable families who have lost their homes. Read more...….

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"In musical entertainment Swindon punches way above its weight. Some of the youngsters we've heard tonight will go on to make a name for themselves"

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A new design for a new name

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Congratulations to the teams from St Joseph’s Catholic College Swindon. The intermediate team (in the picture) was commended and placed joint second by the judges

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Giving money and support to the people in Swindon & district who need it most

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First place team P.G.Events with the David Maggs Memorial Trophy

The winning team P.G.Events presented with the David Maggs Memorial Trophy to hold for one year by Swindon North Rotary President Mike Helyer

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The Rotary Club hands over £1100 to the Youth Adventure Trust

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Club President Kathy Hobson presents a cheque for £750 to Richard Millard, Chairman of the Trustees

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A brief summary of our Rotary year ending 30/06/2021

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Torquay’s Riviera Centre was the venue for the Rotary in Britain and Ireland (RIBI) Annual Conference on 6th April 2018

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Rotarian Terry Williams on his Christmas Tree Plantation

Rotarian Terry Williams has been selling his locally grown Christmas trees again and all the proceeds are going to be divided between two charities

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The new Horizons College Minibus, donated collectively by all the Rotary Clubs of Swindon and District, has been branded with the Rotary logo and other graphics by the Wootton Bassett based company, PG Events, free of charge.

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Rotarian Terry's Christmas Trees enable the Rotary Club to present £1,225 to the Friends of Angel's Orphanage

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The Rotary Club of North Wiltshire (the name was changed to the Rotary Club of Swindon North in 2008) received its charter from Rotary International on 28th September 1966

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Raising funds for the Brighter Futures Appeal

A static 100-mile cycle ride from Highworth to Windsor Castle

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Our stall at Highworth Market on 2nd May 2015

Many thanks to everyone who visited our stall at Highworth Market on 2nd May

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The Community & Vocational Service Committee is tasked with organising fund-raising events and functions.

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Rotarian Terry Williams' remarkable and unique fund raising effort, living in a ShelterBox emergency tent for a week in the Market Place, Highworth

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The Club Service Committee manages the administration of the Rotary Club.

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International, Foundation & Youth Activities Service Committee

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Club Council

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Exceeding expectations, President Lynn's challenge to 3 club members to Zumba in the Co-op Foodstore raised £700 for Swindon Young Carers.

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The Rotary Club of Swindon North charity concert featuring the Swindon Male Voice Choir in St Michael's Church, Highworth.

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A Charity Dog Racing event with dinner held at Blunsdon Abbey Stadium on 14th March 2015 in aid of the NSPCC

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We've Zumda'd in the Highworth Co-op, now we've ridden our bikes in there

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