2017 Archive

Some of our work throughout 2017

Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin

02 February 2017

Our visiting speaker at lunch on 2nd February 2017 was the Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to Speaker of House of Commons.

When Rose applied for a job as priest in some parishes she face two hurdles. She is a woman and she is black, Rose explained with a laugh when she spoke to our club members and their guests. In one parish, she remembered, the parochial church council (PCC) resigned en bloc!

Now, accepted, the Jamaican-born Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, mother of three children, is the chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. On the day of her visit she led prayers in the chamber, dashed to Dover and in the evening was back in London for an official reception. At one early stage in her career she served in the Church Army. Her husband is also a priest.

Ordained in 1991 Rose was in the first wave of Church of England women priests. She ran a parish in Hackney where the dozen congregation grew to more than 100 and then applied for a post at Westminster Abbey (along with 97 others) as a result of which she was installed as the chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons who has proved very helpful.

She has been a guest on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs programme where she was described by some as “That turbulent priest”!

Rtn the Revd John Philpott and President John greet the Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons

Dr Helen Young, PHF

09 February 2017

Dr Helen Young PHF, daughter of Past President John and Norma Clayton, told us on 9th February of her mission to a school and hospital in Sierra Leone.

Dr Helen Young PHF met some familiar faces when she came to talk to us on 9th February - her parents PP John & Norma Clayton, pictured here with Helen and President John

Frugal Lunch at The Fox Inn

16 February 2017

Our usual lunch meeting at the Ramada Dover Hotel was replaced on 16th February 2017 by a Frugal Lunch at the Fox Inn, Temple Ewell. President John was unable to attend, leaving President-Elect Dave Smith to officiate. Our not-so-frugal shepherd’s pie and veg followed by rhubarb crumble and custard was provided by our excellent hosts Steve and Alyson, who we must thank sincerely for their hospitality. The Frugal lunch raised £200 for the President's charities.

President-Elect Dave, like a duck to water, pulls a pint under the watchful eyes of our hosts Steve, Alyson & Tracy

Social Action Day - Rubbish Clearance

18 February 2017

Rotary Social Action Day on Saturday 18th February 2017 saw members of RC Dover and RC South Foreland gathering together at the top of Green Lane (opposite Dover Christchurch Academy) to try and clean up this much used (and abused) pathway; plus the verges of nearby roads.

For two hours we wielded litter pickers and filled rubbish bags, with all the detritus that we could safely reach. As this is a regular route for school children we were not too surprised by the number of pens and rulers and suchlike that we picked up. However, the path is also used by those using narcotics so we had to be extra careful in retrieving hyperdermic needles. Plenty of cans and bottles, mainly alcoholic, went into the sacks along with a scooter and other odds and ends. In the end we had filled about fifty containers of rubbish, which the refuse team from DDC kindly collected.

After the event, it was very nice to receive an e-mail through this website from someone whose home overlooks the lane and who was really pleased with our efforts...

"Just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to the members of Dover Rotary Club who have been clearing rubbish along Green Lane this morning. I live in Christchurch Way and have a lovely view from my house. This is sometimes spoiled by the huge quantity of rubbish that is thrown on the footpath between my back garden and the railway. I was overjoyed to see the men clearing it this morning.
All we need now is for Network rail to clear the rubbish from the sides of the cutting!
Thank you again
Kind regards

Rotarians of Dover and South Foreland once again working together to improve the local environment

Biggin Hall re-opening

15 April 2017

We celebrated the re-opening of Biggin Hall, Dover, on Saturday 15th April 2017, following months of hard work by Rotarian volunteers and friends.

The Student Makers' Market proved to be a big success, with many inquisitive locals popping in to see what we had achieved. Quite a momentous day, all told!

Louise Oulton, Director of Future Foundry, with the Town Mayor of Dover, Cllr Neil Rix, Rotarian Simon Crowley (also of Dover Community Association), and President John Wiggell

Philip Smye-Rumsby : PHF Presentation

23 April 2017

A Dover man who has devoted decades of life in voluntary service with the scout movement has been recognised by the International Rotary movement through the award of a Paul Harris Fellow upon the initiative of the President and members of the Rotary Club of Dover.


Philip Smye-Rumsby has been involved with the 13th Dover (St Paul’s) Scout group over many years requiring at least a weekly commitment on his part to the youngsters of the town passing through the various levels of the scouting movement from Beavers and Cubs to Scouts and Explorers to whom he has offered skills and challenges as well as organising camps and holidays locally and elsewhere in the UK as well as overseas. In addition he is a member of the Catenians (a Roman Catholic lay organisation that undertakes good works) who support the local clergy of all denominations. Further, he has been a school Governor (of St Richard’s, St Edmund’s and St Joseph’s, Aylesham) being Chairman of at least one of the Governing bodies.


In addition to being a family man with four children of his own he runs his own business, Smye-Rumsby Limited in Snargate Street, as Managing Director for the service of the Port and port users in electronic /radio etc. equipment. His company invests in young people in all aspects of the company and has run apprentice programmes for trainee engineers. His company has also been engaged in sponsorship arrangements of a charitable nature. He is also a very active member of Christians Together in Dover, an ecumenical group, for whom he provides all sound equipment for events in the town.


The presentation was made to Philip on St George’s Day at a scout parade in Dover Castle by the Rev’d Peter Sherred a Past President of the Rotary club deputising for the President John Wiggell. Mr Sherred praised Philip for his outstanding voluntary service to the Dover community and the scout movement in particular before giving to him the Certificate recognising the honour bestowed on him as a Paul Harris Fellow. He also handed to Philip a special lapel pin to wear to advertise publicly the fact that he is a recipient of the prestigious award. At the parade it was also announced that Mr Smye-Rumsby had been appointed a District Commissioner for Dover Scouts.


Note: A Paul Harris Fellow is a person who has been recognised for making an outstanding commitment to the Community or to a club and is named after Paul Harris, a lawyer, who was the founder of Rotary, the world’s first and most international service club whose members provide humanitarian service, promote high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build good will and peace in the world. On 23 February, 1905, Paul Harris formed the first club in Chicago USA with three other businessmen: Silvester Schiele, a coal merchant; Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer; and Hiram Shorey, a merchant tailor. The Rotary Club of Dover received its Charter in 1922 and was dated 14 December and the then Headmaster of Dover College was the Founder President of the club.

DGGS Interact Handover

09 May 2017

Girls’ Grammar Interact Club present cheques for Kelly Turner Appeal and Picaflor House Peru.

 As the sixth formers at Dover Grammar School for Girls move towards the end of the academic year and their departure from the school the Interact Club members held their handover arrangements on Tuesday 9th May and at the same time handed over two substantial cheques for their chosen causes for the current year. Outgoing Interact President Maria Stuart thanked her 2016-17 committee of Vice President Emily Parkes, Secretary Niki Jones and Treasurer Megan Coleman for all their hard work. She also thanked the Senior Leadership Team at DGGS, the teachers and caretakers for all their support, and the members of Dover Rotary club for having originally sponsored the Interact club and for all support given by Rotarians throughout a year that contained a busy schedule of fundraising events. Special thanks were given to Rotarian Simon Hare for his liaison between the two clubs and for helping to organize the various events to raise monies for the Interact causes.


Treasurer Megan Coleman told those present the total raised throughout the year from such events as a Quiz, a Bingo night, a Year 7/8 disco and various other smaller initiatives within the school was £3,362.22 which was to be split between the two nominated causes being the local Kelly Turner Appeal and, on an international level, Picaflor House in Peru. President Maria reminded people Picaflor House is an after-school programme which helps disadvantaged children in the mountain village of Oropesa near Cusco in Peru. The project provides free help with school work, healthy meals and a safe place off the streets when they are not at state school (it is mornings only) to enjoy other activities such as traditional dancing, art and sport. There are currently 80 children enrolled at the project.


Cheques were presented to representatives from each nominated cause Rotarian and Assistant District Governor Don Soppitt, representing the Kelly Turner Appeal (Kelly was sitting an art exam at the time of the meeting and her parents were assisting her over the examination period), received a cheque in the sum of £1681.11 and said a few words on the significance of research into Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Cancer. John Wiggell MBE, current president of Dover Rotary Club, received a similar cheque for Picaflor House.  A video message from Picaflor House in Peru was played in which the project's manager, Laura Hoskins, thanked the Dover Interactors for their fund raising and generosity, wished them luck in their exams and also wished the new Interact committee well for their year in charge.


President Maria Stuart then officially handed over the reins to Owen Esson, President for 2017-18, who introduced his new committee of Vice President Ella Chatterton Daniels, Treasurer Maisie Batts and Secretary Kitty Bushell. Head teacher, Bob Benson, thanked everyone for attending the presentations and handover arrangements and for their ongoing support to the students. He emphasised the importance of instilling a sense of community service into young people and applauded the Interact Club at his school for supporting both local and international good causes.

PP John Hunnisett Sapphire PHF

01 June 2017

Local Businessman awarded second Rotary Honour – Sapphire Paul Harris Fellow.

John Hunnisett, Founder and Financial Director of the business Rent4sure Ltd one of the UK's leading suppliers to the lettings industry whose Head Office is at The Glenmore Centre, Honeywood Parkway, Whitfield with other offices in Reigate and Norwich, has received for the second time the highest award a Rotary Club can present other than Honorary Membership. It was handed to Mr Hunnisett by President John Wiggell MBE of the Rotary Club of Dover at an event in Dover Town Hall on Thursday 2nd June in the presence of his family and scores of guests.


Mr Hunnisett, 66, a member of the Rotary Club of Dover and its President in 1993-1994 was originally given Paul Harris Fellow recognition in 2012 since when he has been deeply involved in Community activities, being Secretary of the Dover Community Association and as an active member of the Rotary Club.  Within the last year through both organisations he has been actively involved in the restoration of Biggin Hall for community use. This was reminiscent of his presidential year when he helped his club raise a substantial sum for the then renovation of Curzon Hall in Tower Hamlets. A person of seemingly boundless energy during his year as President he attended two Rotary Conferences – at Bournemouth and Eastbourne, led memorable trips to Strasbourg and Antwerp and undertook a marathon of ‘raids’ in one day on other Rotary clubs starting at Bromley Sunrise, then Crayford, Gravesend, Malling, Forest of Blean and Sittingbourne Invicta which was a record at the time. In recent years he has been an extremely active Events organiser for his Rotary club which has involved him in a wide range of activities for the benefit of the public including the Dover Regatta, Charity Golf Days, Stroke Awareness Campaign and Community Service such as organising litter picking exercises among other activities. He has also been the co-organiser of two highly successful Summer Gala Dinner and Concert events which have raised over £13,000 for the Martha Trust. President John Wiggell in congratulating Mr Hunnisett upon his second recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow said that after his first award “he resisted the temptation to rest on his laurels and continued to throw himself into Rotary and other activities demonstrating ‘Service above Self” at its highest level”. His company has been principal sponsor for large events that raise funds for charity.


Mr Hunnisett’s wife Rita, to whom he has been married for 33 years this year, watched as her husband received his Lapel Pin to recognise his enhanced status. As this is his second such recognition the pin has a Sapphire within it. Mr and Mrs Hunnisett have four daughters Andrea, Alisa, Renee and Michelle.

Paul Harris Fellowship

15 June 2017

At the latest meeting of the Rotary Club of Dover President John Wiggell MBE, who is near the end of his term of office, honoured three Rotarians by presenting to them Paul Harris Awards the highest award a Club can give other than Honorary Membership in this international organisation that has as a central core of its being the motto of “Service above Self”. The three were President Elect Dave Smith, Treasurer Jeremy Cope and Past President Simon Crowley all of whom have given between them years of service to the club as well as being active in numerous organisations and activities throughout the local area.


Dave Smith, who became a member of the club in 2010, is a retired Technical Services Support Officer with the Prison Service and will become the club’s President on 29th June. He has been an active Rotarian in many volunteering roles most noticeably in recent years with a high profile in the Christmas activities and fund raising by the club in the December period and has been involved in organisations as varied as DODS to being the minder of the fabric of St Mary’s Church and has been active in the refurbishment of Biggin Hall. He is married to Judith.


Jeremy Cope became a Rotarian with the Dover club in 2008 and is married to Sheila. He is a long serving Treasurer of the Club and she is about to become the President of the Inner Wheel Club of Dover. Before his retirement Jeremy had a career in Accountancy and has long been active in local voluntary activities most noticeably as a member of the Dover Society though which he devotes much time to maintaining Cowgate Cemetery.


Simon Crowley entered the club in 2002 and became its President in 2009 -10. He is married to Claire and they own and jointly run the long established Tersons Estate Agency in Castle Street. As with his other two Rotarian colleagues Simon has been much engaged in a variety of local activities most noticeably in efforts with others to enhance the commercial and other fortunes of the town and as a member of the Dover Community Association has been instrumental in securing the purchase of Biggin Hall for the Association. With other members of the Association he has spent many hours of his own free time refurbishing Biggin Hall to bring it back into public use for the benefit of other organisations and clubs in Dover.


Three Rotarians with wide and varied backgrounds but united by one common goal – Service above Self.

Rotarians Dave Smith, Jeremy Cope and Simon Crowley with their Paul Harris Fellowships

Beer Festival 2017

23 June 2017

23rd June from 5.00pm and Sat 24th June from midday.

Courtesy of Steve and Alyson Grayson, this is the Rotary Club of Dover's annual beer festival at The Fox in Temple Ewell. Numerous casks of great ales and beers plus live music. Food available, admission is free but if you would like to partake of the guest beers then it is £5 for the first pint (with celebration glass) and £3 a pint thereafter. Other beverages are available in the Fox. 

Courtesy of Steve and Alyson Grayson, this is the Rotary Club of Dover's annual beer festival at The Fox in Temple Ewell. Numerous casks of great ales and beers plus live music. Food available, admission is free but if you would like to partake of the guest beers then it is £5 for the first pint (with celebration glass) and £3 a pint thereafter. Other beverages are available in the Fox.

Presidential Handover

29 June 2017

At which retiring President John Wiggell handed over the chain of office to President Dave Smith.

Barbara Stapleton is now President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Dover, and David Fisher is Vice President.

Philip Janaway continues as our Hon Secretary, and Jeremy Cope as Treasurer.

Congratulations to all, and thank you for your Rotary Service.

President Dave Smith and Immediate Past President John Wiggell

And Now....

Retiring President John Wiggell, MBE

Man Hug

President-Elect BAS

Vice President David Fisher

First Lady Judith Smith

Paul Holt, Samphire Hoe

06 July 2017

The commitment of members of the Rotary Club of Dover to the local community was shown in two ways at the first meeting chaired by new president Dave Smith when it was announced, firstly, that the club’s recent beer festival had raised around £1,600 for charity and, secondly, at the successful meeting members were reminded that the club, with partners, had helped to pay for the provision of the education shelter on the Samphire Hoe where hundreds of children are taught about nature. This reminder came in the context of the fact that the guest speaker was Paul Holt who reminded Rotarians present at the meeting that this year is the 20th anniversary of the creation of Samphire Hoe where he has worked for 19 of those years. He described how acres of industrial land at the base of Dover’s cliffs were transformed into a stunning location for wild flowers, rare birds and peaceful picnics.


Once, he recalled, the plateau at the base of the cliffs was a coal mine that gave birth to the mining industry in Kent. But the much bigger Samphire Hoe of today was created from dumping nearly seven million cubic metres of Channel Tunnel chalk marl dug from under the Strait to provide another part of England. Today Samphire Hoe, he said, was a haven for 190 species of plants and many rare birds and butterflies. Sheep and cows now graze on the Hoe’s grassland and the Hoe he said, is now visited by thousands of visitors from all over the world.


He recalled that the name ‘Samphire Hoe’ was suggested, in a local paper’s readers’ competition, by the late Mrs Gillian Janaway, the wife of the current secretary of Dover Rotary Club, Philip Janaway, who himself is a former distinguished member of Dover’s teaching fraternity.

Paul Holt with President Dave Smith

Peter Whibley, London-Paris cycle ride

27July 2017

Experiencing depression? Take up a sport. That was the advice of 64 year old Peter Whibley when he spoke to the Rotary Club of Dover on his recent cycle challenge in raising funds for the Pilgrims’ Hospice. He explained that in 2008 he experienced total meltdown in the year of the financial crash in which he found himself out of a well-paid job with NatWest and for a period of three months he suffered severe depression and remained at home. He was prescribed drugs and underwent therapy until someone suggested he try taking up a sport.


Taking up cycling in 2010 for health reasons therefore he became addicted to the activity and in 2011 he and seven others cycled from Land’s End to Dover (415 miles) over five days and raised £12,500 for Help for Heroes. He was very much involved in organising the event with his friend Jim Gleeson of Cullins Yard and the whole process helped his recovery back to relative normality. Since then, he said he had really enjoyed cycling but to get the most out of it needed to challenge himself. In 2013 he cycled in the first Prudential London Surrey 100, cycling 100 miles around the Olympic road race course which had been covered by the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. He raised around £2,500 for Help for Hospices and repeated the ride in 2015 raising in excess of £1,500 for Hospice UK.


This month Peter embarked on a 4-day cycle journey from London to Paris covering 309 miles in total. He said that the first day took all the riders involved from Croydon to Dover and this was a particularly tough day because of the topography of the route and it was undertaken after a night of torrential rain. Day 2 took him and his fellow-cyclists from Calais to Arras, a distance of 82 miles, in rain and a headwind of 20 – 30 mph. Day 3 saw him riding through the Somme region of France between Arras and Compiègne and the fourth day took him to Paris, the Champs Elysée and the Eiffel Tower. This day was not without incident as his new-found cycling companion, aged 70 and also named Peter, had a serious accident en route but notwithstanding that the two Peters managed to reach the finishing line by the deadline that had been set. Peter was particularly pleased to receive thanks from younger riders who had found encouragement and support from Peter and his fellow namesake, the oldest riders on the challenge.


The outcome of the journey was that Peter raised over £3000 for the Pilgrims’ Hospice, a movement for which he has a considerable passion. This included a cheque from the Rotary Club presented by President Dave Smith accompanied by his wife Judith.

First Lady Judith Smith, Peter Whibley, President Dave Smith

Visit to Dover SMART Project

21 August 2017

One of the local organisations nominated by this year’s Rotary Club of Dover President, Dave Smith, is Dover Smart Project which delivers art to disadvantaged people including young carers, the homeless and hospice patients. A group of young carers associated with the organisation wanted to try and ensure Dover’s beaches were kept clear of litter but had no funds to buy all the equipment needed so in stepped The Rotary Club to provide the necessary money.


Recently, President Dave Smith and Community Action and Social Events Committee Chairman Tony Cook both visited The Dover Smart Project’s headquarters at Waterloo Crescent to hand over a cheque for £180.92 to members of the Smart Project to enable the purchase of litter picking equipment as well as protective gloves so the young carers can proceed with their aim of beach cleaning.

Dover SMART Project Presentation

07 September 2017

Rotary Club of Dover President, Dave Smith, handed over a cheque for £3,500 to Dawn Maddison and Laura Graham from the Dover Smart Project on Thursday this week to sponsor the leasing and fuel of a van for the next twelve months for use by the Project. The Project uses a van on a regular basis so much so that its operation relies on the availability of its van. The white van has the Rotary logo emblazoned on its bonnet.


Dover Smart Project delivers art to disadvantaged people including young carers, the homeless and hospice patients and earlier in this Rotary year President Dave Smith and Community Action and Social Events Committee Chairman, Tony Cook, both visited The Dover Smart Project’s headquarters at Waterloo Crescent to present a cheque to enable group of young carers associated with the Project to purchase  all the necessary litter picking equipment they needed to enable them to try and ensure Dover’s beaches were kept clear of litter.

Young Carers' Day Out

16 September 2017

Members of the Rotary Club of Dover have been active in recent days on both domestic and international levels. Together with members of the Rotary Club of Deal Rotarians treated a number of Young Carers to a day out on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway where the carers enjoyed a trip on the length of the railway to Dungeness and entertainment at the amusement area at New Romney. A good time was had by all including a fish and chip meal and President Dave Smith of the Dover club thanked the Deal club members and especially Past President Peter Rothschild through whose good offices the train had been made available for this exclusive opportunity for the Young Carers.

World Polio Day

24 October 2017

Canterbury Cathedral went purple for polio on Tuesday 24 October 2017.

When children are immunized against poliomyelitis a little finger is dipped in purple ink. This colour has now been carried worldwide as a symbol of the battle to finally eradicate polio. Rotary in the South East asked the Dean & Chapter of Canterbury for their support and were delighted that such an iconic place embraced this worldwide gesture.

Though polio may seem distant in this country there are still around 100,000 people here being treated for post polio syndrome from the epidemics of the 1950s and 60s.

“We are so very close.” said Rotary District Governor Carol Vizzard. “There are just three countries now where polio has been found and only 11 cases so far this year. But to end polio there are still millions of children being vaccinated. Rotary has been for 30 years and still is at the forefront of this battle.”

The Corona of the Cathedral went purple from 6.30pm to 7.00pm on Tuesday 24 October.

Daniel Knox, University of Kent

09 November 2017

A ‘squadron’ of drones is kept at Kent university to help computing department students in their class work, members of Dover Rotary Club were told recently.


Guest speaker was computer scientist Daniel Knox of the Department of Computing at the university who explained, with the use of a video, how the airborne craft can work together as would be useful in transferring carried loads.


Mr Knox, telling how the speed of technology was increasing, displayed some of the computing machines used including 3D printers and laser cutters. He also detailed the many types of products that can result, including his own displayed gold wedding ring which was designed by computers in the department.


When questioned, he said each year there were around 600 applicants for places in the department of whom 200 were selected annually to join the department’s 1,000 students. In his opinion most first year students arriving at the department had very little knowledge of engineering, even how to use a screw driver and other tools. This, he submitted, was the result of the reduction in workshop training today in secondary schools.

Christmas Dinner

09 November 2017

A bunch of energetic Rotarians led the entertainment at our 2017 Christmas Dinner, followed by the lovely Knightingales singing group.

Rotary Family Carols at Dover Castle

21 December 2017

We finished the year with a Celebration in Carols and Christmas readings for all the Rotary family and the wider community, followed by seasonal refreshmentsheld on 21st December in the Church of St Mary-in-Castro (Dover Castle). The church was full almost to overflowing - a fitting way to sign off for 2017.

A retiring collection was taken in aid of RNLI.

We're grateful to the co-ordinating Chaplain, Canon Jonathan Russell, the Churchwardens, and English Heritage, for allowing us the use of this wonderful building for such a memorable evening.

A Merry Christmas, one and all!

'What We Do' Main Pages:

Bringing mental health support together.




Martha Trust – transforming lives


Carers UK makes life better for carers.


Some of the events throughout 2018


100 years of Rotary in Dover


Annual Dover Regatta


A list of Presidents since 1922


Fellowship ia a one year Rotary trial period. Without fully committing to join the club, you can experience the incredible work and friendship that lives within Rotary. Fellowship allows you to join in on social activities as well as our projects.


Some of our work throughout 2017


A history of the 100 years of Rotary


An overview of some events from 2022


Our friends of Rotary are a great group of volunteers, who give their time freely to help and support the work of Rotary Club of Dover. For personal reasons they cannot commit for being Rotarians but share the same principals of helping others.


Some of our work throughout 2016


Everybody should have access to good food. Everybody values community. Your Local Pantries provide both – and more.


The Zest programme offers a range of creative activities and inspiring resources for people living with dementia and their families and their loved ones.


An overview of events from 2019


The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. With your help, we can make lives better in your community and around the world.


Rotary believes in developing the next generation of leaders. Our programs help younger leaders build leadership skills, expand education and learn the value of service.