News From Around The District

Latest News From Around The District

On Your Bike

On Your Bike - Gravesend 2017
On Your Bike - Gravesend 2017

Sunday 9th April 2017 - My first bike event of the year; Gravesend Rotary Club's annual event in aid of Elenor Hospice and other charities. 

Thirty glorious miles through North Kent countryside in stunning weather. A couple of challenging, cramp inducing hills; one just under two miles we were told. Joined by training buddy Jenny Olpin. 

My sixth ride with them so now have a set of six slate coasters. For Gravesend, their thirty first! 

Congratulations to RC of Gravesend for a safe and well organised event.

Now rehydrating with a cool G&T! 

(Report from Chris Barnett & photo from Himansu Basu)

Companionship at Christmas
Christmas Dinners in Sittingbourne

25 Years of Christmas Dinners

Companionship at Christmas recently celebrated 25 years of providing Christmas dinners to those on their own in Sittingbourne.

Over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, 120 people enjoyed each others company over the festive season. There was lots of laughter, music, balloons and a special cake marking the 25 years. Everyone enjoyed the truly excellent cooking from the volunteers who gave up their own time over the Christmas period. 

Companionship at Christmas is a charity supported by the Rotary Club of Sittingbourne Invicta and club member Pamela Prescott helped hand out dinners and presented a cheque for £200  as the club's contribution to this years event. 

Goodbye Crowborough

It is with regret that we announce the closure of the Rotary Club of Crowborough at the end of December 2016 with a loss of 14 club members. 

This club has been engaged in much active service in Crowborough since it was chartered 64 years ago, and will be a great loss to the town.

Faversham fish n Chip Supper
Faversham fish n chip lunch

Fish 'n Chips in Faversham

On Monday 5th December 2016 the Rotary Club of Faversham hosted over 120 senior citizens to a Christmas Fish and Chip lunch in the Alexander Centre. 

Music, Christmas Carols and plenty of cheer were heard on what was a memorable occasion. 

Medway's Santa Fun Run

Santa Fun Run
Charity Santa Fun Run

The Rotary Club of Medway held it’s annual SantaFunRun in Rochester High Street on November 19th 2016, attracting well over 800 red clad Santa’s.  

The spectacle was a stirring event that raised over £8,000 towards next years Rotary Children’s Hospice Family Holiday, that will be the 9th year the Club have hosted 6 families from Demelza and Ellenor Children’s Hospices.

Rotary Halloween Event


Ghosts and ghouls have raised £1,200 for charity in Pevensey.

A Halloween night at The Smugglers Inn saw 76 members of the Rotary Club of Sovereign Harbour, along with their friends and family attend a dinner for the Children With Cancer Fund in Polegate.

During the evening there was live entertainment, a raffle and a special cake to help notch up the funds. 

Plenty of weird looking Rotarians too!

Standing Ovation For Ade Adepitan

Ade Adepitan
Ade Adepitan at Conference

It was very much Ade's day at the Rotary South East conference on Saturday 29th October 2016.

Born in Nigeria, Ade contracted polio aged two that affected both his legs, and his parents made decision to move to UK when he was three.  He went to school in Plaistow, East London, and was recognised by his school-mates as a ‘tryer’; especially in sports.  

Ade was spotted by two physios with an ‘East End Project’ while being pushed on a sponsored supermarket trolley race, and he was persuaded to become involved in the programme.  Thanks to that, Frank Bruno raised money to buy him a lightweight self-propelled wheelchair.

Ade completed in a scratch paralympic basketball team in Cyprus that beat the favourites (the Germans), and has never looked back. He has now become a Rotary polio ambassador, and advocates for the the polio eradication endgame. 

He so richly deserved the standing ovation the hall gave him following his conference appearance. Ade also donated his appearance fee to the fight to eradicate polio.

World Polio Day

World polio Day
World Polio Day

Monday 24th October was World Polio Day, and to mark the event a group of Rotarians from the Sittingbourne Invicta and Sittingbourne & Milton clubs met at Hempstead House Hotel to plant 5,000 purple crocus corms. 

Purple crocuses are the international symbol of the campaign to eliminate this dreadful disease from the world. Initiated by Rotary International and supported by other organisations, this campaign is at the point of total elimination of the disease. 

In 2016 to 30 October there have been only 30 cases of polio, compared to 74 in the same period of 2015, and 350,000 cases in 1985 when Rotary’s campaign began. Despite this success, $1bn per year will need to be spent on vaccinating children for the next few years until we have two years without a case and a polio-free world can be celebrated.

The corms have been planted on the bank outside the hotel, and will provide a spectacular display in the early spring of 2017 and subsequent years. The picture shows the team from the two clubs with Mike Wood, Manager of Hempstead House Hotel.

Victory for Invicta

Invicta vs Sheppey

Thirty people from The Rotary Clubs of Sittingbourne Invicta and The Isle of Sheppey met at the Swale Indoor Bowls Club on Wednesday 19th October 2016. This has become an annual get together to renew friendships, but it is also a serious bowls challenge competition. 

The 24 players had training at the start of the evening, followed by bowl practice and then a buffet supper before the competition got underway. 

Four teams then spent over 2 hours bowling. With Sheppey winning previous years, it was good to see Invicta as overall winners on the night with all matches won. Total: Invicta 46, Sheppey 23.

Inspecting signs made by RBLI

Visit to RBLI

22 Sittingbourne Invicta Rotarians and partners visited Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) in Aylesford on Monday 25 July 2016.

This was an alternative meeting to our normal evening meeting. Geoff Streetley, Director of Commercial Operations, gave a presentatation in the boardroom about RBLI; covering its aims, assests, products, services and funding.

Club members were then split into two groups for a tour of the factory, which took us through the sign-making area where we were shown their state of the art printer. The tour then went into the Connect area where workers were making display models for shops. We were also shown the pallet making and pallet recycling facility.

Finally, we all enjoyed a lunch back in the boardroom. Everyone said they enjoyed the visit, and thanked Geoff for making the visit possible.

Maasai Warriors in Bexhill

Bexhill's Maasai warriors
Maasai Warriors dance for Bexhill

At the beginning of July, Bexhill Rotary Club heralded a new president, Geoff Longmire, and it was at his first full meeting in charge at Cooden Beach Golf Club on Tuesday 19th Julythat he was ‘invaded’ by a troupe of Maasai Warriors who performed authentic Maasai tribal dance.


The Osiligi Maasai Warriors, to give them their full title, come from the village of Oleopolos and surrounding communities in southern Kenya and are currently on their fourth tour of England.

The Warriors, resplendent in traditional costume, gave a stirring display of song and dance, which included the famous Maasai jumping – at one point President Geoff Longmire was hauled on to the dance floor by one of the Warriors and he gamely set about giving a reasonable impression of a Maasai Warrior even including one or two impressive jumps, much no doubt to his surprise and certainly to the surprise of the assembled Rotarians and their guests.


Not only were the Rotarians and guests treated to tribal dancing but also to the history of the Maasai.  The Maasai used to rely on their warriors fighting other tribes, quite often for the possession of cows (the Massai consider all cows in the world belong to them), but nowadays the warriors swear by the pen in one hand and a book in the other, instead of a spear and a shield.  Respect was also strong in the Maasai, respect for others and respect in particular for ones elders, as well as respect for the land and other living things.