Dec 092019

Over the years the Rotary Club of Gravesend has given £168,622 to ellenor; the latest donation of £6,000 was presented on Monday at the hospice.

Pictured (L to R): Rotary club President Andrew Moffat, ellenor fundraising manager Kate Barnes, area fundraiser Leah Poppy and On Your Bike chairman Simon Lancaster
Click on photo for full size image

The ellenor was the lead charity for this year’s On Your Bike sponsored cycle ride organised by the club that raised over £12,000 for mainly local charities thanks to the participation of 550 cyclists.

See also our recent post Charities Receive Grants

Nov 252019

Members attended the parade at the war memorial in Windmill Hill Memorial Gardens. Present were the Mayor, Cllr Gurdip Bungar, and contingents form the British Legion and other uniformed groups such as Scouts, Sea Cadets, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps.

Following the silence the service was conducted by Revd Jacqueline Littlewood with the Christ Curch choir. Music was provided by Gravesend Borough Band.

After the service local groups laid wreaths and our President laid one on behalf of Rotary. Finally we had a Sunday lunch at the Cricketers Inn at Meopham.

Nov 232019

Rotary club of Gravesend members and their wives have for years helped the British Legion on their Poppy Collection days. and this year has been no exception. In the fortnight before Remembrance Day members of the club and their wives were helping the British Legion on its stall at Asda in Gravesend.

Pictured at Gravesend’s ASDA store on a day’s outing from their home in Rochester are;  mum Holly  with sons Jenson 4 yrs old and brother Noah 5 yrs   together  with Heather Denby from the Gravesend Inner Wheel club.   The organisation for wives partners and friends of Rotary members.Heather said that “like Rotary, Inner Wheel  works for the benefit of everyone and at this time of year we are proud to be able to make a difference to all service men and women who  fought for their country.

Nov 122019

There will be a display of 4,000 purple crocuses in Woodlands Park, Gravesend next Spring thanks to the Rotary Club of Gravesend assisted by pupils from St George’s Church of England School and Gravesham Borough Council.

The flowers will not be there just to look pretty: they will symbolise the efforts of Rotary clubs around the world to eradicate polio everywhere. Purple is the colour adopted by the campaign and the crocus is its symbol.

The End Polio Now campaign has been so successful that now polio is endemic in only two countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan. Everywhere else it has been eradicated. This success was celebrated recently by floodlighting the Gravesend clocktower purple.

More Information about the End Polio Now campaign

Nov 072019

On Monday (28th October) Gravesend Rotary held a networking lunch. This event was part of the club’s networking programme that aims to foster interaction between businesses and organisations within the Borough and present opportunities to know more about them. Essentially, the lunchtime event successfully provided an opportunity for those attending to become more familiar with a local business and for sharing of knowledge, ideas and best practices.

Welcome to Visitors

Representatives from many local businesses and organisations attended as well as Cllr. Brian Sangha, GBC Cabinet Member for the Strategic Environment, and Keith Grimley, GBC Senior Economic Development. The strong interest in the event confirmed its value and its intent to be complementary to other networking activities in the Borough, such as GBC’s quarterly networking breakfasts. The club’s Rotarians, who have a wide range of vocational backgrounds, their spouses and members of the Inner Wheel Club of Gravesend energetically engaged with our visitors.

President Andrew Moffat welcomed everyone to the club and the cold buffet lunch. Many of the visitors were already familiar with the objectives of the club so President Andrew took the opportunity to reflect on current activities including the lighting of Gravesend’s clock tower in purple on 24th October 2019 in recognition of World Polio Day, the planned planting of 4,000 crocus bulbs in Woodlands Park on 12th November as part of the “End Polio Now” project and planning for the 34th annual On Your Bike charity ride to be held on 19th April 2020 with the local Alzheimers and Dementia Centre being the selected main beneficiary.

Guest Speaker

Florian von Steinkeller

Tony Muckley, the club’s leader for business networking and membership, introduced the guest speaker Mr. Florian von Steinkeller, the Managing Director of Britannia Refined Metals Ltd.(BRM). Mr. von Steinkeller is also chairman of the International Lead Association and a Non-Executive Director of the US based International Lead Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO). He joined Xstrata in 2008 to help set up the corporate head office for Xstrata’s zinc-lead-silver assets in Australia before moving to his current position at BRM in 2012. Before Glencore Xstrata, he worked at the Royal Dutch Shell Group for 10 years where he fulfilled a number of senior roles in the downstream business, mainly focussing on M&A and Corporate Restructurings.

Mr. von Steinkeller gave a detailed and interesting presentation, explaining that BRM owns and operates the largest lead producing plant in Europe. Based in Northfleet it markets an extensive range of lead alloys essential for cable producers, battery manufacturers, and other niche industries worldwide. The company also produces silver and operates a fluorspar marketing business across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  BRM has been part of the Xstrata group from 2003 until merging with Glencore plc. in 2013.

Having been established in about 1930, BRM has remained a long-standing member of the local business community throughout the evolution of the Borough. It continues to be one of the biggest operators in the Borough and a significant employer. BRM has a robust sustainable development programme, including support for the local social community, charities and the management and regeneration of adjacent marsh land for the proliferation of wildlife and enjoyment by the public.

After questions, Rtn. Bob Denby gave a vote of thanks to the speaker, and Andrew Moffat drew to the lunchtime session to a close.

Tony Muckley

Note: The club is grateful to Tony Muckley (assisted by Simon Lancaster and Bob Denby) for his efforts in arranging such a successful event.

Oct 302019

We marked World Polio Day on Thursday, 24 October, 2019 by arranging with Gravesham Council for the Gravesend Clock Tower to be floodlit in purple, the colour adopted by the End Polio Now campaign.

It was great for us to be able to mark World Polio Day in this way and then explain to the area about the significance of helping Rotary to continue the campaign for polio eradication. This we did through social media and it was also promoted across the UK and World-wide by Rotary.

Then on that day it was officially announced that Type 3 Polio had been  eradicated worldwide. Type 2 had already been eradicated which only leaves Type 1 which still endemic only in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

So Gravesend joined with countries all around the World and has become very much part of that historic moment.

Brian Portway

More information about the End Polio Now campaign

Oct 162019

Gravesend’s famous Clock Tower will shine purple from sunset to midnight on Thursday, 24 October, 2019, joining thousands of buildings around the globe for World Polio Day.

Polio now seems a distant memory in the UK although our children are still routinely vaccinated against it. Gravesend Rotary is supporting the global campaign to see the end of the disease once and for all. This time using the tower’s unique floodlighting scheme.

Purple comes from the colour of the ink marking the little finger of every child receiving the polio vaccine drops in the End Polio Now campaign.

Thanks to Rotary, and the support of partners WHO, Unicef, CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there are now just two countries still classed as endemic: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

To finish the job over two billion doses of oral polio vaccine have to be administered each and every year in over 60 countries until the world is finally certified polio free.

Gravesend Rotary President Andrew Moffat highlighted that the countries might seem distant but with travel as numerous and easy as now then polio could arrive back.

“It still could be only a plane flight away unless it is completely eradicated.”

Gravesend Rotary has also provided 4,000 purple crocus bulbs to be planted in Woodlands Park this month.

Brian Portway

More information about Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign

Oct 152019

On Tuesday evening two of our members Di Trimm and Chris Keeble gave a presentation to the three local Rotary clubs about their trip to Kenya.

The purpose of the visit was to spend 2 weeks in and around The Sunshine Centre in Naivasha, Kenya.

The Centre is organised by two special people, Martin and Mary Print, who raise funds to support the centre which currently has 72 boys living there during school term time.

The Rotary Club of Gravesend has supported their charity FOOTSTEPS INTERNATIONAL over many years.

As members of our International Committee Di and Chris decided, with their partners Malcolm Trimm and Marion Keeble, to go to Kenya to see the work that Martin and Mary were doing.

It turned out to be an incredibly moving and uplifting experience.

As some of the pictures show we were involved in various tasks and had the opportunity to visit the boys’ homes to which they return for the school holidays.

We also visited several  primary and secondary schools and a technical college to which the boys go.

Footsteps International also sends food to other schools in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi which we visited.

It is hard to sum up all the emotions that we experienced but felt that  the money we had sent to  Martin and Mary, over the years, had changed so many lives for the better. It gave the boys the opportunity to develop as individuals and look forward to a life of which some could only dream .

Through the generosity of Rotarians and other friends we have been able to give Footsteps £1,728.50. That is enough to pay for education for 12 boys in primary school for a year.

More information about Footsteps International and how we help it

Primary school class
Helping in the primary school
Meal time in school
Sunshine school buildings
Kara secondary school class
Start of the Marafun half marathon
Queuing for dinner
Home with family
Reservoir in need of renovation
Working on the reservoir
Clearing the reservoir
The well house
Warer purification system for the well
Learning a trade at the technical college
learning welding at the technical college
Mechanical class at technical college
The visiting Rotarians Di & Chris with Malcolm & Marion

If the slideshow above does not display properly in the email version please view it on our web site

Sep 202019

The three Rotary clubs in Gravesham (Gravesend, Northfleet and Gravesend & Meopham) met on a sunny Sunday afternoon (8 September) to play petanque.

Gravesend Rugby Football Club has top quality petanque courts. The cover over part of the courts is the one recently removed (legally, we are told!) from the car park by Gravesend Market. Some of its members were there to guide the less experienced of us and enforce the rules.

After the games the afternoon was rounded off by a buffet and drinks in the club’s bar.

Sep 192019

At the Gravesham Borough Council quarterly breakfast networking meeting Tony Muckley, Leader of Membership and Business Networking, announced  to the attendees our club’s networking lunch arranged for Monday 28th October 2019.

In brief, Mr. Florian von Steinkeller, CEO of Britannia Refined Metals Ltd, will make a presentation about his operation in Northfleet, its part of the global Glencore Group and its approach to sustainable development, especially the environment and support for the local community. A light lunch, which will be for a relatively small cost, and the presentation will last for about one hour.

If you and/or your colleagues and friends are interested to attend please let Tony know by email to by 30th September 2019.

The event is an opportunity to hear about a long established local business and to network with like-minded people. There will be opportunities to make contacts and to share experiences about  the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of operating within the Borough whilst addressing global dynamics. It features within Gravesend Rotary’s programme of activities in support of the evolution of the local business and social communities.