At lunch on 12th August 2019 the members of Gravesend Rotary inducted Meopham Valley Vineyard Ltd as a Corporate Member of the Club. Membership Leader Tony Muckley reintroduced Mr. Ben Bassi, Director of Meopham Valley Vineyard Ltd, to the assembled Club members and recalled that Ben had already attended lunch and supported the Club’s activities on several previous occasions.
Tony recognised Ben’s entrepreneurial work with the wine business and noted several members’ comments on the excellence of the range of wines produced.
President Andrew Moffat took Ben
through the induction process as the Principal Representative of the Corporate
Member. The President said “I now present to you the badge which all Rotarians
are proud to wear and the booklet which gives an introduction to Rotary, here
and world-wide. … Rotarians, I present to you Meopham Valley Vineyard Ltd
represented here by its Principal Representative in the Club, Ben Bassi. We all
Ben thanked the President and
looked forward to participating in the social, networking and “Service above
Self” activities of the Club.
Former Prime Minister, Theresa May, paid tribute to Rotary’s work in eradicating polio, in particular to Judith Diment, Chair of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force. It followed a question from Alistair Burt MP, a former Middle East and International Development Minister.
He asked: “Can I thank my Right Honourable Friend for her work supporting and overseeing the health programme which the United Kingdom delivers overseas, particularly vaccination, and most notably polio eradication vaccination for which she has herself been internationally recognised, and which has saved and safeguarded millions of children’s lives across the world.
He asked: “Does she agree with me that the need to combat misinformation about vaccination is now perhaps as important as it ever has been? And would she …. note the importance of this programme ….
The Prime Minister endorsed Alistair Burt’s comments, adding: “My Right Honourable Friend’s reference about the work on polio enables me to congratulate and commend the work done by my constituent, Judith Diment, with Rotary International in their work against polio.
“It is important that we do combat the disinformation about vaccinations, and ensure that people are willing to have those vaccinations which will change their lives and which will ensure they can lead healthy lives, rather than succumbing to diseases and conditions that can have an impact on their lives.
“I am proud of the fact …. that we have legislated for 0.7% of Gross National Income to be spent on development aid overseas. That is an important element of global Britain, it is an important element of our standing in the world.”
Tony Lewis was welcomed as a new honorary member at our lunch meeting on Monday. Tony had been an active member of the club for some years but had to leave because of other commitments. However he kept in touch and continued to help the club at its events.
In recognition of Tony’s past contribution to Rotary and the community the club readily agreed to this recognition of his service. We also look forward to closer contact with him and Mary as it will now be easier for them join in the club’s activities.
Gravesend Rotary was invited to take part in a community day at KCC Library at Marling Cross. Several charities and voluntary organisations were represented such a Girl Guides, Age Concern, St John Ambulance and Embroidery Guild.
We were there to tell visitors about the work of Rotary and how we can help the local community. We will be doing the same at the Dashwood Library on the 16th August.
Gravesend Rotary held its
outgoing President’s lunch and handover on 1st July 2019 at Nurstead
Court. All those attending enjoyed a two-course meal with wine. It marked the
end of the 2018-19 Rotary year and heralded the start of the next year.
Outgoing President Tony
Muckley welcomed fellow Rotarians, spouses, members of the Inner Wheel Club of
Gravesend, friends and guests. He thanked them for attending the event and
hoped they would enjoy the meal, the fellowship and the handover process to the
President for 2019-20.
After the meal President
Tony reflected on his two back to back terms of office. He had found the two year
term to be very useful for continuity of purpose and crystallising actions to
pursue the primary objectives for the future of the club.
He said: “Our Club is
recognised for “punching above its weight” over its long tenure, and we
continue to do so. However, like many other Rotary clubs, we face the
challenges of sustaining and necessarily growing our Club to be able to
continue our support of charities and needy causes, our Service above Self. Our
approach, established by consensus, some eighteen months ago reflects the need
for change to the Club’s structure and functionality to enable the necessary
targets of increased membership and heightened public image to be pursued. Essentially, the club will look and act differently
to continue its role in the community and to attract new members”.
President Tony took the
opportunity to recognise the following:
The tireless efforts of Bob Denby in
pursuit of new members, both individual and Corporate membership.
The 33rd annual On Your Bike
ride was held successfully on 12th May 2019 with over 550
participating riders. Again, Andrew Moffat expertly led the task group that
worked for over 8 months to deliver the event.
The establishment of a new Promotions task
group that is gaining strength under the creative leadership of John Dyke.
The development of business networking
synergy with Gravesham Council. This being a key plank for the Club to be in
step with the evolution of the Gravesham business and social communities. A way
of getting back to the Club’s roots.
President Tony had encouraged the Community
Service and International Committees to visit projects they support and get more
deeply involved with sleeves rolled up working at the coal faces of activity.
Chris Keeble, Di Trimm and their spouses could not attend the lunch because
they were busy in Kenya for two weeks supporting the charity called Footsteps. Locally,
John Baker and his team have coordinated the Club’s support for Hive Hope
foodbank’s new venture to provide meals in the school breaks for children who
qualify for free school meals. In essence, to make sure the pupils and their
siblings continued to be fed. Literally sleeves were rolled up to prepare and
serve the meals as wells as doing the washing and drying up.
In development is Gravesend Rotary’s
intention to work with the G&M and NwEGC Rotary clubs and Gravesham Council
on how, together with active entities such as Sanctuary, the impact on
addressing the homeless situation in our Borough can be maximised.
In 2017 members of Gravesend Rotary
visited its twinned club in France, Cosne-Sancerre. At the end of May this year
the French club reciprocated with 10 members visiting Gravesend for a weekend
of camaraderie and exchanges of ideas. It was an excellent weekend of
activities. We look forward to traveling to France in 2021.
The support for ShetlerBox for disaster
relief has continued. In addition to
street collections and other social events, connections with several schools,
particularly primary schools, were renewed. Learning about disasters is part of
the primary curriculum so the Club is using inhouse skills to give talks to the
pupils. Several schools have staged events to raise money to fund ShelterBoxes.
Last week a visit was made to Cecil Road School to receive a cheque for £1,069.80,
almost enough for 2 boxes. A fantastic effort by the pupils and council.
Other staple events such as the International
Committee’s Quiz Night and annual competitions with local Rotary clubs continued.
The above is just a taste
of the range of activities the Club undertakes.
Many of the activities
greatly benefit from the unrelenting support of the members’ spouses, the
members of the Gravesend Inner Wheel Club and Friends of Rotary. The President
conveyed the members’ thanks. He also appreciated the members’ trust and
support during his term of office. Finally, he thanked his wife, Sue, not only
for her unending and generous support but also for her patience and guidance.
In the handover phase of
the event Tony Muckley introduced Andrew Moffat as the incoming 2019-20 Club
President. Andrew has been a Member of the Club since 1980 and had been President
for the Rotary year 1990-91. He has held several positions in the Club including
leading the task group for our signature On Your Bike event.
Tony Muckley passed over to Andrew Moffat the club
regalia comprising two ribbons that bear the names of all the Presidents since
the club was founded in 1927, some 92 years ago. He also handed to Andrew the
President’s lapel and tie pins. He was wished good luck for the new Rotary year
and assured of the support of all the members.
President Andrew started his year by thanking Tony Muckley for his work as President in the preceding two years and presenting him with his Past President’s badge. Also Sue was given flowers.He also presented Brian Portway with his President Elect’s ribbon and Dilly Singh with his Vice President’s ribbon.
On Saturday 29th June 2019 Rotarians Bob Denby, Andrew Moffat and John Dyke pitched the Gravesend Rotary gazebo at the School fete.
It was a very hot day, but it didn’t deter many pupils,
families and friends of the school arriving for the fun, and games.
The Rotarians offered freshly made, free popcorn to all
comers. The smell of cooking and loud popping noise of the corn attracted
children and adults alike to our gazebo. All agreed that the popcorn tasted
good and was a welcome part of the festivities. Indeed, some families returned
for a second helping.
As usual ICE (In Case of Emergency) cards were given to the
users of mobile telephones. This additional security measure was welcomed by
His Worshipful the new Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Gurdip Ram Bungar stopped by several times to meet the Rotarians and to discuss Gravesend Rotary’s activities and support for social needs in the Borough. Also enjoying the popcorn were Bob Lane, the Chairman of Shorne Parish Council, and his wife.
President Tony Muckley said, “we enjoyed meeting many people and giving them a taste of the popcorn as well some information what our club does. We are very grateful to the Friends of Shorne School (FOSS) for giving us this opportunity. We hope to participate again next year and to explore projects with the School”.
On Wednesday 26th June 2019 the Rotary Club of Gravesend received a cheque for £1069.80p from the pupils and staff of Cecil Road School, Gravesend. This money was raised for the ShelterBox Charity, the Rotary inspired organisation which sends boxes of emergency supplies to areas stricken by natural and man made disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fire and conflict.
Earlier this year Rotary club members gave a demonstration of the boxes’ contents to the pupils and told them of what could be done for people after a disaster. The school council then decided to raise the £600 needed to buy a box of supplies for ShelterBox which would then be forwarded to the next disaster zone. The contents include a tent for a family of ten people and all they will need to live when they have lost everything.
Blankets and mosquito nets, tools to rebuild their home, pots and pans to cook the food supplied by other specialist relief organisations and essential items like water purification equipment, the contents of the green boxes have grown and been updated since they were first developed by a British Rotary club member from Cornwall in 2000. Now whenever a disaster occurs a specialist volunteer team is sent out to assess the needs of the survivors and arrange for the delivery of the Green ShelterBoxes from world wide storage depots. These depots have been established in critical points throughout the known danger areas and updated so that response times are as short as possible.
Staff member Bernadette Vincent explained how the school council, made up of boys and girls representing all school pupils, organised varied events to raise the money including curry lunches and sponsored swims. The final total has bought not just one box but almost enough for a second as well.
Tony Muckley the current president of the Rotary Club of Gravesend ( pictured with the school council members), was handed the cheque and thanked the children for all their hard work. “Our association with Cecil Road goes back for many years and we have always been impressed with the pupils willingness to help those in need. Once again the children have shown the way forward and should be proud of the results of their efforts. On behalf of ShelterBox I thank you all sincerely and I am honoured to be able to give the school a special certificate in recognition of their achievements”
Back row left to right: Baani, Brooke, Sophie, Isabella, Sara, Simran, Ekamjot, Devan, Yuvi Middle row left to right: Reggie, Akash, Leo, Finley, Daniel, Umutchan Front row left to right: Rotarian John Baker, Head Teacher Mrs Vincent, Teacher Miss Apps, Emily, Rotary President Tony Muckley and Rotarian Andrew Moffat
At the beginning of June 2019 members of the French Rotary Club of Cosne-Sancerre visited Gravesend for 5days of camaraderie and exchanges of experiences with Gravesend Rotary. The clubs have exchanged visits over many years. President Tony Muckley welcomed the visitors, and Martine Melier, President of the Cosne-Sancerre Club brought the very best salutations from her club members.
The visitors experienced the Dickens Festival in Rochester and a made a tour of Gravesend with the local historian Christophe Bull. The members of both clubs together with spouses and friends dined at the Woodlands Hotel and the 14th century the Three Daws Pub beside the Thames. On another evening smaller groups dined at Bartella’s Restaurant and the George Pub in Meopham as well as at the home of John and Vanessa Dyke.
The last function was a very enjoyable leisurely afternoon
and late lunch at Di Timms house in St. Mary’s Hoo. It concluded with President
Tony presenting each of the visitors with bottles of fine red and white wine
from Meopham Valley Vineyards. He said “You come from a famous region in France
where the world-famous Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé wines are produced but we want you
to know that here in Kent, in Meopham, fine wines are also produced. We have had a wonderful weekend together and
look forward to sustaining our friendship and visiting you in the future,
possibly in 2021.”
After arrival back home in France Danielle Emond wrote “We all had an excellent stay in Gravesend, we were overwhelmed by your warm welcome. During our Club meeting on Thursday evening we gave a report to the other members, which made them jealous … We all agreed that you must come to visit us again, we already made plans how to entertain you. This friendship between our 2 clubs has a great meaning for us and we wish to keep it strong.”
USA cyclist Edwin
Valarde set out on a 1,200 kilometer (740 miles) EPiC Journey from Gravesend to
Hamburg on Monday.
Rotary saw him off from Mid Kent Golf Club, Singlewell Road, for the 45 mile
route to Canterbury. Then the following day it was to Dover and ferry across
Edwin lives with
type-1 diabetes, This is Edwin’s fourth EPiC Journey to raise awareness about what
he calls the growing Global Diabetes Epidemic.
“Over 425 million have diabetes around the
world. Sadly, 3.8 milion deaths are caused by diabetes and high blood glucose
each year,” said
greater than the number of people living in Brussels, Amsterdam and Hamburg combined!
If we do not do anything about the fast-spreading Global Diabetes Epidemic, the
future numbers will grow exponentialy.”
Rotary has just held its giant charity cycle ride and so giving Edwin a send
off is extra special for us,”said President Tony Muckley
“Also we have
family members with diabetes and know what a huge challenge this must be for
him to take on.”