Jul 102019

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”.

Looking back

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.

A new President

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.

Tony Muckley

Jul 072019

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 all.

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”.

Tony Muckley

Jul 032019
The school’s motto

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.

Rotary Club President Tony Muckley handing the ShelterBox certificate to Emily

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. 

Rotary Club President Tony Muckley receiving the cheque from teacher Miss Apps

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”

Members of the school pupils’ council with staff and members of Rotary club of Gravesend

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

Click on photos to see the full size image

Bob Denby