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.”