Bulletin highlights September 2009- June 2010
ROTARY CLUB OF ROCHDALE
President: Elvet Smith
BULLETIN Sep/Oct 2009
Life has been challenging with my attempt at a new version of Grace; bell ringing was not one of my twenty four hobbies but is now!
The health of members is improving overall and has made me realise how much the club is a family, concerned about and caring for each other. Welcome to Martin Coupe who will be secretary over next 2 years. He has experience of the job but has commented on email making it a lot quicker than the old days. All of you should get it for it’s speed and convenience (and very cheap).
This month has been an exceptional speakers’ month.Sid Richards, ex Ivy League guitarist showed music in hospitals a worthwhile Charity of visiting musicians. The Club donated £50 and I have a DVD you can borrow.
Shahzad produced a whole history of Pakistan and its separation from India soon after a flag raising ceremony at the Town hall square. He brought along some fascinating books and documents. He has also been a very steadying influence in our multicultural society in Rochdale and has successfully made the difficult journey across various cultural divides.
Emma Buckley's jobtalk staggered us with her rapid rise to Store organiser extraordinaire after a very academic life that included mathematical modelling, a possible clue as to her success? She has already been nabbed by Inner Wheel to talk again.
The Crimble Peacock room was a very relaxing venue for an evening meeting where the food and laughter quickly overcame any urge to do much club business.
Chris Bryning is the latest of the Brynings and the last printer with the name. He revealed his genetic background with marvellous relics from his family history and printing. The story should be written up in a book for posterity.
Art and Craft fair at weekend was the best so far thanks to David Acton, Sheila, Mike and a big turnout from members. Very good feedback from stall holders on a Heritage town hall weekend with Mayor and Mayoress (see picture below), Rochdale Youth Orchestra, big tombola takings, Petrus, Samaritans and Help for Heroes charity stalls alongside 33 fee paying stalls. All the tombola prizes went and the raffle (a la Acton) art work added colour.
Mike Tomkinson and I were helpers on the Pool event at District disabled sports at St Helens. I haven’t been a Welsh International for ages! I asked some of the committee to look at the date next year to fit in better with school holidays.
Looking forward to hearing from Petrus and Samaritans at the Charities evening. Also Llandudno Conference at the Empire hotel with refurbished pool and our grow bag together with together exhibits.
Age concern have a group of elderly we’re taking on a Seniors out afternoon on Oct 13th at the Organ museum in Eccles. If we can forge links it might be a good contact for other joint events later.
Dr Barbara Murray of Street Doctors fame is my Charter night guest speaker and I’m taking her out for lunch after Llandudno so she will find out what I’m like before the night!
Finally, please do invite friends, neighbours, work contacts, etc to the Visitors evening on 1st October. John Kay and I are plotting a good welcome! See you there.
(Anything in this article related to real life people is not a coincidence).
Bulletin Nov / Dec 2009
Many great things recently.Rotary District Conference Llandudno weather, Empire hotel food and Saturday singsong. Conference presentation from Simon Weston (Falklands casualty); a tremendous inspiration to all to keep going against all odds. Michael Tomkinson’s befriending charity and David Acton’s vertical water preserving plant propagator were our first presentations at Conference and produced much interest hopefully bearing fruit later.
Fifteen guests came to a bubbly visitors evening marked by the sad raffling off of John Kay’s Rotary teddy. His shelter box video as an example of Rotary at its best was an inspired choice.
Speakers have included a Rochdale author (can’t be many) Pam Hill who managed to sell a few books to our literary members and made one realise writing books is a lot of hard work.
Paul Wilson enlightened us on Salvation Army life with its many facets. He is priest, manager, treasurer, secretary and musician all in one!
Despite Brian Cunliffe’s visit to intensive care (thankfully recovered now), he invited Rotarian Tony Brierley to talk on walking and climbing in the Alps, generously showing off his gear and superb photos.
Rotarian Peter Rawlinson gave an optimistic view of the future Rochdale as seen by its chief planning officer with an attractive town hall square, more wholesale and retail outlets and more employment with a better road system an integral part. He offered to come back with a progress report next year.
Mike and Heather Tomkinson and myself went on a Seniors out visit with great memories as a result .More Rotary members need to be involved if it is to become a regular.
I have been speaking at our daughter clubs Rochdale East and Middleton Charter nights and have been well looked after by their Presidents Ian Murray and Peter Hayward. They weren’t upset when I called their members our Chicks. I’ll reciprocate at our Charter where my Guest speaker is Dr Barbara Murray, a BBC regular when they want a medical perspective and she will enlighten you further on 16th November.
I presented our donation to Life Education Unit charity £850 to Robert Clegg at East’s Charter night (picture above).
My Presidents ‘gong’ is finally refurbished and will be a splendid sight to behold. Thank you Joan for loaning me yours – nobody noticed it said vice president! Best wishes to our recently ill members Brian, Dougie, Bill and Ted and I am hoping to do a ward round in the near future!
Seniors Out To Eccles Theatre Organ Heritage Centre
President Elvet's new project saw a party of 40 guests leave Rochdale for a trip to the Theatre Organ Heritage Centre at Eccles. Working in collaboration with Age Concern and Together organisations it was felt to be an ideal venue for a musical day out on a smart coach with a filling packet lunch .
The day was a good combination of a museum tour ,fellowship with one's pals and great Wurlitzer music played by the local Organist
The building was completed after three years of hard work by the Trust volunteers and slides of the conversion project were shown. They have transformed a semi-derelict Sunday School into an authentic 1920's auditorium complete with a vintage Wurlitzer organ rescued from a Liverpool theatre. The organist played many pieces of music that demonstrated the enormous versatility of the Wurlitzer.
During the interval we were given a guided tour of the inner workings of the instrument, together with an insight into the life of its Cheshire born designer Robert Hope-Jones as well as a tour of their museum. In the second half of the program a silent Laurel and Hardy film with traditional Wurlitzer accompaniment was shown. The finale gave everyone a chance to take part in a grand sing-along.
Rtn Mike Tomkinson
AWARDS CEREMONY FOR HOPWOOD HALL Rochdale town hall on 3rd December 2009
2nd VP Joan accompanied me to the awards ceremony held at the Town Hall, Rochdale. Clive Reid, a governor here, joined us for a while and we also met the other sponsors for the evening, the Emerson Educational Trust. Ian Murray, President of Rochdale East was to join us later. There were many familiar faces present, including the Mayor Keith Swift and his Lady Mayoress, Robert Clegg, chair of Governors, and MPs Jim Dobbin and Paul Rowan,.
We were there to present a new award, for the Most Improved Apprentice, a joint award from ourselves and Rochdale East, which was the last award of the evening.
Ian and I were invited onto the stage to present the award to Renata Caso, a young lady who is training to be a hairdresser. She works with her mother in a salon in Chadderton and according to her tutor is 'very enthusiastic and self motivated'. We presented her with a small shield and a certificate there and then, and will invite her to attend our club night on the 7th of January for her cash award.
A good evening and we hope to repeat the exercise again next year – John Cannell
Bulletin JAN/FEB 2010
PRESIDENT'S REMARKS FOR THE START OF NEW DECADE
All the very best to everyone for 2010.
The last few weeks (after a super Rotary Family meal) have been a busy arthritis time and I have been glad for a rest with family including Grandchildren and seasonal presents and food aplenty. I luckily delivered my Rotary Christmas parcels to three very pleased recipients just before the Whiteout.
Memories abound of sunny Llandudno with Rochdale’s very own Growbag and Befriending tables, David waving his arms about and Michael in intense concentration mode. Saturday night singsong with piano including Rolling Rotarians and Sinatra crooner Clive Reid; lovely weather, your President in an open frame of mind and reminded of the same, great hotel food and wine. Conference wasn’t bad either with Janet Gray and Simon Weston showing their incredible personal battles against all the odds now both living full lives and heavily involved in Charity work. They brought wet eyes to District Governor Liz Tatman and us all in a spellbound audience.
Charter night highlights were of a very friendly and relaxed occasion. Guest speaker ‘Street Doctor’ Barbara Murray was ably looked after by Chris Bryning with a marvellous story of her multiple careers. Her immense enthusiasm for helping her patients and publicising important medical facts via the media to a vast public audience contrasts with such a tiny person physically. It shows that quality is more important than quantity! It should be said she didn’t want a fee but I gave her a donation to her Charity the Stroke Association in lieu.
Our Bag packing Morrison’s day raised over £1300 with a lot of volunteers from Petrus and friends swelling the Rotary ranks. Memories of Dean noshing breakfast, blurred photos of packers David and Robert, meeting lots of patients, good turnout; well done Rotary again.
Ian Madeley’s Oldham contacts resulted in good support from Sainsbury’s to fund Christmas parcels. A good advert for the club as well. Energetic John Cannell has been gathering troops to restart Charity walks from Wardle and sprang into action with the Apprentice college award to Renata Caso, attending the town hall ceremony with Joan; also Ian Murray from East club - good shared project.
Joan’s guitar man evening got us all jigging and singing to 60s music. It seems our club has acted as an aphrodisiac in Joan and Keith’s case - congratulations again on your engagement.
Speakers highlights included:-
• Tony Young’s Metro update was history and future plans all in one; it is moving forward but I am disappointing that the planned new bus and tram station are not side by side. I bought his tram book - great reading.
• Rotarian George Teturswamy volunteer anaesthetist at a Cleft palate surgery camp in India - remarkable facial improvements in such a short time.
• Redwood students business enterprise is producing incredible quality goods.
• Dr. Rupert Smith from a great height showed how vitamin D is crucial in our bodies for resistance to disease and producing good muscle and bone.
Sad event was the death of Dr John Grice who was a GP when I came to Rochdale in 1980 and gave me sound advice. His energy and enthusiasm for work and life generally was very inspiring to me at the start of my career. The large turnout at his funeral and Jack Howorth’s reflections on his life must have been a great comfort for Pam.
The terrible flooding in Cumbria inspired us to donate £500 to Keswick Rotary, hand delivered by Martin Coupe and John Whitley. They witnessed the bleak results of the storms first hand.
On a brighter note Congratulations to Shahzad on his OBE in New Years Honours! So well deserved for his dedication to Rochdale people and the community.
I am looking forward to Charities and Best Apprentice presentations on Jan 7th and another Presidential 6 months ....
Rotarian John Grice (1918 – 2009) -A tribute from a fellow Rotarian
President Elvet has asked me to write a few words at the passing, at age 91, of a dearly loved member of the club, Dr. John Russell Grant Rice.
John joined the club in 1965. He has served as convenor for Group Study Exchange and Foundation and was President in 1979/80. In his Presidential Year he founded the Rochdale Probus Club of which many of our present members are also members. He was made an Honorary Member of our club in 2004.
A most popular member with many friends, John was a man of great integrity coupled with an endearing sense of fun. This latter quality fitted him for many enjoyable years as a member of the Rolling Rotarians – who can forget his formidable Edna Everidge-esque appearance in the ‘come dancing’ sketch?
John was a proud Scot, a true Brit and a perfect gentleman. He was born in Holytown in Lanarkshire, the son of a headmaster. He attended Hamilton Academy and at the age of 17 was admitted as a medical student to Glasgow University. After qualifying and working at Glasgow Infirmary, he came to Rochdale and became a partner at the West Street practice in 1942. He then volunteered for war service in the army and was commissioned in the RAMC. He served in the medical unit of the 51st Highland Division, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. A dreadful experience, of which he would not talk, was to be one of the first British officers to enter the Belsen death camp. As a medical officer at the ‘sharp end’, it must have been traumatic in the extreme.
Back in Rochdale, he spent the rest of his working life as a very respected GP. He also gave public service in many ways. He was a long serving magistrate and for some years was chairman of the very influential ‘Advisory Committee’ dealing with the appointment of new magistrates. He was on the Hospital Management Board and later served as deputy chairman of the Area Health Authority. He was Honorary medical officer at Rochdale Hornets RLFC and was also a senior Freemason in a Rochdale Lodge.
In his family life, John enjoyed many happy years with his wife Margaret and their daughters, Jacqueline and Gail. John and the girls suffered a severe blow when Margaret died in 1978. After several years alone, John had the great good fortune to meet Pam, who became his second wife and of all things Rotary was the matchmaker! But more of that below.
Pam entered enthusiastically into John’s life She joined Inner Wheel in which she played a full part as Convenor and President. John and Pam had many happy years until the dreadful illness and dementia took hold of John in his last years.
But to close on a happier note, ‘Rotary as matchmaker’. The meeting of John and Pam was one of those happily fortuitous happenings which sometimes occur. When John was President, he had the usual presidential privilege of choosing the charity for the year. He chose Kidney Research and asked them to provide a speaker. Accordingly Pam, who had lost her husband with kidney failure and was chair of the Oldham branch came along. That was John and Pam’s first meeting. The rest, as they say, is history and how blessed they were by fate.
Yes, to repeat, John was a dearly loved and true gentleman. He is sadly missed by Pam, both his and her families and all his friends.
Rotarian Geoff Howard.
ROTARY CLUB OF ROCHDALE Bulletin for Feb / Mar 2010
Last Thursday, 11th February, Stan Fielding’s team of volunteers ( 10 in number ) returned to DHL, Queensway meeting at 6.30 pm having duly signed in and donned our Rotary tabards were taken to a new area on site.
Dr Pam, Vincent and Pritt (members of Denton and Audenshaw Rotary Club), explained that DHL required our old area and that all the Life Box items had been shrink wrapped and moved to the new area. The evening was spent ascertaining what we had, labelling it and moving them on pallets so order could now come out of chaos and packing in future would be more efficient.
Dr Pam explained that she had receive an email from a Club member who was holidaying in Barbados and after several emails to DHL, Virgin Airways etc 159 life Boxes and 3 boxes of water purifiers were flown out to Miami by Virgin Airways ( their charity arm of Virgin Unite). From Miami they were going by sea to Haiti and on arrival were being in the control of a local doctor who is a Rotarian. Pam thought they were due to be arriving any day now in Haiti.
Rtn Derek Heywood
‘A good team going’ is the first thing to say with many events and projects being considered for the next 12 months. Already my charities (Samaritans and Petrus Day Centre) have been given £1000 each to expand their very worthwhile Rochdale activities.
It’s been a very snowy winter and it disrupted plans to have a mega charity presentation evening on 7th Jan. However as it turned out it was rather nice to have separate events. Denis Skelton of Petrus nearly missed the last train and I nearly pocketed Peter Crabbe’s cheque after presenting it to him in a photoshoot. There was good publicity made of these on Rochdale on line and Observer. More stories needed from members please!
Renata Caso was presented with her Hopwood Hall Apprentice award £300 at her families Unisex hair salon Pepi’s in Chadderton. My VP John Cannell had ankle damage and was a wobbly Sassenach so I drove him over to meet Renata. I was conscious my driving needed to be spot on and I got a bad start when the windscreen became heavily misted as I was doing hands-free phonecall - still battling with control of my red Jetta! John was very forgiving and nothing was bumped into. At the salon Pepi took one look at me and offered me a haircut but time was too pressing! Renata has lots of plans for her future including obtaining a teaching qualification and I’m sure she has a successful career ahead.
Our succession of Presidents continues to go well with David Smithard agreeing to be Second VP after Joan Elbourn. He has recently retired from his medical consultant post and obviously wants to keep other things flowing as a change from his battle with Rochdale’s stubborn kidneys.
Speakers recently have impressed; our Rotary MP Paul Rowan gave us an upbeat talk on Rochdale and the future. His involvement with Rheumatology and musculoskeletal medicine was obviously very absorbing for me.
There are great differences in provision of care for arthritis sufferers in the UK. Locally in the Pennine acute trust serving a population of 800,000, there are just 4 full time Rheumatologists and allied health professional-physios. There are smaller numbers of specialist nurses and occupational therapists than is the case elsewhere in the UK. Counterbalancing this, patients do have very good access to all the latest approved expensive drugs for their arthritis.
International projects with Pakistan and Uganda have been presented at club and Mo Sarwar and Shahzad are showing great energy and enthusiasm for charities close to their hearts. These are large projects to provide schooling and water supply to poor people and links with the overseas Rotary clubs are being forged. David Acton’s bags are growing and developing. Mike’s befriending project expands and I am pleased the club has such innovative members.
Congratulations to Christmas parcels team led by Mike Tomkinson with lots of thank you cards still coming in. Falinge school are through to the District final of Youth Speaks and Ravi Sharma keeps close tabs on events. Do go to Frodsham to support the school if you can. Book group continues to expand my mind, the latest book chosen by Emma Buckley being ‘The time travellers wife’ a tale of a man with ability to move back and fore in time but not able to change events-very frustrating! His wife was incredibly tolerant!
Potential new members are coming to the club regularly and this next year will be the big push to make our club modern and attractive. Visitors will be able to meet Rochdale’s very own Test cricket umpire on March 18th. John Kay has been as usual at the vanguard of things with a virtual Rotary club, one minute spiel on ‘What is Rotary’ and online charitable donations the latest ideas.
I’m looking forward to the club’s walk over Brown Wardle headed by John Cannell and his link with Wardle school has paid off. Also, Games night at Castleton Bowling will get us away for another informal evening. Anyone played shuv happenny? I’ve got some real happennies too!
On a personal level the Rotary family has gathered around to help Liz and me recently and we have both felt stronger knowing we have so many caring friends around. Thank you all for your kindness.
Hopwood Hall Most Improved Apprentice Award Presentation
On Tuesday the 26th of January, President Elvet and myself invaded 'Pepi's' hair dressing salon in Chadderton to present winner Renata with her cheque of £300. Her father was somewhat surprised to see us, but to soon relaxed whilst we took some pictures and made the presentation. In fact he offered Elvet a free haircut before we left!! (he declined...)
Renata is a confident young lady and a capable hairdresser. Her ambition is to complete her course and then become a tutor for training newcomers to the profession, a task I'm sure she'll achieve, before establishing her own business.
VP John Cannell.
President: Elvet Smith - Apr / May 2010
President’s time has been fully occupied this year what with Liz’s new knee - a big success – the workings of a President’s wife was seen first hand! We were both extremely touched by all the member’s kindness and it was like being part of an extended family-thank you all once again.
Polio campaign at Tesco with Rochdale East was a success and Rotary in action again with over £500 collected. The publicity for Rotary, cleverly engineered by John Kay, was equally valuable. John and I have had a media couple of months with both Rochdale Online and Observer. More reporters from our club are needed please. I think we have put the club on the map and this will encourage new members.
It was the Rotary Mayor’s charity Opera night at the Bella Vista. Liz’s first outing after her op couldn’t have been nicer with Keith Swift bravely trying light opera as well as his more familiar crooning, John Kay a very impressive Master of Ceremonies and Rotary organiser -must ask him where he gets his energy from.
Round table 76th Charter evening at Norton Grange memorable for being all men, good conversation and a Yorkshire stand up comic. I asked him who he was when we all stood in the bar which seemed to bring the house down for some reason - he didn’t look much different to the rest of us except he did suddenly pull off his jacket over his head which I thought must be a new round table ceremonial.
Thank you to Andrew Chadwick and his members; new Round tablers are coming (one via our Visitors evening) as they had got down to single figures at one point. Inner wheel birthday party was a contrast - all women except me who very briefly stood up to present Joan with £300 for their Charity fund as dues from helping at various events, not least bag packing at Morrisons. Thank you Inner wheel and Joan for your support this year and for a good meal and an entertaining evening. Emma was an excellent guest speaker.
Speakers have been performing well. Addi and Barbara Redmond had an incredible four years in Namibia with VSO teaching maths and science with school curriculum, equipment and teacher training thrown in. What energy and commitment!
President gave you a surreal experience of the Wurlitzer Organ museum, music and silent movie music time with Laurel and Hardy. The original Road Rage film, all without anyone going to the real place in Eccles! I was pleased to hear Geoff Foulkes say ‘well that was something different!’
The social evening at Castleton bowling was another new innovation; there was good fun on the night and it warmed up gradually with people trying out new games after a good pie supper.
Karen Wilson as the modern school nurse was an eye-opener on the new attitude to school nursing. Not a ‘lousy’ job anymore. No longer are nits being peered at by medical eyes, vaccinations including human papilloma virus health promotion (that large cigarette was really revolting), listening to children’s anxieties and worries, counselling, sex education, healthy living, good food and exercise. I almost wished I was back in school now but couldn’t face another five years in Med School!
John Cannell gave us a glimpse of his life in the fast lane with speed, technical expertise to keep machinery going, he’s obviously been blessed with marvellous British equipment; it’s back to the starting line though for John next July.
Keith Banks gave us the Lancashire Fusiliers and their extraordinary history of bravery over the centuries. Some discrepant dates were noted by Keith (couldn’t have been in 2 places at once)? Reserve team in the wings. Well researched Keith.
Visitor’s evening with John Holder was the first of hopefully more celebrity evenings to attract new members. Cricket is perhaps an acquired taste but John was good value with his intense lifelong enjoyment of the sport showing through. Good publicity has followed and some membership interest already.
Spring walk was an extraordinary event for the detailed planning and execution by John Cannell and team. It looks a good blueprint for bringing in more walkers next year.
And so to Eastbourne for RIBI Conference. Club has received an RIBI Environment category award for David Acton’s Grow Bag Project and also overall winner of the Rodney Huggins award. Well done David for such energy and commitment to a very worthwhile project. You’ve done the club proud, see you at the Hermitage hotel!
Full time rheumatology means some absence from Thursday meetings in next 2 months. Thanks to Liz’s and the club’s support I’ve been able to manage 2 careers so far but to be a fully fledged specialist I have to get to the Birmingham Rheumatology congress. Looking forward to a busy next 3 months.
BULLETIN MAY/JUNE 2020
The Bournemouth Conference was a great occasion for our club with David Acton’s Urban Garden project winning the Rodney Huggins award on stage meeting President David Fowler among other illustrious Rotarians. Hotel and Conference were within yards of each other and a very sunlit beach was enticing
Highlights of the conference was the diversity of Charities supported by Rotary including the Starfish project to help Stammerers get over their great speech difficulty. RNIB was represented by Denise Leigh an opera singer overcoming her blindness and thrilled us with her marvellous voice. John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, reminded us that work is such an important aspect of life gelling other social aspects in with it. Giving work to people can transform them into brighter and happier people with less reliance on social handouts.
Quentin Letts, a writer of Parliamentary sketches was not showing mercy in deriding humbug and mediocrity in politicians and the media. I bought his book 50 people who B’d up Britain which I’ll bring to Book group (next meeting July 5th-John Whitley’s).
Other entertainers Alistair Mcgowan and Paul Daniels were interspersed between more serious discussion including an update on Polio fundraising - more than a million pounds have been raised in RIBI events in last 12 months
Speakers highlights include a travelogue of US West Coast journey by our Bulletin editor and wife-lucky to escape without injury by all accounts. Mike Lucas, to celebrate St Georges day, had a poetry recital session which was very popular and some members were hard to stop in mid verse!
Dr Ibi described Nigeria’s early attempts to get Renal Medicine off the ground with the help of other Renal specialists including our very own David Smithard.
The Council meetings have been very well attended this year and thanks to all members for all their hard work. Membership and attendance have dominated recent meetings but fortunately retention of members this year has been good and Bob Chadwick is our latest member.
The AGM was a grand success. David Acton was made Paul Harris fellow much to his surprise. Indeed when I invited him to the front he asked if he should undress (must have thought he was to be an impromptu performer)! It was a very enjoyable moment to see his delight at the well deserved award.
It was proposed by the President & seconded by Secretary that Brian Cunliffe should be granted Honorary Membership. This was agreed unanimously.Brian will be presented with certificate sometime in June as he is recovering from illness
The Sounding Brass and Voices Concert at Gracie Field's theatre on Sunday was a resounding success. The Milnrow Cooperative Band under Andrew White started the proceedings with The Dam Busters theme and all was just quality music after that. .'I dreamed a dream' really mesmerised the audience with back-tingling musicianship. A fourteen year old musical prodigy Owen Middlemass with lightening hands on the xylophone gave an exceptional rendition of Bach's toccata and fugue.
The audience were charmed by the Rochdale Girls choir singing so beautifully under direction of Christine Willis 'A Cat Called Alexander' (including a marvelous miaoow) and 'Humpty Dumpty' contrasted with the Spritual 'Steal Away' and 'Beautiful December'. Their youthful enthusiasm and enjoyment of their singing never waned and later were unrestrained in Flag Waving finale
The youthful Wardle Anderson Brass and Sean Conway started with a robust Olympic fanfare with playing full of energy and gusto. Amy Smith a charming tall blondhaired Euphonium player mastered this difficult instrument producing a controlled graceful performance of 'La Belle Americaine'
Then up stood Mr Brass Band himself - Dr .Roy Newsome (photo below) -ex presenter of Radio 2's 'listen to the band' and over 30 years conducting, lecturing and adjudicating. He has spent his life promoting Brass band music in many countries and he conducted the finale of the combined Milnrow and Wardle Bands.
Our very own Tenor soloist Peter Ruane was in fine voice with a rendition of Nessum Dorma. The girls choir sang Jerusalem and the whole performance rounded off with Pomp and Circumstance to a whirl of hundreds of Union Jacks.
The Gracie Fields theatre was well filled despite the Rochdale Football Clubs open top bus celebration and Samaritans and Petrus Day centre in Rochdale will benefit from the proceeds, Thank you Tom and everyone for all your efforts
I’m looking forward to Nidderdale walk on Sunday and a tough band of Rotarians and wives will be given a nice tea afterwards in the Cottage by the Green.Kids out at Camelot on June 9th.The ship is being taken over by John Cannell soon-see you at Castleton bowling club for the Handover on the 24th June. Bill Evans is taking us to Llangollen on July 8th for Eisteddford but we will return!
The last couple of club meetings saw 'yours truly' in charge, as our illustrious leader was doing Other Things, specifically accompanying David Acton to the Bournemouth Conference to accept his well deserved award and then on a work related trip to Birmingham. I was somewhat concerned on the second occasion, when not only were we without a President but also missing were the secretary and treasurer! Was it something I said?
On the evening of the 15th of April, Neil Helliwell shared with us his trip to America, a mission of mixed fortunes, as Nichola developed a rare condition that prevented her being in strong sunlight.... Not good for the west coast! But Yosemite was a big 'plus', complete with real bears, so overall an enjoyable experience. Neil was ably assisted by John Kay as projection master and the evening was much enjoyed by us all, whetting many an appetite for a trip across the pond.
The lunch time meeting of the 21st was a new idea from Mike Lucas, Poetry Day. I suspect that most of us wondered how this would turn out - would anyone bring a contribution? Well the fears were totally unfounded. In the event we were well over subscribed, so much so that a further Poetry Day is to be held soon. It was a very successful event, with a couple of memorable highlights. David Acton regaled us with an amusing introduction to an appropriate Shakespearian dialogue - this 'Sceptred Isle' from King Richard II, a day before St George's Day and Jack Howorth came up with an original idea by producing a recording of Sir John Betjeman reading 'A Subaltern's Love song' featuring Miss J. Hunter Dunn. (Brought back for me memories of that fine statue in St Pancras station…).