Newsletter 101: Sept 12th 2018

Welcome to our Newsletter (12th Sept 2018)

This week we welcomed as a Rotary visitor, Rotarian, Dr Leela Ramamurtiry of the Rotary Club of Tripunithura Royale, Cochin, Kerala, India.

Dr Ramamurtiry updated us about the severe flooding that had taken place recently in Kerala Province. The rains have now subsided, relief efforts have got underway with more than 1.5 million people now living in camps and it has been Rotary in India and around the world which has been at the heart of getting the state back on its feet following the worst flooding in a century.

Rotary in Kerala has been key during both the rescue and now the relief efforts. Rotary clubs did very well during rescue and relief stages. There are about 250 Rotary clubs in Kerala. All of them sprang into action really fast. Rotary became the most trusted relief goods distribution network. Rotary clubs from all parts of India generously helped with food, clothes and relief material.

Dr Ramamurtiry’s club were playing their part in supporting a local village and she says the people were emotionally shattered and those rescued suffering from mental and emotional problems. The future is to rebuild housing and roads which have all been broken and the loss of connectivity.

Sunil K Zachariah, Past District Governor in Kerala says that Rotary can help in three key areas with rebuilding Kerala:

  • Building at least 1,500 low-cost houses in each of the three affected Rotary districts in Kerala. That means at least 4,500 houses for those made homeless by the floods.
  • Enhancing possible relief shelters for future use. Also building raised toilets, water storage units and similar enhancements.
  • Reconstruction of at least 9 schools, three in each district, similar to how Sri Lankan Rotary clubs helped following the 2004 tsunami.

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Donations Trust has launched an appeal for the Kerala Floods in India. The Donations Trust is a registered charity, established in 2007, which collates donations and makes grants to Rotary projects working to rebuild communities in the long term, rather than acting as a first responder. You can make donations to the India Flood appeal using our online payment option through BT myDonate.

Dr Leela Ramamurtiry has written to Mary Whittington thanking her for the opportunity to meet and interact with the club. She thoroughly enjoyed the morning.

We are pleased to announce that our club, Bristol breakfast Rotary Club is donating £1000 to this appeal.

New Member

Last week we inducted and warmly welcomed a new member to our club, James Freeman. James is no stranger to Rotary and some years ago was a former member of this club but moving away for work commitments. James is well known to many in the area because he is the Managing Director of First Bus.

James returned to his home region in 2014, after some three decades working for bus companies around the country, most recently with seven years in Reading. It was a move that brought him back to the city where he began his working life as a bus conductor, but as MD he finds himself overseeing a public transport landscape that’s far more heavily used now than it was back in the 1970s when you would have found James collecting tickets.

Business Meeting

This week we held our Business meeting to keep members appraised of the club’s activities.

International and Foundation Committee reported on the vocational project in Nepal where student, Ashik will be offered a University placement. The club is also planning a trip to Nepal to visit projects and enjoy the culture and beauty of the country in October 2019. If you are interested please contact Colin Shurrock. The Committee is also looking at projects in Africa through Well Boring and Bridges to Prosperity. We are also continuing our relationship with Maji Safi and Linda Greenland with their freedom for Girls Project and to provide benches for their school.

Rotary Foundation Day A reminder to members that Rotary Foundation Day will be held at Stratford upon Avon on 23 November 2019 when International president, Barry Rassin will be in attendance. Our president, Roger Key and Rtn Colin Shurrock are also attending. If anyone would like to join them please contact Roger.

Community and Vocational Committee has been busy with a full agenda for the year. We will continue to support, Young Musician, RYLA, Kids Out, Young Carers in Schools who will talk to the club about their in a couple of weeks time.

Crocus Planting – End Polio NowWe have purchased 5000 crocus bulbs to plant to commemorate End Polio Now. The team is looking for suitable places to plant them before the end of October. Any ideas to John Whittaker. From and environmental perspective we are also looking to increase the hedge planting at Folly Farm that was started last year.

Disabled Swimming Gala

Rotary Clubs in Bristol are supporting Swift Inclusive Sports who will host their annual swimming gala for disabled people on 20 October 2018 at Horfield Pool.  Swift Inclusive Sport is a charity and is getting support from Rotary across Bristol and from District. They are holding a Trustee’s meeting on 17 September 2018 at the BAWA Club, Southmead and we are looking for a volunteer to attend that meeting to get an understanding of our role. Please let Mary Whittington know if you can attend.

Firework Display

Clifton Rotary Club will be holding their annual firework display at Canford Park on 10 November 2018. If you can help that evening please contact Tim Brook.

Young Musician

The Young Musician heats are about to take place. Our club is hosting the heat on 9 November 2018 to be held at the United Reform Church, Henleaze at 7.00 for 7.30pm. Why not come and listen to some outstanding young people. Tickets available from Antony Alderson at £5.


Our treasurer reports we are in a healthy position regarding both club and charity accounts. A proposal was made and agreed by the club to donate £25000 to Caring in Bristol at next week’s special presentation meeting. This money is made up from teams who directly paid into the charity £1500 and then £23,500 from the club representing 60% of the proceeds of the Dragon Boat Festival 2018. It was also proposed and agreed to donate £2000 to Rotary Foundation and £1000 to the End Polio Now Campaign. The presentations will be made at the breakfast to be held at Bristol Hotel on Wednesday 19 September 2018.


We have new members recently joined, James Freeman and Geoff Mayall. Two other people have completed the induction process, Aamir Hussain and Eli Fumoto and they will be inducted soon. There are two other people who have shown a definite interest in joining us. Please continue to introduce guests to our club and maybe they would also like to join.

Tony Hughes is trying to organise a stand at the next Showcase South West at Ashton Stadium on 10 October 2018. If this can be confirmed he needs volunteers to resource the stand and be ambassadors for Rotary. Please let Tony know if you can spare a couple of hours on the day.

PR and Communications

Mary Cook has produced some great ideas for Rotary Branded Clothing for our club that will be shortly sent to members for comment. Please have a look and please make comment. 


Thanks to Roger Barnard for organising an enthralling Haunted Bristol walk. We are trying to organise a social event for every 5th Wednesday so there will be no breakfasts on those Wednesdays.

The next club visit now fully booked at the Meteorological Office in Exeter on 29 September 2018. Preparations are under way for our Christmas Party to be held at Newman Hall, Stoke Bishop on 8th December 2018.

Join the club...

Membership is currently open if you would like to join our friendly pro-active group!
If you'd like to come along to a Wednesday morning meeting please email us at

Dragon Boat Festival Celebration Breakfast

Members attending are kindly requested to arrive for 7am and be welcoming to the guests arriving at 7.15am.

Our special breakfast will be held at the Bristol Hotel, Prince Street, Bristol and will finish at 09.30am.


For up coming events and meeting details please visit our Events page