Newsletter 107: November 7th

Remembrance Day

100 years ago the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today. In 2018 The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world.

At our meeting today Rotarian Philip Bowry led our minute’s silence reciting a verse from Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Guests this morning

At our meeting this week we welcomed Sol Hardy from Business West. Sol works in customer engagement. He is a talented guitarist and prior to his current role had run his own business ‘Your Guitar Academy” in Bristol. His current role involves supporting and communicating with all sorts of business across the West Country. 

Our other guest was Maria Newman who runs her own business “Fill that Space" Maria says everyone has a story and hers is not unusual. In 2016 and having worked as a Project Manager for Rolls Royce for the previous 17 years she had a craving for change and try something different. She has always been passionate about the arts and thrives on helping people so decided to start Fill that Space. Her business is about affordable art and the buying to be a sociable experience and for people of all ages to get involved. She says that art created by local artists can really be affordable. Maria does not have a gallery but stages exhibitions.

If you want a taste The Temporary Gallery will be showcasing the artworks from 11 Bristol artists and will include truly affordable artworks starting at £30. Held at the stunning Cadbury House in Congresbury, on Thursday 15 November 2018, this event is a social occasion to meet up with friends, immerse yourself in art and talk to the artists to find out why they create their artwork. 

The event will also feature an auction. Three specially commissioned artworks will be up for auction and 20% of the sold price will be donated to CLIC Sargent.

Tickets are available through

5th Wednesday Evening Social

Our thanks to Roger Bick for organising a visit to the Life Skills Centre at the Create Centre.

HRH Princess Anne opened Lifeskills in January 2000. Since then over 175,000 people have received training here and Lifeskills has gained a solid reputation as a Centre of Excellence for the delivery of safety education and training. Around 13,000 people now receive training in the Centre every year.

Accidents kill about 14,000 people a year across the UK and seriously injure more than 700,000 a year in England alone. The financial cost of accidental injury is substantial with accidents costing the state around £20-30billion per annum (RoSPA, Big Book of Accident Prevention). Research also shows that there is a clear link between accidental injury and deprivation. However, accident prevention is both simple to deliver and relatively inexpensive leading to huge potential savings to the NHS.

Lifeskills offers an exciting and memorable environment in which to learn. By taking part in activities on our realistic scenarios, which include houses, a road, shop, dark alleyway, a river and a railway line, visitors can actually experience difficult or dangerous situations in a safe environment and learn how to deal with them.

Their aim is to secure low injury rates without compromising health or quality of life. They know that experimenting and risk-taking are an important part of growing up and everyday life. Lifeskills gives people the skills and confidence to make their own choices and encourages them to live full, independent lives.

Can you Volunteer?

The centre desperately needs 30 extra volunteers – could you help children learn some life skills?

What Volunteers Do?

Volunteers take small groups of children around different scenarios in the Centre to work through various safety-related activities. You will introduce them to numerous difficult or dangerous situations and encourage them to work together to discuss (and potentially carry out) possible solutions.

How Much Time You Will Need to Give

School sessions run from 9:45am-12pm and 12:45pm-3pm. Volunteers need to arrive around 1/4 hour before the session starts. You can choose to volunteer for either a half or a whole day and you decide which dates are most convenient for you. The minimum commitment we ask for is 2 sessions a month.

Training is taken totally at your own pace. Your first few sessions at Lifeskills will involve you “shadowing” one of our Trainer Guides as they take groups around the Centre. As you become more confident you can begin to lead parts of the session yourself until you feel comfortable enough to take a group on your own. You will also receive written tour notes to help you as you train.

You can claim expenses to cover your travel costs and, if you choose to volunteer for the whole day, we will also cover the cost of your lunch

Volunteers will be required to successfully undergo an enhanced DBS and Barred List check before completing their training.
Volunteers will be required to complete an online safeguarding course as part of their training, prior to qualification.
As part of the volunteer induction recruits will receive training on the centre’s child protection, health and safety and data protection policies.

All prospective volunteers are required to complete an application form including the contact details for two referees.
If you think you would enjoy being a Volunteer Guide for Lifeskills, please call us on 0117 9224511 to arrange a visit.

Carel du Toit Project – South Africa

Background: Our International Committee proposed we fund the carel du Toit Centre with £2000 to purchase projectors and white boards. Rotarian Sue Pietersen has added a further £270 to make up the cost difference in purchase of this equiptment. The Carol Detroit Centre offers a all-encompassing service to teach hearing impaired children to speak through natural learning experiences and parental guidance. The aim of the centre’s intervention is for hearing impaired children to enter mainstream schools and have adequate spoken language to integrate into the hearing society.

It is a centre of excellence both in South Africa and the region supporting a growing number of children. The Centre is currently supporting 132 children, in 21 classes.

The Project: The centre has an urgent need to provide white boards and projectors for use by teachers in the classroom to enhance the learning experience. This is your aids in the classroom are vital to explain new vocabulary and concepts for oral death learners, and the use of Google and YouTube in the classroom is an effective tool for this purpose.

The project plan is to provide up to 7 projectors for use in the classroom. This is a second joint project between Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club and Belville Rotary Club who will project manage the project and monitor progress.

The club voted unanimously to support this project.

Our Speaker

Our speaker today was Rotarian Douglas Karson, who is a new member of our club. Douglas was born in Washington DC, USA and he moved to Bristol in 2016. He started his higher education as a pre-law student but did not go on to Law School. He is also a Michelin Star Pastry Chef, a poet, playwright and musician. A play he has recently written will be produced at the Bath Theatre Festival in April 2019.

He says that being an artist means creating a life as much as creating objects. Yoga, geometry, balance, people and process are recurring themes in his work. Racism, violence and ignorance left deep marks on his psyche from childhood. These marks are reflected in the marks he makes through compulsive creativity.

He does not do prints nor copies. Each work he produces is as unique as the people who buy them.

He feels the modern era is an explosion of imagery.  ‘Between phones, TV, Movies, billboards, print, museums and more, we are more exposed than ever to human creativity and photos’.  He absorbs these images, consumes them, digests them, and then creates his own version. His work is a reflection of the modern era.

His art education comes from passionate self study.  Having recieved no basic art education, never holding a brush till he was 20, it was immediately apparent that he had an apptitude with paint and colour.

After completing an early series of works, he sold 5 on the streets of New York.  Soon after, a solo show at Jeffrey’s Meat Market in the Lower East Side he continued to develop his craft and make, exhibit and sell works regularly through the transitions that followed (including meeting his wife and moving to the UK). 

In 2013, he collaborated with clothing brand Lululemon to provide yoga-themed art decorating their first UK showroom in Soho, London.  In 2014, he donated art sale proceeds from the Sunday Funday fundraiser event of the Ashok Tree Charity. From 2014-2016 he fulfilled a lifelong ambition of living in Japan.  There, he discovered ink. 

The exploration continues.  His motto that comes in deepest meditation is “Just keep making great art".

He has been longlisted for the Columbia Threadneedle Figurative Art prize, the VAO Painting prize, the Aesthetica Art prize and more. Published in Art Reveal Magazine, Creativ Paper Magazine, The Circle Art Foundation and Average Art Magazine, his work continues to garner attention.  He has lived in Boston, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, London, Japan and finally, Bristol. His output is prolific and shows no sign of slowing.

Visit to Deveraux Park Woods

Eleven intrepid Rotarians and friends rambled and picnicked in Devereux Park Woods, Herefordshire, on Thursday 25th October.


8 December 2018: David Innes Wilkin has arranged a visit to Underfall Yard on Saturday 8 December 2018 at 10.30 to 12.00pm.

We can take 10 to 30 rotundians and friends on a guided tour and afterwards the Pickle café will be open as usual in the complex. Car parking is metered oacross the road near the Nova Scotia. The yard workshop is only open on special days, so this is a private visit. All the interior as well as the building is listed with English Heritage.

Cost (Cash only) £5 each, reduction for concessions is £3.

The workshop is full of machines from a bygone age that are never seen any more.  If you wish to visit please contact David: 

Please read through the following pre-visit safety briefing from the yard:

  • This is a working boat yard and the site of both the Docks Engineering team and the Harbour Master.  As such it is a dangerous place so we ask that all visitors follow a few simple rules to remain safe throughout.  Please ensure that your group follows all instructions whilst you are onsite. 
  • Please wear flat and covered shoes.  We recommend wearing hi-vis for your visit.  If your visit includes a tour, much of it takes place outside: please wear sensible outdoor-clothing such as waterproofs.  We do not supply umbrellas.  The workshops are working areas, and likely to be dirty and greasy.  Please avoid wearing clothing that you are worried about getting dirty. 
  • Please do not touch any machinery during the visit.  Machinery onsite may be inactive but it is still dangerous.
  • Please be vigilant that floor surfaces may be uneven and that there are likely to be trip hazards throughout the site.  When walking around it is very tempting to look up but please keep your wits about you and pause before looking up (especially when using mobile phones or cameras).  
  • Please be aware of any equipment on the site that may be protruding and could cause injury if you were to walk into it or knock yourself on the way past.    
  • Please remain safely behind any barriers and only walk the route that your is specified. The yellow hatching is the safe pedestrian route through the yard.  


19 December 2018: Christmas Breakfast at Brasserie Blanc 7 for 7.30 to 9.00am. Please invite your guests.

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

Shoe Boxes

If you have take a shoe box to fill as a gift for children please return them to Roger Key by Wednesday 14 November 2018 or to his office.