Newsletter 115: 15th May / 29th May 2019

Welcome to our May 15th-29th newsletter

News updates

Proposal (International Committee)

International Secretary Derek Royall made a proposal to the club to finance a bore hole at a school in Kenya supported by Maji Safi. This would provide the school and the village with fresh water and help financially because they have to purchase water from sellers. The cost is £1,560.

The proposal was unanimously agreed by the members present.

Letter of thanks from Elmfield School for the Deaf:

Hi Tony
I just wanted to thank you and the Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club for your ongoing support with our deaf students at Elmfield School for Deaf Children.

As you know the Shakespeare for Schools project was fantastic for our students and their participation in a staged performance, with all the nerves and anticipation involved,  has really helped with their self-confidence and their self-esteem. They really felt as deaf young people they could be fully and successfully involved in the arts. We have just been invited to attend the celebration of a recent collaboration between the Shakespeare Institute and the Royal Shakespeare Company Education at Stratford-upon-Avon organised by BATOD (British Association of Teachers of the Deaf) Midland. It is lovely to see the increasing opportunities for deaf  young people to be able to access Shakespeare and the theatre.

The beneficial effect of the arts on the moral and emotional literacy of our deaf students  is one of the reasons we have chosen a drama based psychotherapist to work with the students who are struggling to cope with the realities of their deafness and the problems of living in a hearing based world. We appreciate your ongoing support with our students and the way Sue champions the deaf cause.

Best wishes Claire Spencer

Assistant Head/SENCo - Early Years Lead - Elmfield School for Deaf Children

Concorde Dinner – Date for your diary 20 September 2019.

Please invite your friends and colleagues – a wonderful venue, good food and a splendid speaker who was the longest serving BA Concorde pilot.

Rotary Elmfield School for the Deaf fundraising evening at Westbury on Trym Village hall on 26 July 2019 (see below). Tickets £25 to include a meal and talk from world renowned speakers.

Kids Out

Kids Out this year will be on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Cattle Country in South Gloucestershire. We will be supporting 5 schools in the Bristol area and will need volunteers to help on the day.

Please let Mark Colfer know if you can help contact

A personal invitation to join us for a very special event:

As you know Sue and I are organising a fund-raising event for Elmfield School for Deaf Children.  The event details are as follows, and involves a dinner, followed by a presentation by Dr Elaine Saunders and Prof Peter Blamey from Melbourne, Australia.

The talk is aimed at people with a history of hearing loss, and those that have hearing loss themselves or who have family members and friends with hearing loss.  As people age, hearing loss becomes more of an issue and early intervention can slow down the process. Both Elaine and Peter were involved in the pioneering work behind the cochlear implant, and have used this knowledge to design new, more affordable hearing aids for people with hearing loss. They will present their life experiences in this field and will be able to offer advice and guidance on dealing with hearing loss.

The event will take place at the Westbury-on-Trym village hall on Friday 26 July 2019.  Guests arrive at 19:00 for 19:30. There will be a cash bar available.  At 19:30, guests will be invited to serve themselves from a buffet.  A hot meal will be available, including a vegetarian option.  The presentations will begin at 20:30, with both Elaine and Peter speaking for about 40 minutes in total, followed by a Q&A session.

Raffle tickets will be on sale throughout the evening, and the draw will take place after the Q&A session.
Your support is vital to ensure the success of the evening, and I would like to invite you to buy a ticket for the event.
For full details of the event, and how to buy the tickets, please click here

Charity Golf Day 2019

This week we held our annual Charity Golf day at Bristol and Clifton Golf Club raising funds for Bridges to Prosperity. The winners of the Texas Scramble were Absolute Wealth with GCP/KB2 second and Hammonds third. The Stableford trophy was won by MonsMotors Audi. The Burston Cook putting shield by Debbie Rogan.

Bridges to Prosperity envisions a world where poverty caused by rural isolation no longer exists. Rural isolation is a root cause of poverty, and we believe that connection is the foundation to opportunity. We work with local communities, partners and foundations, to build footbridges that connect residents to education, health care and economic opportunity. With a sophisticated data collection and evaluation program, we’re able to prove that the value and impact of our work is sustained long after the opening celebration.

Texas Scramble

  1. Absolute Wealth Management (pictured right)
  2. GCP/KB2.
  3. Hammonds 


  1.  MonMotors Audi
  2. Metek 1
  3. SIG Distribution 

Putting - Burston Cook Shield
Debbie Rogan (pictured right)

7th hole Nearest this Pin
Pete McBride, Absolute Wealth Management 

14th hole Longest Drive
Harry Nicholls, Metek 1

17th Nearest the Pin
James Fox, Awesome Foursome 


Our speaker on Wednesday 15 May 2019 was Antony John "Tony" Spreadbury, Rugby Football Union's Head of Professional Game Match Officials. He was previously the RFU's referee development manager, and since his appointment as Head of the Elite RFU Referees has focused on improving standards in elite referees and leading "best performance" practices for all areas of match officiating. He says: "The role of the referee is so important to the integrity of the game and I want to get them all closer, as a group, to work towards even greater accuracy and consistency. I would like them to be looked upon as the 13th team."  As Head of the professional Referees he is responsible for appointments for Premiership and Championship games. To that end there are 10 professional referees, 9 men and one woman plus 6 non-professionals, 24 assistant referees, 10 video referees and 10 time keepers.

He says that every Monday and Tuesday the professionals meet at Twickenham and after a training session they review each game looking at the video and critiquing decisions made providing valuable feedback to coaches and teams on what the referee perceives about the key points ensuring at the high values of the game are held to the highest level by the referees thus ensuring the integrity of the game. Tony has been refereeing for 33 years with games ranging from Combe Down RFC in Bath to the All Blacks. He became a professional referee in 2001 and says you are only as good as your last game.

Tony known in the rugby world as ‘Spreaders” was born in 1962 at Bath and in his earlier years, he attended Beechen Cliff School in the City. He refereed at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and had been professional since 2001. Before becoming a full-time referee, he combined it with a career as a paramedic working out of the Ambulance Station at Tower Hill Bristol.  Prior to becoming a referee in 1979 he played as a hooker before an injury when in his early 20’s forced him to stop. He refereed his first international test match on 9 June 1990, when he took charge of the match between Australia and France, having been added to the International Rugby Board (IRB) refereeing panel in 1984.

Tony was a full-time referee in the Guiness Premiership, EDF Energy Cup and Heinekin Cup.  He once took over from an injured Chris White in the Heineken Cup Final. He was renowned for talking a lot while refereeing.

He was appointed as one of the referees at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. He refereed the opening game – Argentina v France.  He retired from international refereeing after those World Cup finals. He made a temporary return to refereeing at the start of the 2011 Rugby World Cup qualifying in the Cayman Islands. He has built a reputation as a referee who was willing both to let players express themselves and to make big decisions when required.

He is hugely respected across the game, first on the pitch and latterly as a referee coach and has been instrumental in taking the department to the next level.

With match officials under increasing scrutiny and pressure as rugby continues to grow, Tony continues to be at the forefront of ensuring they fulfil their duties to the game in the best way possible.

Speakers (Wednesday 22 May 2019) were our three corporate members, Kellie Thatcher, Harry Allen and Kiryon Howard from VWV Solicitors.

Kellie started the talk by telling members that she is a fully qualified solicitor with VWV at Bristol dealing with dispute resolution, litigation and insolvency. She say she started her work life in a meat factory working night shifts and had become concerned when a colleague was electrocuted and at the age of 16 years fed back to her bosses how health and safety could be improved. Kellie moved on to working as a Duty Manager at Pizza Express in Cribbs Causeway and later at TGI Friday where she met her husband. She moved then to working in a DAF showroom before becoming a Chartered Legal Executive. She studied Law and practice some 7 years ago and qualified in 2010 and admitted to her role some 3 years ago. She has worked for VWV for 11 years. She says her previous work experiences have taught her how to deal with angry and upset clients who often suffer through litigation. Outside of work Kellie has been an ardent fundraiser and does not mind parachuting from a plan or abseiling a building to help a charitable cause.

Her latest cause is Poverty hunger in Bristol and wants to help raise £100,000 to feed children in poverty through the summer holidays.

Harry studied Law at Birmingham University followed by his LLP at Bristol University. He is currently on a rotation at VWV to become a fully-fledged solicitor and has worked on Commercial Property and Property litigation and would endeavour to join the Commercial team at VWV. Outside of work his passion is running and he is a member of Bristol West Athletic Club one of the largest in the country. He trains by running 70 miles a week and takes on two running sessions most days together with sessions on a track. Harry has recently completed the London Marathon for the first time in 2 hours 23 minutes and 30 seconds finishing as 12th amateur runner and 37th professional. Harry’s hope for the future is to represent England in the Commonwealth Games.

Kiryon Howard studied Law and German at Cardiff University which included a year spent in Germany. She trained as a solicitor with VWV and qualified in March 2019. She now practices as a corporate solicitor.

In her spare time, she and her partner are carrying out DIY in their Victorian House and would like to completely restore it. Kiryon is also a cake baker and also in her spare time acts as an extra in films and has done so in Wolf Hall and Sherlock’s Christmas Special and Jurassic World.

Dates for your Diary


Note: some meeting changes:

5 June 2019 – Talk by Meningitis Research

12 June 2019 – Club AGM


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

President’s Weekend

Club members thanked Roger and Gill Key for organising a superb weekend at Hope Cove. Thanks also to Willem Pietersen for being the BBQ chef. Members enjoyed the fabulous coastal walks near Hope Cove, in Devon...nothing like the smell of the sea air, spring flowers and great company.

5th Weds Friday BBQ at Roger's

Hi Everybody,

Thanks so much for coming on Friday evening. Gill and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and judging from the photos, many of you did too.

Special thanks to:

- Willem for the excellent barbecue food. In case you didn’t know, everything was prepared from scratch by his own fair hand.

- Debbie for organising the games, which happily for me proved to be a precursor to last night! (Sincere commiserations to Terry. I do know how it feels.)

- Gill for the salads, to all those who brought the delicious puddings, and to Sue, our unofficial photographer. 

We found the last wine glass this morning hiding behind a plant pot, which means that remarkably there were no breakages. With everything cleared away, we are missing just one item - a knife belonging to Mary Whittington. We’ve searched high and low and can’t find it here, so if you find a spare knife in your bags, please let us know. 

Somebody left a lightweight scarf with chickens on it.  Please check with partners and I’ll take it to breakfast on Wednesday so the owner can reclaim it.       


Birthday fundraising event

Former President and Honorary member of our Club, Graham Parker has organised a fundraising event to celebrate his 71st birthday

He plans to jump out of a plane at 15,000 ft to celebrate his 71st Birthday on 17 July 2019. Splitting funds raised between two charities, the Plymouth and District Leukemia Fund (PDLF) and Muscular Dystrophy.

Graham has supported the cause of Leukemia research and treatment for the past

10 years when he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. With friends and Rotary, he and his wife, Ginnie have raised about £15,000 for leukemia charities. Three years ago, his Leukemia came back, and the wonderful staff at Birch and Bracken Wards in Derriford Hospital saved his life twice and, since then, their support and treatment have helped him to regain a very high quality of life.

The other charity, Muscular Dystrophy UK affects more than 70,000 people in the UK.

Please visit Graham’s Just Giving page and help us to raise money for these fantastic charities.

And finally.... don't forget the Dragon Boat Race this Sunday! Bring some sun cream (and a brolly - just to be on the safe side!)