Newsletter 116: 29th May to 14th June 2019

Welcome to our 29th May - 14th June newsletter

News updates

Next week Wednesday 19 June 2019 is Club Assembly where president elect, Nigel Harradine will set out his vision and plans for our next Rotary year. ADG Jim Currie will be present.

Speaker: Philip Bowry - 29 May 2019

At our meeting on 29 May 2019 Past District Governor Philip Bowry spoke to us about his 40 years in Rotary that have taken him from club leadership to being involved at a high level in Rotary International throughout the world.

He explained how Bristol Breakfast came into being and that nine of the Founder Members still regularly attend our weekly meetings.

His reminiscences included visits to Germany, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and he told us how he has   represented the National and World Presidents at conferences across the world, besides being on the coordinating committee for the World Convention when it was held in Barcelona.

Philip’s exploits in visiting a prison in Florida, flying in a helicopter in the Alaskan mountains, speaking on the same stage with President Gorbachev and addressing the German Ambassador’s guests in the Houses of Parliament, highlighted the opportunities open to all Rotarians.

He told us that Rotarians holding high office in the movement were encouraged to record, in bound volumes, why they are Rotarians and gave us some of his thoughts.

He summed up his talk by telling us that he felt friendship and kindness to those less fortunate was the key to Rotary’s wellbeing.

Speakers: On 12 June 2019 Chris Yarrington and Chloe Day from the Meningitis Research Foundation addressed the club.

Meningitis Research Foundation is a leading UK, Irish and international charity that brings together people and expertise to defeat meningitis and septicaemia wherever it exists.

Meningitis and septicaemia are serious, life threatening illnesses

  • Meningitis is the swelling of the meninges, which is the lining around the brain and spinal cord, caused mainly by germs entering the body
  • Septicaemia is blood poisoning caused by the same germs that can cause meningitis
  • Meningitis and septicaemia are illnesses that can kill in hours
  • Anyone, anywhere of any age can get meningitis and septicaemia, although some people are at higher riskthan others

Anyone can get meningitis or septicaemia, but various factors can increase the risk:

  • Age– In general, young children are at the highest risk of getting bacterial meningitis and septicaemia but other age groups can also be vulnerable to specific types
  • Geography and environment - Some countries have higher rates of meningitis and septicaemia. There is also evidence that mass gatherings and exposure to smoke, for example, can make people more susceptible to certain causes of meningitis and septicaemia
  • Medical conditions- like problems with the immune system can increase risk
  • Contactwith a case - cases of meningitis are usually isolated, but in some situations people who have been in close contact with someone who is ill with bacterial meningitis may be at increased risk of disease

Meningitis affects 2.8 million people globally each year and one in ten people will die. Two out of ten people with bacterial meningitis are left with and impairment like brain injury.

Their vision is of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia. A world where effective vaccinations can protect everyone. A world where people who do get the diseases get the most effective diagnosis and treatments possible. A world where people affected, and their families have the best support and information. Research is at the core of the charity providing evidence which is essential to their work and they are guided by a scientific panel of advisors and disease specialists to provide considered responses.

Club AGM 12 June 2019

On Wednesday 12 June 2019 we held our club AGM.

President Roger Key addressed club members with details of officers for the next 12 months: Nigel Harradine (President), John Whittaker (SVP & Comvoc Chair) and Derrick Royall (JVP & International Chair). Willem Pietersen (Secretary), Tim Brook (Treasurer), Mike Blott (Social Chair), Tony Hughes (Membership Chair), Steve Livings & Mary Cook (PR), Andy Cavanna (House).

Roger outlined that the club had enjoyed a very good year and allowed committee chairs to outline events and assistance given by the club to many charities and projects at both home and abroad. He specifically thanked the officers standing down this year, Secretary Terry Willis and Social Chair, Roger Bick.

Proposal made by Tim Brook (Treasurer) that we raise the annual membership subscription from £135 to £140. (This motion was unanimously carried).

Proposal made by Derrick Royall (International & Foundation) to give £2000 to Rotary Foundation and £100 to “End Polio Now” and present cheques at the Dragon Boat festival on 16 September 2019 at the Bristol Hotel. This motion was unanimously agreed).

Message from Mary Whittington – proposed trip to Prague:

As you will know, our club is twinned with the Rotary Club of Prague International and we have enjoyed a number of exchange visits over the past few years.  We had hoped to organise s visit to the Czech Republic in October this year, but unfortunately it has proved impossible to find a date that is convenient to both our clubs, consequently I’m exploring the possibility of a visit to Prague in early December during the Christmas Markets period, which I think could be a lovely, magical time to see the city.

 I am proposing that we fly out from Bristol Airport on Thursday 5th or Friday 6th December and return on Sunday 8th December and believe that this would be a great opportunity to meet our friends from RC Prague International either during the day or most likely at joint dinners and for those who haven’t visited Prague previously to see this fascinating city.

Please let me know at  by Monday 17th June if you’re interested.

Dragon Boat Festival 2019

A busy time for our club, hosting the annual Dragon Boat Festival, at Bristol Harborside. For many months, working behind the scenes, David Wells had triumphed yet again by enrolling 36 teams and making the day such a fun and enjoyable event. A lot of planning and organisation made the day run smoothly. Most teams had dressed up for the occasion and there was a strong air of competition with teams battling to topple the past two-year’s winners, Avon Fire and Rescue.

This year we again raised funds to help Caring in Bristol and their 365 project to provide 15 beds every night for rough sleepers. To read more

We were pleased to have visits from the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Stephen Parsons and his wife, Jenny, our Bristol Lord Mayor, Councillor Jos Clark and her consort, Hugo Clark. We were also pleased to see our District Governor Joan Goldsmith who spent most of the day with us.

The winners will be joining us for a special Dragon Boat Festival presentation breakfast on 16 September 2019 at the Bristol Hotel.



This year we displayed the RC THornbury “End Polio Now’ caravan showing an iron lung.

Back in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, when polio was at its height, it resulted in the crippling of limbs and muscles, but worse was the attack on internal organs with paralysis. The only way to breathe was in an iron lung, which provided negative pressure in a steel drum in which many spent their entire (usually short) lives. Subsequently polio sufferers would have had a hole made in their windpipes, with a tube fixed to a ventilator pump.  So the iron lung is a stark reminder of the terrible effects of polio and why it must be eradicated globally.  Although recently there have only been a few cases of polio reported annually, the "wild virus" could still pose a threat of polio returning.

The morning started well but later with an overcast sky the heavy rains started to fall. However this did not deter from the day and teams determined to win the competition. However Team 300 – Avon Fire and Rescue came first with Rolls Royce Apprentice Association second and Babcock Buccaneers third.


Avon Fire and Rescue


Rolls Royce Apprentice Association


Babcock Buccaneers

Winners of the fancy dress was the team from Bath and North East Somerset Council dresses as Legionnaires all the outfit made by one of the team


You can catch up with more pictures on our Facebook Page



The Joint Technology Tournament took place on 11 June 2019. The tournament required four teams of four year-9 students to apply their knowledge of STEM subjects to solve a specific design and construction challenge and was held at Bristol Free School on 11th June 2019. The event, organised by Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Bristol and Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club, was the first such Technology Tournament to be held in District 1100. 

Rotary and Elmfield School for Deaf Event

Elmfield School for Deaf Children Fundraising Event 26 July 2019 at Westbury on Trym Village Hall.

HEARING LOSS TECHNOLOGY - Hear about the history of the COCHLEAR IMPLANT and how it is shaping today's hearing technology.


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