Handover Meeting 3 July 2019
At our meeting on 3 July 2019 we celebrated ‘handover’ to our new President, Nigel Harradine. We thanked our outgoing President, Roger Key for making it another successful year for Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club. We welcomed a special guest Lyn Harradine, President’s lady and she was suitably presented with a special pin.
Roger made some presentations. Paul Harris awards were made to Tim Brook and Terry Willis for their outstanding work in the background which helps make our club such a success. Tim has been treasurer for many years and Terry Willis our club secretary. Both have worked hard to ensure our admin and finances are kept in good order.
The Chuckle Cup for the person who has contributed to the most fun throughout the year was awarded to Debbie Rogan.
The Community and Vocational Cup, given to our Club Rotarian of the year was Tony Hughes for all the outstanding work he has done to improve and increase membership within the club.
President Nigel then presented outgoing president Nigel with a Paul Harris Award.
John Whittaker moves to becoming Senior Vice President and Derrick Royall as Junior Vice President.
Many congratulations to all.
The theme for handover this year was Crackerjack a children’s TV show from the 1950’s using the game ‘Double of Drop”. Contestants were given a prize to hold for each question answered correctly but given a cabbage if they were incorrect. The contestants in this instance were Roger Key and Nigel Harradine with question master, Paul Spaven. Nigel answered the questions correctly and given some flying gear, helmet , googles and scarf whilst Roger’s incorrect answers provided him with 3 cabbages losing the quiz.
Paul Harris Award to Jayne Tucker
At our meeting on Wednesday 10 July 2019 past president Roger Key presented a Paul Harris Award to Rotarian Jayne Tucker. Jayne has been very involved in chairing the International Committee and especially the work on projects in Nepal. She has also used her skills to be the Club’s independent assessor of accounts. Jayne is leaving our club as she moves home to Portishead. We all wish her well for the future.
Our speaker this week was Gordon Richardson an inspirational speaker who suffered from Polio since the age of 3 years. Polio is a serious viral infection it is rare nowadays because it can be prevented with vaccination. Most people with polio do not have any symptoms and will not know they are infected. But for some people, the polio virus causes temporary or permanent paralysis which can be life-threatening. Cases of polio in the UK fell dramatically when a routine vaccination was introduced in the mid 1950s.
There hasn’t been a case of polio caught in the UK since the mid-80s, but the infection is still found in Pakistan and Afghanistan and that remains a small risk that it could be brought back to other countries. There is no cure for polio, so it is important to make sure that we continue to support the ‘End Polio Now’ campaign to continue to vaccinate children around the world against this terrible disease.
Gordon told us that he developed Polio at the age of 3 years when his parents were living and working in Hong Kong. He explained that polio attacks the nervous system resulting in muscle atrophy. At first he was completely paralysed but through a period of recovery he regained the nerves in his head and neck and shoulders. He has been wheelchair bound since and with parents working abroad he was sent to a boarding school in the UK, a preparatory school in Yorkshire. He visited his parents once a year.
He recalls being at the school in the great freeze of 1962 when snow lay three feet deep and he was unable to get outside for over 2 months. From Yorkshire he moved to secondary education at a public school in Cambridge. Gordon has great spirit and did not want his disability to stop him leading a fulfilled life. Although not able to join in most games took the job of cricket scoring to join in activities and with the help of other boys was able to get about as much as possible. In Cambridge he took up canoeing and actually built over 50 canoes. One day he and friends found an old punt under water in the River Cam. They recovered it and refurbished then finding an old steam engine which they fitted and to the surprise of onlookers would steam their way on the punt along the Cam.
Because the Biology lectures at school were based in the upper floor of a building Gordon was unable to attend the classes however not to miss out he read all the text books sitting the “O” Level exam passed with top marks without being given any form of tuition. Gordon was not to be beaten by his ailment.
After A level exams Gordon won a place at Bristol University where on graduating, he took a career as an accountant and financial advisor. He retired at the age of 50 years having been told in his younger life that he probably would not make it to that age. Since then has thrown himself into charity work helping to set up the Vassall Centre in Fishponds, advising Design Mobility in Bath who design wheelchairs for children and is a member of the Bristol Walking Alliance to provide decent walking environments for all. More recently he has been appointed a trustee of the British Polio fellowship who have gone through difficult times and Gordon hopes to use his skills to help restore the charity. Gordon’s story is one of great determination, achievement and an inspiration to all of us.