President Nigel and Lyn Harradine wish all Rotarians, their families and friends a happy and joyous Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year.
Christmas and New Year seems to be a good time to reflect on the past year. It has been a busy Rotary year so far, with many interesting speakers from the charity sector and those with special interests and member's 'job talks'. We have also moved from our home of 9 years at Brasserie Blanc Restaurant at Cabot Circus to our new home at Bambalan Restaurant on the city centre at Colston Tower.
The Dragon Boat Festival 2019 had raised over £40k and the club had presented our main charity of the year - Caring in Bristol with £28000. This will provde many beds for the homeless during the year. Other Rotary charities have also benefited both at home and abroad. Sue and Willem Pietersen had organised an educational event about cochlear implants raising funds to provide an Art and Drama Therapist for Elmfield School for the Deaf. The Golf Day has provided funding for the charity, Bridges to Prosperity, to help to construct two bridges in Rwanda. We have supported projects in Nepal and a few weeks ago members visited the country and saw at first hand how the projects were developing (more of that in the next newsletter). We have supported Feeding Bristol and Magic Breakfast at the Bridge Learning Campus providing breakfasts for the children.
We have welcomed a large number of Rotarian visitors from both home and abroad number and some of our members recently visited Prague Rotary Club with whom we have been twinned over a number of years. We of course continue to support Rotary's own charity, Rotary Foundation and the End Polio Campaign.
Presentation to the Great Western Air Ambulance
It has been a busy few weeks and our President, Nigel Harradine was pleased to hand over a cheque for £4000 to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity the result of a highly successful dinner under the wings of Concorde.
The Air Ambulance will be working every day this Christmas providing potentially life-saving treatment to adults and children across our region. Each mission costs £1,750 so they need to raise £8,750 every single day to keep the service flying.
Our special Christmas Breakfast was filled with fun and joy with partners and friends joining in our traditional festive, musical breakfast. We also remembered Mary Cook who sadly passed away this year. Mary had left a legacy by designing our Club logo - 'Step Forward - Give Back'. Her favoutite charity was Caring in Bristol and as we arrived for breakfast one could not fail to notice those less fortunate sleeping on our streets. In memory of Mary we held a bucket collection after breakfast raising £245 for Caring in Bristol. This will hopefully provide some Christmas cheer.
It was good to see so many friends and past members at breakfast.
Our resident artist and poet, Douglas Karson had written a poem - 'Ornaments" which he read to us:
Ornaments : By Douglas Karson
100 shiny ornaments hanging from the tree
A collection of memories and love
Precious patchwork pieces of home, stitched together by time and family.
Shiney green and red reflections of smiling faces on happy children who don’t need to pretend to be patient
Relaxed relatives sip contentedness
Resting in the warmth of family
100 sweet ornaments bounce firelight into far corners of forgotten innocence
Nostalgic memories of simpler times
They are simple now
Hollow bobbles hold the essence of laughter
Its amazing they don’t burst!
Crackers revealing crowns of colour
We wear them together
Love is the clue
Binding us and reminding us of cycles of joy
100 unique ornaments each telling a story
Snow day escapades and stuffed turkey feasts
Satsuma champagne mornings with the fragrance of mince
This is a celebration of bounty
Invite those in need to share
Spreading joy is in the air
Along with the sizzling smell of legendary leftovers
Cranberry turkey combinations with stuffing to make a sandwich of champions
A special Christmas treat
100 hanging ornaments dangle under the tree
Overflowing with gifts from close friends and distant family
Knick knacks paddiwacks and little toys that go click clack
They are passed around with smiles and excitement
In the sparkling lights, we think of our friends
Keep lists of who sent them
Must remember to send them a thank you
I miss you
Hope to catch up soon
We think of those who are not present and salute them with a toast
We will always miss you
Long Boxing Day walks with meaningful talks
We find comfort with friends
Warmth with family
100 small ornaments ready to hang
The tree is up
The fire is lit
Christmas is here
Please note that there are no meetings for next two weeks - Wednesday 25 December 2019 and 1 January 2020.
Our next meeting will be at Bamabalan on Wednesday 8 January 2020 when the speaker will be Alistair Dale from the charity 'Youth Moves' where we have found our RYLA candidates in recent years.
Volunteer Expo runs from 1st-3rd May 2020. Boxing legend Frank Bruno MBE leads the line-up of inspirational speakers for Rotary’s new, national, three day event to engage the public in the power of volunteering.
Having gone head to head with the likes of Mike Tyson during his professional career, Frank has another fight on his hands: to knockout the stigma associated with mental health.
It should be really interesting and free to attend. You can book tickets here https://ttfexpo.com/volunteer-expo-2020/