Newsletter 129 - July 2020

Newsletter July 2020

President’s Message

It is a great honour and pleasure to make my first appearance in this newsletter as President of Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club as we enter the new Rotary year.
I’d first like to thank our outgoing President, Nigel Harradine, for steering us so successfully through a very challenging year. Some highlights of that year were
- the Concorde dinner last September held under the wings of Concorde at the Aerospace Museum which  raised over £4000 for the South West Air Ambulance
- relocating our Club’s meetings from Brasserie Blanc to Bambalan where we were able to increase our weekly attendance to over thirty members and guests
- and, when Covid-19 struck, initiating on-line meetings on Zoom which have typically attracted over forty attendees including guests from other Rotary Clubs in the local area and overseas
- in our final meeting before the handover, inducting our latest member, Kate Skillman, via an online ceremony 
So Nigel has passed on the baton to me, with the Club in rude health and with an energetic and enthusiastic membership ready to continue our great work fundraising and volunteering to help people and organisations in the Bristol area and internationally.
In the year ahead we shall build on our undoubted strengths of working in partnership with charities, schools and other Rotary Clubs both locally and internationally.
We shall be focusing on those organisations and groups of people who have a clear need for support, whether it be providing food, supporting education and training programmes or arranging social, leisure and leadership  events. And, in October, to mark World Polio Day in October, we shall again plant crocuses in a prominent public space in the city for the enjoyment of the general public, in recognition of Rotary International’s long-running campaign to eradicate polio.
Internationally we shall continue our support for people in Nepal working with the Rotary Club of Fishtail Pokhara whilst also working with clubs in different parts of Africa, including South Africa, Zimbabwe and South Sudan, to promote educational and international peace initiatives.
Our fundraising activities commence with our well-established golf day, pushed back from May to October this year, and we shall be organising another Dragon Boat Festival in Bristol Harbourside next June. We have been running the latter event for eighteen years and have raised over £700,000 for local and national charities in that time. Other events are being planned as I write.
Our social calendar will continue with regular on-line games and entertainment until we are able to arrange ‘live’ events with confidence.
So we have a busy year marked out, where we shall continue to combine good fun and friendship with practical help for those who need it. For any non-members reading this Newsletter, please feel free to join one of our on-line meetings Click Here
With very best wishes
Message from District Governor, Chris Firth

 Dear Fellow Rotarians

We have a a great opportunity for Rotary in our District. The 2020-21 theme is almost prescient in what it means for Rotarians world-wide.

RI President Holger has urged us to take advantage of this opportunity to grow Rotary not just in numbers, although that is important especially in this district, but also in engagement with communities, people, causes and like-minded organisations

This will enable us  

to increase our impact through service projects. Think what we have done so far in addressing the impact of COVID on our communities and local people or are beginning to develop in environmental projects. One new them you will be hearing about soon is a project based on Modern Slavery: a hidden problem in all our communities

to expand our reach through new forms of club, expanding links with young people through the Youth programmes, tell stories about what we have done to others to inspire them and share ideas.  Let's talk about both successes and failures within the district. After all we learn more from failure than from success! 

to adapt: we’ve learnt how to adapt massively since March. Clubs zooming here there and everywhere. Meeting people from all over the world by Zoom and learning about similarities and differences and that we’re all Rotarians with the same ideals. So, we can do it and what’s stopping us from continuing to adapt.

Finally to increase participant engagement. Remember 20. 30, 40 years ago we were those young people with energy, vision, ambition and with the get-go to make changes. Can we afford not to let these people into our world, if we want Rotary to continue. They have the skills and energy, we have the expertise. So why not do it? 

The district team is here to support you in building this future, not telling or dictating but nudging and encouraging and working with you. If you like us and do take advantage of us, why then not work with us as part of the team? We always need new ideas and new blood. We don’t have all the answers but with your help we can work them out in local or district or wider partnerships. 

So the future is with us a bit quicker than we thought. But remember, Rotary is based on the four-way test 

1. Is it the truth?

2. Is it fair to all concerned?

3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Essentially Rotary is a world wide group of volunteers of like minds doing good in our communities and having fun while we’re doing it. Said like this it sounds simple doesn't it?

We will work together over the next twelve months to recover and revive clubs in the district. Our aim is to leave it in a better and stronger place for Graham and Jim to build on in the next two years.  

With very best wishes for the year ahead.

Chris Firth 

Governor 2020-21

Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District

New Member

A couple of weeks ago we held the induction of our newest member Kate Skillman. We were able to combine this with a part virtual and with Past President Andy Cavanna  handing over to Kate the Rotary Pin and President Nigel told the history of the 4 way test - One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics  The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.

This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. 


Last week saw the start of new Rotary year with the handover ceremony taking place virtually from President Nigel Harradine to new President John Whittaker. We have had a great year under Nigel’s captaincy and thank him for all the effort and organisation he put into making the year so successful not only in being able to help many vulnerable people locally but internationally. John has arrived in what is still a difficult time for many people with the effects of the Covid19 pandemic. This has made planning for the future really challenging particularly as we had lost our main fundraising event this year. However, as you will see from John’s message the club survives the virus and we will continue in the ethos and values of Rotary to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

International News


Our International committee report that the club donated £500 to Creating Better Futures, Zimbabwe.


Creating Better Futures are a Christian led charity based in reading, devoted to helping children and their guardians in the Domboshowa and Mutare regions of Zimbabwe. They believe that every child has potential, but if they grow up in poverty and without an education that potential is impaired. Much like a seed that will not grow unless it has the right conditions such as light, water and nutrients. The charity believes the key to breaking the cycle of poverty is education to give the children the opportunity of a better future for themselves and their communities. The charity provides projects to not only support education but also to remove barriers that prevent children from attending school. The focus is on orphans and vulnerable children by paying fees directly to schools  and thus purchasing new equipment  to support learning. They also strengthen the teacher’s skills with additional training or deploying technology to learn digital skills.





Our International committee has met with the Rotary Clubs of Fishtail and Dronfield to discuss Covid 19 support for Nepal



Covid-19 infection is rocketing in Nepal and reached 9,026 by 21st June with 23 deaths so far. It is estimated that Nepal has more than 1.5 million returnees’ workers from India and middle east. There are nearly 150K returnees in the quarantines all over the country. 

More than 250K have already returned from India. From the borders, the government sends them to their concern districts/villages through buses. After arriving to their place, they must stay at least 14 days in a quarantine before they reunite into their family at home. Most of the quarantines are made in public schools. The local government is providing food and other logistics to the people in the quarantines with its limited resources. However, the sanitation and personal hygiene at the quarantines are found very awful and having high risk of getting Covid-19 viruses from others for any positive case in the quarantine. 

The government has recently started to bring returnees from middle east too. There are thousands of people waiting for their turn to back home. After arriving in Kathmandu airport, similar to the returnees from India, they will be sending to the concern districts and should stay in the quarantines at least for 14 days, if they get negative in the PCR test report. 

This project is aiming to reduce chances of such virus spread out by providing very basic personal gear to individuals in 3 quarantines for male and 1 for female in Kaski District of Nepal. 

All the schools/colleges in Nepal are closed for 3 months. More than 3,000 schools are being temporarily used for quarantines. There is a big pressure to the government to resume the schools soon. It is hoped that the Ministry of Education will make announcement to open the schools by following certain obligations on hygiene after sometimes. However, when the schools open next, the Covid-19 would not have under control. In such, students and teachers at the school must strictly improve their personal hygiene behaviour and sanitation. They need training on handwashing and moreover, facilities like sufficient water storage tanks with number of taps and availability of soaps/sanitizer to clear their hands time and again. Besides regular handwashing, wearing face mask is very essential. Since, the students at the government schools are from very poor families and are further in economic pressure due to long lockdown, they can’t afford such things to their children. There is no way that school can provide any such assistant. Therefore, another aim of the project is to improve personal hygienic behaviour of the students/teaches by providing materials and technical supports in the schools.

Objectives of the project: 

  1. Improve personal hygiene of the returnees from abroad and people from local community living in Quarantines. 
  2. Improve personal hygiene behaviour of the school students to prevent Covid-19 transmission in the school

The Club has agreed a £1,000 donation to an immediate needs project for which they have gained club approval. They are in the process of assessing a long term Covid 19 recovery support programme jointly with international partner clubs and will report back on this in due course. They are urgently seeking District Designated Funds from District and are in the process of submitting a request from to D1100.


Virtual Dragon Boat Festival 2020

No Dragon Boat Festival this year  but Fiona Vennbrook of Purple House Recruitment who were entering a team called Purple House Paddlers set up a virtual Dragon Boat Race in the team’s gardens by asking members to sort out some kind of vessel then take a photo and you can see the result – what great fun and thanks to the Team for their support during this difficult time. 






HMS Prince of Wales

HMS Prince of Wales is the second of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.  Every naval vessel has an affiliation with a town or city. As HMS PWLS is so large, she has affiliations with two cities, Bristol and Liverpool, chosen for their strong maritime heritage. The Bristol Affiliation Board has been brought together under the patronage of the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Peaches Golding OBE, is chaired at her invitation by Stephen Parsons MBE and is open to any organisation who thinks there is benefit in the affiliation. Our past president,Roger Key became aware of the opportunity through the Chamber of commerce and thought it would be good for Rotary in Bristol to get involved. Other members of the Board  include the Society of Merchant Venturers, SS Great Britain Trust, Business West, the Cathedral School, Mod Abbey Wood and various companies mainly with defence connections.  So far RiB are the only pure service organisation. 

The remit of the Affiliation Board is for it to decide but in short it presents an opportunity to find ways to benefit the city by association with and with the collaboration of the Royal Navy and the ship. On board, HMS Prince of Wales has two suites, the Bristol suite and the Liverpool suite. The suites have been fitted out with furniture and other equipment funded by their respective affiliate cities.  Most of this has been funded by generous corporate donations and one of the remaining items is the dinner service.  Together with Bristol Rotary Club we have made a joint donation of £50. 

Bristol is proud to be associated with the ship – not only does the city and region have a long history of global seafaring but this iconic vessel will represent Bristol’s expertise in engineering, manufacturing and creativity. The aim is to capture the diverse character of our city that can be showcased as it travels around the globe.


WEIGHT                        65,000 TONNES

LENGTH                        280m – longer than 8 Cabot Towers laid down end to end!

RANGE                         10,000 miles

AIRCRAFT                     36 F-35B fighter jets, plus Merlin helicopters

FLIGHT DECK SIZE        4 acres

DEPLOYMENT                2023


Letter from Eli Fumoto in Japan

I had planned to be back to Bristol mid-June but due to the Covid-19, I have extended my stay until mid-September. I thought I would better give some news so that you would not forget me!

First of all, I am doing fine in Kitakyushu, South of Japan. Japan has been relatively coping well with the virus (17,645 positive, 934 death as of June 17th out of 126 million people) . No restriction on people’s going out or business has been imposed by the government, but many people autonomously reduced outing and business owners closed their shops or suspended their businesses. Now, schools are re-opened, people returned to their workplaces and almost all the shops and public spaces are open. The life before Covid-19 is almost back. And I have finally started my PhD fieldwork!

My work consists of interviews and area revitalisation site observations. As part of fieldwork, I also run a vegan café in the area (as you can see in the photo attached, my side business is to sell Sainsbury’s shopping bags!). Running a café is great fun but at the same time I have realised that it is not for me! I much prefer doing my PhD J.

All the best, Eli