A busy meeting looked at our charitable plans for the year ahead. We have donated some £20,000 in 2022/3 to local activities and have responded to international needs in Ukraine, Pakistan and Morocco. Our President’s charity for this year will be the Field of Joy in Reepham to support their work among local communities. Minutes are in the Members’ Area.
We welcomed Mike Higgs, antiques expert of Stalham, who was kind enough to look at, comment on and value some of the items members had dusted off from their collections. He regaled us with some more stories of the antiques trade in a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Graham Miles came to talk to us about his work with the Lightwave Rural and Agricultural Chaplaincy in Suffolk. They provide excellent urgent support to farmers and others in distress or loneliness. It is hoped that such work will spread into Norfolk and we are grateful for him travelling to speak to us.
On 16 October we welcomed Elaine Harmer and family to Reepham Primary School for the unveiling of a plaque on the new tea house. Cliffy Harmer had led the building project and done much work single handed but he did not live to see its completion. It was a great pleasure for President Arthur to record the event and introduce the Harmer Family. The full story is here tea house release 2.
The evening lecture on the sinking of HMS Gloucester by Prof Claire Jowitt and Julian Barnwell had to be halted because of an emergency. This has been rearranged for 29 January 2024. All previous guests will be invited. We understand that Robert is now home after hospital tests.
We had a visit from Julie Rodgers and Tara Alabaster from Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust who took us gently through the risk factors for heart disease. An instructive and surprisingly light hearted evening gave us much to think about and a few bits of lifestyle to address.
Our meeting elected Peter Williams as Vice President, with Tony Cowles continuing as Secretary and David Baxter as Treasurer. Peter then chaired a business meeting that looked at charitable contributions, future Reepham festivals and our other activities – a busy year ahead. Minutes are in the members’ area.
We had an interesting debate about how to relieve pressures on health service funding. Despite our average age, we were in general agreement that the elderly should not receive so many expensive treatments. However we did not agree so much to tax sporting activity to provide a fund to cope with the injuries sustained.
We welcomed Andrew Tulett who has made an extensive study of the villages signs in Norfolk – hundreds of them. He took us through the items displayed on the signs – from prehistoric elephants to world war events. Members were also able to ask about signs in their villages after a fascinating talk.
A fresh Club Assembly as Arthur Hawes has now taken over as President. ADG Philip Hunt joined us to hear the plans for the year. More will be revealed later.
A pleasant walk around Weston Longville for a few members and dogs. The weather was kind and the Parson Woodforde rounded off the evening with good curries and fish and chips.
On 24 July we welcomed a team from the the Rotary International Caravan Club who joined us as part of their enjoyment of Norfolk. Our speakers from the local Surgery were Amanda Codling and Kara Barnard who introduced us to the excellent idea of joined up services in Social Prescribing.
We heard from Sue and Jamie Mumford, trustees of Hospice Ethiopia UK about its work as the only hospice in a country of 120 million people. The challenges of travel, language and poverty were explained and the dedication of those working for improvement was obvious. The Club has sent a donation.
We had a splendid evening with the Tarantara Choir who once again made us their holiday visit. We listened to a wonderful range of music in the wonder of Salle church and enjoyed a glass of wine with friends. Many thanks to the choir, organisers and all who came and donated. We are still working out the good contribution this will make to our charitable funds.
We welcomed Karen Ruthven from Norwich Blackfriars who talked us through Rotakids and Interact for schools. She showed an impressive project working in a local primary school. We hope to move into action with this ourselves later in the year. For the time being we will be making a success of our Summer Concert at Salle with the Tarantara Choir.
For our Charter Night we welcomed DG Ian Elliot and Jeanette and many other guests for an excellent meal in St Michaels – thank you Avril and team. President Jim handed over the reins to Roy Sherlock. Arthur Hawes takes over as President Elect and Peters Williams as Vice President.
Members did a lot of reading to take in the entries from the school writing competition. After much discussion there was some agreement on winners. Announcements and presentation of awards will be later in the summer.
Our Club Assembly where we sorted out the year ahead. We welcomed Philip Hunt AG from Rotary Great Yarmouth who gave us the Rotary perspective on the world today. Incoming President Roy Sherlock presented his plans for the year. A summary is in the members’ area.
A fascinating afternoon at the Muckleburgh collection – more tanks than you would have thought possible and much else besides. A brilliant visit organised by Steve Griggs and owner Michael Savory. An excellent buffet as well.
The sixth Reepham Food Festival was a great success, with warm weather and lots of visitors to our many stalls. Special thanks to Brenda and the WI for cookery demonstrations and the students of Reepham High School for musical entertainment – and of course the members, family and friends who planned, supervised and cleaned up. More news at www.reephamfoodfestival.org.uk soon.
Tom Fraser spoke to us about restorative justice and the work he is doing to benefit both victims and youth criminals and to reduce reoffending rates. A different approach to youth justice seems to be working.
We celebrated St George’s Day with partners. President Jim came up with a fiendish quiz about Britishness. Many were taxed by the questions and some with adding up their scores.
An efficient business meeting and AGM looked at our meeting schedule in the light of rising costs. We have decided that fortnightly meetings with a meal will form the basis of our 2023/4 programme.
A meeting without a meal to see how a new calendar might work. Some interesting discussions about how we might meet and work in the future.
Nick Hewson gave us the inside information on his new historical novel due out this autumn. The story is set in the years before the second world war and involves a lady flying ace and a lot of the politicians of the time. An interesting read awaits.
We welcomed DG Ian Elliot for a discussion about all things Rotary and how other clubs in the area are progressing. We are encouraged to think of new ways of running the Club to ensure that it is enjoyable to us and useful to others.
A busy business meeting with much discussed. With rising costs everywhere we are having to take a hard look at budgets. Minutes are in the members’ area.
Many thanks to all who came to our quiz and chips evening, donated raffle prizes and helped on the night. A good time was had by all and we reckon to have made around £1000 for our charities.
Nina Warhurst gave us a fascinating insight into her work as a journalist and presenter for BBC Breakfast. We learned about interviewing prime ministers and getting the answers we want to hear. We are very grateful to Nina for giving up time to come and talk to us.
Our last lunchtime meeting of the season heard an excellent presentation from Anne Edwards of the John Innes Centre. She took us through the history of the centre and some of its notable discoveries before reviewing current work. Drought resistant varieties of peas for use in Africa were of particular interest.
A number of members visited Rotary Norwich St Edmunds to hear an excellent talk by Tom Youngs about his rugby career at a charity fund raising dinner. .
Jeremy Buxton came to tell us about regenerative farming and his experience in putting theories into practice at Eves Hill. He stimulated a lively debate which will no doubt run and run.
Judy Dow from Norfolk Community Foundation came to tell us about their work. Their role in supporting community organisations with advice, funding and coordination is particularly valuable in these difficult times.
A well attended business meeting on zoom. Minutes will be available soon. The main news is that Arthur Hawes was elected Vice President and David Baxter as next Treasurer. Thank you to both for their future service.
William Fraser talked us through the challenges facing modern recruiters. All seems more stressful and complicated than when some of us were in business. Could be most valuable for those advising students on school carer days. We heard that our Share the Warmth appeal has topped £5000 thanks to the generosity of members and friends. Money will be on its way to Kyiv shortly.
Our Boy’s night of silly games for the celebrations was thinly attended due to illness and other commitments. However much fun was had thanks to the ingenuity of Paul Smith as Master of Arms. Ladies enjoyed their lunch at the Parson Woodforde.
The Club and many friends have been saddened by the unexpected death of Cliff Harmer. He has been a staunch friend to the Club and has done a great deal of work in the community. Our thoughts are with Elaine and family as they prepare for the funeral on 30 January.
We were entertained to a splendid Christmas dinner, enjoyed a chat and sang some carols. Many thanks to Avril and team who look after our catering so well throughout the year.
Our Share the Warmth appeal has so far raised £3700 as members donate part of their heating allowance to help the people of Ukraine.
We reviewed our work with our schools, with visits from Alex Edgar and Rev Keith Rengert. We are now able to renew many of the activities which had to be suspended because of Covid. Many other ideas were discussed and views of students will be sought before firming up a programme.
A business meeting via Zoom. More ideas for getting support to Ukraine – details will be available soon. Minutes in the members area soon.
Our lunchtime meeting was entertained by Bunty Gotts who maintains the ancient art of story telling. She regaled us with a few delightful anecdotes.
An interesting visit to the Sainsbury Centre and their exhibition on Egyptian Art and its influence down the ages. Well worth a visit before it closes in January.
At one of our experimental lunchtime meetings we had a debate about the sense in throwing paint at works of art to draw attention to climate problems. We did not think it was useful but understood the frustration at lack of global action. However we mostly felt that some more innovative approaches could be used, for example sponsoring communities in the developing world to retain forests and other assets.
We heard from Father Paul about an interesting life in business and the church – including becoming a Chaplain to the Queen. We learned with regret that Willy Pank is resigning his membership as he struggles to get to meetings.
We welcomed Henry Fraser who took us through his work making scientific documentaries. We may not now know all about neutrinos, black holes and nuclear fusion, but we can understand the effort that goes into explaining them.
A visit to Ely Cathedral helped by excellent guides. Most members managed the climb up the Octagon Tower to get the full effect of a remarkable piece of medieval engineering.
Our first Business Meeting with President Jim elected officers for the year ahead. There was much discussion about charitable giving since it has been hard to raise funds in the last two years. However donations have gone to the Ukraine appeal, the Sunshine Cafe, the UAE difference project on prostate cancer and to Aquabox for use in Pakistan. This year we will be support Rotary foundation and the campaign to eradicate polio. Minutes are in the members’ area .
We welcomed Will Sealey of Vattenfall who gave us an update on their wind farm projects in the North Sea and the potential community fund for sustainable projects. Wide ranging questions and discussions helped to explain the long-term value of the projects in providing home-grown electricity with lower environmental damage.
We enjoyed a visit to the excellent heritage museum at Coltishall Airport. Fascinating talk and very well laid out and explained exhibits. Supper afterwards at the White Lady, Worstead – very convivial and thoroughly recommended.
We welcomed Les West, Chair of the trustees of the Bircham Centre. Les told us about the history and origins of this brilliant community facility. He explained the current issues facing the Centre and the needs and hopes for the future.
Thank you Reepham WI who organised a get together in the Bircham Gardens to raise funds for our Ukraine appeal. We had a quiz about Norfolk, refreshments, raffle and tombola. The profits from an enjoyable day will be going directly to Rotary in Kiev so they can apply them exactly where needed.
This has been a month of away days for the active. On 5 August, Steve Griggs organised gliding for members and friends at Tibenham. Some good flying followed by one of Cliff and Elaine’s famous barbecues. On 14 August we stretched ourselves in the heat to a little bowling. Many thanks to Cawston Bowling Club for hosting us – and to Cliff for arranging – and of course another splendid barbecue.
Peter Day gave us a fascinating talk of fishing for salmon – his lifelong passion. We learned about the lifestyle of the salmon and why they are threatened by climate change, predators and a lack of official support.
We welcomed Michael Bateman from Norfolk County Council who gave us an informative overview of their work in Special Needs education. Their programme of providing new dedicated facilities is impressive. The Club may be looking to see if we can offer help to some of the voluntary bodies also involved.
Past President John Pickering talked on his specialist subject – Measurement. Having designed and constructed measurement systems for the Large Hadron Collider he is clearly at the forefront of the subject. Members learned a lot.
We welcomed guests from the Reepham community for a discussion about the continuing need to support the people of Ukraine. A presentation from the Rotary Club of Kyiv was shown which highlighted the excellent work they and other clubs can do on the ground. This includes supply of medicines and bandages, feeding people in shelters, fuel for ambulances and support for evacuations. With more funds they can quickly meet known needs and support their local economy. We can get funds to them much more quickly than big aid agencies. We discussed ways of raising more in Reepham with joint projects over the next few months. Thank you to all who came.
New President Jim Fraser cunningly avoided chairing his first meeting by contracting Covid. We gather he and Chris are on the mend and should be back with us soon. This thrust President Elect Roy Sherlock into early limelight and he successfully navigated the meeting without major disaster. We even had a game of Swedish skittles to finish.
A splendid charter night was held in St Michael’s to take advantage of Avril’s cooking – much enjoyed by all. We welcomed DG Ian Elliot to witness the transfer of presidency from John Pickering to Jim Fraser. Ven Arthur Hawes was presented with a Paul Harris award for many years of service to the Club – in particular his mammoth fund raising ‘preachathon’ last year.
Incoming president Jim Fraser set out his plans for the year and the tams who will be helping him. He will be formally taking over the reins on Charter Night next week from John Pickering. It has been a difficult year with restrictions and general nervousness, but we look forward to a year of fun, fellowship and fund raising. Copies of presentations are in the members’ area.
Good to be together again after a round of bank holidays and a successful food festival. Steve Griggs entertained us with some rather scary videos of pilots ejecting from stricken jets.
You can support our work by taking part in the Broadland Community Lottery. Since the lottery started we have received nearly £1500. It is an excellent way of regular giving of small amounts with a little excitement. You could win a jackpot. To play, visit www.communityatheartlottery.com and search for Reepham Rotary.
Our Business Meeting concentrated on the Reepham Food Festival. This is the Club’s 5th event. Ian and his team have been working hard to make it a success. May 29 10am-4pm in the Market Square. Free to all. See www.reephamfoodfestival.org.uk
Jolly boating weather
Last Saturday saw a small party on the Broads with the Nancy Oldfield Trust – showing us the ingenious adaptations made to boats to allow for disability. The Club has made a donation for this excellent work.
Cycling for street kids
Coen van Beuningen is cycling to raise money for 1morechild who educate Ugandan street kids and prepare them for employment. In June he will be going from Candir to Giresun in Turkey – 458 miles over 5 days. This is the ninth annual leg of 25 between Oxford and Sydney.
We had a very sobering presentation from the Rotary Club of Kyiv who have been planning their response since the first invasion in 2014. They have quickly responded with sourcing and distributing humanitarian and medical aid to communities in the front line. They gave us a very good picture of the continuing need which will inform our next actions. In most cases, sending money to buy goods sourced locally.
A very convivial evening with partners and friends. We celebrated St George’s Day with the assistance of Ven Arthur Hawes who took us through what is known of the saint, the legends that grew up around him and the many buildings throughout the world dedicated to him.
A business meeting and our AGM. Minutes will be in the members’ area soon. The principal business was further support for the people of Ukraine. Many members had spent 8 April helping to pack and load a fleet of vans with supplies as part of a team led by Simon Feneron of The Crown in Banningham. The club agreed a further £1000 to cover the cost of hiring and sending one of the vans.
We enjoyed Robert’s catering at the Scout Hut and had a chance to see the works in progress which members have undertaken. This was followed by a discussion on how we can do more to help the displaced people of Ukraine. Some interesting ideas will be carried forward to the business meeting for agreement.
An interesting debate on the need to apologise for history. We agreed that there were some things in history that we would not condone today. However, the practicality and benefits of apology and and reparation was doubted.
We visited the Secret Street – the remains of medieval buildings under present day Norwich. With an expert guide from the Shoebox Community Hub – an interesting visit and a worthwhile charity – warmly recommended. This was followed by supper at St Michael’s where we welcomed chef Avril back from her travels.
An evening of fellowship under the rule of President Elect Jim Fraser. Some ideas developed on how we might further assist people displaced from Ukraine. More will be welcome and we will be refining these at our 4 April meeting.
Our Business Meeting looked at the ways we will meet and eat as we begin to say goodbye to most Covid restrictions. We debated our response to the appalling situation in Ukraine and decided to send our entire emergency fund of £3000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee to help those displaced and dispossessed. Now we will have to work to replenish the funds – look out for more initiatives in the coming weeks. Minutes of the meeting will be in the members’ area soon.
Ian Malton gave us a well researched talk on the state of development of electric vehicles and the likely future advantages and disadvantages. As with all the technologies for mitigating climate change that we have looked at it seems that we are unprepared and much has not been thought through.
Sam James came to tell us about her embryo plans for creating youth services in Reepham and the surrounding areas. She has made some good contacts and a plan of action. The Club will help where we can.
Thank you to all who took part in our quiz, returning after a two year enforced gap. More then 70 gathered at Reepham College to pit their wits against their neighbours. Nearly £600 was raised for our charities.
Peter Williams give us an informative and understandable talk about the benefits and pitfalls of heat pumps. This is part of our look at all aspects of combatting global warming. It seems that they are ideal for new builds but more questionable as a retrofit unless there are very high levels of insulation.
A well attended lunchtime meeting means that we will continue to experiment with this timing next winter. We debated the reasons behind the growth of populations all over the world. Realising that an ageing population is the problem we came to no particular conclusion.
We had an excellent presentation from the Nancy Oldfield Trust who make it possible for the disabled to enjoy being on the water on the Broads. The way they continue to adapt boats of meet the needs of different groups in safety is particularly impressive.
Peter Ross entertained us with his experiences on an aircraft carrier during the Falklands War. It was fascinating too look back after 40 years and hear how the conflict developed and was resolved.
Our first business meeting of the year got a lot done. We have plans to plant lots of trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s jubilee. Among other donations planned we are sending £1800 to Aquabox who send fresh water kits to disaster areas such as Tonga. We heard about the continuing success of the Sunshine Memory Cafe.
Our first meeting for some time – good to be sitting down to eat together. Unfortunately we were unable to have the planned talk on electric vehicles – something to look forward to. However, Peter Underwood stepped into the breach and entertained us with the history of Bawdeswell Garden Centre and the secrets of its success.
Delightful to see so many partners and old friends at our Christmas lunch at Crostwick Old Rectory. As it turns out, our lat event of the years as our 20 Dec meeting was cancelled because too many members had family commitments and a degree of caution seems sensible.
Roy Sherlock continued his father in law’s wartime experience from being shot down through prisoner of war camps ending up at the infamous Stalag Luft 3. We heard a fascinating mix of bravery, tragedy and deprivation not entirely in line with the fiction of the period.
Members have erected the Christmas Tree in the Market Square, with President John validating Newtons’ theory of gravity, thankfully without serious injury.
Monday saw a pleasant evening of fellowship with our first turkey meal of the season. John Sizeland gave us an interesting talk about his career in agronomy and we look forward to him becoming a member in due course.
Our zoom business meeting covered a lot of ground. Thank you to Jim for comprehensive financial updates in his last work as our treasurer – welcome George. Minutes are in the members’ area.
A friendly fellowship evening where there was the opportunity to air any concerns about activities and organisation. The pandemic and its consequences are still with us but we are striving to get back to normal.
Since the world as been discussing climate change at COP 26, we felt we should do our bit. Jim Fraser gave us an informed view of the current predictions and some practical actions that we can take to mitigate them. There is much more to come, with future talks on electric cars, heat pumps, food and farming.
For the first time for many months we welcomed our partners for dinner. It was good to have a catch up and there was no shortage of conversation.
We welcomed Paul Mitchell, Chair of Reepham Town Council, who told us more of the work of the Council and its current priorities. We were reminded of the varied nature of the Council’s responsibilities and the need for more people to come forward and join in. No doubt members will be thinking how they can help.
We were joined by Emma Edgill and Alex Edgar from Reepham High School and Sam James on behalf of the Primary School to discuss ways in which the Club can help our schools. We have enjoyed involvement in many projects and discussions over the years, although most of these have been in abeyance during the pandemic. We are asked to help immediately with careers days and provision of governors. However, many other ideas were put forward and will be considered by our Education team.
We had one of our debates – this time on the subject of assisted dying – possibly tempting fate in view of our average age. We were well informed on the issues by George from his experience in NHS management and Arthur from a theological and spiritual perspective. After an interesting discussion, the vote was overwhelmingly in favour.
We welcomed Ann Middlemass and Janet Archer from the Reepham Archive who gave us a fascinating insight into their collections and how they build them. The town is lucky to have such an enthusiastic band of volunteers. Many members will want to find out more about local families, buildings and events over the years.
Well he did it. Arthur preached for ten hours art St Mary’s Reepham and raised £3000 in sponsorship. What an achievement. Members, friends and passers by called in during the day. Melanie listed for ten hours – also an achievement. Well done both and thank you Arthur.
Our Special General Meeting agreed the officers for the year ahead – the full team is listed under Contacts. The meeting then heard about the success of the August Food Festival and settled 29 May 2022 as the date for the next festival. The team also reported on the excellent initial launch of the Sunshine Cafe for those living with dementia and related conditions.
Members were entertained by Reepham Scouts, shown round their extensive facilities and given an excellent meal. The Scouts are extremely popular with more than 40 of all ages waiting to join. The limiting factor is the number of volunteer leaders so they would like to hear from anyone who has a contribution to make. Find them at https://www.reephamscouts.org.uk/contact.html
Our fourth food festival proved a great success after much hard work. We were hit by a torrential downpour for the first hour or so but then the sun and the crowds came out and our stall holders had a good afternoon. Many thanks to all members and volunteers who made it work. Now we look forward to 29 May 2022 when we will be in action again.
Our Business Meeting concentrated largely on the Food Festival next weekend. Ian and his team seemed to have everything planned and some last minute arrangements were made. Minutes will be published in the members’ area soon.
Members were very sad to hear of the sudden death of Richard Blyth, a recent member and past president. Our thoughts are with Gillian and their family.
The first meeting to introduce the Sunshine Cafe was a great success, with many helpful suggestions from our guests and a warm welcome for the idea. The Cafe for those living with memory loss and their carers will launch on 23 September.
Good to get out and about again with a City Walk. Jan King introduced us to bits of Norwich that we might have thought we knew – but with some fascinating historical and architectural detail. City walks are a valuable institution and great fun. Let’s hope they keep going.
Diana Rackham from the Friends of the Norfolk Dialect spoke to us in dialect and English about their work and entertained us with some stories and examples of a voice that is always in danger of being lost. Some members revealed surprisingly local origins.
A complicated business meeting where we heard about progress with the Sunshine Cafe and Food Festival and our proposal to install broadband in St Michaels. We are still wrestling with arranging safe face to face meetings in the current changing situation.
We had one of our famous debates – this time on the future of royalty in this country. Trevor Nelson introduced with a few facts and figures and we concluded that a bit of slimming and modernisation was in order. The wide range of discussion is shown by the suggestion that we should sell excess Norfolk churches to Americans.
We had a presentation from Richard Cooke on the Black Death to look at comparisons with our present situation and draw conclusions and lessons. It could not be as bad.
At our presidential handover (via Zoom of course) John Pickering took over from Tony Williams. With all the confusion of the pandemic, Tony has served two terms – an unprecedented commitment to keep the club together in these difficult times. John unveiled an exciting programme to get started as we hopefully come out of lock down and can meet and do business more normally. Details of the programme will be posted on this site soon.
Dr Agata Gomulka from the team at Norwich Castle gave us an interesting insight in the work going on to restore the Castle to something nearer its Norman origins. They are recreating tapestries, hangings and furnishings in a way that would be recognisable to the 11th Century designers.
We had an update on the Tiger Project – work at the UEA to distinguish between prostate cancers to identify the correct course of treatment. The Club has supported the project – as we have a few very interested members.
Sophie Ellis discussed the many aspects of issues surrounding women in prison.
A business meeting where we discussed life, the universe and everything. The big question was where we and Rotary will be in a few years time and should we do anything about it. In the end we decided that we were pretty much happy as we are. Which is good.
Our President Tony Williams updated us on the work of the Synergy Academy Trust that looks after our local schools and many more. The Trust has made great progress and grown strongly since its foundation. Members were interested to hear how this new way of managing education is progressing.
A meeting fully devoted to rat-proof squirrel enclosures with all sorts of ideas – using concrete, wire mesh, shipping containers, boat hulls and more. Our experts are conducting further research to identify the optimum solution.
Our AGM and business meeting. Once again over Zoom which aids efficiency and mostly speeds things up. John Pickering set out his team for the year. Of course, we cannot yet know what sort of year it will be, but we are there to respond to it.
We heard from Matt Tebbutt of Whitwell Hall on the excellent work they do introducing school kids to the countryside with a whole range of outdoors activity. Hopefully they can soon get back to a full programme of activity. We have been asked to help with renovating their enclosures for breeding red squirrels. The big problem is making them rat-proof: any suggestions would be gratefully received.
We heard an excellent recorded presentation from Sophie Philip who is sponsored by Rotary in Australia to study at Cambriudge. Her doctorate is looking at the new English law against coercive control – the first such law in the world. We learned the purposes behind the act and how the law is being applied to try and reduce poor behaviour.
Robin Wraight joined us to talk about our work with young people. He is Chair of Youth Services for our Rotary district. He is building a database and sharing information about successful projects across the East of England. Here in Reepham we are looking forward to getting back to our usual activities: Youth Speaks and Masterchef competitions, mock interviews and reading support and work with allotments and gardens.
A business meeting with a lot done: we discussed our food festival, mentoring possibilities and projects for environmental sustainability. Also some views on our future programme as we emerge from lockdown and contemplate the future. Minutes will be in the members’ area soon.
We discussed impacts of the pandemic – following on from the previous meeting. The main take was the need for planning for old age, illness and death. However, asked to vote whether the pandemic was a disaster or an opportunity, more than 80% decided it was an opportunity.
Another Rotary together talk – this time with campaigner Esther Rantzen. Lively and interesting debate afterwards which will continue for our next meeting.
We welcomed District Governor Jonathan King for a Zoom update on the wider world of Rotary. We share with many other clubs the challenge of attracting new members – particularly those below pensionable age. A lively discussion ensued as ever.
Dr Allan Parker gave us a fascinating presentation on the Langham Dome. While some of us visited a few years back we all learned a great deal more this time. It is the only preserved world war 2 anti-aircraft training facility. Ingenious technicians created the first use of virtual reality to train and select gunners without wasting time, ammunition and money. Now a museum and working example, the Dome is well worth a visit when we are allowed out again.
We welcomed back school allotment expert Matt Willer to talk about his new charity – The Papillon Project. We were proud to be early helpers of his first project at Reepham High School started six years ago. He is now working with 20 other schools around Norfolk. He has demonstrated that gardening is an excellent way of teaching and stimulating children and involving local communities.
We tapped into a Rotary meeting with Virginia McKenna and Will Travis to hear about their efforts to rescue zoo animals and, where feasible to return them to the wild. A lively discussion ensued which took in everything from birth control to euthanasia as solutions to the threats to the plant’s wildlife. .
We got through a lot of work at a well attended business meeting. The first pleasant task was to present a Reepham Rotary Community Service Award to Oonagh Walsh for all the good work done by the Reepham Good Neighbour Scheme. Oonagh has led the RGNS for six years and it has played a really important role in helping the vulnerable in the community in these difficult times.
For the rest of our meeting we looked forward to the prospect of being able to get back to our community work. The Food Festival, a Summer Concert and the Dementia Cafe are all planned, but of course subject to us all being able to meet again safely.
Sue from Vattenfall made a welcome return online visit to update us on progress with the North Sea wind energy projects. An excellent presentation detailed all the work they are doing to bring a complex project to fruition. Naturally some lively questions from members.
Our first meeting of the new year provided a welcome opportunity to renew online acquaintance after the slightly festive season. Plans for getting on with life are stalled by virus resurgence – but we can still manage a lively debate on pretty nearly anything from wind power projects to running the country.