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.
The usual silliness of Boy’s Night had to be transferred to Zoom which put the mockers on the paper aeroplane challenge. However Paul, our Master at Arms, came up with some suitably silly videos with essential technical support from John Tym. Other members chipped in with jokes and stories and some suitable fines were imposed.
This was our Christmas with partners – but eating and drinking at home. On Zoom there were some festive costumes and a good turnout – lovely to see everyone. Trevor and Hazel entertained us with a fascinating quiz – closely fought but won by Lesley and Richard who will have a large bottle of wine for lock-down Christmas thanks to President Elect John.
We welcomed via Zoom Roz Adamson, a trustee of Aquabox, a charity that we have supported for more than 20 years. Rotary-led Aquabox ships water cleaning equipment to disaster areas around the world to meet the first humanitarian need. Our regular contributions are funded by our 100 club which is open to all. Click here to find out more.
Another Rotary talk – this time from Marilyn Fitzgerald on microfinancing. Amazing success has been achieved in supporting new small business in developing and developed countries. This may be a good outlet for our funds and our talents – a subject for further exploration.
A Zoom business meeting for these strange times with look at last year’s audited accounts. Over £10,000 went to various local and international charities, but it may be difficult to do as much this year. However we are able to send further funds to Aquabox emergency relief, Malaika Kids and our local Covid recovery fund. Time and vaccine programmes will dictate how soon we can get back to normal community activity.
Our Zoom meeting watched a presentation from Dr Michel Zaffran who is about to retire as head of the WHO Director of Polio Eradication. He praised the long involvement of Rotary around the world for contributions of over $2billion, countless man hours and government and industry lobbying. Today polio is found only in Pakistan and Afghanistan but work goes on to inoculate children to finish a long job.
We had Arthur’s delayed lecture on impressionist painters. This time technology worked well and we had a fascinating tour of the great works between Constable and Picasso with lots of detail behind many well known paintings.
An informative presentation from Anglian Water prompted a lively discussion and some tricky questions for Amy – well handled and enjoyable. Sadly the technology cut off before she could be properly thanked.
Technical problems clouded the zoom meeting as Arthur’s broadband failed him – spookily just after he had mentioned the Hermitage in Russia. Maybe that was the reason replacement videos would not play either. Arthur and the Impressionists will return.
The Reepham Rotary Recovery Initiative has passed £2,000 – well on its was to our initial target. However we will keep going as there is going to be greater need for help in the coming months.
A fellowship meeting over Zoom. John Tym had found some historic film of the City of Norwich which brought out the age of members who could remember many of the events and places of the 1950s and 60s.
Rev Keith Rengert, our local Vicar joined us to talk about his work as a chaplain – particularly to the East of England Ambulance Service and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. He is also chaplain to Reepham High School and College with which we have close links.
Once again George made us think. This time on genetic modification: the whys, hows, benefits and consequences. A lot to ponder for the future. No doubt many debates carried on after his zoom presentation.
We got through a lot in our business meeting. Finally released grant to EACH for children’s play equipment; sorting a Christmas tree for (suitably distanced) erection in the market place; and funds for for the Reepham Rotary Recovery Initiative. Minutes will be in the members’ area soon.
We heard from Kate King at Reepham Primary School about help needed with outdoor learning. We are hoping to provide some wise hands to supervise simple tool work, den building and nature study. It will be good to find some things we can safely do in these difficult times.
Thanks to George Forster we now know more than Darwin did about evolution. Having learnt the science behind the epigenome we may now have to have a serious ethical debate about genetics. This week we say ‘goodbye’ to Eileen and Terry Sutton who leave for their new life in Kent; we wish them well.
Our first meal together since the beginning of March – well arranged and suitably distanced. Good to be back with Avril and thanks again to Micheal Jones for use of the barn. After discussion we will alternate between similar meetings and use of zoom for those who prefer to avoid contact.
We met for a socially distanced, well sanitised drink in the Jones’ Farm Barn. Great to be back in proper contact – although more difficult to mute people. Agreed it worked so well as a venue that will have a meal in a fortnight’s time. Thank to Michael Jones and Robert Briggs for organising.
An efficient business meeting on Zoom saw us sort out some future fund raising plans. We also agreed some new plans for meeting up from time to time – safely and suitable spaced. Minutes will be in the members’ area soon.
Our first face to face meeting – or mask to mask with distance. Thanks to Peter Underwood for use of wide open space at the garden centre. 15 members met for beer and catch up – and all sorts of plans for future meetings.
So now we know our chasubles from our thuribles. Ven Arthur Hawes took us through the many features and artifacts to be found in cathedrals and churches. The examples ranged from St Mark’s, Venice to St Andrew, Thurning in a fascinating talk.
Clare and Mike Coote joined us to talk about their work with Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. They are involved in training dogs and spreading the word about the charity. They were ably assisted by Watson, a dog in training who behaved impeccably except, quite reasonably, when a cat was about.
The Club has sent £5000 to East Anglian Children’s Hospices to pay from scrubs and other PPE equipment at the three hospices. Rotarian Roy Sherlock arranged for a grant from the Rotary International Disaster Relief Fund. See more here.
Architect Ian Malton took us through the design and planning for a new hotel he is working on in Norwich. The challenges of developing an existing building in a mediaeval city were set out in a fascinating talk.
A business meeting with a lot to think about. We are trying to work out how we can safely meet again and enjoy each others’ company. Plenty of plans for helping our community as soon as we can, with a major fund raising drive for EACH and new schools projects in Reepham. George Forster volunteered as our first Environmental Officer.
An evening of fellowship with some interesting discussions: Can Ian & Lin survive the camper van? Are there safe ways for us to meet up in the near future – perhaps al fresco? Can we find some more speakers of interest?
Our virtual charter night on Zoom. Attendance a bit diminished by illness and password confusion but good to see many partners joining in for a drink and a chat. Excellent quiz thanks to Trevor, won by brainy Jim, was followed by some jokes of variable quality. Tony Williams handed over to Tony Williams for another year (we live in strange times). Paul as Master at Arms handed out some well deserved fines to various miscreants.
George Forster bamboozled us with 20 minutes to the edge of the universe, a brief history of creation and the amazing dimensions of particles and outer space. How small we are.
We welcomed Assistant District Governor Philip Hunt to our Club Assembly. President Tony Williams and committee chairs took us through plans for the year ahead. Necessarily much that is planned is uncertain. However there are many good ideas for community involvement and fund raising. Reports are in the members’ area. More public news as ideas develop.
Arthur talked to us about the emergence and history of Romanesque architecture (which we called Norman) with many splendid examples and much informed commentary.
Richard Cooke talked about his experience of tracing his ancestors and listed the main sources and how to find them. His researches had thrown up some unexpected family skeletons but no great riches.
An evening of fellowship – with numbers limited by the bank holiday. Made it easier to catch up on news in the Zoom format.
A zoom business meeting efficiently conducted. We agreed where our latest round of charitable donations should go, although future fundraising will be difficult until we and others can gather. Papers on constitutional changes are in the members’ area.
Toby James, Professor of Politics and and Public Policy at UEA returned (via Zoom) to discuss the potential impact of Covid 19 on the future of democracy. An interesting (if somewhat worrying) talk with a lot of questions and opinions afterwards. 25 members and guests with some partners enjoyed an informative evening.
Roy Sherlock entertained us with the wartime exploits of his father-in-law Neil Stebbings. With a fascinating amount of detail, Roy took us through his training as a fighter pilot, service in North Africa and shooting down. There wasn’t time to go through his prison time, ending up at Stalag Luft III. Hopefully another talk in the future.
Our on-line AGM attended by most members – with added live voting. Papers are in the members’ area and will be joined by the minutes soon. In view of unusual times and John Pickering’s current workload we are deferring presidential handover for a year. Tony Williams has kindly agreed to serve for a further year to give him a chance to complete more of his planned projects.
Our first outside speaker on Zoom – and everything worked well. Katie Pountain from UEA updated us on the prostate diagnostic programme to which we are contributing funds. With the original ‘Tiger Test’ and new ideas, they are well on track to better distinguish between those conditions that need treatment and those that are better left alone. It was also impressive to hear the way that UEA has reacted and diverted resources to combat Covid 19 – from research skills and laboratory facilities to providing accommodation for front line staff from the N&NUH.
Another interesting Zoom meeting with nineteen members – even though we would not normally meet on a Bank Holiday – but these are strange times. An interesting discussion about how Zoom works with some members learning how to change their background pictures. We trust that online behaviour will be better when we have a guest speaker next week. Otherwise interesting discussion on wind farms and solar power – we really should be running the country.
Some 24 members again for a Zoom meeting – good to be in touch. A short quiz tested a few brains and then Jim gave us a geographer’s view of the worldwide statistics on Covid 19. Sometimes the more you look at statistics the more confused you become, but Jim made sense of it for us.
Excellent attendance via Zoom again – 24 members counted. Hopefully others will join. George Forster gave an illuminating presentation on viruses – so we all know a great deal more about what we are facing. The on-line raffle worked well too. President Tony and team are now working on a programme to last us through the isolation period. It’s very good to be in touch.
First online meeting with Zoom. Ably set up by John Tym. A good deal of hilarity but it worked and so good to see friends when we cannot meet. 19 attendance not at all bad. This will become regular we are sure while we all lock done in the public interest.
It is now apparent that our regular Monday meetings are no longer feasible. The Council will review this decision on a month by month basis. Instead we will be attempting virtual meetings using ZOOM. We will report on the success of this.
A sad business meeting as the Corvid 19 virus will potentially put paid to much of our programme of meetings and work in the community. Meetings will continue while enough members wish – the cut off for apologies will be brought forward to the Thursday night.
The Food Festival Committee have taken the decision to postpone the next event to 30 May 2021. All sponsors and stallholders are being contacted. See the full statement here.
Peter Williams presented plans for the Sunshine Cafe for Dementia sufferers and their carers. Members agreed that this is a thoroughly worthwhile project. Inevitably there will now be delays but planning will continue. Members can see plans with their documents.
Deborah and Sarah from the Wymondham Dementia Support Group came to tell us about their valuable work and the progress they have made after six years. This will help greatly and inform our plans as we look at what can be done to support dementia sufferers and their carers in Reepham.
Scott McKay told us about the work of the Norfolk Fostering & Adoption Service, recruiting carers for Norfolk youngsters.
Good to introduce more friends from Reepham to our club. Non members are always welcome to meetings of interest and to help with our community projects.
Many thanks to all who enjoyed our annual Quiz and Chips. A keenly fought contest raised £650 for our charities.
Inspirational presentation from Joh Drake about the work of Musalaha – working for reconciliation and peace in the Middle East. We learnt about ways of bringing people together and teaching them more about each other to reduce tension.
Very sorry to record the death of Steve Catchpole – long time member and friend of all. A great Rotarian who has done much for many over the years. A long illness bravely borne. Our thoughts are with Patsy, Zoe, Gary and the family.
Phil Cane gave us a fascinating talk on beekeeping, with all the attendant worries, costs and benefits. A long question time showed the extent of members’ interest.
We heard about the work of Juventas who support young people into independent living. With a strong emphasis on education they help young adults leaving care and unaccompanied asylum seekers towards becoming confident citizens. The urgent need is for old laptops and tablets to help with learning and training.
Much fun with Haggis, Piper and ethnic dress – some authentic, some not. Excellent funny stories from Cliff and Paul and thanks to Chris, Tony and Roy for completing the formalities – and to Andy for catching and serving haggis.
Robert Briggs told us about the charming dictator Qin She Huang of China whose 200BC mausoleum contained the Terracotta Army.
An evening of fellowship agreed Peter Williams investigation of an exciting new idea and some further discussion about future Club strategy.
An efficient business meeting. A team has been formed to look at future strategy for the club. All members are invited to contribute.