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Tom’s Blog – November/December 2020

Tom’s Blog – November/December 2020

With December set to be a quieter month, my blog this time covers the goings on in November, with a little look forward to the end of the year.

Again, apart from my usual Rotary GB&I engagements (Executive Committee, Governing Council and so on), it was my privilege to attend a number of regular club meetings. In November, they were in Surrey, Fife, Lincolnshire, and Leicestershire.

I was also delighted to be present at a number of special gatherings.

On 2nd November, Belper and Duffield Rotary in Derbyshire celebrated their 90th anniversary, a very happy and enjoyable event, and two days later I was invited to join a gathering of representatives of clubs south and east of Edinburgh.

The following Monday I spoke at the Rotary Club of London’s Leverton meeting (normally the Leverton Lunch, but of course virtual these days). Stanley Leverton, a long-time member of Rotary London, was the man who, back in 1943 persuaded Rotary International to allow more than one club to be established in a given town or city – thus helping Rotary to grow by offering potential Rotarians different clubs in their neighbourhood from which to choose. Particularly important in large cities like London.

Every year, Rotary London celebrates the memory of this man with a special lunch, and the event was reported on in the Daily Telegraph’s Court and Social column!

Towards the end of November I was delighted to be present at a meeting of York Rotary. This should have been a big celebration at York Racecourse of the club’s centenary, but, alas, that’s another victim of the pandemic, and the celebrations have been postponed until November next year.

Chartering a new club is always a special occasion, and this was no exception.”

I also participated in three district events, including in North East England in mid-November. I mentioned last month the regionalisation proposals currently under discussion, and this past month I met the Continuity Teams of Rotary in Shropshire, Staffordshire and part of the West Midlands, and Rotary in  Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and part of South Yorkshire, to talk about this.

And what about December?

Well, the first day of the month brought something special – the presentation of its Charter to the new Rotary e-Club of the West of Scotland. Chartering a new club is always a special occasion, and this was no exception. Of course, as you would expect from an e-Club, their catchment area is internet-wide, and we had members and guests in attendance from Australia, Canada, France, South Africa and the USA.

For the rest of the month I’m looking forward to a reduction in the number of Zoom meetings, and instead use the platform for the opportunity to meet and relax with friends in parties or other social events!

There is one special Rotary meeting planned, however. The Rotary Club of Plymouth was chartered on 21 December 1920, and they have invited me to join them to celebrate their centenary – appropriately enough on 21 December.

That’s all for now; I’ll be back with a fresh blog at the end of January.

Meanwhile, stay well, have a very happy Christmas and a good New Year – and keep enjoying Rotary.