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Newsletter No 23, May 2019

Service above Self  ---- Service above Self ---- Service above  Self ---- Service above Self
Welcome to the May 2019 Newsletter  of the Rotary Club of Romsey Test.  This edition has been delayed by a couple of months from our normal schedule but this means there is a wider-than-usual variety of activities to report. We hope that you will find something in this edition that will interest or even surprise you.

Please note especially that registrations are now open for Walk The Test Way 2019.  Discounted "Early Bird" registration closes on  July 1st.     Please also see the article about the future of the Rotary Community  Group and our new Associate Member category.
                                                                                       John Gould

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On January 16th our club ran the local heats for this public speaking competition.  Teams of 3 (a chairperson, a proposer and a person to give the vote of thanks) speak to a topic of their choice.  There were three senior teams, two from Romsey School and one from the Oasis Academy at Scholing in Southampton together with intermediate teams from Romsey and Mount batten Schools.  The subjects were as diverse as “My fridge is going to rule the world” to “What is the place for music in today's society?”.  The senior winners were Romsey A (Carys Davies, Katie Chant and Ellie East) on the subject of “Like a Girl” and the Intermediate winners were Mountbatten  (Grace French, Megan Robinson and Daniel Galam) on “How can a book change your life?”. 
The winning teams went on to compete in the Wessex District final in Southampton on March 9th and we are very pleased to announce that Romsey A were winners of the Senior category and competed in the SW Regional final held in Taunton, Somerset on March 30th.  Several Club members headed West to support them.  Sadly they did not win but we congratulate them on their success.

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On Wednesday 13th March 88 students were faced with a train derailment and spillage of hazardous waste. Fortunately not a real world problem but this year’s task set by Rotary in the 2019 Young Technologist Tournament.
The students from Bitterne Park, Hamble, Mountbatten, Oasis Academy  Scholing, Regents Park, Romsey and Woodlands schools all met at Romsey’s Crosfield Hall. To solve this rather delicate task of recovering the hazardous waste (simulated by a plastic cylinder) the teams were asked to construct a crane which could be pushed along the track, recover the cylinder and return to the start line. The materials to solve this tricky problem were nothing more than bits of wood, elastic bands, a few pulleys, an electric motor plus string, glue and a magnetic hook.
When construction time was over the teams had to demonstrate their devices under the scrutiny of the judges who were Rotary members with engineering backgrounds and from local hi-tech engineering companies: Caroline Upton, Dr Patricia Roberts and Ali Ewida. Most teams succeeded in producing a working crane.  
While the judges retired to make their decisions the teachers’ team which had been set the advanced version of the task demonstrated their design prowess. They fulfilled the advanced task with some aplomb. 
The winning schools were :-
Foundation level:          Mountbatten B with Bitterne Park B runners up
Intermediate level:       Bitterne Park team A with Oasis Scholing A runners up.
The teams received their crystal trophies from Rotary District Governor Allan Smith.  Earlier in the day the Mayor of Romsey, Councillor Dorothy Baverstock had enjoyed a morning visit and had shown great interest in the teams’ progress.

This annual Technology Tournament is run nationally by a central Rotary group and now we look forward to see what test of ingenuity they dream up for next year.

An extensive collection of photographs of the event can be found at:

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The University of Winchester hosted an event called Peace Jam in early March.  The main aim of the annual event is to introduce teenagers to the issues surrounding conflict resolution both in their own interactions with each other and on the international stage.  Each year the event invites a Nobel Peace Laureate to play a leading role and this year it was Betty Williams.  Betty played a key role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.  We supported 13 students from Mountbatten and Romsey Schools and several of our members went to Winchester to hear Betty's talk.

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Each April since 2013 we have linked with the Stroke Association and the Local Opengate Stroke Club to take part in the national Know Your Blood Pressure day.  This year on April 13th we persuaded 87 Romsey shoppers to be checked by qualified healthcare professionals.

Each year we find a significant number of people who had blood pressure readings that were higher than normal and so might be expected to be at higher risk of a debilitating or, in the worst case, fatal stroke.  This year a surprisingly high number (39) fell into this category and were recommended to see their GP for further investigation.  Seven had high enough readings that they were advised to have a follow up within a week.  We hope that through this campaign we may helped people to avoid a stroke.
Know your Blood Pressure – related events
  1. The week after our event in Romsey we had an inspirational talk from stroke survivor Liam Stapleton  “From Stroke to Marathon”.  Liam had a stroke in 2014 whist waiting for a flight home from Austria after a ski holiday. He is now 54 and following superb hospital care in Southampton, a regime of weight loss (from 16 to 12 stone) and rehabilitation with help from the Winchester University Sports Dept he is now running marathons.  His message to us was that strokes are, to a large extent, avoidable through changes in lifestyle.
  2. Each year we do the blood pressure measuring in a tent of the type used by Shelterbox to provide emergency shelter and life support equipment in areas of natural disaster.We are enthusiastic supporters of this charity and sent funding for a Shelterbox immediately following the cyclone disaster in Southern Africa.

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Last autumn we entered a partnership with the Sir Harold Hiller Gardens to raise awareness of Rotary’s efforts in partnership with the World Health Organisation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate the crippling disease polio.  As we reported last autumn we helped to plant a field of 250,000 purple crocuses at Hilliers; the purple colour recalling the purple dye that marks the fingers of vaccinated children. 

In March hundreds of people flocked to the Gardens to see the spectacle and among them was Allan Smith, the leader of Rotary in the Wessex region (covering Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands). Allan had recently returned from Delhi where a Rotary group had been doing polio vaccinations.  He said how impressed he was with the purple display and with the way the partnership with Hilliers had been developed by Rotary members, Sandy Dunn, Stewart Mitchell and John Gould.  He hoped that as the partnership matures it will gain international recognition through Rotary’s worldwide network.
To add to the “Purple for Polio” theme, Romsey Abbey tower was a floodlit purple beacon shining over the town.

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This ever-popular event, now in its 20th year provides an afternoon of companionship and entertainment for 200 of Romsey’s older citizens.  This year was marked by unprecedented demand for places, by the usual slide and video show of “Old Romsey” by Charles Burnett, a sing-along led by the Braishfield Ukulele Musical Society (BUMS), tea, cakes and sandwiches prepared by Inner Wheel and by a performance of  “The Case of the Missing Pearls” written by Rotarian David Pantling and set in 2021 in the lounge/dining room of Brexit House- a somewhat faded but delightful home for elderly gentlefolk in Mid Hampshire.
The cast of Rotarians and friends starred  (L-R)
Maude Hooper-Smythe            Peter Stuckey
Col.Claude Bridger                  Clive Collier
Ian Riley                                Neill Beasley
Maisie Hamilton                      Tony Abbott
Hercule Poirot                         Stuart Wineberg
Teresa                                   Meriel Shepherd
Matron                                   Jenny Wineberg
Boris Johnson                         Steve George
Albert Robinson                      Brian Davies

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The group was set up to help the two Rotary clubs in Romsey under the banner “Rotary in Romsey” to interact with charities, schools, businesses and individuals.  It provided a way for us to talk about what Rotary does locally and overseas and for us to listen to concerns and issues in the local community.  It also allowed us to highlight the occasions on which Rotary needs help. 
The group first met in summer 2016 and continued with 3 meetings a year until last Autumn.  The people who attended all said that it provided them with new contacts and new ideas for their charitable work and we in turn gained new members and found out a lot more about the needs that exist in Romsey.
We had hoped that the group would become self-sustaining  but this has not proved to be possible and a decision has been made that the RCG will no longer meet.
However we plan to hold occasional networking meetings so as to keep in touch with you.  Information on what we do is available through Facebook posts and information on the Club web site.

New members
Since our last newsletter in December we have welcomed five new members: Joe Billett, Nikki Jones, Jaime Garner, Nigel Budd and Sean O'Brien.
Should YOU want to become more involved with Rotary activities our membership group would love to hear from you.  We now have breakfast and evening meetings and meetings that are largely social.  Membership of Rotary is more flexible than ever before and for those who are thinking about joining, we have an Associate Member category that allows you to "try before you buy" which will enable you to attend Rotary meetings and get involved in our local community work such as Walk the Test Way or The Mayor’s Picnic.  Please contact us through this link.
If you would like to help support our activities financially you can do so through the button below
Donate to us through BT MyDonate

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We have a longstanding association with local charity Dentaid – particularly through Rotary’s support of the Rotary Dentaid Box that is used by dentists to provide urgently-needed treatment in remote areas.  We also support Dentaid’s efforts to provide dental care for the homeless and for deprived communities in the UK.
One of our intrepid members is undertaking an abseil down Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower on June 29th.  Roger has a MyDonate page at which you can sponsor him and support this very worthy cause.
P.S. Dentaid have moved from their rural location in Landford to a new site at 116 Commercial Rd Totton.

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Some months ago we provided some funding to allow a weekly 5k Park Run to be set up in Romsey.  It has been set up at Mountbatten School and attracts about 200 runners with a wide range of abilities each Saturday morning.

We have helped the Romsey Abbey Primary School to equip a nurture room. This provides a space in which to look after children who become distressed in school.   Most of the work was completed over the Easter holiday and just a few items remain to be provided.

We were pleased to be able to sponsor the first year of the Romsey Chamber Music Festival to the tune of £250 (no pun intended).  This sponsorship continues the Club’s support for young musicians.

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Walk the Test Way 2019
This is our Club’s main event of the year, providing an opportunity for people to raise money for THEIR favourite charity.

 Last year’s walk raised £92,000 and benefited 123 individual charities.
Registration is now open for his year’s event which will be on

Sunday September 29th.

Please register early and enjoy the discounted registration fee.
We would like to thank our sponsors for 2019: our lead sponsor SpecsaversAudley Group (Memorial Park Sponsor), Pebble Graphics, Wheelers Travel, and Bettavend.  Their support helps us maximise the sums distributed to charity.

We hope to see you in September.

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Meetings and events for next 3 months
Our Club meets on Wedesdays at venues in and around Romsey. 
1st Wednesday         Business meeting in Romsey Town Hal
2nd Wednesday        Breakfast meeting at Cromwell Arms
3rd Wednesday        Meeting with a speaker Romsey Town Hall
4th Wednesday        Social evening at Cromwell Arms
5th Wednesday        Social event with partners
For an up-to-date list  see our Club home page
  • Sunday July 1st                           Rotary Mayor's picnic, Memorial Park
  • Sunday September 29th             Walk the Test Way

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 Who's who for 2018/19            
President                              Stuart Wineberg
Senior Vice Pres                   Bill Gidley
Junior Vice President            Bryan Rickett
Secretary                              Martin Russell
Trust Fund Treasurerer        Graham Hollier  
Club Treasureer                   Nick Bellamy
Community Service              Peter Stuckey
Youth Opportunities              Frank Smiley
International                          Philip  Kirkland
Rotary Foundation                Stewart Mitchell
Fundraising                           Sandy Dunn       
Walk the Test Way                Sandy Dunn
Membership                          Steve George
Sports and Social                  Tony Abbott
Communication                     Keith Cameron

About our Club and About Rotary
The Rotary Club of Romsey Test was started in 1990 and presently has 60 members (2 honorary). The Club was an offshoot of the Rotary Club of Romsey (the lunchtime club) that meets on Tuesday lunchtimes at the White Horse hotel. We are part of Rotary International and Rotary International of Britain and Ireland. We are guided by the principle of Service above Self

The Club’s activities focus on
• Community Service – dealing with service to the local community
• Fund-raising – our major fundraising event is Walk the Test Way.
• Youth Opportunities - working with young people around Romsey
• International – dealing with our international giving and including our partnership with Dentaid to produce the Rotary Dentaid Box.
• Foundation - Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s own charity and deals with such global projects as the eradication of polio.
• Club Service - responsible for running the club.
• Membership - recruitment and retention.
• Communication - internal and external
• Sports and Social

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Rotary Club of Romsey Test · c/o Town Hall · Market Place · Romsey, SO51 8YZ · United Kingdom

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