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Newsletter No 24, November 2019

Contents - click the header to go straight to the article that interests you
• Introduction
New Rotary Year - New Team
Mayor's Picnic 2019
Walk the Test Way 2019 - update
Scaling heights for Dentaid
Laptops for Africa

• Polio Partnership
Summer holidays  for 24 children
A few more things
                        Travel to Iran
                        Vectis Radio
Who's who in 2019/20?
About our Club

Service above Self  ---- Service above Self ---- Service above  Self ---- Service above Self
Welcome to the November 2019 Newsletter  of the Rotary Club of Romsey Test.  We apologise that it has been a few months since the last edition but hope that you will find something ithat will interest or even surprise you.
                                                                                       John Gould

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The timing of the Rotary year means that within days of being installed as Romsey Test President and receiving my chain of office from Stuart Wineberg I was thrust headlong into our first major Rotary event, the Mayor’s Picnic. It was therefore an enormous relief to me that the sun shone and the event went off without a hitch, a great time had by all. 

Rotary events are organised by a small dedicated core team with support from as many members as can be mustered on the day. Romsey Test Rotary’s biggest annual  event is ‘Walk the Test Way’. The core team are working hard on organisational details and a large contingent of members, member’s partners, friends and volunteers were out marshalling along the walk route on Sunday 29th September.

The Rotary year comprises an interesting and varied schedule of meetings at which we have a speaker, social events, community events, Rotary competitions run for young people and very many other smaller but nevertheless important  activities which add to the well being of the Romsey and wider community. All of this cannot be achieved without the dedicated commitment of the members who chair the various committees and our Rotary members' enthusiastic involvement.  My role is simply to chair the various meetings and I am constantly amazed and inspired by the hard work and support given entirely voluntarily by our members.  I'd like to thank those who have taken on the leadership of committees for the coming year.  There are quite a few changes this year.  The roles are listed on the Club web site and in the Who's Who section at the end of this Newsletter.  

Rotary’s doors are always open to men and women who wish to take on the challenge of making Romsey and perhaps even the world a better place. Why not come and have a chat with us?
Bill Gidley
President 2019-20

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Preparing for the picnic
Now how does this go together?  We should have labelled the pieces when we packed it up last year.
The Mayor's Picnic, the annual free event for Romsey,  was its usual success.  This year  was marked by an unusually large number 30  stalls for  local charities, organisations  and businesses.  The picnic gives each of them a chance to interact with the many hundreds of people of all ages who enjoyed a sunny afternoon.

We had our favourite entertainments: the "Soaka-Bloka-Drencha- Wencha" machine, , the Assault Course run by the Scouts and the crowning of the Carnival Queen, Dinosaur racing, Trigger the Train and of course the central feature the Duck Race `assisted by the Romsey Sub-Aqua Club who made sure no ducks escaped!!  Humour and an escort to the Memorial  Park came from the Old Cadets Marching Band, and musical entertainment from Mountbatten School Big Band and Romsey Community Choir.

This year we made an effort to ensure that this was "Green" and manged to recycle 40% of the rubbish produced.

We were pleased when all the finances were settled to be able to give £750 to the Mayor, Cllr Janet Burnage's charity fund.

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This year's walk on Sunday 29th September attracted 495 walkers supporting 137 charities. The sponsorship money is still coming in and by the end of October had reached £58,337.72  Some people walked as individuals , some in teams.  Team Banana supporting Action for ME raised £5410 for THEIR charity.  Two walkers came all the way from the Australian state of Tasmania to walk from Stockbridge to Romsey in support of Medecins sans Frontieres.

Regular updates will be posted on the Walk web page and there is a gallery of photos of this year's walkers.
Next year's walk is already being planned for

Sunday September 27th 2020 

We hope to see you then

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Local dental charity, Dentaid, benefitted from the intrepid exploits of two of our members, Roger Shepherd and Mike Kelly who abseiled 100m down Portsmouth’s Spinnnaker Tower when they took part in a fundraising event for Dentaid.  Between them they raised £1,400.
We have for many years supported Dentaid - a charity that provides dental treatment for people in parts of world where dentists are scarce and particularly focuses on remote areas and on encouraging children to care for their teeth.  With our help they have developed a portable dental surgery, complete with chair that can fit in a wheelie bin or large backpack.  They also provide dental care for the homeless in some parts of the UK. Our Club recently gave £750 to support a Dentaid project Cameroon, West Africa.

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At one of our meetings in July our past-President Neil Duncan (seated) handed over a refurbished laptop to Paul and Shirley Barter.  Paul and Shirley started the charity Citizens4Change that set up the Life Centre school in Kisumu, Kenya. This has now expanded to include providing older students with training in computer  skills  to prepare them for the world of work.     Some years ago the first 6 laptops and a printer were taken out to Kenya by Neil in his hand luggage.   They now have 24 laptops.   C4C's work in Kenya is supported in part by the Asante Coffee shop in Latimer Walk, Romsey.  You can read more about the origins and work of C4C here

In case you wondered - Asante means "Thank-you" in Swahili.

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October 24th marked World Polio Day (chosen because it was the birthday of Jonas Salk who in 1952 produced the first effective vaccine against polio). The disease (also known as infantile paralysis because it particularly affected children) once killed and crippled hundred of thousands worldwide.  The last case in the UK was in 1984.  Vaccination soon eliminated the disease from developed countries but it persisted in Africa and Asia.
For the past 30 years Rotary International has partly funded the “End Polio Now” campaign, sending teams out to vaccinate children and to eliminate polio from the few remaining pockets (mostly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and West Africa). Last year there were only 100 cases worldwide and on World Polio day 2019 it was announced that the second wild polio strain had been eliminated.  Only one now remains
As we reported in the last newsletter the Rotary Clubs in Romsey have teamed with Sir Harold Hillier Gardens to plant purple crocuses to raise awareness of the efforts to rid the world of this terrible disease. Our club were very pleased to have been awarded one of four "People of Action" awards from Rotary in Great Britain and Northern Ireland .

We encourage you to come to Hilliers in the spring to admire the flowers and make a donation to help to “End Polio Now”.

Why purple?  Well, after each child is vaccinated its finger is dipped in purple dye so that they don’t get two doses. 

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Youth in Romsey (YIR) is an outstanding organisation providing a wide range of activities and services for young people. 

From their interactions with local schools YIR became aware that there were a significant number of children who would have no holiday during the summer.  Our club stepped in with funding of £3550 to support two dozen children who were given a week of activities in August.   These included  sports coaching,  learning to play the ukelele, drama classes as well as two days of outdoor activities at the Minstead Study Centre.   They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we were pleased to have made this possible. 

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During October our members visited 7 primary schools in the SO51 postcode area to hand out personal copies of the Usborne Illustrated English Dictionary at school assemblies to a total of around 300 Year 4 children.  These books remain their property for life.  The project was started in 2012 so we have now donated nearly 2500 books.

The project is run nationally by the Rotary Club of Battersea, Brixton and Clapham.  We order the books in December and they are delivered in May so that each can be inscribed with a child's name.

Children and teachers alike have huge enthusiasm for the project and "Dictionary Day" has become one of the high spots of the autumn term around Romsey.     

Service above Self  ---- Service above Self ---- Service above  Self ---- Service above Self
Our intrepid traveller, Stewart Mitchell gave us a fascinating description of his recent travels in Iran.  Are you old enough to recognise this car?  It's a Hillman Hunter, now manufactured in Iran and called the Paykan.
Amazing what you learn from your fellow members

New member Shaun O'Brien  told us about his volunteer job as a presenter on Vectis Radio (104.6FM).  The station broadcasts on the Isle of Wight.  Shaun particularly mentioned the station's 4Ps project that gives young people with disabilities a chance to increase their confidence through Presenting, Production,  Podcasts and Promotion.
Once again are collecting shoeboxes full of Christmas gifts to add to the thousands that will be sent overseas by Clubs in the Rotary Wessex District (1110).  This year we have received enthusiastic  support from Hampshire Collegiate and Wellow Primary Schools and from Romsey Scouts.   

In October we sent £500 to Shelterbox to alleviate the devastating damage caused to the Bahamas by  hurricane Dorian.   Shelterboxes each contain resources (tent, cooker, water purification, solar light, tools) to support about 10 people for many weeks.   You can see what Shelterbox have done here.

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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 Hall
2nd Wednesday        Breakfast meeting at Cromwell Arms
3rd Wednesday        Meeting with a speaker Romsey Town Hall
4th Wednesday        Social evening at The Phoenix
5th Wednesday        Social event with partners
For an up-to-date list  see our Club home page

Confirmed dates for our  club's major events in  2020
  • Saturday March 4th                    Reminiscences of Romsey 
  • Saturday May 30th                     Street Collection for Parkinsons
  • Sunday July 3rd                         Rotary Mayor's Picnic
  • Sunday  Sept 27th                      Walk the Test Way

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 Who's who for 2019/20            
President                              Bill Gidley
Senior Vice Pres                  Bryan Rickett
Junior Vice President           Roger Shepherd
Secretary                              Jon Livingstone
Trust Fund Treasurer        Graham Hollier  
Club Treasurer                   Nick Bellamy
Community Service              Peter Stuckey
Youth Opportunities              Steve George
International                          Gren Lamb-Hughes
Rotary Foundation                Stewart Mitchell
Fundraising                           Sandy Dunn       
Walk the Test Way                Sandy Dunn
Membership                          Iain Small
Sports and Social                  Clive Collier
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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