Tuesday, 25 December 2012

This Club Believes in Santa

Not only do we believe in Santa but together with members of Tettenhall Inner Wheel Club our Club members and their families have been busy throughout December working with Santa and Rudolph as his sleigh has visited children throughout Wolverhampton. For many Club members our visits with Santa are one of the most rewarding things that we do as it helps to brings a bit of Christmas magic to children in parts of the City who otherwise might miss out on the chance to see Santa Claus.

We want to thank everyone who braved the often wet weather to give Santa such a wonderful welcome and who in the process helped us to raise over £6,000 which we'll make sure goes to help local good causes.

Organising the sleigh is a mammoth task so its hats off to sleigh co-ordinator Chris Bowyer and his Committee who worked tirelessly in order to make it a success.The Club's thanks also go to Terminus Contract Hire in Wolverhampton, to Sainsburys of  Perton, the Midcounties Co-operative at Codsall and to Asda in Wolverhampton for their support.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Rotary Service Shield Award 2012

The moto of Rotary International is ‘Service Above Self’ and it's not only a moto that Rotarians live by but an idea which we look to encourage in others. One of the ways that we encourage this service ethos is to recognise the work of others and this year we have presented Smestow School with the Rotary Service Shield to be awarded annually to the student who best demonstrates this quality.

This year’s recipient is Grace Wylde who received her award at the school’s presentation evening tonight. In addition to the engraved shield, Grace received a certificate from President Ian and was presented with a personal cheque and a cheque to be given to her chosen charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer by Dal Kalirai representing Midcounties Cooperative Society, who have kindly sponsored this years award.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer works to save lives through enabling and ensuring access to improvements in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Headteacher Martyn Morgan said ‘We recommended Grace for the award because she is a carer who managed to balance her responsibilities at home with participating in the life of the school and achieving good GCSE results with great determination and courage’.

Monday, 19 November 2012

GSE Team Presentation

Rotary’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) programme is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers.

The programme is designed to develop professional and leadership skills amongst young adults so that they can address the needs of their communities in an increasingly global workplace.

Rotary provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

Rotarians in the host area provide meals, lodging, and group travel within their district, participants in the programme live with Rotary families during the exchange, thus learning at first hand all about living in the visited country.

In a typical four-week tour, team members participate in five full days of vocational visits, 15 to 20 club presentations, 10 to 15 formal visits and social events, two to three days at the district conference, three to four hours per day of cultural and site tours, and three to four hours per day of free time with host families.

Following a successful visit from a GSE team from Rotary District 5550 which spans Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada a team from our own District visited the prairies of Canada in May and June of this year

The team included Jayne Lawrence, a member sponsored by the Tettenhall Club and this evening she was joined by fellow team member Victoria Talbot and team leader Lorraine Boothman to tell us all about their experiences.

You can read a full account on the team’s blog but for a flavour of what they got up to here is a poem which Jayne penned at the end of the journey:

We landed in Winnipeg after a mammoth journey
It was night time in Canada but in England it was early!
Flying Manchester-Washington-Toronto-Winnipeg
We were absolutely shattered and ready for bed
A tour of Manitoba province was the place to begin
Brandon, then Neepawa and onto Dauphin
We crossed the border to Melfort along the way
And experienced rain, snow and sunshine all in one day!
That’s because we’ve toured Seskachewan too
As far north as Prince Albert and stunning Waskasieu
Saskatoon was the next place on our list
Where we stayed in a B&B for our time of rest
Next was on to Regina for lunch
Then Watrous and Weyburn – we’ve done SO much!
We finally came to our journeys last leg
A 6 hour trip back to Winnipeg
Staying for five days for District Conference
Presenting to a big audience to further boost our confidence
Never did I imagine we’d do so many wonderful things
We even tried shooting a shotgun at metal tins!
We saw museums, farms, and watched Ice Hockey games
In addition to our informative vocational days
We had lots of pot luck suppers and BBQs too
Trying waffles, maple syrup, Bison burgers and Ukrainian food
Never before have we eaten so much
Three course meals for breakfast, supper AND lunch
We’ve met mayors, MLAs and the provincial minister of health
Who all epitomise the Rotary saying “service above self”
We saw the venue of the brilliant country fest
Crikey – when we get home we’ll be glad of the rest!
We visited Wasagaming and found out it was just a name
Unlike our District Governor who thought it was a game
Dancing at a polka fest and visiting Hutterite colonies as well
Amazed at the things they manufacture, grow and sell
Whilst here we celebrated the Queens diamond jubilee
Wearing British flags, hats and feather boas for the world to see
Drinking coffee in Tim Hortons and shopping in Walmart
Our cases ending up even heavier than the start!
We saw bison, elk, deer, coyote but not the elusive Moose
We’ve been on radio, in the paper and on TV – yes, we’re famous!
What a wonderful trip, it sad it’s coming to an end
but what a fab experience and we’ve made so many Canadian friends
All of this thanks to Rotary members far and wide
All the individuals who wear their pins and badges with pride
People who help individuals and communities get a good start
All through the goodness of their own hearts
We’ve had a bearilliant time here in the Canadian Prairies
And are going home with such wonderful memories
Thank you to our hosts and especially Rotary
We’re heading home soon to have a cup of tea!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Record Signing for Club - Steve Daley

It was great for us to spend this evening in the company of former Wolves player Steve Daley.

Originally from Yorkshire Steve joined Wolves as an apprentice making his professional début with the Club in 1971 going on to establish himself as a regular in the first team and earning caps with England's B team.

1979 saw his transfer to Manchester City for a then British Record £1,437,500 - though played out of position the move did not go well leading the Observer to class it as number 1 in their top 10 list of the biggest wastes of money in football history.

Parting company with City two years later Steve crossed the Atlantic for three successful seasons as a player in the North American Soccer League.

Since leaving the game Steve has made quite a name for himself as an after dinner speaker - so much so that he was recognised as 'Soccer Speaker of the Year' in 2009.

It's easy to see why Steve won the award - his has been a career which has seen both its ups and its downs and he's got some great stories to share as a result. Steve gave the lads in the room a great nights entertainment  - he had us in stitches all evening - and we give him our thanks and wish him continued success in his speaking career and in his charitable work with other ex Wolves players raising money for local charities.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

In Memory - Remembrance Day 2012

Remembrance Day has been observed since the end of the First World War and today President Ian together with Club members Ivan Hill and Brian Tranter joined the Mayor of Wolverhampton, service men and women and representatives of ex service and civic societies to pay our respects to the fallen by the laying of wreaths of poppies at the City's War Memorial.

Attendance at the City Service of Remembrance grows each year - an opportunity for us to contemplate and to recognise the sacrifice of those who fought for our freedom during the two World Wars and those who have lost their lives in more recent conflicts.

In Flanders' Fields

In Flanders' fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders' fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders' Fields.

John McCrae

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Armistice Concert

There's nothing to beat live music and this evening the Perton Community Hall was filled with the music of the Sharmanaires Big Band who were performing at the Club's Armistice Concert to help raise funds for local Rotary charities.

The Sharmanaires have been entertaining audiences in the Midlands since the 70's with a mix of traditional hits made famous by the likes of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Ted Heath, Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Harry James and they certainly didn't disappoint with tonight's performance.

As the Club prepared to remember the fallen of the Second World War at Sunday's Civic Service of Remembrance the Sharmanaires helped us remember the music that inspired troop morale and bolstered morale on the home front.

Our thanks go to impresario Peter Maddox for his work in organising a great evenings entertainment.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Malcolm Bason Award

Each year the Club recognises the pivotal role played by our first President, Malcolm Bason, by the presentation of the Malcolm Bason Award in his memory.

The award is made by the Club's Presidential team to recognise the contribution of a member Rotarian to the ongoing development of the Club. This years award is made to Club Communications Officer David Cave. A professional photographer by trade David gives freely of his time and skill to help to promote the work of the Club and of our partner organisations and as a former Foundation chair he has been instrumental in the success of past GSE team visits and in ensuring that our Club met the Gates Challenge as a further step towards the eradication of polio.

As part of the award the receiving Rotarian is entitled to nominate a charity or project of their choice to receive a donation of £250 in Malcolm's memory. David asked that the donation be given to help the work of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research a charity which is dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myelom.

A Leukaemia survivor himself David can testify to the valuable work carried out by the Charity but for which he would not be with us today.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

District 3190 GSE Team Farewell Rally

Rotary's Group Study Exchange is a scheme which enables teams of young people from one country to experience the culture and different ways of life of another country. Typically teams of 5 from another country, headed by an experienced Rotarian, spend four weeks touring a Rotary District in UK, living with Rotarians’ families for one week before moving on to another part of the District. Later, a reciprocal Tour from UK to the other country will take place.

Each day, events and visits are organised for the Team, enabling them to experience local businesses and ways of life, together with more relaxed times visiting places of interest and leisure. Each Team member also has opportunities of experiencing work in his or her own chosen profession, as part of the Vocational activities arranged.

Throughout October a Team from District 3190, Bangalore, India has been touring our own District taking in  168 different locations, including Ironbridge Museums, Lichfield Cathedral, Lilleshall National Sports Centre, the Black Country Museum, RAF Cosford, several Mayors’ Parlours for ‘welcome’ receptions, Molineux Stadium, Keele University and a Pub Quiz at The Crooked House, Himley to name but a few.

Evenings were spent either with their ‘host’ families or visiting local Rotary Clubs, giving presentations covering their own local area in India (Bangalore) and each individual’s work. The Team also gave a major presentation at the Rotary District’s Annual Conference in Torquay.

For their Vocational days, Anuradha Hebbar (a Tax Advisor and Advocate) spent time with different local Chartered Accountants’ practices around the region,

Archana Sahay, who heads up the Corporate Social Responsibility function for a major IT multi-national, had a day with the CEO at a Social Housing group’s HQ, a day with the Chief Executive of “Little Hearts Matter” and time at Capgemini UK plc.

Pradyumna Radhakrishnan, who works in IT Programme Management, had a day with a Marketing Company, another with Stafford Chamber of Commerce and a day with Alpha Design Marketing Consultancy.

Suresh Sthanikam, an HR Consultant, had a day with Keele University’s Human Resource Department, another with Stafford Borough Council and time at other HR companies.

The Team was lead by Rotarian Prakash Nagesh, a Member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Bangalore Peenya.

At tonight's “Farewell Rally”, which the Tettenhall Club had the pleasure of hosting, the Bangalore Team gave glowing accounts of the tremendous hospitality and kindness shown to them by everyone connected with their Tour, including, most of all, the various families who had welcomed them into their own homes and “treated them just like one of the family”.

The team were particularly enthusiastic over their Vocational Days, saying how much they had learned and how much valuable experience had been gained. With their wider knowledge, they are relishing the chance of putting new ideas into practice when they return home to India.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Lenny Henry

Congratulations to our Honorary Club member Lenny Henry who is to be awarded the freedom of his home town of Dudley.

Councillor David Sparks, leader of Dudley Council who will make the award, said:

“It is with great pleasure that we are offering one of Dudley’s proudest sons the Freedom of Dudley.The council wants to bestow this honour on Lenny to recognise his services to entertainment and also to recognise his outstanding contribution to charity.”

One of the Founders of the Comic Relief charity which has raised hundreds of millions of pounds to help alleviate poverty around the world Lenny has helped the Club to raise thousands of pounds to help local good causes and the recognition is well deserved.

A Royal Education

Promoting education is one of the core aims of Rotary and the Tettenhall Club is proud to work with a number of local schools in Wolverhampton to help in their work.

Tonight we were joined by Mark Heywood, the Headmaster of the Royal School in Wolverhampton, to talk with us about the School's approach to the education of its pupils and his belief that education may well best be kept out of the classroom.

Mark explained that the Royal's approach was not only about delivering academic success but as importantly about developing their pupils character and ensuring that they left with the life skills necessary to ensure their success in the world.

In order to foster an atmosphere where students characters can develop they are given the opportunity and encouraged to engage in a wide range of extra curricular activities. These activities are designed to provide them with challenges which will allow them to learn by taking risks, to develop team working and leadership skills and to empower them to take responsibility and to make decisions for themselves.

Many students take part in expeditions both within the UK and internationally and Mark shared with us stories of the students achievements. An important element of these expeditions and extra curricular activities is to help students understand the importance of helping others. Recent expeditions have seen the students constructing and refurbishing classrooms in India and building a play ground for the children of a South American village. 

We've had the opportunity to witness at first hand just how successfully this approach works with the members of the Interact Club which was formed recently at the School and which is already helping to make a positive difference in its community. We wish Mark and his team at the School every success are looking forward to working with them and with the pupils in the future. 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

HRH The Earl of Wessex

The Royal School in Wolverhampton is proud of its long association with the Royal Family and today staff and pupils of the junior school had the honour of a visit from their patron His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO.

The entire student body turned out to greet HRH and they were joined by several members of Tettenhall Rotary Club who as part of their service to our community are involved with the work of the School.

Club members Harun Rashid and Sammy Chung, both of who are Governors of the School, were presented to HRH and Club member Bert Finch explained to HRH our involvement with the School's new Interact Club and the excellent start which the Interactors have made.

Both the children and our Club members thoroughly enjoyed meeting HRH who subsequently unveiled a commemorative plaque which is to be placed next to an oak tree planted as the culmination of the 80th Anniversary celebrations of The Royal Junior School.

Monday, 17 September 2012

In Memory - John Lochhead

The passing of former Club President John Lochhead has come as a shock to all of us at the Club.

An accountant by profession John built a successful local accountancy practice in Wombourne, which is now carried on by his sons Andrew and Chris, in addition to his other business interests.

Known for being competitive but always level headed John could always be relied upon to get the job done.

Locally born but fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage it was so appropriate that Flower of Scotland was played as Club members gathered with friends and family today at a service of thanksgiving for John's life in order to pay our final respects.

John will be greatly missed by all of us and our thoughts are with John's wife Mary and her family.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Rotary's Future Vision

Founded in 1917 The Rotary Foundation is Rotary's own charity. The mission of the Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

We've always taken pride in the efficient way in which the Foundation is run which helps to ensure that all of the money that we put into the charity is used for charitable purposes rather than being gobbled up in administration fees. Money raised for Foundation is deposited with the charity for three years and the interest earned on the money during that time covers all of the cost of administering the charity.

To make sure that the Foundation continues in its mission to help more people a number of changes are going to be made in the way that the charity operates and this evening the Club was joined by Assistant District Governor Ashley Gray to explain this Future Vision Plan.

Concentrating on six main areas of focus

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation 
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development

the Future Vision Plan will simplify the way in which Foundation operates, reducing administration costs and making it easier for Rotary clubs to work together locally, nationally and internationally to deliver projects which realise the Foundation's mission helping to change the lives of millions for the better.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Wolverhampton Wolves Speedway

August is fellowship month for the Tettenhall Club and tonight that meant a visit to Monmore Green Stadium to watch the speedway. We're fortunate in Wolverhampton to play host to one of the country's elite speedway teams - the Wolverhampton Wolves.

Its a spectacular sport with riders taking bikes around the track that have no brakes, just one gear, a clutch and 500cc engines which accelerate to 60 mph faster than a Formula 1 car.

The team at at the speedway club gave us a great evening with the opportunity to visit the pits and the centre of the track where we could get a real feel for the speed and the skill of the riders as they guided their bikes around the track in a series of controlled skids.

The team got the right result  on the night with their first Elite League win in six meetings with a 47-42 success over Eastbourne - hopefully a performance they can repeat against local rivals Coventry Bees next week. Our thanks to everyone at Wolverhampton Wolves Speedway for great evenings entertainment.

Monday, 30 July 2012

In Memory - David Earp

Its been a sad time for Club members as we mourn the passing of former President David Earp who was taken from us in July at the age of only 67.

David served as Club President during 2008-2009. A gentle man with a great sense of humour and a very generous nature David supported many local charities in addition to his involvement with the Club.

His illness meant that he had been unable to continue as a full member of the Club and it was a mark of the high regard in which he was held by the Club members that the contribution which he had made to the development of the Club was recognised by the award of Honorary membership.

We will all miss David and our thoughts are with his wife Pat and their sons Alex and Simon at this time.

Dudley Zoo

Our visit to Dudley Zoo had a distinctly South American feel to it as we were introduced to Orry, Cleopatra and Shirley the Zoo's patagonian Sea Lions at a special evening feeding session with Caroline Howard a member of the Zoo's education team.  President Ian was then given the opportunity to Humboldt penguins in the new Penguin Bay enclose before the members of the Club had a feeding themselves. Faggots on a stick - an instant Black Country classic!

The Zoo suffered from a lack on investment for many years so it was wonderful to hear from Zoo Chief Executive Peter Suddock about the work which they've been doing over the last few years to improve both visitor and animal experience - the new Penguin Bay being a great example. With visitor numbers and profits up the Zoo can now plan for the future and Peter explained how the restoration of both the Castle and the Zoo's listed Tecton buildings will through their apprenticeship programme help to create a pool of local craftsmen able to preserve these great buildings for future generations. 

With the chance to handle South American snakes, toads and chinchillas we had a great evening. Dudley Zoo holds a special place in the memories of most people in the Black Country and we wish Peter and his team success with their plans for the future so that the Zoo and the endangered species which it helps to protect from extinction through its breeding programmes are still around for future generations to appreciate.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

School Dictionary Presentations

Early literacy training is critical to the success of a child's later education and in 1985 Rotary recognised this by declaring basic literacy to be a pre-condition to the development of peace. Rotarians around the world now work with children, parents, and teachers on projects encouraging and building reading skills at an early age.

As part of  this programme the Tettenhall Club has been taking part in the Dictionaries 4 Life project and throughout July members have been visiting local schools to take part in Year 6 Leavers Assemblies and presenting graduating students with their own personal dictionary.

The project aims to help the children to  become good writers, active readers, creative thinkers, and resourceful learners by providing them with their own personal dictionary. By using dictionaries efficiently children can explore spellings, meanings and derivations with understanding. One of the most positive aspects of being able to use a dictionary is that it helps to develop autonomy and confidence in the learner — one of the core goals of education.

This year members of the Club have presented dictionaries to over 250 local school children. Over the years that the project has been operating the presentation has become an established part of the Leavers Assemblies with students using the Dictionaries as unofficial year books which are signed by their teachers and fellow students as a memory of their time together.

We wish each of the children success in their continuing education and hope that the Dictionary will help them in their schoolwork as awell as being a useful reference tool for all of the family.

Wolverhampton Youth Orchestras Pre Tour Concert 2012

As young athletes from around the world converge on the UK to represent their countries in the London Olympics Wolverhampton is preparing a couple of teams of its own to send out into the world to represent the City.

Each Summer the Wolverhampton Youth Wind Orchestra and the Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra take their show onto the road as they tour a different part of Europe. This evening saw their pre tour concert as they gave their supporters a gold medal performance of the music that they will be performing for audiences in Malta and Gozo over the coming weeks.

The Rotary Clubs of Wolverhampton have been supporting the Orchestras Summer Tours for 19 years now helping to ensure that all of the Orchestras members are able to take part in the tour no matter their families financial circumstances. The support which Rotary and other sponsors give to the two Orchestras is more than amply repaid by the dedication and talent of these fine young musicians and an established part of the evening is the award of the various certificates of excellence which they have earned during the course of the year. Special congratulations go to Wolverhampton Young Musician of the Year Matthew Leach and for his wonderful performance of Horovitz's Concerto for Euphonium. That so many of the musicians are able to reach such a high standard across several instruments is a testament to their own talent and dedication and to the invaluable support which the Wolverhampton Music School and Conductors Keith Sedgebeer and Ian Brailsford give to them.

One of the most important aspects of Rotary to the members of the Tettenhall Club is the fellowship within the Club and its wonderful to see that same spirit within the Youth Orchestras as so many former members who have gone onto Universities around the country make a point of coming home for these Concerts to show their support for the current members.

We wish all of the members of the Orchestra success in the Tour - they will be great representatives of our City.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Fordhouses Air Training Corp

Tettenhall Rotary has been a long term supporter of the 1046 Air Training Corp Squadron in Fordhouses. In the past we've given financial assistance which has enabled the Squadron to purchase a minibus of its own and to undertake overseas trips to visit the battlefields of Normandy. Following the recent theft of field kitchen equipment from their base a donation of £750 from the Club has helped them to replace the stolen items. Club member Les Bouts works closely with the Squadron to assist with its activities.

The ATC aims to encourage a spirit of adventure and to develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship - aims which the Rotary movement shares and which are so evidently embodied in Cadet Warrant Officer Mia Webb who was our guest speaker at tonight's meeting.

Mia initially joined the Squadron seven years ago and since that time she has risen to attain the highest rank available to a cadet and was recognised as the best cadet in the Midlands when she was appointed the Lord Lieutenant's Cadet for the West Midlands. Membership has given her the opportunity to fly planes and gliders, to learn to shoot and to take part in expedition training camps and field trips to France - opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to her. The ATC works closely with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and many cadets work towards achieving these awards - Mia herself is just completing her Gold award.

Its clear that the Squadron's activities are fostering valuable life skills in the Cadets such as team working, leadership and communication skills, self discipline and self reliance and an undoubted confidence in their ability - skills which will enable them to succeed in life whether or not they choose to join the RAF.

We look forward to continuing our support for the Squadron and our thanks go to Mia for giving us an insight into its working and to Flight Lieutenant Steve Baker and the other Staff members at the Squadron for all of their work with the Cadets.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Smestow School - Rotary Student Mentoring Project

Ask any Rotarian what it is about membership that brings them the most satisfaction and you're likely to hear that it's the satisfaction that comes from helping others - summed up in the Rotary motto of Service Above Self . At Tettenhall we see our Club's service projects as the most important part of what we do.

Since September 2005 members of the Club and of Tettenhall Inner Wheel have been involved in a mentoring programme at Smestow School in Castlecroft. Currently seven Rotarians and two Inner Wheelers are providing mentoring support to the students there.

Each mentor is assigned two students from years 10 and 11by the School who they meet with every two weeks during term time. Some of the students come from backgrounds in which there are no positive role models, or in which they don't receive the necessary support and encouragement and some may be exposed to negative outside influences. The Rotary mentors listen to the issues raised by the students, suggest solutions to their problems and generally provide support, encouragement and advice.

To date over 100 students have taken part in the programme and Headteacher Martyn Morgan is convinced that the program makes a real difference to the students who take part.

"We feel that having an independent ear to listen and support, acting as an intermediary working on behalf of both the school and the student, helps keep these young people engaged.
Many of the concerns are to do with academic progress. Our mentors ask for and receive regular updates on the progress of the students and often inform us of concerns students have. However, as many concerns are social and/or personal the caring and compassionate way they listen and offer firstly support and secondly advice is well appreciated.
As a school this programme is tremendously helpful. It gives us another independent strand of support to help young people struggling to come to terms with the multiple demands and issues teenagers face.
We are grateful for their time given so willingly and so freely. In return we give them tea and cake - somehow I feel that we and the youngsters get the best part of this deal".

Monday, 9 July 2012

Peace Through Service

This evening saw the first official visit to the Club of our new District Governor Trevor Davies a member of the Rotary Club of Ironbridge. Each District Governor is expected to visit all of the Clubs in their District during their year of office and for Trevor that means fitting in 59 club visits during the coming year.

Trevor brought with him the good wishes of the new Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka. As part of his official visit the District Governor introduced us to the theme which President Tanaka has set for the Rotary during the coming year. In the case of President Tanaka this is Peace Through Service.

2012-13 Theme Address from Rotary International on Vimeo.

President Tanaka believes that Rotarians are uniquely placed to bring peace through our work in our local communities - the peace of mind which comes to people from having access to healthcare, to sanitation and to clean water- and he has challenged Clubs to build on their existing service projects during the coming year.

President Tanaka tells how on becoming a Rotarian broadened his understanding of the world. After joining the Rotary Club of Yashio, in 1975 he realised that his life's purpose was not to make more money, but to be useful to other people.

“In Rotary, our business is not profit. Our business is peace,” he says. “Our reward is not financial, but the happiness and satisfaction of seeing a better, more peaceful world, one that we have achieved through our own efforts.”

Friday, 6 July 2012

Interact support Compton Hospice

Though they've been Chartered less than a month it certainly hasn't taken long for the members of The Royal School Interact Club to start making their mark. 

This afternoon President Elect Sammy - a Governor at the School - had the pleasure of joining President Rebecca and the other members for the Interact Club as they handed over a cheque to Compton Hospice for £156.36 which they had raised with their human fruit machine at last weekend's Tettenhall Village Fete. 

We have all been impressed with the commitment of the our new Interactors and we're looking forward to working with them in the coming years as they build on such an excellent start.

District Handover

Its a banner year for the Tettenhall Inner Wheel Club as club member Sandra Finch takes over as Inner Wheel District Governor. Sandra is married to our own Club member Bert Finch and they were joined this evening by President Ian and President Elect Sammy at our District Handover meeting.

The Rotary 1210 District is made up of 59 clubs - from Ludlow to Ellesmere in the West, and from Leek south to Rugeley and across to Walsall in the East. Representatives gathered tonight at the Enginuity Centre in historic Ironbridge to show support for our new District Governor Trevor Davies - a member of the Rotary Club of Ironbridge - as Immediate Past District Governor Barry passed over the chain of office.

Our very best wishes go to both Sandra and Trevor for a successful year in office.

Enterprising Students

Today saw Wightwick Hall School host its fourth Annual Business & Enterprise Inter Schools Challenge Awards ceremony. The awards were presented by Immediate Past President, John Francis, and Roger Timbrell Chairman of the Club’s Community Services Committee.

Throughout the last month schools from throughout South Staffordshire have been taking part in competitions aimed at building students confidence and giving them the opportunity to appreciate in a practical context the challenges and opportunities of running a business.

Over 200 Primary, Middle, High and Secondary Specials school students took part in this years Challenge, which was sponsored by Tettenhall Rotary Club, taking away with them a range of transferable skills and attributes such as leadership, team building and decision making. Members of Tettenhall Rotary were on hand at each day’s event to judge the category winners.

The awards ceremony was attended by over 80 students, parents and teachers and in addition to the prize giving John was pleased to present Executive Headteacher Paul Elliott with a £500 cheque on behalf of the Club.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Handover Meeting

The first week in July sees the changing of the guard in Rotary Clubs all around the world as new Presidents and their Councils takeover the running of their Clubs

Tonight saw Immediate Past President John Francis hand over the chain of office to our new President local jeweller Ian Rigby.

New Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka of Japan has chosen 'Peace through Service' as the Rotary theme for 2012 - 2013.  By helping others to meet the basic needs of health care, sanitation, food, and education President Tanaka believes that through our work as Rotarians we help to build the foundation for a more peaceful world. President Ian will look over the coming year to enhance the Club's presence in our  local community in support of President Tanaka's theme.

Ian was pleased to welcome visitors from many of our neighbouring Clubs and over the course of the next week Club members will attend Handover meetings at Clubs throughout the region to celebrate the start of new Rotary year with them.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Tettenhall Village Fete

We always look forward to the first Sunday of July and the opportunity to join Tettenhall Round Table at their annual Summer Fete. it's a great family event and a wonderful opportunity for the Village to come together on Upper Green. Supported by many of the Village's societies the event regularly raises over £10,000 to benefit local good causes.

After a showery start it turned into a beautiful afternoon with more than 400 people visiting our Nok Em Off stall and helping to raise over £200 for Rotary charities.

As usual we were joined by the ladies from Tettenhall Inner Wheel raising money with their bric a brac stall and this year saw the first appearance at the Fete by President Rebecca and the other members of the Royal School Interact Club with their Human Fruit Machine. The Interactors are raising money for the Madina Basic Cycle School in The Gambia and for Compton Hospice.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Carrying the Torch for Rotary

The 43rd day of the Olympic Torch tour of the UK saw it visit Wolverhampton today. Many of the torch bearers are being recognised for the volunteer work which they undertake in their communities. The flame was carried through Wolverhampton by Jamie Ward a young athlete who runs for the Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletic Club. Jamie encourages others to participate in sports and also raises funds for the athletics club and his local youth football team.

Today also sees the last day of the Rotary year and for President John the end of his Presidential year. John's Club theme for the year was 'Fun with a Purpose' and he set out to build upon the already strong fellowship within the Club to enable us to significantly increase the support which we provide to our local community and in particular to support the new Rotary and Volunteer Suite at Compton Hospice. The hard work which John and his team have put in has certainly paid off with this year seeing the Club raise the second highest amount of charity funds in its history as well as having a great time in the process. The opportunity to hold the Torch as it passed through Wolverhampton was a great way for John to mark the end of such a successful year.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Interact comes to Wolverhampton

With the support of members of the Tettenhall Club eighteen students, between Years 9 and 13, from The Royal School Wolverhampton have today joined together to establish a new Interact Club at the School.

Interact Clubs are a service club for young people aged 12 – 18 giving them the opportunity to become involved in fundraising activities to support both local and international projects with the goal of furthering international understanding and good will. The new Club’s first international project will benefit The Madina Basic Cycle School in The Gambia and they have already raised £370 through the collection of reusable clothing.  

Interact Clubs are self-governing and self-supporting, and through participation, students are given an opportunity to “lead, serve and connect” – to gain experience in developing leadership skills, holding positions of responsibility, developing personal integrity, helpfulness and respect for others by doing something meaningful and useful for local and international communities and to develop international links. Participation in Interact not only develops personal skills but the values of individual responsibility and hard work.  Participation can also support elements of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and is highly commendable as an addition to a university or future job application.

Today President John had the pleasure of inaugurating the new Club and installing Rebecca Reid as its first President. President John welcomed the Club into the family of Rotary and went on to say: “Tettenhall Rotary Club is proud to be the sponsors of the new Royal School Interact Club. We pledge our continued support and encouragement for all you seek to do and  wish you every success and much enjoyment in your future activities”.  Rotary District Chairman, Barry Preen, joined us to present the new Club with its Charter and commended the new club members for their initiative and commitment.

The group will also be supporting fundraising for Compton Hospice and you can see them in action at the Tettenhall Village Fete on Sunday 1st July.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kids Day Out

In 1989 John Moores, the founder of the Littlwoods chain, came up with the idea of running an outing for local disabled children. The day was such a success that he looked to replicate it in other parts of the country and he turned to his local Rotary Club for help to turn it into a national event.

The event has now given birth to the Kids Out charity and every June Rotary Clubs throughout Britain and Ireland together with KidsOut take over 25,000 disadvantaged children on a great big day out. The children visit the seaside, theme parks, adventure playgrounds & zoos giving them all wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime.

As part of this Tettenhall Rotarians palyed host today to 30 children from the Penn Fields School in Wolverhampton who joined us for an exciting day on the rides at Drayton Manor Park. All of the children had a wonderful time and our thanks go to all of the management and staff at the Park who helped to make such a great day for the kids.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Club Assembly 2012

As the current Rotary year nears its end Clubs around the country are holding their Assembly meetings giving their incoming Presidents the opportunity of setting out their objectives for the coming year and introducing the team who will help them to lead the Club in its fund raising and fellowship activities.

Local jeweller Ian Rigby takes over as President of the Tettenhall Club in July and at this evenings Assembly meeting Ian set out his own vision for the Club during his year of office. Ian will be concentrating on ensuring the already strong fellowship within the Club is strengthened further and will look to enhance the Club's presence in the local community in the belief that Rotarians are never happier than when bringing happiness to others.

Ian will be assisted by:

Sammy Chung - President Elect
John Francis - Immediate Past President
Ernie Edwards - Junior Vice President and Treasurer
John Margetts - Secretary
Les Boutts - Sergeant at Arms
Ken Swash - Fellowship
Roger Timbrell - Community Service
Chris Kraushar - Fund Raising
Chris Bowyer - Sleigh
MikeUnwin -Programme
Brian Nicholson - Membership
David Cave - Communications
Ivan Hill - Foundation
Doug Evans - International
Derek Evans - New Generation
Greg Instone - Attendance
Stuart Herrity - Sport
Wasil Bucczkowski - Regalia
Bert Finch - Family of Rotary

Ian wants to make sure that every member feels involved in the operation of the Club and with that in mind each member has been allocated to work with one of the committee chairs. We're grateful to all of the Committee Chairs who are helping Ian in the coming year and they can all be sure of our support.

Assistant District Governor Carol Reilly attended the meeting as the representative of District Governor Elect Trevor Davies and commended the Club on the work which it was already undertaking in the local community and on Ian's plans to extend this in the coming year.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Stroke Awareness

May is stroke awareness month  Every five minutes in the UK someone has a stroke and more than 40% of these could be prevented if high blood pressure was controlled. It’s the highest risk factor for stroke.

Working with our NHS partners members of the Club today joined Rotarians from other City Clubs in Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Centre to help to tackle this statistic by promoting a Know Your Blood Pressure event and encouraging shoppers to take a range of simple tests including blood pressure, blood sugar and body fat tests to help establish if they were at risk of Stroke.

The event was a great success with over 500 people tested and in a further 10 venues across the greater Black Country area over 1250 people were checked. Over the 9 years the event  has been taking place 13 thousand people have now been tested helping to save lives and to reduce the burden of this disease on the NHS.

Our thanks go to the management of the Wulfrun Centre for their help in staging the event and to the many NHS volunteers who gave of their time to administer the tests.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Golf Day 2012

It's always good to raise money to support our local charities but there can't be many better ways to do that than by spending a day on the golf course in the company of friends.

28 teams of two competed in this years Tettenhall Rotary Golf Day taking part in a Stableford ‘better ball’ competition. 

The day was hosted by South Staffs Golf Club - a Club well known to many of our members and which may help to explain the eventual success of winning Club member Don Crofts his partner, Nick Weaver. The ‘longest drive’ prize went to Martin Wooding and Ian Guest was ‘nearest the pin’ on the 6th Hole.

In all the event raised £2,400 for Compton Hospice and we're grateful to all of our sponsors and to everyone who participated in and supported a wonderful days sport.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Wolverhampton's War Wounded - Roy Stallard

Local historian Roy Stallard has, as a former nurse himself, a keen interest in the history of the health services in Wolverhampton.

Roy joined us this evening to explain the role played by the Wolverhampton hospitals in treating wounded service men in the two world wars and the support which they received from community organisations and the citizens of the town to help the wounded in their recovery.

To some of the Club's older members the talk was a trip down memory lane as they recalled as boys having watched the wounded being transferred into ambulances at Tettenhall railway station for the journey to the Royal Hospital.

Following the redevelopment of the Royal Hospital site by Tesco Roy will be maintaining a display on the site showcasing the history of the hospital. Our thanks go to Roy for helping to keep the City's history alive and for sharing it with us.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Starfish Café at Wightwick

President John joined Wolverhampton Mayor Councillor Bert Turner and local MP Gavin Williamson at Wightwick Hall School today for the opening of the school’s new Starfish Café.

The School has recently reviewed its curriculum to place a greater emphasis on workplace activity in order to better prepare its students for the world of work and the new café forms an integral part of this new skills based curriculum. The work which the school is undertaking with its partners aims to address the under-representation in the workforce of young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

Members of the Club have worked with the School for several years to help develop its annual business and enterprise competitions and we’re looking forward to supporting the students in this latest venture.

Wolverhampton MS Therapy Centre

The Wolverhampton MS Therapy Centre has been helping local people affected by the disease for over 25 years now and Rotarians have been involved in its work from the very beginning.

The Centre operates a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber which helps to relieve the extreme fatigue which sufferers feel. It also offers a range of physiotherapy and reflexology services designed to alleviate some of the more distressing symptoms of the disease and to help sufferers to cope a little better with everyday life.

The Centre has recently acquired additional premises which it is in the course of developing to provide further support for its users. President John and Community Service chair Roger Timbrell had the pleasure of visiting the facility themselves today in order to see first hand the work which is being undertaken and to show the Tettenhall Club's support by presenting Centre Chairman (and Wolverhampton Rotarian) Peter Williams and Centre Manager Brenda Smith with a cheque for £2,000.

The donation represents part of the money raised by the Club during our Sleigh collections over the Christmas period when over £6,000 was raised to support local charities. The Centre will use the money to buy additional equipment for their new premises.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy Valley Rotary Club Visit

As a Rotarian you are always a welcome guest at the meetings of any of the 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the world - its an opportunity to see how Rotary operates in other areas and to make new friends and contacts.

Club Junior Vice President Sammy Chung, a senior lecturer at Wolverhampton University and Honorary Professor at Shenzhen University, often visits Hong Kong and other parts of China. During a recent visit to Hong Kong he had the opportunity of attending a meeting of the Happy Valley Rotary Club.

The Club meets every Monday at the Hong Kong Bankers Club and counts amongst its members barristers, accountants, University lecturers as well as a legal adviser to LegCo - the Hong Kong legislative council. Whilst at the meeting Sammy heard from Jeremiah Chan about the introduction of the new senior secondary curriculum in Hong Kong and from Chan Tsz Wa and Cheng Chun Tou two Interact members who explained the voluntary work which their Club was undertaking in the local community.

Sammy tonight presented President John with the Happy Valley Club banner which President Fenn had sent back to our Club with him.

Changing Wolverhampton - Simon Warren

We were joined this evening by Simon Warren, the Chief Executive of Wolverhampton City Council. A former Rotarian himself Simon comes to local Government by a somewhat unusual route. Originally an aviator with the Royal Air Force Simon's 25 years in the service saw him flying Vulcan bombers and chasing down Russian submarines and Caribbean drug smugglers in Nimrods before ending his flying career enforcing the no fly zone over Iraq shortly after 9/11. The end of his flying days brought fresh opportunities and three years spent with NATO in the USA as Head of Strategic Management.

Once he'd left the service Simon looked for a way to put the change management skills which he'd acquired during his time with the Air Force to use and served as Rugby Council's Chief Executive for four years before joining the team at Wolverhampton.

Despite the advantages of its location the Wolverhampton economy has been in decline since the mid 1970's. Simon is adamant that he hasn't joined the Council to manage decline and he and his team are focusing on promoting economic development around the City's existing strengths. Naturally with his own background Simon has a particular interest in recognising the strength of the City's existing aerospace companies and shortly after taking up his position the council took a stand at the Farnborough International Air Show in order to showcase and support our existing manufacturers and to attract other aerospace companies to the area. The City's existing strong links with the Indian sub-continent are also seen as an opportunity to encourage both inward investment and export opportunities for manufacturers and the Council will look to build on these.

Simon noted the changes which had taken place in the City's planning department and which were taking place in other parts of the Council to make departments more commercially sensitive and the important role which this played in encouraging investment into the area. He pointed to the recent decision of Jaguar Land Rover to build a new engine plant in the City as an example of how this approach was now paying dividends and with this and major retail developments by Tesco and Sainsburys about to get underway Simon is convinced that there will be a change in peoples attitudes in the City and that there will be a growing belief that things can be better.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Ladies Weekend 2012 - Cheltenham

Our annual Ladies Weekend is a chance for the members of the Club to thank their partners for the support which they give to both their husbands and to the work of the Club over the year.

Appropriately enough in a Jubilee year this years trip took us to the Queen's Hotel in Cheltenham Spa. Cheltenham is a Regency gem characterised by the many town houses with intricate ironwork balconies and painted stucco façades which line the historic Promenade, squares and terraces. No doubt of equal interest to the ladies was the ample opportunity which the town affords for a little retail therapy.

Our weekend began with an entertaining visit to the town's Everyman Theatre on Friday evening where the Cheltenham based amateur troop the Cotswold Savoyards performed Titanic The Musical - commemorating both the centenary of the sinking of the ship and the society’s own 50th anniversary. Based on numerous actual characters aboard the great ship, the show focused on their dreams, hopes and aspirations – as the story of the launching, the collision with the iceberg, and the sinking was played out against the background of the rigid class-distinctions of the Edwardian Age.

Members had the opportunity to learn a little about the town's history during a walking tour of the town on Saturday morning. Cheltenham has been welcoming visitors for nearly three hundred years, ever since the discovery of the first natural spring. The very first Cheltenham Guide on 1781 described a visit to the town as "a journey of health and pleasure". According to legend the first medicinal waters were discovered when pigeons were noticed pecking at salty deposits which had formed around a spring on the present site of Cheltenham Ladies College. The transformation of the town into a fashionable resort began a few years later when in 1788 King George III visited the town to take the water cure.

The weekend was topped off on Saturday evening with our traditional black tie dinner featuring magical table-side entertainment from Les the Fez.  The toast to the Ladies was formally proposed by President John who thanked the ladies for the support and forbearance which they give to the members of the Club during the year, the reply for the ladies being made by the Presidents Lady, Linda, who toasted the members of the Club.

Our thanks go out to Peter and Pat Maddox who put a tremendous amount of time into organising the event for making this such a great weekend.