The Rotary Club of Eastbourne Annual General Meeting

The Rotary Club of Eastbourne Annual General Meeting
Monday 1st June 2014 – 6.0pm
Annual Reports
Club Secretary
Bob Hamblyn
Joe Smedley
Club Service
Simon Seath
Alan Wenham
PR, Marketing
Nigel Greaves (to follow)
Chris Smith
Brian Higgins
Ron Genty
David Garlick
The Spring Back Ball
Peter Nash
Alone at Christmas
Christine Haniver
Sports and Social
Peter Nash
Stroke Aware/Organ Donor
Barrie Gent
Representatives on Local Committees
3VA (Formerly EAVS)
Alan Wenham
Reports from Club Committees and Representative Organisations for the AGM of the Rotary
Club of Eastbourne 2 June 2014
Club Service
The committee has met once on a formal basis during the year to discuss the Membership Committee report
on the Members Survey; more on this later. Apart from that the Club seems to have been running smoothly
judging by the small number of approaches from members regarding the subject. I, as chairman and future
Club President, visited most of the Committees during one of their meetings and was impressed, as usual, by
the commitment and energy of the members.
In my report to Club Assembly in June 2013 I mentioned that I would look at Fellowship and links with other
clubs. My request for more mixing of members during meetings fell on fairly deaf ears but the round tables at
lunch did seem to help a bit. However, the subject was raised again in the Members Survey and after the Club
Service Committee report on the Membership Committee report and discussion at Council the matter was put to
the Club again. From this a scheme using playing cards to allocate seats at business lunches was initiated by the
Membership Committee; we hope that this will have a lasting beneficial effect. The Membership Committee has
taken this on board and is looking at other ways to achieve the desired result.
The other matter I mentioned was the setting up of closer links to other clubs in the area and possibly
abroad. The latter hasn’t happened yet but I instigated regular meetings between the five Eastbourne club
Presidents Elect. This is continuing and will hopefully continue in future years. This has born fruit already
with joint manning of a stand at the Over 50’s event and it has been agreed that a list of events from each
club will be issued to the others as early as possible to facilitate this inter club fellowship. Other more formal
events have been discussed as well.
Simon Seath, President Elect
Public relations and marketing
The role of our club’s public relations committee throughout the year has been to develop and execute a plan to
tell the public about The Rotary Club of Eastbourne and to promote the club’s service projects and activities in
the most positive of ways. Having strong and consistent public relations ensures that communities around the
district know that Rotary and in particular our club, is a credible organisation that meets real needs and is an
organisation worth joining.
Regular meetings with the Editor and chief reporter at the Eastbourne Gazette and Herald and the ETC
magazine continue to be fruitful in getting our case for the publicity of our activities heard to a wide and
very diverse audience.
During the year the club has received relatively good coverage of events that have increased our standing as
an active Rotary Club in the community. Just recognition for events like the Alone at Christmas event once
again received good coverage.
Pictures and reports of many other events were published in the local press and ETC magazine giving
readers and many potential members a good flavour of the club’s activities.
The Rotary Club News was published in digital form and now includes more photographs of club and
committee activities. There is still a need however, for more information to be submitted so that the publication
can achieve its goal in being an accurate record of club activities during each two month period.
The committee worked with district during the year to produce another public information stand at the
Arndale Centre. Whilst this involved many clubs on the area, it was considered a worthwhile effort for our
club to be seen addressing the challenge of helping people who are for example, alone at Christmas. Club
was also present at the over 50’s show at the Winter Garden in early May this year.
There were more pictures and reports during the year showing many club activities with partners and this is
considered worthwhile publicity for the attraction of new members who can see membership receiving the
endorsement of partners who can very often join in the activities.
Our goal is to recognise each opportunity for positive publicity and present to the appropriate media
throughout the year.
Nigel J Greaves, Chairman PR and Publicity
A member survey took place at the beginning of 2014, and with a response rate of 70%. Questions were asked
about meeting arrangements, speakers, funding priorities and levels of sociability. The Council and the Club
discussed the findings which were largely positive. However, two particular steps were agreed to increase
levels of acquaintance – the random seating at one lunch per month and the production of simple personal
information sheets. The latter is still work in progress.
No focused recruitment campaign has taken place, but awareness will have been raised by Rtn Greave’s
excellent publicity machine, as well as our high visibility at events such as the carnival, the Arndale sleigh,
stroke awareness day, and the Philippines emergency collection. Also, members have used various club
dinners to bring along prospective recruits.
I do not think numbers are too important, but I know some do. We ended 2013 with 54 members and
currently have 52. We also have two new membership applications, one guest membership application and
one formal guest member so the prospects are good.
Alan Wenham, chairman
International and Foundation
In the last year the International Committee has tackled the following projects:
Polio Plus – This project is the main Charity that Rotary International is tackling, and is becoming
difficult to complete owing to the danger for charity workers in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. However
India has now been declared Polio free. Other countries are affected but it is not indigenous in these countries
such as Somalia. However it is necessary to continue the efforts to eradicate this disease.
Kololo, Uganda – The X-ray machine project is now complete. It takes a long while to get all the
paperwork together and to ensure that the Host Club is working hard. The Public Health Campaign has now
been completed in issuing leaflets to people in the area. This enabled Rotary Foundation to close off the
project earlier this year. Paul Bogere, President of Kololo Club visited Eastbourne in January, and President
Joe, Ken Rawlings and I met him on a Saturday for tea.
Shelter Boxes – There was major flooding in Philippines last autumn and we immediately arranged a
collection at the Arndale Centre. This raised £2100 and we arranged for three Shelter Boxes to be sent. We are
grateful to Bill Plumridge for allowing this at short notice, and also to the 24 Club Members for giving such
good support. Our Club has also arranged for further Shelter Boxes.
Zimbabwe student – We are continuing to sponsor the medical student in Harare with the support of
Bulawayo Club. She gave us thanks in March for the continued support, and is now half way through her third
year. We welcomed our co-sponsors from Bulawayo South Rotary Club to our club in March.
Future Projects – There are further projects in the pipeline. Two members of Hythe Club are visiting
us in July to tell us about North Kigozi in Uganda where they are building a reservoir for the months when there
is no rainfall.
Chris Smith, International Committee Chairman
Community and Vocational
A good year with some new and rewarding initiatives that we hope to build on.
Rotary entry to the Carnival was a joint effort with the other four clubs in Eastbourne which proved to most
successful. An open top bus was hired for the occasion and dressed prior to the procession with draped nets and
seaside items. Many Rotarians and their families joined the bus at Fisherman’s Green as collectors/passengers and
all enjoyed the occasion. The bus was photographed many times and appeared as the star print in the Herald and
other publications which gave us invaluable publicity. We also enjoyed a share of the collection proceeds.
The tea party outing for Care home residents was at the National Trust Birling Gap cafe, and eight willing
drivers collected their charges and took them on a scenic route to the cafe. The cream tea was thoroughly
enjoyed by all our guests (and Rotarians) and will be repeated in the current year.
Once again dictionaries were presented to pupils at Bourne School and as always they are very well received.
Christmas and we decided to build a sleigh to place in the Arndale for the four days we had booked, and
thank to the determination of Rotarians and the generous support of sponsors we completed the construction
of a sleigh we could rightly be proud of in less than five weeks and at a cost of £5!!!
We stationed the sleigh in the Arndale Centre from 17th to 20th December and the Club decided it would support
Children with cancer Polegate a local charity as our partner, and thanks are due to the many Rotarians and the
charity volunteers who came to hold the collecting buckets. We even had music and a Father Christmas, and
fluffy toy tombola. We exceeded our expectations in raising almost £2300, and we hope to beat this figure next
year. We have the Arndale Centre booked from 16th to 19th December 2014, and hope at least to have the sleigh at
one supermarket.
Thank you to the committee for their unwavering support and to all club members for making it a great
year. Brian Higgins, Chairman
Youth Service
At last year’s Assembly, we stated an intention to widen our approach to include the private sector
(Eastbourne College etc.) but later elected to continue discussions with Sussex Downs College to try and
achieve a successful outcome to the protracted, ongoing discussions. However, a total lack of response from
the Students Association led us to conclude that we should suspend discussions with the current eligible
student population. In a recent close-out letter to the Head of Higher Education, who was supportive, we have
left the door ajar for further talks at a future date when perhaps an enthusiastic student group will emerge in
a more favourable economic climate.
We should now review our original intention to approach a local college in the private sector. Attempts to
work with Eastbourne AM on a Rotaract Club at Ratton School came to nought due to the school’s apparent
lack of resources. AM are now proposing an approach to Cavendish and Ratton schools suggesting they
combine to start a Rotaract Club, again with us as partners.
A decision is awaited from Lions Hotel Group on a Rotaract Club for its staff.
Announced at last year’s Assembly as a new initiative for this year’s Youth programme.
District has 3 Rotaract Clubs and 19 Interact Clubs, suggesting that success was more likely if we focus on
younger people. Bishop Bell Cof E secondary school was chosen as we had an existing relationship (RYLA).
Significant progress has been achieved in talks on forming an Interact Club. The school is keenly interested in
developing student leadership skills and in understanding how Interact will fit with its existing committee
structures. Thanks to Rtn Rev Philip Coekin, known to school in his professional role, who assisted Chairman
Ron in meetings with Head teacher and staff. Rtns Tony Cameron, Rev Philip and Chairman Ron attended
an Achievement Awards Evening and Pupil Leadership Conference. The school’s decision is anticipated this
This was another new initiative in the 2013 Youth programme. The only RotaKids Club in District 1120 at
present is Dover, chartered last autumn. Building on our existing contact with Bourne Primary School
(Dictionaries), an approach was made to raise interest in a RotaKids Club. After a seemingly cordial
introductory meeting towards the end of last year, progress enquiries in 2014, by phone and e-mail produced
no reply. Subsequent inspection of the latest online Ofsted Report revealed ratings of ‘unsatisfactory’ in
almost all areas of activity, close to ‘special measures’. Given there are some 42 languages to ‘anglicise’
amongst its many immigrant pupils, perhaps this was no surprise. It is evident that the school has much to do
to raise standards and would have neither time or interest in a junior Rotary club at this time. Approach
formally ended in February.
We should now consider approaching another junior school, with a good Ofsted report, in either state or
private sector.
Rtn Tony Cameron has continued to maintain links with Bishop Bell School from which two students
attended a RYLA weekend last October. They were driven to the Arethusa Venture Centre in the Medway
Valley and back by volunteer Committee members. Both expressed satisfaction with their visit and said how
much they had enjoyed the course. They gave a feedback talk on their experiences to Club in January and it
was evident they had benefited and were grateful for the opportunity to take part. Two more students to be
invited to the next RYLA course in October, 2014.
Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival
Several of our members supported the youth of the town, volunteering as stewards at this event in February.
This was the first time the event had been staged between two venues, viz. Winter Garden and Birley Centre.
Our involvement was a prominent display of Rotary in action in the community and was very much
appreciated by the organisers who are confident that public support for this popular Festival will continue to
grow in the future.
Kids Out Day
Rtn Norman Kinnish has successfully organised this year’s event for the first time and as a comparatively
new Member of Club. On Wednesday, 11th June we are funding 46 disadvantaged children from Hazel Court
Special School to visit Drusillas on Rotary’s national Kids Out Day. The children will be accompanied by
27carers, several on a one-to-one basis. Child protection legislation means we have no responsibility for the
children whilst at Drusillas and no physical contact. We are now there largely to support the carers, e.g. by
helping to push wheelchairs. However, we know our involvement is very much appreciated and helps to
ensure a happy experience for the children, as revealed by their smiling faces. This is a really rewarding
experience for the attendant Rotarians.
Chairman’s Appreciation:
Many thanks to all Members of the Youth Service Committee for their support and hard work as far as they
were individually able to participate in advancing this year’s programme. Particular thanks go to Tony
Cameron (RYLA), Phil Coekin (Interact) and Norman Kinnish (Kids Out).
Ron Genty, Chairman
Visits arranged
JUNE date tba
Sports and Ball
The Spring Back into Action Ball was held at the Winter Garden, Eastbourne on Saturday 15 March 2014.
This was the fifth such venture, again held in collaboration with the Friends of the Eastbourne Hospitals on
an 80% Friends/20% Club split of the net proceeds. 360 guests enjoyed a three course meal followed by
dancing to the popular Big Kahuna band. The evening also included a fun casino, raffle, and a telephone
auction during the meal resulting in several bidding wars! We are very grateful, once again, for the superb
sponsorship from Johnson Press – through “etc” magazine which also included some 5 pages of coverage in
the magazine. W.Bruford – thanks to Ashley Pugh – was also a major sponsor, whilst additional sponsorship
came from Cornfield Law, Hydro Hotel, Fusciardi’s, and Rosemary Ross. We are also grateful to Audrey
Fletcher-Price (creative design) for all of her creativity and Identity Signage for helping to create the finished
effect. Several comments were received to the effect that our Balls were always the best decorated!!
Chalvington Communications kindly supplied the telephones and switchboard for the auction and Missing
Link the large screens around the room.
Numbers were disappointing down on previous years since, despite our best effort to avoid them, a number of
clashes of date occurred. It was also noticeable this year that the support of other Rotary Clubs – who have
previously attended – was lacking.
In total the Balls have raised just under £100,000 enabling Club to provide approx. £19,000 of support to
other local charities whilst the Friends’ contributions have supported a Digital Mammography, Machine,
support for Pevensey Ward, enhancements for cancer and cardiac patients to a new CT Machine, equipment
for Cardiac Assessment, equipment for an additional Day Surgery Theatre and, this year, equipment for the
Acute Stroke Unit at the Eastbourne District General Hospital.
The Trustees of the Friends have asked me to pass on their grateful thanks to Club for their continued
support which is greatly appreciated.
Peter Nash, Ball Chairman
Golf: The weekly roll-up at the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club has continued throughout the year. Meeting for a
09.30 start a very social round of golf is followed by a relaxing “lunch” of tea or coffee and toasted tea-cakes and
jam. Unusually, it is the winner of each group who pays, so tactics often come into play in the last few
holes with one member known to concede monstrously long putts on the 18th green! The group has been
supplemented from time to time with guests who may also demonstrate an interest in the activities of Club.
Unusually, the 2013 knock-out golf competition was completed within the year – due, in no small part to the
organisation of Dennis Thompson. This year the final was contested between Dennis (organiser of the event)
and Peter Nash (sport Chairman) – no, it was not fixed. It was a closely fought affair with both seemingly
trying to be runner-up! In the end, Peter emerged the victor.
The planned Charity Golf day for Friday 2 May had to be cancelled due to lack of support. This was
disappointing with no teams entered neither from neighbouring Rotary Clubs nor through St.Wilfrid’s
Hospice. However, by making the decision in good time, we have managed to retain the goodwill of the Royal
Eastbourne Golf Club and, in particular, its members who were able to make use of the course themselves.
Comments from local businesses indicated their willingness to support such events but that there were
already a large number of charity days that they support and that there was a limit to the number that they
could support, and that they wished to remain loyal to existing events.
I also note that several other local Rotary Clubs have also been organising charity golf events. I would
strongly recommend to Club that should it wish to try again, it joins forces with one or more of them which
may then result in a much bigger, better event and at the same time raise the Rotary profile in the area.
Rugby: A small group of members have been able to attend International Rugby matches and the
Premiership Play-off final at Twickenham throughout the year. Bob Hamblyn has used his contacts to obtain
these which are not easy to come by so, inevitably, the numbers are limited, although, on occasions, not all
have been taken by Club members.
Ten-pin bowling: The annual ten-pin bowling evening was again held in November in conjunction with 41
Club and Round Table thanks to Paul Honney as our co-ordinator. Unfortunately, the date was changed
without consultation and a large number of our usual attendees were otherwise engaged.
Gliding: Barrie Gent has organised a gliding evening for Club members on 12 June 2014 followed by supper.
This is always thoroughly enjoyed and we can look forward to an excellent evening. It is, as ever, weather
dependent but the views of Sussex are quite exceptional and, for many of us, the flight is over far too quickly.
Cricket; It is still hoped to organise a trip to one of the one-day matches at Hove if a suitable date can be
found. Peter Nash, Sports Chairman
Alone at Christmas 2013 was my first year as Chair so was a learning experience for me. Thankfully I had
the help of Kevan Regan who had chaired for many years and a very experienced committee who knew
exactly what they were doing and led me by the hand.
I was grateful to have Bob Hamblyn in charge of the kitchen who stepped in at the last moment and kept
everything running.
We seem to have an abundance of volunteers. Mary Irving advises me that some of these volunteers live on
their own and would be alone at Christmas and would therefore qualify to be a guest but prefer to come and
help. Mary had informed me before the event last year that it was going to be her last year and she had
stayed on to ensure the transition for me was smooth and I thank her for that. However that now leaves me
with needing someone else to take her place. She advises me she has a file available to hand over which will
tell her successor everything. Therefore I am looking for a volunteer.
The other problem we had was that we ran out of wine. Arnold has advised me he feels this was due to the over
enthusiasm of the volunteers. The committee discussed this and felt it could cause us problems on two counts,
one being that we could have some unruly behaviour when someone drinks too much and the other being that
we have no idea what medication the guests may be on which could act adversely with medication. It has
therefore been decided that only the Rotary Member in charge will be the one who gives serves the wine.
There are of course the drinks available for the volunteers to serve.
The Grand did a splendid job with the Christmas cake and it was almost too good to cut up. I will be
approaching them again this year to ask if they would provide the cake. As they have been providing this for
some years I am hoping this is just a formality.
We were not sure at one stage whether DGH were going to provide us with the food but it all came good in
the hand and they produced sufficient good food for all including the volunteers. My thanks to Ian Hunt who
arranges all this splendidly.
We had a problem with one guest who rang me at 2.30pm to say he was still waiting to be picked up which
was then too late for him to come. I asked why he had not phoned earlier to see where his lift was and he
informed me that he had been told that the time for collection was just an estimate and the driver may be a
bit late so not to worry. It occurs to me that we may need to tell guests that if they do not see the driver half
an hour after they are due to be collected then they should phone which would give them some guidance and
would help to alleviate this problem arising. This is another matter for the new committee.
Our other problem this year was that it was Our Lady of Ransom’ s turn to be the night shelter on Christmas
Eve which meant we could not set up the night before other than putting the decorations up and we were
concerned that we may not be ready when the guests arrived. It was in the end an unnecessary concern as we
were ready in plenty of time thanks to the Rotary members and volunteers who gave up Christmas breakfast
to come in and help.
I am concerned that numbers of guests are going down each year although I believe we ended up with about the
same amount as the previous year. We may need to consider advertising more this year so people are made aware
of the event but this will be dealt with by me and the committee later and is not something for this report.
We were lucky enough to have a major sponsor this year being Waitrose in Old Town who provided us with a
cheque for £1,000.00. I have not as yet seen the figures for the event but I am sure it made a huge difference
to the costs. Whether we will be that lucky this year we shall have to wait and see but I will work hard to
achieve further donations.
This is still a worthwhile event and I look forward to Christmas Day
2014. Christine Haniver, Chair, Alone at Christmas Committee
Jazz Concert
The good news is the evening proved to be a success with the audience leaving making very positive comments
about the music and band despite doubts being shown in using not one of the tried and tested bands. The
review by Russ Perkins the Herald Arts Editor was extremely complimentary, saying the Cloggz is a band to
watch for when it returns to Eastbourne. The even better news is the evening realised £1600 for the
Eastbourne NSPCC Childline, an excellent achievement.
For the not so good news, half the members of Club supported the event by selling tickets, with 16 members
selling more than 2 tickets, which means the majority of the tickets were sold by the minority without whose
efforts the evening would have been a failure, thank you to the minority. Christine and Annemarie made
requests at several Club meetings for raffle donations, of the 12 raffle prizes on offer, 2 were donated by third
parties, 2 by Club members and the remaining 8 were donated by Christine and Annemarie. Other than the
profit, the numbers do not make good reading and one indicates Club’s member’s hearts are not in the event.
Past President Simon Dodds wrote to me prior to the concert, saying in his year of office Geoffrey Williamson
had spoken with him suggesting the Jazz Concert had run its life and should stop. Despite Geoffrey’s
concerns Simon persuaded him to run the event, Simon now believes in hindsight he should have taken
Geoffrey’s advice.
Geoffrey was one of the founder organisers of the Jazz Concert and was able to see the diminishing interest of
the Club in the event and I too after seeing David Coe’s struggle last year and mine this year would
recommend to the Club it goes out on a high and the event ceases.
What has been encouraging during the organisation is the support and dedication given by the committee,
without their hard work the event would not have taken place and to them I say thank you. To my co-opted
member Jonathan Porter for all his hard work in running the bar with his team of ladies from Mayo’s I say
another big thank you to them all (also for the pizza and their conversation).
The 18th annual Jazz Concert is over and I now sleep a little
easier. Dennis Thompson, Chairman
Tripartite Weekend Lille 16th May 1024
Tripartite was a very full 3 days in Lille and we were fortunate in attracting several Members who had not
participated before.
We left Langney Shopping Centre bright an early on Friday for a leisurely drive to Dover where we boarded the
ferry for our crossing to Calais. The weather was excellent and the crossing, thank goodness, very smooth. Once
in France we progressed to La Couple at Helfaut which houses some of the most spectacular remnants of the 2nd
world War now converted into an extensive museum. La Couple was the launching site for the German V1 & V2
rockets and comprises of an extensive network of underground tunnels all built with slave labour. The large
bunker was built in 1943-44 essentially as a launching site for these terrible weapons on London and Antwerp. La
Couple was abandoned in the summer of 1944 after the Normandy landings.
Following the visit we left for our hotel in Lille but because of major motorway disruptions had to follow a
Member from Lille right through the centre in a 49 seater coach. We only arrived safely through the good
driving of our driver Steve. We enjoyed an excellent dinner at L’ Assiette du Marchi restaurant with, as
always, copious quantities of fine wine.
Saturday was a prompt start with a drive of about an hour to the Louvre Lens museum and art gallery. This
is the regional arm of the Louvre in Paris and built on the site of an old coal mine in 2004. Following the
example of art galleries across Europe the Louvre Lens aims to play a part in local regeneration and helping
to modernise the regions image.
The visit was swiftly followed by a super lunch in the garden of a local restaurant with or course more wine
and alcohol.
The afternoon was taken up with a visit to a mining museum with a complete reconstruction of a colliery and
mine shaft. The conditions were appalling and the noise and dust must have been horrific. Coal was until late in
the 19th century sorted by the bare hands of local women! Once you have experienced the noise in particular it is
difficult to believe people could work more than a few minutes in such an environment let alone a lifetime.
In the evening we were royally dined at the Charlton Hotel, a favourite rendezvous for Dominique Strauss Kahn!
We started with a never ending supply of fine champagne and slightly unusually had the speeches before dinner.
President Elect Simon spoke eloquently in French and was warmly applauded by all. The meal was first class and
accompanied by excellent French wine. The evening was long but very enjoyable and we retired
around midnight before we all turned into .............
Sunday was a more leisurely start with would you believe early brunch. The more sensible amongst us passed
on breakfast at the hotel but others insisted on having both. The restaurant was located in the old part of the
city built in the 16th century. A full breakfast was available and as expected accompanied by good French
wine, just for a change.
I have received numerous e-mails from Lille and our own Club expressing enjoyment of a wonderful weekend
of good friendship, good food and good wine. We had several new participants this year and are sure they are
now committed to joining Tripartite in the future. It was a perfect weekend where we all had a huge amount
of fun, made new friends, renewed old friendships and had wonderful Rotary fellowship.
Ian Hunt, Chairman, Tripartite.
Report on Outside Body representation – 3VA
I am the Club’s representative at 3VA. This is the Council for Voluntary Services covering the areas of
Eastbourne, of Lewes and of Wealden. It is the umbrella organisation representing the interests of almost 600
community and voluntary organisations. Some 30 staff provide advice, training and encouragement to the
member organisations and also liaise with the statutory sector. I am the chair of the Board.
The past year has seen good progress in helping organisations to weather the storm of funding cuts. New areas of
activity have included the strengthening of partnership working with the private sector and the re-shaping of the
County’s volunteer bureau. The voluntary sector’s role in health improvement has also been a key focus.
3VA’s finances are sound.
Our studies show that the ‘paid-for’ value of voluntary work delivered on 3VA’s patch is around £1m per
week! Alan Wenham
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