Just got back today from our annual District Conference of Rotary International. This year it was held at Southport and as our club President it is a special event. We have enjoyed good food, a great hotel (Clifton Villa, on Bath Street), good company, lots of laughter and even more rain ! All in all it was everything we could have wanted.
My club did me proud as seven members with their wives plus another friend from Inner Wheel travelled to the Conference; they looked after Alison and I and went out of their way to ensure we felt special. Photos are on Alison’s camera so I can’t show them just at the moment, but will try to ensure they get onto my website another time.
We learnt about the charities of Headway and Framework ( a homelessness charity in Nottinghamshire), about the students we sent to America and the ones who have travelled from China, Japan and India to spend a year in our District. We were entertained powerfully (and hilariously) by Gervais Phinn, by a sixties style group and by a jazz band, and on the first night a nostalgic look back at the war years with accompanied music. Trouble with the latter was one of the ladies in our party assumed that I would remember it all. Turns out she thought I was 67 years old the same age as herself !!
This morning we received an inspiring story from Richard McCann about how he has turned his life around. His Mother was the first victim of Peter Sutcliffe (the yorkshire ripper) and he explained the devastating effect this has had on him; he shared how it led him to drugs, theft, drug dealing and a spell in prison. Richard then went on to share how his motto became “I can”, playing on his own surname and how it led to his determination to turn his life around. He is the author of two books, the first one being “Just a boy”. Alison and I are going to try to get them and read them. He was truly inspiring.
We learnt about how the polio plus campaign is going with only four countries now reporting the dreadful illness and we heard about the children of courage programme that our Mansfield club run each year.
The only drawback to the weekend was the way the technology wouldn’t behave itself this morning leading to an extremely poor time of worship.
Still, I was proud to have been there, proud to be President of the Rotary Club of West Ashfield and proud to be a part of a movement that truly puts “Others before Self”