Fellowship and fun enjoyed by all... District 1020 Conference Southport 2011
Fellowship and fun enjoyed by all...
District Governor Keith and wife Jean with RI representative DN Padhi and his wife Deepa at the Conference Ball.
District 1020 is smiles ahead
We do like to be beside the seaside — and hundreds of Rotarians and their partners proved just that.
Southport may have seen better days, but a ‘new age’ of Rotary was about to dawn as the District Conference got underway with the DG’s reception.
The die-hards had already been in action on the golf course and trying their hands (or is it bodies?) at yoga.
The reception was the first time that ALL the delegates were invited to a DG’s reception and this set the scene for a weekend that provided thought- provoking business sessions, opportunities to serve, that would have impressed the SAS and socialising at an impressive level.
DG Keith, supported (nay, influenced) by Jean, welcomed all guests, Rotarians and representatives of RI and RIBI.
DG Keith suggested a ‘target of 16,000 smiles’ and by the end of the Eyemouth Community Award at the last session on Saturday we were well on our way.
I’ve forgotton what it was all about, but the scriptwriters would have given John Cleese and Ricky Gervais a run for their money.
There was vision, inspired reflections of Rotary moments across the world from RI representative PDG Dhiren N. Padhi and RIBI representative David Liddiatt, together with outstanding
presentations from Gordon McInally, Peace Officer Jean Best and District’s own answer to Rikki
Fulton (the Rev Jolly) — Maurice Halliday. Evident were the hardy annuals of Ambassadorial Scholars and Presidents’ Awards, including the Website Trophy retained by Esk Valley to name but a few.
Meeting of minds
Demonstrated in abundance was the meeting of minds and talents to ensure that all projects are attainable with opportunities to serve — to work with youngsters in schools on conflict resolution and by Rotarians ‘easing problems of dementia.’
So many awards, so many words of wisdom, so much to achieve.
The great speakers entertained, enlightened and shared their areas of involvement. Lord Lt of the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright, Sir Malcolm Ross gave a terrific insight into the Monarchy and future changes, while Sheriff Lindsay Wood sent everyone home with a smile on their faces, together with a few questions in their minds. But the inspired Falkland’s veteran Simon Weston’s account of his own journey to reach within and embrace humanity will live long in my recollection of this Conference.
Simon took us all back to the happy-go-lucky Welsh rugby player whose life was to changed forever on 8th June, 1982 when his ship, the RAF Sir Galahad was bombed just off the Falklands. Over the years surgeons were to help on over 90 occasions to rebuild his face and body, but rebuilding his mind and life was very different. He led us with pathos and much humour through the turning points in his life — the invitation to watch a regimental rugby match in Germany, where he found himself treated for the first time without sympathy, but just as one of the lads; a visit to Australia where he was able to help raise funds for children’s burns units and was able to discover his true worth; and just 10 years after the Falklands Conflict, coming face to face with the man who had bombed Sir Galahad.
Not a demon
“He was not a demon - the demons were in my own head. I had been my own tormentor,” he said.
continued on page 13 Rotary for Tomorrow
A very special delegate was Whitney, who guided her mistress Charlotte Bennie throughout the weekend. The two are pictured with Charlotte’s husband IPP Gordon Bennie, DG Keith and his wife Jean and RI representative DN Padhi.
Some of the weekend’s high spots
• Entertainment provided by young musicians and Highland dancers. • £1,600 raised for End Polio Now by the raffl ing of a Walter Maddocks signed t-shirt. • £2,000 plus donated at the Sunday collection for Trade Aid.
• Inner Wheel’s inspirational call ‘to do what we do best — service for other people’ and to affi rm their organisation’s desire to be an asset to Rotary.
Pay-back time for Jean for all her support.
District’s oldest Club — Edinburgh — was well represented, led by President Fergus Gillies and his wife Patsy. The Club celebrates its Centenary next year.
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