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(Spoken with a Yorkshire brogue)

You've heard about Albert Ramsbottom, As were ett by a lion one day' And were regurgitated much later Wi' is hands and face cleaner, they say.

Well when Christmas time drew a bit nearer And Gran had her Winter drawers on, Young Albert were gettin' excited And 'is little red cheeks fairly shone.

But Albert were kept short of money For Ma's purse were shut tight, like a vice ; And Father grew deaf to all that he said , Until he said words that weren't nice.

So wi' four rosy cheeks all a-glowin', Young Albert walked down to t'old rec Where he sat on a swing, legs a-danglin', And he muttered, "By gum," and "Eeh 'eck".

Just then he heard distant music The sort that a choir might sing And his eyes, fair lit up as he muttered, "Carol singin' now, that's just the thing."

Now Albert had heard about Carollers' And how, if they sang, they got paid Wi' money, and mince pies and spice cake, And he thowt, "Now, I've got it made!"

Of carols he knew half a dozen Well ,most of the tunes and some words . He knew about wise men and t'shepherds And in t'stable just what had occurred.

So smoothin his hair wi' some spittle, He set off to t'first house in t'street; He'd not long had a bath, so now then, don't laugh

Young Albert looked really quite sweet.

Then he took a big breath and got started Wild shepherds were first what he sang, And from one end o't'street to the other His vocal exertions they rang. (Continued back page)


Life has been quite busy since my last “Mike’s Message”. We have had excellent speakers, and Des Evans has been inducted into the Priory fold - welcome Des and good luck!

It was good to have the three Clubs of Rotary represented at the Remembrance Sunday for the first time - Ritchie's idea. Next year it will be Priory's turn to lay the wreath.

All enjoyed the Beaujolais Lunch in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and although sums are not yet finalised, around £2000 should have been raised. The food was good, the auction and raffle went well and even the Beaujolais wasn't too bad. Hats off to John Pressdee and the team both from inside and outside Priory for organising once again this great event.

We had an excellent speaker at the Charter Dinner; Rear Admiral John Lippiett from the Mary Rose Museum. We hope to visit it in the New Year together with Harbour. In response to my thanks, John sent me a very nice email expressing how much he and his wife, Jenny, enjoyed the evening and the good company (he was on my table, of course!).

The other highlight of the evening was the "Paul Harris" awarded to Ivan. Ivan epitomises the true spirit of ‘Service above Self’. My sincere thanks to Ritchie, Geoff , David (CB) and Club Service for organising the evening so well. A footnote: even Ivan didn’t know that his middle name is Tarquin!

We had an especially colourful Christmas lights ‘switch on’. The large assembled crowd, aided by the good weather, enjoyed the evening immensely. I did hear later that the police arrested a certain "Arfur Braincell" for attempting to climb the Christmas Tree, but hopefully not much damage was done.

I must make mention now of the remarkable £10,000 collected by our three Rotary Clubs in aid of the Philippines disaster. In addition to Priory's share of this, to be distributed as recommended by the International Committee, we had already sent three shelter boxes. A big “thank you” to all concerned.

I have just had the pleasure of presenting the certificates and awards for the ‘Young Chef of the Year’. It's amazing how well all the kid's did and although I didn't get to sample any of the food, the aroma was so good that I was ravenous when I got home. Long may the event continue and, hopefully, expand in future years. Congratulations to all concerned.

Next year's diary is filling up nicely and includes such old favourites as the 10K Road Race and a revived St. George’s evening. Next month, of course, we have the Boxing Evening organised by promoter Sugar Ray Richardson and his team. To save me from getting an ear-bashing from you know who, and ruining my Christmas, those on my Priory table who haven't yet paid, can I have a cheque as soon as possible.

Also, if you are in sympathy with the Save the Cheese and Biscuits campaign, a protest march is proposed to take place through the streets of Westergate, ending up with slogans outside ‘Brookside’. South Today Newsroom is showing interest in it and in the New Year, we hope to go national.

Finally, I hope those attending the Christmas Party enjoy themselves and I wish you all, your family and friends a super Christmas and very good New Year!



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