Handover Dinner Night – Monday 26 June 2023

President Deborah welcomed our guests, Sonia Carver, President of Winchester Inner Wheel Club, together with Mike Court, guest of Anthony Arkwright, and potential new member.

Sadly, we are saying “au revoir” to Deborah’s year as our President for 2022 – 23, but have the pleasure of welcoming President-Elect Les Haswell for a second term of office; an experienced successor.

One of the great pleasures of the evening was the presentation to Steve Feeney of a Paul Harris Fellowship  – an honour so well deserved (see separate blog for more details).

President Deborah gave a detailed and inspiring PowerPoint presentation reflecting on the achievements and events of her presidential year.

We have now progressed to a Project Based Club fit for the future.  We have maintained and strengthened partnerships old and new, for example with the University of Winchester and Winchester Rotary’s student sponsorship via the recently established International Scholarship, together with the refreshing of our contact with Rotaract.

In addition, our community links include the Unit 12 Community Garden Project, the re-launch of our annual Business Lunch, and supporting two charities within our area, Hope Street and Trinity, which provide care and sanctuary for women and children suffering domestic abuse.

We work with other organisations to support international communities – Ukrainian refugees,  the Great Lakes Peace Centre in Kasese, Uganda, and End Polio Now.

We support youth education through the Georgia Rotary Scholarship Project, (GRSP), mentoring young people at a local secondary school plus various Rotary National Youth Competitions, such as Young Photographer, Filmmaker, Musician, Writer.

We support older people in our community through the Stroke Club, Senior Citizens Tea Party, and Dementia Cathedral Tours.

President Deborah’s official visits have included among others, Sounding Retreat at Worthy Down, Mayors For Peace, Remembrance Day at Winchester Cathedral, High Sheriff Awards at the Great Hall, and Royal Logistics Corps 30h Anniversary. Her final event took place as a guest at the official launch of Hope Street in the presence of HRH The Princess of Wales.

Fundraising events include “An Evening with Dan Snow”, held in a packed Theatre Royal. She also led the Winchester Firewalk Fundraising Event. She lit the fire, walked on it and some brave Rotarians followed in her footsteps, to raise funds for her chosen charities, Hope Street and Trinity. 

Winchester Rotary membership is not only about community work and fundraising – we do have a fun social life promoting friendship and inclusion.  The very popular Pancake Race held in partnership with Winchester Cathedral is a source of family fun, much laughter, many dropped pancakes and some fundraising for our charities. 

In partnership with Salisbury Rotary, we help to marshal the Clarendon Marathon, and also run in it – a daunting challenge, which brings funds for our various charities.

Social media and press releases are becoming recognised and valued for the important role they play in promoting Rotary within our community and much further afield.

We have dinners, barbecues, go to the theatre and engage in quiz nights. 

We believe that peace, fun, laughter, and friendship are important aspects in membership retention and recruitment. These qualities are the glue that brings volunteers and members together and secures their involvement in our projects. 

Our closing toast at our dinner evenings is “Rotary and Peace the World Over”.

We need both long-standing and new members to help us maintain and strengthen those values.

For photos click here: Handover Night

For President Deborah’s PowerPoint presentation, see below.

Diana Brooks

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