President Deborah’s Dinner Night – Friday 30 June 2023

President Deborah’s dinner night marked the last day of her term as President of Winchester Rotary. This special evening, impeccably organised by Rotarian Robert Parsons, held at the Winchester Rugby Club, gave members the opportunity to acknowledge Deborah’s contribution to the club during her presidential year. Partners and friends came to share an evening of dancing, music, excellent food, and above all – friendship.

On entering the venue, it was impossible not to be struck by the big Guinness Gates, the decorative bunting depicting both the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland flags. The Northern Ireland flag was flying above the band, with the theme continued through flags and napkins on the tables. Seeing a united Ireland meant much to Deborah.

The evening literally kicked off with a great performance by the Irish Dance Group – the Boyd O’Dowda Academy of Irish Dance of Fareham. The O’Dowda Academy, which has groups all over the UK, promotes Irish culture and traditions. This young group were tireless, talented, with their skilful footwork such fun to watch. They performed some dances, especially for Deborah. When thanking the whole troop for their performance Deborah, emotionally moved,  said how much they brought back memories of her childhood.

An excellent dinner followed – congratulations and thanks were expressed by our club to the Rugby Club chef.

The music, provided by three talented young musicians from Juicebox, described as “a tight indie-pop trio playing guitar-driven covers of the biggest tunes to ever grace the charts.” This tight indie-pop group managed a miracle – they brought some fine Rotary dancers onto the floor – some were finer than others, but everyone had a great time. 

Les Haswell, our incoming President, presented Deborah with a beautiful bouquet. He acknowledged her substantial contribution to our club during her presidency. Details of her many achievements can be found on our club blog posted last Thursday. She has led the club with grace, generosity, and foresight and we have much to thank her for.

In conclusion, these are Deborah’s own words:

“I was overwhelmed by the detailed planning of my Irish-themed evening, taking me back to my roots with such lovely memories. The commitment to make my final night as president made the evening very special and showed Rotary at its best “fellowship and friendship.”

My sincere appreciation and love.


Diana Brooks – with thanks to Robert Parsons

For photos (including videos of the dances!) click here: Presidents Night

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