A Christmas Message from our Association President …

December 2012

Dear Inner Wheel Friends,

This newsletter is my personal message to you for Christmas and the New Year.

I wonder if you feel like I do – that 2012 has just whizzed by? It is said that as you age, the years go faster. I am sure that that shows just how many of us lead hectic lives and are always on the go.

However, there are many out there who feel every day is a week and every week a month. They are possibly housebound, possibly have physical disabilities, possibly are depressed or just plain lonely. Christmas to these is a nightmare because “everyone else is so busy”. Businesses and shops close, sometimes for long periods, and assistance with home breakdown facilities is almost non-existent. Those on the streets have an awful time during the coldest part of the winter.

Fortunately, there are some wonderful people who are intent on bringing peace and some comfort to these sufferers. The Salvation Army, WRVS, Red Cross and several local charitable groups will try to provide food and warmth and a friendly listening service for them. Please support them in any way you can. Christmas is a time of celebration for many so making sure that no one is left out is an important part of that. Of course, their trials go on through the winter, so please keep them in your thoughts and actions into 2013.

I hope that many of you can spend some time with your families especially the younger members of them. Children seem to make Christmas and I think I enjoy it more as a Granny than I did as a Mum. You seem to have more time to concentrate on them without worrying about the business of Christmas. There is nothing to beat the delight in a child’s eyes when they see the Christmas tree and the lights, their giggly anticipation when opening presents and their wonderment when they attend their Carol and Christmas services. It gives you so much pleasure that you can live on the memories for weeks to come.

Enjoy your Christmas foods and parties and then head for the Jan 1st! Enjoy making those New Year Resolutions and looking forward to what a new year can offer. It is exciting for most of us and we go back to work and our normal lives with renewed vigour.

May I wish you all a very happy Christmas time and an interesting and rewarding 2013.

In friendship,


December Christmas Meeting in Exeter …

I think it would be fair to say that if you were not able to make this meeting, you missed the ‘Party of the Year’.  More than 90 Inner Wheel members attended and with stalls from several Clubs available from 10 am, shopped till they dropped as the saying goes; and then shopped again after the meeting! Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.

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The room at the Exeter Golf Club looked very festive and the stalls heaved with all the lovely things on offer.  I took several photos to try to capture the moment and although they are good (apart from the one I took of Braunton which was over-exposed and not usable), the photos can’t show the atmosphere which was happy, busy, and above all – fun.

All the stalls were different with Exmouth selling exquisite handmade bags, Braunton had absolutely yummy meringues, Torquay with a heaving array of lovely things, Bideford selling googies of sugar and spice and all things nice, Totnes with a master baker iced cake to raffle, Otter Valley brought a beautiful Bear to name and Brixham lit up the room with their candle arrangements. Hopefully they raised a lot of money for their chosen charities from all their hard work.

The Business Meeting covered events and news over the past 4 months with Jill (District Chairman) amusing us with her visits to Clubs and the many new ideas she had found within each Club, Lesley (Overseas) informing us of new fund-raising activities such as Wheels within Wheels, Hilary (Treasurer) bringing us up-to-date with District finances, Margaret (Member of Council) telling us all things Association, Ann (Membership) enthusiastic as usual with membership news, Madge keeping us on our toes with administrative matters and Julie covering her invitation to speak to Rotarians at a recent meeting.  Then it was my turn to chat about the website and magazine, the latter being given out at the event.  It’s a new format (similar to the Association magazine) and I hope you all like it and enjoy reading it.  Now it’s time to start preparing for the next one, so keep the photos and copy coming.  The space on this website is almost endless, so there is room for everyone and everything and if it doesn’t make the News page for general interest, it will be put on the individual Club page.

We had a lovely 3 course lunch with coffee and mints which was excellent and after the vote of thanks, we finished off with a speaker from the Red Cross who told us about its work within the UK.  Our District Chairman thanked him for his time and presented him with a cheque for £50.

And finally, a message from Jill Cobley, our District Chairman:

“I wanted to say a very big ‘Thank You’ to all the members who attended the Christmas meeting.  It was, I am sure you will agree, a big success. The room looked really festive, we had our meal on time and Robert finished the event by making us think about the help offered by the Red Cross.

I can not end without say that the stalls were fantastic and I think the retail therapy was good for us all and the charities they supported.

I wish you and your families a Very Happy Christmas”

Update from Axminster’s Festive Friday …

As Editor, I could have re-written this article, but I haven’t changed a word as I thought it summed up the event perfectly.  So, here are the words of Barbara Sturgess, Secretary of Axminster Inner Wheel.

Jill Cobley, Kate, Kathy Brennan and Cllr Andrew Moulding

“Well, you can’t win ’em all!!  I was hoping for a selection of photos for the website of our stall at Axminster’s Festive Friday (yesterday 5 – 8pm) where the Inner Wheel were selling home made mince pies and mulled wine. The bad news is that only 1 photo was taken (below) but the good news is that it includes Jill Cobley, who attended the event with her husband and could see for herself how busy we were. They both had at least one serving of our wares –  it could have been more but it was a bit frantic at times so I wasn’t counting!  We sold out of wine and only had a few pies left by the end of play. The aim was not fundraising for any of the groups involved – including Rotary (it was organised by Axminster Rotary), but to give the local people a fun evening, but we still made a profit, after expenses, on our stall of £177 which will go to our Charity Account. The photo shows the Mayor, Cllr Andrew Moulding, our President Kath Brennan in the green coat with her daughter Katy behind, and our District Chairman, Jill Cobley on the left.”

Teignmouth raise much-needed funds for Moldova …

The Inner Wheel of Teignmouth held a Quiz Night which raised nearly £600 to buy a greenhouse for deprived people in Moldova. Members were joined by Teignmouth Rotary Club and the Dartmoor Vale Rotary Club for a  Music Quiz at Bishopsteignton Community Hall on 16 November 2012 during which £586 was collected.

The ladies of the Club decided to act after a talk by Hugh Scudder from Christian Response to Eastern Europe, a Kenton-based charity that helps to improve the life and conditions in the former Communist state. A greenhouse enables them to raise early crops of tomatoes to sell at a premium rate.

The photo shows Jenny Harris handing over the greenhouse to Hugh Scudder

Another inititiative supported by Teignmouth is Families for Children Zambia (supporting families and vulnerable children in Zambia).  Marlene Turner, sister of Val Roberts (past president of Teignmouth Inner Wheel Club), has supported our Overseas charity this year by knitting over 50 teddies for the children of the orphanage. Every child will have their own teddy. The Trustees of the charity are absolutely delighted with the teddies and will be taking them to the orphanage when they visit in January 2013.

Over the year, Marlene has knitted a further 50 teddies for other charities supported by Teigmouth Inner Wheel. She has also knitted baby hats and cardigans for the Premature Baby Unit at Exeter and Devon Hospital, cardigans for the Friends of Mallandgee Orphanage and is at present knitting baby blankets for the Premature Baby Unit at Devon and Exeter Hospital. Marlene’s enthusiasm to help the Club is very much appreciated.


Coffee Morning for Barnstaple …

Derry Rundle and some members of Barnstaple Inner Wheel

Suzanne Lyons of our Barnstaple Club sent me this photo of their Christmas coffee morning which raised £150 for the David Rundle Trust.  Derry is in the photo, sitting on the floor hugging her knees.  She also sold copies of her book at the coffee morning.  She goes to Rwanda again next week .

Mea culpa …

You have not, as yet, got your District 17 magazine, but these will be given out tomorrow at the District Meeting and there is an error with one of the dates. On page 10 in ‘Dates for your Diaries’ I have said that the North Zone Rally will be held at The Pier House, Westward Ho! and I am informed that this information is not right.

Please take note that the North Zone Rally will be held on 14 March 2013 at the Instow Yacht Club, Instow, EX39 4HW with the time, as stated, of 12 for 12.30.

Shoe Boxes for CR2EE …

Jan Wicks and Beth Cooke of Bideford Inner Wheel

Bideford Inner Wheel supported this very worthwhile charity again this year, and this is a photo of Jan Wicks (President) and Beth Cooke (Overseas Organiser) with a few of the 26 boxes which were taken down to Exeter for our Brixham Club to help sort.  It’s Inner Wheel all the way …