District 1170 Rotary Conference …

I know, I know, we are Inner Wheel and not Rotary, but it was my first Rotary Conference and a lot of our District 17 members were there so I thought it should get a mention.  I think we showed the men what Fun and Friendship is all about but if you don’t believe me take a look at the photos!!

It started on Friday with our members meeting up prior to the Rotary/Inner Wheel Welcome Lunch at which our District Chairman, Julie Turner, was guest speaker.  She started the Rotary Conference on a light note suggesting we “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” and has asked me to thank all the members who came along to support her and make the lunch so successful.

We were able to meet Manju Das who is the wife of Yash Das (the RI President’s Personal Representative).  Manju is a member of the Ambala Inner Wheel and was very interested in how we operated our Clubs in GB & I.  I was lucky enough to be seated opposite her for lunch and we talked at length about her own Club.  They have just over 100 members with an age range of early 40s to 70s.  That puts Julie’s challenge of 90 new members this year into perspective!.

Manju Das with members of District 17 Inner Wheel members

Friday night was Cowboy and Cowgirl Night and what a wonderful time we all had.  Some Club dressed as a joint venture, as Bideford as Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, and some individually, as Totnes.  This was followed by a thigh-slapping Barn Dance where members stripped the willow and dozy doed all night long.

Saturday was a quieter affair with an afternoon walk on the wildside – well Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve actually and a Gala Dinner in the evening.  In between there were many inspiring speakers and a multitude of charities displaying their ideas in the House of Friendship.

Well, ladies, as the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words, so take a look at these:

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What a difference a greenhouse makes …

In November last year Teignmouth Inner Wheel held a musical quiz evening to raise funds to buy a Greenhouse to support an overseas project for Hugh Scudder from Christian Response to Eastern Europe.  Within Inner Wheel we all strive to make the world a better place and we were very happy when our flat-pack greenhouse set off by container to arrive in Moldova in January 2013.
If you’d like to know what happened next – read on.  As you can see, the greenhouse is doing well and the villagers have been able to grow many things that would have been impossible without it.  It is in the village of Borceag in the south of Moldova and is being used to help grow food for the Soup Kitchen that has been set up there.  The second photo is of the ladies of the village making soup for the summer camp.
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District Rally – Saturday, 2 November 2013…

Well, actually it started out on Friday, 1 November with our Pre-Rally when Bideford (the host Club), and our District Executive welcomed our Association President, Gill Rowley and her husband, Rotarian John Rowley.  Good food, good company, and a lovely night for all concerned.

The weather on Saturday showed promise as the District 17 banner was put up in bright sunshine, but by 10 am the winds began to blow and the occasional shower sent people scurrying for cover.  However, the Gods shone on us and once the day started, whenever it rained we were indoors and whenever there was a break in the weather, we were on the move.

Refreshments were served to the 88 members and guests who attended and then off we went next door to St Helen’s Church for our Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication with the £300 collection going to help repair the Church Tower.

After photos in the Old School House which were taken by Julie’s sister Elizabeth, off we went across the village playground to the Village Hall for a delicious meal. Julie then lit a candle and invited Gill Rowley to help her cut the 90th Anniversary Cake.

After a short break we listened to Greetings from District 13 and 129 and from the Rotary District Governor, Mr Barry Rendal-Jones.  Our Association President, Gill Rowley, spoke to us of the need for change, the need for publicity, and the need for a everyone to look for new ways to make Inner Wheel an organisation that people want to join.  She outlined the amazing things that we have achieved as a stand alone women’s organisation and the services we offer to people in need and that somehow we have to work harder to make our voice heard.  The Vote of Thanks was given by Gillian Altham of our Brixham Club.

To finish the afternoon,we had a cup of tea and a piece of the Anniversary cake before everyone set off to the various corners of District 17 having had a wonderful and uplifting day full of fun and friendship.

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Thanks must go to all the members of our Bideford Club for organising such a successful event, but also to:

Trudi Brown for the lovely Anniversary Cake

Margaret Pickard for the floral arrangements

Lindy Bawtree for her waitressing and kitchen organisation

and last but not least, our District Chairman’s sisters, Carole and Elizabeth for the floral arrangements and photographic skills and her granddaughters Elizabeth and Roseanne for waitressing with such style.