Crocus Concerts – March 2019
The Rotary Club of Banbury presents
MARCH CROCUS CONCERTS 2019
at St Mary’s Church, Banbury
Choirs and Musicians from Local Schools
7.00pm – admission £5 at the door
accompanied children free
(No advance ticket sales)
Bloxham, Sibford and Tudor Hall
Chenderit, North Oxfordshire Academy, The Warriner, and Wykham Park Academy
…. ****Postponed until 11th June 2019***** ……
Blessed George Napier, St John’s and St Joseph’s
Proceeds in aid of
HELEN & DOUGLAS HOUSE
END POLIO NOW!
Registered Charity No. 274108
Katharine House receive cheque – March 2019
A St David’s Day treat for staff from Katharine House.
Having talked to members about their goals – including replacing old beds with ones that better serve the comfort of patients and those caring for them – they were presented with a cheque for almost £4000 derved from the Christmas Organ Collections at local supermarkets.
One more example of Rotary serving its local community. 🙂
Walking the beat to Nirvana Talk -15 Feb 2019
Mervyn Edwards was a fascinating speaker and gave us an insight into how he moved from being a bus driver in Banbury to a firearms office charged with protecting Margaret Thatcher!
Mervyn was born and bred in Banbury and joined the Thames Valley Police after being a bus driver for Midland Red. In his talk he gave us a summary of his book “Walking the beat to Nirvana” starting with his first posting with TVP which took him away from Banbury and spending 15 years in three different ranks as a specialist firearms officer.
His book details his experiences which include protecting Margaret Thatcher when she returned to Chequers after the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984.
Hegave us a fascinating account of his career ending up with him being responsible for developing the UK’s tactics for dealing with Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) terrorist threats, ending his career as a Chief Superintendent. He was also earlier in his career responsible for the policing of the Newbury Bypass protests.
Recruiting Gurkhas Talk – 18th Jan 2019
Rotarian Rupert Kipping took us through a series of photos taken in Nepal. These included remote villages hanging on the edge of mountains with houses perched on ridges. and a a sick lady being transported in a basket on the back of a Nepalese man with the help of a forehead : a local ambulance!
Gurkha pensioners took on as many as sixteen youths as potential Gurkha recruits and trained them up.
Rupert’s general medical duties included carrying out a grading physical and mental fitness: a classification system that meant potential recruits needed to achieve 100%, if they were not to be rejected as so many wanted to become Gurkhas.
Gur Aasra Trust Talk – 18th Jan 2019
On Friday 18th January Rtn. Surinder Dhesi gave a talk about the Gur Aasra Trust in Mohali, India.
The Trust was set up when four Sikh women were arrested and imprisoned after the 1984 Sikh massacre in Punjab, India and they made a pact with each other. They promised whoever would survive should look after all of their children and two ladies survived and the other two did not. The main objective of the Trust is to shape the lives of destitute children and give them a good education and enable them with skills to be self-reliant.
The children when they grow up still come back to the Trust to visit as they consider it as their family.
The Trust also looks after older people who have no other relatives and spouses and their children who are victims of drug abuse partners.
The Trust instils Sikh values of sharing, respecting people of different faiths and equality of women and that by believing in oneself anything can be achieved. It has helped children reach their goals with many becoming doctors and engineers.
Street Organ Collection for local charities
A total of just over £4,000 was collected for local charities whilst bringing Christmas cheer to shoppers outside Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
Thanks to the supermarkets for accommodating us and the public for their generosity
There was much interest in the street organs from adults and children alike.
Three-quarters of the money raised will go to Katharine House Hospice, up to a maximum of 15% to cover any deficit for the Xmas Food Parcels project and the remainder will be allocated to other charities and good causes in due course.
Sierra Leone Update – Dec 2018
This a a project run by a Banbury Rotarian and supported by the Banbury Rotary Club and other important sponsors including: Oxford United FC, The Westminster Foundation and Books & Ink Banbury.
We have built a library & laboratory block for the secondary students and a library for the juniors at Liverpool School.
We have also equipped both libraries with furniture and are just completing the purchase of all the textbooks covering all the subjects studied.We have also installed mains electricity into 9 classrooms at the school and to key areas of the compound.
We have also sent literally thousands of pounds worth of school uniform & equipment, sports kit and knitted items to the 5 communities that I support.
This has only been possible with your support.
On behalf of the Communities in Freetown thank you and Best Wishes for the Festive Season & 2019 Rtn. Alan Wolstencroft
Royal Footman Talk – 30th Nov 2018
Speakers, Ian Scott-Hunter and his wife Rachael related how the family moved from North Wales to London forty-seven years ago in order to access regular treatment at Great Ormond Street for their daughter, Alexandra, who was severely brain damaged as a result of a haemorrhage when three days old.
Looking for employment, Ian responded to an advertisement for Royal Staff and was offered a job as a trainee footman at Buckingham Palace. Clearly he took to the role and is still working for Princess Alexandra to this day.
He described his role as a footman with accounts and anecdotes about royal events from state occasions to visits to the Royal Yacht and the Royal Ascot races. We enjoyed an illustrated journey through the many royal castles and palaces and intriguing and amusing stories with the odd (and totally discrete) peep into life in the Royal family.
Ian’s talk was followed by Rachael who described the problems in caring for their profoundly disabled daughter as a result of the council’s closure of her support centre in Kidlington. Not to be defeated the couple have been drawn up plans for a £2.5m centre Alexandra House of Joy after an un-named landowner gifted the couple just under an acre of land – worth approximately £1m.
They won official charity status from the Charity Commission and have since raised almost £20,000 through friends, family and public donations.
Life as a Film Extra Talk – Oct 2018
After a career as an English teacher and latterly as Head of English, Andrew Whiffin turned to a career as a “supportive Actor”, or as the rest of us would call it, an extra in film and TV.
He had trodden the boards in some good Am Drams including the Banbury Cross Players and more recently with professional theatre companies including the Riverside Players.
He explained that he signed on with a number of agencies (not just one) and waited for the offers to come in, which they fairly rapidly did as extras are always in demand.
One attraction seemed to be the food – usually, a hearty breakfast – before commencing filming.
His appearances in films have included Johnny English Returns in which he had a line to speak (this merits an increased fee!)
He was also a member of parliament in the recent film “The Darkest Hour”, which he described as being extremely moving as the extras sat and listened to some of Churchill’s greatest speeches re-enacted by Gary Oldman.
Andrew regaled us with fascinating stories about how they make rain on set, and how they give the illusion of glass shattering.
In summary, not a career to make a fortune out of but very good fun meeting big stars of the stage and screen, and making some useful pocket money along the way 🙂