Welcome to Banbury Rotary’s new President – July 2019

The Rotary New Year begins on 1st July!
We’ll spare you the explanation of why – but this is the date when each club changes the roles for its members including the important position of club president.
So – Banbury Rotary Club recently thanked Mr Paul Gardiner for his year as president and welcomed into his place Surimder Dhesi.
We all look forward to your leadership Surinder as we head into another active Rotary Year engaging with the community at a local, national and international level

So – remember:

  • The western New Year starts on January 1st.
  • The Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February.
  • But the Rotary New Year starts on July 1st

Rock-Face Challenge for Charity – July 2019

Charity Challenge

Banbury Rotarian. Andrew Fairbairn is planning a challenge to ascend the 1,000 metre sheer rock face of the Daubenhorn (Leukerbad, Switzerland). An 8 hour via ferrata route.

Why? To raise money for two charities – a building project for a school in The Gambia and Katharine House Hospice, Banbury.

Education in The Gambia

Three years ago the Rotary Club of Banbury along with the Rotary Club of Tonbridge engaged in a project – spearheaded by Andrew and his wife, Marilyn – to fund a borehole at Prospects Upper Basic School, Mariama Kunda Village, The Gambia. It aimed to provide improved quality water thereby reducing health risks to pupils and staff.

The school is currently expanding and has a two-storey building under construction but this can only continue as funds become available.

This project is being overseen by the Rotary Club of Bijilo and the ground floor and some of the walls are in place taking it to the stage of needing the structural concrete floor of the second storey to act as an interim roof over the three classrooms and examination hall to make it useable in the rainy season.

The school had sourced a donor offering 50% of the funds for this phase but that donor has withdrawn.

Banbury Rotary has donated £5,030.68 but is now seeking to fundraise a further £5,600 towards the approximate £10,600 needed.


Katharine House Hospice

Many people have cause to appreciate the services provided by this hospice in supporting a family member or friend. It not only provides accommodation and day treatment but is also active in care in people’s homes. More information is available on the following website –



If you wish to sponsor Andrew on the ascent of the Daubenhorn, you can choose for your donation to go to either or both recipients. If you are a tax payer then a Gift Aid form can be forwarded to you for you to complete in order that an additional 25% can be added to your generous donation.

Please contact Andrew on either 07711 142887 or via e-mail at if you wish to have a guest speaker and/or are willing to make a donation to these deserving causes.  100% of your donation will go to the recipient(s). No amount will be deducted for expenses.

Rotarian. Andrew Fairbairn, Rotary Club of Banbury




Thanks from APS Support UK – June 2019

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a disorder of the immune system that  increases the risk of blood clots and therefore of a range of major problems including deep vein thrombosis, heart attack and strokes but may also manifest in a range of more minor symptoms.  For more information check the APS Support UK website here.

Rotary recently made a donation to this society: here is part of the text of thank you letter dated 4 June 2019  from APS Support UK

On behalf of APS Support UK, I would like to thank the Rotary Club of Banbury for the kind and generous donation of £100 towards Phil Godfrey’s APS awareness and fundraising campaign.
As you know, Phil is fundraising in memory of his lovely wife Christine who had APS and his efforts have allowed us to launch the first ever GP e-Learning training courses about antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) with the Royal College of GPs.
Thanks to the support of people and groups like yours, we have been able to set up our new research fund to further scientific research into APS.
Your generous donation will help us continue with this project, so thank you again.
With Kindest Regards  Kate Hindle  Charity Manager

Rotary help at Banbury Show – June 2019

The Banbury Show was held on the second Sunday in June and Rotary had a stall and also a Shelterbox display.

Members spoke to many people about the club and distributed some of our Membership leaflets.

They also provided a presence on the huge site offering a safe option for returning lost-children to their parents.

Many thanks to all involved in planning and manning the stall and patrolling the grounds.

Final Crocus Concert – June 2019

On June 11th we had our last Crocus Concert of the Rotary Year at St. Mary’s.

The singing was provided by BGN, St. John’s and St. Joseph’s choirs – it was a great evening and many congratulations and thanks to the choirs and their teachers and accompanists.

This was our third Crocus concert this year all in aid of Helen and Douglas House Hospice for children and our own Polio Eradication work.


Rotary Help with Katharine House Walk – June 2019

Various Club members were involved helping with the Katharine House Hospice Midnight Walk on 22nd June.

The start changed to 9pm and there were nearly 600 walkers.

The event was a great success and the organisers are hoping to have raised up to £65,000.


Rotary UK gives another million dollars to eradicate polio.


The Rotary Foundation UK has this year contributed $1,941,555 US to the Annual Fund almost half of which has gone to the fight to elimiate polio worldwide.

  • Africa is poised to be certified polio-free in early 2020.
  • There are three types of polio-types 1, 2 and 3. Type 2 was certified eradicated in 2015. Type 3 will likely be certified eradicated in early 2020.
  • To date, 18 million lives have been saved because of polio eradication efforts.
  • Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent Nigeria, are essentially the last remaining areas where the disease survives. This is because of rumours about the vaccine’s safety spread online and by word of mouth, ultimately leading to boycotts of the vaccinations, protests and even violence.

So far, in 2019 we have seen 21 cases in Pakistan (12 cases in 2018) and 8 cases in Afghanistan (21 cases in 2018) giving a total so far this year of 29 cases of Wild Polio Virus type 1. (33 cases in 2018)   This represents a reduction of over 99% from an estimated 350 000 case that killed and crippled people in 1988.    We are within a gnat’s whisker of eliminating this dreadful disease and Rotary has played a leading role – suipported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,  in achieving this.

Crocus Concerts – March /June 2019

The first of this year’s Secondary School Crocus Concerts took place in March on Tuesday 12th. Bloxham, Sibford and Tudor Hall Schools entertained a small audience and on Thursday 14th Chenderit, NOA, Warriner and Wykham Park Academies played to a much larger gathering.
Both concerts were extremely well received – the performers offering a wide variety of musical styles with soloists, duettists, ensembles, orchestras and choirs amazing us with their talents. Our thanks go to all staff and students for the time and effort they have given to the preparation of these events in partnership with Rotary.
This year it was decided that 45% of the surplus would go to Polio Eradication and 45% to Helen and Douglas House Hospice with 10% for other Rotary Charities.

To date the door takings have amounted to £930 and the retiring collections £175 (eligible for gift aid).

Further donations from Chenderit and Tudor Hall gave almost £200 towards the causes.

The third schools’ concert, involving BGN and its partner primary schools St John’s and St Joseph’s, originally scheduled for 21st March, will now be held on June 11th. A new venture by the Crocus/Polio Working Party is a concert involving local adult choirs. This is taking shape and is scheduled for Saturday 28th September.

Medical Detection Dogs Talk – April 2019

Fraser Liversage spoke to the club about “Medical Detection Dogs” and he brought his two dogs with him.
It was an incredibly interesting presentation and a taster for a longer talk he will be giving us on a Fifth Friday evening meeting in August in the next Rotary Year.
You can learn more about these dogs here.

Cotswold Distillery Visit – 20th April 2019

There was no club meeting on Good Friday but on Saturday 20th a group of members went to the Cotswold Distillery for a very enjoyable visit and tour – many thanks to Nigel Yeadon for arranging the trip.