Rotarians Shaena Whitney (from Faringdon) and Mike Ware (from Bourne End and Cookham) visited the Club and gave us a preview of the District Conference scheduled for the 6 to 8 March 2015. An amusing video, using two well known puppet oldies, introduced our DG Tim Cowling who then explained the benefits of the Telford International Centre and how the Programme had been structured to minimise cost while still providing a full experience with interesting speakers and events.
There will be no Rotary plenary sessions on the Friday although there will be a Golf Competition in the morning for those interested and Inner Wheel will have a session in the afternoon when the IPDG’s wife Joan Greening will give a talk on Famous Women as a follow up to her excellent talk on a similar topic at last year’s District Conference. For those travelling to arrive there for Friday evening there will be available a supper followed by entertainment (Fun Factory – a casino plus other “games”) costing £25.00 pp for the full evening or £10.00 for those who wish to eat separately and only attend the Fun Factory later.
Saturday will be a full day with the usual plenary sessions covering various Rotary activities interspersed with interesting guest speakers such as Stephen Howard (Business in the Community), Colin Parry (Peace Centre), and Helen McKinnon (See Saw). In the evening a Dinner Dance is arranged, with music provided by “Real Class” at a cost of £43.00 pp.
The Sunday morning start will see a change this year from just the conventional religious service, featuring a discussion between representatives of Christianity and Islam. This will be followed by more plenary sessions involving talks by senior Rotary representatives from RI and RIBI and covering District projects together with more guest speakers including Gay Morecambe, the daughter of the late comedian Eric.
Following their presentation, Shaena and Mike took questions and Ian Calderbank than gave a vote of thanks.
Ian had previously circulated the Club with details of the Conference and has already requested hotel accommodation at the Holiday Inn (located at the International Centre) for those who had responded expressing their intention to go. No deposit is required and all these bookings can be cancelled up to 8 January 2015 without penalty. Thereafter the number of room nights that can be cancelled without penalty is only four until 19 February, i.e., two weeks before the Conference, after which the full charge will be applied for any cancellation.
It is possible to travel there and back without staying in a hotel (1-1/2 to 2 hours each way) in which case the cost will be for Registration of £55 per member and £40 per guest if booked before 31 October 2014. After then the Registration cost will increase by £5.00 pp.
If other members wish to join the group planning to go (presently 21 in number) they should advise Ian as soon as possible so that he can ensure that suitable accommodation can be booked for those requiring it. Also, in a short while Ian will ask those intending to go whether they prefer to partake of the evening entertainment organised by District as above or to do something separately just as a Club.