Archive for Month: October 2020

Talk – Women and Peace – 30th Oct 2020

Patricia Earle is the Midlands representative of the Women’s Federation for World Peace in the UK.
Patricia has been working in Birmingham for peace in the community, and around the world, since 1991. She founded a Women’s Peace Group in 1993, and regularly hosts events in her home, bringing together hundreds of women from different nationalities, religions, races and cultures around the theme of peace, building friendship and trust in the process. Some examples of the themes of the meetings are: domestic violence; trafficking; integration; fundraising for disaster-relief in Nepal and other parts of the world; peace-building in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and South Africa, and many other events. Larger events have taken place in Birmingham Council House and other prominent venues. She and her husband set up an Interfaith Orphanage in India for ‘untouchable’ children. The children have been sponsored by people from all the different faith communities in Birmingham.
Patricia has supported initiatives for peace in the Holy Land, taking interfaith groups from Birmingham to Israel and Palestine, meeting people from both sides there who work for peace. She invited members of the Bereaved Families Association from Israel/ Palestine to come to speak in Birmingham University and several Birmingham secondary schools about their work for peace and reconciliation
Another unique feature of her work is the Bridge of Peace Ceremony in which women from different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds meet one-to-one, with the purpose of building lasting friendships, and making a contribution towards a more peaceful, harmonious society, helping to remove fear, bigotry and prejudice.
Patricia currently serves on a small Steering Committee in the West Midlands region of the UK, chaired by 2 women Members of the European Parliament, developing initiatives to try and tackle ‘Hate Crime’, which increased in the UK following the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
The Women’s Federation (WFWP), of which Patricia is the Midlands representative, has had Consultative Status Category 1 with ECOSOC at the United Nations for around 20 years. Several United Nations days are recognised each year, and reports from local level activities can be submitted through UN offices in Geneva and New York.
Patricia is married with 4 children, all working in the National Health Service and caring profession.

Below are photos from a typical Women’s Peace Meeting, a Bridge of Peace ceremony in Birmingham, and the Interfaith Children’s Home in India.

Talk – The History of Gin – Oct 2020

On 23rd October, Rachel Hicks gave us a fascinating and informative Zoom presentation about the history of gin and the formation of her company, Skywave Gin.

It appears that we can thank a first century AD physician for starting it all, when he steeped juniper berries in wine to combat chest ailments. Happy days! Fast forward a millennium we find Benedictine Monks in Solerno, Italy, producing a tonic wine infused with juniper berries. Even more happy days!!

In the 16th century, the Dutch produced a spirit which they called “Genever”, a combination of malt wine and, you’ve guessed it, juniper berries.  By the late 1700’s, Dutchman “William of Orange” had become William 111 of England and introduced his home country’s beverage to his new citizens – and for almost 100 years they drank it to excess. It was now known as “Gin”.

From the mid 1800, the production of gin was strictly controlled by the government, until in 2008, after several years lobbying, Sipsmith were granted the first official English distiller’s licence since 1820. This opened the market for independent artisan craft gin producers, which is where Skywave come into the story.

Rachel worked for the BBC and now runs her own successful media company.  However, when she and her husband Andy decided to enrol on a gin making course, just for fun, their interest in the subject grew. Their course instructor was very complimentary about the gin they produced and this encouraged them research and develop their recipes further.

To cut a long story short, after launching Skyways Gin and in just under 2 years, they were awarded The World’s Best Contemporary Gin at the 2020 World Gin Awards – an amazing achievement in such a short period of time. They are now developing more recipes to add to their range of products. For more information, their website is: www.skywavegin.com

Following her presentation, Rachel answered a wide range of questions from our members.

JB.

Change of website address

The address of this website has now changed. Instead of starting with        http://      it now starts with https://

If you enter the old address you’ll be redirected to the new one!

Many people will know https means the data flowing to and from the website is encrypted. (The majority of world’s websites do not use encrypted data.)

Without such encryption sites can be subject to so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks  especially if users connect via unprotected wireless hotspots in cafes, pubs, stations etc.

A major driver for our move to https has been the decision of browser manufacturers : Google (chrome), Microsoft (Internet Explorer, M.S. Edge)  and Mozilla (Firefox) to start flagging up non-encrypted sites without https as not-secure:  something  highly relevant for sites carrying financial or other critical data: less so for largely informational sites.

The problem is that many users are alarmed and uncertain as to what such warnings are trying to tell them. Consequently even sites  not carrying critical information are now tending to move to encrypted https status – including us! 🙂

 

Paul Harris Award to Surinder Dhesi – 23 Oct 2020

PRESENTATION OF PAUL HARRIS AWARD TO SURINDER DHESI

The President of the Rotary Club of Banbury Rotarian David Richardson presented Rotarian Cllr Surinder Dhesi on 23rd October 2020 with a Paul Harris Award. The award is named after Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905.The designation as a Paul Harris Fellow is a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of the Rotary Foundation. President Rotarian David Richardson accompanied by fellow Rotarian Nigel Randall made the presentation.

The President expressed his pride and pleasure that the Club had decided to make this award recognising Surinder as she becomes a Paul Harris Fellow. It is always given in true recognition of a valued and sincere contribution to Rotary and the Local Community and a true recognition of “ Service above Self” the motto of all Rotarians. Surinder has served the local community for some forty years. She has been involved in many Community Projects, fundraising for a mini bus,

Scanner Appeal, Sunshine Centre, Katherine Hospice, Dogs for Good, Dogs for the Blind, Maggie’s Centre and Maternity Unit at the Horton Hospital and other fundraising events. Not forgetting serving on Banbury Town and Cherwell District Council.

In normal circumstances the award would have been presented in the presence of all Rotary Members at the weekly lunchtime meeting. Due to the current covid 19 restrictions the award was presented to Rotarian Cllr Surinder Dhesi by President Rotarian David Richardson in his back garden.

Cllr Rotarian Surinder Dhesi ‘s response was excitement and pride at receiving the honour of a Paul Harris Fellowship.”I am very humbled and honoured to receive this award. It is a honour and a privilege to serve the community of Banbury. I would like to express my warmest thanks to all members of the Rotary Club of Banbury and working with Banbury Rotary Club has been a pleasure serving the community and over the years, working with great people.”

Talk: Age Friendly Banbury – 16th Oct 2020

On 16th  October 2020 Bee Myson from Age Friendly Banbury gave interesting talk.

Age Friendly Banbury is a joint initiative to make Banbury a great place to grow older.

There are already some great groups and opportunities for older people in Banbury, but for some older people poor transport, unsuitable housing, fear of crime, lack of community cohesion, limited care and support and difficulty finding or getting to social activities can get in the way of enjoying their later years.

The initial  focus is on older people, but the vision is of a “ Banbury for all ages” a friendly and more accessible town for everyone.

Following the launch event in 2018, Age Friendly Banbury is strengthening its commitment to making the town become one of Britain’s first age friendly towns.

This encompasses both the built environment, such as housing, transport and outdoor spaces and the social environment, such as health and information services, civic participation and social activities.

In practice, age friendly social action could include anything from befriending and activity clubs, to  ‘men In sheds’ or community owned pubs.

By offering a joined up approach to social action specific to Banbury, it is hoped that older people will have more opportunities to flourish.

Club launches Young Photographer – Oct 2020

Our work with young people through schools and local clubs is really important to us but has been made impossible this year by the pandemic.

In seeking to retain our contact with the above the club has launched the Young Photographer Competition: something that can be done within the current Covid constraints that should not impose too  much of an additional burden on teachers or club leaders.

It may be taken up by schools, clubs or individuals and the details of how to enter can be found on our website here.


Covid Detection Dogs – Oct 2020

Members may have heard a report on Radio 4 about dogs being used to detect covid – even in asymptomatic carriers.

The report was from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine but the dogs were – of course – associated with the charity medical detection dogs who have twice in recent years provided talks about their work to Banbury Rotary Club.

You can read more about this work on either the medical detection dogs website here or the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine here.

Basically the aim is that COVID-19 detection dogs are able to passive screen, i.e. without physical contact, any individual, including those who are asymptomatic, and indicate to dog handlers whether they have detected the COVID-19 virus. This will then be confirmed by a medical test.  The results are extremely promising and the dogs can be trained within a couple of months.

The researchers are looking for volunteers who are unfortunate enough to contract covid to provide samples that can be used to train the dogs.  Details of this are provided here.

Together Talks: 20th Oct 2020

“Lessons Learned From Polio in Tackling COVID-19?” with Dr Michel Zaffran

Dr Zaffran is director of Polio Erdaication at the Worlsd Health Organisation. A project that has reduced World Polio by 99.99% and is on the verge of extinguishing it permanently.

TogetherTalks is a series of conversation events, connecting people from across the globe to a range of leading speakers from the worlds of business, volunteering, the charity sector and more. Brought to you by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland.

  • 40 minute sessions
  • In-depth and sharp conversation around important topics
  • Q & As
  • Zoom Room Access
  • Live Stream Broadcast on the You Tube Channel

Whether you want to watch on the live-stream or participate via zoom you can register here.

Talk – Great great Uncle Tom!

The speaker on Friday 2nd October was our own Rotarian John Bennett, who regaled us with the adventures of Thomas Butler Gunn. Born at The Ark, Warwick Road in 1826, he moved with his family to Oxford and then London when still a youngster and on leaving school, was articled to an architect in Soho Square. However, his talent for illustrating meant that he soon left the practice and found employment as a freelance illustrator for Punch and several other publications.

Hearing stories about the New World, he sailed for America in 1849, producing illustrations for numerous journals and wrote a book about his experiences in New York boarding houses and eventually drifted into journalism. He travelled extensively around America by train, boat and horseback and with the advent of the civil war, covered the progress of the battles from the front line for The New York Tribune. During his time in America he kept a journal recording all his travels and adventures and by the time he returned to England in 1863, he had completed 23 volumes. These are now owned by the Missouri Historical Society and have been referenced by numerous historians studying that period of American history.

Back in England at last, he married Hanna Bennett of Poplars Farm, Chacombe, who he had been secretly engaged to and who had waited for him, for over 8 years. She was the sister of John’s Great Grandfather. They set up home at Bennett’s Farm in Wardington and where they lived for the rest of their life. His travelling days being over, he lived quietly, still writing for The Tribune as well as for several British publications, contributed articles for the Banbury Guardian and occasionally lectured about his travels.

Thomas Butler Gunn died in 1904, but as John said, if he was alive today, he’d have been proud to call him Great Great Uncle Thomas.

Three Peaks, Three Choirs,

Most members of Banbury Rotary will know Helen Swift and Jonathan French who have played a pivotal role in enabling the club’s hugely successful work with schools on Children Singing for Children and other concerts.

The pandemic has stymied club efforts to run these concerts this year but, ever resourceful, Helen and Jonathan have found other ways of raising funds for charities – many of which are facing cash shortfalls to meet escalating demands during these strange times!

You can read more about their project below or for more detail go to their page that also allows you to donate.

One Voice, One Mind!

150 singers are participating in climbing the 3 Peaks – Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon…. some physically and some virtually (à la Captain Tom) singing at the summits to raise their voices and money for “Mind” and other choir charities.  

Helen Swift (MD) and Jonathan French (pianist) are leading the challenge climbing Ben Nevis (4,413 feet) and Scafell Pike (3,281 feet) on 25th/26th September and Snowdon (3,560 feet) on 11th October with a keyboard to sing at the top!!  Hundreds of singers are joining to walk the 22,110 steps either in person or virtually in their homes, villages and towns.  Socially distanced fundraising, all taking up the mantle of working together for a common cause, support!

The Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir, Towcester Choral Society and Thame Choral Society are all combining with one common goal to raise their voices and funds to support the mental health charity “Mind” and their choirs.

Three Peaks, Three Choirs,

One Voice, One Mind!

150 singers are participating in climbing the 3 Peaks – Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon…. some physically and some virtually (à la Captain Tom) singing at the summits to raise their voices and money for “Mind” and other choir charities.  

Helen Swift (MD) and Jonathan French (pianist) are leading the challenge climbing Ben Nevis (4,413 feet) and Scafell Pike (3,281 feet) on 25th/26th September and Snowdon (3,560 feet) on 11th October with a keyboard to sing at the top!!  Hundreds of singers are joining to walk the 22,110 steps either in person or virtually in their homes, villages and towns.  Socially distanced fundraising, all taking up the mantle of working together for a common cause, support!

The Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir, Towcester Choral Society and Thame Choral Society are all combining with one common goal to raise their voices and funds to support the mental health charity “Mind” and their choirs….. Visit their page to read more