Induction of Liz Guilder

Informality merged into formality with the inductions of two new members Robert Ashworth and Liz Guilder.

PP Hollis Drake set the perfect tone with his reading of the Object of Rotary.

Rtn Sarah White, a colleague at Thompson Smith a Puxon, gave an informative and amusing introduction on Robert. Classification – Solicitor

Ken Guilder then had the pleasant task of introducing his wife. He explained that, after years of working in care management, she has qualified as a funeral celebrant for the family firm. Classification – funeral celebrant, (I imagine fairly rare in the world of Rotary classification?).

The President presented Robert and Liz with the “non-essential” objet’s du Rotary. Apparently the very essential membership cards will follow in due course!

Accompanied by the Presidential mellifluous transatlantic tones the new members were then welcomed into our great organisation.

Robert and Liz expressed their thanks for the opportunity to become Rotarians and as a club we wish them a long, happy and meaningful association within the movement.

Induction of Robert Ashworth

Informality merged into formality with the inductions of two new members Robert Ashworth and Liz Guilder.

PP Hollis Drake set the perfect tone with his reading of the Object of Rotary.

Rtn Sarah White, a colleague at Thompson Smith a Puxon, gave an informative and amusing introduction on Robert. Classification – Solicitor

Ken Guilder then had the pleasant task of introducing his wife. He explained that, after years of working in care management, she has qualified as a funeral celebrant for the family firm. Classification – funeral celebrant, (I imagine fairly rare in the world of Rotary classification?).

The President presented Robert and Liz with the “non-essential” objet’s du Rotary. Apparently the very essential membership cards will follow in due course!

Accompanied by the Presidential mellifluous transatlantic tones the new members were then welcomed into our great organisation.

Robert and Liz expressed their thanks for the opportunity to become Rotarians and as a club we wish them a long, happy and meaningful association within the movement.

Italian Chapel

PP Derrick gave a fascinating talk about the” Italian Chapel”. Essentially it is a highly ornate Catholic Chapel on Lamb Holm in the Orkney Islands. Originally a Nissan Hut in the P.O.W. Camp, it was “built” by Italian Prisoners who were housed on the previously uninhabited Island while they constructed the “Churchill Barriers” to the east of Scapa Flow.

Ladies Night

President Steve welcomed all to the Ladies Gala Night at the Kingscliff Hotel and invited Rotarian Cyril Pettican to say grace.

It was, to my knowledge, the Club’s first function at the Kingscliff (Although recently advised the venue has been used before), and it was a great success, thoroughly enjoyed by all 43 that attended.  Vice President Gerry who organised the evening thanked President Elect John for helping with the table plan, Past President Brian for choosing & booking the venue and Past President Norman for printing the place cards, event cards and the table chart.

He then went on to explain his interpretation of what a Gala could/should be:

A social occasion with special entertainment, perhaps, or
A big Party, or
A festive occasion, certainly, or
A graduated audio level adjustment, not sure of this, or
A lamenting Priestess of the Sumerian Goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, and also of war. This sounded far more interesting, prompting an internet search. “Inanna, also known as Ishtar in Akkadian mythology, is a goddess associated with the morning and evening star, Venus. She is viewed as both an independent, powerful and sensual figure, but also as a young girl under patriarchal control. The goddess is also noted for her dual-nature  her feminine as well as masculine traits”.

At the end of the evening President Steve thank all for supporting the Gala Night and Rick Hale & US2 for entertaining us. He then led us in a toast to “Rotary and Peace the World Over”.

Singing for the Brain

PP Tony Burnside introduced Angela Dennis who was representing ‘Singing for the Brain” an adjunct of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Angela had graduated in music in 1995 majoring in the voice and music for people with special needs. She had practiced as a Natural Voice Practitioner for some years working for the Alzheimer’s Society as a Singing for the Brain leader in N E Essex for the past four years. Her work involved holding singing sessions for both groups or individuals.

Angela proceeded to get the members present to warm up with basic exercises for both body and voice. The outcome were renditions of “When the Saints go Marching in” and “ Swing Low Sweet Chariot” from the respective halves of the club. Without prejudice or bias I believe the Saints were the rightful victors! “Oh Yes they were”!

Your correspondent can only pray that “Swing low….” Will be sung with more victorious gusto in Paris on Sunday afternoon.

There is little doubt that involvement with music is proving to be an outstanding therapy for the elderly but more importantly sufferers of dementia.

PP Graham Syrett gave an appropriate vote of thanks on behalf of the club. On reflection I have decided not to mention his attempt at singing!

Changes to Club Management

Sadly, Past President Ray Hansen has had to resign from his position as Honorary Secretary of the Club. He served on Club Council for many  years and his sound advice and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.

Past President Gerry Atkinson will takeover as the Honorary Secretary and the position of Vice President Elect will be filled by Past President Bob Welton.

Past President Bob left St. Albans School in 1954 and served a five year apprenticeship at Vauxhall Motors. He served his National Service in the Royal Army Dental Corps, ending up at the War Office in London.

He changed careers from mechanical engineering to civil engineering and spent twenty-three years in local government ending up as Assistant County Surveyor in Hertfordshire before joining Travers Morgan, Civil Engineering Consultants, to head its Highway Maintenance Division.

He set up his own Highway Maintenance Consultancy, Welton Associates in 1992, and dealt with many litigation cases involving highway maintenance, appearing as an expert witness both for defendants and claimants, retiring in 2003.

As well as an engineering career he owned a hotel, and jointly with Helen, a shop, Bears and Models Galore, both in Clacton.

He has had a lifetime interest in classic motor cars and has raced at most circuits in the country. He currently still has four Jaguars and two Rileys.

He joined Rotary in 1994 and was President in 2004.

New Year Message

Dick Farrow introduced our New Year’s address speaker, Father Justin Hutcherson. For the record Dick mentioned that Justin had two young twin children and very shortly another two twins were due!

It was a pleasure to listen to Justin`s inspirational New Year’s address. He told us that he was aged 32 and had originally been a teacher before ordination. He came from Ilford and briefly talked about his social housing background. His family had at one stage owned a chalet in Jaywick and he also, in his younger days enjoyed family holidays at Martello Caravan Park in Walton. (Now a housing estate?).

Justin talked about the need for organisations such as ours to continue philanthropic works. In his own words it was almost an obligation to help others. He mentioned the good work of, amongst others, the Sea Cadets and Clacton Carnival Committee.

The question we could all possibly ask ourselves is “Have we done all we can?”

Christmas Day Meal 2019

On Christmas day, members and friends of the Rotary Club of Clacton-on-Sea served lunch and entertained over 150 local elderly and lonely folk at the Clacton County High School.

Ably led by Past President John Crocker, over 40 Rotary members, their partners, and other local helpers gave up their Christmas Day to assist in welcoming the guests, preparing, cooking and serving a traditional Christmas lunch and providing tea. They made sure that they were all looked after throughout the day. Most of the guests had been transported to the venue by a fleet of Tendring Community buses manned by volunteered drivers.

The event, was organised by Rotary and funded by the generosity of the local community. Over the last month the Club has been organising various fund raising events, the biggest being the Christmas Carol Concert at the Westcliff Theatre which raised over  £ 910.  Rotarians have been collecting money outside local supermarkets and on the street in the cold rainy  and windy weather to make sure the event was possible.

Support came from many directions including Paul and Lynn from Clacton Golf Club who not only supervised our amateur cooks but also cooked the turkeys in advance, the Rotary Club also thanked the East of England Co-op, the RNLI and Farm Foods Clacton for their generous help in providing gifts. Our thanks must also go to the Chairman of Tendring District Council Councillor Dan Land who found time in his very busy schedule to visit the event and help to serve the food, and meet our guests; it was very much appreciated by them.

A surprise item on the event was when the visitors were superbly entertained by Esther Killington a Scottish Piper who had them all remembering and singing along with her. Our final thanks must go to the School Caretakers and Staff at the Clacton County High School.

Eventually at the end of the day our guests hopefully fully fed and entertained made their way home clutching their “goody” bags.  

Anaphylaxis Campaign

Jo Evans gave a very interesting talk on the Anaphylaxis Campaign; supporting people at risk of severe allergies. It was a comprehensive presentation and their web site is at .

The main point of the presentation was to raise our awareness of what anaphylaxis is, why the organisation exists and what they do; and also what we can do as a Club to support their campaign.

Jo explained that it is a severe life threatening allergic reaction and can be fatal. Symptoms can develop suddenly, often within minutes of being exposed to an allergy trigger such as food, insect stings or certain drugs. People with anaphylaxis have to manage their condition and ideally carry life saving adrenaline in the form of an auto-injectors. She stressed the importance of explaining the severity and nature of the attack to the emergency services to ensure that it is categorised as critical, thus ensuring an immediate response.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign is the only UK based charity, solely supporting people at risk of severe allergic reactions. It receives no Government funding and relies entirely on donations.

The campaign aims to empower people with severe allergies to be more confidently in control of their lives.

She touched on the stigma some young people have with the condition and how it effects their confidence, wanting to join in but not wanting to share information about their health risks.

It was a first class presentation and many questions were raised from within the Club. It may well be a Charity that the Club wishes to look at more closely and support.

Christmas Collections

Christmas collections over a 9 day period at Asda, Morrisons & Sainsbury Supermarkets in Clacton, raised in excess of £1,500. Our thanks to the Supermarkets for allowing the Rotary Club to collect and to the general public for their generous donations. All of the money goes towards providing the Christmas Day Lunch for the elderly and lonely at Clacton High School on 25th December.

A Celebration of Christmas

The Celebration of Christmas at the West Cliff Theatre was a great success and very well supported by in excess of 500 Clactonians, raising in excess of £900 towards the Christmas Day meal for the elderly and disadvantaged in Clacton.

The Reverend Sharon Miles lead the service which was ably supported by the Tendering Brass Band, Conducted by David Roland, and Colchester Military Wives Choir, led by Sally Leung. All were literally outstanding and encouraged the audience to join in and sing along in a hearty fashion.

A short christmas story read by the duo, Lesley Grimwood and William Stevens, amused all, with the audience braking into spontaneous applause, something one doesn’t normally get after a Lesson reading!

Past President Clive Gowers and the Sports and Social team organised the event and most Club members supported it on the Day. A great success for the Club, bring Rotary into the public eye!

Also, a big thank you to the West Cliff Theatre and their staff for supporting the concert and allowing the Club to use Theatre at no cost, and to Saint James’ Church, for allowing the Club to use their hall after the event.


What a great event to celebrate the Clubs 91st Charter Night!

Our thanks to President Elect John Brett for organising such a splendid evening for the 85 members and guests that attended. All went to plan and I am sure all thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

President Steve welcomed all to the 90th plus one Charter Night of the Rotary Club of Clacton on Sea.

He especially welcomed the Rotarians from other Clubs whose attendance demonstrated the strong bonds in our Rotary family.

Christmas Celebration West Cliff Theatre, 8th Dec

An afternoon of carols and traditional songs,
for your enjoyment featuring.

Colchester Military Wives Choir & Tendring Brass Band. Service led by Rev Sharon Miles

SUNDAY  8th  DECEMBER 3pm (Doors open 2.15pm)


Under 16 must be accompanied

A collection to provide Christmas meals for the
local elderly and disadvantaged will be taken.

CHAPS Prostate Cancer Screening

UK’s prostate cancer mortality is far higher than any other western developed country. As a direct consequence, of our lack of awareness and lack of effective screening, over half of the new cases still present in the UK with advanced cancer. Thus men live shorter lives than women, and men in socially deprived areas, live shorter lives than the better off.

Aware of this, Clacton Rotary Club’s, Past President Dick Farrow coordinated, its third CHAPS prostrate cancer screening with Chris Booth, Clinical Director of CHAPS Men’s Health Charity. The Club raised £3,500 to fund the event and was supported by Masonic Lodges of Clacton and by Thompson Smith and Puxon Solicitors.

Past President Dick Farrow stated:

“The Men’s Health Day for Prostatic Cancer last Friday 25th October had been successful, attracting 99 men for testing. The results show: 6 – positive, 9 slightly abnormal and 34 showing benign (not cancer) changes. Chris Booth thought the day had been very successful and expressed his grateful thanks to the Club.

Dick also thanked his excellent team for their hard work: Mark & Tony for marketing and publicity, Brian H for the rota and hot drinks and Graham as Keeper of the Temple Keys – Indiana Jones eat your heart out!”

Roger Looker’s Induction

The induction of our latest new member Rotarian Roger Looker.

Roger was introduced by Past President Robert Gillespie, and is well known by most members, having lunched with us over the past 6 weeks. Past President Brian Naylor read the “Object of Rotary” and President Steve read through the Induction process, welcoming Roger into the Club. Rotarian Roger gave a brief informal introduction to his background thanking all for accepting him into the Club.

Paddy Bellis – Career Talk

Our speaker was Rotarian Paddy Bellis, the first of our Club Members to give a life experience talk, and what a talk it was, keeping us all thoroughly entertained throughout.

Her early days were in Northern Ireland during their troubled times, and as a young child she has vivid memories of those experiences. Her father was a photographer for the local and national papers accredited with the iconic pictures of the scenes on “Bloody Sunday”.

Paddy left Norther Island at a relatively young age when her mother remarried and moved to

St Osyth’s. She went to School in Clacton and is well known by many of our Club members due to her friendships with their children, who are of a similar age!

Although a relatively good academic she left school at the first opportunity with minimal qualifications and worked locally in Clacton at the “Labour Exchange/Job Centre” in Station Road – a “job for life”.

However, she cut her ties with the Department of Work and Pensions and went to University to gain a degree and then onto post graduate education for a fitness and training qualifications.

She has worked for a variety of charitable organisations including Weston Spirit. This was set up by Simon Weston CBE, a Falklands veteran who suffered sever burns. She left some 6 months before, the charity suffered from financial difficulties, in 2008, and had to be shut down.

She is now a Registered Yoga teacher and Personal Fitness Trainer and enjoys teaching yoga, meditation, wellness and health and fitness. Her youngest client was 12 yrs old and eldest was some 98 yrs old (now 101 and still going strong, so it clearly works).

For those interested in yoga classes she teaches Monday mornings at St Osyth Village Hall and Wednesday evenings at Dumont Hall – Beginners and Intermediates. Paddy is also a qualified Children’s Fitness Instructor and has DBS and First Aid certificates.

Paddy has had many life experiences that she touched on during her presentation, but all centred around the great work she does in supporting charitable organisations. She explained that she sees Rotary as the next stage in that, and has recently been involved with supporting fund raising for St Jude’s in Arusha, Tanzania, a project she is passionate about.

PP Nick Lee gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the Club and was particularly interested her early experience at the Labour Exchange with forged Checks – something that in his role as Treasurer might be worth investigating!

SAILSHIP – Training & Learning for Life

Rtn David Smith introduced Liz Barritt, the CEO and Trustee of the locally based active charity, SailShip;Training and Learning for Life (TLL). It supports adults 18+ and young people living with mental ill health, learning disability, or those who have additional needs, through wellbeing and emotional therapy, training and skills works and holistic learning for independence in life.

She explained that as a former teacher at Shorefields school in Clacton, she was frustrated by the lack of aftercare and opportunity for pupils when they had to leave aged 18, and so in 2014, with the help of a loan and the Rush Green Allotment Trust, obtained a piece of land and an old caravan as a base for her newly formed charity. The charity has been immensely successful, has obtained a far larger plot of land, and now employs 10 staff to guide and train attendees, who are involved in therapeutic gardening, commercial horticulture, kitchen and cottage crafts which are sold to boost funds.

Liz’s explained that whilst SailShip TLL has been successful in recruiting and remunerating 10 staff, its CEO’s post is remunerated through a Tudor Trust grant.

Yet another local charity doing amazing things, of which few of us were aware. Visit their web site

Captain Brian Henesy, chosen because of his maritime skills (oh Rotary!) was invited to give the vote of thanks. Fortunately he didn’t find himself too far out of his depth.

Liz clearly raised the interest of Club members. This recently founded local charity, no more than a par 5 away from where we were sitting in the Golf Club, is clearly worth visiting over the next 6 months.  After her excellent talk President Steve Grimwood presented her with a cheque for £250.

An excellent charity that other Clubs in District 1240 might wish to invite to speak and consider supporting.

Clacton Air Show Parking 2019

What an event!

An excellent turnout of rotarians, partners and friends supported the Clacton Airshow car parking over the three days. The weather was extremely kind and heatstroke was more of a threat that soggy feet. A good supply of water, tea, coffee and cakes kept our sugar levels up, sustaining members’ efforts throughout the day, which were outstanding.

The setting-up on Wednesday afternoon was completed in close to 3 hours, and after much discussion, including the movement of some of the signage on-the-day, we achieved a very workable layout. Clearly we would benefit from an agreed drawing of the layout etched in stone. Hopefully, one of our members will put pen to paper before the corporate memory fades.

The car park was full on both days by around 1300hrs. The plan to only use signage to direct cars onto the site worked extremely well and the three entrance points at the top of the drive ensured that there was very little queuing, if any, on West Road throughout the two days.

The final figure of takings is yet to be calculated but I am advised it is between £16k & £17k gross, evenly split between online bookings and money at the gate. A great success for charitable causes!

A very warm congratulations to Community Service Committee Chairman, PP Mark Penn and his Team for organising such a successful event; and to all club members, partners, friends and Clacton Jubilee members who helped on the days. A special mention to the Club’s Liaison Team of PP Ray Hansen and PP John Tingey who ensured that we were well supported by Tendring District Council and worked within the legal restraints.

Although signage was crystal clear, several cars remained on site after 1800hrs and 2 were still there when the gates were finally locked at 1830hrs. PP Mark received phones calls whilst eating his supper and returned to site after he finished his meal, only to find that they had vaporised, or escaped by alternative routes!

The Motley Crew

President Steve’s First Induction

President Steve inducted Kenneth and Justin Guilder into the Club after lunch on Thursday 11th July. His first induction, and the first father and son to join the Club on the same day!

They were warmly welcomed into the Club by all members and we all look forward to getting to know them better.

Presidential Handover

President Mark Penn officiated at his final meeting on 27th June and handed over the reigns of the Club to our 2019-20 President Steve Grimwood. He took the opportunity to thank Club Officers and members for their support throughout his presidential year.

We have been looking through the records and believe Steve is our first American President in 91 years. He will be the fifth president of the Clacton Club living in the parish of St. Osyth. He is also a member of both the Historical Club and the Horticultural Society in the village.

The 2019-2020 officers are, from left to right:

Hon Secretary Ray Hansen, Vice President Gerry Atkinson, President Steve Grimwood, President Elect John Brett and Treasurer Nick Lee.

Porridge and Pens

By way of introduction Gemma explained that after completing school, and before attending university, she had decided to take a gap year. She wanted it to be adventurous and chose to teach english to school children in a small free school in Ghana. It was to be her first venture away from Brightlingsea, a small village on the east coast of Essex, and it turned out to not only be adventurous, but a life changing experience.

She was hosted by a relatively prosperous local family who she lived with and saw the difficult conditions that the poor local children and families live within. Befriending the family’s young live-in maid she thought she could make a difference and certainly did and has.

Gemma explained that Porridge and Pens works with some of the poorest children in Kumasi, which lies in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, by providing ongoing grants and support to schools, orphanages, families and individuals in the region.

“She said that we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential by having food to eat and a place to learn.”

Porridge and Pens makes measurable differences to over 200 young lives every day through a Fruit Feeding drop, Girl Power grants and the Brightlingsea Child Care Centre.

In 2014 Porridge and Pens joined forces with Ben Antwi, a passionate and dedicated Graphic Arts Teacher and Exams Officer in Kumasi. Ben’s family have always worked in education and they are passionate about supporting development in the village where the Brightlingsea School stands today. Porridge and Pens worked with Ben to help him build a school in a rural and remote area of Kumasi, now known as the Brightlingsea Free School, pictured below.

The full story can be found at . Porridge and Pens © 2015 – 2019 UK Registered Charity No. 1166497.

The school has gone from strength to strength. Gemma Wilson has made a difference and should be very very proud of what she has achieved. Surely this should be the type of project that Rotary and our Club should be involved with.

On behalf of the Club, Past President Tony thanked Gemma for her outstanding presentation; an audience spell bound throughout her talk and clearly full of admiration as to how someone so young could achieve so much in such a relatively short time.

President Mark reminded all that next Thursday’s meeting would be International Night and that there would not be a lunch on that date. Dress smart casual 1830 for 1900 hrs at Clacton Golf Club.

Clacton Rotary Club Support Corbeau Seats Rally 2019

Clacton on Sea Rotary Club supported the second Tendring car rally which was a great success. Although the weather was not as brilliant this year as last, there were still thousands of people who turned out to watch at the spectator areas and at the service area on Clacton seafront. The Club thanks goes Penny Smith for allowing the Club to use her fields.

Supporting the Local Community

Les Nicoll delivered his 45 minute talk in half that time, never pausing to catch his breath or to search for words. What he had to say however was truly impressive. The impact that his organisational and fundraising skills have brought to the local community with the backing of the Fire Service are enormous, and to think that lacking any depth of knowledge of his achievements we were somewhat wary of supporting his request for funding last year! Thank goodness that we did, and for which he was extremely grateful.

To list just a few of those projects we can include raising funds for Christmas Hampers for the needy at Christmas, collecting clothes for those without, cutting fire deaths through fire alarm installations, homecare projects including those involving safeguarding, domestic violence, dementia and child protection; cooking with dementia courses at Clacton Fire Station supported by Tesco; walk and talk outings on Clacton seafront for dementia sufferers; ‘Speed Dating’ meetings to introduce personnel from the various community agencies to each other …. and much, much more. It was quite an eye opener.


Clacton Rotary Club lit up the Town Hall to celebrate the great work Rotary has done over the past 30 years and still continues to do to eradicate Polio.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has helped to reduced polio cases by more than 99.9 percent.

It’s crucial to eliminate polio from the last three countries where it remains endemic and to keep other countries polio-free.

If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, it is likely that polio could paralyse as many as 200,000 children each year.

Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal

IMG 0338

President Elect, Steve Grimwood, presenting a cheque to Sarah Millierick & Valerie Kruse, from Marie Curie for their Daffodil Appeal. They gave an interesting and detailed explanation of the work of their charity of which 33% is with non-cancer patients. It is a sobering thought that every 5 minutes in the UK somebody dies without having received care. The charity now runs 9 hospices and a careline. They are also consulted by government, which is just as well, as the original ‘grand plan’ for a revised National Health Service made no provisional at all for healthcare. Needless to say that omission has been addressed following consultation.