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 www.anaphylaxis.org.uk .

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.

91st CHARTER NIGHT

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)

FREE ENTRY

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 www.sailship.org.uk

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 https://porridgeandpens.org . 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.

Purple4Polio

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.

Rotary Supporting PhysioNet

For the past two years and in coordination with Saffron Walden Rotary Club, Clacton’s International Service has supported the Yorkshire-based charity, PhysioNet, by collecting unwanted mobility and physiotherapy equipment for distribution to developing countries. After delivery to PhysioNet’s Yorkshire depot, the equipment is checked and where necessary refurbished.

The third lorry load of equipment from Clacton was collected in January 2019 for onward transmission to PhysioNet.

A container load is already on its way to the Rotary Club of Northcliffe in Johannesburg, which supports a wheelchair repair shop providing local employment. Demand in South Africa for mobility aids is enormous and a second 40ft container will be sent to Northcliff shortly from PhysioNet’s Yorkshire base.

Chairman of Clacton’s International Committee, Brian Henesy, said: “He was proud of the work by his fellow Rotarians and thanked Garry Wood the Area manager for Violia and the Rush Green staff who sort out mobility aids for us”.

In June PhysioNet was awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017. The award was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark her Golden Jubilee, to recognise excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.

Physionet

St Helena Hospice

Toni Night explained that St Helena help local people face incurable illness and bereavement, supporting them and their families, friends and carers. She went on to say:

“We also support children and adults who are facing bereavement. We reach out to members of our community, helping them make their own choices and live with dignity. By focusing on their physical, emotional and spiritual needs, we aim to bring comfort and relief to all those who need it, offering the people of North Essex individual care and total support, regardless of their diagnosis or personal circumstances.

We rely heavily on the help and generosity of our fundraisers, donors and volunteers. Without them we wouldn’t be here.

We all share a common goal: to be there every step of the way for everyone who needs us, helping life to go on in the face of dying, death and bereavement.”

Following questions about the recent article in the local news, Ian Dawson explained that the planned closure of the Tendring Centre does not mean the closure of services – all services currently run at the Centre will continue at an alternative location in the local area.

Drinks with President Mark

Drinks with the President, was again kindly hosted by Past President William and Pam Stevens in their delightful home. The sports and social committee ably led by Past President Clive had organised the magnificent event, and a special thanks has to go to all the wives who did so much work in preparing the delicious spread, setting it out on the day and then clearing and washing up afterwards. A special mention should also be made of the scrumptious deserts that had been prepared and it should be mentioned that a number of Rotarians were seen returning to the table more than once despite the calorie count warning!

President Mark, resplendent in his cheery tan, from his recent hols in the sun, addressed the gathering and thanked all Rotarians and their partners for their support over his first 6-months in office. He spoke of the first-rate work all had achieved over the summer period, including car parking duties and more recently with the Carol Concert, the Santa Grotto, the numerous street collections and the Christmas day meal served to some 200 elderly locals and helpers. He mentioned that it was not only Rotarians who were involved in these events but we had received a good deal of support from local organisations and individuals.  To mention a few it included:

The West Cliff Theatre management and all staff who helped host the Christmas Carol Concert, raising over a £1,000 and to St James’ Church, who allowed the use of there excellent hall for the performers to change in and for the celebrations afterwards, both a no cost!

The Principal and staff of the CCHS for their help and support together with Pinnacle for the use of the kitchen and dining room and all the Caretaking staff that contributed so much to making the day a great success.

The staff and children of Engines Primary School that raised over £450.

President Mark finished by presenting bouquets of flowers to our host Pam Stevens and the main power behind the organisers of the event Margarett Gowers and Pam Norris. All receiving well deserved rapturous support from the throng.

Christmas Day Lunch

On Christmas Day, the Rotary Club of Clacton-on-Sea was able to serve Christmas lunch and entertain over 160 local elderly and lonely folk at the Clacton County High School. Some 50 Rotary members, their partners and other local supporters gave up their Christmas Day to assist in welcoming the guests, preparing, cooking and serving a traditional Christmas lunch and assuring that they were well looked after throughout the event.  Most of the guests were transported to the venue by a fleet of Tendring Community buses manned by volunteer drivers.

Without the support of all the helpers the function would not have been possible.

The event was organised by the Rotary Club and funded by the generosity of the local community. Over the past 4 weeks the Rotary Club has been organizing local events to raise funds, the biggest of which was the Christmas Carol Concert at the Clacton Theatre, raising over £1,000 on the day. You may also have seen Rotarians collecting money outside of cold, wet and windy local supper markets and on the high street to make the event possible. Support came from many directions, including the catering staff of Clacton’s Golf Club, cooking the turkey breasts in advance and provision of the christmas cakes beautifully decorated by Tendring Creative Sugarcraft of Holland-on-Sea.

Engines Primary School also made a very generous donation of £450.24, raising the money from collections after their Christmas performance. A big thank you to their Head, Jackie Irwin and their Finace Assistant, Debbie Cole, and of course to the pupils of the school who were the stars of the show.

Past President Kevin Harkin planned and coordinated the whole event and said …. “it was a great example of Rotary acting as a catalyst to draw together organisations and businesses in the town and in doing so giving joy to some less fortunate people”.  His very busy and stressful day was well rewarded by the smiles and congratulations from all the guests.

Our main thanks must go to the Principal and staff of the CCHS for their help and support together with Pinnacle for the use of the kitchen and dining room and all the Caretaking staff that contributed so much to make the day a great success.

And finally, a big thank to Councillor Mark Platt, Chair of Tendering Council for finding time in his busy schedule to visit the event; it was much appreciated by all.

 

 

Christmas Collections

With a target of £3,000 Christmas Collections started at the end of September and along with Santa’s Grotto were completed on 23rd December.

Engaines School Donation Helps Christmas Day Meals

President Mark Penn with Debra Cole of Engaines Primary School and a selection of pupils who helped raise over £450.

President Mark Penn with Debra Cole of Engaines Primary School and a selection of pupils who helped raise over £450.

The pupils of Engaines Primary School and Nursery have raised over £450 from their Christmas performances this year. The money was handed over to President Mark Penn by Debra Cole of Engaines.

The money will go towards feeding up to 200 people who are either disadvantaged or isolated during the Christmas period. This will take place at Clacton County High School on Christmas Day, where the Rotary Club of Clacton on Sea will serve them dinner, entertain them, and give them a goody bag to take home with them.

President Mark Penn said this was an amazing achievement by the school, and thanked everybody involved, including the teachers who organised the performances, the pupils who took part, and the parents who donated the money. Rotary Club of Clacton on Sea would like to wish all involved a Very Merry Christmas!