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!