Rotarians look in crystal ball

Left to right: Robert Holland, with departing president Colin Baker and Don Soppitt

Not expecting so much an end of term report as an opportunity to look to the future, Assistant Governor Don Soppitt visited the Rye and Winchelsea Rotary Club (R & W) to find out what the members were planning for 2014/2015. During the meeting the chair of each club committee disclosed their plans and budgets for the coming Rotary Year, which always starts on July 1st worldwide.

With ambitious plans for international disaster relief, and engagement with and help for local charities and youth groups, the year ahead looks full of challenges.

The club is part of Rotary District 1120, which encompasses more than 80 groups throughout Kent, East Sussex and South East London. Don and a small team of liaison officers pass ideas and messages back and forth among the Rotary family.

Bernard Ries, R & W’s membership chairman, revealed his strategy for enlargement of club membership. Taking a more low key approach than some of his predecessors, Bernard is looking to attract club member applications rather than using outright recruitment methods.

Don congratulated the club on its achievements and also wished the club’s incoming president Robert Holland every success in the coming 12 months.

A past club president remarked “Although these occasions are enjoyable, when you are responsible for running the club you can’t help feeling you are under scrutiny at such times. During my time as president I had three visits from the Assistant Governor (AG) and worried that District felt I needed such close supervision. It then transpired that the AG was calling to pick up tips and ideas for onward transmission to other clubs.

“It seems that Rye and Winchelsea is an ideas tank, where we do things slightly unconventionally but always manage to punch above our weight and get results. Just as importantly we do it in style and have lots of fun in the process.”