Jul 6, 2017 by


4th June


Presidents night, or in this case afternoon, Sheena — my wife, had the idea of lunch & tea, (we have done black tie in the past) the venue, Larmer Tree Gardens, the best kept secret in Dorset.

Fifty two Rotarians, partners, and friends joined us, including our District Governor Chris Slowcock and his wife, Yayu, Assistant DG, Debbie Dunford, Presidents from Hamstead Rotarty, Kensington & Chelsea Rotary and Blandford Stour Rotary clubs, plus a number of Gillingham Rotarians. I would like to think it was a great afternoon, even the weather was kind to us, the afternoon started with drinks on the patio, lunch was planned for 12-45pm and it started to rain and 12-40pm!! Lunch served, a few speeches and things to mention, then time to wander and look at the beautiful  gardens, a few games on the lawn then time for afternoon tea of cakes and scones with cream and jam — can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Please visit our gallery for a selection of photos

Bernard Skam, President Shaftesbury Rotary 2016-2017

5th June


7th June

Kids Out

“Kids Out” is one of the bests events in the club calendar. Each year we take up to 50 children with learning difficulties from Yewstock School (near Sturminster Newton) to Longleat for the day, where we provide transport, food and drink at no cost to the School.

Please Click Here to view a letter from the Head Teacher of Yewstock School following this year’s excursion.

12th  June

A Quintessential Gentleman

Peter Brown. 1931 – 2017

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Peter Brown, who’s funeral was held at St. Peter’s Church on the 12th June.

Peter came to Shaftesbury in January 2012 from Jordans village in Chalfont St. Giles where he was a founding member of the Rotary club and President in 1984/5. With his wife Beryl he quickly settled into the local community and joined our Rotary club.

His ability and commitment was soon apparent when he chaired the International and Foundation committee and made a great success of the shoe box scheme (sending gifts to deprived children abroad). Peter also took on the office of public relations where he was very effective in keeping the club in the public eye. He will be sorely missed.


Partnering with Shaftesbury school.

We were joined at our regular meeting by Steve Crossley Head of Boarding at Shaftesbury School. He is our link with the school and he attended with Yousef Davis and Jenny Moon the Head Boy and Head Girl.

They told us about their recent impressive Ofsted report. We then talked about how we can work more closely with the school and also ensure that any support that we offer is what the school and its pupils really need and not just what we think they would might want.

On the basis of this discussion, we now look forward next year to being involved in mock interviews for the pupils, and also some of the range of youth programmes that Rotary offers, such as “Young Chef” and “Youth Speaks”.

We also discussed our plans for RYLA next school year. This is a Rotary scheme offering potential young leaders, a residential weekend of personal development activities. Hopefully two such places will be funded by us and two by the school.

19th June

Club assembly – President’s speech

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the officers of the club & committee chairs who will be supporting me this year. David Wynn-Mackenzie, Club Secretary & Win Harvey, Club Treasurer – two of the hardest, most important jobs and the club could not function without them.

Sadly we have just lost our International Chair – Peter Brown – (a great loss to the club –  and some very big shoes to fill) It was good to see so many club members at his memorial service last week. Peter’s daughters Sue and Caroline have asked that instead of refunding Peter’s subscriptions, they be donated to Rotary charity. More about International later

Paul  Whiteman, Community & Vocational. Berenice Deakin, Gold Hill Fair. Richard Shean, Golf Day. Paul Slimm, North Dorset Cycle Ride. Of course, all these events don’t happen without the support of all club members.

Also thanks to Geoffrey Hughes, Almoner & Attendance Officer, for his special attention to detail – not much gets pass Geoffrey. Tony Morgan, for the tremendous amount of work with our business partners & now the cycle speedway track project. John Warner, for filling our social diaries & last but not least Mike Farrow for organising the twinning.

As in previous years I am looking to give each committee a budget to spend, this has worked well in the past, enabling committees to decide which charities they want to support and bring their ideas to Club Council.

Click Here to continue reading….


Community and Vocational Committee Plans for 2017/2018

Our aim this year is to carry out more of the same good work that we achieved last year.

We will continue with our major fund-raising events:

  • Gold Hill Fair in July
  • Golf Day in September
  • North Dorset Cycle Ride – although last year was only our second year, we attracted 220 riders. This is set to grow and could soon become our major fund raiser

We will continue to organise or support several key community events:

  • Kids Out in June – enables a coach with up to 50 children with profound learning difficulties, from Yewstock School, with 25 helpers to visit Longleat free of charge
  • Senior Citizens Mystery Tour – organised for up to 40 older members of our community who would benefit from such a trip
  • Support for Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival
  • Christmas Late Night shopping

We will also continue our efforts to support the younger generation in Shaftesbury as follows:

  • Continue to support Shaftesbury Youth Club in their good work
  • Work with Shaftesbury School to help students grow with involvement in Rotary Young Leaders, mock job interviews, discussions with students about real life professions and vocations, student involvement in our fund-raising events etc.
  • Ongoing support for the Dorset Deaf Children Society
  • Supporting Mosaic – a charity supporting bereaved children in Dorset

On a larger scale, we are keen to facilitate the construction of a Cycle Speedway Track in Shaftesbury which would hugely benefit the ever-growing young population in town. This is a major project involving Shaftesbury Town Council and North Dorset District Council to secure the land and funding.

We will continue to encourage our very successful links with business partners in the area and support local events as they arise, both community based and individual needs.


International and Foundation Committee Plans for 2017/18

Sadly with the passing of Peter Brown, the President and committee are canvasing for a new chairperson to take responsibility, however in the short term the club will extend the previous year’s plans.

26th June

This was the night of our President’s handover – welcome President Trish Lever! We also discussed last minute preparations for Gold Hill Fair this coming weekend.


No speaker was planned for the evening but we had the unexpected pleasure of meeting a Rotarian from India. He was a guest at the “Fleur de Lys” restaurant. Ramesh Somavani is a member of the Rotary Club of Bombay Peninsula. We exchanged Club greetings and Ramesh told us a little about his club and the work they are doing.

One of the benefits of Rotary is its international links. We are all welcome when travelling to make arrangements with a local club to attend their meeting.

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