May 9, 2019 by


1st – No Meeting

3rd – Shaftesbury Rotary Club Goes To The Races

On a chilly, blustery day a group of Shaftesbury Rotarians, partners and business partners, gathered at The Chasers Lounge at Wincanton Racecourse to wine, dine and make a fortune on the side.


Well, the first part went perfectly. The newly refurbished Chasers Lounge looks out over the finishing post and is a very pleasant venue. The 3 course meal was excellent, the company jovial,
and we were all enjoying free wine and banter when the betting started!!


Gary convinced us all that you don’t bring a horse all the way from Ireland for it to lose. Well it did and so did we! Then a number of us backed our friendly Irish tipster and he fell off half way round; and if you thought John Warner was miserable, wait until you see him out of pocket. There was a scary moment when Steve Uden put Judy’s stake on the wrong horse, but it came in at 8 to 1 so all was forgiven. Genette kept disappearing outside and coming back smiling with loads of winnings (we need to put her on fundraising) and Mike was keeping such a low profile I think he was hiding his winnings from Gill.


Most of us don’t know one end of a horse from the other, but Richard certainly made us appear VIPs when he arranged for us to judge the best turned out horse, and present prizes to the winning owners. As they say, “It’s not what you know”.


I think I speak for us all when I say we had a fantastic day out, and our thanks to Richard for organising a great event.


8th – Amakuru Trust Presentation

We welcomed Alan and his wife Katy who told us about the good work of the Amakuru Trust.
The objects of the charity are:


1.The prevention or relief of poverty or financial hardship in Rwanda by funding, or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare and humanitarian projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals or families to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.
2.The advancement of the education of the young people in Rwandan schools and skills centres by funding and assisting in the provision of facilities and resources (physical or human) to enable a more effective education
3.The provision of education in the UK on the issues that helped to bring about the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 as well as those issues facing developing countries in general
Since its inception in 2012, the Trust has successfully completed many projects in Rwanda. It was started with the view that it should be run by volunteers; the fact that no-one earns a salary means that all monies raised go to Rwanda.


Projects completed by the Trust include the following:


Electricity provision over a 1.9km line to a village with 225 households. So far 70 households, (many of them with widows living alone) and the community centre, have been linked to it.
Water collection installations in many schools consisting of water tanks and guttering to collect and store rainwater for washing and cleaning use.
– Provision of an electronic theodolite and concrete mixer for a vocational school which offers Construction qualifications and training alongside funded visits to Rwandan Parks for the Tourism students.
– The rehabilitation of over 100 ex-street children back into the community, (returned to original home with support, fostering or adoption). After being ‘rescued from the street’ they receive a framework of how to maintain a healthy and disease-free existence.
– The building of 7 classrooms and a toilet block in a nursery and primary school in a deprived area of Kigali. This school provides free places for vulnerable children and those families that have money, pay; a true community school.
– The provision of primary education, for 45 young children from vulnerable families, 37 of which are funded through UK sponsors; individuals, families and institutions.


In 2018, all children supported in their last year of primary school, gained government bursaries to prestigious boarding schools to continue their secondary education.


The Trusts next planned project involves the installation of a resource centre in a primary school in Rwamagana. It will ensure that vulnerable students, already supported by the Amakuru Trust through UK sponsors, and others, have access to a laptop and the internet. This will ensure that they develop research skills and IT skills which will undoubtedly help in the learning process.


In addition, the resource centre will be equipped with a range of reading books, which, with the acquisition of internet access, will improve literacy levels. During evening and after-school hours, the resource centre will be available for adult learning. There are many in the community who would benefit greatly from this resource; IT skills and literacy are necessary factors in obtaining work or the creation of a small business.


The Trust is planning to provide 20 reconditioned laptops, software, Wi-Fi enabling, books and an additional member of staff who is computer literate.


This is a project that Shaftesbury Rotary is considering supporting.

15th – AGM

This was our AGM. As a part of this our committee chairs looked back over our achievements in the last year. This included our work in the community of Shaftesbury and internationally. We also reviewed Gold Hill Fair; our cycle event; our cycle speedway project and our annual golf day.

We also heard from Tim Cooke, one of our members, who is taking part in a classic car rally in Spain in May. This is in aid of Macmillan Cancer.

Richard Shean, another member, reported on the race day which he had organised. This was very successful. As a special treat our members were invited to the main ring to judge the best presented horse. Hopefully this will become an annual event.

22nd – No Meeting (Bank Holiday)

29th – Partners Meeting

Rotary was delighted to welcome wives and partners to the Fluer de Lys for dinner and a interesting presentation. Martin Surrey from Freewheelers joined us, represented the Yeovil hospital freewheelers blood bike group. This band of volunteers are on call 24/7- 365 to transport medicine, blood and documents to other hospital at a moment’s notice. It must be said, a lot us did not know that freewheelers existed and the outstanding work they do.

AOB – Golf

STOP THE PRESS! The odds on a golfing hole in one has been calculated at 25,000 to 1. So, our President Guy Lowton was rightly proud of his achievement when on Friday the 26th of April at the West Wilts club in a competition, Guy holed in one on the 16th par 3 (130 yard elevated green drive). The Following day at Rushmore golf club Jane Lowton was not to be outdone by Guy’s boasting when in a trophy competition on the 4th par 3 green, Jane holed in 1 on a 125 yard drive over water. We gather that both events were held in gale force winds. Congratulations to both Guy and Jane, we expect their singing duet will be from the famous musical, Annie get your gun, “Anything you can do I can do better”, obviously with Jane taking the lead.

Pictured: President Guy and his wife Jane

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