Aug 3, 2020 by


5th – Gold Hill Fair Cancelled

For the first time in over 30 years Rotary had to cancel the famous Gold Hill Fair due to the Corona virus pandemic. This is the largest local event with normally over 10,000 attendees which brings the community together to have a traditional fun day with stalls, food and entertainment giving Rotary and many other organisations the opportunity to raise funds, to be reminded in some more detail click here to follow the 2019 event.


13th – Zoom Meeting

We met on-line by Zoom as usual and discussed some business matters. We have made a donation to STARs which supports victims of violent partners. Sadly, post Covid this is more common and so is very relevant to our current focus on supporting local Covid related need. Two of our members will also meet with the Town Council business manager to discuss what we can offer to the local community.
We made plans for what we hope will be our first face to face meetings – distanced and in the open air of course. We hope these will be a Boules game and an open-air theatre visit.
We then did our 120 club draw – proceeds from this go towards Rotary Foundation which is Rotary’s own charity.
The evening ended with conversation and telling jokes.

27th – Zoom Meeting

President Steve told members about the largest ever Global Grant of $1.125 million for Mercy ships. We took part in this.
Tim Cook’s proposal of a Covid Certificate of appreciation has aroused a lot of interest at District level.
We held the draw for our “120 Club”.
We discussed the practical arrangements for a Boules evening at the end of August. This will be our first face to face meeting since Covid.
We then had a General Knowledge quiz.
The meeting concluded with some jokes from our President Steve.


8th – 50 years of Geoffry

When Rotarians arrived at La Fluer De lys for the evening meeting a very pleasant surprise awaited, the drinks were with the compliments of Rotarian Geoffrey Hughes. In the absence of our President we decided to break with tradition and ask Geoffrey to chair the meeting (Geoff was President in 1974/75) in addition to being our guest speaker and what a fascinating trip down memory lane. 50 years as a Rotarian in the Shaftesbury Rotary Club and being mindful that the club is only 56years old , that is quite an achievement and unlikely to ever be repeated.

Pictured: Geoffrey (centre front) and fellow Rotarians

Geoffrey could of recalled his memories and active involvement in the club over several hours but confined himself to the periods that many of our newer members were unaware of, the famous event of the fork suppers when the club entertained some 150 guests with the 3 courses cooked by Rotarians wives and partners in three separate sittings at the old secondary modern school and this was followed by Rotarian entertainment. Huge decoration was involved and the club were fortunate to have several artistic members including the well- known artist, Ron Homes. Geoff also told members of the early days of Gold fair When Rotary Took over from the Rotoract club. The event at its peak provided a big stage with local bands and individuals providing a weekend of great music, this was supported with a large beer marque manned by Shaftesbury and Sturminster Rotarians and a food tent selling burgers and hot dogs cooked and served mainly by Rotary wives and Partners One calculation totalled the attendance over the week end at some 10,000 people.

Pictured: President Win and Geoffrey

Geffrey also recalled the difficult days when membership dropped due to the decision to change from lunch time meetings to evenings causing 5 resignations and some members now long gone who objected to the introduction of female members despite the Shaftesbury club responding positively to that opportunity. Many questions followed with some amazement of those busy active days, I think Geoff ran out of puff but managed to call for the final Rotary toast “Rotary and peace the world over”.

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