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4th – Fascinating Aida at Salisbury Playhouse

All praise to our President Tim who arranged for Rotarians, wives and partners to dine at the Cote restaurant and then on to the Salisbury Playhouse. The show was “Fascinating Aida” and many of us had no idea of the shows content or the cast, just shows we need to get out more.

This production in different forms has been been around for 39 years and it would be foolish to explain the show, sufficient to say that it was presented with songs and stories all of which were hilarious, controversial and right up to date.

There was a well-deserved standing ovation at the end which was linked to an announcement that the producer would give all of the proceeds from the evenings show to the Ukrainian disaster relief fund.

If you are intrigued then check out or any of the social media sites which are full of praise and many videos.

14th – meeting

The evening started by welcoming the District Governor Paul Steele and his wife Michele, visiting from Guernsey who during his year of office tries to visit all 69 clubs. A presentation of £5,000.00 was made by Rotarian Paul Slimm to Ian Bell, representing The Prostate Cancer Charity.

This grant came from the 2021 North Dorset Cycle Ride and is the major fundraising event of the Rotary Year. The Club also joined with Shaftesbury Senior School to gift £2,000.00 to help relieve suffering in Ukraine.

Shaftesbury Rotary present cheque to Prostate Cancer UK
from proceeds of North Dorset Cycle Ride

A further presentation certificate was made to Tony Morgan by the District Governor as Tony has served the club for 50 years. He was also awarded a second Paul Harris citation for his commitment to creating the Rotary business partners scheme which is now the largest in the U.K. The club agreed to continue to fund the international “Shelter Box Charity” and our lead role in organising and funding with Gillingham and Sturminster Rotary Clubs, the “Kids Out” annual visit to Longleat.

This trip is exclusively for the less able children of Yewstock School and the newly opened Coombe House School (site of the old St Mary’s school). The evening concluded with James Thrift, the Shaftesbury representative for the well-known William Williams Charity. James told us of its history, founded in 1621 with a donation of £3,000.00 being the farm of William Williams. The annual income of £141.00 was used to educate young boys in the town and nearby area. The Charity now owns a considerable amount of mostly commercial property and generates an annual income in the range of £300,000.00 to £400,000.00.

Donations are given to the following three groups: benefits in kind to people in need, for example carpets and white goods. The Charity does not provide money for repairs or rent; grants to organisations; and educational grants to individuals. These are dependent on the individual’s financial circumstances and are normally for 3 years of further education or an apprenticeship. Money can only be given to persons in the SP7 and SP8 post codes, in other words the three towns of Shaftesbury, Sturminster and Blandford. There are two Trustees from each town. Our local trustees are James Thrift and Alex Chase. There are also non-geographic Trustees. Small grants can be made rapidly at the discretion of the local Trustee while larger requests are taken to a full Trustees charity meeting. William Williams charity is always happy to work with rotary. President-elect David Britton gave the vote of thanks.

District Governor Paul Steele presents Tony Morgan of Shaftesbury Rotary Club with an award recognizing 50 years of service to the local community

28th – Meeting at the Royal Chase Hotel, Shaftesbury

We met for our monthly business meeting. Numbers were smaller than usual probably due to Covid but there was a very pleasant relaxed atmosphere. We learned that we have given away £19,123.58 to a variety of good causes in the last year – and we had fun doing it!
We continued discussions on our forthcoming events and have started to make plans for Rotakids, which seeks to involve young children of First School age in community work.
In a few days time we have a social tapas evening and we have begun to discuss arrangements for our 60th anniversary next year.

Following this meeting, we received this lovely message of thanks from our guest speaker, Paul Filler:

“May I please say thank you to the President and attendee’s for making me most welcome as a guest at last nights meeting. I look forward to meeting more of you in two weeks time and I will of course remember my pound coins!
Very best regards,

Ukraine Press Release

At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the devastating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there. Continued military action against Ukraine will not only devastate the region, but also risk spreading tragic consequences across Europe and the world.

As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organisations, we have made peace the cornerstone of our global mission. Following a meeting on the 28th February with Rotary International General Secretary, John Hewko, which included more than 40 Rotarian leaders from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, plans have been put in place for Rotary to respond and support the horrific and ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

On a global level, a central disaster response fund is being launched, which will be coordinated through The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees. Our efforts will principally focus on refugees escaping the war.

There are many existing infrastructures that we can work through to reach those most in need, including the Rotary Action Group for Refugees and Intercountry Committees.

Collaboration has also begun with ShelterBox, our global partner in disaster response, and they are in direct contact with Rotarians in Eastern Europe. As well as ShelterBox, Rotary is also in contact with other emergency response organisations including Red Cross and the United Nations to ensure our efforts are complementary and coordinated. In Great Britain and Ireland, we have established an operational taskforce, which will be led by Allan Smith, Rotary GB&I Humanitarian Disaster Response Lead. This will give Rotarians, who are always so quick to respond with support in situations such as this, a central point of contact and assistance through their District International Team.

In addition, we have our own Rotary GB&I Disaster Recovery Trust, which can also act as a vehicle for channelling donations that can be used for the recovery phase of this crisis. An appeal will be established in due course.

Rotary International will be communicating directly with all members around the world and will advise Rotarians on how they can provide humanitarian relief via My Rotary.

Our thoughts are very much with the people of Ukraine, and our fellow Rotary members. Rotary will do everything in its power to bring aid, support and peace to the region.

Shaftesbury Rotary Club has immediately responded to the call with a donation of £2000 to Rotary GB&I Humanitarian Disaster Fund. If you would like to contribute as well, then please contact us at

Our website, which has received some 60,000 viewings, will give you an insight into what we do. We are very proud of our Mission Statement “At the Heart of the Community”.


September 30, 2024
“I am a member of Shaftesbury Rotary for fun and friendship while at the same time feeling I am doing something worthwhile for our community.”
Rotary Member
“My family business moved from London to Shaftesbury and Rotary was the ideal connection to enable my wife and me to become part of the community.”
Rotary Member
“I did like the openness of how Rotary works, nothing secretive, and the information was clear and positive with no hidden surprises.”
Rotary Member
“The rotary club provides a unique and fun way to do good for your local community and also raises money for major charities.”
Rotary Member
“I particularly warmed to the understanding that Rotarians recognised the priority of family, business and then Rotary in that order”
Rotary Member
“This was a unique opportunity in a small town to join a worldwide club and enjoy the company of Rotarians from so many different backgrounds”
Rotary Member
New Phillip