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Friday September 9th to Monday September 12th

Rotary is an international organisation and our club in Shaftesbury has been twinned with Heerlen Rotary in the Netherlands for over twenty years. On alternate years one club is visited by the other, but there has been a hiatus since 2019 due to Covid. It is a wonderful chance to gain the sort of insight into another country that can only be experienced when being hosted in someone’s home. It is also a chance for us to learn what other clubs are doing, and while this is valuable within the UK, it is especially so in a different country.

This year it was our turn to visit our Dutch friends where we have developed many lasting friendships. Usually we have travelled by Eurostar but this time we flew from Stansted to Maastricht where we were met by our Dutch friends and taken to our hosts’ homes for an evening with them.

Saturday morning we all met in the nearby town of Meerssen where we were given a guided tour by one of our hosts. We were shown the Cathedral, the nearby Park and the Synagogue.

We then went to Glo’art where we enjoyed a guided tour partly before, and partly after lunch, as there is a huge amount to see. Glo’art is in Belgium, but in this area one crosses the border frequently without even noticing. It is set in a large garden and hosts artists in residence from all over Europe. Our guided tour gave us insights into the meaning and significance of the art that we would never have gained on our own. In the evening we all met for a meal in a golf club.

On the Sunday we visited Hoensbroek Castle in the morning and then after lunch enjoyed a tour of the centre of Heerlen. We were privileged to be guided on this by the architect of the major, city centre and railway station reconstruction. Again we could never have gained such a special insight if we had not had our Dutch colleagues to arrange this for us.

Only a few years ago this area was apparently the haunt of drug dealers and addicts, but it has been redeveloped in an attractive manner, echoing the town’s Roman history and most importantly this has been done in an attractive manner and on a human scale. Every effort has been made to use traditional materials. It is certainly an impressive development with no care or expense spared, although it was interesting to hear our hosts giving us a slightly different personal perspective as compared with the official version!

In the evening we were then treated to a meal in a restaurant with some entertainment courtesy of one of our members.

Sadly the following morning it was time to rise early, travel to Maastricht airport and say a heartfelt “thank you” before bidding farewell to our hosts.

‘RotaKids’ Launched

At an assembly for the whole school at Abbey Church of England VA Primary School on 12th September, pupil members of the School Council fully explained how a RotaKids Club operates. It has been agreed that the school will launch its RotaKids Club, the first one to be run locally in partnership with Shaftesbury Rotary Club, in just a few weeks’ time.

Rotarians Peter Sale and Tim Cook were also present at the assembly. They will visit the school on a regular basis to support the new RotaKids Club.

It is hoped that the school will run several community projects during the coming year, including supporting existing Rotary projects such as the Gold Hill Fair and the North Dorset Cycle Ride.

Pupils showed real interest in what was being offered, and we now await their applications to join the Club. It is hoped to have approximately 15 club members in the first year.

RotaKids is a fun and exciting way for young people aged 7-12 to make friends and get involved with important activities in the community, all while having a great time in the process.

RotaKids clubs are based in schools, youth groups or community centres and with the help and support from teachers, youth leaders and the local Rotary Club, young people can gain a valuable experience in helping others and learning interesting new things.

Golf Day 2022

Shaftesbury Rotary Club, led by Richard Shean and Guy Lowton delivered yet another hugely successful Golf Day at Rushmore Golf Course. It was the 20th Shaftesbury Rotary Day. It was a glorious sunny day supported by 25 local teams.

Yet again the 14th Par 3 proved a problem to golfers reaching the green in the double your money! Again the ‘hole in one’ prize stayed where it was.

A total over £3500 was raised, through entry fees, generous sponsors, double-your-money 14th hole and a very extensive raffle. All profits will benefit local charities during what will be a hard year for many families.

Thank you to Richard and Guy as always and to the Ladies, Dawn and Sonia, who used their charming skills in selling raffle tickets which alone raised over £750.
We would also like to thank The Wessex Group, the main sponsors for the day, together with Andrew Palmer Accountants, Ben Johnson Garden Machinery, BV Dairy, Cullingfords Carpets, EC Electricals Ltd, Farnfields Solicitors, FJ Chalke, G Stevens Electrical, Gartell and Sons, Harris and Sons Ltd,Harris and Sons Ltd, Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services, Littledown Products Ltd. Melbury Greenstone Ltd, Onwards and Upwards Scaffolding, Rutters Solicitors, Simon Burt Plumbing, Signrite Signs, The Retreat B&B, Travis Perkins Builders Merchants, Vale Plastering Ltd, Vital Task Ltd, Wincombe MOT & Repair Centre and Wooley and Wallis.

If you are interested in joining Rotary, then please contact us through the website

26th – Business Meeting

We discussed our forthcoming social and recruitment event which takes place at Breezy Ridge. Next month we will also have a quiz.

Plans for Rotakids are well advanced. This is Rotary for children of primary school age involving them in community projects.

We also need to find more fundraising events to hold as raising money in the current economic climate, is both more challenging and yet all the more important.

To this end we have now started to plan a pre-Christmas fundraising Bingo session.

Mike Foote – In Memoriam

On the first of September a memorial service was held for Mike Foote in Fontmell Magna Church and attended by a large congregation with many Rotarians. Mike had passed away on the 10th of August and had been a Rotarian for nearly 20 years, during which he was our President during 2007/2008. We remember Mike for his willingness to play his part in all of our activities and particularly great memories of his President’s night on the “Dorset Queen” trip boat out of Poole harbour. Mike was always good fun and enjoyed his Rotary. Our sincere condolences to Jean and Family.


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May 19, 2024
Easter Fun Run, Park Walk, Sunday 7th April 2024
April 7, 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.”
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“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.”
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“The rotary club provides a unique and fun way to do good for your local community and also raises money for major charities.”
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“I particularly warmed to the understanding that Rotarians recognised the priority of family, business and then Rotary in that order”
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“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”
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