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Heerlen Twinning

At the beginning of October, Shaftesbury Rotary Club welcomed their friends from Heerlen Rotary Club of the Netherlands.  It was the 21st anniversary of exchange visits, and a celebration of international fellowship and charity co-operation.

Our friends arrived on Friday night and spent the evening with their hosts.  On Saturday with perfect weather the hosts took their guests to The Newt and were joined by other members of Shaftesbury Rotary. In the evening a fish and chip van visited a member’s house, and we all had a traditional fish and chip supper. Some of the Heerlen guests and our President were interviewed for local radio.

On Sunday morning there was a visit to Messums in Tisbury and other individual activities in the afternoon. The visit and weekend, finished with a meal at Le Fleur de Lys in the evening with other members of Shaftesbury Rotary.  Another excellent weekend which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part.  

Monday 16th

We enviously listened to our fellow Rotarian Martin Sayers about talk another summer spent sailing aboard Taigh Na Mara, in the Baltic Sea visiting Denmark, West Sweden and, Norway returning to the UK via the Kiel canal in time to sell the yacht.  Lo and behold Martin and Sadie have already purchased another for next year’s voyage. Although on “leave of Absence” Martin still found time to make several broadcasts from the sea to a reception Class at Wardour Catholic Primary School for a joint project on Islands and landscapes.


Muriel and I attended the first multi-district conference held by Rotary South East, Rotary South and Rotary London.  There were approximately 750 delegates present.  We attended with 10 colleagues from my previous club in Hythe, Kent.

As well as keynote speeches from Rotary personnel, we also heard from ex-snooker pro Dennis Taylor, cricketer Geoff Miller and DJ/impressionist Mike Osman, who all praised the work of Rotary.  We attended two large social events and it was fascinating to hear how many projects we as an organisation support, from mental health through stroke support and sport to disability, and so much more.  Some of our more well-known projects, including disaster relief and the eradication of polio also came under the spotlight.

I spoke to several other Club Presidents, and found out more about how their clubs operate and are different to our own. The underlying theme was that we all ‘want to make a difference’, as well as to support our local and wider communities. I had attended a District Conference on one occasion in the past, but am pleased to report that I again found the experience motivational as well as good fun. 

Peter and Muriel with colleagues rom Hythe Rotary at the Gala Dinner on the last night
Peter and Muriel with colleagues from Hythe Rotary at the Gala Dinner on the last night

Monday 23rd

Our monthly business meeting to update the club on events and activities, past and forthcoming such as the Youth Speaks and Young Chef competitions. The second RotaKids club at Shaftesbury Primary school, Halloween Walk and December Bingo.

Halloween Walk

Our inaugural Halloween Walk brought out some amazing costumes, pumpkins and accessories. Alas the torrential rain and wind resulted in the walk being abandoned at the first station. Unperturbed by the weather, the event continued undercover with children’s entertainment and judging of the entrants. The gifts, treats and hot soup were all well received. A big thank you to all families who participated together with Shaftesbury Abbey Primary School Rota Kids, Shaftesbury Walking group, Rotarians, Partners, Family and Friends and all the helpers who made it a successful afternoon despite the weather. Thank you Genette for bringing this all together. The Individual winner was Sienna Talbot. The Family winners – Determann family. We look forward to seeing you all next year.

Monday 30th

Nearly 40 Rotarians, partners and honorary members gathered in the Assembly Room at The Grosvenor for a talk accompanied by old photographs of the town from the early 1900s, part of the Albert Edward Tyler collection.

The Grosvenor treated us to a wholesome curry buffet that was enjoyed by all those present.

The two presenters Anne Symons & Claire Ryley from the town’s museum then spoke knowledgeably about how the town has changed and identified landmarks that remain with us till today, as well as some that have disappeared.  It was interesting to note how much of this historic town remains till this day.   Nor surprisingly, that we have lost quite a few pubs!

We all found the talk enlightening, as well as interesting.


Mike Robinson.

It is with sadness that we record the passing in September of our Fellow retired Rotarian a lifelong resident of Shaftesbury and local business man . Mike will be remembered for the fun and pleasure he brought to the club during the many years he was a member. Our thoughts and condolence go out to Mary and their two sons and grandchildren.

Michael Elliot.

It is with sadness that we record the passing of our fellow retired Rotarian who was a local accountant in the town. Mike moved to the north of England some years ago to be near his family and we lost direct contact and we only heard of his passing in October. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family


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