President's Blog - Maidstone Riverside Rotary

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Steve, President 2021-22

Welcome to my blog  

2nd November 2021

This year continues at pace, members and volunteers continue with the Blackthorn Trust Innoculations with the Booster Jabs and continue to welcome people and make them feel comfortable before their jab.  Two days crocus corms planting have happened with one more to go and it has enabled members to converse with the public with the Rotary role in ending Polio, and why Crocus Corms are purple. 

A number of members enjoyed the District Conference in Eastbourne over the other weekend with Good Speakers, and a great night in Rosetto's  it was so good Harry has already booked up for Next Year on the Friday of Conference 21st October 2022. Well done Harry in organising the Hotel and the meal this year. A very successful "Bikes for Africa" event was held in Maidstone Market on 16th October collecting 122 bikes, with more promised for future events. Some of our volunteers enjoyed a concert at the Mote Leisure Centre as a thank you to volunteers organised by Ken Scott, Chair of the Maidstone Arts Partnership.  It was good to hear that Invicta School are planning to fill over 250 Shoeboxes for Love in a Box the project we also support. As we enter the Christmas period we hope that the three Maidstone clubs will work together over the period to cover collections, car parking and provide joy over the Christmas as we continue to raise the profile of Rotary in Maidstone. 

September 21st 2021

Last Monday the Presidents, Vice Presidents and Secretaries of the three Maidstone Clubs had a very productive meeting on how we may work together as Rotary in Maidstone, the next meeting 15th November 2021 at the Fox and Goose Weavering.  Although numbers have been low at recent meetings, it is good to see people having vital holidays as we start to take tentative steps out of covid restrictions. 

We had articles in the District 1st Magazine, and articles have been entered for the 2nd Edition on some of the Clubs activities, please take the opportunity to share the District Magazine with prospective members, also have a look and let me have your opinions ready for the discussion about its future at the District Council Meeting on 23rd September. Members have been helping at The World Custard Pie Championships attended by many hundreds of people it was good to see a team from Young Lives Foundation, and their Bacon Butty Supporters with teams in the championships. 

August 31st 2021

Today we think of the life of Geoff Wood, who passed away last Thursday morning who gave so much to the club and his support for Interact at Invicta and Maidstone Boys Grammar was unwavering as they developed the Burns Night and attended RYLA weekends. We think of Audrey at this diffcult time. 

Members had a good meeting at the Cornwallis Suite when the five Charities that we had supported with The Great Home Run  attended and spoke about their Projects. 

It was a great night for the Celebration Curry Night at Mughi Dynasty  with representatives from 5 other Rotary cCubs well done to Nic, Clive and Mitu for making it happen and raising more money for Shelterbox. 

Well done to the team helping car parking at Demelza House Bubble Run last Sturday apparently 4,000 people attended. 

Looking forward to helping at the World Custard Pie Fight on Saturday  and the Alzeimers UK Maidstone Memory walk on the 12th September 

Keep up the good work 

August 10th 2021

In my AG role I have had the privilege to attend the Assemblies of Dawn Patrol, Maidstone, Ashford, Malling  and Weald of Kent Rotary Clubs it is really great to see what Rotary Clubs are involved in and what a difference Rotary Makes in the world as well as locally. Rotary can make a difference to each and every member if they look at what opportunities are out in the world, you can travel anywhere in the world just about and meet Rotarians and attend meetings the latest country to have Rotary Clubs is Vietnam. Their are Rotary Fellowships covering virtually every interest you can thing of that reach across the world to unite Rotarians. To find out more Rotary is bigger, and better the more you get involved, there is nothing to stop members visiting other local clubs to enjoy fellowship with them. Use MY ROTARY to find out more, if you have not signed in to get a MY ROTARY Account take the opportunity to grasp the nettle. and have Fun 

July 27th 2021

As we come to the end of the first month I want to thank Peter and the team for the excellent celebration evening last Friday attended and enjoyed by 45 members friends and family, it was great to get back together and enjoy company thanks to Sam for the Disco and thanks to Sharon and her team for the excellent meal.  This week we have the Canoeing with Crossroads Young Carers and Maidstone Canoe Club, next week we have the Kingfisher Trips for Blackthorn Trust, Crossroads Yong Carers and Space to be Me, followed quickly by the support for Young Lives Foundation sponsored walk from the Hilton Hotel, thanks all who have volunteered for these events. Today is Terry Sheads Birthday we wish him well and Sunday see's  Ron Goodmans Birthday who we also wish well.


July 5th 2021

This is my first blog of the new Rotary Year.  The year started well with a great handover in Paul and Sharon's Garden and the club is very grateful for the opportunity to meet up. I wish all members well for the coming year, where we will continue to make a difference in Maidstone in working with the other two clubs in Maidstone. I hope all the committees meeting this week will think positively as we move towards some form of opening up after a very difficult 18 months. Colin has done well with getting the grant for the Hi Viz jackets and the design representing Rotary in Maidstone is a real step forward. Happy Birthday for Harry Baker (3rd July) as he continues his recovery from his hip operation.  

Rob, President 2020-21

Welcome to my blog. I hope to add to this at various times during the year

1st July 2021

The Year of Presidency is over. Finished on a high with a 21 mile walk in aid of Shelterbox, and coverage on Meridian News. Now looking forward to Presidents Night later in July which be my final hurrah. An interesting if slightly odd year with all meetings on Zoom. Wish Steve all the very best for 2021-22. 

10th April 2021

The club still assisting with vaccinations. We are now preparing for great home run. Many members are participating in physically demanding challenges, mine is rowing the English Channel (31K) in one continuous row of approximately 3 hours. Then preparing for 21-4-21, a 21 mile walk to raise money for Shelterbox in June this year. Looking forward to club handover and President's night in June and July. The club has two new members, which is very good news, and they considerably reduce our average age! Now preparing the club for handover to Steve Hanks in July.

16th February 2021

The club is now very active with the GP marshalling at Blackthorn, and we are now on the age 65-70, so guess most Rotarian's have had their first jabs and maybe second ones. We are currently drawing up a volunteers database, as we have lots of assistance from non- Rotarian's, and wish them to be continually involved with the club. We have an excellent initiative called 'Great Home Run' which is members and local community volunteering to raise money for charities by doing a physical fitness challenge. I am rowing the English Channel! Club has a couple of new members, which is encouraging, and they are young e.g. under 30. Yes we do recruit younger people. We are still getting a wide range of speakers on our Zoom meetings, and next week we have a Professor of Virus Genomics who is on a sub group that reports to SAGE, so hopefully lots of discussion around Covid and the Government road map to recovery. 

10th January 2021

Club had a enjoyable Zoom quiz before Xmas. Members of the club have been participating in running a Christmas car parking in Maidstone with 2 other clubs to raise money for charity. We are now heavily involved with a local GP practice in providing marshalling for the Covid 19 vaccination programme, and this will continue for the next few months. We have a full calendar of speakers and meetings till end of March 2021, so should be interesting.

1st December 2020

Lockdown over nearly, and now Kent is tier 3. So not much change then! Wreath laid on Nov 11th in Maidstone, a small crowd in attendance. An excellent day Saturday just gone with volunteers from Rotary making and filling boxes with goodies for Children in Care. Christmas quiz on Zoom next week which will hopefully bring some light relief. Still hopeful for Christmas collections at local supermarkets and/or Maidstone town centre, but most probably dependent on Government Covid announcement on Dec 16th. Then we are into a new calendar year, and halfway through my presidency. Maybe the second half on the year will be bring a bit more joy. Surely it can't get any worse can it!  


13th November 2020

We are now back in lockdown again for a month, but still meeting on Zoom fortnightly. Over the last month or so we have managed to plant a few thousand Crocus bulbs for Eradicate Polio. Also had a very productive day at members Garden Centre selling bulbs, and raising money for World Polio Day. Gin Distillery visit very enjoyable from what I remember! This week on Zoom we had a fellow Rotarian from Dordrecht our link club in Holland, who spoke very entertainingly about life/Rotary in Holland to look forward to. Thanks to a few Rotarians we have managed to pack shoeboxes to send out to needy Children for Christmas presents. We are now looking towards Christmas and a quiz, and maybe if allowed post lockdown to meet together for a Christmas meal.

3rd October 2020

Another month gone and it looks likely that due to Covid we won't be able to meet weekly at the lodge until Spring 2021 at the earliest. However we still are on Zoom once a week currently, and had an excellent speaker last week from Solihull Rotary Club. We also managed a couple of hours litter picking along the Medway which amassed over 100Kg of litter, including a bike frame and a shopping trolley. Our website now has an on-line auction page which hopefully members can auction and bid for products and services similar to e-bay. Later this month some members will be visiting our local Gin distillery which should prove an entertaining couple of hours.

2nd September 2020

The weather held out for Social gathering on 23rd August, and everyone had a very enjoyable 3 hours. Sadly one of our members passed away recently and will be sorely missed by all at the club. On a brighter note we have had some excellent speakers recently both from within the club (painting and cars) and externally (MBC leader and A Willington player). One social event organised for October, a visit to Maidstone Gin Distillery followed by lunch. We are also participating in the National litter picking initiative in late September along the banks of the Medway. Having a weeks holiday next week on IOW, and hopefully on my return we will still have a club.

9th August 2020

Things are slowly taking shape, and we hopefully have a formal social gathering at one of members beautiful gardens on Sunday 23rd August. Committees are meeting and coming up with a range of excellent suggestions. Weekly meetings still on Zoom, but also hopefully, thanks to comprehensive risk assessments we can meet back at our normal venue face to face and with a meal. Planning also going ahead for our Dutch friends visit next May and a 21 mile sponsored walk for Shelterbox in June. So normality slowly returning, let's hope it continues please.

25th Jul 2020

Well here we are 4 weeks into my Presidency. 1 official function so far, district handover in Mote Park. A nice sunny day out and free prosecco! We have had 3 online meetings, with various degrees of success, and some interesting speakers. As we come out of lockdown and restrictions are eased I hope we can meet face-to-face again in the not too distant future. In the meantime club committees are starting to meet and ideas are being planned for the coming year.

Best Wishes


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