Dec 22, 2017 by


Monday 6th November


No Meeting


Wednesday 8th November


We are building closer links with the Shaftesbury School who have been very helpful to us at Gold Hill Fair. As part of this we were invited to an evening at the school boarding house. We were greeted by Steve Crossley head of boarding and the students who come from all over the world. It was fascinating to learn just how much they enjoy coming to Shaftesbury and the UK.


This get-to-know-you time was followed by a fun quiz, which we answered in mixed teams of pupils and Rotarians. The quiz started with questions drawn from GCSE papers. We started with the challenge of long multiplication without a calculator, to compare prices, with and without VAT. This was followed by general knowledge questions. At the same time we had a list of European capital cities, for each of which we had to identify which country they were in. Rome and Paris were easy but what about Podgorica!?


We were then treated to excellent cakes and coffee before answering questions from the UK Citizenship exam. Steve’s wife who comes from the States had just sat this. We were challenged by the dates of the Wars of the Roses and similar questions. None of us reached the pass mark!


Saturday 11th November


We would like to say a big thank you to all our Shaftesbury partners involved in the Rotary Shoebox Appeal. With out the help of the WI, The Trinity Centre, The Trefoil Group, Abbey School, Shaftesbury Primary School, Shaftesbury School and Semley Primary School, we would not have collected a massive 370 shoeboxes filled with goodies, to send, to disadvantaged children of Albania, Montenegro, Moldova and Romania, putting a smile on their faces and something to open at Christmas.


The Rotary Shoebox Appeal takes place every year and involves the distribution of empty shoeboxes by Rotary to various Schools, Colleges and Local Organizations. These are then filled with, toys, socks, and gloves etc. depending on the age range being catered for. Rotary then collects the boxes, seals them and takes them to a central warehouse for sending on to their final destination. Rotary International being a non-­‐religious and non-­‐political organization does not add any literature to the boxes.


Next year we would like to collect even more boxes, would your organization like to help? Then please contact us through the website contact page.


The Picture shows Paul Whitman and Bernard Skam entertaining the School Children whilst handing out the empty shoeboxes.


Monday 13th November


Rotakids. Following the withdrawal of the original speaker on the 13th November Mike Hurley from District was invited to present a case for introducing Rotakids to Primary Schools in our area.


Rotakids brings an exciting and practical approach to supporting the citizenship element of the national curriculum. The age group it is aimed at is 7 to 11 year olds and on setting up a club they are encouraged to have one International Project i.e. the Rotary Shoebox Scheme and one Community Project per year. They are also expected to hold 26 meetings a year.


Whist the main presentation was about Rotakids, Mike touched upon Interact, which is the progression from Rotakids and therefore takes place within the Secondary School. He also informed the Club of the Young Carers weekend, which takes place on the 16 to 18th March 2018 at Fairthorne Manor Activity Centre, Curdridge. The weekend gives very valuable respite care for the youngsters who care for their parents. He wrapped up the Youth element of the evening, by mentioning the Regional Final of Youth Speaks, which will take place at Shaftesbury School in April and he would therefore like help and support from the Club, especially any suggestions for Judges.


Finally, Mike, who is also the District Compliance Chair, was asked to come back again to talk about Rotary Compliance.


Saturday 18th November


A good number of Rotarians and partners enjoyed a wonderful evening of theatre at the Bristol Old Vic where we enjoyed the Kneehigh company’s ambitious production of “The Tin Drum”. Many thanks and well done to Trish Lever who organised the tickets, the coach and the meal beforehand, a most enjoyable evening with a difference.


For more detail please click HERE to read a review.


Monday 20th November


Following our meal at the Fleur we held our routine monthly business meeting. International committee discussed projects including the possible provision of eco-toilets in Malawi. Community and Vocational discussed many projects including our Circus Bezerkus day for young carers and other especially deserving children. We then concluded the evening with a brief formal General Meeting.


Friday 24th November


We regularly help at mock Interviews at Shaftesbury School. We very much enjoyed this, and were impressed by the standard of the students, who seemed very appreciative of our efforts. The half dozen of us from Rotary were joined by representatives of local businesses namely Picture frames Ltd, Cougar Computers, Stalbridge Linen, Dextra and Wessex Group.


Monday 27th November


Speaker this week was Joe Pestell, who discussed the state of the English Wine industry.

Clare and Joe Pestell are a local success story, they started their Vineyard at Melbury Vale 10 yrs ago and after using other wineries to process their grapes decided to invest in their own Winery. Although they have 28 acres the Winery has plenty of capacity and they find themselves now serving growers over at large swath of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.


They have opened their doors to tourists interested in the Wine making process and offer a Friday and Saturday Wine tasting and Lunch tour which has proved to be very popular. Joe’s background from his time in the French Wine industry enables him to craft the wines from the raw materials, although, apparently with good grapes and clean equipment even a Muppet could make a decent wine!


It was quite apparent from Joe’s presentation that he has a deep abiding love for the art of making wine and supporting the British wine making industry. He is very proud that British Sparkling Wines now number amongst the best in the world even though we have only 750 vineyards in the whole of the country.


More details about Melbury Vale Vineyard can be found on their website

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