Rotary Club of York

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Bill Mann Trophy Golf This annual Golf event, which has been taking place between the three York Rotary Clubs for 23 years,  was played at York Golf Club Strensall on September 2nd. 17 golfers, from all three York Clubs, took part in hot sunny weather. The course in excellent condition. The overall trophy winner was Stewart Gilbert (Ainsty) with Mike Sullivan runner-up and Keith Hayton in 3rd place.  The Guest of Honour at the evening dinner was Sheila Royce, Bill Mann's daughter with husband Brian. The Fellowship evening meal followed with a total of 43 Guests and both the food and service were excellent a good time was had by all. Many thanks - once again - to organiser David Sweeney.  

Full results and lots more photos  can be seen here

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Horticultural experience Vic Brookes reports...Ten green fingered enthusiasts joined organiser Frank at Johnson’s of Whixley at their wholesale horticultural nursery September 7th. We were ably guided by production manager Ian. As the largest nursery in the UK employing between 70-100 people in the offices and production areas, the company needs to keep that edge to maintain their position as the leading British plant producer. The answer is, apparently, robotics. A new area will be developed adjacent to the current production sites to fulfil this novel approach. The most profitable line? Holly bushes. Plants are grown for landscaping car parks, public spaces on building developments and motorway embankments. Brexit and biosecurity are two of the leading headaches for the company. A lot of the production staff are from the European mainland and are good workers on flexible work patterns. Johnsons export virtually no plants but will import stock to fulfil orders from customers. After too short a time we had to terminate the visit with still so much to see and ask questions on. Thanks to Frank for arranging such an excellent visit.

Rotarian in Borstal!  On September 7th new member Jan Dash spoke to the Club.  Jan is not really a new member, having been with us for over a year and having previously been a member of two other clubs, as well as a past president and a district assistant governor!  Jan starting working as a 17 year old in the royal Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps and finished when she retired as a priest in the village of Darenth, in Kent, with many years as a civilian nurse in between. She was called to the church first as a lay reader and then to be ordained as a priest in 1993.  There followed a number of interesting posting, not least of them to Borstal, the village near Rochester in Kent, which is the site of the original youth custody centre.  Here she was the chaplain to HMP Cookham Wood. Jan joined Rotary in Darent Valley as its first female member and completed a very varied career by becoming its first female president and eventually the local district’s assistant governor.  She will undoubtedly be a great asset to our own Club.


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Glorious Northumberland!  Around 40 members and partners travelled up to glorious Northumberland on September 11th for the Autumn Fellowship Break, organised by David Sweeney.  Doxford Hall was a lovely building with comfortable accommodation and excellent food which was enjoyed by all; though the hotel service was sometimes a little “under-trained”!!  But nothing spoilt the great fellowship enjoyed at various points during the 3 days – including a windy 9-hole round of links golf at Seahouses course, and a lovely walk along the coast from Craster, past the dramatic ruins of  Dunstanburgh Castle and the serene beach of Embleton Bay, to Newton-by-the-sea, a walk rated in the top 10 in the country apparently.  Then two excellent dinners, with fiendishly tricky quizzes thanks to Steve Burton and John Lacy where we failed to recognise most of our fellow diners (admittedly photographed many years ago!!) and the three station stops beginning with “D” on the line to Edinburgh – though Tom thought he had his own unique solution to this one…   Coupled with independent visits to local sights such as Alnwick Gardens, the amazing Barter Books shop in the old Alnwick railway station building, Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne, it was an action-packed but most enjoyable break which everyone enjoyed.  Many thanks to David for all his work in getting this organised. President Ian acknowledged the three years David has been organising these fellowship breaks with a card (signed by all) and a bottle of malt whisky backed by much applause from all.  


There are more photos of the break on a special web page here 


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"Friends" Barbeque  The recently-formed "Friends of York Rotary" group (FoYR) had a social barbeque event on September 16th very generously provided by Don and Sheelagh Salter.  20 attended including Elly Fiorentini, who is Patron of the FoYR.  More info and photos can be seen on the "Friends" web page here.  Further networking events are planned for later this year,  and several Friends have volunteered to help out at the Marathon baggage handling event in support of the Club in a few weeks' time.  


Ambling round Ampleforth Nigel reports...  On September 20th 11 walkers gathered in Wass on a sunny autumn morning, and once kitted up, they were “shuttled” up Wass Bank in two cars, in order to avoid a steep slog up the road. The walk began at the top, opposite Stanbrook Abbey, a Benedictine Convent opened in 2009. The group followed a route for 6 miles along steeply undulating hills, passing Studfold Ring, a bronze age settlement, down into Ampleforth, then along the valley towards Byland Abbey, and back to Wass. Lunch was enjoyed in the delightful Stapylton Arms.


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Rotarian walkers follow the letter of the law