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Handover to President Paul

Updated: Jul 1, 2023



York Rotary held the annual President’s lunch on the 30th June at York Racecourse. The lunch was attended by Rotarians, partners of Rotarians and partners of former Rotarians, together with our guest speaker. The occasion was a very enjoyable one.




Following lunch outgoing President Mary gave her final remarks before handing over to incoming President Paul. In her remarks Mary referred to the many events that have highlighted her year and how the success of those is only possible with the support of members and also their partners. Mary referred to how she put her own stamp on her year and very successful that has been.

In handing over to Paul, Mary told us that he is taking office as the 100th President of York Rotary and she wished him all the very best for the coming year.



Paul as his first duty as incoming President was to thank Mary for her fantastic work over the last year and for presiding over a very enjoyable and busy year, Paul said that he hopes to replicate those standards over the next coming year.


The handover was followed by a talk from Helen McGrath “My sight loss journey”. Helen was joined by her guide dog Burley. It was fascinating to hear from Burley about her relatively sudden, but gradual loss of sight and the provision of a guide dog. Burley is Helen’s second guide dog and is clearly a faithful servant to her. The explanations about the massive cost of training a guide dog and user (£55,000), including the processes that go into that and the waiting list to get a dog were most interesting.



One point that goes into the guide dog training is Intelligent Disabediance where needed, the example Helen gave was that if she gave an instruction to cross the road Burley would not move if it was not safe to cross the road.


Following her talk Helen answered a wide range of questions from the audience. We appreciated Helen’s time and admired her work as an ambassador for guide dogs, their work and training.


As part of the vote of thanks to Helen Burley was presented with a box of cordon bleu dog biscuits that we clearly recognised!


David Fotheringham

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