• York Rotary

President's 6-month review

(And we welcome another new member!)


President David has written this review for Rotagraph of his "first 6 months" and the range of activities undertaken by York Rotary despite the pandemic!

"When we started the Rotary year, we were coming out of Covid restrictions, but the relaxations were delayed by four weeks, therefore rather than starting the year with the handover lunch at the Racecourse we started with a Zoom meeting from the sofa.

We continued meetings by Zoom for two weeks before we held our return to the Novotel meeting with Zoom hybrid, it was just lovely to have a face to face meeting with those members who were happy to attend face to face. I appreciate that there were members who were unfortunately unable to join us in person due to health restrictions and decisions regarding isolation.



Very soon our meetings adopted a regular face to face pattern and other normal activities got underway. In August we resumed the BBQ at Sutton on Derwent village hall, which was the first real event with partners, and it was a lovely occasion, held in memory of Peter Fox.


The walking group got underway, and the golfers held the Shouksmith Plate and President’s cup competitions.


August BBQ - eating indoors due the chill!


We provided baggage handling services for the 5K in August and the Yorkshire marathon in October.

September saw the resumption of two events, the Dragon Boat Challenge and a St Crux fundraiser.

The atmosphere on the day of the Dragon Boat Challenge was lovely, people were enjoying being out participating and spectating, we had 31 rather than our normal 36, but they raised a fantastic amount of £74,000.

St Crux , September 2021


Other activities continued including the resumption of the summer outing for elderly guests. During December the Youth Services team have been very conducting mock interviews by Zoom for University applicants. These interviews take a lot of organising, but they provide massive benefits to the pupils concerned.

We continued our centenary celebrations holding the celebration dinner with Abba Revival. The event had been a long time in the planning and required a massive amount of organisation.



275 Rotarians and guests enjoyed an excellent dinner followed by dancing to Abba Revival. We had very positive feedback after the event. The event made a small surplus.


In December the SantaPaws event was held at the Racecourse. This was a partnership event organised in conjunction with the RSPCA and the Wilberforce Trust. Whilst the event did not raise a large amount for charity funds it was worthwhile to forge links with the two charities and it was also a fun public event to hold in the run up to Christmas.



I was pleased that in spite of the Omicron variant of Covid we were able to hold our Christmas lunch meeting on the 17th December. Rotarians were encouraged to bring partners with them, which many did, and the meeting was enjoyed by 75 people.



Tom Jackson and his group of musicians, known as The Jackson Four, provided musical entertainment both before lunch and as part of the post-lunch entertainment. Mike Hay organised the Rotary choir with eleven other participants.


The choir were seasonally dressed, and the performance was excellent. Dennis Adamson sung solos as part of Little Donkey, he last sung those solo parts sixty one years ago.


Desmond joined us by Zoom from Jamaica and gave us a brief presentation about Christmas activities in Jamaica which contrast with Christmas in the UK.


After a seasonal lunch we inducted new member John Wainwright.


It was lovely that we could close our half year with a fun Christmas lunch.




I reflect on what we have achieved over the last six months in getting back to a New Normal and I think that as a club we have done really well and we have resumed a wide range of activities that were not possible under earlier restrictions, I think all of this has been a great achievement. The other thing that we have achieved is the use of Zoom hybrid from the Novotel. The numbers joining the meetings by Zoom have varied between three and twelve.

John Wainwright (r) is welcomed by President David


It does not really matter that the numbers joining by Zoom are sometimes low, but if a few members join by Zoom and benefit from that it has achieved something very worthwhile. Zoom hybrid also allows members to keep in touch if they wish whilst they are away. Several members have contributed to hybrid meetings by remote reporting, that has worked well. We have also had three speakers remotely by Zoom, again that has worked well and has meant that we have had speakers who we otherwise would not have had. There are also benefits of members being able to catch up by watching the recording of meetings."


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