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York Rotary President’s handover lunch

York Rotary held the President’s handover lunch on Friday 28th June.  The occasion is a special one, not just because it was the handover, but because we also entertained our partners to lunch along with the partners of former Rotarians.


The lunch started with a very informative talk by Julia Spence, Governor of Askham Grange Women’s prison who talked about running a Category C women’s prison.  Julia gave a very frank description of prison life and management of a prison, she explained how successful Askham Grange prison is, something that we do not hear about too often.

Following lunch and in one of his final acts as President Paul was very pleased to present a Paul Harris Fellowship to Sheila Weatherburn for her service to the club, but in particular to the Fundraising team and for her leadership of that team for the last three years.  During the last three years under Sheila's leadership the team has raised £31,000, that includes proceeds from Riviera travel which was something that Sheila introduced to the club. Leading the Fundraising team is no easy task so Sheila was a very well deserved recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship.


Before handing over to President Mike Hay Paul gave his reflections of the year which were as follows:


Reflections on my Presidential Year


I gave myself three objectives to achieve during my Rotary year. The first of these was to explore some social themes of interest to me, namely Education, Health and Justice and by doing so to raise awareness of some of the challenges around us.


If I was to be allowed only a few learning points from this, I would suggest that a good one to start with would be that our York, those who live here and the numerous organisations that serve and support the city, desperately need the help which we often give. Another might be that we have learnt how dysfunctional, struggling and more words like that, are many aspects of the society around us.


I am sure we will remember for a long time, the account of the running of Wetherby Young Offenders Institution but we can contrast that with the uplifting talk from Timpsons.


We will remember the impact of COVID at Haxby Road Primary and the astonishing enthusiasm of the two staff who came to talk to us.  And I am sure we will always remember Rabbi Elishiva and her very frank and honest account of Judaism in York and the wider world.


The second was to talk about the Club and what it does with as many people as possible. I have been surprised at how little many of those I have spoken to, know about Rotary and the Club and then delighted with their reaction when they realise and understand what we do. One of our greatest faults is that we are a rather bashful organisation. We should learn to be otherwise !


And the third was to wear odd socks at every Rotary meeting



I did – and nobody noticed – or if they did, they were too polite to comment (See below)!


Immediate Past President Paul Harvey PHF


Putting Paul’s odd socks into context or his last thought for the day prior to the lunch Paul told the story of the socks referred to above and those are shown in the photographs below.


A new Rotary Year:


Following his reflections on the year Paul handed over to President Mike Hay.  Paul thanked Mike for his excellent year as President.

Mike then went on his first formal task of the year which was to present a Paul Harris Fellowship to Mary Lumley.  Mike reflected on the work Mary had done in projects to support Ebeneezer school in Zambia, including visiting the school with Sheila.  Mary was only our second female president and she had a very successful year. One of the successful projects that Mary promoted in that year was the very successful Remembering Sarah concert. Mary brought the Bluebirds to the concert and performed as part of that group in which she is a member. The concert raised £1,808.50 that was presented to the Matthew Elvidge Trust.  Mary was another very worthy recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Finally Mike introduced the rest of his presidential team for the year, he also said that he was delighted that the occasion included Rotarians partners joining us along with partners of former Rotarians, making it a real family occasion.  Mike commented that he sees Rotary as being one large family and it is important that we all come together for occasions like this and whilst we occasionally have disagreements, as families do, we all come together to carry out great work.


We all wish you the very best for your forthcoming year Mike and all Rotarians will give you their full support.


David Fotheringham


York Rotary News

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