Some years ago, a new acquaintance asked me what should have been a simple question: “What is Rotary?” I opened my mouth to reply and then stopped short with the realisation that I simply did not know where to begin. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what Rotary was. The problem was that Rotary was — and is — too large and complex to easily define. We are a member-based organisation, a club-based organisation, and a service based organisation; we are local, regional, and international; we are community members, business people and professionals, working and retired, active in nearly every country in the world. Every one of our 1.2 million members has a unique set of goals, experiences, and priorities; every one of us has a unique understanding of Rotary.
To me, Rotary is defined not by who we are, but by what we do — by the potential that Rotary gives us, and the ways we realise that potential in meaningful and lasting service. Rotary has been around for a long time: 112 years. In some ways, we’ve changed tremendously, as we’ve grown, matured, and adapted to the changing needs of our members and communities. In our fundamentals, however, we remain the same: an organisation of people with the desire — and through Rotary, the ability — to make a difference in our communities, and the world. We answer the question “What is Rotary?” with our actions, by making a difference through our service.
As an organisation, we recognise how important it is that the world understand what Rotary is, and what we do. At the same time, we know that it is more important than ever to allow our clubs to define Rotary service for themselves. As Rotarians, we have more flexibility than ever to decide how we want our clubs to meet, work, and grow. We’re focused more than ever on making sure that Rotary reflects the people it serves, with more women and a more diverse membership. And we’re working hard to ensure that Rotary remains the world’s pre-eminent volunteer service organisation, by emphasising long-term planning, sustainable service, and continuity in leadership on every level.
In 2017-18, we will answer the question “What is Rotary?” with the theme Rotary: Making a Difference. However each of us chooses to serve, we do it because we know our service makes a difference in the lives of others. Whether we are building a new playground or a new school, improving medical care or sanitation, training conflict mediators or midwives, we know that the work we do will change people’s lives — in ways large and small — for the better. Whatever motivation each of us had for joining Rotary, it is the satisfaction we find in Rotary that causes us to remain, the satisfaction of knowing that week by week, year by year, we are part of Rotary: Making a Difference.
Ian H.S. Riseley
President, Rotary International, 2017-18
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness; and this is something we offer, and pride ourselves on, at Windsor & Eton Rotary Club.
Benefit 1: Volunteering connects you to others: One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organisations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills. One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area.
Benefit 2: Volunteering is good for your mind and body: Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health, such as:
Benefit 3: Volunteering can advance your career: If you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you’re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you’ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first.
Benefit 4: Volunteering brings fun and fulfilment to your life: Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energising escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.
Join Windsor & Eton Rotary Club and start your volunteering today...
Monday night’s evening Rotary Meeting doubled as a Valedictory Meeting for the Inner Wheel Club of Windsor and Eton. Five former members attended the evening meeting, these were Mary Weaver (Last President), Jane Clark, Jean Davis, Diana Gorton and Pat Preston; where President Ralph of the Rotary Club paid a tribute to the Club its members and the constant support given to Rotary. Mary Weaver responded and thanked the Rotary Club members for the invitation.
The Inner Wheel Club of Windsor and Eton was founded in 1939 and has continued uninterrupted until recently, when declining numbers led to the reluctant decision to bring the Club to an end, but not before the 80th anniversary was reached.
DG's Handbag Campaign
.A number of the Windsor & Eton Rotary Club members and partners went off to enjoy a very special evening at the famous Bel Canto Restaurant in London on Thursday, 24 October. The evening arranged by the clubs social committee (part of their exciting social events programme) was a superb mix of an excellent three-course dinner intermixed by young waiting staff that were in fact also very fine voice-trained Opera singers.
During the evening a good number of popular opera pieces were sung to resounding rounds of applause, and at one point all were invited to participate (it can be confirmed that this showed there are no potential opera singers in the club!).
Rotarian Bernard Hawkes, a member of the social committee, commented ‘this was truly a great fun evening, even our non-opera lovers enjoyed every moment, one even commenting – “I’ve been converted to opera from this”, we all made our way home at the end of the evening, on relaxed highs from the evenings entertainment’.
Over the weekend of Friday 11 October to Sunday 13 October a group of Rotarians from Munich visited London, under the leadership of Katharina Bareiss, a past member of Windsor & Eton.
On Friday they came to Windsor where they were met by Rotarians Adrian Benge, David Osmond, Kevin McGarry & Colin Coombs. We did a tour of Windsor Castle and St George's Chapel and then had lunch together in the Two Brewers. A short walk on the Long Walk and then Katharina led her party on a whistle-stop tour of Windsor!
It was lovely to catch up with Katharina and meet some new friends...Rotary really is an international organisation that connects the world!
The Dictionary 4 Life Project is free standing project working in association with the Rotary Club of Battersea, Brixton and Clapham (District 1130), Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland and Usborne Publishing Ltd.
In Windsor it is managed by Windsor & Eton and Windsor St George Rotary Clubs, with support from Rotary District 1090.
The Usborne Illustrated UK Standard edition Dictionary 4 Life comprises 1,000 illustrations, 10,000 entries and 20,000 definitions printed in full colour on leaflet grade paper from a sustainable forest and contains 288 pages. It promotes British English and encourages children to widen their vocabularies and improve their life chances. The project was initiated in 2007 and so far has provided more than 1 million dictionaries across the world.
By using dictionaries efficiently, children will explore spellings, meanings and derivations for example by using alphabetical order, abbreviations and definitions with understanding. One of the most positive aspects of being able to use a dictionary is that it helps to develop autonomy and confidence in the learner — one of the core goals of education. It promotes books and the printed word. It will be a “possession” for the child. It will enable both first and second language users to extend and improve the accuracy of their vocabulary. It should help children with their homework in secondary education. In some homes it may also form a reference work for all the family.
Windsor Rotary Clubs have been running this project since 2007 as part of their Youth Initiatives in the local community along with Youth Speaks, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and supporting local Rotakids and Interact club(s).
We had a very moving talk from Denzil a few months ago, a very passionate man who told us about the Rainbow Children's Home in Nepal.
This Children's home is dedicated to providing the orphaned, poor and marginalised children of Nepal with nutritious food, clean water, quality education and most importantly a loving, secure family and home. It is not only our aim to afford these children the bare essentials, but also to teach them about morality and instil in them a sense of community and respect for their fellow human beings. We will also provide them with a safe play environment where they can have fun, learn and develop the skill of social interaction.
Rainbow Children Home has no official affiliation with any local or foreign organisation upon which it can depend for steady financial support. Thus our children's home relies solely upon the generosity of individual sponsors for its income to upkeep the house and support the children's development.
The charities objectives are:
As a result of hearing about the amazing work the charity does our club have sponsored one of the children, helping to cover the cost of their basic needs and ensure they receive an education to help themselves out of poverty in the future.
There is a bit of old weather folklore that says that it never rains on a Wednesday (when Bob organises a walk). Well, we can lay that one to rest as a group of us headed out and got rather soggy!!
This month we tried another new route around Bluey’s Farm in the Chilterns. We set out from Bovingdon Green, just west of Marlow, on what was a very enjoyable, if wet, walk! Points of interest included:
This walk proved to be rather challenging, not just because of the weather, but because the Chiltern Hills are very hilly, but we all arrived safely in the end. I'm not sure why everyone looks so cheerful in the photos though, it must have been the thoughts of the Bangers & Mash at The Royal Oak, Bovingdon Green on our return!
Bletchley Park, once the top-secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers is now a vibrant heritage attraction and one that members and their partners paid a visit to on Friday 3rd May.
On arrival we had light refreshments before meeting our guide, Michael, for a one hour outdoor walking tour. Michael told us about the history and ownership of the original Victorian Mansion before its transformation into a very famous location from the war effort!
In 1938 the mansion and much of the site was bought by a builder planning a housing estate, but within a few months Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair, head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6), bought it for £6,000, for use in the event of war.
A key advantage of Bletchley Park was its geographical location, that being relatively central in the UK, with the first personnel of the Government Code & Cypher School moving into Bletchley Park on 15 August 1939.
On the outbreak of the Second World War the main task was to break the German Enigma cyphers so that vital intelligence could be gathered. It was spectacularly successful, as history reports! Each separate operation was housed in a Hut, for example, Hut 1, the first to be built in 1939, housed the wireless station.
After our tour we saw a short video about the impact Bletchley had on the outcome of D-Day and enjoyed lunch together before exploring the mansion and the Huts at our leisure. We had such a wonderful day, learnt more than we thought we would and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thanks to Bernard for organising.
Archive photos courtesy of www.bletchleypark.org.uk
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.