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28/12/2021 Santa at Ealing Anchor Foundation

23/12/2021 Christmas Cake Auction

20/12/2021 Collecting at Tesco

05/12/2021 Awarding George at Parade Fruiterers

07/11/2021 Project Peru

03/11/2021 World Polio Day

24/10/2021 Photos from the Quiz Night

04/07/2021 Happy New Rotary Year to all.

18/05/2021 Food Bank Delivery

07/02/2021 Growing Local Economies

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 7 February 2021

06/02/2021 Lend with Care

Our latest Lend with Care investment is with Dona in southern Equador. She and her husband bought land having saved...

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 7 February 2021

02/02/2021 Holocaust Memorial Day

Last Tuesday our club joined a Hillingdon Inter Faith Network Zoom event for Holocaust Memorial Day when Michael Bibring...

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Tuesday, 2 February 2021

31/01/2021 KidsOut

Before Christmas we supported the Rotary Christmas Toy Box initiative 'Every Refuge, Every Child'. David Palmer a...

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 31 January 2021

01/01/2021 Happy New Year

To all our supporters and followers a big thank you from the members of our club and let us a hope that 2021 is a good one for all of us.

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Friday, 1 January 2021

02/12/2020 Ealing Food Bank

Usually at this time of year members donate food items to send to our local Ealing food bank. This we bought fresh fruit...

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Wednesday, 2 December 2020

06/09/2020 Carers UK

Now more than ever it is vital to raise awareness of caring and the work of Carers UK. Rotary has joined up with Carers...

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 6 September 2020

05/09/2020 Meeting in person again

The Club has begun meeting in person again. To ensure social distancing the numbers at the Royal are limited and the rest join online. Here is our President Bill setting up for a meeting.

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 6 September 2020

19/07/2020 Hand Over Meeting

On 1st July the club started the new Rotary year with Bill Tillotson as our president. Our hand over meeting was virtual. Here we are gathering but not at the bar!

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 19 July 2020

22/06/2020 Ealing History

This link takes you to Ealing History where you will find an interesting set of messages about Miles the Jeweller and...

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Monday, 22 June 2020

11/04/2020 Lend with Care

One way we continue to operate is with our Lend with Care programme. So far we have made 136 loans to third world...

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Saturday, 11 April 2020

10/04/2020 Easter Sunshine

I hope that despite the difficult circumstances those who follow this blog will be able enjoy some Easter sunshine....

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Saturday, 11 April 2020

16/03/2020 Youth Makes Music

On a positive note London Rotary's Youth Makes Music did go ahead and musicians aged 11 to 18 got the chance to shine...

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 15 March 2020

15/03/2020 Race Night Postponed

As many of you will already know we have decided to postpone our race night until the Autumn. We didn't want to take the risk of running the event during the current coronavirus emergency

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 15 March 2020

16/02/2020 Race Night Details

Posted by Rotary Club of Ealing, Hanwell and Northfields on Sunday, 16 February 2020

23/12/2019 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

20/12/2019 Christmas Meal and Silent Auction

15/12/2019 Collection at Tesco

30/11/2019 Collection at Waitrose

08/11/2019 Quiz Night

11/10/2019 Lend With Care

06/10/2019 Know your Blood Pressure - Drop in testing day

07/09/2019 Brentford Festival

03/09/2019 145 miles Grand Union Charity Walk

30/08/2019 Supporting Headway

30/07/2019 Partners Lunch

27/07/2019 Riverside BBQ

23/06/2019 Shuffleboards at Castlebar School

27/05/2019 Greenford Rotary Quiz

28/04/2019 Trip to Norwich

21/04/2019 Easter Raffle Winners

04/04/2019 Lend With Care

31/03/2019 Launching our Easter Raffle

24/03/2019 In Memory of Dave Brakespear

17/02/2019 West London Rotary Clubs meal

03/02/2019 Continuing the fight against Polio

18/01/2019 Club Name Change

24/12/2018 Christmas Meal

16/12/2018 A new member joins

07/12/2018 Christmas Collections

30/11/2018 A visit from a Rotary Foundation Scholar

25/11/2018 Light up the Lane

13/11/2018 In loving memory of Dave Brakespear

04/11/2018 Project Peru

24/10/2018 World Polio day

12/10/2018 Quiz Night

27/09/2018 Blood Pressure Testing

02/09/2018 Upcoming Quiz Night

02/09/2018 Brentford Festival

18/08/2018 Lend with Care

05/08/2018 Médecins Sans Frontières

15/07/2018 Riverside BBQ

09/07/2018 Party in the Park

30/06/2018 Partners Lunch

28/06/2018 Upcoming Party in the Park

22/06/2018 Castlebar School Summer Fete

19/06/2018 Race Night Update

17/06/2018 KidsOut trip to Legoland

30/04/2018 Upcoming Race Night

29/04/2018 Hanwell Community Centre

23/04/2018 Quiz Night

18/04/2018 Presenting a Rotary Community Certificate

17/04/2018 Shelterbox

15/04/2018 A weekend in Dorset

08/04/2018 Earth Day

15/03/2018 Councillor Visit

10/03/2018 Fundraising for the Log Cabin

10/03/2018 Northfields Estate Agents

04/03/2018 Youth Makes Music

18/02/2018 Ealing Women's Refuge

24/01/2018 Polio in 2017

20/01/2018 Ealing Foodbank

17/01/2018 London Rotary Quiz

14/01/2018 Bowling

24/12/2017 Christmas Meal

22/12/2017 Merry Christmas

22/12/2017 Collection at Tesco

17/12/2017 Waitrose Collection

17/12/2017 Collections

29/11/2017 Middlesex Association for the Blind

25/11/2017 Packing shoe boxes

21/11/2017 Christmas Collections

21/10/2017 Conference at Stratford-Upon-Avon

20/09/2017 Brentford Festival

25/07/2017 Rotary Partners Lunch

14/07/2017 Riverside BBQ

11/07/2017 KidsOut

25/06/2017 Party in the Park

24/06/2017 Helping out at Castlebar School Fete

23/06/2017 Handing over the Helivan

12/05/2017 World Record Attempt

14/04/2017 New Meeting Venue

07/04/2017 Pensioners Party

19/03/2017 Wine and Cheese Evening

12/03/2017 A visit from Ealing Food Bank

22/01/2017 Our club goes ten pin bowling

18/12/2016 Happy Christmas Everyone

11/12/2016 Christmas Collection at Waitrose

27/11/2016 Light up the Lane

10/11/2016 Purple for Polio

07/11/2016 Stroke Association

05/11/2016 Brentham Club Fireworks

25/10/2016 District Governor Helen and guest

On Tuesday at our regular club meeting Helen, the District Governor, paid us a visit.

She gave an interesting Rotary inspired talk linking the origins of Rotary to her experiences visiting the clubs around London.

21/10/2016 Rotary conference at Eastbourne

Just back from the Rotary conference at Eastbourne.

This is a gathering of all the clubs in London to top up on what the clubs are doing, learn about charities the District is supporting and to listen to speakers.

We finished with Eve Pollard telling us about her times in journalism with some entertaining stories especially involving Robert Maxwell.

Other contributions included speakers promoting Shelterbox, Drive Forward, the District Helevan project to provide ground support to London Air Ambulance and Save a Child’s Heart.

Part of the fun of this weekend is the fellowship between the club members and on Saturday night we hosted the Greenford Rotary Club for dinner in a very enjoyable evening.

07/10/2016 Quiz Night

It’s Friday and it is our charity quiz night. We have 94 people in attendance and the prize for the winner is £200 to donate to the charity of their choice. Sue and Richard have worked hard to get a good turnout and Richard as always had compiled an interesting quiz with accelerator rounds , jokers and marathons as well the usual rounds of questions. Sue and Juliet were kept busy keeping up with the marking. The charity we were raising money for was CLIC Sargent ( see below 20/9/2016). For what will be probably the first and last time the “ not keeping up with the Jones’s table” came first and so my table was able to choose the charity. We chose Project Peru which brought a nice symmetry to the week. I went home happy.

04/10/2016 Project Peru

On Tuesday night we had a visitor from Project Peru – a small charity we have helped in the past http://projectperu.org.uk. Rotary is proud of it’s international dimension and supporting Project Peru is easy to do when when you hear first hand about the work it does supporting a children’s refuge on the outskirts of Lima. This small charity is run by volunteers in the UK including Liz who came to talk to us about the work of the charity looking after fifty children offering education, food, shelter, health and fun to the poorest families in the community.

The extremes of wealth and poverty result in half the population living on less than a dollar a day. Giving a few children the gift of education is a small but practical way of trying to break the cycle of deprivation.

20/09/2016 What an interesting meeting?

What an interesting meeting? One of the ways Rotary works is to meet every week to discuss, plan organise and socialise. We also meet people who want to pass on their message about their passion or good cause. This month we have heard first hand about two worthwhile missions. One in our own country and one in Cambodia.

First the work of Clic Sargent, the cancer charity for children and young people www.clicsargent.org.uk.

At our quiz on 7th October we are supporting this charity which provides emotional, practical and financial support to young cancer patients and families during and after treatment. Cancer is difficult to bear at the best of times and in the young it is even more distressing. Providing support so that parents can concentrate on the needs of their child and treatment is of great benefit to the families living with cancer.

The well organised and sophisticated approach from Clic Sargent was contrasted by the story from a visitor to our club from the Rotary Club of Phnom Penh http://rotaryclubpp.org. I have pasted below an extract about their work in Cambodia to allow poor people to access surgery to alleviate terrible disfigurement of the face. This little known birth defect not found in the west is being tackled by one dedicated Rotary club. I salute you!


It is a birth defect that is rarely seen in the developed world. It occurs for unknown reasons in the early weeks of pregnancy. It is a life-threatening condition that afflicts 1,000 – 2,000 people in Cambodia. Most of the sufferers are children and young adults. Few reach old age.

The front of the skull, between the eyes, fails to close and knit fully. This allows the brain and its coverings to herniate through the skull in the region of the nose. It comes in various shapes and sizes but is always near the bridge of the nose. The condition is operable with excellent results. Without surgery the life expectancy of sufferers is limited. Any wound to the hernia can introduce infection which can very quickly get straight to the brain. Additionally, there is often disruption to vision, sinus and tear duct function.

In August 2013 the Rotary Club of Phnom Penh (RCPP) joined forces with the Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) in Phnom Penh (www.csc.org). On average 3 of these operations are completed at CSC every month plus checkups with follow up surgery where necessary. In all cases a caregiver accompanies the patient. All costs are borne by the project. There is no cost to the patient and caregiver throughout the whole process. This is a life-changing operation and process. Often MEC patients are ostracised by other villagers. Helping patients and their parents overcome their fears is a key part of the project. The period of in-patient care varies. It can be anywhere from two weeks to three months, follow up visits for checkups and any supplementary plastic surgery are also free of charge.

For many sufferers this will be their first trip outside their village. This, in itself, can be a big shock to their system. The project team arranges all the transport often from very remote villages, meets them on arrival and counsels them further. They are also given a hygiene pack supplied by our sponsored Interact Club. The CSC attends to all of their surgical and medicinal needs and, once discharged, the homebound transport is arranged and paid for by the project. Checkup and follow up visits are arranged similarly. The CSC has its own experienced in-house surgeons and these are supported by volunteer teams of craniofacial surgeons from France who visit every six months.

04/09/2016 Brentford Festival.

Club members went to Blondin Park in Ealing to attend the Brentford Festival. This event has a character all of its own and we joined an eclectic mix of stalls covering art, craft, campaigns and local associations. We ran our shuffle boards a popular attraction with children often in competition with their parents. Often the children win much to their delight! However, our main purpose was to be seen in the Northfields part of Ealing in our quest to get the message out in the quest for new members. If you are reading this and like the idea of joining a friendly group trying to help out where we can please get in touch.

31/08/2016 President's Blog for August

August is usually a quiet month for members of our club as many are on holiday. Nevertheless, we continue to collect recyclable mobile phones, spectacles, ink cartridges and postage stamps to support respectively Water Aid, Vision Aid Overseas and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People which we do throughout the year. These charities are able to sell the recyclable items to boost their funds.

Three of our members’ volunteer regularly at Ealing Food Bank, part of Trussell Trust. This month we have also donated baby clothes to new Mums in a local Women’s Refuge in response to an urgent request for help.

Three of our members are also helping to provide afternoon teas once a week during August for a local group of older people whose regular social club has closed for the summer. The first of the five Afternoon Teas this month was very well received even if the Rotarians were run off their feet! Thank goodness we only offered to run this during August!

For our last meeting in August we confounded the “quiet month” theory with over 40 people at our meeting to see us present a cheque to Children’s Air Ambulance. Members and partners from the Rotary Clubs of Ealing, Greenford and Hanwell & Northfields were in attendance reflecting the fact that the three clubs had worked together at Party in the Park to raise the part of the money that accumulated to this total. We also heard an inspiring speech from Simranjeet who we had supported in her quest to go to a Rotary Youth Camp in 2015. She gave a confident and interesting account of her time abroad at the camp and to give you an idea of the commitment and enthusiasm of the attendees she said that the use of the mobile was almost extinct as they got used to working together. No mean feat!

20/08/2016 More Teddies for Children in Ealing Women's Refuge

Thanks to a group of older friends of our club who enjoy knitting, we have received another batch of delightfully knitted teddies to deliver to the children in Ealing Women's Refuge. Our friendly knitters have now enabled us to deliver over 250 teddies to these children over the past 3 years. Well done knitters and thank you.

24/07/2016 London Walk

Another week has been and gone. On Tuesday we met as a club to discuss future events and in particular the Brentford festival which takes place on Sunday 4th September in Blondin Park.

We are going to run a stall and use the opportunity to promote our club.

Today ( 24th July ) we went on a walk organised by Denise which started at Tower Hill and meandered around St Katherine's Dock across Tower Bridge, along the South Bank and then inland via a stop at a watering hole (see photograph) and back to where we started.

It was good to get some exercise and to remind ourselves what there is to see in London.

17/07/2016 Partners Lunch

It’s been a busy start to the year! Last weekend we had the Partners Lunch.

The pictures show the set up in my back garden. 50 or so people attended and despite a mercifully brief rain break a good time was had by all.

It is a good example of how if we all do a little a lot gets done.

The partners laid on the lunch, David organised the drinks and the members donated raffle prizes.

Despite the ticket price being a very reasonable £12 we raised nearly £1000 for the RNLI.

At the end everybody helped in packing away. Thanks to all who helped in any way

10/07/2016 The Riverside BBQ

Is an unusual collaboration between our club and The Rotary Club of Windsor and Eton. Chris a former member of our club and a present member of Windsor & Eton has a boatyard at Datchet and once a year we meet up with friends and Rotarians from nearby clubs for a BBQ, boat rides and a duck race. This year over 90 people attended and we were pleased to welcome another former member , family and guests from the Maidenhead Bridge club. Over £900 was raised for Rotary charities and this year I was able to keep out of the water! The photos tell the story – thank you to all that helped. See you next year.”


26/06/2016 Party in the Park

Last Sunday (26th June) our members were joined by members from the Rotary Clubs of Ealing and Greenford to help us run a number of activities at Party in the Park. This is an annual event which takes place in Pitshanger Park Ealing and attracts about 10,000 visitors. We wanted to raise funds for the Children's Air Ambulance whom we have supported before. Fortunately we had a lovely day, unlike last year when the 'heavens' opened for 2 hours of torrential rain at the beginning of our event!

It was all hands to the deck to get up our two tents and set out our stalls. We had a Teddy Tombola, where each teddy (or another animal soft toy)held a prize. The winner took the prize and the soft toy if they wanted to! All the adults wanted the soft toy too but a few of our younger punters were very selective as far as the animals were concerned! Half our prizes were gift cards (valued from £25 to £5)or vouchers for lunch or coffee and cakes donated by local businesses. The remaining prizes included designer bags, toiletries and chocolates. So popular was our Teddy Tombola that for the first time ever, we sold every ticket!

Our Shuffleboards were as popular as ever and used non stop throughout the afternoon. Again most of our prizes were won by children who, with a bit of practice, soon develop a technique to make a high score!

This year we had Splat the Rat which challenged a number of the adults but proved to be 'child's play' for many of our younger punters! Perhaps they were nearer the ground for doing the trapping! But again, this generated great fun.

It was a super day and we are grateful for the help given by our friends from the Rotary Clubs of Ealing and Greenford and 5 members of the Community Team from Waitrose West Ealing. Every penny we collected will be on its way shortly to the Children's Air Ambulance that transports critically ill children to specialist units throughout the UK. A big THANK YOU to all who helped us in any way.

12/06/2016 Kids Out Wednesday 8th June

Both Jessie and I had a great day out at Legoland have not done this Rotary activity for a while but glad I am now back on track.

We actually were split into two different groups which does not usually happen and Jessie and I went round with the children and staff from Castlebar School in Ealing and I must say it was such a pleasure for us the children were all so well behaved and the staff magnificent.

We both managed to go on a couple of the rides and all the children had a great laugh when I got soaked on one of the water rides.

Like everyone the real delight of the day is seeing the smiling faces of the children especially when they are a bit concerned as to whether they might like the activity or not.


04/06/2016 French Evening help on Tuesday 31st May 2016

Well what a fantastic evening we had organised by Monique Rima and

Richard Jones from our International committee, this was not a fund raising event just a social evening for members and friends of our Rotary club. One of my friends from way back to my early Avis days Chris Clark and his partner Judy Cowan certainly rose to the occasion by wearing traditional French attire and Chris found in his garage his mother's old bicycle which must have been at least 70 years old which helped to set the scene. The meal was superb and we had a wine tasting competition and a great selection of French cheeses.

President Robert Short's maternal grandfather Jean Louis Fasquelle a French gentleman came to London in about 1902 to work for his brother-in-law Corin Franco who had a fruit and vegetable business at Covent Garden market in London, some pictures and the French family history were passed round for all to see and read. The evening finished with a number of folk participating in the French game of boules.

Before the evening had started President Robert presented Angela Lount with a Paul Harris fellowship, these awards in memory of the founder of Rotary are given in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among the peoples of the world. Angela thoroughly deserved this award for all the work done in the community but also for the absolute joy and sunshine Angela brings to all who have the great pleasure of meeting and being helped by Angela in many different ways.

I think I can say that a really great time was had by all who came along.

Au revoir

06/05/2016 Know Your Blood Pressure!

For many years now The Stroke Association has joined forces with Rotary Clubs up and down the country to run 'Know your Blood Pressure' (KYBP) days. Over 152,000 people in the UK (most commonly aged over 65yrs) have a stroke each year and sadly many die and others have significant disabilities. In many cases, a raised blood pressure is the main cause but many of these individuals were totally unaware they had a raised blood pressure as there are often no symptoms and so they do not seek help. If a raised blood pressure is identified early, it can be treated very effectively and a stroke prevented.

On the 6th May 2016, five members from our Rotary Club ran a Know Your Blood Pressure day for the participants of a Strength and Balance exercise class meeting in a local church hall. All participants completed a consent form before having their blood pressure recorded explaining what happens to the data and all received a copy of the readings to keep or take to their GP if necessary. About one quarter of all the clients tested (all were over 65yrs) had a blood pressure reading that was just outside the 'normal' range and another person had a blood pressure that was significantly high. All were referred to their GPs. The session was considered by the participants to be very successful and much appreciated by the participants.

As there are over 20 Strength and Balance classes running across Ealing, our club plans to offer 'Know Your Blood Pressure' sessions to these groups supported by other Rotary Clubs in Ealing. No charges are made and our clients are offered a cup of tea or coffee after they have had their blood pressure recorded! All the information is confidential and only the readings (not the names of participants) are sent to the Stroke Association for statistical purposes.

Our club would like to find a large central venue in Ealing where we could offer to take the blood pressure of any member of the public but sadly no venue has been made available free of charge as it has in other boroughs! We will carry on looking as we believe this is a very worthwhile service and we could offer it to any adult in the community.

08/04/2016 Pensioners' Party

We held our annual Pensioners' Party on Friday 8th April at St Thomas' Church Hall in Boston Road Hanwell, entertaining 65 (older) local residents.

We got off to a poor start when the electrics in the kitchen blew when we turned them on! Full marks to our catering team who boiled water in saucepans to ensure our 65 guests had a cup of tea on arrival! To add to our difficulties the trees immediately outside the main entrance to the hall were apparently scheduled to be trimmed that day just as our guests arrived! Workmen servicing the church organ next door had parked their vans in the hall car park and a security chap blocked off a small service road used by hall users to exit the car park, so our arrival this year was a challenging experience!

However once all our guests had arrived and we had managed to summon help to restore the electrics, a group of hand bell ringers, entertained our guests by ringing well known songs for our guests to join in.This was followed by a session of bingo during which one could have heard a pin drop! We are very grateful to 3 hardworking members of Waitrose staff from West Ealing branch who helped particularly our blind guests.

The high tea (almost all home made) was very well received again and was followed by a raffle with 3 prizes on each of the 9 tables. Pass the parcel with prizes in each layer, a musical quiz (with prizes) and a further game of bingo kept our guests busy. Towards the end of our party we provided drinks (with 'snowballs' yet again being the most popular!) plus a piece of 'well laced' fruit cake decorated as a Rotary wheel. All our guests went home with a small 'Goodie Bag' kindly donated by Tesco Perivale.

Some of our prizes were donated by Tesco Yeading and M&S Ealing Broadway and for which we were very grateful.

Despite our early challenges, our guests seem to have enjoyed themselves again and we have already been asked for the date of our party next year! Our party would not be possible each year without the hard work of all members and their partners so a very big thank you to you all.

27/03/2016 Race Night Friday 26th Febuary

Sorry for the late report it is like a lame horse just getting to the winning post at last!!

Well although our numbers were a bit down on prior years what a magnificent evening and result we raised £1,207 and my very sincere thanks go out to all who attended, sponsored horses and races and made very generous donations, the raffle alone raised £193 and I am always amazed at folks generosity.

As a result of this we are able to purchase two literacy boxes at a total cost of £590 and the balance of £617 has gone to Water Aid.

I thought the novelty race was excellent fun throwing a dice to see which numbered wooden horse moved along the track to see which one got first to the winning post.

Our next social evening is on Tuesday 31st May at the Brentham club when we are going to have a French Evening so if anyone would like to attend this function, which should be great fun, please contact Monsieur Robert Short on

07932579624 Merci beaucoup.

23/02/2016 Rotary International is celebrating its 111th Birt

Rotary International (commonly just called Rotary) is celebrating its 111th birthday!

Here is a flavour of what our club (Hanwell and Northfields) has been up to since Rotary was 110!

Our small but very active club in West London has:

  • Provided purple crocus bulbs to a local infant school to plant giving a living reminder of the work done by Rotary worldwide, the WHO and the Bill Gates Foundation to eradicate polio from the world. The crocuses look super scattered around the school grounds right now. We fear some squirrels must have had a snack in the winter as have fewer crocuses than planted!
  • Run an Easter Party for 75 local pensioners. Each guest went home with an Easter Egg kindly donated by Tesco Perivale.
  • Completed the refurbishment of the Nature and Picnic area at Log Cabin. (A play centre for children with learning difficulties and their siblings).
  • Continued to send super little knitted teddies to the children in the Ealing Women’s Refuge. We have a small band of knitters who keep our supply coming to the delight of the new and often traumatised children in the Refuge. The smiles on the little faces when they pick a teddy to keep, is testimony to the pleasure and reassurance these teddiesWe provide to their little owners.
  • Taken 15 children with profound learning difficulties (with their carers) to Legoland Windsor for the day
  • Run a Technology Tournament in conjunction with a local high school
  • Supported ‘Youth Makes Music’ at the Festival Hall.
  • Filled 10 shoe boxes with Christmas gifts for boys aged 10 – 14yrs via Samaritans Purse -Christmas Child Appeal. (This is apparently the most difficult age range to select gifts for!) Our boxes went to the Ukraine.
  • Decorated and filled 24 shoe boxes with presents for each of the children (0 -18yrs) in Ealing Women’s Refuge. We also provided stationery packs for children having to change schools when they moved into the Refuge.
  • Helped to run the local Rotary Youth Speaks competition
  • Provided three regular volunteers at Ealing Foodbank.
  • Supported local events such as Light up the Lane, a local Firework display

We also Raised Funds for:

  • Action for Children
  • Alice Gross (Youth Music Memorial Fund)
  • Children’s Air Ambulance
  • Harefield Hospital Fun Run Appeal – funding towards a cardiac unit
  • Ovarian Cancer Fund Raising Appeal
  • Samaritans
  • Shaw Trust
  • Shelter Box
  • Water Aid
  • ...and others

If you would like to find out more and visit our club, we would be delighted to welcome you. We meet on Tuesday evenings, for a meal together but you don’t have to eat or have a drink, just come and join us for an enjoyable evening as we plan our next events! We meet in the Brentham Club 38A Meadvale Road Ealing W5 1NP.

More information on our website under the various headings.

13/11/2015 Annual Quiz Night

Held at the Brentham club on Friday 13th November, a really great success 92 folk attended and very well supported by members, friends, family and the Rotary club of Greenford and past members of Acton Rotary Club.

The total raised from the event £700, the winning team at the end of the evening past members of Acton Rotary club so £200 prize money goes to the ‘West London Trust’, who help and supports good and deserving causes in Acton.

The balance of £500 will be sent to the ‘Children’s Air Ambulance Service’.

During the evening the club were delighted when Dave Brakespear presented to Rotarian Monique Rima a ‘Paul Harris Fellowship’ for all the help Monique has given Rotary over many years and to the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.

Paul Harris founded Rotary in Chicago in 1903

29/09/2015 Speaker Heathrow Chaplaincy

Our joint speakers were the Rev Dr John Parry and his wife Yvonne Parry who are currently doing a five year stint at Deanway United Church Chalfont-St-Giles before returning to their home in Manchester.

Both do a session each Thursday at Heathrow Airport and they gave us a fascinating inside into the work the various Chaplains undertake.

76,000 people work at Heathrow and more income is generated through retail sales than through aircraft movements. The daily average aircraft movements in 2013 was 1286 and 82 different airlines use LHR. Passengers arriving and departing in 2013 totalled 72.3 million.

The chaplains representing all religious dominations work in all the terminal buildings and the functions covered are.

Being a non-anxious presence in stressful times

Being a listening ear in times of joy and sorrow

Work alongside the Heathrow Travel Care and other airport staff in the provision of humanitarian assistance

Providing opportunities for worship, prayer, meditation and reflection

Calming tense situations

Providing a 24/7 on call service for emergencies.

The talk by Yvonne and John was very interesting with many examples of how a day strolling round LHR plays out.

06/09/2015 Harefield Hospital Charity Fun Run

For the last 9 years three of our members, Denise, Monique and Bob have managed to complete the 5k fun run to raise funds for this hospital.

Harefield this year is celebrating 100 years since it was first established, it has provided the care and recovery of thousands of patients through the dedication of staff and the ground breaking medical and scientific achievements that have taken place since 1915.

The current fund raising is going towards the redevelopment of the Intensive Therapy Unit and new MRI & CT Scanning Centre.

01/09/2015 Guest Speaker: Great Ormond Street Hospital

On Tuesday 1st September we had a speaker Peter Roche who is a Charity Ambassador for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

This hospital is one of the top five paediatric research hospitals in the world, treating children from all over the UK and abroad with very complex and often life-treating conditions.

Peter gave us a very interesting insight into the hospital followed by an open discussion and many questions from the members of the club.

GOSH has helped so many children, some who are known personally to members of the club, so it gave me tremendous pleasure to give Peter a cheque for £650 being the proceeds raised at our Sunday lunch in July in support of all the fine work done at this exceptional hospital.

Robert Short

18/08/2015 Bowling Evening in Pitshanger Park.

Many of our members are on holiday in August so on Tuesday 18th August we had an informal bowls evening at Pitshanger Park Bowls club and an enjoyable evening was had by the 11 members who participated.

I am keen to promote Rotary sporting activates because it is a great way to have fellowship with Rotarians in other clubs, is an excellent way of keeping fit which is always top of my agenda due to my complex heart condition.

But I feel it might be a way to try and persuade younger folk to give Rotary a try because folk can entry a variety of sporting competitions against other clubs such as badminton, golf, snooker, squash as well as outdoor green bowling.

In fact playing a bowls completion the other week against Leytonstone & Woodford and one of the players was Alan Burnay who happens to be the golf convener and he might just have persuaded me to enter the golf completion next year. It will do my golf hopefully no harm to play on different courses with other players to try and help me improve!

Sport is a great way of keeping fit and active whatever standard you may have reached.

12/07/2015 Riverside BBQ

Our annual joint function with the Rotary Club of Eaton and Windsor was held on Sunday 12th July at Kris Cruises. This delightful location by the river Thames in Datchet is owned by our hosts Pam and Chris Clarke and it is very nice of them to let us use this facility.

Although the numbers where a bit down on prior year a good time was had by all who attend and the total proceeds for the afternoon amounted to £600 split jointly between the clubs and the funds going to Rotary Foundation.

This event was organised by our International committee and my thanks go to all who helped in any way on the day

The cooking gets underway.

Cheers from Me.

Winner of the duck face crosses the line.

05/07/2015 Sunday Lunch

Held again this year in the Garden of President Elects pad Richard Jones, and thanks go to Carol and Richard for proving this lovely venue.

The proceeds this year are going to’Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’ and we managed to raise about £600 to go to this fantastic hospital who help so many children and their families.

The sun eventually came out and everyone had a really fantastic time.

30/06/2015 Handover Evening

We had a magnificent year under the leadership of our outgoing President Angela, we achieved a lot as a small effective group and had a great amount of fun.

Bob Short took over the Presidency for the coming Rotary year and introduced the committee chairs and what their main objectives were for the coming year.

The Rotary theme for the year is ‘Be a Gift to the World’ which is all about helping others so we look forward to our fund raising events during the year to try and achieve giving something back to those less fortunate than us.

The most important thing is to work together and have some fun.

28/06/2015 Party in the Park

A selection of pictures from the Pitshanger Community Association annual Party in the Park.

Once again we had a stall at Party in the Park (Pitshanger Park Ealing). Although bright and dry last Sunday whilst we were setting up, the heavens opened (as predicted) just before the event opened at midday and we spent the next 2 hours sheltering and trying to keep our prizes dry! By 2pm the rain stopped and before long the sun was out and the visitors to the park arrived! This year we worked jointly with the Rotary Club of Ealing to raise funds for ShelterBox via the tombola. We also had a shuffleboard, (which ran non stop throughout the afternoon to the delight of the children,) sold new and secondhand books together with a little jewellery at bargain prices to raise funds to buy Christmas presents for the children in Ealing Women's Refuge.

The delayed start was very unfortunate but the weather was then beautiful and so we stayed open longer than usual as we still had customers! Some VERY weary Rotarians made their way home at about 7pm but we all agreed it had been a very good day! Many thanks to all our customers!

13/06/2015 Castlebar School Fun Day

For an number of years the club has helped at Castlebar school’s summer fun day. The school caters for children with moderate to severe learning difficulties. It is relatively small and the families are distributed across the Borough. Nevertheless the parents, staff and children work hard every year to make this day a success and we go to give a helping hand. We ran a candy floss stall and after a slow start we got going and by the end we had a queue! All the takings were handed over to add to the proceeds for the day.

10/06/2015 Rotary Kids Out Day to Legoland Windsor

Once again we took some children from Castlebar and Springhallow Special schools in Ealing to Legoland Windsor on Rotary Kids Out Day, traditionally the second Wednesday in June.

Seven Rotarians accompanied 15 children and their teachers to the theme park. We provided a picnic lunch and of course an ice cream or ice lolly and a good time was had by all. I shall long remember the expressions on the faces of the children as they 'flew' in helicopters, took a short train journey and travelled along on a small boat passing nursery rhyme characters all made of course from Lego!

Some very weary young people and equally tired teachers had enjoyed another memorable day at Kids Out. Many thanks to all the helpers!

05/05/2015 More Teddies go to the Children at Ealing Women's

Another batch of teddies found their way to the children of Mums living in Ealing Women's Refuge. These cuddly little fellows are given to each of the young children when they arrive at the Refuge as many have had to leave home quickly with few of their toys. The teddies are made by members and friends of the 'Knit and Natter' group at Northolt Methodist Church who ensure a small supply is always available for these children. Very many thanks to the knitters who have now been knitting for over a year and made in excess of 70 teddies! Well done!

22/03/2015 Youth Makes Music

20/03/2015 Pensioners' Party

Friday 20th March saw us running our annual Pensioners' Party at St Thomas' Church Hall in Hanwell. We entertained 70+ older residents of Hanwell and Northfields and the environs. During the 3 hour party our guests were accompanied as they sang well known songs of the 1940s and 50s, played Bingo, pass the parcel, various raffles and a musical quiz. They really enjoyed a 'slap up' tea of homemade sandwiches and cakes including two beautiful rich fruit cakes (made by one of our male members) and washed down with gallons of tea. Towards the end of the afternoon / evening our guests enjoyed a little alcoholic beverage to suit their palates! The time flew by and judging by the many e-mails, cards and messages, we have received, everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves and have asked if they can come again next year!

Thanks to the partners who helped by making and serving the food, our members and friends for providing transport to and from the party and helping at the party and to Barclays, Waitrose West Ealing and Tesco Perivale without whose support we could not have arranged the party. Thank you all.

Everyone settling in for the afternoon.

Some Rotary Themed cakes.

Catering in full swing.

12/03/2015 Technology Tournament

03/03/2015 50's Tea Party in aid of Ovarian Cancer awareness.

This evening we had a tea party in lieu of our usual dinner, the differnce in cost added to some funds collected resulted in us having £140.00 available for the charity as well as having a very enjoyable evening.

Janet arrived resplendent in her birthday suit.

And Rod provided excellent entertainment.

27/02/2015 Race Night

We decided to liven up our annual race night by using the knitted teddies for Hestia Ealing Women’s Refuge to "run a race" as well as to take part in "Tumbling Teddies".

Our chosen charities for the evening were WaterAid and Project Peru, Liz from Project Peru attended and helped through the evening by manning the tote and rolling the dice for the Teddy Race.

We raised over one thousand pounds and everyone appeared to have enjoyed the evening.

Racing Teddies

Teddies ready to tumble

Owing to technological issues we had a second teddy race.

19/02/2015 Gift of Children's Books Delivered to Ealing Women

One of our club members delivered a donation of children's books plus 5 more stationery packs to Ealing Women's Refuge. The Refuge has three book cases of children's books and some were well used and showing their age! The new books (for various ages) will be a super addition and were very well received. Several children have moved into the Refuge since our last visit and each has been delighted with their stationery pack and a special teddy!

12/02/2015 Purple Crocuses to Log Cabin

February is 'End Polio Now' month when we celebrate the work of Rotary International, the World Health Organisation and Bill Gates. (He has donated large sums of money to eradicate the world of polio.) Progress has been stunning but we are not there yet.

Each February Rotarians worldwide use the purple crocus to symbolise the campaign. (Each child immunised in the countries with polio, has their little finger dipped into purple dye to signify they have been immunised. This looks rather like a little purple crocus! When we planted purple crocuses and minature daffodils in the picnic and nature area at Log Cabin last year we lost both to the resident squirrels! In an attempt to beat the bushy tailed 'thieves' this year and have some purple crocuses blooming in the Log Cabin garden in February this year, a member nutured the crocus bulbs in a cold frame over the winter and they were planted today. Despite being almost in bloom I notice a squirrel investigating the newly arrived bulbs! I just hope purple crocuses are less attractive to squirrels when almost in bloom!

It was good to see that most of the large daffidils planted in the nature area last year are almost in bloom and some bulbs had even survived in the tubs! The dogwood sapling hedge has taken root and each has plenty of shoots this year. The area itself is looking good with all of the overgrowth each side of the area cleared. So the children should be able to start using the area once the warmer weather comes.

03/02/2015 Two area events in one evening

This evening we hosted the Rotary Club of Greenford in the final round of the district quiz as well as hosting the Rotary Club of Barnet in the fourth round of the Area Darts.

Bill excelled at darts getting both finishing doubles so we progress to the next round.

The news from the quiz is that we are not invited to participate in the final. Congratulations to Greenford.

27/01/2015 Three Clubs Meeting

The Rotary Clubs of Greenford, Ealing and ourselves Hanwell & Northfields gathered this evening for our annual Three Clubs Meeting.

Our guest speakers were both Adrian Faiers and Richard Moseley from ShelterBox and Gerard Casale from WaterAid pictured here with our three presidents, David Storrie of Greenford, myself and Avi Tchiprpur from Ealing.

Richard and Adrian had brought along a box which was fascinating to see.

Whilst these are both charities which we have actively supported over the years it is very easy to assume that we know what they are about and loose sight of the fact that these are both charities that have pit effort into learning and have evolved what they do. A very worthwhile and entertaining evening that has given is a fresh view of these organisations.

23/01/2015 Burns Night

For the first time in a few years we gathered this evening to celebrate Robert Burns.

The haggis was addressed with skill.

Addressed there was only one thing to do.

Wonderful evening that was enjoyed by all.

06/01/2015 Semi Final of the District Quiz

This evening we hosted the Rotary Club of Chelsea for the semi-final of the district quiz.

Our quiz-master was AG Francis and having won by a narrow margin we look forwards to meeting either Greenford or the EClub in the final.

22/12/2014 Christmas Presents for Children in Ealing Women's

17 shoe boxes decorated in Christmas paper and filled to bursting with small Christmas gifts by club members, were distributed by Father Christmas to the children in Ealing Women's Refuge. All the items seemed to be very well received judging by the expressions on the children's faces. One teenager was clearly delighted with his designer sunglasses that he wore continuously whilst practising on his newly acquired mouth organ! One young lady would not be separated from her cat face mask and in her black top and tights was soon entertaining the others with her cat antics! An older girl had carefully placed the make-up and other items she had been given into the handbag which was obviously her favourite present. One little chap loved his 'snappy' crocodile book and could not stop laughing when the crocodile snapped at him! Another child had carefully kept her box in tact as she wanted to open it later with her Mum who was unable to be present when Santa called.

Each box contained about 10 items such as hat and gloves, a book, wind up torch, chocolate, sweets, toy, game and other items relevant to the age of the child. The delight on the children's faces will be with me for a long time.

16/12/2014 Christmas Dinner and Silent Auction.

This evening was our Christmas Dinner well supported by members, past members, friends and guests.

Everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves.

Neil prepared an excellent carvery.

Angela welcomed Tim as a friend of the club.

And our silent auction was a success in aid of ShelterBox.

15/12/2014 Christmas Collecting

This year we collected as usual at Waitrose West Ealing for 3 days and for a day at a new venue for us at Tesco Yeading. Just about every member played their part from actual collecting to lending a music maker so we could play carols and other festive music which, with one exception, was really enjoyed by the shoppers. We even had handwarmers donated by a member (as it can get very cold on the windy Waitrose corner) but very few were actually used as the weather was generally kind to us this year. Experience has shown headgear attracts donations and in the photo Denise and Rod are modelling a traditional line in antlers and Santa hat! Sadly a canine collector made short work of one pair of antlers which he was not keen to wear (can't blame him) but he certainly encouraged donors by his friendly manner!

The funds raised over the four days will help to fund some of our activities next year including our annual Pensioner's Party and taking a group of special needs children to Legoland in June for Kids Out. Many thanks to our donors.

30/11/2014 Light Up the Lane

The last day of November saw us distributing programmes and bucket collecting for PCA (Pitshanger Community Association) at 'Light Up the Lane' (Pitshanger Lane in Ealing). At this annual event, the traders in the Lane and others, set out their wares along the Lane which is closed to traffic with a diversion in place. Various community groups, including schools, music and dance groups perform on the main stage. The Christmas lights along the Lane were again turned on by Steve Pound MP. Mulled wine, hot dogs snd burgers of all kinds and candy floss were available as the visitors ambled along the myriad of stalls.

When I left, having distributed all my programmes, the evening was just getting underway with everyone, very young and old alike, having a good time!

25/11/2014 Packing Shoe Boxes for a local refuge.

As I was away David was in the chair for this evening.

Our task for this evening was to pack shoe boxes for a local Women's Refuge, this was made more interesting as we had been requested to wrap each item in the boxes individually.

We started with the contents allocated to the boxes and had much fun finding the scissors and tape under the paper.

Task accomplished we celebrated with a group photograph.

At the request of the Refuge we have also put together 20 stationery packs each containing a pencil case, pens, pencils, coloured pencils,felt tips or crayons (depending on age), an eraser, pencil sharpener, colouring books or writing paper and note book. These will be given out throughout the year to children when they arrive at the Refuge and start in a new school.

24/11/2014 Darts Tournament

First round of this year's darts tournament for the B team, we hosted Edmonton. The result could have gone either way for several rounds, we claimed victory eventually.

21/11/2014 Quiz Night

This evening was our annual quiz night in aid of children's charities.

Here I am preparing for the rounds of questions

The teddies from knitters at a local Knit and Natter Group made a guest appearance

With the one closest to the bull winning it's sponsor a hansom prize, we fortunately had bowls experts to hand who could make the decision.

Thanks to Richard for arranging such a successful evening.

08/11/2014 Brentham Club Fireworks

This evening we offered our usual support to the Brentham Club where we hold our weekly meetings for their annual fireworks event.

Here are Bill and myself setting up the drinks stall.

Sue thought the process was worth a good laugh.

Unfortunately the evening was marred by rain so we could not set up our usual candy-floss stall outside. David seized the opportunity for a warm, dry event so we set up in the Club Cafe.

Dry as he may have remained I suspect David went home a little sweeter than usual.

04/11/2014 Christmas Shoeboxes

This evening saw us filling a dozen shoe boxes with contents provided or funded by members. The charity Samaritan's Purse always receives fewer boxes filled for boys aged 10-14 years so we concentrated on filling boxes for this grouponly. Each box contained the items requested which of course had to be small enough to fit into a shoe box.....a challenge in itself! Each of our boxes contained soap, flannel, tooth brush, toothpaste, comb, exercise books, pencil case (containing pens, pencils, coloured pens and pencils, eraser, sharpener, permanent marker) plus a solar calculator, travel game set, sweets, tennis ball, wind up torch, dominoes, playing cards and either a woolen hat and gloves (for cold countries)or a cap and sunglasses (for hot countries). Yes, unbelievable but it did all fit in with careful packing!

One of our members very kindly funded the delivery costs for each box and we will track our boxes to know where they were sent and look forward to being notified in the spring. We hope the disadvantaged youngsters in some of the world's poorest countries receiving these boxes, will be delighted with the contents.

15/10/2014 District Quiz

Some of our members attended the Rotary Club of Ealing this evening to take part in the first round of the District Quiz. Whilst we won it feels a slightly empty victory as Ealing's final deciding answer was correct but not sufficiently accurate to match the quiz sheet. Final score 41 - 42.

Here are Avi Tchiprout from RC Ealing with Francis Uwaechi, AG West.

07/10/2014 Guest speaker from Ealing Rotaract.

I was very glad to be back this evening when our gueat speaker was Kerry from the Rotaract Club of Ealing. Kerry told us how she had initially become involved in Rotary through RYLA firstly as a Young Leader and then as a Mentor. She moved down from Scotland and joined the Rotaract Club of Ealing and is an enthusiastic promoter of their activities including a sponsored 'Homeless Sleep Out' spending the night in a cardboard box in Ealing to highlight the reality of rough sleeping and homelessness, a 'Santa Run' for charity in Battersea Park and helping us with our Log Cabin project. Kerry is also a member of District promoting increased Rotaract membership across London and more joint working between Rotaract and Rotary clubs. Kerry's enthusiasm was clear throughout her presentation and we look forward to working with the Rotaract Club of Ealing again this year during our Christmas collections.

30/09/2014 Partner's Evening

Unfortunatly I was unable to be present so Bob chaired the meeting on my behalf.

Our guest speaker this evening's was Francesca from React, we were delighted to be able to present her with a cheque for funds raised at our Sunday Lunch.

23/09/2014 District Governor David Palmer's Visit

Having been taken ill Bob chaired this meeting where our guest speaker was David Palmer, District Governor for Rotary in London. He presented an inspiring address which the Club found very interesting.

14/09/2014 Rotary in London district Clay Shoot at Tilbury

Julia represented out Club at this event.

26/08/2014 Speaker Evening

In addition to hosting regular speakers at our meetings we encourage our members to talk about what they do in their business lives, this evening was Sue's change to tell us about her career in logistics. An excellent talk with many examples of the publisher's art which would not translate well to digital media.


The knitters at a local Knit and Natter Group have been busy knitting Teddies again with one knitter excelling! Eunice Morris has knitted and stuffed well over 30 of the 50+ Teddies we have received to give to the children at Hestia Ealing Women’s Refuge. Eunice was thanked at a meeting recently and is shown here with me and the Chair of our Community Committee (Janet Bettaccini) and a few of the Teddies. (It was Janet who suggested our club adopted Teddy knitting which was an idea thought up by the Rotary Club of Lutterworth for disadvantaged young children) . So popular are the Teddies locally, we have been asked to provide them in all the Refuges across London but that is a task too far even for Eunice!

We will be forwarding the second batch of 25 Teddies shortly but plan to do some more fund raising for the Refuge with these Teddies before they go. From the Teddies has come the idea of giving each of the children in the local refuge a selection of small presents at Christmas contained in a decorated shoe box and we are currently collecting toys etc to fill about 20 boxes. Photos of us filling shoe boxes will come later!


Angela, Eunice and Janet

29/07/2014 Partner's Evening with talk from our Youth Exchange Student

For the first time in several years, our club decided to support a Short Term Youth Exchange student. We were fortunate to have Ewelina from Hanwell who attends Cardinal Wiseman School as our student and she exchanged with an equally delightful Italian student, Marina. In the photos, Marina and I exchange tokens from each Rotary Club and Marina describes her home and family life to our members.

Ewelina stayed with Marina’s family for 3 weeks in June in Saint -Pierre in Northern Italy and had a wonderful time. They travelled back together in early July when Marina lived with Ewelina and her family. Rotarian Janet was Marina’s Rotarian counsellor and met the girls soon after Marina arrived and they got to know each other informally sharing a meal together. Both students gave a lively presentation to our club about their respective visits and we discovered both wish to become medical doctors!

The girls had clearly made great friends and truly appreciated discovering each other’s culture visiting places of interest (including a tour of the apartments at Buckingham Palace with some of our club members) sampling differing foods and shopping in Italian and English department  stores! Some interests never change!  

We are delighted to have supported these students and look forward to attending a review meeting of all Exchange Students in London on 7th September.

13/07/2014 Riverside Barbecue

Despite poor weather forecast the sun shone and we had a great afternoon with the usual boat trips, raffle and duck race.

Richard Jones that the entertainment was insufficient so jumped into the river to give us a brief swimming demonstration.

This event raised over £600.00 towards Rotary Foundation.

07/07/2014 President's Charity Lunch

Slightly daunting prospect of my first public event as President. Need not have had any concerns as the partners did their usual splendid job of providing food and we Rotarians managed to run the bar and raffle.

The profit from the event was over £700 including funds raised on a silent auction for a cream whipper provided by iSi, raffle, bar, ticket sales and donations received on the day.

Despite the distractions of Novak Djokovic versus Federer at Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix it was a great fundraising event.


An great choice of raffle prizes.

Dessert being made with an iSi cream whipper

28/06/2014 Our Youth Exchange Student flies to Italy today

Short Term Youth Exchange

24/06/2014 Speaker on Refuge for poor children in Peru

An enthralling speaker - most talk for about 10 minutes, this one did nearer 25 and still had everyone's full attention; something to do with the obvious passion and commitment to the project.

A great charitable project which deserves support, more info available at


23/06/2014 Stocktaking Day at Ealing Food Bank

Five and a half hours of hot, dirty, heavy work weighing all the food for the annual stocktaking - haven't had so much fun since we relocated the logs for the Log Cabin.

But very glad it is only once a year.

22/06/2014 Party in the Park

A great day in Pitshanger Park, our stall included a Tombola, Book sale and Shuffleboards - a fun game for kids of all ages.

Almost all members (and many partners)of the Club were involved in some part of the organisation, transportation and manning of the stall which was raising money for The Log Cabin and children at Ealing Women's Refuge.

08/06/2014 Picnic at the "Log Cabin"

To mark the 60th anniversary of the formation of Hanwell Rotary Club we decided to have a picnic at the Log Cabin to also mark completion of the nature area there with our donation of two bench tables.

Unfortunately our booking was superseded by a children's party so we switched venue at short notice. For pictures of the work and results at Log Cabin see the "Recent" tab but here is a picture of our picnic.

27/05/2014 Speaker from Ealing Women's Refuge

We have done some small things to support and were looking to find out whether there is anything more we can do. Clearly there is a need but mostly for funding although we did find it would be useful to contribute presents for the children at Christmas.

20/05/2014 Speaker on Rheumatoid Heart Diseaset

The main focus was on the considerable progress made in means of detecting defects early enough to help people avoid problems or to facilitate early small interventions that obviate later major surgery. I did not really understand how it all works but could see that technology has changed in 50 years from the size of a room to the size of a mobile 'phone and with greater definition.

06/05/2014 Partner's Evening with speaker and other stuff

We had the district Governor to speak in his capacity as a person who knows lots of interesting stuff rather than as somebody who wears a chain of office.

he brought us up to date on the fight against Polio - we really are close but the areas remaining are fraught with conflict - the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, Northern Nigeria (playground of Boku Haram);it is a sobering thought that the numbers killed in these conflicts will be far outweighed by the Polio victims to come if we do not succeed!

On a happier note, a District wide project to provide a minibus to help victims of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine is progressing well and we handed over £100 to help this along.

Ruairi hands £100 to District Governor.

We also held a raffle in aid of our efforts at the Log cabin and raised £130 towards the purchase of some new furniture for the picnic area.

The evening was rounded off by the District Governor presenting a PHF to Ruairi in recognition of his years of service to our Club, particularly the task of maintaining this website.

District Governor hand PHF to Ruairi.

28/03/2014 Pensioners Party

One of the highlights of the year for our Club, and many of our guests. The RC Ealing helped us out with the transport which is always a challenge, particularly with guests from the Blind Club, some guests in wheelchairs and some over 100 years old. Barclays financed a lot of the food, one of our members made two iced "Easter Cakes", another made shortbread and many of our partners made food as well as organising the kitchen.

Dave polishing his speech before the guests arrive, note Easter Cakes and Eggs on stage.

We of course started out with a cup of tea, progressed through a sing-along to a game of Bingo (prizes kindly donated by local stores) and onto sandwiches, cakes , jelly, tea, more cakes, drinks, a raffle (prizes kindly donated by local stores)and then a bit of a departure from the norm....

Within Rotary we have a thing called a Paul Harris Fellowship which is obtained by donating US$1000 to the Rotary Foundation; in many countries members are encouraged to buy one for themselves but in the UK the generally accepted practice is that the Clubs buy them and award them to those they consider to have given particularly meritorious service in support of the aims of Rotary. Today we gave away two-

The first was to the lady who ran several of the local "Pop-Ins" for many years and recently retired having given a great deal of service to the Community well above and beyond the call of duty. The second was to our own Community Service Chairman, Janet, in recognition of the astounding amount of energy and sheer hard work she puts into all of our Community Service Events; we have some idea how difficult such things can be just from trying to arrange for Janet's husband to be present without her becoming aware of her award in advance.

Dave handing over the PHF to a very surprised Janet.

...the presentations were followed up with more bingo, more drinks and the distribution of Easter Eggs (kindly donated by a local store)

After that it only remained for us to transport guests home through the rush hour, tidy up the hall and collapse exhausted but generally pleased with a good days work.

05/03/2014 Tesco Easter Egg Donation

Our Community service Chairman, Janet, secured a great contribution to the Pensioners Party, 28th March, of 90 Easter Eggs from Tesco, Perivale and I went to collect them.

28/02/2014 Race Night at the Brentham Club

In aid of ShelterBox http://www.shelterbox.org/ and WaterAid http://www.wateraid.org/uk/, both very worthwhile causes that rally make a difference.

We have just over 60 people attending including one of our candidates for a Rotary Youth Exchange Programme. The Rotaract Club provided volunteers to man the Tote , which was a remarkable contribution as they were on their way to a Sleep Out to raise awareness of Homelessness.

An enjoyable evening during which we managed to raise over £1400 thanks to the generosity of members and their friends; with the benefit of support from Barclays £1000 of this will be doubled making a total of £2400.

With the proceeds of the Silent Auction and other efforts we will end up with £2000 for ShelterBox and £1000 for WaterAid.

27/02/2014 Four Clubs meeting

Hosted by R C Greenford this year at the Bridge Hotel, Greenford, this is an annual event for all the Clubs in the borough, Ealing, Greenford, ourselves and Southall (who failed to attend).

Greenford took the opportunity to promote their Charity for the year, Veterans Aid, with a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the Black Watch as the speaker.

12/02/2014 Youth Speaks

Organised by Rotary Clubs in west London, lead by Ealing, this is the first round of a competition run across Britain and Ireland every year. The teams come from local schools and there are nine teams of Intermediates and five teams of Seniors. It is unfortunate that some of the schools where the pupils would probably benefit most from this kind of experience do not enter, presumably because of a lack of staff support.

The standard of speakers on show is always impressive and the range of topics very eclectic; fortunately our role has nothing to do with judging, we just help with stewarding and organising the refreshments.

11/02/2014 Bit of a dampner

The person who kindly lends us the facilities for our summertime barbecue alongside the Thames near Windsor sent us a couple of pictures of their office yesterday morning:-

nuff said.

04/02/2014 Club Meeting with speaker from Sight Savers

A very interesting talk, there are some 300 million people suffering from blindness yet 80% of these could have their sight restored with the right treatment.

One of our Youth Exchange students also visited us for the meeting.

18/01/2014 Log Cabin Garden - Phase 2

A dozen Rotarians and members of Rotaract turn out to continue our campaign to return the Garden to a state that can be used by the children.

We move out a huge pile of logs and stack them alongside the garage drive.

All the shorter timber is cut up, split and all nails removed so that it can be used in the kids camp fire.

We pick up and remove all the rubbish we can find although it is disappointing to find that the rubbish we stacked for clearance last time is still in place.

07/01/2014 Club Meeting & District Quiz vs R C Chelsea

We were confidently cruising towards a result until a late bout of enthusiasm from our side picked up a few points, in spite of this setback we managed to come second, ensuring that we do not have to find a team willing to enter the next round. This fine outcome was partially achieved thanks to the absence through sickness of the two members of our team who undermined our attempt to get eliminated in the last round.

The entire match was played in a good spirit and our comrades from Chelsea thoroughly deserved their win, we wish them every success in the next round.

The question master was our newly appointed assistant governor for the West area of London who introduced himself with a song - a bit different to put it mildly and he only took 4 minutes so that was well received.

19/12/2013 Ealing Food Bank

An extra evening shift to help sort generous donations ready for shipment in the New Year when we might be a bit light on volunteers. It all goes very well and I only have to do two hours and the job is completed.

18/12/2013 Educating Rita at the Questors, Ealing

We attend in support of the R C Ealing, the performance is in the Studio which works well for a two hander and is full. The performance is excellent, as are prices in the bar afterwards and fortunately the roof does not fall in on us so altogether a great evening.

17/12/2013 Club Christmas Meal & Silent Auction

This has become a regular fixture - we get a carvery-style meal with all the trimmings alongside a Silent Auction - basically we bring in items that we think other members will buy and we bid by putting the price we are prepared to pay for any on a list and when the time is up the last and highest bid gets it.

Sometimes it can get a bit frantic towards the close of bidding if there is competition for a particular item but this year it is fairly restrained. We raise £390 to split between Hanwell Homeless Concern and ShelterBox.

15/12/2013 Interview with Youth Exchange student and parents

A very nice young lady and family - cannot see and reason at all why they would not qualify for a three week exchange with a student from Europe. Come home feeling exceedingly happy that we have such a suitable candidate to sponsor. Will try to get the paperwork moving before Xmas.

13/12/2013 Start of our Xmas Collection Weekend outside Waitrose

Slightly less cold than previous years but still cold enough after a two hour stint. The staff at Waitrose are always helpful and friendly plus this year the installation of a convenient coffee machine is a bonus.

generally the traffic is lower than previous years - presumably partly due to the economy but also the fact that it is a full week and a half to Xmas.

Nevertheless about the same proportion of the available public are kind enough to support us and I guess we will take around £1000 which will ensure we have funds for the pensioners party, disadvantaged Kids day out and a few other things.

06/12/2013 Ealing Social Club for the Blind Xmas Dinner

Starts at 7.00 instead of the usual 7.30 so anticipate a battle getting round the gyratory system to make my pick up - pleasantly surprised to find traffic is lighter than usual. So I manage to get my passenger to the venue early enough to buy him Christmas drink. I cannot do the ride home but it is not too difficult for someone to do an extra passenger on the way home when traffic is generally easier.

05/12/2013 Visit Rotaract Meeting

pleasing to again see some new faces at the meeting, they have a busy programme of Social and service events, also a chance to thank them for the help with work at the Log Cabin.

03/12/2013 Club Meeting and AGM

Not as grand as it sound but we do approve the Accounts for the last Rotary year and elect those who will take office from 1st July.

01/12/2013 Light up the Lane

We support the Pitshanger Community Association at Light up the Lane by giving out programme leaflets and shaking buckets one of our members helps with the sound system and another with the clear up afterwards. It is a great event with perhaps 5,000 people and a very relaxed atmosphere, the finishing firework display is excellent.

26/11/2013 Club Meeting and Speaker

A very interesting speaker from Age UK London talking about their Business Directory which lists only traders who have been vetted by them as suitable to be used by old and vulnerable people. seems a good source of local traders for anyone - www.aubdlondon.co.uk

23/11/2013 Trip to BBC News HQ

We have a trip to see the new BBC building, our tour starts at 10.30 but we need to arrive earlier to pass through security. The Central Line has got signalling problems at Tottenham Court Road and it looks like we shall be late: almost everyone is on a train stopped somewhere.

But we make it in time and the trip is great a very interesting 90 minutes, we get to play at being news reporters, weather forecasters and do a short radio sketch as well as learning a lot.

20/11/2013 Youth Exchange interview

Finally manage to get a meeting with, let's call him, J and his family to discuss his application to attend one of the Rotary sponsored summer camps - he is a very suitable candidate so we will endorse his application.

This is where the paperwork starts to be an issue as we want to submit J's form by 28th to achieve "early bird" status which almost guarantees a place and a wide range of camps on offer. We get signatures from J and his parents.

I countersign as witness but we also need to obtain the signature of our next year's President because the camp will take place during her term; Angela drops by the following morning to sign and I deliver the signed pages that afternoon.

All that is left is for J to complete his part of the form on-line. he is busy over the weekend but comes through on Monday, 25th so we have made it.

17/11/2013 Log Cabin Garden - Sunday

Less people needed today but we still have help from Rotaract and some new faces from our Club, tubs are planted with bulbs and we finish the ground work.

Part of the rubbish we cleared was a pile of crates and, after some hosing down and scrubbing, we are able to deliver these to Ealing Food Bank which can make good use of them.

16/11/2013 Log Cabin Garden - Saturday

A dozen of us, some from rotary and some from Rotaract, turn up to start work finding that a lot of rubbish has been dumped on the site since our initial survey and some of it is not at all pleasant!

Nevertheless we set to work and make great progress, by mid afternoon we have planted 100 small shrubs, cleared the rubbish into a pile for collection and discovered a strange tricycle.

09/11/2013 Brentham Fireworks

To support the Brentham Club where we meet we take our Candy floss machine along on Firework Night and sell it alongside soft drinks and sweets then give all the profit to the club.

Damp weather is not the ideal condition for making candy Floss but we have refined our technique over the years with one person feeding sugar into the machine, one person collecting the Floss and two people bagging - very labour intensive but quite jolly trying to keep up the pace.

Candy Floss seems popular as people queue to buy it all through the Firework display and we are the last stall to shut down - we always try to keep going to avoid disappointing anyone who has queued.

05/11/2013 Packing Christmas Boxes

After he Club meeting we pack Xmas boxes to send overseas to disadvantaged children - our target customer group is 12 - 14 year old boys - just about the most difficult.

It is amazing what you can get in a shoe box if you try - Flannel, bar of soap, tooth brush, tooth paste, comb, two writing books, pencil case, pens, pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener, Olympic biro with motif and 8 coloured inks, tennis ball, two packets of sweets, playing cards, dice, dominoes or similar, model plane kit or similar, table tennis bats and balls x 3 or cricket ball, hat or gloves.

We fill ten boxes and go home thinking we have done something useful.

01/11/2013 Quiz organised by Youth Committee

A great evening with a friend from Barclays as question master, we have a good time with about 12 teams competing for the prize of £200 donation to charity of choice.

With help from the raffle, a novel game called blues and reds and matching from Barclays we manage to raise:-

- just over £1000 for Young Carers www.ealing.gov.uk ? Social care ? Carers

- £230 for Children in need

- donate £200 to the Fragile X Society www.fragilex.org.uk

- and top up our own Youth Projects pot so we can fund activities for the rest of the year.

29/10/2013 Partner's Evening

Whenever there is a 5th Tuesday in the month we throw the Club meeting open to include partners and expand the menu up to three courses - the very least we can do in return for all the support we get throughout the year. Usually we have a speaker but on this occasion we have a new member induction instead.

In the final analysis the amount of useful things we can do is limited by our capacity to arrange and manage things and that is largely determined by the number of members so we could definitely do with more because the number of people needing help does not seem likely to be going down anytime soon.

22/10/2013 Club meeting with Quiz

We are joined by our friends from Heston & Isleworth RC for the first round of the Rotary District Quiz which takes place after our usual meal. Somehow our team manages to scrape a win which is most unusual and means we are through to the next round, yet to find out if we will be home or away.

We also agree to go ahead with seeking to sponsor a Youth Exchange candidate and advise the DYEO accordingly.

21/10/2013 My first session at Ealing Food Bank

It is only a couple of miles from my house to the storage space but with trees all over the roads it was more of a journey than I expected; anyway arrived on time and spend the next few hours weighing in food, sorting food and erecting storage racks to put it on.

EFB ealing.foodbank.org.uk is only just starting up; with tremendous support from local churches and schools there is already a lot of stock and the focus is now on getting the distribution up to speed as soon as possible. There is also a need for the kind of household items we all take for granted but which would come down the list if you were starving - soap, toothpaste/brushes, etc etc.

18/10/2013 District Conference at Eastbourne 18-20th October

More fun than it sounds we saw some great scenery on the way down

There were some great speakers

and we wore some silly hats (my fault I'm afraid)

We also got some useful information and a chance to talk with some charities we will probably be supporting in the next year.

16/10/2013 Call from the DYEO

This stands for District Youth Exchange Officer - someone in out area has registered an interest in attending an International Camp, we need to interview them (and their parents)and agree to sponsor their participation before they can complete an application.

these are a great opportunity for young people and are in support of our objective of promoting World Understanding and Peace so we would really like to do this - the main obstacle is the paperwork which, understandably, because of child protection precautions, is particularly strict but I think we will agree to give it a go.

02/10/2013 District Restructuring Meeting

Ostensibly a discussion at District HQ on the implications of changing District boundaries in a few year's time this turned out to focus more on changing the way the District functions in order to increase efficiency at all levels above Clubs. Yet to be seen if anyone takes any notice!

02/10/2013 Tieing up with Ealing RC

Our Colleagues at Ealing have come up with a novel fund raising project converting unwanted ties into useful items like bags and phone covers to sell in aid of Polio Plus - Rotary's massive programme to eradicate polio from the planet. We give this a mention at our meeting and over the next few weeks I see fistfuls of ties passing round the room en route to Ealing Club.

I keep my ties and hand them over in person at the District Conference which was probably a mistake as I end up with my photo on Facebook.

29/09/2013 Ealing Half Marathon

8.15 am meet up with members of Ealing Rotary Club to man a water station outside St Peter's Church. We get a T shirt and a breakfast in the Church Hall then set out our tables, bottles and plastic cups. The weather conditions are almost ideal, dry but not too hot with a light breeze.

At 9.00 we start pouring water into the cups ready for the start at 9.15, the lead car goes through at about 9.10 which means things are supposed to be on schedule for a 9.15 start but it is a bit strange that we do not actually get a message to say things started on time.

Around 9.25 the lead runner appears, well clear of the field and looking impressive, then things are busy but we cope with the volume reasonably well and by 10.00 we have finished clearing up, hand back our marshal's vests, collect a medal and head home.

27/09/2013 First visit to Ealing Food Bank

Montpelier Primary School has dedicated the produce from their Harvest Festival to EFB and I have been asked to collect it. The process has been well organised in advance so no trouble getting into the staff car park and finding my contact - the caretaker. He is a bit surprised that I have a car and not a lorry and I understand his feelings when I see the stage covered in contributions.

Nevertheless 45 minutes later he and I have managed to fit it all in, albeit the last bag was loaded by shutting the door and putting it in through the window. Off to Hanwell Community Centre which is the storage location for EFB.

Things have again been well organised in advance so there is help to unload and store the goods after weighing - the total is an impressive 445.7 Kg (980lb).

26/09/2013 Bits and Pieces

Off Westbourne Grove to empty one of our collecting tins, traffic is awful on the way back so it takes an hour - this is a new site for one of our tins so I am quite pleased with the £11.60 we have for Rotary Foundation.

It being the fourth Thursday of the month I do a pick up and return for Ealing Blind Club - not too difficult but makes me feel I am justified in having a couple of pints on the way home.

24/09/2013 Visit by the District Governor

The DG is the head of our Rotary District and one of his many tasks is to visit all the Clubs to tell us what we are doing right and what we could do better. he presented us with a banner depicting this year's theme which is fairly usual.

It took us so much by surprise when he also presented us with a case of wine that nobody seems to have been able to operate their camera. It appears we earned this with a 100% attendance at all the training sessions for incoming Club Officers.

06/09/2013 Club Meeting

Nothing really important this evening but pleased to hear that our bowls team has won the district triples competition after a close match against Barkingside.

05/09/2013 Rotaract Club meeting

Rotaract is in essence similar to Rotary but is only for those aged 18-30, the meetings are always much less formal and more fun, very pleasing to see three new faces as there is always a high turnover of members with people going off to college, changing jobs or moving home.

03/09/2013 Visit to Kensington R C

A Club I have not visited before, a very different atmosphere but the same underlying objectives, their speaker for the evening is from the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation talking about the work of small local charities and the support they need; frightening to learn that life expectancy in the North of their Borough is eleven years less than in the South.

Very welcoming reception from all the members, a very good meal and an enjoyable evening.

02/09/2013 Club Council meeting

A chance to review progress across all the committees, Community, International, Youth, Membership; in general things are on track but it looks like we won't be able to get a place for a collection on 21st September.

A by-product of talking to the Log Cabin about raising some funds for them at the Brentford Festival is that we may have found an opportunity to help them refurbish a picnic area taking advantage of an option we have to apply for some free materials from the Woodlands Trust but we have only 11 days left to apply.

01/09/2013 Brentford Festival

Set off at 9.10 am (a rare time for me on a Sunday) with my carload of stuff, there is no traffic, arrive at the site early and am lucky to be able to drive straight in.

I had expected a queue at the entrance so nobody else from our club is due until 10.00 so I set about unloading the car and, with a little help from the British Legion next door, put the tent up. It's called an easy-up but not-very-difficult-to-put-up would be more accurate.

All our early shift volunteers turn up on schedule and we are set up in time to look around and buy something to eat before the start. From 12.00 to 2.00 business is quiet but steady, we are raising money for The Log Cabin but as we are only offering children's games we know we won't make a lot of profit, this is more about being there as part of a very worthwhile community event.

Luckily when the late shift volunteers arrive things get busy so we are extra staffed until it quietens down from about 4.30 when some can go home. At 5.30 we start to pack up, reload the car and leave at 5.50. I return most of the equipment to the usual keepers and make it home by 6.45.

A good day, very pleasant customers to deal with, nice weather and some money raised for a good cause.

01/09/2013 Harefield Fun Run

Three of our members are at this annual event, sponsored by most, if not all, of the rest of the club. I don't have any details at this stage but I think the picture says it all:-

30/08/2013 Shuffleboards

The last items for our stall for Brentford festival are two Shuffleboards, these are nearly eight foot long so I can only fit them in the car over the front head restraint and have to tie them to the grab handles to stop them sliding off.

Figure I deserve a drink so I go to the pub by bus this evening.

28/08/2013 More stuff for Brentford Festival

I take delivery of three tables and a display board for our stall on Sunday. Cannot fit them in the garage so load directly into my car which is filling up.

27/08/2013 Rather Odd Club Meeting

Bit of an unusual meeting, after dinner we have a go at Play Your Cards Right; whilst this is entertaining the real reason is that we will be using it as a game for our stall at the Brentford Festival and we haven't tried it for about eight years. We also have a picture quiz which only takes about 15 minutes but creates a lot more activity and excitement than I expected.

After the meeting I am given the prizes and tent for our stall.

17/08/2013 Visit Hanwell Community Centre open day

Empty my petrol station Collecting tin - only one this time, Muswell Hill is undergoing a 3 month refurbishment, then drop in to the open day to relaunch the newly refurbished Community Centre, we are interested to see if it might be suitable to house our pensioners party.

Having checked in advance and learned there was parking for 50 cars, arrived to find the car park full of stalls but fortunately got a space nearby. There is a lot going on and a fair number of people around which is encouraging. The building itself is huge but I cannot find much information on the facilities available and the people who look like they might know have far too much on there hands so I resolve to go back another day.

13/08/2013 Back from holiday in time for a Business Meeting

Not too much to discuss but we sort out our plans for Brentford Festival on 1st September (we have three members doing the Harefield Hospital Walk on that day so staffing levels are a bit of an issue). We also have a lengthy discussion about the future development of the Friends of the Rotary club of Hanwell & Northfields.

After the meeting I take delivery of the kit for Play Your Cards Right - more later.

15/07/2013 A long term project continues to pay off

Back in 2005 we counselled a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar from Ghana named Yaw Offei. He had been able to secure the one year postgraduate study position in London only because of the enlightened decision of a Rotary District in Holland to donate their space on the programme to a District in Africa.

Yaw was studying Audiology; in Ghana, because the swampy coastal region which is a particular hotbed of ear infections, there is a severe shortage of qualified Audiologists able to provide treatment.

Since then we have continuously raised money to buy and ship equipment to Yaw through Sound-Seekers and with the aid of the Rotary Club of Accra to handle local customs clearance.

A Rotary Club in Wales has undertaken to raise funding for a mobile treatment unit and we are now raising funds to equip this.

Today we learned that Yaw has qualified as a Doctor through a German University which is a tremendous achievement.

15/07/2013 Emptying Collecting Tins

Set of round the North Circular to Neasden and Muswell Hill where we have collecting tins on the counters of petrol stations, I need to empty these before my holiday or they will overflow before I return.

We have boxes in 8 locations most of which are local (I have these two because I have an uncle who I can visit and get a cup of tea off), together they raise well over £1000 a year which goes primarily to Rotary Foundation but last year helped us to buy a ShelterBox.

14/07/2013 Sunday Riverside BBQ at Datchett

A joint event with the R.C. of Windsor & Eton, most of the attendees are members and friends as we have limited space in the boatyard that kindly allows us a site just opposite Winsor Castle.

With the benefit of a raffle, a duck race and some astute purchasing of meat we manage to feed over 70 people, have a good time and raise almost £600 for Rotary Foundation which is the largest non-government educational charity in the world.

R. F. also channels Rotary's contributions to Polio Eradication, which is where our share of the proceeds will be going as we can get 2 for 1 match funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

12/07/2013 School Recycling

I am just about to go on holiday but before setting off I have to go to St Gregory's School to empty the recycling bins they have been filling before the end of term.

(We collect old mobile 'phones, spectacles, toner cartridges and stamps which support Water Aid, Vision Aid Overseas, and Hearing Dogs.),

I come away with a big sack which I can just about load into the car, an hour of sorting and I am ready to take the separated items to our meeting tomorrow.

11/07/2013 Presidents Reception at District HQ

A chance to meet up with other Presidents and various District Officers at our rather posh looking District HQ (it's a long story but it doesn't cost much and is a leftover from a post war project that started as a hostel for visiting overseas military Rotarians and metamorphosed into an Overseas Students hostel).

I was rather taken aback when District came up with two new events for our Diary, one on 24/10 does not require much organising on our part but it is a working day which is not easy for many. The other involves us arranging a public collection on 21/9; sounds along way off but a lot of us are on holiday in the interim, as are the people we will need to contact to get permission for such a collection, but the cause is worthwhile - Syrian Conflict Refugees - and we have a good route to deploy the funds well because of links between the RC London and RC Ankara so we will do our best to make it happen.

Manage to get home in time to take the wife out for a drink which is lucky as it is her Birthday.

09/07/2013 Applied Learning Day at Brentside High School

Organised by the Youth Committee this was a great day.

The pupils of year 9 have a day to grapple with the design and build of a system to launch a device through a hoop 1 metre off the ground, to a height of over 3 metres. This then has to launch a payload with a parachute. But the hardest requirement proves to be the stipulation that there has to be a trigger to set off the device.

The 12 teams of 4 pupils are joined by two teams of teachers/student teachers who are handicapped by having to rotate members to fit round teaching commitments.

07/07/2013 Charity Lunch

The partners did their usual splendid job of providing food and we Rotarians managed to run the bar and raffle.

The raffle was in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK and raised nearly £300, together with donations received on the day we will be able to send them over £500, which Barclays kindly offered to match fund.

The profit from the tickets and bar was over £500 and will be used to fund other charitable activities through the year.

All in all a great fundraising event, capped off with a stunning win by Mr Murray at Wimbledon.

06/07/2013 Saturday set up for Sunday charity Lunch

Having been unable to find a suitable venue that was available for this event we had decided to hold it in a members garden and risk adverse weather, knowing that getting 70 people indoors would be a tight squeeze.

We have been lucky, it is scorching so we are putting up marquees and tents to provide shade rather than shelter from rain.

With a good start and many hands we managed to finish in time to watch the Lions triumph in Australia.

04/07/2013 Day Four Visit to Rotaract Club

This is a partner organisation but for 18-28 year olds, they were busy deciding how to split up the charity funds they raised in the past year and generating ideas for which causes they would support this year.

As usual with Rotaract the social calendar was busy with things that we Rotarians are far too old to enjoy.

03/07/2013 Day Three Castlebar School Exhibition

The children have been doing projects based on ?Bathers at Asni ¨res? By

Georges Seurat.

It is remarkable what the children can do and the imagination that goes into their creations. I come away quite inspired albeit my photos cannot really do justice to much of the work as I cannot capture the 3D textural qualities.

02/07/2013 Day Two Club meeting with an important speaker

Chris Sutton who is heading up the project to set up a Food Bank in Ealing has taken the time to come and talk to us, bringing with him Emma Benwell who will run the first Distribution Centre.

It is worrying that in the UK there are people who run out of food and even more worrying that many such cases are caused by gaps and discontinuities in the Social security system.

There are many ways in which we should be able to contribute to support this as the project comes to fruition but at this stage the most useful thing we do is pass on contacts details of people who will be able to help.

01/07/2013 Day One and it is a meeting of the Club Council

The hard work put in by the Chairmen of the Committees and their members pays off, we seem to have a reasonably well planned programme for the next few months and an outline for the rest of the year.

17/06/2012 Party in the Park at Pitshanger

This year we were raising money for ShelterBox. Despite the predictions of rain we were spared a deluge and ended up having a great day out. We had the usual tombola and shuffleboard stalls which proved popular once again, and also hosted a ShelterBox display to promote the great work undertaken by the charity.

I am extremely pleased to report that thanks to the generosity of the Pitshanger community we raised nearly £800.00, which with the support of Barclays means we will be able to purchase a further 3 shelter boxes.

I selection of photos from the day...

Our two eezee-ups with the ShelterBox display in the centre.

A few of the early birds involved in setting up for the day.

The ShelterBox tent with Richard Moseley, an Ambassador for ShelterBox and a 'friend-of' our Rotary Club.

14/06/2012 Kids Out at Legoland

Unfortunately this was an event I could not attend but understand from the great feedback received that the 20 children from Castlebar School and the 25+ helpers had a most enjoyable day out. We once again extend our sincere thanks to Barclays for their support, making this all possible.

12/06/2012 Business meeting and club assembly

We cancelled last weeks meeting in order to celebrate the Queen?s Jubilee so ended up with a busier than normal meeting this evening. It all began with an abbreviated version of our monthly business meeting. I then had the pleasurable task of inducting Jean-Damien to membership of our club, an event witnessed by Fiona his fianc ©. We then took the opportunity of welcoming Jean-Damien into the fold and offered both our very best wishes on their imminent wedding.

After our customary break I took great delight in handing over to President-Elect Richard so he could conduct our club assembly. No doubt Richard will outline our club plans for the year 2012-13 in this blog when he takes over in the next few weeks, so I dare not steal his thunder! The evening was wrapped up with closing remarks by Assistant Govenor (Central) Mac Purcell.

07/06/2012 Visit to Ealing Rotaract

Once a month two of our members visit the Rotaract Club of Ealing to give support and encouragement to the more youthful among us. This month it was the turn of Sue Sands, Chair of the International Committee and myself.

The meeting was well run by President Oliver and I was especially pleased to discover that the club are the proud (and recent) recipients of the Rotary London 2011-12 Changemaker Award for Rotaract Clubs. Our hearty congratulations must therefore go to President Oliver and members on their well deserved achievement.

22/05/2012 CPR demonstration

What would you do to help someone who has collapsed and is not breathing?

Up until this evening I am not sure how I may have reacted, but thanks to an excellent presentation of CPR by Gillian Treanor, a Senior Resusitation Officer at Hammersmith Hospital, I am a little more enlightened.

I think this demonstration has sown a seed, so I may just get off my butt and attend a first aid course!

24/04/2012 Safe Haven Children?s Trust talk

This evening we took great pleasure in welcoming Benedicta Bywaters, the driving force behind the Safe Haven Children?s Trust, a charity founded by Benedicta to help make a difference to the orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children of Cambodia.

Benedictas steely determination, dedication and positive can-do attitude shone through during her talk, and given the positive response of our members to her presentation I suspect this may well be a cause our International Committee will adopt and support for many years to come!

03/04/2012 Action for Children talk

Peter Eguae, an Ambassador for Action for Children, gave an inspirational and light-hearted talk tonight. He outlined the great work performed by the charity and explained how it had been a positive influence during his formative years. Peter is now a successful barrister who devotes much of his personal time speaking out on behalf of the children and families who face severe difficulties in their lives.

Collection boxes were given to those members interested in donating their day-to-day small change. All monies raised will be presented to the charity on a future occasion.

02/03/2012 Race Nite

For the past three years we have used our ever popular ?Race Nite? to raise funds to equip a mobile audiology vehicle operating in the rural areas of Ghana. Our connection with Ghana goes back to a time when our club sponsored Yaw Offei as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Yaw has long since returned home and is now one of a very small number of audiologists supplying care to the hearing impaired.

Thanks to the hard work of Sue and her committee we raised just over £1,000, which together with the generosity of Barclays Bank means we have a total of £2,000 to fund new equipment purchases.

25/02/2012 Rotary Awareness

To support Rotary Awareness day, which officially fell on Thursday 23rd February, a number of our members spent a few hours in Barclays Bank Ealing handing out leaflets promoting Rotary and our club's work in the community. It is still too early to gauge the outcome of our efforts, nonetheless if you are interested in finding out more about our club activities or how to help in the wider community, then please see our 'Contact' page for details of how to get in touch.

As an aside I wish to take this opportunity to publically thank Nicholas Smith and the staff of Barclays Bank for their generous and ongoing support of our community and fundraising events.

31/01/2012 Joint Clubs Meeting

Every year one of the three Rotary clubs in the Borough of Ealing hosts a combined meeting of all the clubs. This year it was our turn and the highlight of the evening was a demonstration and talk by Bob Worley, ?The Alchemist?. We were entertained to a number of funny anecdotes and witnessed the spectacle of chemicals changing colour and exploding! All-in-all a light-hearted overview of chemistry taught at GCSE level.

We extend our thanks to the Rotary Club of Ealing and the Rotary Club of Greenford for supporting our raffle in aid of P.E.S.T.S., a local organisation which is raising funds to put on a show for children with additional needs.

25/01/2012 Pensioner's Party

Our annual pensioner?s party got into full swing at the Church Hall, St Thomas the Apostle at 2pm this afternoon. After a light lunch our +70 guests were entertained to a traditional ?toast to the haggis?, a few rounds of bingo and a hearty sing along of the great songs from the 40 and 50?s. After tea and Xmas cake our guests were presented with a goody bag packed full of treats sponsored by Barclays Bank, before safely being transported home.

24/01/2012 Club Meeting

At our meeting this evening we welcomed Captain Rob Marshall who gave an enjoyable and insightful talk entitled the ?Victoria Cross; Facts, Funnies and Frauds?. The talk was a light hearted and interesting look at the world?s most prestigious award and was brought to life with real world examples. Thoroughly recommended!

20/12/2011 Club Xmas Meal and Silent Auction

Our final meeting of the year got us into the spirit of Christmas with a wonderful traditional Xmas meal shared with our partners and friends. Ever aware of the needs of others we ran a silent auction which raised £470 for ShelterBox.

18/12/2011 Waitrose Collection (16th, 17th, 18th December)

We wish to extend our sincere thanks to all of you who supported our tin-shaking outside Waitrose over the weekend before Christmas. Thanks to your generosity we raised £1,313 which will fund our numerous charitable causes over the coming year.

27/11/2011 Light Up The Lane in Pitshanger

I've just returned from Light up the Lane in Pitshanger and I'm pleased to report that our candyfloss stand has once again been very well supported by the local community. I'd like to thank all those that helped out at the event, and the general public for their ongoing generosity.

This year we will be donating the proceeds to Shelterbox.

A number of our members hard at work making candyfloss and modelling the latest in candyfloss attire.

08/11/2011 Talk on Felsted Aid

Dick Nathan and Helen Antoniou, both Rotarians from Northwick Park, attended our meeting this evening and gave a personal account of their involvement in Felsted Aid, a small UK based charity providing specialist equipment to the Revival Centre in Chernigiv, Ukraine. The Revival Centre concentrates on providing a multi-disciplinary approach to the care of children with genetic disorders resulting from the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in 1986.

Dick and Helen are raising awareness of the good work undertaken by the Revival Centre and we look forward to working with them and other Rotary Clubs in the district to raise funds to enable Felsted Aid to purchase a much needed transit van. This will ensure the uninterrupted supply of equipment donations to the Ukraine.

04/11/2011 Quiz Night

Our annual quiz night was well supported once again and this year we raised £600 for St Anne?s, a day school for learners with severe learning difficulties including those who have additional physical and sensory disabilities. Thanks to the ongoing involvement of Barclays Bank in our fundraising efforts this donation was double to £1,200.

It was a great evening of fun and frivolity and despite being on the St Anne?s team, which one would expect to be quite good as it was made up of school govenors and teachers, we could not manage anything better than last place! Need to try harder!

23/10/2011 District 1130 Conference

The London District conference took place in Eastbourne between Friday 21st and Sunday 23rd October and I am pleased to confirm that 22 members and partners were in attendance; another great turnout from our club!

This was my first Rotary conference so I really had no expectations, however I was somewhat disappointed with the Friday program; dull and uninspiring are two adjectives that come to mind. Saturday on the other hand was so much more interesting and for me was by far the best day of the weekend. I found the talk by Rosie Swale-Pope fascinating. Rosie if you didn?t know is the woman who woke up one morning and decided to run around the world! I could listen to this mad-cap woman for hours!

On Saturday evening we all enjoyed great fellowship and fun at the ball, dancing to the music of the band ?Innovation?. The only negative of the night was being approached by an elderly woman asking when I was going to remove my silly hat; we were of course all dressed in Tommy Cooper fez hats in the spirit of the ?magic? themed weekend, so I was quite taken aback by her surliness. Ah well, we can?t all be happy.

The Sunday session was a bit of a wind-down for most of us and was largely taken up by Rotary business. The session culminated with an inspirational talk by Gary Skyner, the UK?s second thalidomide victim, who in spite of his disabilities has achieved so much with a positive mental attitude.

All in all I?d give the conference 8/10, so I shall return again.

18/10/2011 DG Govenor official visit

District Govenor Trevor Johnson made an official visit to our club tonight and gave a talk about his experiences at the International Assembly in San Diego, and spent some time outlining the thoughts and ideas that underpin RI President Kalyan Banerjee?s theme for the year entitled ?Reach Within to Embrace Humanity?.

27/09/2011 Rotary v. Rotaract - Darts Competition.

Experience over age wins the day. Rotary beat Rotaract 3-2.

04/09/2011 Promoting Rotary at the London Mela

I attended the London Mela at Gunnersbury Park this afternoon and joined forces with other Rotarians to promote membership and awareness of Rotary from the ShelterBox stand.

ShelterBox is of course a very successful charity closely aligned with Rotary, and this occasion provided an excellent opportunity to promote awareness of both charitable organisations. Our efforts generated membership enquiries from a couple of dozen members of the public which bodes well for the future growth of Rotary in West London and surrounds.

An interesting statistic I learned about ShelterBox was that they distributed over 45,000 boxes to disaster zones worldwide last year. That's an impressive result, and one one where our Club played a small part! For more information visit the ShelterBox web site.

If you are interested in helping us with our work with ShelterBox then please see our 'Contact' page for details of how to get in touch.

30/08/2011 Tried and tested fingerprinting techniques still work...

At our meeting this evening our members and partners welcomed Chris McEvoy, an expert with 37 years experience in the realm of fingerprinting and forensics. The talk he gave was both enlightening and amusing, and gave rare insight into the some well known criminal cases where fingerprinting was central to securing convictions.

Judging by the numbers of questions that followed the talk it was very well received by everyone present. Highly recommended!

09/08/2011 Meeting cancelled due to the London riots

Our meeting this week has been cancelled due to the civil disobedience and general lawlessness in West London. These are dark days and I hope all the culprits of this chaos are ashamed of themselves and are eventually held to account!

07/08/2011 Combined Council Meeting and Partners BBQ

Today Ruairi and Sandra hosted the monthly Club Council Meeting followed by what is becoming an annual BBQ to which all members and partners are invited.

The gathering was well attended and full of the usual camaraderie and banter. The food of course was excellent, but one thing out of anyone?s control was the weather! It bucketed down, and for the most part of the afternoon everyone took shelter under a couple of Ezee-up tents Ruairi had the foresight to erect!

Despite the weather it was a great day of fellowship and once again our thanks go to Ruairi and Sandra for their hospitality.

26/07/2011 A return to the dark ages, or so we thought!

At our meeting this evening we welcomed the Revd Martin Davies who gave a very informative talk on the work of The Leprosy Mission worldwide.

I, and many of the members present, had thought leprosy was a condition that had been consigned to the annals of history. Not so. We learned that the disease, which affects the nerve endings in the skin, is still prevalent in many parts of the developing world, and there is a strong correlation between poverty and the disease. What was surprising was the fact it is not spread by human contact, but in a manner similar to how you would catch the common cold i.e. through coughing and sneezing, and once cured, sufferers are left with permanent disabilities to the nervous system the body is unable to repair.

Much of the work of The Leprosy Mission focuses on rehabilitating sufferers back into mainstream society and it was heartening to hear of the successes they were having throughout Africa and the Indian sub-continent.

14/07/2011 Farewell dear friend

It is with much sadness I report the passing of Dan, one of our active members, following his short battle with cancer. Dan devoted the greater part of his life in the service of others and will be sorely missed by all those who were fortunate to know him.

To Laura and Linda, on behalf of all in Rotary, please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one.

...farewell dear friend!


Dan's funeral service is to be held at 1.45pm on Monday 25th July 2011 at Chilterns Crematorium, Whielden La, Amersham HP7 0ND, followed by a gathering at the 'Hit or Miss Inn', Penn Street Village, near Amersham, Bucks HP7 0PX.

12/07/2011 The dangers of Melanoma: a personal account

At our meeting on Tuesday 12th we welcomed Prof Alan Gillett, a visiting Rotarian, to give a personal account of his fight with melanoma.

Dispite the serious implications of melanoma the talk was light-hearted and full of personal anecdotes which reminded us all of the importance of taking precautions when out and about in the sun.

Further information on the skin related diseases can be found at http://www.bad.org.uk

10/07/2011 Partners lunch

Following hot on the heels of our handover evening was our first fundraiser of the year, the Partners Lunch. This year we were fortunate to have the use of Ealing Mencap?s Enterprise Lodge, the newly constructed community centre geared towards serving the needs of the less-abled. It was a perfect venue, offering ample space both in the hall and landscaped gardens, together with modern catering facilities.

As a club this is the one event where the President traditionally gets to choose a worthy beneficiary and this year I nominated two local charities, namely Ealing Mencap (http://www.ealingmencap.org.uk) and The CHARGE Family Support Group (http://www.chargesyndrome.org.uk). We have supported both in the recent past and each has a special place in my heart. Further information on the excellent work these two charities undertake can be found on their respective web sites.

Thanks to the sterling efforts of our partners, friends and guests we were able to distribute just short of £700 profit from the event.

28/06/2011 Out with the old, in with the new...

Our handover meeting - marking the end of one Rotary year and the start of another - was attended by well over 50 members, partners and friends, all of whom enjoyed a 3-course meal while bearing witness to a changing of the guard. As has become customary at our Club, there was much fun, laughter and frivolity, punctuated by the odd bit of formality throughout the evening?s proceedings.

In his speech, outgoing President Ruairi recapped the Club's achievements during the year and extended his sincere thanks to the Committee Chairs, partners and friends for their wholehearted support during his year in office. As incoming President I introduced my various Committees, and took the opportunity to outline my plans to recruit more people as ?friends of? the Club, and so increase the participation of the wider community in our numerous events and fundraisers. More on this will follow in due course.

The evening was a particularly special occasion for Denise and Richard J, both of whom received Paul Harris Fellowship awards in recognition of their long and distinguished record of service to Rotary in general, and to our club in particular.

Donna, an Honorary member of the Club, was presented with a Service Recognition Award as a token of appreciation for all the help she has given to the Club as a member of Rotaract, and more recently, as a partner.

Andrew Murphy, June 2011

14/03/2011 Rotary Youth Makes Music

A wonderful evening at the Royal Festival Hall who's organisational abilities ensured that the wide selection of acts from full orchestras to soloists were able to perform in sequence with minimal delay. The evening was wonderfully organised and the music fantastic.

29/01/2011 Race Night for the Mayor of Ealing's Charities

A great occasion to support our local Mayor who has supported us in the past, in particular braving the rain to help us plant crocus bulbs. A good evening was had by all and thanks to the support of Barclays over £3.500 was raised.

26/01/2011 Annual Pensioners Party

Another great delivery from Alan and his team, bingo, music, singing and some drinks ensured that a good time was had by all. Thanks to the generous support of Barclays all of our guests went home well looked after with a small gift.

21/12/2010 Christmas Dinner and Silent Auction

Made it back from Ireland just in time for this event. Always a good evening with members, partners and friends of the club. Our silent auction is a selection of donated goods on display each of which can be bidded for by adding your name and bid on a sheet of paper, some competition often ensues.

17/12/2010 Christmas Collection - Waitrose West Ealing

This is our regular Christmas collection, I'm afraid that I missed joining in this year as I was away but extend my thanks to all who braved the cold outside Waitrose.

30/11/2010 Open Evening

On Each month that has a fifth Tuesday we traditionally invite our partners to join us for our dinner and meeting, generally trying to make the occasion a social event.

27/11/2010 PCA Light Up The Lane

A few of us braved a bitter cold afternoon and early evening to man a stall in support of the Pitshanger Community Association.

06/11/2010 Brentham Club Fireworks

A fun evening with a good turnout in support of the Brentham Club, the venue where we have our meetings. Dave Breakspear did a stirling job making the candy floss at our stall and as is often the case ended up so covered that we could have sold him!

22/10/2010 Race Night.

One of our big annual events the Race Night is always good fun, this year was no exception, there was a good turnout and whilst figures have yet to be finalised it appears that we have raised in excess of £3,000.00 which is in air of ShelterBox. A great result.

21/10/2010 Think Tank Meeting.

A visit to the London headquarters of Rotary, 6 York Gate, for a meeting including David, our current DG, the District Governor Elect Trevor Johnson and the District Governor Nominee Eve Conway along with two Club Presidents from each of the areas within district 1130. This appears to be a very forward thinking idea, the current and next two years leadership of Rotary in London airing their plans and looking for feedback and advice from the clubs that they have responsibility for.

15/10/2010 Conference.

Our annual weekend away to Eastbourne. To some extent this weekend is as much about fellowship as business, our London Assembly at the London School each year is the real business event. This year included sessions delivered by the inventor Trevor Baylis OBE, the champion Jockey Bob Champion MBE, Bernard Cribbins and former mayor Ken Livingstone.

12/10/2010 Visit from District Governor, David Storrie.

David as part of his responsibility as governor for district 1130 makes a visit to each of the clubs in the district, this enables him to monitor how the district is doing as well as providing him with an opportunity to reinforce his message for the year to us. As most of us meet for meals this does mean that David's wife, Carole has had a break from cooking so far this year!

05/10/2010 Visit to the Rotary Club of Heston & Isleworth

Visit to the Rotary Club of Heston & Isleworth to hear their guest Speaker, Lt. Rachel Blackmore, a front-line RAF helicopter pilot, some very different holiday snaps to what we are used to seeing.

02/10/2010 Collection at Brentford Football Club.

Richard Jones, Mark Jones and I assisted Marie Curie by collecting at the gates of Brentford football club.

01/10/2010 Bulb Planting.

In preparation for Thanks For Life week in February 2011 we set out to plant in total 5000 purple crocus bulbs at Castlebar School, Springhallow School, St Savoiurs, Christ Church School and Waitrose. We were lucky in that the rain held off for most of the day. Thanks to fantastic preparation at all of the sites this went well and was completed ahead of schedule. It was great that we were supported by Steve Pound MP and Rajinder Mann, Mayor of Ealing, both of whom devoted huge effort to planting bulbs.

20/09/2010 West Area Presidents Meeting.

A fairly recent idea intended to help to promote better cooperation between local clubs is the introduction of occasional meetings in between the presidents of the clubs in the west area. This does provide an opportunity to discuss plans far further in advance than we normally do and should assist in reducing the number of times neighboring clubs plan events on the same evening. Being a little more coordinated should also assist in enabling clubs to help their neighbors.

14/09/2010 Visit from Yaw Offei.

Yaw spent a year as an ambassadorial scholar hosted by our club, during this period he furthered his studies in audiology. He has returned and is practicing in his native Ghana. We have remained in touch and support his plans to introduce mobile audiology clinics through fundraising. This was an opportunity for us to receive an update on the progress he has been making and to officially hand over some equipment we had provided the funding for.

31/08/2010 Partners Evening.

Whenever there is a fifth Tuesday in the month our partners are invited, today was no exception. This social aspect to the club is very important and carries through into vocational visits and District Conference.

24/08/2010 Guest Speaker, Kate Angus from Action Duchenne.

Kate delivered a very interesting talk on this rare, extreme form of autism and their work supporting the primarily young buoys suffering from it as well as their families, more information can be found at:http://www.actionduchenne.org/

We also had a visit from a fellow Rotarian from Texas which perhaps highlighted to us that our venue may not be the easiest to find. It was interesting to hear the differences between the format of our meeting and what he was more used to.

10/08/2010 Tim Gonzaga from Ealing Rotaract

Tim visited our club to present his plans for the year, whilst I missed this meeting I understand that his presentation was well received.

03/08/2010 Club Meeting with GSE Team visit.

The returning Group Study Exchange team comprising Jackie Boothe, Neelam Ladher and Sarah Oddy visited us and presented their experiences of their visit to Boston in the United States. This event was well supported by other clubs.

01/08/2010 Council Meeting

The Club Council along with partners and some guests gathered at our house for our monthly council meeting followed by a barbecue lunch of roast pork and beef, great day and the weather remained pleasant.

23/07/2010 Ealing Comedy Festival

Whilst not an official Rotary event part of the social aspect of membership means that we on occasion meet up for a social occasion, this evening the final gala performance of the Ealing Comedy festival. Around 20 of us had a very enjoyable evening, good to have a laugh occasionally.

23/07/2010 Ealing Comedy Festival.

A group of us made our way to the final evening of the Ealing comedy festival, a very entertaining show marred only by having front row seats.

09/07/2010 Visit to the The Rotary Club of Southall

This evening was the visit by District Governer David Storrie to the newly formed Rotary Club of Southall.

Alan (who continues to provide much support to this new club), Denise and I went along.

A well attended and very constructive meeting with an inspirational talk by David Storrie was followed by a truly excellent meal.

09/07/2010 This site now has a new host

And as ever any change in software results in opportunites to extend ones technical knowledge! This was no exception. All sorted and very many thanks to the support team at names.co.uk for good response times and excellent advice.

04/07/2010 Partners Lunch

Tradition has it that the organisation of first event in the club year for a new President of the Rotary Club of Hanwell and Northfields is out of their hands.

The organisation falls to the Presidents partner so Sandra was tasked with the job.

Many thanks to many people but to start to Richard and Carol for hosting the event then to all of the partners for providing a wonderful lunch, to Bill for trying to sell us out of raffle tickets, to Rod for entertaining us, to David and members of the Rotaract Club of Ealing for lubricating the event by running the bar, to the members who took the idea of an Irish theme to heart and arrived resplendent in green, white and gold and to Sandra.

The sun graced us with its presence and all in all the day went well despite my choice in music. The event was intended not only to provide some entertainment to all present but also to raise some money for a good cause, ShelterBox in this case so it is great that well over £600.00, more than the cost of one box, has been raised today.


Funds raised were £739.19.

01/07/2010 Visit to the Rotaract Club of Ealing

Andrew Murphy and I visited the Rotaract Club of Ealing this evening to attend Tim Gonzaga's first meeting as their new president. They had a good turnout and these visits help to ensure that there is good communication between our clubs.

29/06/2010 Another year starts for our Rotary Club.

Greetings from Ruairi Prendiville. Today was my turn to take over the hot seat.

The Rotary year runs from July to June so any presidents final duty is to hand over office to the incoming president, this year was no exception.

Our handover meeting was made particularly enjoyable as it was the occasion of well deserved PHF awards to both Richard Burton and Bill Tillotson. Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary and the award in his name is a very special recognition of service provided to Rotary.

This handover meeting coincided with the 10th anniversary of the amalgamation of the club of Hanwell and the club of Northfields to form our club, an excuse to charge, raise and drain our glasses! This was made very special as it was one of the rare occasions when every member of the club was present.

11/03/2010 5-Clubs Meeting.

A 5-Clubs meeting, organised by Ealing Rotary Club. This is a once a year event that we take in turns to organise, and the Clubs in the borough of Ealing get together for an evening of fellowship. Acton, H & N, Greenford, the new Southall club and Ealing were all there. The main speaker of the evening was Justina who told us all about her recent visit to South Africa, the projects she took part in whilst there, and the impact this had had on her. Justina was a very worthy winner of Youth Speaks ? not just in Ealing, but also at the London and the national finals. Having been very impressed with her ability and enthusiasm, several local Rotary Clubs agreed to help sponsor her trip to South Africa and from her talk, it was certainly worth while.

06/03/2010 RAF Bunkers at Northolt.

Today saw a visit to the RAF Bunkers at Northolt. I didn?t go, but those who dis said it was fascinating.

05/03/2010 Our Charity Quiz Evening.

Our Charity Quiz night organised by Richard and his team. Tonight was all about raising money for Shelterboxes ? emergency equipment that is sent out to wherever disasters have occurred and provides shelter, warmth, basic utensils and clean water for a group of 10 people. Sadly these boxes have been very much in demand just recently with Haiti and Chile suffering so badly. We hoped to collect enough money for 3 Shelterboxes, but thanks to a big donation from Barclays Bank and to the generosity of all of those who came along, we raised enough for 6 Boxes. Well done Richard!

03/03/2010 Rotary Technology Tournament.

Another great event organised by Bill. A day where teams of school children are given a task to design, build and then carry out a task. In this case it was to build a vehicle and then propel it up a slope, with the vehicle powered by a weight dropping down a certain distance. Not easy!

02/03/2010 Ambassadorial Scholar from Texas

Speaker tonight ? an Ambassadorial Scholar from Texas. Ambassadorial Scholars are sponsored by Rotary to spend a year studying in another country. This promotes international and cultural understanding.

20/02/2010 Thanks For Life Week

Thanks for Life week - a really busy week for our Club, and for me, one of the most rewarding in my 17 years of Rotary.

Rotary has been working since 1985 to eradicate polio. A massive task, and one that has taken a lot of money, time and effort.

This week was all about highlighting the devastating effects of polio ? particularly to children - creating awareness of our Campaign, awareness of Rotary, and raising funds for the final push in our campaign called ?Thanks for Life?.

We started the week with a collection on Saturday and Sunday outside Waitrose where we raised just over £750. A great response from the public, and as always, we are very grateful to Waitrose who support us in so many ways in our community work.

We had a special meeting on the Tuesday evening at Waitrose. They laid on a buffet for us, and arranged a ?behind the scenes? tour. During the evening we made up 1400 Goody Bags with Waitrose bags for life, magazines, recipe cards and 2 books for each child ? kindly donated by my company ? Walker Books Ltd.

Dave, Bill, Alan and I made presentations at schools assemblies at St Gregory?s, North Ealing Primary and Hobbayne school. The children were really attentive and interested as we explained what polio is, and how it can devastate young lives. The schools held non-uniform days or had collections for our Thanks for Life project and raised a magnificent £1500.

On Friday, the Goody Bags were delivered to the schools as a thank you to the children, along with water and fruit ? again donated by Waitrose.

With collections from one of our member?s petrol stations added to the project, we have raised in the region of £3800. That means that 19,000 children will be vaccinated ? just by our Club!

16/02/2010 Mark Jones

Inducted a new member ? Mark Jones ? into the Club. Mark is a past Rotaract District Chairman and past President of Ealing Rotaract. Although Mark is a new member, it feels like he is an old hand, as we have seen him at lots of our meetings and events. Welcome aboard Mark!

10/02/2010 Area Final of Youth Speaks.

A busy night with lots of young people taking part in this public speaking competition. I spent the evening making coffee. Young people often get a bad press, but at events like this you can see just how impressive they are and what a great future so many of them have ahead.

05/02/2010 Rotaract Quingo Evening.

Ealing Rotaract organised a Quingo night ? a cross between a quiz and bingo. Hosted by Nick from Barclays. Well done to Ealing Rotaract on a really fun night and raising lots of money for their charities.

03/02/2010 Young Chef Area Final

Young Chef Area Final today, organised by Bill. I was at work so couldn?t make it, but had a letter from the Mayor congratulating everyone on a really enjoyable event. It never ceases to amaze me just how talented some of these young people are.

29/01/2010 Inaugural Meeting of the Rotary Club of Southall.

As the Club?s sponsors we had a good turn out at the event, which was also well supported by other clubs across the District. Southall laid on a good night with singers and dancers to entertain us after the formal proceedings. Will be interesting to see how the Club develops.

24/01/2010 District 10-Pin Bowling.

I couldn?t make it as Mum?s birthday tomorrow so was with the family. Think the team did OK, especially as we treat it as a bit of fun compared to some Clubs who are serious bowlers.

20/01/2010 Pensioners Party at St Thomas? Church Hall.

Fantastic effort from Alan and his team. OAPs had a great time ? with tea, singing, bingo and goody bags. Supported by Nick from Barclays Bank, Charlie and Eric who did the Bingo and Rod who led the singing. Well done Dave on the logistics ? think we delivered home everyone that we should have. Nick taught me how to make a snowball ? most popular drink at the bar!

06/01/2010 Club Open Evening

We held an Open Evening at the Club tonight, inviting partners, potential members, and people we have worked with in our local community. It was a good turnout and Bill, Ruairi, Richard and I did presentations about Rotary, what we have been doing, events coming up, and Thanks for Life. Lovely to meet again some of our supporters and to be able to tell them how much we appreciate them.

05/01/2010 Marie Curie

Had a really interesting speaker tonight ? Claire Moss ? from Marie Curie. Explained what the nurses do and how they are funded. They do such a brilliant job.

09/07/2009 Bowls

Having lost to Rotaract at darts the last time we had a sporting challenge, there was a certain determination from Rotary not to make it two losses in a row. Thanks to a certain number of bowls players in our numbers, and despite the best attempts of Tilly, we won 28 v 7 and 11 v 5.

Thanks to Joe for organising it and to all the Rotaractors who came along. We retired to the Kent to bask in the glow of our victory!

05/07/2009 Sunday Lunch

The first charity event of the year, very kindly hosted by Richard and Carol as my garden is way too small. We had a really relaxed afternoon and raised £530 towards our international project for the year to equip a mobile audiology unit in Ghana.

The partners put on a great spread and Rotaract ran a welcome bar on what turned out to be a sunny afternoon.

We even managed to watch some of the Wimbledon men's final.

01/07/2009 Handover Meeting

A really packed evening, and our opportunity to say thank you from all the Club to President Richard for a fantastic year! Richard spoke about his personal highlights, and I talked about some of the events we have coming up in this new Rotary year.

I inducted a new member to the Club - James, and Rod was awarded a well deserved Paul Harris Fellow. Congratulations to both James and Rod

30/06/2009 Changeover Meeting

Here I am handing on the baton to Sue in a relay race that started in 1954 when the Hanwell club was formed. In front of a large audience I review the year ( unnecessary if you have been following the blog) and thank the many that have contributed to a busy and fulfilling year. Then with a mixture of relief and pleasure I put the chain round Sue's neck and ask the Club to support her as they have supported me. My year is over - all the best Sue!

28/06/2009 Party in the Park

This year we were raising money for Meadow House Hospice. I return hoarse from much work on the megaphone. As always a great turnout from the club. We ran four stalls - jewellery, shuffle boards, golf and tombola. Despite very muggy conditions we raised nearly £800 and with the support of Barclays this should almost double.

The hospice had the neighbouring stall and had the opportunity to see us in action.

27/06/2009 Ealing Rotaract Charter Anniversary


The Ealing Rotaract Charter Anniversary is held in Kew . I with Sarah from Ealing Rotary have to give the toast to Rotaract and have been given a 10 minute slot!

My contribution is reminiscences of my time as president in 1985 before Microsoft Windows and Blockbuster video.

21/06/2009 Castlebar School Fete

A quick visit to Castlebar school fete finds our Hon Secretary has become a pink apparition behind the candy floss machine. It is running a bit fast he tells me which has the effect of launching some of the candy floss into the air and on to him. This fete is a low key affair and is all the more pleasant for that

13/06/2009 Meadow House Garden Party

A beautiful summer Saturday afternoon coincides with the Meadow House Garden Party. This is one of a rare number of events where we are expected to do no more than turn up. I decide a flying visit is in order to support Helen at the hospice and Dave B and Janet who are great volunteer helpers for the hospice as well as members of our Club.

This event has been growing year on year and 2009 must be a record turnout.

10/06/2009 Kids Out

This is one of my favourites. The club joins forces with Barclays ( bodies and financial) and we take teachers , care staff and pupils from Castlebar special school to Legoland. After 14 years of Thorpe Park we have changed venues to find attractions more suited to the younger age group at the school. Yet again the weather looks bad and we shelter under the trees as the rain falls in Ealing and we wait for the children to be dismissed from assembly.

However contrary to expectations the weather gets better and the kids and the adults have a great time on the many attractions at the park. One of the most rewarding is watching the children in electric cars driving without assistance around a winding track. Some taxi drivers could learn from them. Each of the children will have achieved something new today.

However my final thoughts on the day are for the Teachers and Care staff who are real heroes in my eyes. It is great to see them enjoying themselves. One confides in us that this is their favourite trip of the year because we do all the organising and the one to one supervision means they are not living on their nerves all day. We return as every year happy, tired and uplifted.

07/06/2009 Riverside BBQ

My year is ending much as it began with close attention being paid to the weather forecast. Each year we run a joint event with the Rotary Club of Windsor and Eaton. It takes place at Datchet in a boatyard by the Thames. This year we have a record attendance in excess of 100 which will give us some challenges squeezing into the marquee as well as keeping the cooks on their toes. Therefore for the day to begin with an enormous crack of thunder and the weather forecast suggesting unremitting rain is less than ideal.

By mid morning the clouds have cleared but it seems wise to bring extra canvas which is quickly arranged. With the great assistance of Chris the proprietor of the yard and an old friend and member of our club we get underway in the dry and with only a minor rain break we get away with it again! Boat trips, a golf challenge, the duck race and a very well supported raffle all assist in making the day. The cherry on the cake was Derek Maclannan being made a Paul Harris Fellow for his 35 years of Rotary service in a well crafted and heavily disguised address from Chris. Many thanks go to Eileen and Pam for keeping the secret and doing so much to make the day a success. In the words of Chris the BBQ was " one of the best ever " - not bad for what I thought would be a wash out.

05/06/2009 World Environment Day

Today we launch an extension of our recycling project in collaboration with the Ealing Library Service. We have placed collection bins in the main libraries and are asking the public to donate old mobile phones, toner cartridges, stamps and the like which we pass to charities who turn them into money. Happily as I leave Southall station I bump into a school party and one of the teachers directs me to the library which turns out to be quite close by. At the appointed hour the new Mayor and the Leader of the Council arrive and take time to meet us and the staff of the library. A cooperative group of school girls take part in a photo shoot and take great pleasure in getting the autographs of the Mayor and the Leader and much to my surprise me!! Hopefully the press release and photos will result in useful publicity in next weeks local paper.

30/05/2009 Neasden Temple

A few of our members have added ourselves to a group of Rotarians from Tottenham and Wood Green who are visiting the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple in Neasden. Coinciding with FA Cup final day I think I might need divine intervention to get me to the temple on time but despite the proximity of the ground I arrive early but still last. I come from the generation where religious studies at school was exclusively Christian in content and I am ashamed to say that my knowledge of the Hindu religion is thin to say the least. We are welcomed as honoured guests and are treated to a three hour tour of the Temple. As a building the temple is quite remarkable. 5000 tonnes of Italian marble and Bulgarian limestone were quarried sent to India, hand carved, returned and assembled in just 2.5 years. The entrance hall comprises carved teak with peacocks, lotus flowers and elephants in abundance.

Our visit includes seeing the huge Haveli prayer hall, attending a short service and witnessing the sacred shrines, visiting an exhibition which guides one through the history and beliefs of Hinduism, watching a video on the Mandir construction and also on BAPS charity activities which turn out to have many similarities with Rotary charities. We were also treated to lunch cooked by the many volunteers who work at the temple.

Finally the males amongst us had a short meeting with Pujya Yogvivek Swami, the head of the Mandir. A great honour. I leave uplifted by the building but also by the selflessness of the people. A great trip.

26/05/2009 Alzheimer's Concern, Ealing

We have a speaker at tonight's meeting from Alzheimer's Concern Ealing. Lesley Banks starts her talk saying she is nervous having not addressed a group before and then gives a very moving and interesting talk which provokes many questions. She describes the life of a carer looking after loved ones who progressively submit to Alzheimer's. Her group is not looking for money, ( at least she did not ask for any) what they need most of all is volunteers to support the carers - this may be as little as a weekly telephone call. If anybody reading this blog wishes to help please send a mail via the Contact page and we will put you in touch.

21/05/2009 Significant Achievement Award

I am summoned to the District Council meeting at its new venue in Victoria. Feeling rather pleased with myself I arrange my diary so that a meeting takes place in Croydon in the afternoon giving a return rail journey to Victoria. I am feeling less smug when despite my certainty that I know where I am going I am encountering roads I have never walked down before and more importantly not encountering Vincent Square where I should be heading. Looking for a friendly local ( person not pub!) I discovered that they are outnumbered ten to one by visitors but eventually I find somebody who both knows where they are and where I should be going. Despite the circuitous route I still arrive early. Finally the mystery is solved. The Rotary Club of Hanwell & Northfields had been recognised with a Rotary International Significant Achievement Award given for a club project which addresses the needs of the community, in this case for our recycling project. This award is not easily achieved and the club and particularly Alan O'Neil our Community and Vocational Service Chairman can be justifiably proud.

16/05/2009 District and Club Assembly

May is a month where the planning for the new Rotary Year begins to take shape. On Saturday a number of us go to the City of London Boys School for the District Assembly - essentially a meeting where those with similar interests go to swap ideas and learn from each other. Then on Tuesday Sue , our incoming president, and those she has asked to assist her, set out what they have got in mind for the next 12 months. Quite a lot it would seem!

14/05/2009 Youth Competitions Winners Reception

In his last week as Mayor Ian Green hosts a reception at the Town Hall for parents, teachers and pupils who had taken part in Rotary youth competitions this year. There is a good turn out and the Mayor congratulates all involved and the audience is treated to a reprise of the speech that had taken Twyford to the national finals of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition. Despite the IT doing its best to defeat us all went to plan.

08/05/2009 Pitshanger Community Association Quiz

For somebody with as bad a memory for names as me quizzes are something of an ordeal best shared with fellow team members with better memories and general knowledge. In the hope that I had joined such a team I set off with Carol to the Brentham Club to join a Rotary and friends table at the Pitshanger Community Association quiz. We finish up in the bottom half of the table but manage to pick up a couple of " bonus question" bags of chocolates en route. For the first ( and probably the last) time I take part in a guess the fruit in the jam round. We will be supporting the PCA at Party in the Park in the near future.

07/05/2009 The Mayor's Farewell Dinner

Two tables of us go to support the Mayor of the London Borough of Ealing in his farewell mayoral dinner. Ian Green the outgoing Mayor has been a real supporter of Rotary and we in turn have supported him. The venue is Pillars Restaurant which is unusual because it is part of the London School of Hospitality & Tourism at Thames Valley University. The chefs and waiters are all students as indeed are the ensemble from the London College of Music who provided the entertainment. The fundraising is for Acton Homeless Concern and West London YMCA. Buoyed by the possibility of supporting these charities and egged on by members of the club I bid for a Brentford matchball signed by the players. Despite spirited bidding from Shital I eventually become the proud owner of the ball.

25/04/2009 Brentford FC

Brentford gain promotion and are League two champions. Nothing to do with Rotary so please forgive this personal indulgence on my part.

23/04/2009 Theatre Trip

A small posse from our club goes to the Questors theatre to support the Rotary Club of Ealing. The play is The Importance of being Ernest and they're raising money for Sofale a group which supports Somalian refugees in the Borough of Ealing. The standard of acting is superb and a large attendance in support of the Ealing club adds to the occasion.

18/04/2009 Stroke Awareness Day

Yet again we visit Southall for Stroke Awareness Day. We have more blood pressure testers than ever before and when I arrive at 10am we already have a queue. I swap from promotional activities outside the health centre to booking in inside. A well ordered system is in place to ensure that people are tested in the order they arrive at the centre. It is non stop prompting me to suggest that the testers should check their own blood pressure. It is great to be active and visible in the community.

02/04/2009 Darts

Our Rotary Club has had a long established tradition of entering the London wide darts competition and losing in the first round. Therefore it was something of a surprise that our "A" team had made it to the final. Nicely timed to coincide with the protests in the City regarding the G20 conference I find myself travelling to the east side of the City to watch our team in the Final. A three way affair we started two legs up and then lose the next three. Only Tilly on our side seems to have any idea of the scoring system and despite a final set of legs against the London Club ( who had beaten our previous opponents) we managed to win three legs on the trot the final one being finished with the ubiquitous double one. This proves to be enough to be crowned champions on a count back of legs. Silverware is coming to Ealing!

31/03/2009 International Evening

Tonight we had an evening with an international theme The food had a Thai theme and we were pleased to have as our guests the partners of club members and Donald Laing from Leonard Cheshire Disability. In November last year we raised money to support the Schools 4 All in Africa programme a joint venture between Leonard Cheshire and Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. The money will be used to train teachers,adapt schools, educate children about disability issues and target 1000 disabled children to attend school across Mukono and Pallisa in Uganda. With the help of Barclays I handed over a presentation cheque totalling £3414.

25/03/2009 Youth Makes Music

Every two years Rotary in London organises a Youth Makes Music concert at one of London's major concert venues. This year it was the Royal Festival Hall. With over a 1000 people watching youngsters provide the entertainment to an audience and at a venue that would normally be unattainable.

With Sue from our Club heading the organising committee ,Tony from Greenford as musical director and a number of our members/other halves working back stage this event was spearheaded from West London. Our Club ( with Greenford) had chosen to put forward the Ealing Youth Orchestra who are celebrating their 50th anniversary. By a coincidence the last time they had performed at the concert was 25 years ago on another important birthday.

The task involved getting 80 odd youngsters to the venue along with a fair group of Rotarians and a party of old folk. The chances of everybody being in the right place at the right time seemed slight. I travelled straight to the venue and arrived with one minute to go. It was a welcome sight to see everybody in their seats. EYO were first off and gave a great performance as did all that followed. It was a wonderful evening and a happy and full coach returned to Hanwell ( minus three we evicted who had got on the wrong coach!). Happy days.

27/02/2009 Charity Quiz Night

Since I last put fingers to keyboard the club has visited the Royal Courts of Justice, assisted at the Area Youth Speaks Final and have supported (and sampled!) at the District Young Chef Final. So to the Quiz Night ,one of our big fund raising occasions, which as usual proves a test of the nerves of the organisers as they try to keep track of the numbers which go up and down like a fiddler's elbow. In the end it is a full house with a 100 people packing the Brentham Club for a quiz supper supported yet again by Barclays. Last year (see 28 October entry) the club had heard of a small charity called Vinjeru. It's mission is to support measures to eradicate illiteracy and poverty in Malawi which according to the UN is the second poorest country in the world. When they spoke to us we were impressed by how much a small group in the UK was doing to get the basics into Malawi where schools exist with little resources to equip them. How could we help? We collected a lot of equipment for the schools including paper, pencils, books and the like. Mary and Walije from the charity who joined us on the evening barely had enough room to get in their car on the return journey. All this equipment is of little assistance in the UK and the Club decided that if we were to give them such items we must also provide money to ship them to Malawi. It was agreed that our Quiz night would be devoted to this effort. The format is much like many other quiz nights but the prize, £200 donated by the Club, goes to the charity of the winners choice. This years winner, the team from the Pithanger Community Association, donated their prize to Vinjeru. Thank you to them. Overall we raised almost £1900 which was three times last year. My ambition now is to see if we can link up with Rotary in Malawi to further assist in their efforts. ( www.vinjerueducationmilawi.com)

07/02/2009 The Mayor of Ealing's Charity Race Night

The snowmen are now melting and the roads are clear which is just as well as the Club is organising a fund raising evening for the Mayor of Ealing. It is traditional that the Mayor chooses charities to support in his/her year of office. This year the chosen charities are Acton Homeless Concern ands West London YMCA who both do a tremendous amount of work in our local community. The race night is a familiar fund raiser for us but this time it is yours truly who has to be the Tote and work out the odds and the winning prizes. I soon get into the swing and by the end of the evening, with the help of Barclays, we have raised over £3000. One added bonus was that our table bought the winning horse in the final race ( these were auctioned beforehand ) and it gave us great pleasure to donate our cash prize of £140 to the Mayor's Charity Fund.

02/02/2009 Snowbound!

My 2009 New Year's resolution to abandon references to the weather in this blog must be broken. Six inches of snow fall on Ealing, public transport grinds to a halt, the schools shut but Rotary goes on! On Monday a small but hardy bunch called the Club Council gather together to plan ahead. The most immediate issue is our normal meeting the next day. Do we call it off or go ahead? If we go ahead will the catering staff at the Brentham Club make it in? We settle on soup and sandwiches with us supplying the food if the club catering is still out of action. Happily no more snow arrives on Tuesday, the caterers make it and it is business as usual with only slightly depleted numbers.

25/01/2009 Rotary Bowling

A quick trip around the North Circular gets you to Finchley bowling alley and the home of one of the London area Rotary bowls competitions. We take two teams and have fun posting what I expect will not turn out to be earth shattering scores.

23/01/2009 Burns Supper

"Some hae meat and canna eat, and some wad eat that want it,but we hae meat and we can eat, and sae the Lord be thankit."

So goes the Selkirk Grace by Robert Burns and with these words, if the President could remember them, would begin the Hanwell & Northfields Rotary Burns supper. Having been born 250 years earlier in Ayrshire, Burns lives on chiefly through his poetry and songs in the Scottish dialect.

The menu included Cock a Leekie Soup, Haggis Neeps & Tatties, Roast Beef and Scotch Mist and intermingled with the courses were addresses to the Haggis, the Skins, poetry readings and the very amusing Toast to the Lassies and response.

We were honoured to have as our special guest the District Governor for Rotary in London Wally K Daley who in an amusing address was able to disguise right to the end the real purpose of his being with us which was to award a Paul Harris fellowship to our community service chair Alan O'Neill for all he has done for Rotary not only in our club but across London.

There was no need for a whisky chaser to get a warm feeling when 60+ people circled the room to conclude the evening with Auld Lang Syne.

21/01/2009 Pensioners Party

The New Year gets off to a flying start with the pensioners party. The task involves getting over 80 pensioners from around Ealing to St Thomas the Apostle, Hanwell. When there they need to be entertained, fed and watered before returning home gift in hand. This involves Rotarians and their partners having to be transport managers, chauffeurs, bingo callers, caterers, bar staff, singers, guitar maestros, " goody bag" production line operatives, cleaners, and kitchen staff. Virtually everybody in the club had a part to play and judging by the thank you letters it was really appreciated by our guests. Also a debt of gratitude is owed to a group of young people from the Ealing Youth Orchestra who played delightfully and added to the occasion.

18/12/2008 Waitrose Christmas Collection

To support our community and charity endeavours needs money and one of our biggest fundraising events is our collection outside Waitrose in West Ealing. Accompanied by Christmas music and Faster Christmas paraphernalia it is a three day marathon bucket shake. This year with the troubled financial times we were somewhat apprehensive about how well we would do, nevertheless we had a full roster of Rotarians and Rotaractors lined up to cover all but one hour of shopping hours on the three days. Friday takings were down but Saturday and Sunday takings were up and overall we raised a magnificent sum of £1,842 which is £70 up on the total for 2007.

A big thank you goes to the manager and staff of Waitrose for their continuing support.

06/12/2008 Light up the Lane

Our Club has a number of links with Pitshanger Community Association, a group that is active in an area where we meet on Club nights. This year for the first time we decide to lend our support.

Light Up The Lane kicks off with a ceremonial countdown to the switching on of many thousands of lights strung through the trees that line Pitshanger Lane. For the next three hours most of the shops in the Lane stay open, selling mince pies, mulled wine, samosas, candy floss and anything else that will raise money for charitable causes. On the stage there is a continuous programme of songs and dancing by local groups, and further amusement is provided by strolling entertainers and side shows.

Our contribution is a guess the number of sweets in the jar competition.

21/11/2008 Race Night

Big Jack to little Jack. No this is not a seasonal reference to tales involving beanstalks. Rather it explains the futility of trying to connect a computer to a sound system with a cable with the wrong connections. And so with the first race of our Charity Race Night underway with improvised commentary from Nick from Barclays I dash across Ealing to get the necessary adaptor to get sound from computer to speakers. Technology don't you love it!

The race night is a hardy perennial of our club. We are raising money for disabled children in Africa and as the Leonard Cheshire video we played shows this is going to make a big difference to people with very little. For them chalk and a blackboard is all the technology the have and acceptance into a society that has traditionally considered disability shameful is all they want. DVDs of races are shown and you bet on the winner at the Tote (run by Rotaract). As in real life the Tote wins and this together with a raffle, sponsorship, advertising and an amazing auction of the horses in the final race results in a great night out of fundraising. I leave for home happy and poorer which of course is the idea!

03/11/2008 Busy Week

This week is going to be busy. Monday is Club Council where the day to day running of the club gets done. Tuesday is our normal club meeting and we have a speaker from the Middlesex Association for the Blind. I had been rather concerned about attendance given that events are happening thick and fast but in fact only a handful of our members are absent. Thursday brings the Four Clubs meeting - on one night each year the four Clubs in the London Borough of Ealing meet together and this year the Rotary Club of Acton is in the chair. Friday is Quingo night. Organised by the Rotaract Club, Quingo is a mix between a Quiz and Bingo. The event is well supported by teams from their chosen charities for the year as well as the local Rotary clubs and the Rotaractors themselves. Good fun. I leave happy and hungry. Saturday starts with a tour of the BBC. Eighteen of us go to the BBC in White City and dodge the shoppers and QPR/Cardiff City supporters to reach the relative sanctuary of Television Centre. As we tour the studios there is much excitement as Saturday night has a live recording of Strictly Come Dancing and glimpses of the judges and performers are to be had. We leave after the Cardiff supporters ( judging by the number of police vans with flashing lights) and get the tube back to Ealing. Tonight is fireworks night at the Brentham Club and we are helping out by selling hot drinks. Whilst we had been at the BBC another intrepid band of Rotarians had been assembling tents and heating vast cauldrons of hot water. Another great turn out by our Club but the weather is too mild for optimum drinks sales. Nevertheless it is an evening of good fellowship and fireworks and eventually we drag ourselves home. Phew!!

28/10/2008 Snow!

You've guessed it - SNOW!! Two weeks after I reported mid-summer conditions we have a blizzard. At least our rather mixed record in the District Quiz receives a boost as we get a bye into the next round as the questionmaster decides to turn back rather than brave the wintery conditions. Despite the weather we get the chance to hear about Vinjeru, a small charity working to improve education in Malawi. Many of the things that we regard as basic are in short supply in Malawi. I leave the meeting inspired by the amount of work this little charity does, hopefully we will help it later on in the year.

17/10/2008 Eastbourne

Mid-summer arrives in October. A significant event in the Rotary year is the District Conference at Eastbourne. All the Rotary clubs in London go away for a long weekend. For the first time I get there in time to watch the opening addresses. We are lucky to have a good hotel where we get a great welcome. The evening starts with an excellent dinner and the club splits into two - the Abba tribute band party and the pub section. I opt for the pub and then the hotel bar. Eventually rather worse for wear I get to bed.

Saturday starts with the traditional hangover cure the Devonshire full English breakfast. The attraction of their fried bread proves too much and I order double rations. It has to be said that it lands heavily on the stomach. Nevertheless having vowed to stick to soft drinks for a while I set off with the rest of the club for the morning session and in particular to support Mark Jones Rotaract District Chairman and Alan O'Neill from our club in his capacity as District Youth Opportunities Chairman. Again the standard of all the speakers is universally ( perhaps I could have said unusually ) high. The afternoon is spent wandering around Eastbourne in the sunshine.

By tradition we eat at the hotel on the Saturday evening and we have as our guests members from the Ealing Rotary Club and Miriam the president of Ealing Rotaract. With 32 to be seated for dinner it is something of a relief to see that we can get everybody into our private dining room. The theme is the 90th Anniversary of the RAF. One hit was my acquisition of the Acton joke shop's entire stock of polystyrene aeroplanes. The finale was a selection of jokes and poems followed by the battle of Eastbourne when all the planes were launched. Then into evening dress and we cross the road for the ball. There is a new band this year - hopefully there will be a new one next year!! The night is rounded off with more drinks at the bar and an impromptu song from Dan. Another night draws to a close with the blood levels dangerously low in the alcohol system.

Full English breakfast again then off to the theatre for the presentation of presidents where along with all the others I cross the stage to a loud roar from watching club members. More speakers and finally it is time to return to London and I assist in taking two members of the Bulgarian Group Study Exchange team to a Heathrow airport hotel. I might have stretched the truth slightly when I told them that the weather is always dry and sunny in October. Finally I return home to Sunday dinner ( no wine!!) and writing up the blog.

27/09/2008 Health Awareness Day

Anxious that the meteorological theme continues in this blog the weather gods today ordered fog. To avoid the parking shortage I head off to Southall by bus. My destination is a Health Service drop in facility on the Broadway. Once a year Rotary has a Health Awareness Day and we contribute to this by arranging for blood pressure checks which helps detect people susceptible to strokes. Due to the demand last time we have added an extra session this year. Alan has decked the centre out with Rotary material and the event has been publicised on local radio. As people are coming in before we are properly open it was clear that we will have another busy day. By the end over 250 people were tested including the Mayor of Ealing who had dropped in to support us. Afterwards the Mayor referring to the 11 people who had been told to visit their doctor urgently said "Those 11 should be truly grateful for your work." This project is one of the most satisfying we do because it has quite literally life changing consequences for some of the people we meet.

25/09/2008 Rotary Foundation Programme

Part of the Rotary Foundation programme is Group Study Exchange. The idea is that a group of young people early on in their careers travel abroad and a similar group travel in the other direction to the UK. Each group is accompanied by a Rotarian. This year a group sponsored by London Rotary is exchanging with a group from Bulgaria. Tonight the inbound team is being hosted by Greenford Rotary and I decide to go along. Bulgaria is place I know little about as I soon find out listening to the speakers all of whom speak excellent English. I have added it to my list of places to visit. In contrast to the UK, Bulgaria has only sporadically had the freedoms to which we are accustomed. It is sobering to be told that Rotary was banned for two long periods over the last 100 years. The team seems very proud of their roots and keen that more people learn about their country.

20/09/2008 Meadow House Hospice Collection

Hallelujah a Rotary event and the sun is shining! Today we are helping with a street collection for Meadow House hospice. I am on the early shift. Despite one side of Pitshanger Lane being in the sun my professional training kicks in and we take up position in the shade but in the area of maximum pedestrian flow. Inevitably fundraising at the hospice is important,continuous and falls on a small dedicated few to organise. It is good to help out. They raise a total of £2,120 including £300 from the bucket shake.

07/09/2008 Brentford Festival

A recurring theme to this English summer has been rain. The forecasts were not good and I set out to the festival umbrella in hand.

Luckily the weather had held off during the morning and I found our stall (eventually) looking really good. However the organisers had, in their wisdom, put us at the far end of a line and with some others not turning up and a large tree obstructing the view it was clear that we would have our work cut out.

Out with the megaphone and there followed four hours of the president's best sales patter to get people to find us and spend.

One wit remarked that he deserved a prize just for finding us!

Nevertheless we took nearly £300 and introduced many people to Rotary and Rotaract.

Despite the dark clouds we went home dry.

19/08/2008 Club visit to Meadow House Hospice

Another first. Usually the club meets at the Brenthem club. At these meetings, over dinner, we plan our activities, receive speakers and generally review the running of the club. We organise ourselves into committees and today the Community Committee organised for our meeting to be moved , food and all, to Meadow House Hospice http://www.ealingpct.nhs.uk/meadowhouse/.

The Club has a long association with the hospice - helping out with fundraising and in looking after their garden. This was a valuable opportunity to learn more about their work and their plans to extend their facilities as well as look at Rtn Dave Brakespear's handiwork in maintaining the garden. A great evening.

12/08/2008 Guest Speaker, Wally K. Daley.

Rotary is headquartered in the USA and is divided into districts. Ours is District 1130 and covers most London http://www.rotaryinlondon.org/ The elected head of our district is known as the District Governor and this year the post is held by Rtn Wally K Daley. One of the duties of the incoming Governor is to visit over 70 clubs that comprise the District. Today was our day! Wally is a playwright and is easily identified by his pony tail. As expected his address to the club was not the usual fare of District Governor's but an eclectic mix of anecdotes from his year preparing for his post.

05/08/2008 Guest Speaker, Ealing Rotaract Club

29/07/2008 National Deaf Children's Society

As a parent of a deaf child it was a happy coincidence that the local group of the National Deaf Children's Society had contacted us and were guests at today's meeting. We had an interesting talk on their activities.

06/07/2008 The Sunday Lunch.

The Sunday lunch. This event is organised by the partners and is the traditional opening event for the new year. I decided to have it in my back garden which looked decidedly dicey with every reference to the long range weather forecast! With the day approaching I had to beg steel or borrow every marquee I could lay my hands on as well as well as tables and chairs for 80 odd guests. By the time Sunday arrived the garden looked like a scene from a refugee camp. As the guests arrived so did the rain. Another first - being asked by the Rotaractors manning the drinks table if I could supply them with a towel! We raised £850 for CICS http://www.cicsgroup.org.uk/ the Cochlear Implanted Children's Support Group. Cochlear implants give a form of electronic hearing to deaf children.

01/07/2008 The year gets off to a start

For reasons lost in the mists of time the Rotary year starts on 1July. To keep the new president on his toes it is a meeting like no other and I realise preparing for it how little attention I must have taken in previous years. It is a tour de force with the outgoing president Bill summarising his year and them me introducing mine. This year we had a first with the induction of two new members,Anne and Junaid at the same meeting.