We enjoy being members of the Rotary Club of Canterbury. One of our strengths is the diversity of our membership with more than 60 men and women, from a wide range of professional and business backgrounds. What draws us together is our common interest in service to our fellow men and women, both locally in Canterbury and in the wider world overseas. Strong friendships are forged between our members by working together on local and international charitable projects.
We aim to be involved “hands on” with the many projects in the local community, for example in our Stroke Awareness Day Blood Pressure Screening and our outing for the children of St Nicholas School. We are very active internationally and recently Past President Sidney Denham visited Ghana to oversee the refurbishment of a small hospital, which will involve us for several years. We have a major commitment to the worldwide eradication of Poliomyelitis and last year Vice President Richard Kemball-Cook visited India to take part in the immunisation campaign.
Each year we raise and distribute about £30,000 and to help us achieve this we have developed a new website and a robust system of electronic communication for our administrative work.
2008-2009 Club President, Dr David Barton
This year we have taken the decision to participate more actively in the Rotary International programme of exchange visits for young professional and business people through Rotary Foundation. We hosted a group from Brazil and learned a great deal by talking to them. Resulting from this we have funded a new autoclave for their local cancer hospital and we are sponsoring our own candidate for the return visit to Brazil. We believe that these exchanges are very important for increasing international understanding. We are involved with several other exchange schemes; hosting overseas students studying for a year at university in Canterbury, assisting with the funding of “gap year” students doing overseas voluntary work and organising a five country exchange in Europe for local young professional and business people.
Our members under the leadership of Rotarian Marjorie Lyle are actively involved with Simon Langton Girls School in running an Interact Club for the girls to introduce them to Rotary ideals.
The life of the club is very active with a great number of service projects and social events taking place every year. This year we are holding our five Guest Night Dinners at a variety of interesting venues; Godmersham Park, Broome Park, the Kings School, St Edmunds School and the Indian Evening at the Dominican Priory. This year we introduced informal Pub Nights including Snooker evenings and Bat & Trap. We have started a programme of group visits to theatre, ballet and musical events.
Rotary Club of Canterbury is a large, long-established club with a reputation for excellence. I am very proud to be President of such a Club.