Welcome from President Robert Boyd-Howell

Hello, I am Robert Boyd-Howell and I have the privilege to be the 91st President of the Rotary Club of Canterbury.  Unlike many of my recent predecessors I have yet to retire, but as my arable farming work is now undertaken by another family member under a Contract agreement I shall have plenty of time to fulfil all my duties during the next year.

Our Club has 63 members, with a mix of those who have retired and others still in employment, all representing the many varied professions and businesses in and around the Canterbury area.

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We are a dual gender Club and about 25% of the Members have joined us during the last five years.  This helps to ensure that the Club can progress and continue to build on the achievements of those who have been involved over the last 90 years.  Being one of the 25%, I would say that if you are considering joining us in Rotary, you will find (as I did) that our Club is very welcoming and the Fellowship you will enjoy is second to none.

We meet each Tuesday at 12.30pm at the St. Lawrence Cricket Ground on the Old Dover Road.  This is a wonderful venue as the room overlooks the ground.  However on the second Tuesday of each month we meet at 7.30pm to enable those of our members, who cannot always attend our Luncheon meetings because of work commitments, to join us.  If you are considering coming to a meeting please look elsewhere on our site for the details of our Dining arrangements and you can also see our weekly programme there.

There is a very active Fundraising Committee that organises many events through the year.  However we have two major annual Fundraising events:

On Saturday 23rd March 2013 we will be hosting our fourth Top Choir Kent evening at the Shirley Hall in the King’s School.  Although very hard work to set up, this is a rewarding way to raise funds.  Not only is it an enjoyable evening, raising funds for the Club, but we are also able to give some money to the eight Choirs who compete from all over Kent and beyond.

On Saturday 29th June 2013 we will hold our annual Duck Race.  Canterbury residents and shoppers are now well used to seeing our long lines of bright yellow ducks in the various Shopping  Precincts  as our members encourage them to sponsor a duck that they hope will win!  On the day we launch over 3,500 of them into the Stour at Toddler’s Cove, finishing in the Westgate Gardens.  The spectacle is enjoyed by a large crowd of Canterbury’s residents and is especially popular with children.

Furthermore we have a Millennium Scholarship Trust Fund that awards Scholarships to help local students undertake voluntary work both here and abroad.

The monies raised are distributed to numerous local and international charities.  This work falls to our Community Service and International Committees.  Sometimes the amounts are modest but in the very recent past, in collaboration with our four International Partner Clubs in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany we have sponsored a large Hospital project in Ghana, donating a total of over €250,000 over 5 years.

But our efforts are not solely about money. We have supported several “Awareness” days in recent years, being part of the Schemes for Stroke Awareness and Prostate Cancer Awareness.

On the international front, RC Canterbury has a special 5-sided meeting each year with Rotary Clubs from the Continent: St. Quentin (France), Leiden (Netherlands), Leuven (Belgium) and Lüdenscheid (Germany).   We call this five-membered International grouping "The Pentangular".  Many strong friendships have been forged over the years and it will be our pleasure and privilege to visit the newest member of the Group (Leiden) when they host the Pentangular in May 2013.

The Vocational Service Committee is also very active.  As examples it recently arranged a seminar on Town Planning for the benefit of Sixth Formers from the local schools and a most interesting visit to a local company where we saw Paving blocks being manufactured.  We went onto the Dredger that had brought the materials for the blocks into the site from the sea.

All Canterbury Rotarians take an active part in the work of the Club and strive to serve those who are less fortunate than themselves.


Thursday 1st January 1970

Published by: The Rotary Club of Canterbury

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