So here we are at the beginning of a new Rotary year. On Friday, July 1st I had the pleasure of attending the District’s Handover meeting and met up with many Rotarians taking office in some capacity or other, be it at Club or District level.
click photo to enlarge
I am Harry Cragg and I have been a member of the Rotary Club of Canterbury since 1982.
I am very pleased and proud to be the President of the Rotary Club of Canterbury; a club which will celebrate its 90th birthday in the course of the year. Till now, we have had a new President each year – a tradition we hope to maintain in the future. We now have a membership of 64, 25% of whom joined us in just the last 5 years, so we hope to keep fresh in our ideas and modern and in touch with today’s world.
Members of this dual-gender Club represent a variety of occupations, business and professions, some are still active in their work and some are retired, but all are active in their desire to make a difference.
Most of our weekly meetings are held at the St Lawrence Cricket ground in Canterbury on Tuesdays at lunchtime except on the 2nd Tuesdays of the month when they are held in the evening to assist some of our working members. This year if there are 5 Tuesdays in the month, varying arrangements apply, so please visit the Club Programme under the News tab on our webpages, to be sure. Visiting Rotarians are very welcome to attend any of our meetings and can find the relevant information regarding dining arrangements elsewhere on this site.
We are active with a number of fundraising events through the year and I am delighted that we shall be organising the Top Choir Kent Competition once again. This will be its third year, and proves to be a popular evening, whilst raising funds to benefit local charities and offering financial support to each of the choirs featuring in the Final. It will be held on March 31st, 2012 at the Shirley Hall, King’s School, Canterbury.
The annual duck race along the Stour in the centre of Canterbury offers another chance to support local charities. This event has been established for many years now, and shoppers in the local supermarkets and in the City Centre are quite used to seeing our line-up of ducks in the weeks preceding the race.
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 Ludenscheid (Germany). Many strong friendships have been forged over the years and it will be our pleasure and privilege to host the participants in England once again next May.
In 1905, Rotary’s founder Paul Harris met with three like-minded businessmen in Chicago with the thought of founding a meeting club. The name Rotary was chosen as meetings rotated between their offices. These men of vision went on to lay the foundations of an Organisation which is now represented in 168 countries and has a membership of over 1.2 million.
Membership of Rotary gives the opportunity to meet other like-minded people on a regular basis, to develop new relationships and collectively help others. It brings a heightened awareness of the community in which we live and work and opportunities to help others in the wider world.
So my final words to Rotarians today are simply to “ENJOY Rotary — with its fun, its friendship AND its obligations”