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Early evening visit to the Tannery Development and meal

13th August 2024
Venue: Tannery Development, Canterbury
Early evening visit to the Canterbury Tannery Development lead by Andrew Clague who was the principal architect on this project.
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Inter Club Bat & Trap Competition Evening

16th August 2024
Venue: The Golden Lion, Broad Oak
This year's Rotary in Canterbury Interclub Bat & Trap Competition is being held in the evening of Friday, 16th August at the Golden Lion Pub, Broad Oak.
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Supporting the provision of ambulances and medical equipment to Ukraine

Earlier this year we provided some funds towards the purchase of an ambulances and medical equipment for Ukraine, driven there this May by Kevin Fielding (Assistant District Governor of our Rotary District, 1120) as part of a small convoy of ambulances.

At the end of last year Kevin wrote to our Rotary District’s Presidents seeking support for this project, overseen by Medical Life Lines Ukraine (MLLU). In his message (with the subject heading “A Christmas Challenge”) Kevin had set out the hardships faced by Ukrainians and had described how he’d seen an interview on BBC television about ambulances being driven to the country laden with various medical items. Only one of the selected drivers has been an American Rotarian. “I intend being the first from RGBI for such a good cause!” declared Kevin.

We were reminded that many ambulances had been destroyed in the conflict. Kevin’s plan was to assist MLLU with their delivery of ambulances and supplies. MLLU buys second hand ambulances which are then driven to Ukraine by selected volunteer drivers, loaded with medical supplies and warm clothes etc. In this case each driver was asked to generate £7,000 toward purchasing the ambulances plus the medical supplies. “I am hoping each club in the District 1120 … can donate £100 (or more!!) to the cause”, said Kevin.

Like many other Rotary Clubs, our Club (as part of “Rotary in Canterbury “, along with Sunrise and Forest of Blean Rotary Clubs) had already raised considerable sums of money etc. to support Ukrainians (see here, for example). Nevertheless, agreed to help fund the project with a donation of £100 as requested and wished Kevin well on his journey.

That journey took place in mid-May; Kevin is now safely back in the UK having had quite an experience.

Kevin told us that he drove one of seven ambulances in his convoy; each ambulance was loaded with pre-requested medical supplies. In total, they covered over 1000 miles and took a few days. They set off on Sunday 19th May, travelling across the Channel by train.

The convoy arrived at Lviv early on Wednesday afternoon and the ambulances and supplies were handed over to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health; the Ministry then directed them to parts of Ukraine where they were most needed. Kevin and fellow members of his convoy were treated to a reception dinner in the evening attended by the Lviv MP and many of the chief doctors of areas in Ukraine. We understand that six of the seven ambulances were in use the next day (after driving a few hundred miles overnight); the seventh went straight to serving at the front line the following day. Kevin and his fellow drivers flew back via Krakow on Saturday 25th May.

Reflecting on his trip on his return, Kevin told us that it had been very moving at times. Two things were particularly memorable. He’d come across six posters paying tribute to those that had lost their lives; in the middle there was a large poster stating “Our Future” with photos of ten-or-so young children aged about 5 years old. For example, one six-year-old boy, Zakhar, says “I’m dreaming of building a tram trail to the cloud where my daddy lives”. The second memorable things was the sight of several well-dressed young ladies with big bouquets of flowers – waiting, in silence, for their husband’s funerals.

You can find out more about MLLU here.

Picture: ADG Kevin Fielding, pictured inside the medical supply-laden ambulance that he drove to Ukraine. Picture credit: Kevin Fielding (reproduced with permission)

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St Lawrence Cricket Ground
Old Dover Road,
Canterbury, Kent,
CT1 3NZ,
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