Our members had a great time at the Art & Craft Fair held at Lower Hardres Village Hall yesterday. Almost £500 was raised for President Neil's three charities: Canterbury Samaritans, Canterbury Salvation Army and the Prince of Wales Youth Club.
Fortunately the weather was sunny so the artists and craftspeople had plenty of visitors.
A variety of items were on display in the main hall; these included oil, watercolour and acrylic paintings, pen & ink sketches and drawings, collages, painted glass, floral headbands, pottery, handcrafted wooden boxes and gift items (many of made of recycled materials), patchwork and needlework, screen prints, handmade greetings cards and items to do with Canterbury and Sir John Betjeman.
The event, which was put on with assistance from members of the local Inner Wheel, was one of current President Neil Fraser’s special events for the year. Neil's idea was to showcase the many talents of Rotarians, their friends and family to the public. He was also very keen to get the public talking to Rotarians and finding out about Rotary and its work - both locally and around the world. Sure enough, exhibitors found themselves talking about their artwork or crafting, their involvement with Rotary and their other interests. Rotarian friends included Michael Hitchison (artist), Maddie McConomy (hand made cards) and Dick & Jean Mortley (wood and fabric offerings) (all bowling club colleagues of one of our Past Presidents, Mike Talbot), Sue's Painted Glass and Peter Hodgson (brought in by Rotarian Julie Reza) and of course many spouses and/or members of the local Inner Wheel - President Neil's wife Biddy, for instance had some of her beautiful artwork on display.
Paintings were inspired by everything from serene seaside views in subtle shades of blue and green to the vibrantly colourful cycle rickshaws of Bangladesh. Michael did sketches of visitors ‘while they wait’. Our Duck Race (to be held on the 15th September) got a feature of sorts thanks to some specially painted glassware. It was probably too early to buy Christmas presents seriously - but Christmas presents were mentioned by some of the visitors!
In addition to the arts & crafts, one special stall displayed donated bric-a-brac (manned by President Elect Alan Mepstead and Rtn wife Dee) while a whole room was dedicated to the sale of old books (overseen by Rtn Nan Miller, Inner Wheel members and friends). Rotarian Bob Anderson had a stall with a variety of tools on display to raise funds and awareness of a special collaborative project between Pilgrims Hospices and charity Tools for Self Reliance.
Refreshments (homemade cake, fudge brownies and other yummies) were served with a smile by ladies of the Inner Wheel; the sunny day allowed several visitors to sit outside in the sunshine while they enjoyed their coffee and cake.
Artists and craftspeople gave 20% of their sales to Rotary. Given that fundraising was not a main aim, we were delighted to have raised nearly £500 from sales. Profits will be split among the President’s three charities. Inner wheel made an added £200 from the sale of refreshments which will help support their charities and causes.
President Neil said: “This really was a fun event in which even our members got a chance to find out what others did in their spare time. The fact that we raised funds for my three chosen charities was icing on the cake! We’d like to thank all that took part and attended. Special thanks to Past President David Barton, Rotarian Tony Pomeroy and Tony’s wife Jean for helping organize this event, and to Inner Wheel for manning stalls and providing refreshments. We now look forward to hosting the Duck Race in Westgate Gardens next Sunday and hope to see everyone there”.
Picture: Some of the paintings at the fair. Picture credit: Rotary Club of Canterbury.
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