The Jubilee celebrations have begun...no, not the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, but a celebration of 50 years of “Pentangular”, a group of European Rotary Clubs that has supported some remarkable projects while members have enjoyed friendship & camaraderie.
Pentangular involves five European Rotary Clubs - our own, plus the Rotary Clubs of St Quentin (France), Leuven (Belgium), Lüdenscheid (Germany) and Leiden (The Netherlands*). This year, our Club's centenary year, also marks 50 years since our Club joined the grouping of other clubs that resulted in the formation of Pentangular.
The Pentangular weekend is hosted by the different clubs in turn: Canterbury, Leiden*, St Quentin, Leuven and Lüdenscheid. We hosted a Pentangular weekend in 2012 and 2017 and now it’s our turn again. (Sadly, due to Covid, we were unable to hold the event over the past couple of years.)
Today we formally welcomed our guests with a reception at Canterbury Rugby Club, where guests received their bespoke welcome pack and met up with old friends. PP Peter Hermitage kicked off the gathering before handing over to our current President Stephen Thompson, who gave a multilingual greeting to all: "Welcome, Bienvenu, Vilkommen and Velkom!" (Which we suppose will also get us in the mood for the upcoming Eurovision song contest!)
"We made it!" declared Stephen - adding: “after two years of isolation we are again together to celebrate our unique association." He also reminded us all that "Rotary brings us together to forget politics, Brexit and [more somberly], Covid and the war in Ukraine....We are here to have fun and enjoy each other's company, but we also have a purpose: Moldova." The latter refers to our fourth Joint Pentangular Project (JPP) - a project which, his year, aims to help deaf children in Moldova (one of the poorest parts of Europe). (Regular readers will know that previous projects have included supporting a school in Juba, South Sudan.)
Stephen then wished everyone a "great jubilee weekend" before guests departed to have dinner with their various hosts scattered in-and-around Canterbury or enjoyed a tasty meal at the Rugby Club's restaurant, Saucy Flo's. (Many visitors actually stay with Canterbury Rotarians who host the Friday dinner at their home.)
We'll tell you more about the other events over the next few days and we also hope to publish pictures on Facebook – do look out for these!
*Since 2010 Leiden has replaced Utrecht as the Pentangular contact club in The Netherlands.
Picture: PP Peter Hermitage (left) and our current President, Stephen Thompson. Picture credit Rotary Club of Canterbury,