Latest News

Future Events

Evening Meeting With Amanda Mckean, Director Canterbury Festival

30th April 2024
Venue: Cricket Ground

Evening meeting with Amanda McKean, Director, Canterbury Festival.
View Event

Lunchtime Meeting Agm & May Business Meeting

7th May 2024
Venue: Cricket Ground
Lunchtime meeting 12.30pm for 1pm meal Annual General Meeting to be followed by the May Business Meeting.
View Event

Review of the year, 2022

Take a deep breath – you’ll need it as we’ve had a busy year, and what a rollercoaster it’s been too!

As always, our focus had been on doing what we do best:

  • helping our local community;
  • helping international causes;
  • supporting young people;
  • and, of course, also having fun!

Fundraising first…

Our Club couldn’t do the things it does without fundraising, one of our core activities.

This year we held two fantastic fundraising events of our own, the ever-popular Duck Race (held a little later than planned because of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen), and “Taste of the East”, a colourful evening of food and fun held at Canterbury Academy.

But by far the biggest fundraiser was done in collaboration with the two other Rotary Clubs in Canterbury, Sunrise and Forest of Blean, to support Ukraine. Over £10,000 has been raised in total between the clubs under the umbrella of Rotary in Canterbury, and the appeal is still open on our homepage. Our Club also agreed to donate £500 towards our Rotary District’s efforts to raise funds for modular housing in a Ukrainian village with 85% of its homes damaged as a result of the conflict.

We made lots of other smaller fundraising efforts too, including our regular raffles, trips by Sailor Ted, and a mini auction (with a silly challenge for our then President), all of which have helped add to the wide-ranging donations we’ve been able to make.

…then supporting others

Aside from supporting Ukraine, donations went to too many causes (charities and special requests for support) to mention them all – but included Canterbury Food Bank, Guide Dogs, Pancreatic Cancer Research, KidsOut, The Prince of Wales Youth Club, Thanington Resource Centre and East Kent Young Person’s Service/Sanctuary Supported Living.

On the international front, we’ve supported eye surgery camps (see here and here) and a desalination project in Bangladesh; flood relief efforts in Pakistan (after the devastating floods there earlier in the year); DESO (Disabled Equipment Sent Overseas); entrepreneurs in developing countries via microfinanciers LendWithCare, and the charity Child.org (for baby boxes in Kenya).

Lending a hand

Meanwhile, our members have also helped others with their fundraisers, including The Royal British Legion, Marie Curie (see here and here), The Forest of Blean Rotary Club, The Rotary Club of Canterbury Sunrise/Canterbury Food Bank (see the bit later about Santa’s Sleigh) and The Lord Mayor of Canterbury’s Christmas Gift Fund (aided by a snowman). As usual, we also ran a BBQ at the League of Friends Summer Fair for K&C Hospital.

We were given a Certificate of Appreciation from our Rotary District (District 1120) for our support of End Polio Now. This year, members have planted crocuses, watched them grow, been inspired by purple food, dressed in purple and lit St Dunstan’s purple, all to raise awareness of the cause.

On Remembrance Sunday our President Tony Loughran laid a wreath on behalf of the three Canterbury Clubs, and we were told during a talk from the local branch of The Royal British Legion that we’ve helped to raise over £45,000 in all the years that we’ve supported the Poppy Appeal.

Just recently, this December, our members were excited to join the Rotary Club of Sunrise’s Santa’s Sleigh drives as part of Rotary in Canterbury – and help raise over £5,000 for Canterbury Food Bank and Rotary. Lots of food donations too!

A time for thanks!

Of course, much of what we’ve been able to do is thanks to the immense generosity and kindness of members of the public, to whom we are enormously grateful.

We’re also immensely grateful to those who have made more substantial donations – Leigh Saunders and named or anonymous donors both from within our membership and from outside the club.

The fact that so many people know of us and support us is thanks in good part to publicity we have been fortunate to get from the Kentish Gazette, local magazine Community Ad, and our own District (Rotary Soith East) Magazines. (Don’t forget we also have our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as our website if you want to keep up with our news. We appreciate every share, like or retweet!)

We’d also like to thank the folk that have helped our work – Canterbury Ciry Council, MyCanterbury, Canterbury Christ Church University – and so many more.

Needless to say we’re also thankful to our members, who come up with great ideas and put themselves forward for action.

100 years gone, more to come

In February we celebrated our Centenary. There were still concerns about the pandemic but despite plan changes we managed to mark the event in a special way, celebrate “100 years of us”, be reminded of how things have changed since 1922 (presented by one of our Past Presidents, Peter Hermitage) and celebrate with a wonderful 1920s-inspired gala (during which we also awarded three Paul Harris Fellowships).

But the most important thing for us, in terms of the Centenary, has been the launch of our fundraising appeal for The Point – a drinking water fountain set in a carved stone column that we aim to give as a “green” gift to the people of Canterbury to mark our Centenary. (We even gave a suggestion for making a difference – did you join in?) 

We will have more to say on The Point in coming months, so watch this space!

Pentangular marks 50

The Centenary was not all that we celebrated – we also marked 50 years of Pentangular, a grouping of five European Rotary Clubs that underlines international understanding and cooperation through joint international projects plus support of the Mini Group Study Exchange, a cultural exchange programme that brings youngsters together to learn about each other and establish lasting friendships.

This year we hosted Pentangular and sent two students from Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) to St Quentin as part of the exchange programme. Pentangular visitors enjoyed the activities we had lined up for their visit – a trip to Faversham, a Hullaballoo dance, and some inspiring dancing and martial arts skills put on display by the Prince of Wales Youth Club! Our five Pentangular clubs were so impressed by the Youth Club that they agreed to jointly donate 2000 Euros to it (400 Euros each) to continue the excellent work it does with young people. 

More recently, some of our members, including current President Tony Loughran, travelled to Leuven to meet with fellow Presidents and “Pentarians” and look ahead to the next 50 years; in November we also had the chance to catch up with friends from St Quentin and mark our long relationship with them.

Working for Young People

We’ve been involved in a whole range of activities to support and encourage young people – starting with our writing competition for primary schools and our “Dear Future Self” and Innovation Competitions for secondary schools, held in association with CCCU (read about the judges of the innovation competition here and the winners here).

It was also the first year that Canterbury held a heat of Rotary’s Young Chef competition, which we held together with the Sunrise club (who oversaw it) and hosted by Archbishop’s school. All the competitors did remarkably well!

Meanwhile, Team Eclipse from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Faversham continue to be supported in the F1 in Schools competition (read more here, here, here and here); most recently the team have won the regional finals and will be taking part in the national finals in mid-January. We have our fingers crossed.

We’ve also continued to support local schools and colleges with mock interviews (see here and here), helping youngsters to prepare for real life interviews for their future careers. Recently we’ve also supported some local schools with the donation of books and magazines.

Speakers and visitors

Members have had a chance to hear some excellent speakers talking about all sorts of topics. These included conservation, farming, cycling, biodiversity, Canterbury City Council, bees, the Royal British Legion, coppicing, the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation, train journeys, being an Army Padre, KidsOut [while joining Whitstable Rotarians at their meeting], Birdquest Antartica, Marie Curie and local TV!

There was also a chance to hear about the careers of our members (new, here and here; and not-so-new, here and here) and to welcome visitors from our Rotary District, Miami, India, Bangladesh and Canada. Meanwhile, one of our members visited clubs in Mauritius while out there on holiday!

We’ve even been reminded of what a small world it is when two Rotarians bumped into each other. Oh, and did we mention that during the year we’ve had a Presidential handover, celebrated the lives of others (here and here), and welcomed The Lord Mayor of Canterbury (who joined us at some of our events) as an honorary member?

And for a bit of fun…

Rotarians don’t believe in all work and no play, so our members managed to have lots of fun too!

There was an Easter Egg Hunt, summer picnic, a farm trip, Burns night, visits to Kent Mining Museum, Brogdale Orchards and Stelling Minnis Windmill, an unusual barge trip, a walk in Reculver, book clubs, an “American Supper”, a cello concert, bat and trap, bowling, a music quiz, film nightquiz night and bingo and games – and a chance to watch an open-air performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by theatre group Primal Clay. We even enjoyed a spring clean!

Finally, to bring the amazing year to an end there was, of course, a Christmas Party and carols!

What’s next?

Now we look forward to the year ahead with President Tony’s packed programme of events; after handover to President Elect Rosemary Doyle in the summer we’ll launch Rosemary’s programme. We’ll be kicking things off with New Year’s drinks with Tony. We hope we’ll have another great year ahead, helping others here and overseas, while having fun too.

More than ever, we hope for peace, health and happiness for all. Happy New Year!

How did YOU spend 2022?

Are you stuck in a rut and want to do something different (where you can make a real difference) in 2023?

Why not contact us to find out how you can join us or support our work. Perhaps you have a group of friends or colleagues that would be interested? We’d be pleased to hear from you. 

Picture: Our year in review. Picture credit: Rotary Club of Canterbury. 

Sponsors

Get in Touch

The Rotary Club of Canterbury
St Lawrence Cricket Ground
Old Dover Road,
Canterbury, Kent,
CT1 3NZ,
United Kingdom

Would you like to become a member of the Rotary Club of Canterbury?