Rotary Club of Belfast

Recent Speakers

In recent weeks the Club has been delighted to welcome very varied speakers to address Club meetings: Past District Governor Sean Fitzgerald, Club Rotarian Jean Horstman, Trustee Lyric Theatre and 19 year-old Anna Pim.

IMG 5405In a very comprehensive address the origins, work and success of Mercy Ships was highlighted by guest speaker PDG Sean Fitzgerald. He revealed their charity-run hospital ships in the world bring vital healthcare to places overwhelmed by poverty and suffering and thereby transform the systems of healthcare in the world’s poorest regions where billions experience chronic pain, financial catastrophe and social stigma because of injuries, ailments, and disfigurements that surgery, which we take for granted, could fix. Since they started they have had a huge impact, reaching more than 55 developing countries and conducting on-board more than 105,500 life-changing surgeries.

Jean Horstman 25.09.23In a passionate, detailed and well received address Jean Horstman revealed the ethos and work of the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. She pointed out that the Lyric is the only full-time theatre to produce its own productions in NI, with a particular bent towards new writing telling the stories from NI and for 75 years has been a springboard for internationally acclaimed playwrights, poets, directors and actors such as Liam Neeson, Anthony Boyle, Geraldine Hughes, Sara Devlin, Ciaran Hinds and Tara-Lynne O'Neill as well as creative crafts such as stage directors and designers. She pointed out that the Lyric see themselves as playing a key role in bringing together NI’s still divided communities not only on stage but with their education and outreach work. She also highlighted that 2 Lyric plays Good Vibrations and the Agreement have had sell-out runs in New York.

Anna Pim13.05.24In an extremely well-presented, informative and inspiring address, Anna Pim explained why she decided to set up “at the heart of the game” to deliver educational workshops to teach young people how to do CPR and use a defibrillator. Aged 19 she revealed her journey began when she was 13 when a fellow rower had a cardiac arrest during his race. He survived, though many do not but during lockdown she reflected on this and queried if she had been there would she have been knowledgeable enough to intervene and save her friend's life even though she was a cadet in St John's Ambulance Brigade for over 3 years. She wondered how she could make a difference in the community and empower young people to have the confidence in lifesaving skills and came up with a model to educate them in CPR and AED awareness. This has led to many accolades, with the most prominent being one of the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Heroes. She has taken a year out to set up her business and hopes she can help create a future where everyone in the community has the skill to intervene effectively in a cardiac arrest.

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Membership of the Club is an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience and we are actively looking for new people to invite to join and breathe new vibrancy and ideas into the Club and take Rotary into its second century in Belfast.

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