The Club is to respond to the disaster in the Phillipines with members being asked to donate to ShelterBox and AquaBox (2 Rotary-supported survival box charities) so that they can provide critically needed aid following the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan Friday 8 November. Typhoon Haiyan, the largest storm recorded to ever hit land, has caused utter devastation and unimaginable suffering in the Philippines with sustained winds of 235km/h (147mph), gusts of 275 km/h (170 mph) and waves as high as 15m (45ft); in some places, as much as 400mm (15.75 inches) of rain fell. Coastal towns across the central Philippines have been left devastated.
A cheque for £11,464.25 was gratefully accepted by SOS Bus NI CEO, Joe Hyland, at the Club meeting Monday 28 October 2013 representing the donations to Hon. Treasurer Ivan McMinn's London Marathon run. Ivan completed the London Marathon against all the odds in under 5 hours having been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in November 2011 and undertaking a major operation. Throughout his illness Ivan expressed a wish to repay the dedication and skill of the doctors and nurses and astonishingly signed up to run in the 2013 London Marathon to raise money for Cancer Focus NI and SOS Bus NI.
President Ken was delighted to welcome to the Club, Monday 21 October 2013, the 1st female District Ireland Governor Verity Swan. District Governor Verity stated she was aware of the long history of the Club and was delighted to be visiting within the "family of Rotary". She stressed that dialogue is vital and communication must be 2 way - questions answered and asked. She pointed out that she has been asking everyone she meets "have you ever been asked to join Rotary?" and has found in most cases they haven't been... and 3 people she has asked now aspire to become members!
Honorary member Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Lord Mayor of Belfast, spoke to the Club Monday 23 September 2013 on the theme of peace and reconciliation within the City Hall and his hopes for the future. His theme is Building the future Belfast – together and he hopes to achieve this by working hard to bring people together. He reflected that this must be done in small steps with a focus on the positive.
A most enjoyable afternoon of fun and fellowship was spent by around 90 members, partners, friends and families on Sunday 8 September, at Ronnie and Elma Porter's Farm. We were particularly delighted that members of the Rotary Clubs of Donaghadee and Belfast East and the Rotaract and Inner Wheel Belfast Clubs joined us.
Although not targeted as a fundraiser, it is hoped that the day will raise over £1000 for ShelterBox and the Club Charity Funds. The full report can be seen here...
President Ken was delighted to handover to Laura Garland, Belfast Rotaract Club, a £100 cheque for their Marathon Fund at the Club meeting Monday 19 August 2013.
A team of Rotaractors, which included Club Vice President Claire Savage, completed the Belfast Relay Marathon earlier this year. They were raising funds in aid of a local, independent homeless shelter, Homeplus N.I which has in recent months seen a huge influx of residents due to the ill-effects of the economic recession.
The Club was delighted to welcome Anna Lo MLA to the Club evening meeting Thursday 08 August when she took part in a question and answer session with Vice President Claire Savage. The session finished with Anna answering many questions from the floor and VP Claire wishing her every success in her career.
President Ken Morrison thanked her for taking time to attend during her holiday time, for imparting her fascinating and rewarding life and commended her on the huge contribution she has given to our society.
The new Rotary year starting July 2013 heralds a new Club Team:
Immediate Past President - Alan Rundle
Vice President - Claire Savage
President - Ken Morrison
President Elect - Ronnie McLean
Hon Secretary - Rosemary Simpson
Hon Treasurer - Ivan McMinn