Our latest gifts from the Club's Children in Hospital fund were presented to the Beechcroft Children’s Unit at Forster Green Hospital. They were handed over to Jacquie Wilson, the Children's Service Manager, by Past President Brian Ferguson on Friday 15 December. This unit is chosen at Christmas because the children there are from disturbed backgrounds and don't get to know the meaning of a happy family Christmas.
The Club has placed a Tree of Remembrance in the Europa Hotel Belfast with an invitation for people to remember someone this Christmas by writing on a label provided and tying it to the tree and, if wished, place a donation in the box at Reception which will help some of the charities supported by the Club – Mitchell House Special School, End Polio Now, ShelterBox and the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
Whilst Christmas trees are usually purely decorative, this tree provides a simple, yet poignant, way of remembering, acknowledging and celebrating the lives of loved ones amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. We hope that people will take a look at the tree, with their unique labels and that the true spirit of Christmas will be made evident for one special moment whilst supporting these charities.
The Club were delighted to welcome Monday 11 December former member Paul Wright of the Salvation Army who addressed the Club of the origins and current focus of the Salvation Army – “Where there is need there is the Salvation Army”. He advised the Salvation Army is changing and modernising and accepting members’ donated vouchers for this year’s Christmas Appeal, he thanked the Club for the continued help over many years noting that the Club in the early days launched the Christmas Family Appeal with a horse drawn cart, with Santa, the Lord Mayor and the Club President, being driven through the city.
He emphasised however that need knows no season, for example they are now finding a huge need in September when school uniforms are required and quoting the Salvation Army's logo - with heart to God and Hand to man he concluded by avowing: “what we give we get back ten-fold”.
Guest speaker Monday 27 November Brendan O'Neill, St Vincent de Paul's new Regional President with Regional Manager Pauline Brown gave a stimulating address on the work of the Society in Ireland and the problems it faces particularly at Christmas time. He highlighted the launch of this year's Christmas Joint Appeal with the Salvation Army which the Club always supports (see here).
We were particularly delighted to be able to meet up with and welcome Rotarian Pierre-Yves Samson, from the Rotary Club of Paris Quai d'Orsay to the Club's Grub Club meal at the Scullery, Belfast Metopolitan College, Thursday 23 November. We hope he continues to enjoy his stay in Belfast. More here...
President Rosemary was interviewed by Belfast 89FM's Lisa Johnston on 23 November during her Thursday afternoon Talk-In Show. The wide-ranging interview covered the Club’s fundraising campaign for ShelterBox particularly recently outside the City Hall, the benefits of being a member of the Club. All information on the Club, Rotary and how to join can be found on the Club website.
Congratulations to Club nominee for the Youth Leadership Development Competition 2018 Olivia Copeland, Methodist College Belfast, who at the Regional Final, hosted by the Rotary Club of Belfast East Tuesday 21 November, won a place on the 24 member all-Ireland group to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg and take part in the Euroscola Debate, March 2018. Many congratulations to Olivia and to her school - we wish her well.
The Club were delighted to welcome to the meeting Monday 20 November guest speaker Sean Dunne, Rotary Ireland International Convenor and Club Global Scholar Sarah with her father Andrew Markley.
In his address Sean acknowledged the input of the Club and thanked for the support for projects over the years.