Rotary Club of Belfast

Joint Meeting with Donaghadee Rotary Club

President Ken with 6 members, partners and guests were delighted to join with Donaghadee Rotary Club on Thursday 23 September. This was the Club's first outing together since the lockdown.

Members joined the Donaghadee meeting after a visit to the Samuel Kelly Lifeboat Restoration Project in the car park beside the marina which was most interesting and well worth the visit.

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Dinner at the Golf Club, which was excellent, provided time to chat and get to know some of the Donaghadee Club members.

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IMG 1395IMG 1394The evening concluded with a fascinating and entertaining talk on the history of Donaghadee by local historian Robert Neill.

YMCA Visit

IMG 03347 Club members led by Eric Rainey - PE Ken, David Boyd, Brian Clements, John McCleery, John O'Carroll and Alan Rundle - visited on Monday 27 January the YMCA Youth Team in Knightsbridge Park. They were the winners of the Club's John Savage Award last year (details here). They were made extremely welcome and were hugely impressed.

Manager Howard Davey reviewed the history of the YMCA in Belfast from its origins in 1850, its residence in Wellington Place to its current facilities in a 14 acre site next to Lagan Meadows.

IMG 0331The Belfast organisation is now a separate limited company charity which no longer has sporting teams of its own on the extensive playing fields but partners with Aquinas and others in making the facilities available. It is largely funded from the Wellington Place legacy and can, therefore, follow its own approaches to identified needs not influenced by funders’ requirements.

YMCA Belfast Limited has 3 strands – Childcare, Fitness and Youth; Childcare being provided through a new purpose built nursery on site together with After-school and Holiday Clubs and Fitness through the Gym Fitness Centre with personal training and external classes.

IMG 0332The recipient of the John Savage Award was the Youth Section run by Brian Moore ably supported by Peter McNiece and Lydia Brush. Its Programmes include The Connect Project; Duke of Edinburgh Award; NI National Citizenship Scheme; Youth in Government; Volunteer Training; M-Power; Peace lV Schools Project Partnership and, above all, provides Experiences. The Youth Team each enthusiastically described their work in East Belfast Schools funded by the proceeds from the former Montpottinger YMCA. This work demonstrates their needs based, hands on approach of individual involvement and communication - “conversations” - with each child. These are not lecture led but conversation driven and much appreciated by the schools who benefit.

The Rotarians present were amazed by the tremendous work being done and the results achieved as well as the fact that the team has used the John Savage Award incorporating it positively in its programmes.

Christmas Lunch 2019

Christmas Dinner55 Club members and guests enjoyed an excellent Christmas Lunch at the Europa Monday 16 December with a delicious meal and splendid entertainment and fellowship. President Karen was delighted to welcome members' partners and guests including widows of former members and Inner Wheel Club of Belfast President Paddy Glass with Hon. Secretary Beryl Reid and Gillian McAtackney team member on the 2013 Rotary Group Study Exchange to New Zealand led by Past President Marnette Lyons.

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Unusual Meeting Venue

01. SoupAndSandwichLunch281019An unusual and extremely enjoyable Club meeting was held Monday 28 October at the Dark Horse Bar in the Cathedral Quarter Belfast for which thanks are extended to owner Willie Jack who President Elect Ken Nixon notes: has put so much into the area and works hard to create a positive outlook for Belfast and indeed the whole Province.

After an excellent soup and sandwich lunch Willie Jack led a very interesting and often amusing tour of his outstanding internal courtyard filled with murals giving a highly entertaining rundown on the artistry and background to each set of murals. The group then moved next door to The Friend at Hand a quirky museum of some 700 varieties of Irish Whiskey which charts the whiskey distilling history of Belfast before progressing across Hill Street to The Harp Bar and Orpheus Gallery where the dance floor from the old Orpheus Ballroom (York Street) covered the ground and first floors of Bar. Willie Jack guided members through this magnificent building pointing out the many interesting stories behind the various artefacts that he had been able to gather.

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President's Day 2019

01. Pres Day 1911. IMG 2858President Mark was delighted to welcome all as he celebrated his year at his President's Day held Monday 24 June at The Royal Belfast Golf Club. Always an exceptional event in the Club calendar, this year's relaxed and convivial evening proved to continue that tradition being greatly enjoyed by the 51 members, Honorary Members and guests. Luckily the weather held for the 6 members who played golf during the afternoon and for members and guests to enjoy “the putting challenge” and chatting on the terrace before moving in for dinner. 

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