DG Blog 12 August 2020

DG Blog 12 August 2020


Well, just when I thought that we might not be meeting physically until 2021, lockdown is being eased and ‘Eat out to help out’ encouraged by Rishi Sunak, so I attended my first club meeting in person last Wednesday: the Taunton Vale breakfast club meeting at Mr Miles restaurant in Taunton, with all very conscious of the challenge of socially distancing, of course.

I must stress that any clubs contemplating face to face meetings should be careful that they comply with government guidelines and also carry out their own risk assessment and not just rely on that of the proprietor. Insurance for any event requires a risk assessment as a prerequisite. Obviously should I become aware of any updates to guidance from RIBI I will highlight it to you all. 

The induction of a new member was a very pleasurable part of the proceedings, and we were all thrilled to welcome someone into Rotary particularly during these challenging coronavirus times. However, this was to me a very special occasion – a full circle being completed. When I joined the club in 1988, it was Tim Jay, a local chiropractor, who sponsored me and  signed my application to join Rotary.  He left the club some years later but has decided to re-join, so it was an honour and delight for me to sponsor him this time round!


In respect of efforts to combat coronavirus, resource and funds to combat polio and other foundation projects have been vired to this global battle. I’m immensely proud of Rotary’s role in the fight against Covid-19, and I’ll no doubt talk about it further in future blogs. I’m not sure how successfully Rotary as an organisation is getting the message out that our support is playing such a big part – something for us all to think about. And, of course, alongside this current virus focus is the continuing need to wage war against polio, and Rotary’s work to support worthwhile concerns continues, so please do your utmost to donate to our foundation which is acknowledged as a gold star charity by Charity Navigator – the largest and most utilised evaluator of charities in the US.


Whilst we are dealing with Covid-19 world-wide, there are of course some countries having to cope with the additional circumstances – horrific at any time, let alone now. The explosion in Beirut, which measured 4.5 on the Richter Scale, has caused many deaths and injuries and international support will be required in order to facilitate a recovery. The following is an announcement by Dominic Raab UK Foreign Secretary setting out the actions being taken by the UK Government to support the people of Lebanon:‘This was a devastating explosion which has caused enormous suffering and damage. The UK is a long-standing friend of Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and will stand with them in their hour of need. We have offered immediate direct support including search and rescue, emergency medical assistance and up to £5m in humanitarian aid.”As always, Rotarians are stepping up to the plate. District 2452 in Lebanon has established a Disaster Response Account. Follow the link below for Information on how Rotarians can contribute to this disaster:   https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes/disaster-response

My Rotary is not working but the above page is available and has details of a bank account to which donations can be made. We don’t hold significant reserves to meet disasters, therefore we advise clubs on how to direct their contributions to the Rotary clubs on the ground.


Holger Knaack sees opportunities for Rotary to change and thrive

As many of us have experienced already, Zoom presents great opportunities for international speakers to present to us, and I know I’m not alone in valuing the international input, information and at times, entertainment (as per Dave King’s presentation about which I wrote last time.) As I write this blog, I am looking forward to RI President Holger Knaack’s presentation to Mendip Rotary Club tomorrow evening – something which, in ‘normal’ times, would have been unlikely to happen, given that he has about 33,000 Rotary clubs under his jurisdiction!