17th October 2017
President-Elect Hein van der Steen welcomed all Rotarians present to the evening session. Hein explained that President Chris Bloomfield was unable to attend, as he was present at an Area 6 meeting, so he had been asked to stand in to chair the meeting.
Thanks to Lynne Raymer and Peter Davidson for acting as cashiers in the absence of those scheduled who were unable to attend. They reported one apology from Sue Lomas who had to miss the meeting due to the sudden death of her father-in-law. Hein extended the Club’s sympathies to Sue and John.
There were no items of correspondence to bring to the meeting.
It was reported that Mike Owen is out of hospital and sends his regards.
Speaker for the evening was Ian Nilo-Walton who presented an engaging and interesting account of his 40 year ‘Career in Chemistry’, ably assisted by Pamela who managed the overhead projector slides with applomb! Ian transported us on a journey that had been inspired by his father, who was also a chemist, and his Chemistry teacher who had both managed to communicate their interest in exploring the world of chemistry to Ian. Ian’s career developed through various divisions of the ICI business but a large part was spent working with polyurethane focussing on dyes, biocides and pharmaceuticals. This successful business was largely based in Huddersfield and after several mergers and takeovers became known as Zeneca, then Astra Zeneca and finally Syngenta. Because of its success it attracted capital investment and Ian’s involvement progressed into the design, construction and commissioning of new plants, then helping to improve their efficiency and finally sourcing alternative suppliers of raw materials from around the world, especially China. Ian’s proudest career achievement was helping to develop a kit containing a mosquito net and insecticide at a cost that allows people in Africa access to this vital protection against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. Ian closed his presentation with the evening’s chemistry lesson, which was the symbol of the Benzene Ring representing the combination of 6 carbon and 6 hydrogen molecules. The post-presentation Q&A session raised interesting issues concerning environmental aspects of the industry, career progression in the industry for technical specialists and the likelihood of whether the industry will to return to the UK. Hein expressed the meeting’s appreciation of such an interesting talk and asked members to show this in the normal way.
Next Meeting – 24th October lunch meeting with the speaker Kevin Whately from Worcester New College for the Blind.
Duty host for the next meeting is Lynne Raymer.
Several reminders were issued;
Halloween Party with partners on 31st October, (fancy dress optional)
Christmas Dinner (menu choices to Oliver and payment to Martin before 31st October please!)
Christmas Card messages and contributions to Hein (as soon as possible)
Tree of Light activity is starting and John Darby has advertising flyers available for distribution (thanks to Frances for overseeing the printing). John asked for help in the office as correspondence starts to come in.
Lynne Raymer informed the meeting about the RIBI ‘Young Writer’ competition. The presentation evening for Evesham will be on 23rd November and all members are invited to attend. Lynne will circulate an email with further details.
Volunteers were requested to help with the ‘Kids Out’ Christmas trip from the Vale School on 6th December. Pamela Nilo-Walton expressed a willingness to help and others will also be welcome.
There being no items of any other business, Hein closed the meeting at 21.15 with the final toast upstanding.
Trevor R Battersby