9th January 2018
President Chris opened the meeting and welcomed all members, wishing them a Happy New Year!
Rotarian Pamela Nilo-Walton said grace.
Joyce mentioned that she was aware that several members had been ill over the holiday period and that she hoped everyone was now well.
Hein had notified late this morning that he would be unbable to attend today’s meeting due to ill-health.
The Secretary reported that he had received an avalanche of correspondence from Rotary Central at the beginning of the New Year and would happily share items with those who are interested. Otherwise he promised to sift the material and only pass it on to those directly concerned.
The Secretary reported that the Club had received a thank you letter from Diane Bennett of ‘Caring Hands in the Vale’ with regard to the Food Bank collection and donations from De Montfort School. She emphasised the importance of our continued support for the continued activities of Caring Hands.
Our very own John Darby was the speaker for the day and he embarked on an enthusiastic, informative and interesting account of the activities of the Evesham Street Pastors. John provided a copy of their Annual Report for the past year for all members for our information. Evesham Street Pastors are to be found on Friday evenings in the town between 22.00 and 03.00 routinely on Fridays, but currently there is an experiment running when the service is also provided in Saturday nights, when the need is growing. Evesham has aqcquired a reputation as a ‘hot spot’ for nightclubs as we have 4 in town, whereas other large towns in the area, such as Tewkesbury, have none, so people travel here from a fairly wide catchment area. Consequently, the Market Square is often very busy with perhaps 500 people wandering around. The Pastors have a number of practical tasks including clearing up broken glass to prevent it being used as a weapon, finding taxis to ensure people get home safely as well as handing out ‘flip flops’ to ladies who have lost the ability to walk in their high heels (!!!). John told us, however, that perhaps the main task is to lend a friendly ear and have meaningful conversations with people who may be in distress for one reason or another. John was pleased to report that the Pastors are always welcomed and appreciated by all sectors – revellers as well as the Police who all value the service highly. Indeed, funding for these activities is provided partly by the Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, partly by our local Councils (including the Wychavon CCTV team) and partly by local churches and charities. John made clear that it is a Christian-based charity that nevertheless works for the benefit of all residents and visitors to Evesham. There are few practical benefits for the Pastors themselves, apart of course for the free portions of chips that are generously handed out by the local ‘chippes’! Steve Davies commented that, during his President’s year, he had accompanied John as an observer and was full of praise for the work that he saw being done and recommended this to all interested members. In thanking John for a most enlightening talk, President Chris asked everyone to thank John in the usual way and congratulated him on his involvement with the Street Pastors.
Club Service etc
Oliver asked to draw members’ attention to three upcoming events. A ‘Rotaeat’ is being arranged on 24th February, Chris’s President’s evening had been booked at Dumbleton Hall on 27th April and a visit to the Houses of Parliament is scheduled for 14th May. Oliver said he would ask the Secretary to circulate everyone with full details in the next few days and asked everyone to respond as soon as possible so numbers and bookings can be confirmed.
Joyce mentioned the Skittles Match on 31st January and was looking for additional team members. We currently have a team of 4 but need 8 people for the match. She asked for a show of hands of those who might be interested so she can contact them directly.
There being no other business, President Chris asked everyone to be upstanding for the final toast and closed the meeting at 14.00.
Duty Host for the meeting on 9th January 2018 is Bruce Snowdon.
John Darby will be speaking at the meeting on the topic of Street Pastors.
Cashiers for the month of January 2018 will be Richard Stackhouse and Jeremy Knight.
There being no other business, IPP Patrick proposed the final toast and closed the meeting at 14.00.
Trevor R Battersby