Author Archive: casterbridge1200

District Young Chef receives his trophy

Casterbridge Rotary’s Young Chef, Nik Jones of the Thomas Hardy School in Dorchester, was unable to attend the Rotary District 1200 Youth Showcase to receive his trophy on 1st July so Diana Apps, Youth Services Chairman, was pleased to present it to him at his school awards ceremony this morning.

NickThe Thomas Hardy School and Food Technology teacher, Sally Voss, have supported the Young Chef competition for many years and Nik joins a long list of very successful Rotary Young Chefs. A celebration evening for past Casterbridge Young Chefs is planned for later in the year.

Casterbridge’s Rotary Champion of Change

Dorchester Casterbridge Rotarian #RichardBrind PHF was presented with his Rotary Champion of Change award at the House of Lords on Wednesday 26th April for his work over many years providing water to a number of villages in Nepal. Richard was presented with his award by #WilliamJHaig and he was accompanied by his wife, Fiona, Rotary Club President Chris Davies and Rotarian Lorraine Wong. Well done and many congratulations, Richard!

Laptops to Kenya

On their recent trip to Kenya, Casterbridge Rotarians, President Elect Les Fry, Richard Brind and Barrie Campbell, presented recycled laptops to a number of villagers and the local school. One laptop will help a disabled man earn a living to look after his family by working from home. Whilst there, the Rotarians worked hard refurbishing the school premises and even building a sun-shade for a family’s cow!


Two new Paul Harris Fellows for Dorchester Casterbridge

There was a distinctly Welsh flavour to Casterbridge President Chris Davies’ President’s Night held at The Wessex Royale Hotel in Dorchester on Saturday 8th April. Chris has been learning Welsh for some time and, with the aid of Celia, his wife, as translator, welcomed his guests in his new language. The menu also had a Welsh flavour and, with a Welsh quiz and Welsh music from The Foxglove Duo and a beautiful solo rendition of ‘Myfanwy’ by Colin James, an ex-Casterbridge Rotarian, Casterbridge members’ knowledge of the principality and its language was improved somewhat by the end of the evening! President Elect Les Fry ensured the evening ran smoothly and, as an England Rugby supporter, was ready to keep the party entertained with Welsh jokes!
A notable and more serious part of the evening was the presentation of two Paul Harris Fellowships. Firstly, President Chris paid tribute to Casterbridge Rotarian, Richard Brind for his many years of hard work to improve the living conditions of villagers in Nepal and presented him with his award. Richard was also recently chosen as a Rotary Champion of Change 2017 for his work in Nepal.
President Chris Davies was aware that he would be presenting a Paul Harris award to Richard but he had to resort to English to express his total surprise at being similarly honoured himself! Following a tribute by Town Mayor, Tim Harries, for his determined and transforming work with Dorchester Youth Club, Assistant Governor Jane Redfern presented Chris with his own Paul Harris award.
The club is indebted to Richard and Chris and is very proud to have two such deserving Rotarians to add to their number of Paul Harris Fellows.President’s Night


In a joint collaboration, the Rotary Clubs of Dorchester Casterbridge, Frome Selwood (with Frome Rotary Club and Frome Masons) and The Island and Royal Manor of Portland sponsored nine young men from The Thomas Hardye School (3), Frome College (3) and The Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) (2) to go on a Breakthrough Course organised by Jack Russell Coaching on Dartmoor from 29th to 31st March. Rotarians, Teachers and nine rather bewildered students, met the course organiser, Jack Russell, and his Programme Development Manager, Rachel Symns, at a prior Briefing Meeting at The Thomas Hardy School on 24th March. The course involved navigating over 30 miles around Dartmoor (without mobile phones!), camping and living on forces ration packs but, mainly, building their confidence and, hopefully, changing their perspective on life for the better. From the picture, it would appear that they thoroughly enjoyed their experience! No-one could say that the arrangements this year were easy but it is obvious from the smiles why the Rotarians involved are so enthusiastic about the course and its results.
Considerable thanks are due to Jack Russell and his team and the Link Teachers at the three schools.image1

Young Chef – Regional Final

Casterbridge Rotary Club’s Young Chef 2016-17, Nik Jones, travelled to Shaftesbury School on Saturday 1st April to compete in the Regional Final of RIBI Young Chef 2016-17. Despite his enthusiasm, skill and innovative menu, Nik was not chosen to go forward to the National Final. There were some very talented Young Chefs and no doubt the judges did not have an easy decision! The winner was Jonny Smith representing Gosport Rotary Club and the Runner-up was Isabella Darmanin representing Havant Rotary Club. Nik was supported by his uncle, five Casterbridge Rotarians and partners and his teacher from Thomas hardy School, Sally Voss. They were all very proud of him and wish him well for the future in his career as a chef. It is hoped that Nik will be helping to cook at a Young Chefs’ Celebration evening in September.

Casterbridge Rotary Young Writers’ Prize-giving

img_4360bFour talented Young Writers and their families came to Waterstones Bookshop in Dorchester on 1st March to receive their prizes in the Casterbridge Rotary Club’s local round of RIBI Young Writer, appropriately on the day before International World Book Day.

A total of 64 scripts were received from three schools in Dorchester but, after, no doubt difficult, judging by ex Dorchester Mayor, Peter Mann, Sunninghill School emerged triumphant with winners and runners-up in both Junior and Intermediate categories. Great maturity in writing on the given subject of ‘Reflection’ was shown by all the winners. Certificates, Dictionaries4Life and Waterstones’ Book Tokens and salvers for the two winners were presented by Peter Mann and Casterbridge Rotary Club President, Chris Davies.
The prizewinners were:
Junior – Tallulah Taschner Year 6 (Winner)
Esme Savage Year 5 (Runner-up)
Intermediate: Khalid Miah Year 7 (Winner)
Jamie Barrington Year 8 (Runner-up)
Khalid Miah was also a winner in 2016 so he received an alternative book as a prize. Peter Mann asked Khalid to read his poem to those present. As a competitor in Rotary’s Youth Speaks a few weeks ago, it was a confident rendition!
The scripts from Tallulah and Khalid have been sent to Rotary District 1200 and the results from the District Final are due soon.
Casterbridge Rotary Club would like to thank judge, Peter Mann, and Waterstones Bookshop for their continued support for the competition.

Picture shows: Casterbridge President Chris Davies, Khalid Miah, Jamie Barrington, Talulah Taschner, Esme Savage and Peter Mann

Dorchester Marathon and Casterbridge Half – 28th May 2017

Calling all runners in District 1200! Register now to join the 1300 people already registered for this exciting new event! For full details see:



Dorchester Casterbridge Rotarians in Kenya

While most Casterbridge Rotarians were enjoying their weekly meeting last Tuesday, three more intrepid members were in the air on their way to Kenya on a trip organised by Martyn Hastings MBE of the #DorsetExpeditionarySociety. After just a few days, they have already helped to build a wall in a school and a base for a water tank and they are also hoping to have time to provide a concrete floor in the kitchen shown in the picture.

Dorchester Casterbridge Young Chef one of three Winners at District Final

On Saturday 4th February 2017, ten talented young chefs from Rotary District 1200 travelled to The #KingAlfredSchool in Highbridge to compete in the District Final of the RIBI Young Chef Competition 2016-17. Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary Club was very ably represented by Nik Jones from The #ThomasHardyeSchool, Dorchester who cooked for two hours to produce a three course meal worthy of any restaurant – Seared scallops on Squid ink Risotto, Venison loin with kale and Blackberry Sauce and Cherry and Chocolate cake (chocolate brownie, chocolate mousse, cream and cherry). Hardly surprisingly, with his wonderful meal, Nik was chosen as one of the three equal winners who will go forward to the Regional Final which will be held in Shaftesbury on 1st April. Nik is being mentored in the competition by Chris Holmes, Sous Chef at #YalburyCottage, Dorchester and Chris was there on Saturday to encourage Nik in his cooking, but strictly from outside the kitchen!
The other winners were Charlotte Penny of #MaidenBeechAcademy, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Crewkerne and Katie Prigg of #WestCokerScoutGroup, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Yeovil.
The culinary skills of these young people and their bravery to cook their 3-course meals in two hours in a strange kitchen should not be under-estimated and District Governor, John Butler, recognised their determination and courage when he presented their certificates and prizes.
Casterbridge Rotarians supported Nik at Highbridge and the President, Chris Davies, and all the club members congratulate Nik on his achievement and wish him continued success in the following rounds of the competition.

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