DG Blog January 2023

Hi all, I’m back! After a too long break for Covid and Christmas let’s get the new year going!

Firstly, thanks to all of you for everything achieved in 2022, 2023 looks to be even better. I’ve read lots of reports from many clubs about all your Christmas activities, I’ve loved reading them all and there have been some great images, let’s make sure we use these stories to share our achievements and also to encourage others to join our clubs.

The situation in Ukraine seems no better but the response from our district has been magnificent and so far and we’ve helped hundreds of Ukranian families to settle into life here in D1200. Sadly, the funds from Foundation which supported these families has now been used up but in true Rotary spirit, we have now started to raise funds to purchase generators which are desperately needed as the power infrastructure in Ukraine seems to have been specifically targeted. We have also been involved with ensuring the supply of drinking water and guided a three-district project to install a large water purifier as well as the supply of water filter systems from our own Water Survival Box team! Essential shelters have also been funded. Sadly, it appears we will be called upon for some time yet but we mustn’t weaken, helping those in immediate need is at the core of Rotary…

As we settle into our new ways of working following the Covid pandemic, it has become apparent that some clubs are embracing a new way of working, a new way of meeting and a new way of reaching out, some clubs have returned to pre-Covid routines and are being very successful in re-establishing their impact in their locality – whichever your club has done, it’s encouraging to see an active and successful district. Under the RI pilot programme which is now 6 months into its’ 5 year schedule, new and innovative ways of working are being tried and some clubs are exploring new ways of looking at succession and how it can help find our future club leaders – if you’re interested in trying something new, speak to your AG!

As spring returns once more, it would be wonderful if we could all publish pictures of our ever-growing crocus displays, please send them to me with your club name and location of them and we’ll put a great story together!

Thank you all for everything you’ve achieved so far – let’s be even bigger and better in 2023!

Ric Canham PHF

District Governor


A NEW year!

As 2022 draws to a close, there is a tendency to spend our time looking back – certainly, there was a lot to look back at in the year gone by. We lost our dear Queen Elizabeth II. We saw the rise of conflict in mainland Europe. We watch as Covid re-emerges in China. We saw three prime ministers. We lost many great and loved figures. There are many things, both good and bad, to look back at…

But the New Year is a time to look forward, to imagine how we can make the world a safer and better place; we need to have a ‘Why Not?’ attitude and look forward to all that we can achieve in 2023 and then do it!

In the new spirit of Rotary and the fresh ways we can release ourselves, we can be so much more to so many more people. We can talk confidently to new generations, and so new members, safe in the knowledge that we can find a Rotary model that suits them and their lifestyles. We have almost no barriers to stop us achieving what we all want – a Rotary fit for the 21st century, a Rotary that will not only survive, but thrive and grow!

The New Year is a time for looking forward, for looking forward to what we can do, not looking back at what happened.

I do not make New Year resolutions, instead I have New Year ambitions; my ambition is to end my year as your District Governor on the 30th June, with a district – and so Rotary – that is stronger, better prepared, and so able to achieve so much more!

My thoughts and best wishes go to each and every one of you and you families, and I look forward greatly to helping you make Rotary the best it’s ever been!

Ric Canham

District Governor

Rotary International District 1200

Conference is Coming – Issue 1a


Hi all, we’ve been made aware of an issue with the booking system, so we have changed provider to make it much simpler! All you have to do is use the same link as before –


and there you go!

All of you who already have confirmed bookings need do nothing! Your bookings and payments are safe!

Watch here for more exciting news about a new speaker – details coming soon!

See you there – WHY NOT?

Ric Canham

DG D1200

District Governor Blog – July 2022

Well, what a start to a new Rotary year! It’s started with our newest club the Mid-Wessex Hub, a direct membership initiative very ably led by Rtn. Penny Underwood, being included as part of our district family. Here’s what Penny has to say…

Rotary Without Borders

Direct Membership of Rotary is changing the way we think about Rotary membership.  Why belong to one club? While for many, membership of a local club provides regular friendship and involvement in their local community, for others with limited time to commit, Hub membership can provide an alternative.

My congratulations go to Sam Chapman who became District Chair of Inner Wheel District 20, I was fortunate to attend the handover in Bath and it was a splendid evening!

Ric Canham PHF
District Governor 2022/2023


DG Blog 11 April 2022

The Queen’s Green Canopy: ‘Plant a tree for the Jubilee’

Peter Renshaw (President, Taunton Rotary) has been speaking with Gloria Craig (Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset leading on the Green Canopy). She has asked if any individuals/clubs who are planting/have planted trees could register on the official site, so that their contribution is recognised publicly.


Ukraine Update

Clubs in our District have come together in support of Ukraine. This support has taken the form of taking in refugees, collecting medical equipment (and other items) and sending them to Ukraine and collecting funds from members of our community.

I am delighted to let you know that the District Council agreed that a further £40,000 be sent to Rotary in the area surrounding Ukraine, as well as Water Survival Box (in addition to the £30,000 sent previously):

Rotary District (Poland): £10,000

Rotary District (Republic of Moldova and Romania): £10,000

Rotary District (Hungary): £10,000

Rotary Lviv International: £5,000 (via Polish Rotary Club)

Water Survival Box: £5,000

A committee has just been set up to distribute additional funds in aid of Ukrainian Refugees arriving in our District. This has access to £10,000 from District Reserve Funds, as well as a US$ 25,000 from the Rotary Foundation, which was applied for on advice from District Grants Lead, Stan Jones (and has been approved).

We have roughly a further £30,000 in the District Ukraine Account, which we shall allocate shortly, depending on need in around the coming fortnight.

Several individual clubs have also sent money directly. Significantly more than £100,000 has been raised by our District so far. The work Rotary is doing in our District has gained media coverage. Julie O’Donnell was on BBC News, with the Ukrainian family staying with them. The project by Bridgwater Rotary with the lorry carrying medical (and other) equipment, working on a national basis with the International Rotary Fellowship of Healthcare Professionals) was on ITV News. I have received messages of thanks to our District from DGE of Poland (Piotr Jankowski), the District Governor of Hungary (Frici Nemeth), President of Rotary Lviv International (James Joeriman) and Rotaract Lviv International (Yuliya Bitner).

Many have told me how proud they are to be Rotarians. Individual Club Members and Clubs are the heart of Rotary; you are doing amazing work!

Michael Fernando, District Governor

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