Category Archives: Governor’s Blog

DG’s Blog 9 December 2019


Have you ever wondered what happened to your donations to Foundation? In 2018 the Foundation made 1,306 grants totalling more than $86 million. Why not become a sustaining donor, just £100 a year will continue to support the fantastic work that Rotary does around the world.

Compliance – Ultimate Protection.

Following on from the Compliance session at the Forum, David Welch has written to tell me about Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs). “A CIO is a charity with limited liability, much like a limited company. The result is that if things go really badly and factors ensure that a club has made mistakes which nullify their insurance, Club members keep their houses!” Both the EVAG Satellite and Crewkerne District are set up as CIOs.
There are a number of benefits to be had from becoming a CIO, depending on how your charity is structured. For unincorporated charities, a big motivation for making the change is limited-liability protection. Trustees at unincorporated charities are liable if the charity collapses and might have to cover any losses greater than the charity’s assets. As a CIO, trustees are protected from this outcome. If you would like to know more please contact David Welch or see the attached.

Doncaster Floods.

The local Rotary Clubs are now paying the expenses of Stuart Smith who is continuing to support the local clubs in their efforts. Our District covered the cost of Stuart’s expenses of £2,026 which included the costs of vehicle hire. This amount will be charged against the Flood Reserve.

Hurricane Dorian Recovery Report 6 December.

This Week’s Progress in The Bahamas. Work continues to :

• Continue the operation of the Rotary Water Plant in Grand Bahama including: Daily pumping for distribution across the island to residents, schools, medical facilities, and businesses. The plant is now approaching 230,000 gallons pumped

• Working to install an additional water pumping system to increase pumping capacity.

• Facilitating 24 Hour Access to site.

• Receiving a donated 4WD Truck from the Rotary Club Perine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay to deliver water and supplies across the island.


On Thursday I arrived unexpectedly at Frome Selwood Christmas Dinner. After the initial shock I was made very welcome. It was an enjoyable evening that included entertainment by Angel City 3 who sang songs from the shows.

Best wishes


DG’s Blog 2 December 2019

District Forum.

Just under a hundred turned out for the District Forum at the Bath & West Showground on Saturday.

Council Business. The following were confirmed as Assistant Governors for 2020-21 Jane Gibbs, Bruce Bailey, David Price, Cate Whitewood of Yeo Vale and Mike Hedges of Chelwood Bridge. This leaves two vacancies, so if anyone is interest please contact me or Rory.

There have been no nominations for District Governor Nominee (to be DG in 2022-23). If you think you would like to undertake the role, please contact Rory.

The District Council Representative for 2020-23 was confirmed as Stewart Cursley with Tony Quinn as his alternate.

A vote approved a £1,500 budget for expenses of Stuart Smith of EVAG to support Doncaster Floods. A further vote agreed that the District Team could at their discretion make further payments to support the Doncaster floods from the Flood Reserves.

Awards were presented to the top 3 clubs giving the highest per capita to the Foundation Annual Fund: Frome Selwood ($128.55), Chippenham ($110.13) and Midsomer Norton & Radstock ($97.54). The suggested level is $100 to enable Foundation to continue its work.
Awards were also made to seven clubs that contributed at least $1,500 to End Polio Now: Chelwood Bridge, Glastonbury & Street, Lyme Regis, Minehead, Shepton Mallet, Sherborne Castles, Yeovil

Conference. Rory then told the meeting about the next conference which will be on 3&4 July. Video and more detail from the website

Polio. We showed a very powerful video of Carl Chinnery reading a letter from his mother explaining what happened when he and his brothers contracted polio. The video can be seen here At the Governing Council in Alcester on Sunday the District received a certificate of appreciation for contributing some of our District Designated Funds to End Polio Now.

Doncaster Floods. David Welch explained what EVAG has been doing to support the local Rotary Clubs involved in the Doncaster Floods.




Are your events legal? Rotary GB&I Compliance Office by Kevin Mack gave us an update on what we need to do with respect to Health & Safety, Equality and Safeguarding. He then ran a very well attended breakout session covering Q&A.

Rotary Ride co-ordinator.

The Rotary ride is a Rotary GB&I annual event to raise funds for Prostate Cancer. I would like to hear from anyone who would like to be our District Co-ordinator for next year. Details from

Honolulu Convention.

Best wishes

DG’s Blog 25 November 2019

Technology Tournament.

Friday saw twenty-five teams of four take part in this year’s challenge to design, build and test a Flashing Beacon at Wadham School Crewkerne. This was the tenth year that the Crewkerne club has organised the event with help from Chard, Ilminster and Crewkerne District clubs. Six schools took part. Buckler’s Mead Academy, Yeovil; Holyrood Academy, Chard; Maiden Beech Academy, Crewkerne; Stanchester Academy, Stoke sub Hamdon; Swanmead Community School, Ilminster and Wadham School, Crewkerne. The competition was in three categories, Foundation, won by Bucklers Mead Academy 1, Intermediate, won by Holyrood Academy 5 and Advanced, won by Wadham 5. Everyone enjoyed themselves and there were some innovative solutions!



Stuart Smith, who was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship following his outstanding leadership during the 2014 Somerset floods, has met up with the three Doncaster based Rotary clubs to offer advice and support. I am expecting an update from David Welch at Forum on Saturday.

Yeovil Hospital Breast Care Unit.

Over seventy people enjoyed a curry night at the Mem-Saab restaurant in Yeovil organised by Yeo Vale club. The event raised £830 for the Breast Care Unit.

District Forum this Saturday.

Bath & West Showground will again host our Forum this Saturday. The start time has been pushed back half an hour to give those living further away more time to get there. We have also arranged a new breakout area. Tea and coffee will be served from 9:30 and in line with our desire to minimise single use plastic, please bring your own cup that Inner Wheel will be pleased to fill for you.

Best wishes


DG’s Blog 18 November 2019

Champions Awards.

Do you know an unsung hero worthy of recognition? Volunteers and campaigners go the extra mile, making a difference with the sole purpose of helping others. Nominations are now open for Rotary awards to recognise these amazing individuals
You can find all Rotary awards information, from community service to public image, for more information see . Nomination deadline: Sunday 5th January 2020

UK Floods.

The RIBI Disaster Recovery Trust has re-opened its “UK & Ireland Flood Appeal” in response to the most recent and still expected floods. Donations collected by the trust will help affected communities in the UK and Ireland once the waters have receded. The Trust works with Rotary clubs and their volunteers by providing funds for long term, sustainable projects that will help those communities to fight floods in the future.
The trust is not providing emergency help immediately, as there are a great number of charities already set up to do so, but it’s there to help fund those that offer solutions once the immediate need has been met. Donations can be made at


Classics at the Castle.

Yeo Vale, Sherborne Castles and Brue Valley Rotary Clubs distributed a total of £61,000 to one national and 18 local charities from the proceeds of this year’s show. They are to be congratulated on raising this fantastic sum of money which means a total of £232,000 has been distributed over the past six years. See separate report on Circa1200.

District Elections.

There was a very disappointing response for nominations for Assistant Governors and District Governor Nominee, to be DG in 2022-23. If you would like to know more about these very rewarding roles, widen your Rotary involvement and help clubs please contact me or Rory O’Donnell.


A very busy and enjoyable weekend. Friday night we joined Trowbridge Wessex Mead at their Children in Need black tie dinner. The “Golden Envelope” raffle raised £950 and a good time was had by all.

Saturday night we joined Devizes celebrate their 60th Anniversary with a sixties themed event, flower power was much in evidence, we ate prawn cocktail and black forest gateau and knew all the words to the music that was provided by The Woods.

On Sunday we went to the Chard President’s Lunch at Hornsbury Mill, where we had a very good lunch and much fellowship with representatives of many local clubs and a fascinating talk from local crime writer Clare Donoghue.

District Forum is 30 November at Bath & West Showground, I hope to see you there.

Best wishes

DG’s Blog 11 November 2019

Peacebuilding starts with you. Are you ready?

Creating a peaceful society doesn’t just mean preventing conflict. It also requires building better economic and social conditions by improving education, economic opportunity, and gender equality.
The Rotary Positive Peace Academy, a free online course, can strengthen your peacebuilding skills:
Learn about peace and conflict issues and how to put Positive Peace into action in your community.
Get access to the most up-to-date information from the Institute for Economics and Peace in the 2019 Global Peace Index and Positive Peace Index.
Connect with other peace advocates to discuss how you’re applying Positive Peace locally, and share stories, projects, and resources.
You’ll also earn a certificate when you complete the course. Get started at and discover the strategies and tools that can help you build and sustain peace.

The Rotary Positive Peace Academy was created in partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank dedicated to Positive Peace — the factors that contribute to peaceful societies.

Peace Fellowship Scholar.

Unfortunately our Peace Fellowship 2020 candidate Hyppolite Ntigurirwa was unsuccessful but was encouraged to apply again.


UK Government Pledge £400 million – The UK Government has announced its continued financial commitment to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with a pledge of up to £400 million – what an example to other governments ahead of the Abu Dhabi pledging moment on 19th Nov. More details from


This week Jill and I attended the International Cuisine Evening run by Westbury. This year the theme was “islands” and there was great food from Crete, Sicily, Tenerife and Zanzibar. The only problem is that I ate too much! This regular event attracted a very good turnout.

Best wishes


DG’s Blog 4 November 2019

Do you know about the Cadre? One of our best kept secrets.

The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers is a group of volunteer Rotarians who provide technical expertise and advice to Rotarians planning and carrying out Rotary grant projects around the world. Cadre members review, monitor, and evaluate projects and ensure grant funds are being used properly. This past Rotary year was a busy one for the Cadre program. Cadre members completed more assignments than ever while also developing the new long-term plan. They collaborated on Rotary initiatives including participating in Rotary’s grant model evaluation, visiting Rotary Peace Centres, and reviewing the Rotary-USAID Partnership and WASH in Schools Target Challenge projects.

2018-19 key numbers
• 363 Cadre assignments
• 223 site visits
• 140 other reviews
• $21.9 million in Foundation awards evaluated (of $57.8 million in total project funding)
For more information visit

Are you sure that your events are legal?

I know that it is easy to think that the events we run are fine but are you completely happy that it complies with current legal requirements and that it is covered by our Rotary Insurance cover? I am pleased to announce that Kevin Mack who is the Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland Compliance Co-ordinator has agreed to speak and run a workshop at our next Forum on 30 November. It will give us a chance to update our knowledge and hopefully reassure us that everything is indeed fine.

Honolulu Convention.

If anybody who is going to the convention but has yet to book accommodation, there are still 16 rooms available in the Ala Moana hotel. The ITHF are contracted to pay for these rooms even if not used.

Correction—World Peace Conference 2020.

The Rotary World Peace Conference 2020 is taking place in Ontario California (not Canada as reported last week) on January 17 & 18. For more details visit

Best wishes

DG’s Blog 28 October 2019

World Polio Day 24 October.

There has been a concerted effort around the country to light up buildings in purple to raise awareness of our Polio + Campaign. I attach a photo of St John’s in Yeovil suitably coloured. The day was marked by the announcement that Polio type three has been globally eradicated. Type one cases this year to date now number 94, 18 in Afghanistan and 76 in Pakistan. Still work in progress!

World Peace Conference 2020.

The Rotary World Peace Conference 2020 is taking place in Ontario California on January 17 & 18. For more details visit

How would you like to widen your Rotary Involvement?

There are vacancies on the District team next year for four Assistant Governors (AG) and a District Governor Nominee (to be DG in 2022-23).
The AG role is one of the best in Rotary as it gives the chance to widen ones Rotary family with only a light commitment. It involves supporting an area of six or seven clubs to help them meet the objectives of Rotary and acting as liaison with District, RIBI and RI. It involves running area meetings, three or four per year, for the clubs to foster working together and attending District Support Team Meetings (some of which are now held by Zoom). I always enjoyed my time as an AG and never found the role too time consuming. Applicants do have to have served as President. Training is provided. Nominations are due by 6 November. Details are with club secretaries.


According to DMS we have 49 new active members this year. Frome Town 7, Dorchester Poundbury 6, Bath 4, Crewkerne District 4, Weymouth 4, Bathavon 3, Midsomer Norton & Radstock 3, Burnham-on-Sea, 2, Chippenham 2, Island & Royal Manor of Portland 2, Melcombe Regis 2. and one new member for Brue Valley, Chard, Chelwood Bridge, Dorchester Casterbridge, Frome, Melksham, Mendip, Shepton Mallet, Taunton Vale and Wellington. Well done everyone, keep up the good work.

Best wishes


DG’s Blog 21 October 2019


We are hoping to start up Rotaract clubs in the District and Stuart Gilbert ( would like to hear from ex Rotaractors who would like to help.

RYLA Alumni Reunion.

Plans are in progress for an RYLA Alumni Reunion to take place on 4 April next year. Jack Russell has agreed to come along and we will be writing to around a hundred past RYLA participants. John Butler is the contact for more information.

Youth Vacancies.

District needs a Youth Exchange Officer and someone to co-ordinate the Young Chef competition. If you would like to know more please contact me or Martin Carter.


Last week I visited the Rotary in Frome skittles night when the three clubs, Frome, Frome Selwood and Frome Town came together to have a fun evening at Chester House Social Club.

I also attended the special black tie event to celebrate the 74 anniversary of the Charter at Mendip.

World Polio Day 24 October.

Please send me your photos of your events. I know that Yeovil are lighting up St. John’s Church in purple to raise awareness.

Extract from Hurricane Recovery—Dorian Report #9 October 6, 2019.

Happy in a tent on Grand Bahama!

John Smarge says, ‘Rotary is not a great first responder to natural disasters. Organizations like The Red Cross, Disaster Aid and Shelter Box are better set-up for those things. With that said, because we deal Rotarian-to-Rotarian, we are the best at determining actual needs, day by day, as we talk with our local Rotarians who are part of the affected communities. Though we are certainly sending supplies, as requested, cash is always best. What Rotary does best is rebuild communities. Rotary remains after the initial disaster aid organizations have completed their efforts and after the news crews leave. We enable children to go back to school, we help with ongoing medical clinics, we provide micro loans for women to earn an income and support their families… With this, cash is also best. At that time, we will also strongly encourage personal interaction, connections and hands-on involvement.’
UK DONORS: To qualify for Gift Aid, donate to Rotary’s Disaster Recovery Trust for Caribbean Hurricane Dorian

Volunteer Expo.

The following have been announced as headline speakers, Frank Bruno MBE, actress Chizzy Akudolu, activist Simeon Moore, Steve Brown for TV’s Countryfile, Kids Against Plastic, Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief.

Best wishes

DG’s Blog 15 October 2019

New Rotakids Club.

On the 7th October the newest club in the District was formed. It is the Rotakids Club at St.John’s Church of England Primary School, Midsomer Norton. It was wonderful to hear the President’s plans, which included helping the local community, playing games in the local care home and raising funds for a ShelterBox. Six of the Club travelled to Southampton to take part in the District Conference and were warmly received on stage. If you would like any more details about Rotakids please contact Martin Carter.

District Conference.

Around 200 people attended the conference at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton. The theme was Inform, Inspire, Indulge. We had some great speakers who did indeed inform and inspire us. Evan Burrell told us how to have FUN in Rotary. Following Bonita Norris’s talk I will never be able to think about sleeping bags in the same way! Johnny Ball entertained us with some fascinating mathematics. On Friday night we indulged in fellowship with a charity casino evening. On Saturday we had a great band called DT8 and the dance floor was still crowed at midnight. The founder of the Rainbow Trust, Bernadette Cleary addressed us and we raised around £1,000 for this national charity that helps families with seriously ill children.

Best wishes. Dennis


DG’s Blog 7 October 2019

World polio day.

Have you registered your event yet? Follow this link to find out more and to register your event.

The Big Climate Fightback.

The Woodland Trust is calling on one million people to pledge to plant a tree to help fight the climate emergency. We need to act now!

This year, on 30 November the Woodland Trust are holding a mass participation tree planting day with events across the country and I understand that they will donate trees. Join in The Big Climate Fightback.


Stewart Cursley went to a super community event in Wells called “SOUP” which could easily and very beneficially be facilitated by clubs. In essence, SOUP is a micro granting lunch celebrating and supporting creative projects in Wells. For a £5 donation, attendees received soup, a roll and a vote and hear from four presentations ranging from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and more.

Each presenter had four minutes to share their idea and answer four questions from the audience. At the event, attendees eat, talk, and vote on the project the voters think benefits the community the most.  At the end the votes are counted and the winner goes home with 50% of the money raised to carry out their project.  The other projects received the balance divided equally. Winners come back to a future SOUP dinner to report their project’s progress.

The ingredients for the soup were donated by Waitrose and the soup was made by a local state school. The atmosphere was great and all attendees were able to interact with many local community organisations.  The idea originated in  Detroit please see the link –

The next SOUP event in Wells in on the 11th January 2020 at 12.50 if you are interested in attending to see SOUP in action just let Stewart know.


I am looking forward to having FUN in Southampton with you at the weekend.

Best wishes





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