On Monday 4th December, senior citizens of Maidenhead were invited to a Christmas Lunch at the Holiday Inn, Maidenhead, organised by the club. Guests were picked up and taken to the hotel by club members and taken home afterwards. The event was attended by the Mayor and his wife and Father Christmas also put in an appearance. Carols were sung, and all the guests were given a glass of sherry, a traditional meal of roast turkey with all the trimmings, and a glass of wine.
A large group of club members went out for a curry at The Emperor of India restaurant in Braywick Road, Maidenhead, on Thursday 30th November. This has become an annual event, eagerly looked forward to, and the three-course set meal was enjoyed by everyone.
Thanks to Eddie Clarke and Tony Lodge for organising the evening.
On Friday 20th October, our club joined with members of Maidenhead Rotaract and the Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge for a friendly game of skittles at the Jack O' Newbury pub near Binfield. Over 30 of us squeezed into the skittle alley in the old stables to enjoy an evening of gentle activity (for most!) and intense physical exertion (for very few!).
Two mixed teams played against each other, and the result was even - Team A and Team B each won one match. A fair few pints were consumed, along with chicken and chips.
Thanks to Pat Moore for organising the evening.
On a bright, cool and windy Autumn morning last Sunday in Oaken Grove Park a party of Maidenhead Rotary Club members planted some 5000 bulbs to highlight their “Purple for Polio” international campaign to rid the world of Polio by a worldwide vaccination policy particularly for children.
The significance of the “Purple for Polio” campaign has been chosen by Rotary as this is the colour of the ink which children around the world colour the tip of their smallest finger on one hand to designate that they have been immunised against the disease in the current year.
Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988 to eliminate Polio from the World. Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio have been described as “one of the finest humanitarian projects the world has ever known” and Rotary has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
On 24th October Rotary are joined by Bill & Melinda Gates to highlight World Polio Day. Since 2013, the Gates Foundation has matched every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication on a two for one basis which equates to $35 (£25) million per year. Rotary, together with matching funds from the Gates Foundation, has contributed more than $1.6 billion to end polio.
Since Rotarians around the world started the fight against polio, they have reduced the number of polio cases by 99.9 percent from about 350,000 cases a year to just 37 cases in 2016 and reached more than 2.5 billion children around the world with the vaccine.
If you would like to help or contribute to this worthwhile effort to stamp out Polio from our planet please contact the Rotary Club of Maidenhead.
‘In a quiet corner of Buckinghamshire, 20 acres of lovely gardens offer respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life, an escape from the world’s pressures and a place to reflect, to be at peace and at one with nature.’
A small group from the club visited these gardens yesterday morning and had a guided tour with the head gardener. Although the autumn colour was wonderful in places, heavy rain curtailed our visit and meant that we did not see all of the gardens.
The gardens are Grade 1 listed, and have been open since 1935. They stand next to historic Stoke Park, and St Giles Church (the inspiration for Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ composed in 1750). Designed by Edward White, a leading landscape architect of the 1930’s, the gardens took 5 years to complete, and restoration work was carried out in 2001-2004. They comprise formal planting, woodlands, pools, fountains, rills, parterres, a rockery and a wisteria pergola.
Last weekend, from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th October, a large group of 35 club members and wives enjoyed a relaxing and convivial time at the Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel. The hotel is set in grounds of 20 acres, with lawns that slope down to the edge of the Solent, and distant views of the Isle of Wight. The club had been here before - 2 years ago - and the return visit was just as good. Although overcast for most of the time, the weather remained dry and mild.
The Isle of Wight ferry is just a few minutes walk from the hotel, so quite a few members took advantage of this and went to the island, some also taking advantage of the fresh seafood on offer in Yarmouth. There is an excellent market in Lymington on a Saturday, and President Gurdip, along with several other members, hopped on the local train for the (very!) short ride into town.
In the evenings we had dinner in one of the hotel's private dining rooms, enjoying pre-dinner drinks on the first evening courtesy of President Gurdip.
An evening of Indian food and entertainment was enjoyed by all on Saturday night at Holyport Memorial Hall. Around 90 guests filled the candlelit hall to enjoy a delicious 3 course meal. The delightful young dancers and singers came from local schools and were very professional, and there was also an opportunity for the guests to dance at the end of the evening (with enthusiasm but perhaps not the same degree of skill!).
President Gurdip Bahra told the guests of some of the international charities that the Rotary Club supports, in this particular case: Makindu Dental Project in Kenya, Aarti Children's Home and School in Kadapa, India, and Chachoki Eye Camp in Punjab, India.
Extra funds were raised through a raffle and a game of Heads and Tails, and the total raised for charity was approximately £1000. Thanks to all who helped to make the evening a success.
The 2017 Maidenhead Boundary Walk of 13.5 miles took place on Sunday 1st October. The weather forecast was quite poor, but the conditions stayed good with only a minor shower.
The Maidenhead Mayor, Councillor John Lenton, his wife Mrs Margaret Lenton, and David Pope, Rotary District Governor, attended the start of the walk. Our club President, Gurdip Bahra, was leading his own walking group supporting the Makindu Dental Project.
The 646 walkers were split into individuals, friends and family groups including 14 groups walking for their individual charities. The groups consisted of the following:
The total amount expected to be raised is in excess of £20,700 and the event has contributed to 64 charities.
We must not forget all the assistance received from our own club members and help from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club, Maidenhead Rotaract, Sea Cadets and 18th Maidenhead Scouts.
A selection of photos below shows many of the walkers, and also several of the groups.
To honour the extraordinary life and achievements both locally and internationally of the late Sir Nicholas Winton, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has constructed a Memorial Garden at Oaken Grove Park, Maidenhead. The Memorial Garden has been developed in consultation with Sir Nicholas’s son Nick and daughter Barbara. It includes a meandering path with railway sleepers to represent the Kindertransport’s journey to safety from Czechoslovakia to the UK. A bridge over a small pond to a raised mound provides a narrative for journeying over the English Channel with an uphill journey to an island of refuge and safety. It also includes an information panel and along the route rocks inscribed with quotes by Sir Nicholas. This Memorial Garden offers visitors a tranquil place to sit, contemplate and relax.
The Memorial Garden was officially opened by the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Maidenhead Theresa May on Friday 14 July in the presence of Sir Nicholas’s son and daughter and other members and friends of the Winton family, the Mayor, and representatives from organisations with which Sir Nicholas had an association. The Ambassador of the Czech Republic and the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in London were also present as special guests.
Invited guests (and also old friends) at the opening of the Memorial Garden of Nicky Winton were Rotarian Cliff Hillman and his wife Pat, Moyagh Reid, Sheila Fontaine and Abbeyfield Chairman David Cager. In the absence of David Cager, Yash Maudgil represented the Abbeyfield (Maidenhead) Society - set up by Sir Nicholas in 1973.
The annual River Trip organised by the club for the senior citizens of Maidenhead took place on Wednesday 12th July. Around 45 guests were picked up by volunteer drivers and taken to the riverside at Ray Mead Road, where they embarked on the 'Bray Royale' for a couple of hours cruising gently up and down the river. After heavy rain the day before, the afternoon turned out to be very pleasant, to the great relief of the organisers.
While on board the guests were treated to a delicious tea of homemade sandwiches, cakes, jelly, icecream and meringues, and plenty of cups of tea.