Tivoli Quadrilateral 18th-21st May 2023
Members of Maidenhead Rotary Club renewed old friendships and made new ones when they joined fellow Rotarians from France, Italy and Germany for the sixtieth Quadrilateral event.
The event, which celebrates the links between Maidenhead and its twin clubs in St Cloud, Bonn and Tivoli, is hosted by a different club each year and this time it was the turn of the Italians.
After registration, the first evening saw the Rotarians dine at the beautiful Ristorante Sibilla. The next morning it was off to Grottaferrata and the Greek Abbey of San Nilo.
The Abbey complex rests on the terraces of an ancient Roman Villa. It comprises monastery buildings, a beautiful church, museum, library and extensive grounds. Monks who follow the teachings of St. Nilus and St. Bartholomew still live and work within the walls of the ancient Abbey.
We then travelled to Villa Falconieri in Frascati where students from around the world (who go there to learn Latin and Greek) entertained the visitors with songs and hymns, and played ancient instruments – a wonderful experience.
Lunch was served and hosted by the students at Villa Falconieri. Following lunch the Rotarians travelled back to Tivoli for the traditional evening Gala Dinner in Tenuta S. Antonio.
The following day was free to visit Rome, play golf or explore Tivoli.
On the final morning of the weekend the visitors went to Villaggio Don Bosca in Tivoli, where the Quadrilateral Project “Energy for the Village” is taking place.
The village accommodates lonely youngsters, who have no home or family, or live in extreme poverty. In 2015, the four Rotary clubs installed as a project some photovoltaic panels to enable the village to reduce energy costs.
This will continue in three phases and allow for the total energy efficiency of the village. Several training courses on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources are being organised for the young people, which will give them subsequent job opportunities in the sector.
This is just the latest project to benefit from the support of the Quadrilateral event which each year sees the four clubs combine resources to help those in need and support our communities.
Maidenhead Rotary Club president Mary Spinks said: “It was a very interesting and enjoyable programme put together by the host club.”
Triumphant return of the Quadrilateral in 2022
FOUR packed days of fun and friendship saw Maidenhead Rotary Club entertaining fellow Rotarians from across Europe in the triumphant return of its unique Quadrilateral weekend at the end of May 2022.
About 40 Rotarians from twinned clubs in Tivoli in Italy, Bonn in Germany and St Cloud in France came to Maidenhead for the annual gathering, which dates back to the 1950s.
Each club hosts the event in rotation but due to the coronavirus pandemic the last two Quadrilaterals – in Germany and France – both had to be cancelled.
“It was wonderful to be able to get back together at last,” said chair of the organising committee Rotarian Eddie Clarke. “Planning began more than a year ago and always in the back of our minds was the fear we might have to cancel again. Thankfully we didn’t and the result was a wonderful weekend of renewing old friendships and making lasting new ones.”
The weekend was set against the historic and picturesque backdrop of the River Thames, with most of the visitors staying at the Compleat Angler Hotel in Marlow, which hosted a gala dinner on Thursday night.
On Friday there was a regatta-themed river cruise complete with straw boaters and a jazz band, followed by a relaxing evening of food and music at Marlow Rowing Club overlooking the Thames.
Saturday saw the visitors presented with the choice of a tour of Henley or a visit to the gardens at Cliveden. That evening featured another great Quadrilateral tradition as the visitors enjoyed dinner parties in the homes of their Rotarian hosts.
On Sunday, the last day of the event, a farewell brunch was held in historic Bisham Abbey at which Maidenhead MP and former Prime Minister Theresa May was the guest of honour.
In a parallel event, members of Maidenhead Rotaract, a separate club for younger Rotarians, played host to a nine-strong group of Rotaracters from Bonn. They followed their own programme of sightseeing, activities and eating out.
Eddie said: “It was a fantastic weekend. We really put the Quadrilateral back on the map. We had some brilliant weather and we really struck the right balance for a relaxing weekend of Rotary fellowship with our twin clubs which is more important now than ever.”