THE District Conference attracted Rotarians from many clubs – especially from our local lubs.
Southport Meols was awarded The Best Attendance at Conference Trophy, congratulations, it was well deserved.
Friday Night was a themed evening based on “Allo Allo” and it was hilarious.
Not only seeing everyone in fancy dress but also the Kingsley Players who ran a fantastic play throughout the evening whilst we were at our own “Cafe Rene”.
Saturday was the full day Conference and many more Rotarians came for the day at £32 pp.
Catherine Taylor Yank and her husband Greg from America came over to represent the Rotary International President Ian Risley. Denis Spiller President of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland also came for the weekend and spoke to Conference.
The first inspirational speaker was Jamie Andrew, a quadruple amputee having no feet or hands following a climbing accident. He was out in the open for five days before being rescued. Sadly both feet and hands were completely frozen and had to be amputated.
He has through sheer determination regained his life, raised thousands for charity and is married now with three lovely daughters.
Per Lindstrand came next, remarkable aeronautical engineer.
He is also a pilot, pioneer and adventurer with world-wide recognition for his achievements in breaking through the boundaries of lighter-than-air technology.
He is particularly famous for his record breaking trans-oceanic balloon flights with Sir Richard Branson.
His talk was amusing and informational.
Clive Knowles owner of the British Ironworks Centre near Oswestry, talked of his community work.
He is also keen to take on National initiatives The biggest campaign to date is Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife, designed to raise awareness of the devastation of knife crime.
The knives collected have been used to create the Knife Angel, The National Monument against Violence and Aggression.
Sarah Newcombe, treasurer of the newly formed Rotary Club of Bentley Cheshire spoke about how their new club works and the success it has been for young working people. Rotary is still for all the family. Kris Overend ambassador for the Prince’s Trust spoke of how the Trust had helped him and how he had become an ambassador.
Sir Malcolm Walker CBE, the executive chair of Iceland, is a fascinating man who grew Iceland from one shop in Oswestry in 1970.
He was chairman and CEO for 30 years of exceptional growth.
Later in the afternoon we heard from our own Rotarian Jean Best, who works with The Peace Centre in Bradford encouraging Rotarians to work with Young People in developing peaceful conflict resolution strategies.
The new Rotary Peace Project skills based has launched, and our district is alos working towards creating School Peace Advocates who develop their leadership capacity to bring about more services in their schools, local communities and the world.
Jennifer Burlingame a Rotaract member of the University of Chester, is also a member of the Rotary Club of Saughall, was invited to speak by our district governor Beryl Cotton.
Rotaract is for young people aged 18-30 and Rotary is for people over 18.
Then we heard from Catrin Pugh, a survivor and ambassador who suffered 96% burns in a coach crash in France in 2013.
She has worked tirelessly to walk again, use her hands and try to regain a normal life all with a smile upon her face.
Catrin has gone from being a victim to a survivor and now a thriver, using her own experiences to help and motivate others.
Tomos Day our last speaker of the day had been awarded the Rotary Youth Leadership Award.
He spoke of the intensive experience he had done in Arthog Activity Centre. This award is for 16-18 year olds. Tomos currently works in the Japanese Embassy in London as a Personal Assistant to the Minister Plenipotentiary and hopes to work in Parliament in the near future.
He thanked Rotary for his great start through the award.
In the evening everyone adjourned to enjoy a Gatsby-themed Gala Ball at the hotel.
Left, the Knife Angel, raising awareness of knife crime
Meols president Ged with award
Courageous speaker Catrin Pugh