Work­ing to­gether to make a dif­fer­ence

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - ROTARYCORNER - By Janet Cooke - email: janet.4.cooke@bt­in­ter­net.com

Our TV screens fea­tured events at the po­lit­i­cal party con­fer­ences. Not to be out­done, in sunny Septem­ber, lo­cal Ro­tary Clubs met for our an­nual con­fer­ence in Llan­dudno. At our con­fer­ence the em­pha­sis was on work­ing to­gether to make a dif­fer­ence in our world. There were no ar­gu­ments, dis­agree­ments or peo­ple try­ing to un­der­mine the lead­er­ship.

At a Ro­tary con­fer­ence we aim to get in­spired, dis­cov­er­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties to get in­volved and be­ing en­ter­tained by in­ter­est­ing speak­ers. Of course we en­joy our­selves, mak­ing new friends and meet­ing up with other Ro­tar­i­ans. There was time to sam­ple all that Llan­dudno had to of­fer. Choices had to be made - reach­ing the sum­mit of the Great Orme trav­el­ling on the fa­mous tramway, in a mod­ern aerial cabin car or, for the more en­er­getic, on foot.

At the Fri­day evening con­cert mu­sic was pro­vided by the Fox­gloves and there was plenty of laugh­ter with the won­der­ful Judith Hib­bert and Liver­pool co­me­dian Jamie Suther­land.

Satur­day morn­ing we set­tled to more se­ri­ous busi­ness, ev­ery Ro­tar­ian asked to plant a tree this year and learn­ing about the suc­cess­ful lo­cal os­prey project.

Who could fail to be in­spired by An­gela Cairns (Shan­non Trust) de­scrib­ing her won­der­ful work.

En­cour­ag­ing of­fend­ers and vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple to of­fer peer sup­port to those who can­not read - a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence open­ing up the world of books and the abil­ity to write to fam­ily for one and the sat­is­fac­tion of un­lock­ing the power of read­ing and writ­ing for the other.

Ev­ery­one was moved to tears by the brav­ery and de­ter­mi­na­tion of Me­gan Giglia who, hav­ing suf­fered an acute brain haem­or­rhage, re­built her life through cy­cling.

From the early days of hav­ing to tie her hand and foot to the bike to stay up­right she is now part of the Great Bri­tain Cy­cling Team and has com­peted in UCI Para-cy­cling Track Cham­pi­onships. She not only took home two gold medals but smashed both world records.

At Rio 2016 Me­gan broke her own records and won the first gold medal of the games. Our District Gover­nor was de­lighted to briefly swap her chain for that gold medal! The ses­sion ended with fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries told by Colin An­der­son, chef to the queen.

You could have heard a pin drop, ev­ery­one want­ing more when his time was up.

Of course, there was the din­ner and danc­ing on Satur­day evening (the party el­e­ment of a Ro­tary con­fer­ence) and the Sun­day ses­sions.

Want to hear more? - join a Ro­tary club and come with us to Torquay next year!

A weekly round-up of news and views from Ro­tary clubs in the Peter­bor­ough area: www.ro­tary1070.org

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