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President Richard Hands

The Rotary Club of
Cuckfield & Lindfield

President Chris Bosker

Highlights from the

Year 2009

Also on this page: Burns Night & DG visit | Mystery Man | Ladies' Evening | Supper Club's 500th | Banners at dawn | Charter Anniversary
Village Day | Charity Golf Day | International Convention 2009 | Handover to Chris Bosker | Swing Concert | Past Presidents' lunch | Club members visit Nepal

President's New Year Drinks 2009

The party's starting to warm up

For many years Club presidents entertained members and their wives to Christmas drinks some time in December. But the new trend is to delay this popular event until after Christmas when things are a bit less hectic.

This year President Roger Sawyers along with Wendy and family helpers provided a fine spread and endless drinks at the Age Concern room in Clair Hall Haywards Heath on Sunday 4 January. As ever, a great social occasion enjoyed by all.

... but for some, work never stops ...It's in full swing now

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Club celebrates Burns 250

Bill Cormie addresses the Haggis

This year the Burns Supper, now apparently a virtually regular feature in the Club calendar, had a special significance falling 250 years after the birth of Scotland's very own Robert Burns, and its celebration on 27 January coincided with the visit of Pat Evans, Governor of District 1250.

Pictured left, Bill Cormie begins his address to the Haggis, following The Selkirk Grace (also known as 'Burns's Grace at Kirkcudbright') rendered by fellow Scotsman Jimmy Robb.

Below left, Bill pursues his theme with vigour and then (below right) gets fully into his stride – confident, masterly but totally unintelligible – haranguing the miserable Sassenach onlookers. But in actual fact members present thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle as evidenced below, centre.

A great pity, some said, our other real Scot Chris Kinnear – on holiday in Thailand at the time – missed such a cultural treat, not to mention the whisky of course.

Resonse for the Lassies

Later in the evening District Governor Pat Evans responded on behalf of the Lassies to the toast proposed by Alan Robinson

Bill beseeches the HaggisThey all seem to be enjoying itBill harangues the Sassenachs

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Mystery Club Speaker

Past President Ken Walker is having a cull of old books, photos and other treasures, bringing in its wake memories of events in years long gone by.

Believed to be a young Geoff Dew

One such old photo which has come to light is this one of a younger Geoff Dew explaining the finer points of something or other to an attentive Rotary audience.

Who remembers where or when?

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Memories of a Prime Minister

Sir Clive warms to his theme

Sir Clive and the President


Guest speaker at the first Ladies' evening on 31 March was former top civil servant Sir Clive Whitmore. Sir Clive was the Prime Minister's first Principal Private Secretary when Mrs Thatcher took office after the 1979 General Election.

Sir Clive painted an intriguing picture of life at No. 10 under the dynamic leadership of the country's first woman prime minister, and it soon became clear that his job in those days was relentlessly demanding – and pretty exciting.

 Sir Clive, Sally Mackenzie in attendance

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15 Years, 500th Supper

Pre-supper drinks

Alec Landauer & Sue hosted the 500th Supper Club supper party, entertaining guests David Brann & Jane and John Goodrich & Jill on 18 April.

The Supper Club for members and wives started in 1994, and since then on three occasions each year hosts have entertained two other couples to supper. Initially there were 32 couples, and of those 20 couples remain in the Supper Club after 15 years of wining and dining together (modestly of course). Altogether over the years 40 couples have taken part from time to time.

Ready for the next course

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Breakfast meeting

Cruising down the river ...

Out of 57 passengers cruising down the River Danube on River Cloud 2 at the beginning of May, no fewer than six were Rotarians: three from the States, two from Germany and just one from England.

All met one morning for a Rotary breakfast meeting (not counted as a club attendance!) after which the Cuckfield & Lindfield banner was exchanged with one presented by Gail Winterstella, President-elect of the Rotary club of Spring Lake Brielle, New Jersey.

Exchanging banners

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25th Charter Anniversary

The Club's 25th Charter Anniversary
was celebrated with lunch and entertainment
at the Queen's Hall Cuckfield on Saturday 23 May


Pictured here are members and guests enjoying pre-lunch drinks in the garden, a Lulu-special lunch in the main hall, the presidential welcome by Roger Sawyers greetings from the President of the Inner wheel Club, Norma Jarvis and "The best of John Betjeman" performed by Lance Pierson. Others who spoke at the lunch were District Governor Pat Evans, and Tim French on behalf of the guests.

Pre-lunch drinksInner Wheel Club PresidentIn the garden
LunchtimeA taste of John BejemanPresident Roger Sawyers

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Lindfield Village Day

Alan HancockCustomer serviceMike Kirk & Richard Hands

The sun shone gloriously for Lindfield Village Day on 30 May
and the Club was on display as usual with its now traditional coconut shy,
an increasingly popular attraction on Lindfield Common.

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Annual Charity Golf Day

The Masters, team prize winners

A record number of 23 teams with 92 players took part in the Annual Charity Golf Day at Haywards Heath Golf Club on a fine day in the first week of June.

(left) President-elect Chris Bosker with "The Masters," winners of the overall team prize. (lower left) Chris presents a magnum of Champagne to Avril Plowright who got a hole in one on the seventh. The prize was kindly donated by Orange Square. Instead of the customary "drinks all round" Avril donated a substantial sum to Headway Hurstwood Park.

(lower right, with Chris Bosker and Peter Stevenson) Geoff Hopkins and Bob Kernohan who were both nearest the pin in two shots on the 18th. They each received a quality bottle of Rioja donated by Jaime Wallden of Mansell McTaggart.

Avril PlowrightGeoff Hopkins, Bob Kernohan, Chris Bosker, Peter Stevenson

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The 100th International Convention took place at Birmingham on 20-25 June 2009. Past Presidents Cameron Sharp and Malcolm Wykes along with Carole and Barbara represented Cuckfield & Lindfield among the 16,000 Rotarians and guests attending this major event.

It was the third Convention they had attended together, having been also at the Conventions in Barcelona in 2002 and at Copenhagen in 2006. For the Webmaster it was his tenth Convention, the first one 25 years ago at the 1984 gathering, also held in Birmingham.

The plenary sessions were held in the NEC complex (pictured centre), whilst shown below are the International President D K Lee and his wife arriving with the Lord Mayor of Birmingham at the opening of the House of Friendship, and the Band of the Coldstream Guards who took part in the opening entertainment event.

100th International Convention

The platform flags

Birmingham England

One of the guest speakers at the Convention was the actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow (below right), who delivered a keynote address during the third plenary session.

Another was United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who called Rotary the heart and soul of the worldwide polio eradication effort and pledged the UN's continued cooperation and support.

One of the traditional highlights of the Convention is the evening of Home Hospitality, when local clubs entertain visiting Rotarians and guests. For this, our Cuckfield & Lindfield party were given a splendid tour of Birmingham's fine Council House and Art Gallery, followed by a convivial supper in the Banqueting Hall.

A great Convention, and one we all thoroughly enjoyed.

The President arrives at the House of FriendshipColdstream Guards BandThe President & Mia Farrow

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On the last Tuesday in June Roger Sawyers handed the presidency of the Club over to Chris Bosker.

During the evening Roger gave an impressive presentation on the Club's achievements and activities during the previous twelve months.

Chris Bosker assumes command

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Haywards Heath Concert Brass

Swing Concert at The Hub

In October the Club presented a Swing Band Concert at The Hub (part of the Central Sussex College) in Haywards Heath.

Performers were the Haywards Heath Concert Brass, the Arias Brass Quintet, the Wayward Chiefs and the Shades of Jazz Big Band (featuring the Club's own virtuoso David Wilson of Horsted Keynes, the one on the keyboard at the back). The event raised £1500 for Streetmate and other Rotary charities.

Shades of Jazz

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Past Presidents' Lunch

Pre-lunch drinksReady to eat now

The sixth Past Presidents' lunch was held on 28 November in the Old School Cuckfield, arranged this time by Richard Hands. And Lulu once again did the catering.

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Club members visit joint project in Nepal

Nepal 1

In November 2009 Alan Hancock, Mike Kirk and David Wilson (HK) visited the $23,000 project – funded by the Rotary Clubs of Cuckfield & Lindfield (England), Karlstadt–Arnstein (Germany) and Charumati (Kathmandu), together with matching grants from The Rotary Foundation.

The project consists of a bio-gas generator – which converts cow dung into cooking gas – toilets and a shower for the school and for the new health centre, solar power for the school and a small hydro-electric generator in a mountain stream to provide power for the health centre and some of the village.

Our Rotarians serve the children

The three were welcomed by 300 children at the headquarters of the project partner, Umbrella Organisation Nepal (UON), which rescued the children from desperate circumstances in orphanages and housed, fed and schooled them in seven houses in Kathmandu. The project was in the remote village of Gurje where it is eventually hoped to move UON.


After a further welcome by the 110 children and staff at Gurje, the visitors were invited to serve the children their midday meal, before being shown round all aspects of the project, to the accompaniment of music from a local brass band. Finally a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the official commissioning of the project.


The three Rotarians then took a few days' holiday exploring Nepal before returning to attend a meeting of the Rotary Club of Charumati. The following evening they were entertained by the Club to dinner at a traditional Nepalese restaurant.

David Wilson takes a handThe plaque tells the storyInternational meeting

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