Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary host Chernobyl children

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The picture shows Fire Officer Blood operating the hose with help from some of the children.DSC04096
Ten pin bowling, the winner scored 129 points !!
Members and wives of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club spent Thursday with 14 children and two interpreters from Belarus. The group visited the Middlesbrough Community Fire Station where fire officer Chris Blood spent time showing the group around the station and let the children see the fire engines and operate the hoses. Time was also spent in Albert Park skating, boating , playing in the playground , face painting and having lunch. Then off to ten pin bowling and a Burger King. All involved had a great day.
John and Margaret Cundall have been organising the visits for 14 years with the children visiting for a month and being looked after by local families. Every week four events are arranged to give the children many and varied experiences. Over 200 children have visited during the 14 years , this is a great achievement by two very dedicated people.

Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club visit Dorman Museum

DSC04046Twenty four members and wives of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club visited the Dorman Museum on 5 July and Phil Philo pictured in the centre of the group gave a highlights tour of the many interesting exhibits spanning from the Bronze Age up to today. Exhibitions visited include the history of Middlesbrough, the Extinction exhibition which includes fossils, geological specimens and the meteorite that hit near Middlesbrough Penny Siding in march 1881. Another highlight was the Christopher Dresser gallery where many pottery and glass exhibits highlight Dressers work including Linthorpe art Pottery.

Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club New Team

DSC04040Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club have a new president and senior team for the coming year. Joe Guerin in centre of picture is the new President, Dave Jackson on the left hand side is the new Senior Vice President and Chris Gent the new Junior Vice President. Joe thanked the outgoing President Paul McLaughlin for his contributions during his Presidential year and wished him and his family well for his new career in Cheltenham.
Joe emphasised the need for membership growth during his year and Neil Glover outlined a strong programme of events to help attract new members. The other club chairmen outlined their plans which included the Chernobyl children’s day, working with young people in local schools and
International events and fundraising for the next charity initiative with our twin clubs in Germany and Holland.
The major charity fundraising during the year will be Prostate Cancer Robotics Surgery supporting James Cook University Hospital with several fundraising events being planned.
If you are interested in joining our club to get involved in the community and fellowship contact through www.erimusrotary.org

twinning visit to Limburg

A group of Rotarians from Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club, and Rotary Clubs from Limburg, Germany and Groeningen,Holland met in Limburg as part of their annual twinning arrangement to meet and discuss and fund particular projects that enhance the lives of the less fortunate, within Europe and beyond. Many projects have been sponsored over the last 24 years in Africa and Eastern Europe . 3,000 Euros has been raised for this years proposed project which is to provide X-ray equipment to a Bulgarian Hospital.
There was excellent hospitality from Limburg members and several visits to local places of interest.
Members of the Rotary club of Inowroclaw Poland also attended the twinning weekend . They have asked to be considered as a fourth member of the twinning initiative.

It’s an active time for Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club and there are some exciting projects on the go this year. Not least our main fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Robotics Surgery. If you are interested in joining please contact erimusrotary.org

Jim Wight at Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary

Jim Wight presenting to club mambers and guests

Jim Wight presenting to club mambers and guests

Jim Wight, son of Alf the author James Herriot gave a presentation to Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club about the life of his father and living with the great and famous author in Thirsk. Alf was a vet all his career as was his son Jim. Alf  created the character James Herriot and originally set him  working in the Yorkshire Dales to try to prevent people finding out that Alf’s real  practice was in the area around Thirsk. However soon after the first book was published many Thirsk farmers realised it was based on their farms and on local characters. Alf’s writing had a profound impact on people around the world. The books used to lift people when they were down and he was a great ambassador for the veterinary profession. Alf was a very modest man and in the 1970’s he made a lot of money from book sales but was taxed at 83% with tax on investments at 98% !!!

Alf was awarded the OBE and was invited to Buckingham Palace to a lunch , he expected hundreds to be there but there were only 6 , it was a private audience as Queen Elizabeth said his books were the only books that made her laugh out loud.

Alf picked the name “James Herriot” whilst watching a football match between Birmingham and Sunderland. The Birmingham goalkeeper was named James Herriot so he picked that name as there were no vets listed in England with that name.

AS soon as the cat was out the bag on the location of the vet practice we were swamped with visits to the surgery especially from the USA . Any local farmers who went on holiday to the USA were treated like royalty when the Americans realised they new Alf and the vet surgery.

One local farmer told Alf he had read the book , Alf asked what he thought and the farmer said “ it was all about nowt”

A typical comment from a Yorkshire farmer!

The books were all about people , very vivid full of characters such as Siegfried and Mrs Pumphrey. The books are still selling because they were ageless but farming has changed dramatically. When Alf was working and Jim used to go out on farm visits with his father from the tender age of 3 ,there were 92 dairy farms around Thirsk, today there are only 2 !!

Although James Herriot books were seen as fiction Alf’s son Jim knew all the characters , all the funny incidents really happened with many eccentric people such as Siegfried adding colour and fun to the books.

His father taught Jim a great deal, gave tremendous support and was a very appreciative, self made man.

At the end of the presentation the Club gave a vote of thanks to Jim for an excellent insight into the life of Alf Wight.

South Cleveland heart Fund receive £5000 towards MRI Cardio Scanner appeal

Adrian Davies received a cheque for £5,000 from Dr Rajesh Nanda, Consultant orthopaedic surgeon at North Tees Hospital. The presentation was held at Middlesbrough Golf Club, Brass Castle Lane. Also attending were Dr Shushma Acquilla, President of the Indian Doctors Association, and Mike Overy the Leader of the Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club Loving Hearts project which has now raised £80,000 for the heart fund appeal. Other Rotarians and committee members were also present.

Indian Doctors' Presentation to SCHF

Adrian Davies thanked Rajesh and all the people involved in the fundraising. He said that the fund was now at £940,000 with another £60,000 needed to reach the target. He hoped that local businesses would contribute. The fund has already given James Cook University Hospital £500,000 to improve the existing scanner to make it the best available. The remaining £500,000 will go towards the new 3T MRI scanner which when installed will work faster and with better quality images.

Over £70,000 raised for the James Cook university hospital MRI Cardio Scanner appeal

On Friday 13th March, Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club launched the Loving Hearts Raffle in aid of the James Cook University Hospital MRI Scanner Appeal.

On Tuesday evening, almost exactly six months on from the launch and a year after preparatory work commenced, the club welcomed representatives from many of the 27 other Rotary Clubs involved in the project to the presentation evening at Middlesbrough Golf Club.

Dr Adrian Davies, Chair of the South Cleveland Heart Fund was given a cheque for £70,000 of the money that was raised through the raffle, donations and a series of other Rotary Club fund raising events. The Club Treasurer advised Dr Davies that, with other income that was expected, the final total would approach £80,000.

At the meeting, Mr John Arthur also presented to the appeal a cheque for £2,000 from the Durham region of the Freemasons, and the Newton Aycliffe Rotary Club donated £440 sponsorship money from a member’s coast to coast cycle ride.

Dr Davies thanked the Erimus Club and their partners for the massive amount of time and effort they had committed, and congratulated the Rotary Clubs in the North East for the way in which they had come together to support the appeal. He was confident that the publicity resulting from the raffle would result in funds continuing to be received from the general public.

Adrian Davies receiving Paul Harris Fellowship

Following on from his vote of thanks, Dr Davies was presented with Rotary’s highest honour, the Paul Harris Award, by Erimus Club President Paul McLaughlin, in recognition of his commitment to securing funding for the heart scanning equipment needed for the area.

Erimus Rotary treat the Chernobyl children

Members of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary club spent all Thursday with the 14 children visiting Teesside from Belarus. Every year Margaret and John Cundall organise the trip and pay for all the flights, visas and other transport to get the children to Teesside. This costs £500 per child and they raise this by various initiatives such as tombola’s, coffee mornings and auctions. Local families host the children for the month they are over in the country and ensure they are well looked after. This year there was a reduced number because some of the local helpers were ill. Margaret is keen to get more support so if interested please contact through the “Erimus Rotary Club” website. All the children are given clothes, trainers and gifts during their stay so they were all very well “turned out” on Thursday for their day out . Margaret explained that the children were from families that were badly affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and still eat locally grown food that is above the safe level of radiation. Margaret said “the month the children spend on Teesside allows them to eat clean food which dramatically reduces the radiation level by between 65% to 95% and it takes 2 to 3 years for the levels to increase again when they go back home. At home they eat vegetables grown by their parents on land that is still above the acceptable levels of radiation.”

The Teesside initiative is part of a UK wide organisation “Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline” which has 85 groups working throughout the UK. The 14 children are accompanied by two interpreters Tanya and Alesya who are very dedicated in their support of the children.

The first visit of the day was to Cleveland Fire Station next to Albert Park. The event was hosted by Middlesbrough Green Watch and the team demonstrated cutting equipment, fire hoses and let the children spray water from the hose and explained all the equipment on the fire tender. Dave Bourne , crew manager , said ” it is great to have the children here to give them an insight to the job” there are 10 fire-fighters on shift with 4 on each tender and 2 on the hydraulic platform. Steve Collishaw, watch manager, invited the visitors for refreshments and biscuits and gave the children some mementos of their visit including pens and a fire engine picture.

Chernobyl children, members of Middlesbrough Rotary Club and the fire fighters of green watch.

Chernobyl children, members of Middlesbrough Rotary Club and the fire fighters of green watch.

The next stop was Albert Park where the children spent time roller skating, boating and face painting.

Erimus Rotary member Fred Logie with children after face painting

Erimus Rotary member Fred Logie with children after face painting

Neil Glover was given a gold star for taking the children on the black swan paddle boat several times during the morning and early afternoon.

Neil Glover, Erimus Rotary member,  with 4 of the children in the black swan paddle boat on Albert Park lake.

Neil Glover, Erimus Rotary member, with 4 of the children in the black swan paddle boat on Albert Park lake.

The final stop was Hollywood Bowl where young and old thoroughly enjoyed the bowling.

Rotarians and the Chernobyl children and interpreters playing ten pin bowling.

Rotarians and the Chernobyl children and interpreters playing ten pin bowling.

New President for Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club

Trevor welcomed Peter Chandler, Assistant Governor of the District and all members present. He said it was with great relief that he announces the handover to Paul. Trevor had many objectives to achieve in his Presidential year with Fellowship and a supportive group of members as high priorities.

Many successes in the year included another successful Christmas float collection, supporting the Chernobyl children’s event and many fellowship events including Rotary at Home evenings at Val Shuttleworth, Sue and Chris Gent, Liz and Bryan Sloper and Jean and Geoff Taylor.

Early in 2015 Mike Overy recommended Andrew Davies initiative the South Cleveland Heart Fund Cardio MRI scanner appeal for James Cook University Hospital as the charity for the year. All members agreed and a massive effort by Erimus members, wives, sponsors and many other local rotary clubs culminated in the Gala Dinner and prize draw. The main prize was a Skoda Citigo from Derek Slack motors which was won by Pat Bingham. The fundraising is heading towards £80,000 which is a fantastic achievement by all involved.

Trevor thanked his council for their support and then handed the chain of office to Paul.

On the right hand side, outgoing President Trevor Atkinson hands the chain of office over to the new President Paul McLaughlin

On the right hand side, outgoing President Trevor Atkinson hands the chain of office over to the new President Paul McLaughlin

Paul thanked Trevor and all members for giving him their support. He explained that the Rotary Theme this year is “Be a gift to the world.” Everyone has something to give maybe a talent, knowledge, effort and dedication. There is fantastic breadth in our club involved in Africa, local schools, social services and health.

In the year Paul sees membership as a critical area an has had discussions with Middlesbrough and Cleveland Rotary clubs. Associate members and setting up a Rotaract club at Teesside University will be considered together with satellite clubs. Polio eradication is still a key initiative for Rotary International and we will continue to give support. Donations to Foundation will be encouraged with the aim of $100 per member per year. There is a need to recruit a Junior Vice President and a volunteer to chair Foundation will be required.

Forthcoming events are Chernobyl children day on 9th July and the Disabled games on 12th July.