MORPETH Rotary Club members had a busy few weeks in the run up to this year’s festive period.
The international charity fund-raising Chinese meal brought in £318 and there was a great turnout for the Northumbrian Water Ellington Colliery Brass Band concert, which raised over £1,100 from tickets and donations.
The money went to WaterAid, a charity that gives the world’s poorest people access to safe water and sanitation.
Following these events, Morpeth Rotary President Laurie Walker led a party of a dozen Rotarians to plant a glade of Jubilee trees in Carlisle Park.
It was just after a dramatic hailstorm, but the weather held long enough to allow the planting of 95 trees and the Royal Estates Jubilee Oak.
Conditions were very muddy, but the job was completed in record time. Emma Evans from Northumberland County Council and her experienced gardening team supervised the works and they were impressed by the nimbleness and dedication of the Rotarians, as well as their designer wellies.
In traditional fashion, the Rotary District Quiz was lost by Morpeth to Berwick Rotary Club in the second round. The tradition was commented upon in his final speech by Morpeth team captain, retired KEVI Headteacher Michael Duffy. Berwick won by 46 to 36.
Quiz Master from Longbenton with Killingworth Rotary was Christine Hollidge and the scorer was retired Morpeth bank manager, Alan Barron.
Questions ranged from George Orwell, 1970s US election slogans, mental arithmetic and space travel to Scotland, sport and literature.
The Christmas Message event had invitations sent to Rotary members and friends, including guests who were widows of past Rotarians.
The attendance was 66, with Father Lawrence of St Robert’s RC Church as guest speaker.
He had previously worked near Stockton where he had come into contact with many Rotary initiatives that were of great support to the whole area and the region.
He talked of the fire damage to St Robert’s Church and thanked St George’s URC in Morpeth for its great hospitality and support when he and his parishioners were not able to use their usual premises.
An important concern of the church was the attempt by the state to redefine the meaning of marriage.
He thought Government guarantees to churches may be impossible to deliver. He also wished to support the family and children and to see more children in church.
Following some topical and religious jokes and seasonal greetings, he wished success to Rotary with the Polio Plus Project and with its local fellowship and community support.
The meeting ended with a hearty round of carol singing led by Vivien Scott and George Brown, with solicitor Michael Gaunt on piano.
Plans for the year ahead include the District Conference at Harrogate in April, a possible project at Northumberlandia, a visit to a church organ builder, a visit to the University of Newcastle agricultural centre at Cockle Park, support for the Ellington Colliery training band and every member giving financial support to the Rotary International Foundation.