Rotary – a personal perspective – 1

When I sold my business and stopped working, I had time to reflect on what to do next. I did not want to re-join the rat race, but I did not want to give up completely and do nothing. I have always enjoyed gardening and took on an allotment, which I found hugely rewarding, particularly when Moira, my wife, and I ate the home grown produce which the caterpillars or slugs had failed to find. I took up physical activities: walking, cycling and swimming, which I had always enjoyed. Even so, I still was not getting to do anything really challenging or rewarding.

A chance discussion with a friend, Elaine Gibson, on a U3A walk, introduced Rotary to me. I knew very little about Rotary and was not even sure whether it was linked to the Masons. I had worked out that I was looking for some way that I could put something back into society, after what had been a fairly successful career for me. I also wanted to do something which brought me in contact with different people and provided opportunities for finding new friends as most of my friends were either work colleagues who were still working or my wife had introduced me!

I had a few more discussions about Rotary with Elaine and was persuaded to go along to a couple of the meetings. To be honest at that time I still did not know what to expect from Rotary and did not know what they did. I was duly introduced and attended a number of meetings to see if I was suited to Rotary. I was unsure about my suitability until a particular discussion occurred at one of the meetings. Wendover and District Rotary put on a number of successful events in a year and one of them is Let the Chilterns Sing in November. The organiser who had arranged the last 5 concerts was looking for someone else to champion and organise the concert, with her help. I like music and singing and had organised conferences at work, (with help), so I volunteered to take on this role and I agreed to join up as a Rotarian. When I went home and said to my wife I had volunteered to organise Let the Chilterns Sing, she was aghast, and reminded me that my organisation skills were minimal and I was only really good at delegation.

Whilst she was right to say my organisation skills really only amount to delegating, with the help of the co-organiser and a small group of Rotarian helpers we managed to successfully showcase Let the Chilterns Sing – Voices through the Generations on Saturday 19 November 2016 at St Mary’s. We spent about 6 months planning and there were a number of stressful moments during that time, but on the day everything went smoothly. Even though my organisation skills are minimal, with the support of a very good, well organised team, we put on a very successful event. I had lots of positive feedback from the audience and choristers, which made me feel really good and satisfied that we had delivered a well worthwhile event. And in the process we raised about £2500 for Save the Children.I found in Rotary what I had been looking for. I didn’t really know when I joined what Rotary was about and I am still learning. The opportunity to put on this event gave me great satisfaction and at that same time raised money and entertained the audience, a win-win situation all round. I would therefore like to take the opportunity to explain more about Rotary in general and what Rotary in Wendover has done and is planning to do.

If you are interested in understanding more about Rotary and what it does, you can wait till next month’s article, look at, make contact with us through the editor or come along to one of our meetings at the Holiday Inn at 7.30 on a Monday night.

Kevin Towler

To read part 2 click here

to read part 3 click here