News & Blog

Rotarian Steve jumps for 2 great charities- just fantastic

On 15th July a very brave Rotarian, namely Steve Maidment (a member of the Rotary Club of Bournemouth North) took to the skies. Yes, he went up in an aeroplane like most people do but unlike most people he didn’t come back in the plane. No, when it got up to 10,000 ft. strapped to a complete stranger they jumped and the only way was down.

This is Steve’s Story –

Okay lets go. Not a bit nervous……….?

Having had 2 previous dates cancelled due to bad weather Jill and I arrived 0745 hours on Thursday the 15th – hopefully 3rd time lucky..  I was booked onto the fourth string jump team, three gone…we’re next at 1100 hours.   Enter heavy cloud.  Jump postponed.

Finally got to jump with seven others at about 1400 hours.  Little bit nervous when it was announced and more nervous still when boarding the small aircraft.

Just like BA Economy Class only more leg room.

Packed in like sardines, I worried about getting leg cramp, or heart twinges, or claustrophobia, or unconsciousness, or cowardice or any other embarrassing ailment.  This was due to there being not an inch to spare amidst the eight jumpers and eight instructors, average age about 21.  God, I felt old.  Where’s Stan when you need him?

Even more nervous on take-off, screaming engine and loud rattles, fuselage shaking and through open door saw the ground disappearing into the distance.  What am I doing here? 

One giant leap for Steve – Geronimo!!

Onwards through the clouds and ever upwards.  Cringingly nervous by this time but trying to appear stoical and in command of my fears as I sat strapped to my instructor.  My jump was third in line. 

“Move across to the door now Steve” said the reassuring voice in my ear. So I slid across and sat on the floor at the door, legs hanging out, head back but daring to peep down – once.  Wished I hadn’t.

There followed the most terrifying ten seconds of my life as I was thrust tumbling into the strong winds of the open sky, peeping down through breaks in the clouds at the earth which by this time was about 140 miles away.  OK two miles, but it was traumatic, frightening and exhilarating all at the same time.  I did, however, at some point somehow manage to pose with a forced V sign, a thumbs up and an unconvincing smile for the hand-held camera.

“Thumbs up” he said and “don’t forget to smile.”

For a full thirty seconds we were in free-fall.  “Nothing quite like it is there Steve?” a voice shouted in my ear as without notice, the main parachute was activated and I immediately shot back up about half a mile. “No, awesome” I replied.  He was right, there is nothing quite like it.

Then came the swirling gyrations. It was quite surreal, hanging there by a few straps, probably made in China, looking down between my feet from this great height onto the distant fields and buildings now clearly visible, but oh so far away.  Strangely, as we swept down, I was conjuring up odd words every now and then to convey to Brad, my excellent and reassuring instructor, that I was in control of my fear. 

Wave…………

As we broke through the final clouds, we swung sharply first one way then the other to lose height more quickly. It was like being at the loose end of a kite’s tail.  I thought I was going to throw up but the descent ended with a dramatically steep, sweeping, stomach-wrenching figure of eight as we landed softly and safely on terra firma.   

Nearly there

The GoSkydive company is excellent. The staff were very professional, reassuring and friendly and I would recommend them to anyone. Jumping from that plane was quite the most terrifying, life-questioning, inspiring and wonderful thing I have ever done.  I wouldn’t have missed it……now.

I am so pleased to have completed the appeal. At the last count it has raised a total of £3599.71 (or £4342.14 including Gift Aid) for two great local charities, the Dorset Children’s Foundation and the My Time Young Carers charity. I wish them well.

Our Hero back on tera-firma Well done Steve.

I would like to thank all of you who donated so generously to this appeal and for your support over the past few months.  It is very much appreciated by the charities, and by me. 

Thank you all so much.

Steve

2 Wins from 2 so far for the BNRC Boule Team

This week saw another 3/2 win for Bournemouth North! As with the England football Bournemouth North reaped the benefits of playing on home ground, this time against Chris Chubb’s Muscliffe Maniacs.

BNRC Boule Team – Left to right: John, Malcolm, Mike, Anne, Gabriel, Steve and Graham.

Malcolm, Graham and John won a closely fought triples game 13/11 against a very strong Muscliffe team, whilst Anne, Mike E and Steve were defeated 13/8 in an impressive performance by the second Maniac’s triples team.

The three doubles games resulted in a 13/0 win to John S and Steve, a 13/8 defeat by Gabriel and Graham despite a strong fight-back in the later stages, and an exhilarating deciding 13/4 win by Malcolm and Graham, who played magnificently throughout the lengthy third doubles game to clinch the match.

The final score – BNRC 3, Muscliffe Maniacs 2.

Once again it was a feature of the evening that the games were played in a very competitive but friendly and sporting manner, whilst a warm and welcome sun shone down on us all.

Let’s see if we can repeat these home wins when we start playing away matches next week against Flights Falcons.

Steve

PRESIDENT ROGER DEAS FINALLY CHAIRS A REAL LIVE FACE-TO FACE MEETING

Tuesday (22nd June) our members met face-to-face for the first and last time in the 2020/21 Rotary Year.

Roger ready to hand over the hallowed chain of office

Handover and Club Assembly, which marks the end of each Rotary year, was held in the garden of our new Club President – Rotarian John Slade. Socially distanced and following the guidelines that we have all come to live by, it was time for President Roger to hand over the Chain of Office to John and to wish him and his new team the very best of luck for the coming year.

“Over to you Mr President” – “Thank you Mr President”

No one foresaw the year that Roger and the members were going to have to contend with. In that time all meetings have been held on Zoom, including Council and Trustee meetings and whist there have been many restrictions on what we were able to do we have all come through with a great deal of credit. Attendances on line have been excellent and we have had many very good speakers to keep the interest going.

President John says “I’m in charge”

Roger was determined that he would chair at least one face-to-face meeting during his year and finally managed that on the last day. He thanked all of the Officers and members of the Club for their support during the past 12 months and believed that we have done well to come through generally unscathed and ready for the new challenges ahead.

The meeting was very well attended and both John and Roger hope that this bodes well for the future of the Club.

President John welcomes President Elect Peter Avis ensuring the line of succession is maintained for 2022/23
Club Members making sure they do it right.

Boule is back – a little bit of normal

The New Forrest Petanque League got underway this week, albeit a little late and in a slightly revised format after a break of nearly 2 years. But never mind – it was good to see a little bit of normal and to be able to see people face-to-face again.

On a warm sunny evening Bournemouth North Rotary welcomed this week’s visitors to Merley from the Redlynch Petanque Club.

The BNRC team included Steve Maidment (C), John Spurgeon, Anne Green, Graham Green, Gabriel Shead, Mike Edwards and Malcolm Jefferies 

The two triple games finished all even with one game won by each side. Then it was on to the three pairs games which BNRC managed to win 2-1 which meant a 3-2 win on the night. 

BNRC Captain Steve Maidment said that “it was good to see old friends and adversaries after such a prolonged period and the result was somewhat incidental to the friendly and thoroughly enjoyable atmosphere on the night and whilst we managed to win the game, the banter was a draw”.

BNRC are now looking forward to the next match on Thursday 1st July when they will welcome Muscliffe Maniacs to Merley. 

Maintaining Covid Rules and additional specific precautions agreed be the League Management Committee, it is hoped that a full schedule of matches can be completed by the end of September or early October by the 16 teams that have entered. 

Steve.

QUIZZERS ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE

17 Households took part in the Easter On-line Quiz which was hosted by Rotarian Sonia Hall at the end of March.

There were no prizes, simply the satisfaction of taking part and helping to raise money for the Clubs Charity Fund to enable us to support local charities and other organisations who are struggling during the covid-19 pandemic.

Participants were challenged by a host of questions on various subjects, some fairly easy, some quite hard and some that would have had you searching on Google had it been allowed – as if anyone would have done such a thing! Of course not.

Everyone agreed that it was a lot of fun and a tidy sum was raised for good causes which was what it was all about.  

At the end of the evening President Roger thanked Sonia for all her hard work in preparing the quiz and on behalf of all the members wished her the very best of luck as this she was to be her last meeting with Bournemouth North as she has now transferred to the Rotary Club of Redruth in glorious Cornwall following her recent move to that part of the world.

BNRC Continues to Support Local Causes during Covid Restrictions

Despite the problems caused by the Coved 19 Virus, which like many other charities has prevented the members of the Rotary Club of Bournemouth North being able to organise and run the traditional fundraising events, such as the Kinson May Day Fete, through their own resources they have managed to fund a number of traditional donations to assist local causes. For some years the club have donated in cash and in kind to the charity “Homestart” based in Wimborne Road Kinson. This is the local branch of the national charity which assists young mothers in various ways and which is very much appreciated by those who benefit from the practical help and advice given.

This week (Dec 2020) the Rotary Club have given 92 Christmas  boxes of biscuits purchased from the local store Tesco which will be distributed together with other goodies to the young mothers and children served by Homestart.

Photograph Shows Rotarians Anne and Graham Green (left), a representative of Homestart and Rotarian Malcom Jefferies with wife Jenny handing over the biscuits.

Also this week (Dec 2020) the Rotary Club of Bournemouth North have donated a number of gift bags for distribution to the young mothers and their infants supported by the Bournemouth Young Parents Support Group.  The club have supported this cause annually for some years at Christmas and the beneficiaries are very appreciative the treats given.

Photograph shows Rotarian Malcolm Jefferies handing the packs of Christmas cheer to Natalie from the Support Group.

The third donation of gifts by the club in December was to the Bournemouth Women’s Refuge which was extremely well received at this special time of year. The refuge is under increasing pressure at the moment due to so many changes in our lives that are affecting all of us for various reasons. Each parcel contains Xmas goodies and  gifts for each lady.

Rotarians Graham and Anne Green together with Rotarian Malcolm Jefferies and wife Jenny display the gifts ready for delivery to the Bournemouth Women’s Refuge

RCBN Welcomes Florida Guests

In October The Rotary Club of Bournemouth North welcomed Rotarians Tom and Susan Zisk from the Rotary Club of the Gulf Beaches in Florida, USA.

Tom and Susan Zisk from the Rotary Club of the Gulf Beaches in Florida

By the wonders of modern technology Tom and Susan were able to join our meeting using Zoom and although 4,500 miles away it was just as though they were here in Britain, apart from the sunshine that we could see through their window and the fact that they were enjoying a very pleasant 89˚F. A little different to the UK at the end of October.

Tom and Susan were invited to join as Guest Speakers at our fellowship meeting by Rotarian John Spurgeon. John and his wife Robbie first met Tom and Susan when travelling in the US in 2016 and decided to try to visit a Rotary Club along the way. Tom was President of the Gulf Beaches Club at the time and he and Susan made them so welcome that they have remained friend and kept in contact ever since.

Tom and Susan talked about life in the Sunshine State during the current Covid Crisis and how they are adapting to living with the pandemic. They also spoke about the work that Rotary is doing in the Community at the present time and gave a little insight into how Rotary clubs in the area are structured and provide help where needed.

Past President John Spurgeon was welcomed by President Tom Zisk at the Rotary Club of the Gulf Beaches in 2016

This was an excellent opportunity to make contact with a Rotary Club in another country and to learn from each other how we can all work together to make the world a better place.

Tom and Susan fielded a number of questions from our members during and after their talk and a Vote of Thanks was proposed by Rotarian David Scott.

Over £700 raised for Macmillan Caring Locally

A fine sunny day, the wonderfully generous public and the usual determination of the Rotary Club of Bournemouth North all helped to raise over £700 for Macmillan Caring Locally, who are based in Christchurch.

Due to the Corona Virus Epidemic so many of the Annual Macmillan Coffee Mornings fell by the wayside this year and so not to be beaten President Roger suggested that we set up on a site available to him along the promenade at Branksome, offering free tea or coffee to people enjoying a walk in the sun and inviting them to make a voluntary donation to Macmillan Caring Locally in return.

The generosity of the public proved to be amazing as so many have had reason to be grateful for the work that Macmillan have done over the years and hopefully will continue to do in the future. We never know what is around the corner.

Over 100 free cups of coffee and tea were served but that only tells a part of the story as many passers by gave generous donations without availing themselves of our refreshments.

A representative of Macmillan Caring Locally joined us for the day with collection buckets and banners which helped to draw people in.

After a very rewarding day President Roger thanked all the helpers, John & Robbie, Perry & Ruth, Stan & Dorothy, Chris and Karen and Steve. Roger also thanked all those Rotarians who donated the ingredients and lent the equipment which went to make the day such a great success.

Presidential Handover with a Difference

The Rotary Club of Bournemouth North carried out its annual Handover Meeting in a novel manner in July of this year by way of a virtual Zoom meeting with an excellent attendance of club members.

The event featured a video recording of the presentation of the Officers Insignia, which was held earlier that day in the garden of John and Sue Slade.

Outgoing President Graham Green passed the official Chain of Office to incoming President Roger Deas whilst keeping 2 meters apart at all times.

Both President Elect John Slade (for 2021-22) and President Nominee Peter Avis (for 2022-23) were also presented with their regalia of office and all were welcomed by the club to their positions.

Left to Right: President Elect John Slade, Immediate Past President Graham Green, President Nominee Peter Avis and new President Club Roger Deas

Fortunately, it was a bright sunny day.

BOURNEMOUTH NORTH SOLDIERS ON


While we are in lockdown due to the Coronavirus Pandemic there are so many things that we are unable to do during these unusual times. Whatever the new normal will look like is anyone’s guess. However, members of the Rotary Club of Bournemouth North are still trying to do what they can as you would expect, keeping in touch with the Charities and other good causes in the area that we normally support, albeit from a distance.

Since lockdown began the Club are pleased to announce that we have been able to support the following –

KINSON FOOD BANK

BNRC have been a regular supporter of the Kinson Food Bank over a number of years and we are pleased to have been able to donate the sum of £322 to help purchase essential supplies that will compliment the very generous gifts made by the general public each week. This will make a total of £1,000 that the club have been able to contribute during the past year. During a time of increased demand, the food bank has been finding it particularly difficult due to many of the regular volunteers having to self-isolate or go into shielding due to age or underlying health problems.

DORSET CHILDRENS FOUNDATION

The Dorset Children’s Foundation is a very special charity supporting children who have serious difficulties and problems. The amazing support provided by DCF is just fantastic and Bournemouth North Rotary Club have been proud supporters for a number of years. We are therefore especially pleased to have donated a further sum of £500 at this time. This is a particularly critical time for DCF as none of the 3 charity shops that they are so dependent on have been able to open during lockdown.

President Graham Green and Rotarian Anne present the Cheque to the Dorset Children’s Foundation

MACMILLAN CARING LOCALLY

Following the very successful Robbie Williams Tribute night organised by the Bournemouth North Rotary Club in March at the Village Hotel, the club are pleased to have donated the sum of £525 to the Macmillan Caring Locally Charity based at Christchurch Hospital. Once again this is an amazing Charity that the club have been supporting for a number of years and we are proud to have been able to continue our support during these difficult times.

GIRDIHAR EYE INSTITUTE, KERALA

Ramesh Lal the proprietor of KC Opticians, 1553, Wimborne Road, Kinson has for some time been supporting a charity based at the Girdihar Eye Institute in Kerala, India where cataract operations can be carried out on the poor for a cost of £10. When you consider that a private cataract operation in the UK would cost in excess of £1000 this is fantastically good value.  Ramesh drew the attention of the Rotary Club of Bournemouth North to the support he was giving to this eye hospital and the Rotarians were able to support him with a donation of £100, this will provide sight to ten people in Kerala completely changing their life chances.

President Graham presents the cheque to Ramesh Lal for the Giridhar Eye Institute