Seahouses and District Rotary Club

FLIGHT OF FANCY: Former RAF pilot Paddy Clarke recently moved to North Sunderland and the newest recruit to the Rotary Club of Seahouses and District, told members about his passion for flying which began at school in the Air Training Corps and which included some time at the then RAF Acklington in 1965.

Paddy recalled his exciting exploits in the RAF, flying a huge variety of aircraft including Varsity, Jet Provost, Victor, Canberra and Dakota in the UK and in Gan (Indian Ocean) and Belize. Throughout his career, his own favourite aircraft for pleasure and ATC/Air Scout training had been the Chipmunk.

After the RAF, Paddy became a pilot with Air Atlantique and British Midland.

Then, following a brief contract with the RAF flying Jet Provosts, he joined Eastern Airways flying within the UK and to Northern Europe until November last year.

President Judith Bell Taylor agreed to arrange a coach for supporters of the club quiz team at the next round in Morpeth on the rescheduled date of January 10.

Past President Roger Howell hoped to present a cheque at the Pinnacles Restaurant to help finance the annual Christmas Shopping Trip to the MetroCentre for local older and disabled residents.

A very thoughtful, informative and timely account of the moral dilemmas of being a journalist was presented to the members of the Rotary Club of Seahouses and District by local resident and News International editor of the Sunday Times supplements, Alistair McCall.

He spoke frankly and realistically of the current situation, the options available and the consequences of future changes.

The hugely topical subject was pursued avidly in heated discussions over supper at the Olde Ship Hotel.

Long Service Certificates from Rotary International President Kalyan Banajee were presented by North East Assistant Governor Terry Long to Rotarians David Morgan (45 years), Roy Dodds (25 years) and William McLaren (25 years).

Acting President Judith Bell Taylor agreed to pass on certificates to Bill Weeks (25 years), who had recently returned home from hospital, and Father Tony Owens (30 years) who had retired to Northern Ireland in September.

In a close-fought friendly contest, the Rotary Club of Seahouses and District went through to the next round of the North East Rotary District Quiz by beating the Rotary Club of Newcastle Gosforth 49 - 42.

Rotarians Ann Thompson, Kelvin Rushworth and Ulugbek Hudayarov represented the Rotary Club at the Annual Peace Seminar at Bradford University.

Each year, the Rotary Peace Centre hosts an event for Rotarians from throughout the UK and Europe to hear from the departing Peace Fellows.

The 2011 seminar included presentations about land conflicts in Cambodia, humanitarian responses to the Somali refugee crisis, civil conflict, peacebuilding and reconciliation: Experiences from Sierra Leone and conflict minerals.

Also, the seminar provided an opportunity for the newly arrived 2011-2012 Peace Fellows to introduce themselves and their reasons for wanting to devote their studies and their lives to developing a more peaceful world.

Guest speakers included Mark Segal and Chris Cushing.

Mark described his work priorities as Senior Conflict Advisor with the Department for International Development in the UK Government and Chris spoke of directing emergency humanitarian field operations in 14 wars and 24 countries, casually mentioning that he had been kidnapped nine times.

Guests are always very welcome at the weekly meetings of the Rotary Club and further information can be obtained from Margaret Claydon on 01665 720472 or Kelvin Rushworth on kelvinrotary@hotmail.co.uk