December 06 2021
Today’s Meeting is a Special General Meeting
Forthcoming Speakers and Events
Dec 13th Christmas lunch. [Cancelled.]
Jan 5th Council meeting (on-line) @ 5.30 p.m.
Jan 10th Allan Kilpatrick: Men’s Sheds.
Jan 17th Sean O' Doherty: Family Carers.
Jan 31st Business meeting.
Mar 11th President’s Night at Dublin Castle.
Mar 25th-27th Visit to RC Bonn.
May 20th-22nd Premio Leonard Leonardo da Vinci weekend, hosted by RC Copenhagen.
May 9th Annual General Meeting.
Jun 13th Club Assembly.
President Alexander Kopf was in the Chair at our meeting last week.
The Thought for the Day was given by Kevin McAnallen who reminded us how we had been told at the beginning of the pandemic that it would be under control in a few months. That seems like a long time ago now. He had been asked to be brief so his word for the day was ‘Patience!’
Visitors and Apologies
Last week we had a total of 23 members in attendance.
Apologies were received from the following 12 members:
Rana Al Damin; Sinem Balta; Caroline Barnardo; Barra Emmanuel; IPP Alan Davidson; Pat Fanning; PP Brian George; David Horkan; PP Tony Keegan; Hon Treas Dermot Knight; Paul Loughlin; Patrick White. We had no guests.
Rotary Rangers’ Schedule
Forthcoming Rotary Rangers’ outings are as follows:
Dec 7th Maulin, from Crone Wood at 10.00 a.m. Please contact Tony if walking.
Hon Secretary’s Announcements
• Bookings, including guest numbers, for the Christmas Lunch on 13th Dec 2021 are required as soon as possible for planning purposes with the hotel. Widows of deceased members will be invited to the Christmas Lunch. [Since cancelled.]
• There will be a raffle at the Christmas Lunch. Donations of prizes may are very welcome. They should be delivered to PP Bernadette at next Monday's SGM or at the Christmas Lunch.
• On Tuesday 30th of November, there will be a Zoom meeting at 6.00 p.m. The guest speaker will be Rüdiger Skaletz from the Rotary Club Munchen-Harlaching who will talk about 3D Printing. The link will be circulated before the meeting.
• Tom O’Neill reaffirmed that it had been unanimously agreed that the Remembrance Tree collection in Dundrum Shopping Centre would definitely go ahead as planned. For safety reasons there would be a screen on the collection desk and volunteers would be given Dr. Fauci approved facemasks. We would be continuing the practice of taking donations by swiping bank cards which had been so successful in the past. Tom would not be surprised if card donations overtook cash this year as the favoured way to donate. He asked us to put our names down on the timetable.
• Ethna Fitzgerald passed on Diana Taylor’s thanks for all the kind wishes she had received from club members after the passing of her husband, Brian. He had loved being a member of Rotary and always appreciated the warmth and friendship he had found amongst us.
• Jono Pim (speaking in the series of short talks about Rotary Foundation) said he wanted to say a few words about ‘Sustaining Members’ as part of the series about Rotary Foundation and why we should become one. Those who felt that they would like to give a little more to the Rotary movement than merely the membership fee could make a monthly or annual donation. This would be done quietly and without a citation or special recognition; just a gesture to give a steady support to club finances.
• Delma told us that she and Eamonn had attended the opening of the Bikes for Africa recycling project at Ballyogan Recycling Centre last week, along with Rotary District Governor David Murray and Cathaoirleach Cllr. Lettie McCarthy of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who are seen in the photograph holding bicycles.
This project has been running for six years as a co-operative effort between Rotary, The Defence Forces and the Irish Prison Service. They are appealing for sturdy bicycles in reasonable condition which can withstand rough terrain. Minimum 24 inch wheel size and with mountain bike tyres, suitable for primary and secondary children. Ballyogan Recycling Centre is open from 8.30 to 5.30 Mon- Fri, 9.30 to 5.30 Sat and 10.30 to 5.30 on Sundays and bank holidays.
Last Week’s Speaker
Our speaker last week was our own Roger Owens ‘Land’s End to John O’Groats – A Charity Ride.
Roger has served with the British Army and it was when he was with the Gurkha Regiment in Hong Kong that he became close friends with a number of Nepalese. One of his colleagues recently died all of a sudden from pancreatic cancer. It was in his memory that Roger set off from Land’s End on September 12th of this year to cycle all the way to John O’Groats, hoping to raise £130,000 for a school rebuilding project following the recent earthquake in Nepal and a further £20,000 for pancreatic cancer research. Roger discussed the differences between the Garmin and Wahoo GPS systems which occasionally sent riders off on different routes although they always ended up at the same place later on. Typically, they left every morning at 9 o'clock and stopped by 6 o'clock in the evening. One member of the team, one of the ex-army men, had been a cyclist at national level for the UK. The experience of the others varied. The top speed clocked up by anybody during the trip was 82 kms per hour. The average speed over the trip as a whole was 21 kms per hour. This compares to the Tour de France which average 40 plus kph. The group clocked up an average 117 kms each day.
They stayed in a variety of different forms of accommodation which were comfortable, but modest. One problem was that none of these places had laundries and very often laundries in towns were closed by 5 o'clock. This meant that they ended up washing their clothes in the bath or the shower in their hotels. On the food side they didn't stint and ate rather well (with one or two exceptions).
One of the most remarkable features of the trip was that over the whole 15 days it rained for a total of only one hour. They had one day with a strong headwind and one day with a strong crosswind. Otherwise they did not have problems, although some of the hills were quite steep, including one with a gradient of one in five.
Mostly they rode on back roads taking them through exquisite countryside. The main danger on these roads was from tractors and tractor drivers, often teenagers, who took no prisoners. When a tractor came along the best thing to do was to get off the road and wait till it passed.
Roger’s main problem was the road surfaces. This was a consequence of using secondary roads where surfaces could often be rough and resulted in some very sore backsides. The variety of bikes was considerable, though the professional cyclist had a special machine which was apparently worth €12,000 euro and boasted a wireless gear change. This bike was so valuable that the person who owned it kept it in his bedroom at night.
They saw relatively little wildlife, some squirrels some badgers and a few deer and in one case a cat having an argument with a peacock (the cat lost). All in all, Roger thought the amount of wildlife that they encountered was modest. They were also lucky with very few injuries although Roger did have an encounter with a JCB on the first day of the adventure which upset his confidence. During the entire trip the team only had two punctures between them. As the photographs Roger showed us progressed, we could watch his beard growing. He had started out being clean shaven. At the end Roger shows a photograph of himself smoking a cigar, something he likes to do at the end of a project. They covered 1,638 kms in total in travelling from Land's End to John O’Groats and to date they have raised over £107,000 for the charity.
Afterwards questions and points were made by PP Ted, Derek Byrne, PP Derek, PP Tom and Kevin MacAnallen. Ted made the interesting point that of the 140 people who were killed on Irish roads last year, 111, had been killed on minor roads.
Members who would like to contribute can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/roger-owens-martingillotmemorialride