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January 25th 2021

Dermot Knight

Our speaker today is our own President Alan Davidson speaking on Robbie Burns. We also have an EGM to discuss the proposal by Rana Al Damin.

Forthcoming Speakers and Event
Feb 1st Grace Van Zyl, a Peace Builder Club
8th John Joe Ryan. Yugoslavia disintegration
15th Hugh Loughlin - Japan, the link with opportunity
22nd Terry Nolan - Tom Crean, Antarctica Explorer with Shackleton
Mar 1st Business Meeting
8th International Women's Day (actually 11th March)
22nd Tony Fox, Fish Ireland, a review

Rangers Walks
Cancelled until further notice.

Honorary Secretary Tony McCourt advised last week’s meeting that he had received apologies from Roger Owens, Alan Harrison, Jonathan Pim (who is in hospital in the Beacon) and David Horkan. We all wish Jonathan a speedy return to good health and hope that he can return home soon.

We had 20 Members in attendance. The following guests attended: Eamon Allen, Vasily Ogievsky.

Thought for the Day
President Alan gave the thought for the day. He noted we had recently lost some of our members and the sadness that we feel when they pass on. However we remember that death comes only after life has happened. We should live our lives so that when our time comes we have lived well and our efforts are appreciated. Vaccines are on the way and we should look upward.

President’s Announcements
President Alan reminded the Council of the special meeting to discuss Rana’s proposal.

Member’s Wishing to Speak
The Hon Sec also informed the meeting that Alan Harrison had passed to him the sad news of the death of Nigel Pim last week in Waterford. Nigel dies of Covid. May he Rest in Peace. He was a nephew of our member Jonathan Pim.
Mariandy invited members to attend a lecture on anti ageing she was hosting on Friday 22nd

Last week’s Speaker
Last week speaker was district governor elect Dave Murray. Dave began by saying he looked forward to coming back to speak to the club at the beginning of the new Rotary year. His subject for the day was the community service project school bikes for Africa. Dave gave a background of how Rotary Ireland had grown the project of delivering to children in need in the Gambia. One of the great things about the initiative is that it fulfils a number of positive objectives. Firstly, by providing bikes to kids who are in need. Secondly by supporting the prisons in Ireland who put together and refurb some of these bikes. And finally, by recycling bikes that were otherwise taking up unnecessary space or worse being dumped around the country.

One of the challenges was the cost of 15 euro per bike which is difficult for clubs to provide by themselves. The District was involved to support the funding of the container. Rotary began pitching to local authorities who would often have recycling funds which has helped to significantly scale project. The project has also received a nomination to be a UN sustainability champion in recognition of its success.

As the supply of bikes has significantly increased there is potential to consider other countries in Africa as part of the same project. This might be of particular interest to the Rotary Club of Dublin given our longstanding support of our project in Zambia.

President Alan noted that along with Rana and David he was exploring opportunities for Zambia and looking at the logistics. He asked Dave to explain the role of the Irish Army. Dave explained that one of the initial challenges had been the collection of bikes around the country and delivering them to the container. The Defence Forces have unblocked this impediment by providing transport facility. It is a great example of how an initiative can start at Rotary then grow to include local councils and ultimately include the Defence Forces.

Brian asked about the security of the bikes in the Gambia and how to make sure that they get to the people who need them and are not sold on the market. Dave explained that they had been lucky in the past with the network of Irish connections that are linked directly to the schools where they are delivered and so are able to account fully for their delivery.

Tom pointed out the additional benefit of the skills that were being acquired in the prisons to refurb these bikes and how, particularly with the growing number of cycling demand fuelled by recent lockdowns, these skills may be useful to people well into the future. He also wondered whether the bikes could be broken down to increase the capacity that can be transported and then be reconstructed on their delivery further increasing the skills potential. Dave agreed and noted that similar skills in Africa had been acquired. He also noted that they were looking into other things such as crutches that are not able to be returned to hospitals and whether these could be refurbed and sent as well.

Kevin wondered whether we could partner with other Rotary clubs in Africa to grow this initiative. Dave noted they had some contact in the past and that this was greatly increasing now.

President Alan also took the opportunity to ask Dave about his plans for his coming year as Governor. Dave introduced us to an ideas competition he plans to launch to provide funds for a community service project that is being supported jointly by at least two clubs.

Past President Ted gave the vote of thanks, Quoting from Mother Teresa that individually we can achieve so little but together we can achieve so much. The example of bikes for Africa shows how small cogs can input into a much bigger wheel. He thanked Dave for his interesting talk and President Alan thanked him on behalf of the club.

Website reminder
As lockdown continues there has never been a better time to get to know our website!
If you haven’t already done so you can register for your account so that you can access the Members section. If you need to do this and can’t find the original email explaining– please email Dermot to get it resent.
You can also create a profile within the members section that contains your details so that other members can contact you easily. once built up, this is a great way to contact other members that is always up to date. A reminder on how to create your profile is included below:
Your profile is how other members will see you in the member area. Firstly, a quick word on privacy. Your profile is only visible to members of our club who have chosen to set up their accounts. This part of the website is not public and requires authentication to access it. You also choose what to share and can amend this at any time.
Setting up your profile can facilitate better contact with other members. It is the online equivalent of the name tags we wear at lunch, enabling us to put names to faces. It also offers a way to find member details quickly and provides an easy way to contact them.

1. Go to
2. Click on the Member button and Login (if you have never logged in before you need to sign up)
3. Click on Amend your profile
4. Choose the details you would like to share (e.g. email add; mobile number)
5. If you would like your profile to have a picture click on the photo icon and upload your choice
6. Click “make public” and your profile will now be visible to other members

New functionality is being added all the time with the goal of creating a useful and simple to use way of navigating the Club. As always feedback and thoughts are welcome.

Obituary: John D. Carroll by PP Ethna Fitzgerald (written for District)
PDG John D Carroll passed away on 20 November 2020. He was President Dublin Club 1978-1979, Paul Harris Fellow 1987, District Vocational Chair 1980, District Governor 1983-1984

John D had a distinguished career in both the Catering Industry and as a fellow Rotarian. He was above all a family man and together with his wife Bosco, who pre deceased him, his son Kenneth- a member of Dublin Club , his daughter in law Berenice and his grandson Daniel they were a united team. He was one of the first three TRUST directors of the TRUST FUND set up by Dublin Club and he was heavily involved with the Revenue Commissioners who gave it Charitable status.

He had extraordinary vision, very driven yet personable, rebuffed stigmas, believed in gender equality and above all was inclusive. He was Chairman of HAIL, Association for Integrated Living in 1985 -a non for profit association providing 400 houses primarily for people with mental health difficulties and remained in that position until 2011 when he retired.
He was President of The Irish Hotel’s Federation (IHF) and President of The Irish Restaurants Association and a Director of The Irish Management Institute.

During his time as District Governor, John D presented Charters to Bandon in 1983 and Limerick Thomond in 1984.

He Chartered the first INTERACT CLUB in Dublin Club during his Presidency in 1979

He paid two visits to each Rotary Club in Ireland, the first time was on District business and the second time was as a guest at the Club’s Annual Banquet. At the same time he managed his Catering business, ably supported by his son Kenneth.

He will be remembered in District 1160 for his famous speech when he hosted his District Conference in Kenmare together with his wife Bosco in 1983 and I quote extracts from that:
‘We spend a lot of our time assuring ourselves, telling ourselves what a great organization we are, but we should remind ourselves seriously, at this time, that our motto is ‘SERVICE ABOVE SELF’
Each of us has many talents, some of us use them, and some of us don’t. We have to give, and if you withhold, you are cheating because we have all got these gifts. So when you go home, please bring some of the enthusiasm from this Conference with you and apply in your everyday life some of the messages that we are trying to communicate to you. ‘
He further said -
‘The value of a person lies not in their social status but in their efficiency. All social claims are valueless and baseless unless they are backed by usefulness to the general community. The important thing about any person is not their ancestry, but their potential for the future’

I will leave you with these words as they truly define and embody all that the late PDG John D Carroll represented and are as relevant today as in 1983. May he Rest In Peace

Ethna Fitzgerald, PP Dublin Club, Past District Governor Nominee

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