Rotary Club of Bexhill

INTERNATIONAL cricketer and musician Henry Olonga was the guest speaker with a difference at the recently-held Dining in Night of The Rotary Club of Bexhill at the Cooden Beach Golf Club.

Rotary Assistant District Governor Brian Hampson proposed the toast to the Rotary Club of Bexhill, referring to it being " a very active and a great club."

Bexhill Rotary President John Meadows responded, and reflected on some of the club's achievements so far in his presidential year, including facilitating the annual Community Charity Walk, the annual tea party, the recently-held schools public-speaking competition and the Christmas gift shoe box appeal. Also, of course, the Christmas street and store collections, where he made special mention of the help received by the Past Rotarians.

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In reply to the President's toast to the guests, the President of the Past Rotarians Club of Bexhill, Albert Hall said how pleased they were to be able to help out.

Other top table guests included the Mayor of Bexhill, Cllr Paul Lendon, Lions Club president Freddie Thorns, Bexhill Round Table chairman Jay Lorton and the general manager of the Cooden Beach Golf Club, Keith Wiley.

Henry Olonga gave a moving and entertaining talk on his life, and the influence particularly of cricket and music. Many present recalled the black armband "death of democracy" protest at the Cricket World Cup in 2003.

Henry went on to talk of his compassion for those in the world less fortunate, and made reference to the help that Rotary gives which his audience appreciated, along with his other comments on the night's proceedings. He finished with a great rendition of Nessun Dorma, and received a standing ovation.

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Earlier in the evening the president had been pleased to welcome a new member to the club, Charles (also to be known by his middle name Brian due to an administrative error!) Durrant.

He is a taxation and business consultant, and was sponsored by club vice-president Richard Harrison.

Charles is married to Anne and has a daughter and two stepsons, all married, and although born in Sri Lanka has lived in Bexhill for the past 19 years.

His interests include sports (another Liverpool supporter), rearing koi carp, photography, travel, reading and gourmet cooking. The president and club members wished him well for his time in Rotary.

A most eventful and enjoyable evening was concluded with the final toast to Rotary the World Over.