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Online ceremony marks Rotary year-end change for Letchworth Howard

Massive grins from Arthur Jarman, new Letchworth Howard president, and his wife Anne were a welcome sight on club members’ computer screens on Monday June 29 when the annual handover ceremony marking the new Rotary year became an online, virtual event.

A physical handover of the chain of office by retiring president Angela Silver was, of course, ruled out. Instead, Anne stood in for her, having been passed the regalia, in a suitably socially distanced manner, a few days earlier. She placed it round Arthur’s neck as members watched the live streaming and applauded.

In normal times, the club has had a garden party, enjoying summer sunshine at the home of member Colin Green and his wife Karen. But that Monday was unseasonally cold and very windy. So doing it all online was not quite the sacrifice it might have been.

In something of an understatement given the situation of the last few months, Angela told members her year had been “very interesting”. Despite problems, fund-raising events had proved very successful, with over £6,000 raised for a range of good causes even though the club’s normally highly popular annual quiz had – like so many events this year – had to be cancelled.

A major beneficiary of Letchworth Howard’s fund-raising efforts was Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth, which had received a total of £4,227.

Arthur thanked Angela for all her achievements through such a difficult period. He also thanked John Bush for his hard work as club secretary, in which role he is continuing, and Alan Fraser for taking over as treasurer from Paul Jeffery, who has stepped down from that role. Thanking Paul, Arthur said he had done “sterling” work (pun intended).

He promised a full programme for his presidential year, even if for the time being it had to be via Zoom rather than the club’s normal meetings.   


Letchworth Howard looks to full programme despite pandemic

Letchworth Howard Rotary’s 2020-21 president sees a bright future for the club despite all the problems created by the coronavirus crisis. 

That was the optimistic message from Arthur Jarman as he laid out his plans for his presidential year at the club’s annual assembly on June 1.

 It was an assembly with a difference, as members met for their second online meeting thanks to Zoom and to club IT guru Colin Green who set it all up.  

Members were delighted to extend a big, virtual welcome to Mary Whitehead, District 1260 Governor, and Karin Weston, our area Assistant Governor who were logged in to the meeting. Taking his theme from Holgar Knaack, Rotary International president-elect, Arthur reiterated Holgar’s motto for the year: “Rotary opens opportunities”.  But he warned: “We need to prepare for: (a) being very optimistic, the restoration of activities to pre-pandemic requirements; (b) as is more likely to be the case, the introduction of social distancing and procedures for hygiene; and (c) the transfer of activity such as the quizzes or carol concert to online formats; or (d) the cancellation permanently of current projects and their replacement by quite different fund-raising activities.” 

Nonetheless, using Zoom for as long as necessary, there could be a great programme. Speakers from much further afield, and even abroad, would be invited to address the club. Members could enjoy short talks, performances, extracts from plays or concerts to enjoy together and then discuss.  We could review books or television programmes.  When permitted, he would explore the possibilities for resuming regular evening meetings over a convivial meal, suitably socially distanced if necessary, with our normal venue.  “I’m sure,” he said, “we can meet all the challenges and together live up to the Rotary International Theme for 2020-21.” 

District Governor Mary Whitehead paid tribute to the way the club had moved into the digital era.  “You should be proud of yourselves,” she said. The club had achieved so much in the past year under outgoing president Angela Silver and there was so much it was planning to do.” You’re a small club, but you’re thinking outside the box. I’m really proud of you.” 

Area Assistant Governor Karin Weston said it was lovely to be with Letchworth Howard again, albeit in a different format. She hoped to return to enjoy some of the speaker meetings via Zoom, and was especially keen on using that to bring in speakers from further afield.  She was also very interested in any plans to run the club’s regular fund-raising quizzes online via Zoom.  She was, she said, “very impressed” with how the club was approaching the coming year.  She made a special plea for the club to keep Foundation and the End Polio Now campaign in its sights in the light of their appeals for members to keep funding them.  Overall, she saw Letchworth Howard as “very forward looking” as it looked to keep going in the best way possible.


Letchworth Howard deals hospice a winning hand

Bridge enthusiasts played their cards right on Friday March 13 when Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s bridge drive raised over £500 for Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth Garden City and other Rotary charities.

The annual event has long been a fixture on the local bridge playing calendar and, despite the possibly inauspicious date of Friday the 13th, was once again thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part.

In addition to the bridge tournament, there was a raffle that alone raised £180 and participants also enjoyed a sumptuous home-made afternoon tea prepared and served by Rotarians and their partners.

The hospice is the principal beneficiary from the event, while other Rotary charities will also benefit.

Pantomime outing fun

 Local children receiving support from Home-Start Hertfordshire, the charity that helps young families through challenging times, again enjoyed a happy outing to the pantomime this January with a helping hand from Letchworth Howard Rotary Club. Much fun was had by all, as you can see from the Home-Start Facebook page below. We’re glad everyone enjoyed it.


Mentalist keeps Letchworth Rotarians and Inner Wheel members guessing

Astounding feats of mind-reading left members of the two Letchworth Rotary clubs – Letchworth Howard and Letchworth Garden City – and Letchworth Inner Wheel both bemused and entertained at their joint pre-Christmas dinner on 2nd December. Working with audience members picked at random mentalist David McGuire kept everyone guessing as he unfailingly identified seemingly random numbers and words picked by his volunteer helpers.The evening, at the Broadway Hotel in Letchworth Garden City, was organised this year by Letchworth Howard. It also featured a lively musical entertainment from the Bygrave Handbell Ringers. The early Christmas spirit among diners resulted in £382 being raised for Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth through a raffle, the auction of two splendid patchwork quilts made by Letchworth Howard member Mary Rawlins, and, to conclude the evening, the sale of table decorations created by fellow Letchworth Howard member Val Aitken.


Letchworth Howard event helps young cancer sufferers

CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families, will benefit by more than £800 thanks to a Christmas concert sponsored by Letchworth Howard Rotary Club on 27th November.
The event, Sounds of the Season, featured City Chorus, one of the area’s leading musical ensembles, with a programme of Christmas music old and new performed at Letchworth Garden City Free Church.  Among the highlights was a performance by local recording artiste and YouTube star Eirra of her own composition Alive. She is one of the many young people CLIC Sargent has helped. She received a rapturous reception.

With hot mince pies – generously donated by the Letchworth branch of the Morrisons supermarket chain, which has made CLIC Sargent its charity of the year – and wine and soft drinks on sale to complement the glorious music, audience members were lavish in their praise for what was widely agreed to have been a terrific evening.

The photographs show the full Choir, and of Eirra giving her performance.  

Letchworth Howard scores bullseye for Hospice

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club scored a bullseye for Garden House Hospice Care at the club’s darts marathon evening on 14th November, which raised over £3,500 with the Letchworth Garden City based hospice the principal beneficiary.  Other Rotary charities will also receive donations as a result of the event.

The event
 attracted well over 100 participants, with 19 teams of five darts players and scorer competing to see which could score the most in an hour.  So popular did the evening, at the Broadway Hotel, prove that the darts had to be spread over two sessions to enable all the entrants to take part. 

The pictures show one of the top-scoring teams, the wonderfully named We Drink and We Throw Things, the ladies’ team Just a Trim, and an entry from Letchworth Howard Rotary Club itself.


The last photo shows a winner of one of the many spot prizes, with that T shirt nobody argued !














A smiling welcome for Letchworth Howard’s new vice-president

It was smiles all round at Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s November 4 meeting when new president-elect Arthur Jarman was formally inducted as vice-president. Doing the honours is the current president, Angela Silver, while club secretary John Bush looks on approvingly. When he succeeds to the top role next year it will be Arthur’s second time as club president.

Arthur is a former top executive with the National Union of Teachers and has been a local councillor in North Herts and a governor of the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, the charitable body that is responsible for ensuring the continuing vibrancy of the world’s first Garden City, maintaining its distinctive atmosphere, and devoting the profits from its large property and farming portfolio to improving well-being in the town. 

Letchworth Howard keeps it in the family

It was all in the family at Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s handover evening on Monday July 1 when president Tony Silver stood down at the end of his year of office – to be succeeded by his wife, Angela.

The sun shone – mostly – and threatened rain held off as Rotarians and guests enjoyed a garden party at the home of club member Colin Green and his wife Karen to mark the Rotary year end.

Among the guests were representatives from various organisations the club had fund-raised for during the year, who were presented with ceremonial cheques. Sue Plummer, chief executive of Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth, received a cheque for £2,883; Faith Hojeer from Herts Home-Start, the charity that helps families with young children, was presented with a cheque for £500; and Ray Shakespeare-Smith, chairman of Helping Herts Homeless, received a cheque for £205.

The club also welcomed Sean Abbiss and Peter Mountney, winners – both on points and in level of sponsorship moneys – of its darts marathon evening in November, who were presented with their prizes. 

The event came a day after club members had enjoyed a fascinating visit to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance base at North Weald, which left everyone far more knowledgeable about the invaluable work of the air ambulance service. The only sadness was that the ambulance normally based at North Weald had been called out just as club members arrived, continuing its vital life-saving work rather than being available to inspect.

The pictures show:

1. Guests at the Garden party.

2. Darts winners Sean Abbiss (in the dark shirt) and Peter Mountney receive their prizes from outgoing Letchworth Howard president Tony Silver.

3. Sue Plummer, chief executive of Garden House Hospice Care, with Tony Silver

4. Faith Hojeer, from Home-Start Hertfordshire, tells Rotarians and other guests a little more about the charity.

5. Tony Silver presents a ceremonial cheque to Ray Shakespeare-Smith, chairman of Helping Herts Homeless

6. Having told guests that the Rotary president’s chain of office was actually deceptively heavy around the neck, outgoing Letchworth Howard president Tony Silver has difficulty removing it as he passes the presidency on to his wife, Angela.

Club gains Rotary public relations award

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club has been named winner of the 2018 public image award in Rotary District 1260, which covers 59 Rotary clubs across a wide swathe of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Mike Thorpe, the district public relations supremo, was a guest at Letchworth Howard’s meeting on Monday April 1 (and no, it wasn’t an April Fool joke) to present the trophy shield.
Our picture shows Mike (right) presenting the award to a clearly very happy David Walker, who is responsible for Letchworth Howard public relations.


Letchworth Howard quiz raises £1,500

They may not have known all the answers but enthusiastic quizzers came up with the right result on Saturday March 30 when Letchworth Howard Rotary Club raised around £1,500 for charitable causes.

The principal beneficiaries from the club’s annual quiz night will be Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth Garden City and Mary’s Meals, the charity that provides a sustaining daily meal to over 1 million schoolchildren worldwide who would otherwise stay hungry or be unable to attend lessons.

With 14 teams of eight players, St George’s Church Hall was filled to capacity as they tested their knowledge across a wide range of topics and enjoyed a luxury ploughman’s supper during the midway interval. The fund-raising was boosted by a raffle that contributed £243 to the total.

The picture shows contestants enjoying a good tuck-in as they get their brains in gear for part two of the quiz.

Race fans deliver £400 prize for Letchworth Howard pantomime outing

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s annual pantomime outing for under-privileged children was the clear winner at the club’s race night on January 26, which produced net proceeds of £400 to pay for this year’s visit to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage.

The evening included a bumper raffle which saw one lucky punter have no fewer than three of the tickets in his strip of five drawn for a prize.  He insisted that two of them be discounted and tickets re-drawn.

Working in conjunction with Home-Start, the charity that helps families with young children, the club had already taken 22 local children and nine accompanying adults to the Gordon Craig show earlier in the month.

Hospice scores again at darts marathon

There was another great score for Letchworth Garden City’s Garden House Hospice at Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s darts marathon evening, which raised an estimated £2,000-plus for Rotary charities with the hospice the principal beneficiary.

The event, at the town’s Broadway Hotel on November 15, attracted some 70 participants playing in 13 teams across two sessions in a lively, fun-filled atmosphere.

The full financial results will not be known until January when all the sponsorship monies come through, but the total is thought to have been at least £2,000, including about £250 from the raffle.

The club has another charitable event coming up.

On January 26, is a race night to raise funds for the annual pantomime visit for under-privileged children organised by the club. Other Rotary charities will also benefit.

Tickets are £10, which includes supper (though it’s bring your own drinks). The evening starts at 6.30 for 7.00, See our Special Events page for details.





Award for Service above self.

The picture is of Rotarian Colin Green (left) receiving from President David Glanville the award of the Paul Harris fellowship, which is the highest award an individual Rotarian can receive. Only a maximum of 150 are awarded each year by the Board of Rotary International.




Colourful quilts assure winter warmth for hospice patients

Patients at Garden House Hospice in Letchworth Garden City can look forward to a cosier winter following the presentation of eight colourful patchwork quilts by Letchworth Howard Rotary Club member Mary Rawlins.

The quilts – two with special Christmassy designs – are designed to keep legs or shoulders warm and comfortable when patients are, for example, sitting up enjoying a meal or relaxing with a book or magazine.

Mary, pictured (right) with Helen Clark, Garden House’s head of operations, with one of her beautiful creations, is a highly accomplished quilt maker.

Used on patients’ beds, the quilts will also bring a splash of added colour into the Hospice and help make rooms look nice and homely after some curtaining and carpeting had to be replaced by hard floors and blinds to meet health requirements.

Hospice donation follows long tradition at Letchworth Howard

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s new president David Glanville followed what has become a tradition when he visited Letchworth Garden City’s Garden House Hospice on Monday July 31 bearing a very welcome gift – a cheque for £446. He was following hard on the heel of his predecessor, Colin Green, who in June presented Garden House with a £750 donation from the club’s annual bridge drive. The latest gift stemmed from the club’s very successful partners’ quiz in May, the proceeds from which were split equally between Garden House Hospice, the charity Magic Breakfast which provides healthy school breakfasts to hungry and malnourished children in disadvantaged areas of the UK, and the club’s own charitable fund.
Our picture shows David at Garden House with Jayne Dingemans, Director of Patient Care.






Dart line
we throw thingsjust a trim
Hall of darts

Arthur VP

Award for PR

Quiz night 2019

Horse Racing ?

Darts 1

Darts 2