Hobbies add a new dimension to talks

Past president Alison Boram with Pudsey Bear
Past president Alison Boram with Pudsey Bear

OWLS, diving and model racing yachts have all been the subject of Rotary talks in the last month.

Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club has introduced new My Hobby talks, giving its members the chance to reveal their interests and experiences.

The aim is to improve the diversity of speakers at the weekly meetings and it means the club is not always relying on speakers from outside organisations.

Anne Watson set the ball rolling with a talk about barn owls. She and her husband Barrie, a retired doctor, are involved in the care and protection of the birds.

She explained how they carry out this work and the lengths they go to to ensure barn owls are helped to remain in the local habitat.

The vulnerability of barn owls was demonstrated with the aid of a dead bird Anne had found at the roadside and preserved in a deep freeze, in order to show at the talk.

The following week, Chris Bohea spoke about her hobby, diving. Her talk, Sunken Sussex, included photos of the sea bed and interesting things found there, including the many wrecks along the Sussex coast.

She also explained how her diving club works and the training available to people interested in exploring under water.

October ended with a talk from Les Baker, a radio control model racing yacht sailor. He showed three examples of current model racing yachts so other members could see what is involved in the sport and explained the background, the racing and construction of model yachts.

He gave details of local clubs and took questions from members about model yacht racing in general.

As well as the My Hobby talks, the club welcomed a guest speaker from Autism Sussex last month, which followed a recent donation it had made to the charity to help maintain the service for young people.

Members learned how the organisation helps young people to live with and cope with autism in their daily life.

The club also assisted with a Children in Need at Gatwick Airport. A group of 12 members joined Pudsey Bear last Friday and Saturday, having been invited by Horsham Rotary Club.

Mr Baker said: “Hard on the feet but such a rewarding Rotary evening of service to help others.”

Looking ahead, the club is busy preparing for its annual tour of Shoreham with Santa and his sleigh, collecting money for ‘to help the less fortunate in our community in the festive season’.

Members will also be helping Steyning and Henfield Rotary Club with its carol concert at Lancing College Chapel on Thursday, Decenber 18, at 7.30pm.

To find out more about Rotary membership and how to join in club activities visit the Rotary Club of Shoreham and Southwick website.