Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Rotary Club of Henley Bridge

THE Rotary Club of Henley Bridge was delighted to welcome four members of the Rotary Club of Silves in Portugal to its Zoom meeting on September 23.

Annie Lathaen, club president, welcomed the Silves club president Alan Winn and his wife Pam, Isabel Flores, last year’s President, and Marion Kitzmann.

Nineteen Rotarians joined the discussions and heard a variety of stories about how lockdown had affected both Portuguese and British Rotarians.

Alan said that there had been relatively few cases of covid-19 in the Algarve.

From the outset of the pandemic everyone had been wearing masks when they went out and were taking a great deal of care to socially distance.

When we met, the weather in Portugal was 26C with slightly warmer weather forecast for the weekend.

Annie was delighted to report that we had experienced wonderful British weather — cold, wind and rain.

The clubs exchanged details on their respective activities, the Silves club being very much involved with supporting local schools and young people and the Henley club raising money for local charities and running the Henley half marathon in normal times.

In the current time of uncertainty, the club has been running the Icehouse Hill Challenge, which some members undertook earlier in the week.

One of the Henley Rotarians told the meeting that he had had a bumper fruit crop — apples, pears, plums and grapes.

He had taken the fruit to Pasture Farm in Longwick, which has a fruit press, and it produced 230 bottles of apple, apple and grape and pear and apple juice.

One of the Portuguese Rotarians said that the Portuguese people were visiting other parts of Portugal but were keeping away from Spain, their concerns being much the same as British tourists — future lockdown and being unable to get home, quarantine restrictions once home and that the virus was much more prevalent in Spain.

While people were visiting other European countries they were being very careful about travel.

This was the first of what the Henley club hopes will be a series of meetings with Rotary clubs from Europe, or possibly even further afield, to hear about how lockdown is affecting people in different countries and create Rotary links with other nations.

The club’s next meeting will feature a talk by Phil Godfrey about his journey around Great Britain.

If anyone would like to attend these Zoom meetings, please call Annie Lathaen on 07769 687326 or email adlathaen@yahoo.co.uk

Annie Lathaen

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