Sue and I attended the 88th Charter Anniversary Dinner of The Rotary Club of Bury last night. The Mayor of Bury was in attendance too with her Consort and the guest speaker was Jonathan Ali the BBC Radio Manchester news reporter. I have been interviewed by Jonathan many times over the years and it was good to have the chance to hear from him for a change. He has a special interest in history having studied it at University before he went into broadcasting and he has a busy year ahead reporting on more World War One centenary commemorations.
I attended a meeting of The Rotary Club of Bury today and the members unanimously agreed to make a donation of £1,000 towards helping to relieve the terrible distress and suffering of the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. Sadly, I hear this afternoon that a further aftershock has happened and with so many buildings already weakened this will only serve to increase the scale of this terrible disaster.
I attended a meeting of the Men’s Group at Bolton Road Methodist Church on Saturday where I gave a brief address and answered questions on a wide variety of questions ranging from the influence of the press to voting reform.
Update on Sue’s injured hand. Unfortunately, the hand swelled up overnight on Saturday and whilst at church on Sunday morning those who were experienced in matters medical suggested we return to the hospital. So straight after lunch we went back to Fairfield and the triage nurse immediately removed the bandage and after Susan had been seen by the doctor she was sent home with her arm in a sling. The swelling has since gone down and Sue is no longer using the sling but her thumb is still not operational. It is painful and inconvenient but my frequently used saying that there is always someone who is worse off than yourself has been graphically proved by the dramatic events in Haiti.
This afternoon I attended the Christmas Party organised by the Rotary Club of Bury for a group of Senior Citizens held at the Walshaw Sports Club. I was responsible for quite a bit of the organisation this year and so I was quite relieved that overall the event passed off quite successfully.
The Mayor Councillor Sheila Magnall attended the event and the Senior Citizens really appreciated the fact that they were able to have the chance to meet the towns first citizen. Sometimes those of us who are involved in politics and frequently come into contact with the Mayor can forget how significant an event it is for so many people to have the chance to chat with our town’s Mayor. The guests were served with a Christmas dinner and then enjoyed three games of bingo and a performance of songs and carols performed by the pupils from Tottington High School. On the way home guests were given a Christmas Card and a box of chocolate biscuits.
Yesterday was one of those days when I was reminded how lucky those of us are who are not affected by a disability.
At the lunchtime meeting of Bury Rotary Club we had a three speakers from the Speakeasy charity based in Ramsbottom. The charity helps those who struggle with language following a stroke. The fact that two of the three speakers were themselves recovering from strokes was particularly revealing. The charity carries out excellent work and I hope the small donation that Rotary was able to make will make their task a little easier.
In the evening I attended a social evening organised by the Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People at the Man Yuen Chinese restaurant in Tottington. Whenever I meet with those who are blind or who suffer from severe visual impairment I am always impressed by how positive and optimistic their outlook is. I have to declare an interest in that my wife is a Director ( entirely voluntary I should stress) of the Society and spends alot of time trying to raise funds for it and helping in all manner of ways with the administration of the Society.
Last night when I retired to bed I put the radio on and as it was quite late Radio 4 was broadcasting programmes from the World Service. Half asleep I heard mention of CeeCee. I quickly regained alertness and started listening. I thought surely our very own little Dalmatian puppy called CeeCee is not so famous as to be featured on the BBC. I was right! It turned out they were referring to a cat they had cloned which was called Cc. I fell asleep. Today, intrigued by the existence of another CeeCee in the World ( I know there are probably thousands! ) I searched on the internet and discovered that Cc which I guessed might stand for Cloned Cat actually was short for Copy Cat and the story I discovered about it was from the BBC’s website from back in 2002. Copy Cat it turns out is in America so there is not much possibility of the two CC’s meeting.
Anyway, back to my activities. This week on Tuesday I attended a meeting of the Executive Committee of Bury Conservatives. As Parliamentary Candidate I am entitled to attend these meetings although I have no voting rights. Yesterday I attended a coffee morning to raise funds organised by the Bury North Ladies Committee. In the evening I attended a meeting of Bury Rotary Club when the present Mayor of Bury Councillor Peter Ashworth was inducted as an honorary member.
Today I thought I would watch some cricket and drove over to Headingley to watch Yorkshire play Surrey and although play started on time we only had about one hour of play before rain forced the players from the field and they didn’t come back so I had an early return to Bury.