Contact us at

blog Events Members

The Times They Are a-Changing!

Handover Time!
Time to handover the reins!

It’s that time in the Rotary year where we start looking at our priorities for the year ahead (starting 1st July) and hand over the reins to a new Club President.

Firstly came the Club Assembly in early June. This was the occasion where incoming project leads identified their proposals for the year ahead, funds permitting, and laid out where they would like the money that the club raises to go. Of course, nothing is cast in stone as there may be additional requests that come to us during the course of the year, but this at least gave us some initial guidelines for our future efforts.

Then, this week, we had the handover, where the current President hands over the running of the club to the new President.

We held our handover event this year at a new venue (for us), which was Swanage Sailing Club, and over 30 Rotarians, partners and friends were present to see outgoing President Chris Le Fevre pass the mantle of responsibility to incoming President Dai Hounsell.

On a beautiful evening and nourished by a superb meal of chicken in white wine sauce followed by cheesecake, the formal handover was conducted with Dai confirming his priorities for the coming year.

Taking over as President Elect (President 2024/25) was Maggie Hardy, who was presented with her ribbon by the new President.

Also present was District Governor Bill Casey, who surprised one of our veteran Rotarians, David Pike, with a special award in recognition of his many years of loyal contribution to Rotary and the wider community.

So we’re off and running again into the next Rotary year and it won’t be long before our next event, the annual Summer Fête – more details available on our dedicated webpage here.

blog Members

Message from the New DG

For our first meeting of the new Rotary year, we were grateful to be able to grab some of our brand new District Governor Tim Mason’s time on Zoom, to give us an early steer of his plans for the year.

Tim has had a varied Rotary career with numerous clubs, mainly around the south and east of the UK and including two spells with the Rotary Club of Swindon, where current Swanage President Steve knew him from his previous club of Swindon Old Town.

He has always been determined to play an active role in all of those clubs, not content with hiding in the background, and was one of the founder members of the District 1100 eClub which has since attracted members from well outside its original catchment area.

But Tim felt that something was missing, and since moving from Wiltshire to Portsmouth a few years ago, he realised that the club he had joined was not dynamic enough for his ideas.

And so Rotary Social Innovation was born. This is billed as a different kind of Rotary which aims to harness the power of social media and the enthusiasm of social enterprise to encourage more engagement whilst maintaining the original ethos of the Rotary movement all those years ago in Chicago at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Based in the Portsmouth area, it aims to offer a more flexible and innovative way of doing Rotary, and Tim is bringing much of its objectives into his year as District Governor. Undoubtedly it won’t be something that everyone will embrace, but it will be interesting to see how the year develops.

Following Tim’s address there were a number of questions from club members. On behalf of the club, President Steve thanked the DG for taking time out of what must be a hectic schedule to come and speak to us.

blog Members

Meeting in the New Normal

Swanage Rotary held its first ‘virtual’ speaker meeting this week, since the start of the lockdown, and we were delighted to welcome District Governor Nominee Paul Steele from Guernsey Rotary to join our Zoom meeting and tell us all about his plans for the next couple of years.

One of the advantages of meeting online is that we can invite speakers from virtually anywhere, which would not be possible with a face-to-face meeting, so although Paul, like the rest of us, is not able to travel currently he was able to speak to the club directly as if we were all in the same room. In addition, members of Wareham Rotary were also able to join the meeting.

Paul is a very experienced Rotarian having joined in the early 1980s, and it certainly sounds like he will be bringing that wealth of experience to his time as the leader of District 1110. He put forward many interesting ideas about how he would like the District to move forward so that we can remain relevant to our local communities and encourage ever more people to join the Rotary movement. This will require significant change, however, if we are to attract younger members and it might be the the current crisis gives us all the opportunity to do just that.

A number of attendees asked questions and raised points in response to Paul’s address. On behalf of both clubs, President Steve thanked Paul for taking some time out to join our meeting.

Anyone who is interested in finding our more about Rotary in Swanage and Purbeck is welcome to join one of the Zoom meetings that we have planned in the coming weeks. Please contact for more details.

Events Members Students Around The World

A Conference to Inspire Success

Members of Swanage & Purbeck Rotary, together with over 650 members of the District 1110 clubs and their partners, converged on St Helier, Jersey for the Annual District 1110 Conference.

Only held on one of the Channel Islands every few years, the event is always a great opportunity to meet members of other clubs in the District, compare notes, socialise and enjoy great fellowship over a long weekend.

And what a weekend we had lined up for us – inspirational speakers, music, entertainment and even a 1940s-style dance, suitably themed and decorated.

Right from the start of the first plenary session on the Friday afternoon, when we were first addressed by the Bailiff of Jersey Sir William Bailhache and RIBI President Debbie Hodge, we heard fantastic presentations from Barnado’s, Tools for Self Reliance, Wessex Heartbeat and Purple Community Fund.

In the early evening there was a Vin d’Honneur hosted by the Constable of St Helier, followed by the Gala Dinner, uniquely held in three separate locations due to demand, providing an opportunity to network with other clubs and enjoy a large amount of ‘fellowship’!

On Saturday, the high quality of speakers continued – Lee Durrell from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, The Jersey Good Companions Club, the Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot and Rotary Jaipur Limb – interspersed with presentation on Social Media and Southampton Rotary’s Centenary. And ‘Word on the Street’ played a medley of jazz numbers to make sure that the venue was rocking as we approached the end of the session. Colonel John Blandford-Snell, in his own unique way, ended the session with an hilarious look back at some of the highlights of his expeditions around the world.

Saturday afternoon was devoted to the Peacejam Slam, where Jersey’s youth, joined by some of the Rotarians attending the event, aired their views on how peace can be achieved in the world. In the evening, however, the main hall was transformed into Liberation Day 1945, with the ‘Optimistic Voices’, ‘The Lindyhop Dancers’ and the ‘Plus Fours’ providing entertainment reminding us all of the day the island was liberated from Nazi occupation.

Sunday morning was arguably the highlight of Conference itself. 52 Lives and Holiday for Heroes Jersey provided some genuinely emotional presentations and Bournemouth Rotary recapping their own 100 years of service. But it was after the coffee break that we were really spoilt, with award-winning author Peter James, writer of numerous crime thrillers including the Inspector Roy Grace series of books, thoroughly entertaining the audience. And as if that wasn’t enough, the final speaker was Steve Brown, Paralympian and former Captain of the Team GB Wheelchair Rugby team at London 2012, who truly inspired us all to strive to achieve as much as we could whatever our circumstances.

Although the weather was pretty good for most of the weekend, Saturday’s windy conditions sadly put paid to the planned ‘Aerosparx’ night flying pyrotechnics display and Sunday’s rain forced the cancellation of the beach clean.

All those who attended this year’s Conference weekend will be returning to their clubs with renewed vigour and plenty of food for thought. Next year’s Conference will be held over the same weekend in 2019 at the Warner Leisure Hotel on Hayling Island – get your bookings in now!

The Swanage & Purbeck contingent (less Neil!)

blog Members

Meet the Governor!

We were delighted to welcome newly elected District Governor Allan Smith to our meeting this week. Allan lives in Jersey so he has a lot of travel to do to meet the majority of clubs in the District.

The DG highlighted the Rotary International theme for this year “Be the Inspiration” and how it can be adapted at a District and local level. His own target is to encourage clubs to increase community service  in their area and internationally and for all clubs to try and achieve two additional projects in the year.

Allan highlighted the importance of media, and how, if they will not help   we can make our own publicity in using local contacts as well as social media.  He also went into detail regarding the youth competitions that Rotary run and our club actively promotes and runs.

Above all, he urged all members to enjoy Rotary and Be Inspired.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Steve Parsons proposed a vote of thanks to the DG for coming over to see us.

blog Events Students Around The World

Young Musicians Steal The Show

Last weekend (18th February) saw the running of the District Young Musician Competition, held this year at Talbot Heath School.

Those present, including the Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset, were treated to an exceptional array of talent from both instrumental and vocal performers.

It’s hard to believe how young the performers are when the quality of performance is so high, and huge credit goes to them all for providing those present with such an excellent day.

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary were delighted to receive a letter of thanks from the Deputy Lieutenant for the way that they organised the event (huge thanks to Rotarian Linda Winter for taking it on) and we had another reason to be pleased as the winning performer, Sally, was the winner of our own club event held just a few weeks ago.

More from the event can be found on our Facebook page here.