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The club and guests met for dinner at Linacre College.  The traditional meal was excellent as was the atmosphere of the new dining hall.
 After dinner we had a fascinating talk by local author Cara Hunter about her books and how she came to write crime novels. 
Afterwards she signed copies of her
latest book, 
Murder in the Family.

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2023-12-20 Rotary Christmas dinner3_edit

John was presented with honorary membership by our President to reflect his long and distinguished membership of 
the Rotary Club of Oxford North and the club he belonged to in London previously.


Our Rotary District held its 2022 conference in Oxford. It was very good with a big variety of events. 
On the Friday night, O
xford North helped organise a dinner theatre in the Exeter Hall. The first photograph shows our President Alec speaking to Rotarians at the start of this event.
On the Saturday there was a full programme of interesting talks including one by guest speaker, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, the key scientist in the development of the Oxford Astra Zeneca Covid vaccine.  After speaking, Dame Sarah was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of her contribution to the health and well-being of millions of people worldwide.
The Rotary Scholars were very much in evidence, helping with college tours, giving talks and manning their stand in the Rotary Village.
The second photograph shows them on the stage of the King's Centre, including our own Scholar Chian Yang at bottom left.


Oxford North hosted Stella Vieth from Kiel, Germany, while she studied at Oxford University for a MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care.  We congratulate Stella, who is training to be a doctor, on writing the best dissertation in her year.

On 16 July Stella formally graduated in the Sheldonian Theatre and is seen here holding her degree certificate.

Well done, Stella!


Members of Oxford North joined Flexicare in their annual concert by the Montagnana Trio in the splendid Oxford University Museum of Natural History.  What an amazing venue with the musicians playing just in front of a huge dinosaur skeleton.
There was an interestingly varied programme of music by women composers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and after wards refreshments were served in the upper gallery.
Flexicare is a local charity that Oxford North has supported over the years. It provides specialised babysitting services for families with a severely disabled child within the Oxford and Wantage areas.


At last we have all been able to meet in person!  And what an occasion it was for between 50 and 60 Oxford North members, partners and guests!  We all met for a Handover lunch on 21st July in a light and airy barn at Graham and Julia Shelton's farm in Northmoor. 
After an excellent lunch of local produce, Graham handed over the Presidency to Alec Henderson, as shown.  Alec then handed over the Vice-Presidency to Alan Godfrey.

James Bretherton was also awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Graham for his work to maintain our international links, especially those with our sister clubs of Lyon Nord, France, and Simmern, Germany.

A great time was had by everyone, and we felt that at last Club life was beginning to return to normal.

For more photographs see our Gallery.



Walk in Wytham Woods

The Walk was in Wytham Woods, by kind permission of Nigel Fisher, Conservator at the University of Oxford.

The White Hart in Wytham graciously allowed us to handle the registration of walkers under his large marquee.

Walkers followed either a 2 or a 6 mile route from there up to and around the woods, and back.


Eight stalwart Rotarians acted as marshals and 'back markers'.

Around 190 people registered, and sponsorship of around £12.5k was promised and every pound raised will be matched by the Frank and Evelyn Brake Connect Fund, so the impact will be doubled!

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Sobell House

Rotary Club supports local hospice


Over the last 12 months, the Rotary Club of North Oxford has been raising funds for their chosen charity Sobell House Hospice based in Oxford. During this time, they have been carrying out various fundraising activities, including a virtual walk to all the Oxfords in North America! On Thursday, members of the Rotary Club, including the current President, Graham Shelton (pictured left), visited the hospice to volunteer in the gardens and present a cheque for £15,000 to Sobell House Hospice Charity.  


Graham Shelton said, ‘Sobell House Hospice is a wonderful charity doing incredible work. We are delighted that the Rotary Club of Oxford North has achieved our ambitious fundraising target of £15,000 for them, especially during such a challenging year’. 


The total raised includes a £5,000 donation from local company Oxford PharmaGenesis Ltd who wanted to support the Rotary Club of North Oxford when they heard about their fundraising. Chris Winchester, CEO of Oxford PharmaGenesis Ltd, said, ‘When we heard what Graham and the Rotary Club were wanting to achieve, we knew we wanted to help. As a locally-based company, we feel it’s important to support local charities, especially such a worthwhile cause like Sobell House’. 


Diane Gardner, Chief Executive of Sobell House Hospice Charity, says, ‘We are so grateful to the Rotary Club of North Oxford and Oxford PharmaGenesis for their generosity and kindness. Our specialist care and support wouldn’t be possible without the support from our community.’   


Sobell House Hospice cares for people in Oxfordshire with life-limiting illnesses and supports their family and friends too. Based on the Churchill Hospital site in Headington, the hospice is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. 


Rotary Scholars

At our evening meeting we listened to two Rotary Scholars. Arthur Laudrain from Vannes in France told us about his DPhil research into cyber security. After breakout groups for fellowship, we listened to Rahel Warnatsch from Cologne in Germany. She is studying child development and education. Arthur and Rahel then answered lots of questions from Club members.

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Zooming across EU

We have now had joint meetings with our partner clubs in Simmern, Germany and Lyon Nord, France. The photo shows us last night with our friends from Lyon discussing past and potential future humanitarian projects. The photo shows us last night with our friends from Lyon discussing past and potential future humanitarian projects. Apologies that, with close to 60 participants, some are missing from this screenshot.

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Today the Club had its first meeting of the new year under the able leadership of our new President, Graham Shelton.  36 members used Zoom to listen to an informative talk about the writer G K Chesterton by Rev David Pickering, guest of Ron Barnes.


Handover meeting 

Handover meeting between incoming president Graham and Paul was held at Church Farm on Tuesday lunchtime. As we had to keep our social distancing, 2m or 1m, the handover was held outdoors using a long pole. Only a few members were present and the jewel should have slid down the pole ( and didn't! ).

However the champagne was enjoyed and we all got home safely!

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£5000 handover to Parkinson UK

We usually hand over cheques to our charities in person at our club meetings. However this year is exceptional and Martin Cowell has digitally passed over our cheque to Sally at Parkinson UK through the ether. It's magic!


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Our first Zoom AGM

Most of our members joined in our AGM, the first using Zoom.  President Paul chaired it as we went through all the reports and elected our Council for 2020-21.

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Economics and Development

Ben Brunckhurst, a Global Grant Scholar from Brisbane with a background in engineering and economics gave us an excellent talk about his passion: the development of Sub-Saharan Africa.  As a step towards his goal of helping African nations, he is studying for a MSc in the Department of International Development at Oxford University. What a great ambassador for Rotary International!


Burns Night

The Club celebrated the great Scottish poet Robbie Burns with a traditional supper in Cumnor Old School. 

A great time was had by all, with grateful thanks to the team who cooked, served and cleared up afterwards!


Oxfordshire Big Band Concert

Almost 200 people at Exeter Hall were thrilled by the music of the
Oxfordshire Youth Big Band, with many taking to the floor
dancing to the sounds of Glenn Miller classics and a wide range of music,
coming right up-to-date with the songs of the fabulous Amy Winehouse.
At the end of a wonderful evening, £1000 had been raised for each of  our two charities: a generous benefactor later increased this by 50%


'Youth Speaks' debate held at Wychwood School

'Youth Speaks' debate for Intermediate (11-14 yr old) and Senior (14-18 yr old). The picture shows the senior winners Wychwood School D who go through to the zone final on 13th February. The intermediate winners were Matthew Arnold School B who take on winners in other areas on 8th February. Congratulations to all who took part.

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