We enjoy a warm relationship with two clubs in Europe known as our Contact Clubs:
Each year we all get together with one of the clubs hosting the event. It is an opportunity to learn about the local environment for each club and to understand the issues and projects undertaken by them. Very often one of the clubs will organise an additional event for a particular local celebration. These have included the Floriade in the Netherlands and the celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall in Leipzig in Germany.
This year (2015) we hosted our Contact Clubs with a leisurely day in Cambridge. The weekend started on Friday evening when we joined the visitors for dinner at the Ibis Hotel in Euston.
On Saturday morning a coach picked the visitors up at the Ibis to take them to Cambridge, stopping to pick up the Mill Hill members on the way.
Over coffee in one of the university buildings, we split into three groups and were given a conducted tour around the city with a particular tour of Pembroke College where Harry, our organiser attended.
We returned to the university building for a buffet lunch and then four 12 seat punts were chartered to take us up the Cam past the “Backs”. The river was pretty busy with punts ramming each other quite regularly. Not surprisingly we were able to witness one of the pole people falling in to the cheers of all the other punts.
Some visitors chose to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum or go shopping but eventually we all returned to the university building for tea and biscuits. We then boarded the coach for the trip back to Hendon Golf Club where dinner was provided. After much social interacting we returned to our respective venues. In all, about 60 people took part in this from the three countries.
The benefit we get from these events is a good international understanding of cultures, points of view and ways of living as acquaintances develop into friends. This, then, is what adds value to role of Rotary.
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