An Evening of Surprises

It was cold – very cold! The temperature in the car registered 14C on arrival at Scott & Josie’s for the End of Year BBQ. Fortunately we had the shelter of a splendid marquee – except for Ed from Oakapple who stood in a covered outside area cooking sausage, burgers and chicken.

As hardier types from the northern reaches of Telford removed their top coats the evening’s meal was served. BBQ with salads and Walton Manor potatoes followed by an array of puddings to discourage any slimming programme.

And then there was the first surprise of the evening, It had been discovered that it was the birthday of two of those present – Judy Yates and President Elect Brian Richards. The crowd, whipped into a frenzy by Venn Davies, sang Happy Birthday as the pair cut a very special chocolate cake holding one pink and one blue musical candle.

President John then took to the stage to thank all Rotarians for supporting him and making his Year of Office so successful. Returning to the BBQ he thanked everyone involved in the organisation of the evening, Scott, Josie, Paul Rhodes, Chris Yates and Mike Osborn, presenting them with thank you gifts. John extended his thanks to Oakapple for the splendid spread that they gave us.

And then there was the second surprise. President John listed the achievements of a member of the Wellington Rotary who had served both the Club and the Community over many years. There were many puzzled faces – who could it be. It was only when the Area of Outstanding Beauty in the south of the county was mentioned that everyone realised that the President was talking about PP Alec Owen. President John went on to install Alec as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Of course everything goes in threes, and so President John announced the third surprise of the evening. He outlined the work done for the Club, the Community and the Wider World by an existing Paul Harris Fellow. It was not long before everyone realised that he meant Jim Tranter, our current Treasurer. A shocked and surprised Jim was presented with a Sapphire Paul Harris Pin – only the second one presented by the Rotary Club of Wellington since its charter in 1929.

It was still cold – very cold when we left. The temperature now registered a measly 13C but it felt much warmer thanks to an excellent evening of food, fellowship and celebration.

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