News 2020

This page contains links to items of news which have been reported in 2020.

If you want news about specific topics from previous years, you can use the ‘Search’ facility via its button at the top and bottom of each page. For instance, to read about Novus’s ongoing support for Helipads for Hospitals by collecting aluminium cans, you could search for “Helipads” or “Aluminium”.

Or you can just scroll down the right hand side of this page until you find something of interest. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please e-mail us by clicking on the ‘Contact Us’ link at the top of any page on this site.

‘Railman’s holiday’ to raise awareness of syndrome

Phil Godfrey is, by any standard, a determined man. He told Novus Rotary Club that he was thwarted three times by bad weather and then injuries from walking from the Scilly Isles to the north of Scotland, speaking to Rotary Clubs along the way about the disease which killed his wife. That disease is APS, …

Rotary even closer to hitting 40-year target

The Rotary Club of Leicester Novus, like clubs around the world, are celebrating the news released today that the World Health Organization’s Africa region has officially been certified wild polio-free. When, 30 years ago, Rotarians pledged to rid the world of polio, there were 355,000 new cases in 125 countries across the world every year. …

Rotary: A Gift to the World, and A Gift to the Member

One of the benefits of continuing to meet weekly by Zoom is that the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus can attract inspirational speakers from further afield. President Sarita introduced Tom Griffin, President of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, whose home is near Ipswich. He started his 35-minute talk by saying: “Ask yourself ‘Why am …

Major milestone is now behind us. Ahead of us… more service

The first 45ft-long trailer full of aluminium — mainly in the form of discarded cans— has made its first journey to being transformed into a helipad at Leicester Royal Infirmary. The trailer has been returned — empty — to its base where 13 volunteers started loading it. To see the whole story, please follow this …

Sarita gets her gong!

The COVID-19 crisis has prevented Leicester Novus Rotary members from meeting face to face. So when Immediate Past President Maya Vansia and 2020-2021 President Sarita Shah met doing some Community Service, Maya seized the opportunity of hanging the chain of office around the neck of Sarita. Sarita has chaired all of the weekly Thursday evening …

My oh Mai! Top Rotary award for our girl

Not for nothing is Rotary properly called Rotary International. The organisation which was started by Chicago lawyer Paul Harris in 1905 now has more than a million members spread across every country or territory. Making connections — and giving service — across the world is one of the principal aims of Rotarians. Novus was delighted …

Past-president’s badge passed on…

COVID has prevented members of Leicester Novus Rotary from meeting face to face. Consequently, some of the usual rituals which take place at the end of each Rotary years have not happened. Normally, on or near July 1, the new president would have handed to the outgoing president a ‘past president’s medal’. New president Sarita …

Rajah joins Rotary quiz

‘Birdbrain’ used to be a term of abuse, but Channi Riyait’s African Grey Rajah could well have been the parrot that proves that old saying wrong. Rajah can speak very well and even recite sections of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. But Channi — even with the help of his daughter Tripat …

Partnering youth

Never heard of NCS? The initials represent the National Citizen’s Service. Novus Rotarians know much more after our meeting on Thursday, July 9, when Jim Davies and Nick Roberts spoke to the club. Jim, formerly from Market Harborough, is the liaison officer for Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland and has spent two years setting …

Maya’s last act is to sign off

Immediate Past President Maya Vansia was unable to present her chain of office to Sarita Shah, new president of the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus at the first meeting of the new Rotary year. But Maya surprised everyone by holding up a certificate which she promised — post-COVID — to present to member Jim Matthews. …

Rally thrills on the road and in the boardroom

A thrilling and fascinating insight into international motor rallying proved to be an entertaining hour for members and guests of Leicester Novus Rotary when District Governor Rodney Spokes was guest speaker. Rodney, husband of Novus secretary Pam, was on course to being an accountant but had a lucky break when a car ploughed into his …

Helping Leicester’s homeless

The remarkable story of the charity Help The Homeless Leicester was outlined to Novus Rotary by its founder Arif Voraji, also known as Jedsy. Speaking over Zoom to nine members, he explained that he started helping homeless men in his home town of Bolton, Lancs, by souring 20 pairs of jeans off eBay. Here in …

‘An ambitious programme driven by your passion and commitment’

At this time of the year Rotarians — all 1.2 million of them around the world — meet to discuss their plans for the new Rotary year which starts on July 1. Novus welcomed Assistant Governor Eddie Pearson, who will be on hand to help incoming president Sarita Shah and the other 15 members of …

Rotary has it covered

A dozen members of Leicester Novus Rotary members had a business meeting on the day that the UK government decreed that it would be mandatory for passengers on public transport to wear face coverings. One member mentioned that as co-ordinator of Thurcaston and Cropston Good Neighbours Scheme, he had received instructions of how to make …

Novus donates £2,663 to charities

With the end of the Rotary year approaching fast, members of Leicester Novus Rotary voted to give to charities very nearly £2,664. They decided to give nearly £1,200 to The Rotary Foundation, the organisation’s own charity, £300 to the Helipads For Hospitals charity (which will be matched pound for pound by a grant from the …

The Indestructible Alkemade’s four amazing escapes from death

Luke Alkemade is a volunteer with Thurcaston and Cropston Good Neighbours Scheme and — with his dad Nic — was guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus. Their subject was Luke’s grandfather, Nico, who had several brushes with death and survived to deserve the nickname The Indestructible Alkemade. The first happened on March …

‘Let’s ride this wave’

Holger Knaack, the incoming president of Rotary International, addressed nearly 650 Rotary members from across eastern central England. Because of the COVID Lockdown, he was not able to attend the District 1070 Assembly, as it is called, at Loughborough University, but instead spoke to members from his home near Hamburg. They were in their homes, …

Quizmasters

Which of these is NOT a Leicester legend? A Bill MaynardB Maggie PhilbinC David IckeD Su Pollard Immediate Past President Jason Chauhan organised the second of his fun quizzes for the Novus Rotary meeting on May 14. Even though eight members were meeting remotely, using Zoom, the tension was palpable as we had 10 seconds …

Business as usual: subscriptions unchanged

When Novus Rotary members held their May business meeting, they agreed to keep their annual subscriptions at current level, £160 per member. They also discussed what to do with hundreds of pounds raised for charitable purposes. As always, they broke off 30 minutes into their meeting so members could leave their screens to join neighbours …

Let’s get quizzical

Past President Jason Chauhan provided a 40-question general knowledge quiz for the sixth consecutive online meeting of the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus. The seven competitors had 20 seconds to answer the questions set by Jason; a format which fitted perfectly into the second of the two free 40 minutes provided by the Zoom meeting …

Flying visitor to online meeting

By holding its weekly meetings using Zoom, Leicester Novus Rotary hopes to attract visitors from far and wide. So far, four weeks into ‘Lockdown’ they haven’t done so…unless you count the meeting on April 16. For there appearing suddenly was Rajah, a magnificent African Grey Parrot. He had not come far, though… only from the …

Two speakers for the price of one… and two rounds of applause

Jessica Southworth, fundraiser for Clic Sargent, told the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus that the cancer charity for young people is facing a 60 per cent drop in income, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Jessica delivered her PowerPoint presentation online and talked about how the charity spends its money. She then introduced service …

Sarita steps up

Every year, on the first Thursday of April, members of the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus hold their Annual General Meeting One of the main items on the AGM agenda is to elect officers for the Rotary year beginning in July. Sarita Shah had already been elected and so the AGM so it was a …

Keep calm and Rotary on!

Even when COVID-19 rules mean Rotarians cannot meet face to face, Novus Rotary carries on, having fun and helping others. At their third consecutive online meeting members discussed two urgent requests for help caused by the virus crisis. The first was from the City Farm, Anstey Lane, which has not only lost visitors during the …

Countdown, not Coronavirus

Seven members participated in the second online meeting held during the COVID-19 crisis. Not only did the event give members the chance to further explore the software ‘Zoom’ and to get used to using it confidently,  but a small amount of business was conducted. But the main benefit was that the weekly member-to-member contact was …

V for virtual — not virus — meeting

When it became obvious that work, holidays and the threat of the Coronavirus was decimating the numbers set to attend the weekly meeting of Rotary Novus, the innovative club decided to hold an online meeting instead. And although only four members ‘attended’ there was a lot of banter and visual humour (“Is he really drinking …

Rotary rewards litter Wombles

Five members of the South Leicestershire Wombles were present at a public meeting hosted by Leicester Novus Rotary Club to hear a presentation by helicopter pilot John Nowell about why he set up the charity Helipads For Hospitals and then be surprised to receive an award from the club. President Maya Vansia referred to the …

Mai’s greetings from Japan

Novus Rotary members have fond memories of Mai Tsumura who spent more than a year at Leicester University to do research for her MPhil. Mai was sponsored by the group of Rotary clubs near the cities of Osaka and Kobe. Although there was no official link and Mai had no obligation to Novus, she attended many meetings …

Tracking the history of city’s trams

Hundreds of slides filled with still and moving images of Leicester’s tram system, from its days of horse-drawn omnibus and the firs horse-drawn tram of 1874 to the end of the line in 1949 were shown to Novus Rotary by Malcolm Riddle. Malcolm, a member of the Rotary Club of Blaby Meridian, was born in …

Thanks, Ady, Julia… and friends

South Leicestershire Litter Womble Julia Dennison let her friends know that she has been collecting cans for the charity Helipads For Hospitals, which is being supported by Leicester Novus Rotary. They rallied round and very soon Julia’s greenhouse in Glen Parva was full of bags of aluminium. She is asking her friends and members of …

Eglantyne’s sweet success grows into global life-saver

Save The Children is known globally as a charity which has saved the liuves of millions of children and improved the lives of millions more. How it grew into that from its start in the year 1919 was expertly explained to Novus Rotary by former teacher Josephine Burgess. She spoke about the founder Eglantyne Jebb …

What a difference the Wombles make!

The word is getting out… by recycling aluminium cans you can reduce litter and help Leicester Royal Infirmary get closer to having a much-needed helipad so Air Ambulance helicopters can land on the same site as the accident and emergency department. More and more people are responding to the appeals by the Rotary Club of …

Novus to host meeting to show how you CAN help air ambulance patients

In May 2019 former RAF helicopter pilot John Nowell spoke to the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus about the charity Helipads for Hospitals he had founded. The aim of the charity is to encourage people to donate empty aluminium cans which will be crushed and smelted into the raw material for helipads to built at …

Novus receives certificate and high praise

Leicester Novus is one of nearly 90 clubs in eastern central England with one member, the District Governor. as their leader and figurehead. One of the duties of the District Governor is to visit every club during her or his year of office. Another is to re-visit those clubs which have been awarded the Rotary …

Kishan gets club members to scale new heights

Loughborough University student Kishan Patel is getting set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in the summer. With a team of friends he will be scaling the 19,340 ft summit to raise money for the charity Hope For Children https://www.hope-for-children.org In fact, Kishan has already started. He has stood with his collecting bucket in London, …

In with the new, and out with the old!

The new decade started for Novus Rotary in much the same way that the old year went out… with Helipads For Hospitals founder John Nowell collecting thousands of aluminium cans donated through Novus Rotary. New readers start here… In May 2019 John came to explain to Novus (along with guests from the Inner Wheel Club …