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Phew! What a busy month!

Advent is a busy time for Rotarians, just as it is for other folk.

In addition to planning and enjoying parties, Rotarians are preoccupied in the weeks leading up to Christmas thinking about the coming Rotary year — which runs from July to June.

At its Special General Meeting early in December, Novus confirmed the appointment of Maya Vansia as President for the year 2019-202, and Sarita Shah as President for the year 2020-2021. Novus is very lucky to have been able to look even further ahead with Mark Esho accepting the nomination to be President in the year 2021-2022.

Club members count themselves lucky to have Pam Spokes, Frazer Robson, Deepak Karia and Sheema Karia continuing as secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer and assistant treasurer respectively.

The following week members went to The Stilton Cheese Inn at Somerby. For our visiting Japanese student Mai Tsumara, it was her first visit to a traditional country pub/restaurant. The Christmas meal, arranged by Di Thurston, was excellent, as was the company.

Channi Riyait kept the diners enthralled with his account of how Rajah, his African grey parrot, can count up to 30, recite from the Guru Granth Sahib, complain in Punjabi that he is hungry and even ask where Channi’s daughter is.

Mai Tsumura prepares to exchange banners with Vice-President Chris Saul

Mai Tsumura prepares to exchange banners with Vice-President Chris Saul

Mai Tsumura in antlers and giant Ho Ho Ho pants

Mai Tsumura in antlers and giant Ho Ho Ho pants

A few days later Mai visited the  Rotary Club of Leicester where she exchanged banners from her sponsors at the Rotary Club  of Nishinomiya-Ebisu with Leicester’s vice-president Chris Saul.

Mai was up early the following week to be one of many guests at the Rotary Club of Leicester De Montfort’s traditional Christmas breakfast. As always, Mai entered into the spirit enthusiastically, arriving wearing a red Santa hat. As the winner of the pass-the-parcel game, she ended up wearing reindeer antlers and a pair of enormous baggy pants marked HO HO HO and bearing the season’s greetings.

Later, Mai removed the pants but kept the antlers as she joined members of the Rotary Club of Oadby and the Inner Wheel Club of Oadby for their traditional four-mile walk through Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood back to the car park for mince pies, sausage rolls, Christmas cake and mulled wine and other seasonal fayre. Thanks to Mai, the walkers also sampled sushi with Wasabi paste.

She dashed back to Leicester University to take part in an online seminar to help her research into her post-doctoral studies into the life and work of the English artist, critic and philanthropist John Ruskin.

Philanthropy was the answer to the question “Our ethos” in an acrostic puzzle posed in a quiz held as Novus’s last meeting of 2018, when members tucked into some of Sarita’s super home-made samosas, pastries, mince pies, and Christmas cake.

Not all the questions were so high-minded.

Try this one, instead:

Who is Santa’s favourite singer?

Elf-is Presley!

President Jason Chauhan and all the members of Leicester Novus Rotary wish all readers, friends and supporters a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Peaceful New Year.