Sharing the Good Things

Sharing the Good Things

Having received my District Governor’s chain of office on the Sunday I wanted to share the occasion with my good friend and fellow Bradford West Rotarian, David Broadbent and his wife Sylvia, making this my first official visit.

David isn’t too well at the moment and they could not attend the Handover at the Cedar Court Hotel. I know he would have done so if he possibly could.

So, clutching my newly acquired DG chain of office, a menu card from the event on Sunday and a ‘get well soon’ card, it gave me great pleasure on Monday 3rd July to visit David and Sylvia.

Thank you both for your Kindness and Support. Get well soon David.

Robear, Leading by Example!

Robear, Leading by Example!
  • My preparation for the role of District Governor was shorter than most due to me taking over part way through the usual cycle leading up to handover.
    That said, the training, the endless reading, and preparatory meetings somehow don’t or cannot give you the insight into the moment when the calendar changes on the 1st July and you suddenly become the District Governor!
    It must be akin to taking your first parachute jump; you know you can do it, you have rehearsed it many times mentally but the moment comes when there is no going back and suddenly You are ‘on your way’!!
    The official handover at The Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford was my ‘on your way’ day.


A new chapter was about to start both in my life and and in Rotary. I would like to thank everyone who came to the event and I would like to thank my own club, the Rotary Club of Bradford West for organising it and hosting the event; I am very proud of you all.

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Having joined Rotary for the first time in 1986 at just 22 years of age, it was both unimaginable and incomprehensible that I could be Distrct Governor of a great Rotary Distrct like 1040 – Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

Even just a few short years ago I could not have believed that I would be in this position. It is a great honour and I am extremely proud, but there is a job to do. I believe the position of DG will provide a wonderful opportunity to lead the 103 Rotary Clubs as well as the Interact clubs, Rotaract  Clubs and not forgetting the Rotakids groups in Primary Schools.

I have a vision of the future that will enable Rotary to grow and develop in the coming years. This vision is consistent with my predecessors and I am confident that it will continue with my successors, who are already in the learning cycle and getting ready for their turn as the District Governor.

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“Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves.”
Paul Harris was clear in his vision for Rotary, it is an organisation of action, of service to and for other people. That is why people joined Rotary in the beginning, in the last century and why people will want to join in the future.

As the District Governor for the Rotary year 2017 – 2018, I intend to lead by example. I want to get involved, provide good humoured service and inspire new members to join this great organisation.


I have never run a marathon before but to attempt the Edinburgh Marathon on 28th May was a great opportunity to help Past District Governor Phil Poole to achieve one of the goals for his year; to raise funds for Polio eradication. At the time of writing the total raised, including the Gates Foundation contribution, is £26,109.50p, an unimaginable amount and far beyond what I could have hoped for. I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone who contributed to this magnificent total.

So what’s next I hear you ask? Watch this space!

On Top of the World

On Top of the World

It is a tradition at the RC of Bradford West for the incoming President to host a handover party at their home in the early part of their year.

This year we had two handovers to celebrate. Allison taking over as Club President and Robert taking over as District Governor of 1040 – Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. A new chapter in both their lives.

For Robert and his wife, Jo, it was also the end of a chapter, having all but completed work on the redevelopment of their house after almost 7 years hard labour! So they invited all the club members to a joint celebration in their beautiful home.

At almost 1000 feet above sea level, with a magnificent view across Bradford and beyond, ever changing with the weather conditions we really did feel to be          “on top of the world”.

Let’s hope that feeling continues throughout the Rotary year ahead!

Let the #stepbystep challenge begin!

everobearIn 1986, when I was only 22 years old, The Rotary Polio Campaign was launched. This was the year I joined The Rotary Club of Bradford West.

It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

You may know that we are at the most critical stage or eradicating polio. After being so close to the finish line, some might feel we are taking a step backwards.

I don’t believe that Rotarians around the world will allow this to happen so now is the time to push on harder than ever before. We MUST move forward toward polio eradication. And it’s easy to help!

On Sunday 28th May 2017, I will be running the Edinburgh Marathon. The marathon will be a big challenge for me as a non-runner, but there is a bigger challenge that needs your help & support.

It will take approximately 50,000 steps to get me to the finish line. The Challenge is to make every single step count.

A step costs £1 to buy and I have 50,000 to sell. Each step will bring polio eradication (and me) closer to the finish line! Did you know that for a very limited period only £1 = £3?

Every £1 raised will attract a £2 contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, effectively tripling the amount raised for Polio. 2017 will be the last year the Gates Foundation will provide this fundraising opportunity so it vitally important to attempt this Marathon in the particular year.

You can stay updated with progress via social media @paws4polio or visit the website for sponsorship forms and further information at


Rotary Peace Fellows 2016


On Saturday 29th October 2016 I accepted an invitation to visit the Great Hall at Bradford University to meet and listen to the Rotary Peace Fellows.

To be honest I don’t know where to start, I could write a 1000 words on each of the scholars and still not do justice to their presentations!  Unfortunately two of them could not be there in person, one through illness and the other, Yuko Maeno who only gave birth to a baby one month ago, could only join us from Japan via Skype with her ‘babe in arms’; a surprising and wonderful moment for her peace scholar friends in the hall.

These individuals are such remarkable people and I am in awe of their achievements.  Their optimism and commitment to the oppressed, displaced and ‘the forgotten’ is remarkable.

I was humbled as the District Governor Elect and as a human being.  As a Rotarian I was enlightened and reinvigorated.  I could not help but wonder in admiration at the foresight of our Rotary forefathers.

Rtn Brian Stoyel reminded us in his address that at the 1917 Atlanta Convention, Rtn Arch Klump, the visionary who instigated Rotary Foundation, suggested an endowment fund

“for the purpose of doing good in the world”

There can be no greater tribute to Rtn Arch Klump and his legacy :-

The Rotary Peace Fellows, Class XIV
University of Bradford.


Past District Governor Hazel Haas MBE

Handover 3.7.16

Well done Hazel

During my short tenure as District Governor Nominee I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from DG Hazel and she has been a great support to me.  Hazel has been a great credit to Rotary in general and especially District 1040 and a great support to me.

On top of the work normally expected of a District Governor with 79 clubs throughout the Yorkshire area, she has overseen District 1040 enlargement to 103 clubs to start on 1st July 2016. Then there were ‘the floods’ which so badly affected large areas of Yorkshire. I know that Hazel has been full of praise for every Rotary Club in the District and beyond, for their considerable efforts in this regard.  Perhaps now is the opportunity to thank Hazel for her tremendous organisational skills in making sure that District 1040 was as effective and efficient as possible.

There will be many more women District Governors in District 1040, but there will only be one ‘first’ lady.

Last, but not least, congratulations Hazel on being awarded an MBE in your year of office.

District 1040 Handover

Friday 1st July 2016 is the first day of the new Rotary New Year and I became ‘District Governor Elect’ for District 1040. Turning the calendar from June to July seemed like a simple enough thing to do but for some reason a twinge of apprehension swept through me!

DG Phil Poole taking over from (now) PDG Hazel

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Caption competition –
1. What is PDG Hazel Haas thinking?
2. What is newly installed DG Phil Poole thinking?
3. Answer to question 3 – “No worries, still another 12 months to go!!”

On Sunday 3rd July the informal formalities of District Handover took place at The Bridge Hotel and Spa in Wetherby ( DG Hazel handed the chain of office to incoming District Governor Phil Poole, I became DG Elect and Nigel Arthurs was installed as District Governor Nominee.

DG Elect C of ODistrict Governor Elect Chain