The clubhouse of the Paarl Bowling Club is where Paarl Rotary will start meeting face to face again, as the previous venue is currently unavailable due to construction work. For Rotary president Bryan Anderson it will be a welcome change after holding online meetings since the start of his presidency in July.
"I am struggling to comprehend that we are already three months into the new Rotary year!" says Bryan. "The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly created some room for creative thinking and the development of new ways of doing things. While Zoom has made virtual meetings a reality for us, and in many cases an experience that we didn’t think we would ever participate in, most of us are anxious to get back to the 'Old Normal'.
"Well, that is now a reality. An overwhelming 93% of our members voted to recommence with face-to-face meetings. I respect the choice and right of those who would prefer not to meet together and I will do everything possible to ensure that, for the foreseeable time ahead, we “stream” the meetings so that those can watch at home. For the rest we will recommence our meetings at our new venue – Paarl Bowling Clubhouse  – on 6 October 2020. The change of venue is due to the non-availability of the Boys High Clubhouse for the rest of the year. Thanks to Rotarian Hester for arranging for the new venue."
Please note that all attendees must wear masks which may only be removed when they sit down at the tables. Parking is available in Market Street or in Faure Street as there are gates on both sides of the bowling greens.
While we have not been meeting, the work of the club has not stopped. We have made substantial contributions to various beneficiaries including the following pre-approved schemes: Fountain of Hope feeding scheme, Heart feeding scheme, MCM feeding scheme, Butterfly House child care facility, Valcare, and Norsa.
The total support we have provided in the past two months was R35 000. Since March, we have donated a total of R87 500 to projects related to support during the Covid pandemic.
 
YOUTH CENTRE

After six months' closure, the POP Educare Centre in Nieuwedrif reopens this week to prepare the preschoolers for the new school year. Paarl Rotary will assist them with the costs of their feeding project and training.
 
FUNDRAISING PROJECTS
Aside from the club meetings, our fund-raising efforts have proved to be the most challenging for us these past months. I am particularly grateful to the members of the Auction and the Cycle Race committees for the initiative and solutions that they have found and continue to seek out further.
Cycle Race – A new venue has been identified after discussions with Huguenot Primary School. The school principal is happy to assist and provide the venue. Due to the change of venue and routes the race has also been given a new name – the Winelands Cycle Tour. The advantage of the new venue is that it is quite spacious and we will be able to provide for even more cyclists than the 1800 who attended the race at Fairview.
Wine Auction – A difficult decision was forced upon us to cancel the normal Wine and Good Taste Auction this year. The restrictions on the number of people allowed in one place, the ban on the transport of alcohol and the severe situation that wineries were placed in due to Covid restrictions, meant that an auction in the format that we have come to know and love could not be done in time.
The committee is however working on a number of alternatives and hopefully a new format auction will be possible to assist in raising the needed funds in support of our projects.
 
MEMBERSHIP
Despite the lack of social interaction, our membership has remained constant over the past three months. I would like to remind the members, particularly now that we can meet personally, to actively look around for new potential members.
 
CONCLUSION
The one aspect of the lockdown that I have particularly enjoyed has been the numerous webinars and Zoom conferences that I have been able to attend. These even included the District AND Rotary International conference.
Our district is particularly active in running webinars and workshops and in the main these are open to any Rotarian. Check out the district website on MyRotary for more information.
Lastly, a special word of thanks to every member for their patience and efforts during these past months. While all have not been mentioned – all are appreciated.
Fond Rotary Greetings
Bryan