ROTARY members were treated to a wide range of speakers in October – from insights into the work to help former service personnel to conservation issues surrounding exotic animals.
Charlotte Walliker, chair of Gibraltar’s branch of the Armed Forces charity SSAFA, explained its role.
The charity exists to relieve need, suffering and distress amongst the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.
Ms Walliker explained how the local branch concentrates on local need in recognition of their service and members do their best to ensure that the needs of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families stationed here are met in an appropriate and timely way.
The Club will be taking a stall at the SSAFA Christmas Fair in the Lion Bar at Europa on December 1.
Another speaker was Jessica Leaper of the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park. They care for exotic animals confiscated by Gibraltar customs, unwanted exotic pets and animals such as the cotton-topped tamarin, on loan from international zoos, to raise awareness of important endangered species through conservation education.
An essential role of the park is the conservation of threatened species. They also partake in international conservation projects supporting species in the wild.
Another visitor with a fascinating story to tell was Edgar Triay of the Gibraltar Hearing Impairment and Tinnitus Association, accompanied by fellow committee member, Jackie Dalli. Edgar suffers from tinnitus, suffered at a rock concert.
He explained how this relatively new organisation has had much success identifying and assisting those with some form of hearing impairment by finding comfort in meeting fellow sufferers, lobbying Government for more resources and creating awareness in the community.
They have had significant success in a number of areas including, sign language training, getting inductive loops installed in public places, and ensuring deafness is recognised as a disability.
Apart from a Car Boot Sale at each end of October, the rest of the club month was relatively quiet. However, weekly meetings keep members actively involved. Membership of Rotary can be enjoyed in many ways.
There are members that attend regular weekly meetings or for talks that grab their particular interest. At the other end of the spectrum many members get really involved, throwing themselves into all the fund-raising efforts.
This is highlighted by an incident a few years ago when a speaker came to relate his experiences as a helicopter pilot. The topic had attracted the attendance of two members who rarely attended and it turned out both were pilots of light aircraft. A discussion followed on the benefits of each type of transport.
As always visitors are very welcome at the weekly meetings at the Rock Hotel on Tuesday evenings, 7.15 for a 7.30 start. For more information visit: www.facebook.com/rotaryclubofgibraltar or www.rotaryclubgibraltar.com or telephone Jennifer on 540 03095.