Meeting Information
The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock
Grays Thurrock

Largest Rotary Club in Thurrock (est 1930)

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 1:00 PM
Orsett Hall Hotel
Prince Charles Avenue
Orsett, Essex RM16 3HS
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Last Wednesday 6 Rotarians, led by Bob Patterson, from the club took 67 children plus their helpers and teachers down to Adventure Island for the annual 'Kids Out' day out. All of the children behaved exceptionally well and had a good time, with some of them going on rides you wouldn't see us going a million miles near (see below). A huge thank you to Angela Mitchell at Tesco's who provided £50 of crisps and drinks for the children and fellow Rotarian Pam from Southend who provided the transport so generously again.
The new Presidential year started with a handover of the office from our Past President, John B Smith to Rotarian Andrew Roast. Andrew, who has many years experience including holding the office of President at a past club, noted the strong and steady state of the club and thanked John for his stewardship of the club. Here our new President hands John his 'Past Presidents' jewel which is worn on official occasions and recognises the effort and time devoted by the Past President during his term of office. The official handover was noted in the club records by our Assistant Secretary, Rotarian Sid Vohra.
On Friday 14th Rotarians with their partners gathered at the Stratford Manor Hotel in Stratford upon Avon for this years 'Presidents Weekend', brilliantly organised and executed by Rotarian Iain Ramsay (aka Falstaff). Friday evening in the bar set the tone for the weekend with large amounts of Sack (or was it gin, whiskey, wine and beer) consumed. The hotel also provided those with an energetic bent a decent pool and spa area as well as super friendly and efficient staff to make our stay comfortable and fun.
On Saturday after a hearty breakfast we went into Stratford town by coach for a wander amongst the many Ye-Olde shops, bars and coffee houses before we had to be at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to take our seats for the modern slant on 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'. On taking our seats one instinctively knew we were in for a real treat and a modern interpretation of the Bard's play (not many Sky Satellite dishes and Morrisons trolleys in Tudor England!) and we were not disappointed. The play, split into two halves with a decent and quick bar in between held us all in rapture, with one or two of our party seriously in danger of rupturing something as they laughed so hard, the whole play was a magnificent treat for us all.
Following the play, another hour to wander amongst the swans, boats and hordes of tourists to get an ice cream or a cold beer as the sun made a guest appearance for that hour before returning to heavy grey skies and rain to match the national mood, we then once again boarded our coach to return to our Manor. 
The evening dinner and speeches were great fun and included a Presidential quick fire quiz (Bard or B'stard) hosted by our very own Falstaff to great acclaim, which our President crashed and burned with 2 out of 5 questions right, but to be fair to him the questions were a little demanding of his attention to the details of the set and didn't include any complex mathematics! Our Presidential address was short but pithy and well received leaving the evenings merriment to continue with an impromptu jamming session with our own dear Court Jesters who sang beautifully and played guitar to rapturous applause with enthusiastic  audience participation (Adrian you know what you did). Whilst tired and cautious folk retired to bed around midnight, some braves souls continued to the wee early hours in great Rotarian tradition.
Overall a fabulous end to President Johns reign as we all shared this excellent weekend with him and Bev, which wouldn't have been possible without the care and flair that Rotarian Iain Ramsay put into its organisation and execution. "Setting the attractions of my good parts aside, I have no other charms", true but organising a good bash is clearly one of them!
At 9:15 pm representatives of the Royal British Legion lit a Beacon on the sea wall just by Grays Yacht Club after a short service of remembrance 
At our Thursday meeting in the Gold Room of The Orsett Hall, Mark Jones (centre) was inducted by our President John Smith and his sponsor Rotarian Nicholas Wilkinson, as a new member - Welcome Mark

“On 6 June we remember those who gave their lives in the summer of 1944 in the cause of freedom.”

6 June 2024 – Beacon Lighting at Grays

Events will be led by Grays Riverside Big Local. Beacon lighting will take place at 9:15pm by the River Thames next to the car park in Thames Road, Grays. Before the lighting, a fish and chip dinner for local veterans and dignitaries will be held at the nearby Lightship Café.

A recent survey found that over half of young people today had little knowledge of the immense importance of D-Day so thanks to the British Council a downloadable pdf document aimed at educating children can be found at the British Council website



Rotarians Steve Mahoney, Nick Heath, Derek Swan and Peter Brainwood triumphed in Crazy Golf, playing fellow Rotarians from Danbury and Villages Club, a few hours of good fun and fellowship, cementing friendships between the two clubs.
Three ladies from GOSH accept our donation from the funds raised during our Christmas 2023 Santa Sleigh rides through Thurrock. Thanks to the generosity of Thurrock residents we have so far raised and donated £41,545.18 to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
Congratulations to the winners and participants of the Young Photographer Competition and the winner of the Young Artist Competition.
From left to right - Rotarian Derek Swan, Shasticaa Subramanian, Myra Ali , Saiyeda Raza, Krishat Patel, Rotarian Nick Wilkinson.
Please see our Facebook page for the first reel but here are a few shots from our Mystery Trip organised as ever by Rotarian Alan Peaford, a huge THANK YOU to him. 21 of us left Thurrock by minibus and headed to Gatwick with only our passports a few quid and enough clothes for two nights but no idea where we were going! Some clues given by Alan eventually led us to either Malta, Switzerland or well anyway is was the great island of Malta.
Our hotel was excellent if a little noisy as it was in the heart of all the nightlife action which finished around 4am although a few of our merry band were still drinking so didn't notice. Naturally with such a large group and the trouble you can have trying to get restaurants that hadn't been booked to take us all, we split into a few groups and did our own thing. The first night started with a few sherbets in the Irish bar and some pretty decent food and as the night wore on some decided to run the gauntlet of a the night clubs vying for our business and returned to the hotel, while certain others partied on to the wee small hours.
The next day we took an open top bus round the island which orientated us to the island and then we had a few hours before the booked evening meal. 7 of us returned to a wine bar on the harbour front at St Julian's and discovered nearly 100 gins to try, we gave it a good go!
The following day feeling a bit jaded, some of our number walked to Valetta while others went to Mdina which was spectacular, particularly when we found some stocks to put misbehaving members in.
Our return to Blighty was smooth and without incident, a great two days with excellent company, great food and a few sherbets all very reasonably priced which was an added bonus.
Did you wonder what the result was of all that hard digging and planting last year, all the bulbs we planted at the Thurrock Rugby Club are in beautiful bloom. 
Congratulations to our Young Photographer winners
Saiyeda Raza         age 7             WoodsideAcademy          0-10 category
Elyse Hubbard       age 11             William Edwards            11-13 category
Olivia Phillip          age17              Hathaway Academy         14-17 category  
On Tuesday 12th March the club hosted the 2024 Technology Tournament at the Cruise Terminal in Tilbury.
Participating this year was Gable Hall, Thames Park Secondary, The Hathaway Academy and St Clere's School, plus a combined teachers team who produced a masterpiece of crafting. The students whose ages ranged from 12 and a half to 15 had to design, build and test a Flashing Beacon using either an electrical circuit with LED's or bulbs. The levels of ingenuity were a delight to see as a number of designs were imagined, built and presented with one of the teams from Gable Hall winning overall. The team won a trophy, presented by Steven Quigley, to take back to their school and each student was awarded an Amazon voucher for £25.
However next year we may have to add a runner-up category as it was a close run thing and given the effort, imagination and application from the teams its a pity we couldn't have more than one winner. The students were a delight to meet, all were polite, friendly and took the competition seriously as well as having fun. They were all a credit to themselves, their teachers and their schools.
We were also very fortunate to have the Tilbury Radio Club demonstrating their radio equipment and giving the students a quick lesson in Morse Code, more of this in future bulletins.
More pictures of the tournament will be released along with a video as the final edits have been completed by Jay Willoughby from the South Essex College who was our cameraman and videographer for the day, our heartfelt thanks to him for this. Also from The South Essex College was Simon Parker and James (who was one of our judges) along with Rotarians and partners Clive Page & Fiona East, Nicholas Wilkinson, Corrin Whymark, Nick Heath (who PAT tested our equipment) John Collier. Abdul Quddoos, Pam Worrall (our senior Judge) John Smith (our President) Sheena Allsopp from the Cruise Terminal, myself and my wife Lesley Quigley. Without the tireless efforts of all involved including the teachers who not only brought the students to the venue, also entered the competition with gusto, this event would never have happened, so huge THANK YOU to all of them.
At our luncheon meeting of the 7th March we presented representatives of our Christmas Charities with a cheque for £2,625 each being a full distribution of the £10,500 we raised from the Christmas Santa sleigh rides and collections at Tesco's Lakeside, Morrisons Corringham and ASDA Tilbury. The representative from Great Ormond Street was not present so we will send them their cheque.
Peggy Davis - Bernardo's
Aaron Lane - Little Havens Children's Hospice
John Brewer and Anthony Hatton - Treetops School
Senior Category Winners
Isabel Aros-Solomon from William Edwards School
“My artwork portrays an idea of destruction but there is rebuilding in progress. There is a strong bond explaining that you can still fix yourself, even when half broken, by rebuilding. This process of rebuilding does not have to be pretty and that is exactly how my artwork relates to the theme”.
Highly Commended
Rachida Rai  from the Hathaway Academy
“BAM! In the middle of the universe. In the middle of nowhere. Things still keep going on. Even with a peak into another realm, life goes on. Bricks are laid, columns are built to be used and destroyed later. Life goes on so build it again”.
Highly Commended
Nifemi Alawiye from the Hathaway Academy
“ADHD best describes who I am, how my brain ‘operates’. Each time I feel like my day goes bad, my brain ‘rebuilds’.
I need to do better tomorrow”
Intermediate Category Winners
Aaron Tregunno from Treetops School
“In future people might be rebuilt as robots”
Very Highly Commended
Owen Taylor from Treetops School
“All of the questions I had before starting at Treetops School seem less important as I rebuild my confidence”
Highly Commended
Jehlani Francis from Treetops School
“This is the theme of life and death. Something comes to an end and new life continues to be rebuilt in the future”
Shae O’Hanlon from William Edwards School.
“Flowers rebuild and grow new leaves every year”.
Junior Category Winners
Myra Ali from Woodside Academy
“A vandalised park being rebuilt”
Very Highly Commended
Evie Newberry from Stifford Clays Junior School
“Rebuilding Womens football since the FA ban in 1921”.
Highly Commended
Honey Waro from Stifford Clays Junior School
“The effects rebuilding can have on people and their surroundings”.
The subject that the entrants had to write upon was “Rebuilding”. The competition was fierce, and of all the entries were of a high standard. The majority of the entries received were submitted via a school, but we did receive two private entries who were encouraged to enter by Woodside Academy staff. 
We are pleased to announce that the winner of the Junior, (10 years old and under category) was from Woodside Academy called Myra Ali who the judge considered that her work to be well written and consistent in the power of her argument. The winner of the Intermediate (11 to 13 years old category) was a student from Hathaway Academy called Nifemi Alawiye who the judge considered her prose entry to be excellent and that if fully met the criteria.
Congratulations to both the winners, who will receive their prizes at our prize presentations in due course and will be representing Thurrock at the next stage of the national competition.
Welcome to our latest new member Abdul Quddoos.
Pictured below is our President John Smith inducting Abdul into the club together with Abdul's sponsor Rotarian Adrian Alsop
Many congratulations to the winners of the Thurrock Rotary Young Musician 2023 Competition.  Details of the 2024 competition will be posted on this website in July/September 2024.
Advanced Class:  Melda Kondoz – Violin  &  Ismael DoSoo – Vocalist.  The very best of luck to Melda and Ismael when they represent Thurrock in the Rotary District 1240 Young Musician Competition in Brentwood Cathedral on Saturday 2nd March.
Intermediate Class:  Mollie Quincy – Vocalist  &  Ismael Dosoo - Cello.
Beginner Class:  Robin Turner – Saxophone  & Lura Mihaj – Vocalist.
The following fantastic Youth Events are coming up but please don't delay in sending us your entry as the closing date is the 8th February 2024! -  Go to our Youth Section to download the information packs and entry forms
The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock on behalf of Father Christmas will be running 10 routes in our local area this December collecting for our Christmas charities. Last year despite tough times for us all, we collected a record amount of donations which was distributed to the named charities, this speaks volumes about our community and its generosity. The routes and approximate times are listed below as are the route maps and as before we have the SANTA SLEIGH TRACKER which can be loaded on your mobile using this QR code or browsing directly to!graysrotary
Our sleigh routes are as follows:-
Monday 11th December 6pm - Stifford Clays
Tuesday 12th December 6pm - Tilbury
Wednesday 13th December 6pm - Rectory Road North
Thursday 14th December 6pm - Chadwell St Mary 
Friday 15th December 6pm - Grays
Saturday 16th December 5pm - Woodside
Sunday 17th December 5pm - Blackshots
Monday 18th December 6pm - Stanford-le-Hope
Tuesday 19th December 6pm - Rectory Road South
Wednesday 20th December 6pm - Orsett
As usual we will be providing collecting tins for all donations but in addition you can use the following QR code to our Just Giving site - Grays Thurrock Rotary Club Trust Fund

A pair of young musicians from Thurrock have each scooped an award at the Rotary Young Musician of the Year 2023 event.

Melda Kondoz, 16 from Aveley, won the “Solo Instrumental of the year” while Ismael Dosoo, 12 from East Tilbury picked up the “Solo Vocal of the year” prize. 

The talented youngsters came out top in a highly competitive field of musicians aged 17 and under and will now go on to showcase their musicianship in Brentwood Cathedral at the Rotary 1240 District finals where they will compete against young musicians from across Essex.

We want to say a big congratulations to Ismael and Melda and wish them the best of luck for the next round of this national competition. 

Visit Thurrock Music Services at  if you would like to learn more about the ways you can learn or hire an instrument in Thurrock. Also, visit Grays Thurrock Rotary Club, Youth Section at to learn more about other youth events open to young people living in Thurrock.
On the 7th December, John Collier was inducted as a new member of the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock having attended 3 meetings and a formal orientation meeting. Pictured below is John being welcomed by his sponsor, our current President, John B Smith.
Welcome John
This year the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock will be holding their annual Mathletics Competition for Thurrock Primary Schools on Wednesday 6th March 2024. The aim of this fun event is to celebrate and encourage students to achieve their very best in mathematics. This successful and looked forward to event, is sponsored by the club and organised in partnership with The Gateway Academy Tilbury, it will be held during the morning at The Gateway Academy, Marshfoot Road, Tilbury RM16 4LU
Every primary school across the Borough of Thurrock is invited to enter a team of their most able mathematicians. Many of these schools hold their own in-house competitions prior to the event to make sure that their most able pupils are selected. Each team of four pupils have to work in an organised way to make sure that they answer all of the challenging questions in an allocated time. The winning school receives a trophy and the students in the top three teams each receive their own personal trophy.
A senior schoolteacher at the event said “Thanks to Rotary for organising this. It’s a great way to raise the profile of maths across the borough and also a great way to champion our most able pupils. It’s fun and challenging for them and its success can be seen in the pupils’ enthusiasm, application and smiles as well as by the number of schools that take part each year”.
Lastly, an invitation is sent to every primary school in Thurrock at the beginning of the Spring Term. 
[Contact if you need further information.]
This years Young Chef competition held on Thursday 30th November at "Waves" South Essex College was yet again another hugely successful event, with very talented entrants. This years winner and runner up both came from the Hassenbrook Academy:-
Winner -           Pippa Hammond
Runner Up -     Archie Harper
Our lead Rotarian, Corin Whymark is seen here guiding events and our President John B Smith congratulates the winners, together with some pictures of the children taking part, thoroughly enjoying themselves at the excellent facilities of the South Essex College under the expert oversight of Chef Steve.
The Orsett Hall (our regular weekly home from home) held its Christmas shopping extravaganza and as usual the Rotary Santa made an appearance for charity. Well done to all our collectors and other Elves who collectively raised £235 which was considerably up from last year. Thank you to all who gave so generously.
Technology Tournaments are a well-established and successful competition promoted by Rotary International in Britain and Ireland (RGBI).  This Tournament is organised by the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock supported by the London Cruise Terminal at the Port of Tilbury and the South Essex College (SEC).
Each team of four participants is required to design, develop, build and then test a previously set technology task.
Date:           Tuesday 12th March 2024
Venue:        The London Cruise Terminal, Fort Road, Tilbury, RM18 7NG (use postcode for SatNav).
Time:         Competitors are asked to arrive and register at 12.00. The Tournament will start promptly at     12.30pm and the anticipated finish time is 4.30pm.  
This competition aims to encourage young people to:
  • put their STEM skills to the test.
  • show they can work within a team and communicate with each other to achieve a common goal.
  • be creative and constructive but showing their command of time management skills. 
Please head to our Youth Section to download the FULL DETAILS & ENTRY FORM
The video below was created by Mark Bradley for the 2018 tournament run by Rotary Clubs in Leeds but gives you a good idea of what to expect
Our President John B Smith laid a wreath at the Grays War Memorial at this years Act of Remembrance. The service led as usual by the Revd Canon Darren Barlow was well attended despite the damp weather where the pipes of the Sutherlands and the brass instruments of the Grays Town Band did much to add to the atmosphere.
On the 9th October The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock was 93 years old and is never looking more healthy! 
On the 10th September 1930, Rotary International issued the Club Charter which was presented to the club in the Queens Hotel, Grays on the 9th October 1930 with over 100 people present at this inauguration. The Presidents Bell was presented by the Southend-on-Sea Club which is our Mother Club. The inaugural meeting of the club which had 15 members by now, included the Headmaster of Palmers College, Roland Hall Accountants, Frank West and W E Walsham (unable to attend at the time) and E V Saxton all notable professionals and business owners from the local area. Today we are over 38 members with Mr John Walsham our current Father of the Club providing continuity (and an enduring link with our origins) over the generations. 
Our first home was the Queens Hotel and regular lunchtime meetings began with a four course lunch costing 2 shillings, today we meet for lunch at the Orsett Hall (except on the 2nd Thursday of the month where we have an evening meeting, see "Why Not Join Us" section of the website for more details) and it costs £20 for a two course meal! In the early days Rotary allowed only one member per business classification and initially all members were active business men, but today everyone who wants to contribute to society and in particular, people in need, whether in the UK or abroad are welcome to apply for membership, providing they can commit to giving time, their passion and expertise.
In the 1930's the club raised funds by a "whip-round" at Christmas and a Christmas party for "Crippled Children" as there were many such children following an outbreak of Polio in the late 1920's. Today we raise substantial sums through various initiatives and give to international appeals such as relief for natural disasters and unfortunately war relief. On the 24th October it was WORLD POLIO DAY and Rotary can be justly proud with its leadership and efforts which have all but eradicated Polio from the world (except for Afghanistan and Pakistan).
In the 1960's we started a Tripartite relationship with a club in Germany and Holland with the first joint meeting held in Grays on the 14th May 1960, each year we take turns in hosting the other clubs and it was Grays's turn this year with a truly amazing event in Greenwich and Orsett (see earlier posts). 
In the 1980's the club sponsored the formation of the Rotary Club of Mardyke Valley with it boundaries the same as the Grays Thurrock Club but they tended to concentrate on the western half of our area. Our involvement in the District and National parts of Rotary remained strong and in 1988 Geoff Player became our second District Governor.
In the early 2000's our involvement with "Kids Out" started and is just as strong today (see earlier posts for our recent trip to the Southend Sea Life Centre) and in 2008 we started our annual "Mystery Trip" for members where you just turn up with a few well packed clothes, a few quid in your pocket and your passport for a great few days away.
The 2020's were a challenge, particularly the pandemic as we were affected as everybody was and life changed. We continued meetings but by Zoom, so technology came to our aid and the tenure of our President at the time, Adrian Alsop, was extended to 18 months from the normal 12 months. 
Today with our new President John B Smith we are 38 active members and actively looking to grow and are particularly keen to attract Ladies into our club.
On the 12th October 2023, Graham Pinkerton made a welcome return to club membership (he was formally a former full member) as an Associate Member so he can combine his work commitments with club activities. Associate members don't have the same commitments as full members but play an important part in the club affairs while enjoying the fellowship of club members and club activities. Graham continues the Walsham family involvement with the club as his father-in-law is the current Father of the Club and Mr W.E. Walsham was one of the founder members of the club. Below our President Mr John Smith welcomes Graham at his induction.
The Magnificent Seven - well Seven Rotarians anyway
The weather for the day was perfect and two full coach loads of children with their individual carers all from the Treetops School in Thurrock, together with seven of our club Rotarians, were collected in the morning from the school and whisked away to the Southend Sea Life Centre.  There the children took great delight in seeing in the aquariums everything from sharks to lobsters and all manner of fish plus monkeys and Meercats. Meanwhile in a forest setting life-size models of pre-historic dinosaurs were found and then finally a colony of Penguins.  
After lunch at the Sea Life Centre, everyone walked along the Esplanade beside the sea to Adventure Indoors and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon on funfair rides and amusements. We would like to thank the Sea Life Centre and Adventure Indoors for their tremendous generosity in providing the children, and carers (plus of course ourselves) with free access to both venues and a place to have our lunch, its so appreciated and the trip could not have happened without their support. Profound thanks also goes to KB Coaches who heavily discounted the cost of providing two coaches to ferry us all from Treetops School to Southend and back in such comfort and safety.
Thanks to Pam Watson Jones the Rotary area coordinator for Kids Out, Steve Payne who organised the day from our end and club members, Bob Paterson, Adrian Alsop, Chris Churchyard, Peter Hoche, Steve Quigley and Clive Page. Note the photo of Rotarians on the Esplanade enjoying a donut – enough said!
The coach trip home was quieter than the one out and all the children will no doubt have slept soundly the night after their day at the seaside. 
Next Year we hope to return to the more usual time of year for this event. 
26 teams of 4 teed off on a shotgun start at Orsett Golf Club for the Grays Thurrock Rotary Charity Golf Day on 22nd August under sun and a brilliant blue sky.
With some useful golfers entered, including last year’s winning team, there was an intensive day of competition, seconds before the off, a Spitfire flew low over the course which was a fantastic sight and then the gun was fired soon after at 2.00pm. Teams came off the course at about 6.30pm, happy but tired after 18 holes and a very competitive Putting Competition. At the end of a long hot day competitors relaxed in the club bar regaling stories of the day followed by a lovely meal in the club dining room and a well-supported raffle, auction and prize giving.  
The overall winner was Trevor Heaps who received the Griffin Residential & Rotary perpetual Trophy, a winner’s trophy, Champagne, a £50 golfing voucher and free entry to next year’s competition.   The Runner Up was Gary Bennett who also received Champagne and a golf voucher.   The winning team was Gary Bennett (Captain), J Howard, Danny Gallagher and D Bennett who received a sheave of balls and wine.   The winning Lady by one point, was Sue Lister and Dave Oakley managed to win a hotly contested Putting Competition by sinking three out of his four balls.  Nearest the pin on the 3rd, was won by Dave Lister and nearest the pin in 2 on the 6th, was won by Scott Ourton.  There was also a Beat the Pro session which everyone enjoyed, save for perhaps the pro who had to play the same hole 26 times. Having said that those organising the Putting Competition had to watch the same put over 400 times, but all good fun.   The raffle was well supported by everyone and had some great prizes, including a TV, a Hamper, a handbag, lots of spirits and vouchers for golf and restaurants from our sponsors.
It was a good club team effort but particular thanks go to event organiser Ray Smallcombe, scorer John Smith, Dave Wheatley on programme and admin, Ivan North on entry coordination, Clive Page and Adrian Alsop running the Putting Competition, Dave Hamilton on photography, Kevin Watkins on the raffle and Steve Quigley as score runner.  Our principle sponsor Griffins Residential and indeed all our other sponsors, were generous in their support of the event and in all we managed to raise over [£5,000] which will go towards or Clubs charities.  Club Past President Clive Page presented the trophies and thanked in particular all the sponsors for their continued support.
Next year’s competition will also be at Orsett Golf Club and is already in the diary for 20th August 2024, so if you are interested in entering a team have a look at the club website end of May next year for entry details. You need to be quick because nearly all the teams this year said they would want to come next year.  
The second charity golf day held at The Orsett Golf Club by the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock on Tuesday 22nd August 2023, was a huge success, with over 100 golfers enjoying beautiful weather on one of the finest courses in the country. The club was first conceived in 1899 by local dignitaries, business men, officers from the Indian Military and landowners, changing and expanding over the century to become as John A Smith the Centenary Captain said " The development of the club over the years has resulted in a Championship golf course and one of the finest in the County", the club also played host to an airfield during WW1.
The success of the day was in no small part due to the tireless efforts and organisation of Rotarian Ray Smallcombe and his merry band of Grays Thurrock Rotary club members who organised the raffle, manned the putting competition, photographer, published the guide and produced course maps plus many more logistic activities. The Orsett Golf Club too was not only very supportive but played an active and essential part in the success of the day with the club manager Michael Bruce and deputy manager Sue Coleman particularly noted for their enthusiastic support along with members Jim Scales and David Stitson acting as Marshalls for the day.
In a series of updates this is the first brief look at the fun and sportsmanlike competitive spirit that the players contributed along with a hint of the hard work required to stage such an event.
The new Governor of our district 1240, David Willis, visited the club with the Assistant District Governor, Norman Ellenby. David mentioned the relatively short term of one year for each appointment making it a challenge to see through initiatives but nevertheless committed to putting in a huge amount of time and passion into his theme for 2023/24 being "Create hope in the World" and his chosen personal charity 'Young lives versus cancer". 
David made it clear that Rotarians change peoples lives for the better every day both at home and around the world. Our charitable giving and the individual efforts of Rotarians who are always front and centre when a crisis engulfs people are clear examples of this, with the war in Ukraine and the earthquake in Turkey and Syria being recent notable examples. In both crises Rotary had produced lorry loads of relief aid and donated millions of pounds within weeks of them unfolding.
David emphasised the importance of networking and meeting people so is likely to have a busy year visiting the clubs in the district, plus this year will see the first joint District Conference with us joining with Beds, Bucks and Herts District with JJ Chalmers being our guest speaker alongside those from charities and other organisations. Our new Governor also recognised the significant contribution that The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock makes and with a growing membership is successfully swimming against the tide of dwindling membership in some clubs. ADG Norman Ellenby also offered his time and support to the club which was appreciated.
Pictured below is our new president John B Smith welcoming both Governor Willis and ADG Ellenby to the club where they joined us for lunch at The Orsett Hall.
24 Rotarians and partners travelled to Sancerre in central France for the President’s Weekend from Friday 23rd to Monday 26th June 2023.  The weekend started on the Friday with a drinks party and buffet meal in the garden of Clive and Fiona’s holiday home in the village, where we partied well into the night, some having a dip in the pool and a game of boule.  
The next day it was down to the Wine Museum in Sancerre to discover how wine is made and the history of the terroir – the moisture squirted into one’s face at the appropriate time during the 3D interactive film was a laugh.  It was followed by a wine tasting on the museum terrace.  After lunch and in brilliant sunshine (temp in excess of 30 degrees), Clive took everyone for a guided walk around the town, following the red line painted in the street. It started at the Esplanade Porte-Cesar with a fantastic panoramic view of the Loire and finished at the library on the other side of town with another great view of the vineyards.   After this everyone retreated to their swimming pools for a well-earned swim and a cool down.  
In the early evening there was a wine tasting at the Joseph Mellot Historic Cellar in town.  We were shown around by the owner and a follow Rotarian, Catherine Corbeau-Mellot and her son Armond, who explained how wine was stored in oak barrels and how to get the best out of the delicious Sancerre and Pouilly Fume wines we were tasting.  Later we walked to the Joseph Mellot Auberge Restaurant in the town Square for a three-course meal paired with appropriate wines.  There were informal speeches and we were able to meet the President of the Sancerre and Cosne Rotary Club Regis Jouan and his partner, Christiane, who were our guests.  Regis was glad to receive his Grays Thurrock Rotary tie which he wore with pride and Clive received a banner and a bottle of Sancerre wine engraved with the club’s name.    
On the Sunday everyone was again greeted in the morning by brilliant sunshine and blue skies for another hot day. We gathered at the Joseph Mellot Winery at 10.00am for a tour and explanation of how the wine is made, from grape crushers to giant stainless-steel vats and the bottling and packaging plants.  Joseph Mellot’s three wineries produce 1.4 – 1.6 million bottles of wine a year. We even had a chance to look at the developing grapes on the nearby vines – harvest expected mid-September.  After the tour, you guessed it, there was another wine tasting in the Winery.  
After lunch a convey of cars met at the Panoramic hotel and we drove down to the banks of the Loire at St Satur, where our party was split into two groups, one of which went for a walk along the Loire and finished with a ice cream in the Cafe, while the other group went for a boat trip along the river to the Wildlife Sanctuary and back – onboard Fiona oversaw the nibbles and wine.  When they returned an hour later it was the first groups turn to jump on the boat with Fiona for the second river boat trip of the day.   That evening, we met for the final evening meal at the Le Connétable Restaurant and eat al fresco on the terrace in the town Square.   After an informal meal of huge portions, we said our goodbyes and retired to the bars of the town or our accommodation, all having had a great time.    Many thanks to the President and particularly his partner Fiona East, for organising the event. 
We are holding a Charity Golf Day in August hoping to repeat the huge success that was last years competition, made possible this year by our kind sponsors and hard work by club members. Please click on our "Golf Day" in the menu bar at the top for the entry form.
Our Rotary year runs from 1st July to 30th June each year and the first meeting of the year is usually the occasion for the handover from the outgoing President to the incoming one. Usually very informal, including handing over the heavy chain most Presidents wear for formal occasions. Club presidents plan and lead club meetings, set goals, encourage communication between club and district committees, review expenditures, participate in decisions, and motivate club members, they also collaborate with the district governor and assistant governor.
Below we see outgoing President Clive Page hand over the chain of office to our new President John Smith, good luck to John and we all wish him a successful and enjoyable Presidential year.
Two new members inducted at our regular luncheon meeting at the Orsett Hall, bringing our thriving club membership up to 38 active members!
On 1st June, after the usual induction process, the Club President inducted two new members, Mr Ross Bungsraz, proposed by Rotarian Rajan Mohile and Mr Barry Price, proposed by Rotarian Alan Peaford MBE. Our President Clive Page officiated and presented their badges and welcomed them to the club and the fellowship of Rotary.
Both new members look forward getting involved with all the activities of the Club.
The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock hosted the 62nd Tripartite of the Rotary Clubs of Iserlohn, Voorschoten-Leidschendam and Grays Thurrock in Greenwich and Orsett. The weekend began on Friday 26th with a golf tournament at the Orsett Golf Club for the golfers of the three clubs and then in the evening a drinks reception was held at the Orsett Hall before the groups then went on to members houses for evening dinner parties.
On Saturday the fun started with a ride on the IFS Cloud Cable Car which took them to Greenwich for lunch and a free afternoon touring the Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum, The Royal Observatory, local shops and the Royal Park. A drinks reception was held at the Old Brewery Hall with a marvellous string quartet entertaining them before dinner. On Sunday a brunch was held in the Gold Room at the Orsett Hall where following a solid breakfast speeches from our President Clive Page and the President Elect of the Iserlohn Club thanked all involved and confirmed the dates of the 63rd meeting which will be held on the 10th to the 12th May 2024 hosted by the Iserlohn Club.
Our President and the Presidents of the Dutch and German clubs thanked the Grays Thurrock Tripartite team of Kevin Watkins, Adrian Alsop, Raj Mobile and Clive Page for a truly fantastic job organising such a successful event.
Photos of the whole weekend can be seen below
Clive Attwood receives the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from our President, Clive Page and proposer Ray Smallcombe for his long and distinguished service to Rotary and the club. 
Rotary established the recognition in 1957 to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions to Rotary and Rotary Foundation. Many other notable figures have been named Paul Harris Fellows, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk.
Congratulations to their Majesties King Charles and Queen Camilla
A wonderful spectacular that only GB can do and a moment in history for our nation.
Photo credit Chris Jackson
On Wednesday 29th March, Fellow Rotarians, Corin Whymark and Nick Wilkinson organised with Steve Deal the Group Commercial Catering Manager at South Essex College, a spin-off of Rotary’s Young Chef competition called ‘Young Chef Workshop’.  
Twelve students from three Thurrock Secondary Schools attended the College and were asked to cook a three-course meal.  This was Rotary Young Chef with a twist because, Thurrock’s answer to Jamie Oliver, Chef Steve Deal, showed the teams how to cook the three dishes – Eggs Florentine; Chicken & Asparagus Risotto and Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake - at the college’s excellently equipped student kitchens in the Grays Campus.   Steve’s dishes were then displayed in the kitchen and off the young chefs went to their individual workstations to prepare and cook their own submissions.  The kitchen was a hive of activity with Steve floating around offering the benefit of his culinary skills.  All the students did exceptionally well and then came the judging.  The poor judges, Steve and Corin, tasted 36 dishes and wrote detailed feedback sheets for each competitor.  Steve also gave individual appraisals which everyone enjoyed.  
At the end of the competition, all competitors were given a certificate of participation and a goody bag from the College.  Steve announced the winner as Finley Chilvers from The Gateway Academy and he received the winner’s Young Chef trophy, an Amazon voucher and a cookery book from the Club’s President, Clive Page.  
The club would like to thank all the competitors and their teachers for making the day an educational and fun event.    One of the teachers who attended said, “All the students worked extremely hard and produced some great dishes and had the experience of working with Steve who was amazing, it was lovely being part of the day.” What more can you say, apart from again thanking South Essex College and its head chef Steve Deal for the use of the fantastic facilities, expertise and materials for the event and for agreeing to run the competition again next year.  As for the competitors, you can see where the celebrity chefs of tomorrow are produced
It’s nearly time for the very exciting and fun Mathematics Competition that the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock runs in partnership with the Gateway Learning Community.
Our Maths Quiz has been running very successfully for several years and this year we have invited young mathematicians from Year 5 to participate.
The competition is open to all schools across Thurrock, and they are invited to submit a Year 5 team of four pupils.
The club welcomed two new members Mr Chris Churchyard who was proposed by Rotarian Alan Peaford MBE and Mr Tony Bold proposed by Rotarian Ray Smallcombe. Our President Clive Page officiated and presented their badges.
The Club held its annual Cheque Presentation Lunch at Orsett Hall on Thursday 2nd March, to distribute the funds collected for our chosen Christmas charities.   
The Club President said, “From mid-December until Christmas Eve we held public collections, ran 10 Sleigh Routes around the streets of Thurrock, a static display here at Orsett Hall and spent 8 days collecting inside three major Thurrock supermarkets. We managed to collect, including recovered tax and donations, a total of £10,795, which despite the World Cup, the inclement weather and a cost of living crisis, speaks volumes about the generosity of the residents of Thurrock and the efforts of our collectors.”
In attendance were the following guests, all of whom gave inspirational and moving acceptance speeches, Sue Little from the local Barnardo’s branch; Jon Brewer and Anthony Hattam (the Head Teachers from Treetops and Treetops Free Schools) and Aron Lane from Little Havens Children’s Hospice - all three charities receiving a cheque for £2,500 for their respective charities. Peter Newall the Operations Manager at the Thurrock Foodbank, received a cheque for £89, being the balance we collected for them on our card reader and having already received £1,588 that we collected at Sainsbury’s plus a substantial Club donation before Christmas.
The Club also forwarded cheques to two national charities who gave their apologies for absence from the lunch, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) who received £2,500; and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) who received £434.
Sue Little - Bernardo's
Jon Brewer and Anthony Hattam - Treetops
Ashley - Little Havens Children's Hospice
Peter Newall - Thurrock Food Bank
Here are the excellent entries in the Junior age group (up to and including 10 years old) well done to both of them
Frankie Ella English - Woodside - Highly Commended
Arisha Ahsan - Quarry Hill - Commended
Here are the excellent entries in the Intermediate age group (11 to 13 years old) well done to all of them
Maraizal Morton - William Edwards School - Highly Commended
Maja Malgorzata Sypek - Hathaway - Highly Commended
Emerald Agyeman - Orsett Heath - Commended
Jonah Brooking - William Edwards - Commended
August Giedraityte - Orsett Heath - Commended
Alysha Kushierz - Hathaway - Commended
We are pleased to recognise the winners of the Young Artist Competition which is a competition open to all young people living in Thurrock (from the very young right up to 17 years old) and is designed to encourage and develop skills in traditional and contemporary media. Organised and promoted by Rotary International GB and Ireland, this years' theme was "Sunset and Sunrise" and our winners  have been entered into the next stage which will be the District competition and may (fingers crossed) lead to the Nationals.
Here are the winning pictures by Lexi Harle from William Edwards School who won the Intermediate Category (11 to 13 years old) and Simon Statil from Quarry Hill School who won the Junior Category (up and including 10 years old). Congratulations to them both and GOOD LUCK in the District Competition.
Lexi Harle - Intermediate Category Winner
Simon Statil Junior Category Winner
Our President, Clive Page, thanked our Supermarket friends (ASDA, Sainsbury's and Tesco) for allowing us to hold our Christmas collections at their stores, which including our sleigh runs raised over £10,795. Pictured below with our President (centre) are Josh Obrien (Store Manager, Tesco Lakeside) Angela Mitchell (Community Champion, Tesco Lakeside) and Kim Morgan (Community Champion, ASDA Tilbury).
Grays Thurrock Rotary is a thriving, active part of Thurrock, whose members are drawn from local professions and businesses but is also a part of a worldwide organisation that raises and donates £ billions annually to worthy causes. One of our aims is to provide support for Charities, especially those whose work impacts the people of Thurrock, we also regularly make financial contributions to local charities as well as individuals. 

So how can we help?  We have a small amount of money that may help solve an immediate issue. Our members also have a considerable amount of knowledge and experience, drawn from all walks of life that may be able to offer support.  Any request has to be considered by our Community Services committee;  we are not able to support all requests but we do try.

If you know of any person, family or club that needs support or charity that is trying to help the local community but experiencing a challenging time please contact us or alternatively forward this communication to them and ask them to contact us.
You can contact us via this website  or by direct messaging us through of Facebook Page @Grays.Thurrock.Rotary 
The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock sponsorship of the Youth Debate saw excellent candidates and the winning team in each category (Intermediate and Senior) of this event may be invited to represent Thurrock in the Rotary District 1240 competition at Chelmsford and from there have an opportunity to compete at the National finals.
There intermediate winners, seen here with our President Clive Page, came from the Convent School with Khusi Thakkar winning Outstanding Chairperson and Aiofe Connelly the Outstanding Debate Proposer.
SENIORS (Ages 14-17years)
Students must be seated by 4.45p.m. to commence the
Competition at 5.00p.m. prompt.
(Approximate finish at 7.30pm)
We look forward to welcoming you to the Council Chamber and know you will be rewarded with a range of subjects executed by some talented young people.

Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years, our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we've reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.

Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.

Here our President and Rotarians Adrian Alsop and Bob Paterson are seen planting more Crocus bulbs as part of this vital initiative.

Date: Wednesday 15th March 2023 

Venue: The London Cruise Terminal, Fort Road, Tilbury, RM18 7NG (use postcode for SatNav).

Time: Competitors are asked to arrive and register at 12.00. The Tournament will start promptly at 12.30pm and the anticipated finish time is 4.30pm. 

Technology Tournaments are a well-established and successful competition promoted by Rotary International in Britain and Ireland (RGBI). This Tournament is organised by the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock in association with the London Cruise Terminal at the Port of Tilbury. Entrants may participate in a club or district competition that is outside of their geographical boundary but may compete in only one Rotary club or Rotary district Technology Tournament. 

The competition is open to all schools and college communities and any other young peoples’ community organisations, for example, community Interact, Scout Groups, Girl Guides etc. and the age group for participants is 11 to 16 years old. Each team of four participants is required to design, develop, build and then test a previously set technology task as well as show they can work within a team and communicate with each other to achieve a common goal; Tasks are based on engineering principals, but also be creative and constructive, showing their command of time management skills. 


Young Thurrock Rugby Club members look resplendent in their new Academy jerseys. Its such a pleasure to see how the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock can partner with Thurrock Rugby Club, by even a small donation to their running costs, to make a positive difference to young lives.
The Young Musician Competition (an arrangement between the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock and the Thurrock Music Service) held at the Gateway Academy saw around 30 very talented entrants this year.
The winner was Melda Kondoz who played El Choclo by Angel Villoldo on the violin which was an absolute joy to listen to, our runner up was Ismael Dosoo who sang the Coronation Mass in C Major by Mozart, both of these talented young people have been entered into the Rotary 1240 District Young Musician competition being held at Chelmsford Cathedral on Saturday 18th February 2023. Tickets for the event at the Cathedral cost £5 and can be ordered from , doors open at 6pm and the event starts at 7pm.
Our President, Rotarian Clive Page, presented the winner and runner up with their trophies.
***********I'm BACK***********
Those lovely folk at Grays Thurrock Rotary are putting on an extra night to make up for us missing Sunday. So tomorrow night my Sleigh will be riding through Chadwell from 6pm, please come out and see me and all my Elves. The route is shown in the maps below but remember you can track my sleigh using the app and please don't forget to check out our Facebook page.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can.
Love and a very Merry Christmas
Santa and his Grays Thurrock Rotary Elves
******Unfortunately SUNDAY 18th's Sleigh Ride through Chadwell St Mary has had to be POSTPONED******
An up to date route for our sleigh ride through Chadwell tonight Saturday 17th December from 6pm, please come and see us
A Message from Santa
Those nice folks from Grays Thurrock Rotary Club will be pulling my sleigh again on our next 8 routes all starting at 6pm
Monday 12th Rectory Road North
Wednesday 14th Blackshots 
Thursday 15th Grays
Friday 16th Woodside
Saturday 17th Chadwell
Sunday 18th Chadwell
Monday 19th Rectory Road South
Tuesday 20th Thurrock Park and Orsett
Our route maps are below and are subject to Crown Copyright
Whilst, unlike Santa, we can't be everywhere, we have tried to put together some interesting routes for our Santa, his Elves and the Sleigh. If you have the time, its fun to download the Santa Sleigh Tracker (at )so you can see where we are, but here are three routes for you to look at.
We are really looking forward to seeing you at Sainsbury's Chafford Hundred THIS FRIDAY from 9am to 5pm and then on SATURDAY 10th and SUNDAY 11th.  Our Elves and the odd Santa look-alike will be wearing name badges and Rotary Tabbards so you can identify us, this year, at Sainsbury's, we will be collecting for Thurrock Foodbank only.
Our other collections at Asda, Tilbury will be on the 15TH, 16TH AND 17TH DECEMBER and at Tesco, Lakeside  on the FRIDAY 23RD DECEMBER AND CHRISTMAS EVE 9am to 5pm and 100% of all donations will be split between the charities noted below.
Our collectors will have a card reader for donations, recognising that not all of us carry much cash these days, but also the traditional collection boxes, we are very grateful for any donation, it all helps those less well off than ourselves. Please donate what you can but we will also be happy just to say hello and wish you a Merry Christmas.
The sound of sleigh bells will fill the air as the Grays Thurrock Rotary Club teams up with Santa to raise funds for our charities, come out and see us and join in the fun. Please go to our Facebook page to see the message from Santa but if you want to track our sleigh as it makes its way through the borough please go to download our App.  This year we have been focusing on supporting local needs as much as our established initiatives.
The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock sponsors and supports a number of Youth Competitions, here is an update from Nicholas Wilkinson
Despite a really challenging year, the team have made excellent progress. The Young Musician is being held on Saturday 26th November with a good number of entrants spread between the three categories so it promises to be a rewarding and successful event. Despite the valiant efforts of Corin, the Young Chef competition is looking doubtful, but the Technology Tournament is looking very promising with the Cruise Terminal confirming they are happy to support this. The Youth Debate will be held at The Beehive following a successful meeting that Corin and Nick had with them. Bob and Nick have meetings planned with the two SEC judges to get the Young Photographer and Young Filmmaker off the ground.
Thanks to Raj's hard work the LAMP project is now underway and a meeting with the participating school is imminent 
The first outing of 2022 for our new sleigh was at The Orsett Hall, please see our Facebook Page for a message from Santa.
President Clive Page presents the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship Awards to two long standing Rotarians for their outstanding service. Congratulations to Bob Paterson and Dr Kevin Watkins
The President and Members of our Club attended Thurrock Rugby Club on 6th November to present a cheque for £500 to Mr Ken Laybourn, for youth team equipment and kit.
The clubhouse was packed with junior rugby players for their Monday evening training session and the President said the Club was glad to support an activity that gives so much to the young people of Grays Thurrock.
The District Governor comest for Lunch.
Twenty seven Rotarians sat down to lunch with Jed Brooks the District Governor at Orsett Hall on Thursday 3rd November. After lunch Jed gave an interesting and uplifting speech on the future of Rotary and presented to our sports captain, Bob Paterson, the Districts prestigious Hugh Markham Trophy, that the club had won earlier in the year.

Spring each year, sees a beautiful purple carpet of crocus blooming in many communities across Great Britain and Ireland thanks to the Purple Crocus Corm planting to raise awareness of the Rotary fight for a polio free world.

Planting the purple crocus corms by Rotary and many community groups is a great way of getting active, having fun and talking to lots of different people about the need to eradicate the life threatening and disabling polio virus.

Our President's Night dinner at Orsett Hall.   It' nice to get out again after COVID!  Congratulations to Adrian on his year..
On Sunday 12th June 2022, East Thurrock Community Garden, off Rockery Lane, East Thurrock, was officially opened by Leader of Thurrock Council Bob Gledhill. Also in attendance was the Head of Thurrock Planning committee, Tom Kelly.  Clive Cheeseman, the main coordinator for the project, aided by his wife Sheila and friends Keith and Glynis along with other members of the committee worked tirelessly for over two years to turn an area of over grown scrubland into the Community Garden.  Grays Thurrock Rotary club had agreed to support the project and Peter Hoche, the club’s Community Services chairman, presented a cheque for £150 to Clive.
For the first time in three years our members were able to attend the annual Tripartite meeting of the Rotary Clubs of Iserlohn (Germany), Voorschoten-Leidschendam (Holland) and Grays Thurrock. 
It was fantastic renew friendships after so long.  Click the link to read the full story.
This year saw 9 intrepid travellers from Grays venture East to Istanbul.  This was supposed to be a mystery trip in 2020 but due to Covid, it was delayed by 2 years.  It was a pity that many of the original number could not be there but the 9 that went enjoyed it thoroughly.  We won't bore everyone with all of the pictures but members can view them in the members pages.  Here are some samples.
A great night out with 26 people attending a meal at Feast in Grays High Street.

Grays Rotary Club today presented cheques totalling £10,700 to 5 chosen charities from its Christmas street & supermarket collections - Lauren Eagle-Allen representing Little Havens Childrens Hospice, Janice Gilroy representing Barnardo’s & John Brewer Head of Treetops School each received a cheque for £2,600. Each expressed their grateful thanks to the club.  Unfortunately Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital and NSPCC were unrepresented but will respectively be receiving a cheque for £2,600 and £300 by post.

After lunch at Orsett Hall, the club thanked representatives from the local superstores Asda (Kim Morgan), Sainsburys (Will Doyle) & Tesco (Angela Mitchell) for their support and attendance together with Rotarian Steve Payne for building its new sleigh. 

Although unable to join the lunch, grateful thanks were also offered to Grayers Graphics for help with the sleigh paintwork and Smiths Orchard Garden Centre for their assistance in counting & banking the cash collected.

[Group photo left to right is Angela Mitchell, Lauren Eagle-Allen, Janice Gilroy, Adrian Alsop, Steve Payne, Kim Morgan, John Brewer, Anthony Hatton (Treetops Free School Head) and Will Doyle]


2022 has begun for the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock with a notable accolade for one of its established members.

And the club presented its highest award, the Paul Harris Fellowship (named after the founder of the Rotary movement), to Rotarian Steve Payne for outstanding service to the club and the local community.

Steve single-handedly took up the challenge of building the club a new Christmas sleigh which performed flawlessly for Santa in December and is set to bring joy to borough children and help raise funds for great causes for many years to come.


Following a successful membership information evening in late November, the first of its new members Steve Quigley was inducted last week with more expected to follow.

Grays is proud to have a special relationship with the the Iserlohn club in Germany and with Voorschoten Leidschendam in the Netherlands.  In the past this has mostly been a social relationship but earlier this year the club in Iserlohn asked for our help following awful floods in Germany.  We were happy to help out and assist in buying a dehydrator to help the affected areas.

We have received a thank you letter from Iserlohn and below are some pictures of the work that we helped to achieve.

You can read the full letter by clicking on "Read more" below.


We would like to thank the people of Thurrock most sincerely for their support and generosity over the Christmas period. Our grateful thanks also goes to Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco for their assistance.

The club & its members have worked tirelessly to ensure this year‘s supermarket and sleigh collections (and our concert at Thameside Theatre) were successful armed with our new sleigh & following the 2020 Covid break so I am delighted to announce that we hope to donate over £10,000 in February to our 4 main childrens' charities Great Ormond Street Hospital, Little Havens Hospice, Treetops School and Barnardo’s.

Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2022.



July 2024
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