Warm welcome from Rasen Rotarians to Dutch visitors

Rotary President Derek Anderson, second left, welcomes Wieringen president Jan Kremer and international exchange students Joao Pedro Bassoto and Wes Giller
Rotary President Derek Anderson, second left, welcomes Wieringen president Jan Kremer and international exchange students Joao Pedro Bassoto and Wes Giller

International friendships were rekindled last week as Market Rasen Rotarians welcomed 35 visitors from the Rotary Club of Wieringen.

The two clubs have been linked since the first Twinning event back in 1979.

Members meet up every two years, in alternate countries, meaning it is four years since the Dutch Rotarians last visited Market Rasen.

“I feel extremely privileged to be linked with Wieringen in this way,” said Derek Anderson, President of the Rotary Club of Market Rasen.

“A considerable number of friendships have developed and I hope these will continue in years to come.”

Joining the Dutch club on this year’s visit were Brazilian Joao Pedro Bassoto and American Wes Giller, both students on exchange in Holland, who were invited to join the trip.

And a packed itinerary had been prepared for all the visitors, highlighting some of the area’s attractions.

Elsham-based Pipers Crisps and Lincoln and York, who roast 3,000 tonnes of coffee beans a year, supplying the likes of Harrods and Whittards, provided interesting tours and also included were visits to Lincoln, the Garden House at Saxby and Gainsborough Model Railway.

The party highlight was the Proms, Music and Marches dinner in the Festival Hall, with music from the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Concert Band.

Full report by Rotarian David Mason

The weekend of 19-21 April, was probably the best of the year, regarding the weather, and Rotarians from Market Rasen were pleased it was so, as they were, yet again hosting a visit from their twin club, Wieringen, from the north of Holland.

The late Albert Rhoades organised the first twinning exchange in 1979, and exchanges across the North Sea, have occurred approximately every two years since that time.

This year, Market Rasen entertained 29 rotarians, wives and partners, but in addition, the Dutch club are currently hosting two young exchange students for an extended period of time whilst they see the world and learn some Dutch. Wes Giller, from Colorado, USA, and Joao Pedro Bassoto from Brazil were good ambassadors for their respective countries, despite only being of some 16 years of age.

It was a first visit to the UK for both of them.

As North Sea Ferries disgorged the travellers on Friday morning, a group of Rotarians were in Hull to meet them, and they were soon en route to Elsham Wold Industrial Estate, where Simon Herring, Director of both Piper’s Crisps and the Lincoln and York Coffee company was ready to show the party the production processes of each product group. The visitors were intrigued to learn that, as well as supplying Harrods and Whittards with coffee in the UK, they also supply a coffee shop chain, The Coffee Company, in and around Amsterdam with their requirements.

Market Rasen Racecourse was the next stop, and Alison Lacey provided traditional and local Lincolnshire foods for a splendid lunch - stuffed chine, Lincolnshire plum bread, Cote Hill cheeses, all formed part of the fare.

To check on weight increase, following a comprehensive description of the activities of the racecourse, members and guests alike were allowed to weigh in on the jockey’s scales. Diets were promised!

Friday evening saw hosts and guests mixing for informal meals around the area.

Saturday was a day for Lincoln and with assistance from Lincoln Rotarian, retired Lincoln Police Officer, Bas Blackbourn BEM, guests were walked through Bailgate and down Steep Hill, with history tumbling from Bas, as though he had lived through every one of the 2000 years of Lincoln life.

Split into two groups, each took their turn to enjoy a presentation in the Guildhall, standing over the High Street, in what people know as the Stonebow.

History came alive once again, as our guide, a deputy Mayor’s Sergeant, showed us the City’s regalia, the Charters granted to Lincoln through the years, and he told us the history of the City and the role of the Mayor and the Council.

We enjoyed using the Council Chamber table, some 400 years old, for lunch.

The Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Concert Band, and Jossals caterers entertained and fed us respectively on Saturday night, in the Market Rasen Festival Hall, beautifully adorned with its cream ‘wedding’ lining and tables set out in Rotary colours of blue and gold, with amazing floral decorations, produced by Cecile Povey.

The current Rotary Presidents of each club, Derek Anderson and Jan Kremer spoke briefly to the party, and Janet Anderson showed her extreme linguistic abilities, translating Derek’s words into Dutch.

The following day, Sunday, again dry and reasonably warm, saw a communal brunch at the White Heather, Caenby Corner, followed by a visit to the 8-acre gardens at The Garden House, Saxby, and the beautiful small church across the fields from the gardens.

Another wonderfully given talk in Dutch welcomed the visitors to the Gainsborough Model Railway, where ladies and men, locals and visitors were amazed at the display.

The Club had called in the ten necessary operators to enable a display of the journey from King’s Cross to Leeds, by rail, and all the ancillary activities en route.

The club exhibits the largest train display in the UK, and the third largest in the world, and have been developing and refining their activities since 1946.

Soon time to say goodbye, and just in case the visitors and their hosts were still hungry, the White Heather offered a most exquisite finger buffet, to see all on their way.

Once more, a lot of Rotary talk took place, regarding methods of fund raising, how to better help our Local and International communities, and how to increase membership to further improve the help we can give.

The final speeches were given, an invitation was extended to the Market Rasen Club to go to Holland in 2015, and warmly accepted, before Barnards coaches took the weary visitors safely back to their ship.

Rotary Fellowship had prevailed once more.