After COVID-19 Rotary Ireland celebrates annual conference in style in Derry

After three years of COVID-19 Rotary Ireland members celebrated a return to full in person events by staging a highly successful annual conference in Derry recently.

Pictured at the Rotary Ireland annual conference which took place recently in the City Hotel Derry Londonderry are  Liz FitzGerald (District Secretary Rotary Ireland – Omagh Rotary), guest speaker, broadcaster Joe Mahon, Capt Sean FitzGerald (District Governor Rotary Ireland – Omagh Rotary) Dr Michael E. McBrien guest speaker on “Mercy Ships”, Nicki Scott (Rotary International Director & Vice President)  and Tim Atwood, guest speaker ‘John & Pat Hume Foundation’.
Pictured at the Rotary Ireland annual conference which took place recently in the City Hotel Derry Londonderry are Liz FitzGerald (District Secretary Rotary Ireland – Omagh Rotary), guest speaker, broadcaster Joe Mahon, Capt Sean FitzGerald (District Governor Rotary Ireland – Omagh Rotary) Dr Michael E. McBrien guest speaker on “Mercy Ships”, Nicki Scott (Rotary International Director & Vice President) and Tim Atwood, guest speaker ‘John & Pat Hume Foundation’.

The conference which was entitled ‘Imagine Rotary’ welcomed over 200 Rotary members and guests.

Former ship’s captain, Sean Fitzgerald, the new District Governor of Rotary Ireland said: “This was a great opportunity for attendees to embrace the fellowship of Rotary while also learning about and exploring the delights of this city and the northwest region.

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“We had people here from all over the island of Ireland, some of whom hadn’t been here before and they were just so impressed by the city and the warmth of the welcome they received.”

Pictured at the Rotary Ireland annual conference which took place recently in the City Hotel Derry Londonderry are Capt Sean FitzGerald (District Governor Rotary Ireland – Omagh Rotary), Liz FitzGerald (District Secretary Rotary Ireland – Omagh Rotary), Garth Arnold (Chair of the Regional Board of Rotary Great Britain & Ireland – Donaghadee Rotary), Nicki Scott (Rotary International Director & Vice President – North Cotswolds Rotary), Werner Scheel (President Derry/Londonderry Rotary), Debbie Hodge (Past Rotary GB&I President – Ware Rotary), Mike Hodge (Rotary International President Representative – Barnet Rotary), John Campbell (President Omagh Rotary).

The list of guest speakers had a strong local flavour with Mayor Sandra Duffy, broadcaster Joe Mahon, Tim Atwood from the John and Pat Hume Foundation, historian Richard Doherty and Werner Scheel, President of Derry/Londonderry Rotary all giving very well received presentations.

Another key speaker was Dr. Michael E McBrien whose presentation on the work of Mercy Ships and the life transforming surgery the organisation offers to thousands of people in developing countries free of charge moved many attendees to tears.

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Dr. McBrien, a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast since 1997, has served on 9 occasions with Mercy Ships in Africa for periods of two to three weeks.

Several year ago, Rotary members from Great Britain and Ireland were involved in a Rotary Foundation Global Grant of $1.25 million with Mercy Ships to fund equipment for the latest addition to their fleet, the Global Mercy, and training for African medical professionals.

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Pictured at the Rotary Ireland annual conference which took place recently in the City Hotel Derry Londonderry are Capt Sean FitzGerald (District Governor Rotary Ireland – Omagh Rotary) Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Colr. Sandra Duffy, Guest Speaker, Historian Richard Doherty, Liz FitzGerald (District Secretary Rotary Ireland – Omagh Rotary) and John MacCrossan (Derry /Londonderry Rotary)

The conference was co-hosted by the Rotary Club of Derry/Londonderry and Rotary Club of Omagh.

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As well as co-hosting the event the Rotary Club of Derry/Londonderry is celebrating its centenary having been chartered on July 17, 1922.

It’s the third time the club has hosted Rotary’s annual conference and President Werner Scheel told delegates it was a great honour to do so. The event concluded with a black tie dinner, charity auction and live music.

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If you are interested in joining Rotary Ireland or would like to learn more about it, please go to Rotary in Ireland (rotary-ribi.org)

Pictured addressing delegates at the Rotary Ireland annual conference at the City Hotel Derry Londonderry is historian Richard Doherty.
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Pictured addressing delegates at the Rotary Ireland annual conference at the City Hotel Derry Londonderry is Werner Scheel, President Derry/Londonderry Rotary.
Pictured addressing delegates at the Rotary Ireland annual conference at the City Hotel Derry Londonderry is Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Sandra Duffy