RECENT MEETINGS & EVENTS 1

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 RACE NIGHT & PATAGONIA 150 YEARS ON
                  More than £600 has been raised from the recent charity Race Night and Hot Pot Supper organized by the Rotary Club of Rhyl at Trefnant Village Hall, members were told at their weekly meeting at Faenol Fawr.
                    President Tony Thomas said as well as proving an enjoyable social event the welcome financial boost would enable the club to support another deserving cause as part of its on-going charitable programme.
                   He thanked all those who had contributed to the successful occasion and in particular Andrew Brown, Hari and Eunice Hughes, John Williams, David Morris, Keith Roberts and Gordon Marshall
                  Meanwhile, the 150th anniversary of the  establishment of a Welsh settlement in far-off Patagonia, being celebrated in May this year, was marked with a authoritative talk by past President and acclaimed lecturer Geraint Griffith.
                  Recalling the exodus of hundreds of intrepid migrants bravely crowded on board the ship Mimosa, which set sail from Liverpool in 1865, he praised the ingenuity and tenacity of those founding pilgrims who created an enduring Welsh presence in the challenging far reaches of the South Atlantic.
                 Since then there had been many exchanges in both directions, notably at the Welsh National Eisteddfod where an especially warm welcome always awaited the enthusiastic contingent of visitors from Patagonia, still linked with Rhyl through the naming of the towns Patagonia Avenue.
                  After prompting a number of keen responses and observations from his audience, the speaker was warmly thanked for his well-researched and absorbing talk by the President. 

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FAIRTRADE Rod Brocklehurst

     A call on shoppers to increasingly focus their purchases on Fairtrade products and so help lift the lives of countless thousands struggling in developing countries, was sounded by past President Rod Brocklehurst in a video presentation and talk to members to mark the club's annual frugal meal meeting at Faenol Fawr.

                Introduced by President Tony Thomas, the speaker, a long-standing supporter and advocate of the Fairtrade project, said that since its transforming introduction it had brought fantastic benefits by enabling whole communities to enjoy economic, social and environmental enhancements and improvements of untold value.
              Although the cost of purchasing products carrying the Fairtrade mark might entail paying a little more, the impact resulting from this guaranteed arrangement in adjusting the way trade works, he said, was nothing short of life-changing, offering a more stable future and better working conditions for revitalised farming communities.
             As a practical way of marking the present Fairtrade Fortnight, he said one extra purchase in a shopping basket could cumulatively make such a tremendous difference.
              The warm thanks of the club were expressed by past President Keith Roberts who linked the speaker's resolute commitment to the Fairtrade cause with his wider contribution to so much of what Rotary stood for in the practical demonstration of Service above Self. 

  JAMES COY - HUMAN TRAFFICKING           

   The first reception centre to be built in the United Kingdom to combat the menace of human trafficking and slavery is set to open in North Wales, members were told at their meeting at Faenol Fawr.

               Guest speaker James Coy, the new head of the publicly-funded North Wales anti-slavery Project established by the Welsh Government, said the purpose-built centre would be sited at an as yet unnamed location in the region and would focus on making the public aware of the modern slavery activities all round them.
            "We must educate communities to become the eyes and ears in this fight against the exploitation of vulnerable people of all nationalities and ages who are being forcibly used and abused as a human commodity, by powerful controlling people on a world scale, including right here in North Wales," he added.
              "The need to awaken awareness of what is taking place is a vital component in making this Project a success by helping to open people's eyes to the scale and diversity of what is happening all around us."
                Mr Coy, a former senior police detective of 30 years experience, said there were seven or eight different forms of this evil and cruel exploitation, ranging from forced labour to sexual slavery and entrapment and widespread child abuses.
              Introduced by past President Keith Roberts, the speaker dealt with a range of probing questions and welcomed the opportunity to highlight the work of the North Wales Project, itself the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.  He looked forward to a surge of support and a major enhancement of vital intelligence reporting from a watchful public at large.
              The warm thanks of the club for providing such a revealing insight into problems often concealed from the spotlight but of such huge significance and inhumane impact to be crying out for action were expressed by Gareth Davies, who wished the Project every success in its vital and taxing challenge. 
 
 
 
  QUIZ ROUND 3 AT RUTHIN  
                Rhyls cerebral quartet continued their unprecedented conquests with an avenging victory over old rivals Ruthin to claim a place in the fourth round of the annual Rotary District Quiz.
                Lifted by a hat-trick of successes, Rhyl's unpreposessing team of captain Mike Parry, Gareth Wynne Jones, John Hickerton and Mike Howarth, were accompanied by a confident contingent of supporters for this return encounter with their formidable Vale of Clwyd opponents.
               Two years ago it was Ruthin who dashed Rhyl's ambitions by the hairline margin of a single point to add to the air of intriguing hanging over this intriguing re-match.
                Despite the added pressure of conceding home advantage, Rhyl gradually built up a slender lead as the testing eight rounds of questions saw the combatants trade correct answers with impressive displays of knowledge and instant recall.
                So finely balanced were the scores that the last round offered the rare prospect of a dead-heat and the need for a tie-breaker!   Surviving the cooker-pressure atmosphere, Rhyl produced a grandstand finish as the scorers pronounced the final verdict, a 56-58 win for the visitors.
               Sporting Ruthin generously congratulated their opponents on winning by twice the margin Ruthin had achieved in 2013 and wished Rhyl every success in their future matches.
              Team captain Mike Parry, responding, warmly thanked Ruthin for their friendly hospitality and in the best traditions acknowledged that the result could have gone either way.  Meanwhile, for Rhyl its still upwards and onwards.