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ICUFR Conference Computer Sessions

Saturday, September 30, 2000  by Katie Moore

Saturday 30th September - 'Chapter 2!'
---------------------------------------

I've just realised...  how much of my recent messages have involved 'eating
and drinking'  <g>   maybe we should insert an additional 'F' in the ICUFR
- one for Food ;-)  

As I return to a few lines about the 'after lunch' or 'grave-yard session'
for the Conference on Saturday, I am very aware that Doug has now posted
information about speakers and I will endeavour not to duplicate his
remarks.

For me - an avid user of the internet - with fairly basic knowledge, it was
particularly interesting to listen to Frank Knowles.   In response to one
question about "a visit to an ISP", we were told that this isn't practical
since there is basically nothing to see except a bank of computers in a
central place - in his case its Telephone House in London.    George and I
have been very wary about 'free' ISP services and stayed with our original
ISP Compuserve since first going on line.   Frank covered both angles of
'Free Service' ISP's - and like most things, its usually a case of 'you get
what you pay for'.    I gathered some valuable info about domain
registrations, costs involved and the necessity to act quickly to register
- since thousands of domain names are being registered on a first come,
first served basis.    I will be keeping Frank's handout in a safe place -
it was concise and contained good info in a logical order -especially for
anyone contemplating putting their first www site together.

Next on was our old friend Doug Grierson - who as many of you know if an
avid user of 'the Mac'.    Sadly there was a technical problem with the
console in the Lecture Theatre which prevented him making his prepared
presentation on the restoration and enhancement of old photographs  -
however..    obviously that didn't deter Doug.   I'm convinced he has also
found the secret of how to get more than 24 hours out of any one day!! Doug
talked us through and passed around some of the original and restorated
photographs he has worked on.   Many of these were historical photographs
taken in the Gravesend area in Kent where Doug lives.    At last I also
learnt why it is impossible to return Pocohontis to the USA from the church
in Gravesend where she is burried.   

Is it only two years ago in Toronto that Grahame Leon Smith gave the first
presentation to an ICUFR Conference on Free Computers for Schools?.  I
congratulate Grahame on his dedication and the huge amount of personal
committment to the organisation and running of the charity 'Free Computers
for Education' - it really is an excellent example of re-cyling at its very
best - enabling young people around the world to have access to IT.    This
year he combined further information on this with the formal launch (on
Saturday) of Rotarians-Online.    As Doug has already posted, this is the
opportunity for all Rotarians to get on line with free 'Rotary' EMail
addresses - full details at the www site http://www.rotarians-online.org
  

During the Open Forum that followed, Andrew from the RC of Doncaster
Sunrise spoke on a new club project and promised a update in the future;
Michael Siggs from Colchester the project "The Train, Rotarians Across
Russia, May -June 2001 - and I notice further information is already on the
ICUFR web site.     For some time the members of my local SI clubs have
been collecting 'used' professional journals - these are taken by a charity
to Russia where they are given to the University Libraries in St
Petersburg.   Michael spoke about the charter of the RC of St Petersburg
Neva - another coincidence since in August 1999 I attended the charter of
the Soroptimist Club of St Petersburg Neva.

Ralph reminded us about the CD Art has available, details posted here
recently.    This is now ready and can be ordered direct from Art.   I
briefly mentioned that through one of the Taranto Lists for which I act as
List Owner, news was circulated about the chartering of a new Club in
Mongolia.  As a result four of our Japanese members decided to attend, and
contacted members of the new club to ask what they could give as a 'charter
gift'.   Sheep flocks throughout Mongolia have been decimated by ZUD, and
pre the charter ceremony, the four Japanese members - along with five
members from the new club - made the eight hour overnight journey to a
remote village.  Here, with the help of the village headman, they purchased
110 sheep which were given as 'livestock' to several extremely poor
families who had lost the flocks.    In turn, they were assured 'with tear
in eye' that these would be 'livestocks and not for eatings', and would
soon be 1000 sheep!     I think thats a perfect example of the power of the
internet - and a most unusual service project.   This would not have been
possible without the knowledge I have gained through membership of the
ICUFR and the continued generosity of Irwin who hosts my Lists on his List
Server.

Back to Saturday evening - this was a truly amazing occasion and full marks
go to our Stella who had organised the event.   This dinner in Dining Room
A at The House of Commons at The Palace of Westminster was only possible
though the cooperation of Stella's Member of Parliament The Hon.Andrew Love
MP for Edmonton, London.    Arriving for the first time at St Stephens
Gate, no one could fail to be impressed by the wonderful building or in awe
of the grandeur.    Walking through the 'Lobby' it is easy to visualise the
'lobbying' that has gone on during the time since the current building was
opened.   

Dinner was in Dining Room A, but we met beforehand in the bar with its
terrace on a level with the River Thames..    Westminster Bridge with the
'London Eye' towering above it were to our left.   Both digital and
ordinary cameras were soon in use as everyone recorded the momentous
occasion - surely the floodlight terrace with the wonderful buildings and
the river scene for the backdrop will give some superb photo memories of
the occasion.   I'm sure James will ensure you can share these memories
with us!

I won't go into detail about the menu or the food - but mention that
Grannie, Charles, George and I drank a bottle of 'House of Commons Claret'
(as did many others) and there was the opportunity to buy 'House' wines and
other souveniers during the evening.      Of course, once again the decibel
level rose as we chatted throughout the evening.   Oh yes, this evening we
were joined by Benjamin Dada a member of the RC of Iponri in Nigeria -
currently working in Chicago.  He was jet lagged after his flight but
talking to him, I know he enjoyed the opportunity to meet with us (and in
such a splendid location too)

Following the meal Stella made a very brief speech of welcome and
introduced our Guest Speaker and his wife..   Roger our Chairman also made
a very brief speech - but took the opportunity to thank Stella for
organising the Conference and presented her with a silver photograph frame
- with the 'House of Lords' monogram!    Roger also thanked Grahame for his
help and gave him 'a bottle from the House of Lords' (contents unknown
<VBG>)

We were then 'entertained' by The Hon Andrew Lowe MP - who having been
asked to make his 'Keynote Speech' non political by Stella, gave a
fascinating insight into the buildings, their history, and various aspects
of the history of Parliament.  He was interesting, amusing and entertaining
- and bravely volunteered to answer any questions!     Following the vote
of thanks to Andrew and the Final Toast 'Rotary the World Over', it was out
into Parliament Square to get taxis, say farewell to some of our friends,
and back to the Ibis Hotel once more.

Glen flew out early Sunday morning on his way back to California, as did
Steve and Gidget for their flight to Europe.   A few of us returned to
University College for the meeting on Sunday morning - but perhaps I should
leave it to a member of the Board to report on this.

It was a great weekend!   Lovely to see some of our old friends in the
'Hugging Fellowship', and to meet new friends.   Andrew received my 'long
distance ribbon' for attendance from RC of Doncaster Sunrise in Australia,
and I am going to award the 'ribbon of courage' to Glen - who despite being
in obvious pain and having terrible difficulty in walking, had made the
long journey from California for the weekend!     We loved him, and
remember driving through Victorville on our way from Glacier National Park
to San Berndino a few years ago.   According to Glen 'You came right by my
door!'

So...  this is it until next year when my Big Brother Gord will be
welcoming us to 'Paradise in the Fall', to the red maples, the stunning
scenery and warm friendship that awaits us in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  
Gord, I didn't need any persuasion - but the photograph you sent yesterday
of 'my canada geese back on your lake' certainly clinched it!   Watch out:
little sister is coming home <VBG>   If you combine this with 'The Five
Fishermen' - wowee!!!! ;-)

Love to all of you

Katie Moore   
(& George 'Himself' - now safely back home in Crewe)
RC of Crewe & Nantwich Weaver  D1050  

   

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