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Rotary York-Ainsty — 2 years ago

This 1992 report by Dick Swallow (RYA President 1972-73) has been transcribed from our original, somewhat indistinct copy held by a current RYA member. HISTORY OF THE TWINNING WITH ROTARY CLUB OF MUNSTER ST. MAURITZ Soon after receiving our Charter in 1960, we looked at the ease of visiting other Rotary Clubs in Europe, and with the port of Hull being so convenient we arranged a visit to Holland in 1961; there was no interest in future visits. In 1962, the Club was asked to send a representative with the Civic Party on its visit to York’s twin City of Munster. This was turned down, as we were being asked to cover the cost of travel of £15.00 per person!!! After various attempts at twinning around the world, it was felt that we should look at York’s two twin towns of Dijon in France and Munster in Germany. Eventually the Club Council agreed in January 1966 we should try and twin with Rotary Munster St. Mauritz, being a club similar in age to ourselves. Following this decision, Mac and Betty McMillan took their caravan to Europe and included a stay of four days in Munster. Mac visited the Club and put the suggestion of twinning to their President who showed great interest. At this time, Finn Hjort regularly visiting Munster on business and acted as the link-man between the two clubs up until the first official visit in 1969. Whilst organising the first visit, it was suggested that the Rotary Club of York should join us; eventually only one member of that club, the late Gordon Wilkins, joined the few who went on this occasion. After this visit, the Munster Club suggested making regular contact with us and it was agreed we should meet every two years, alternating between the Munster and York. Arrangements were put in hand for the first visit of Munster Rotarians and their wives to York in 1971. It took almost a year to organise and Finn again acted as our contact, who kept reporting that they were very keen...

Rotary York-Ainsty — 2 years ago

...In order to finance the visit, each member was asked to pay a levy to cover the cost of hospitality of our visitors, even though they would be paying for thier (sic) accommodation at the Elm Bank Hotel. We were next invited to Munster in 1973, when I was President. We travelled via Hull to Rotterdam and train to Munster – “never again”! In making the arrangements to travel to Germany, we made a request through my contact Rotarian Knubel, the Club Secretary, to stay in the homes of Rotarians. They readily agreed to this, as it was felt, and it still is, that it was far better than staying in hotels, from the point of view of fellowship. It also gave us a better opportunity to know our families. This visit was an outstanding success. Straight away we broke down barriers by the UK Rotarians introducing themselves by their Christian names, which is normally unheard of in Germany on occasions like this. I had long discussions with Karl Heinz Knubel on how we could make the visits more practical, rather than just visiting each other socially. Their exceptional hospitality was highlighted on this occasion they arranged for us to stay for an extra day, when they discovered that our Travel Agent member had booked for us to stay a night in Amsterdam. We had a fantastic time on this extra day, which turned out to be the best of the visit. On our return, we discussed how we could be further involved with Munster. Unfortunately, we came to the conclusion that to combine with a Community Service project would be difficult and our contribution would be minimal compared to Munster’s contribution. The next visit to York, our visitors stayed at the Dean Court Hotel, as we could not get enough members to host in our homes. In 1977 we were again invited to Munster but due to the possibility of staying in hotels, it was decided that the cost would be too much and the visit fell through...

Rotary York-Ainsty — 2 years ago

...However Munster were still anxious for us to visit and arrangements were made to visit in 1978. Eventually, three members made this visit and arrangements had been made for them to stay in private accommodation belonging to one of the Banks in Munster. In 1979 the Munster party came to York and stayed at the Royal Station Hotel, now the Royal York. This arrangement was forced upon us, as the initial number of those wishing in visiting York, was far in excess of the number we could host in our homes. As it turned out, the number of people who eventually came could have been accommodated in our own homes. This led to discussions with various members of the Munster and it was agreed that no time had there been more than twenty in any of the previous parties, we would always stay in Rotarians’ homes – this has happened ever since, both here and in Germany. When the Munster party visited in 1987, we were invited to visit them the following year to take part in their 25th Anniversary celebrations. This was accepted and enabled us to look to future visits coinciding with York’s four yearly festival (sic). During the extra visit to Germany, the late Ray Langstaff was honoured by the Munster Club by making him a Paul Harris fellow. This was in recognition of his involvement in making the arrangements for visits in both ways since 1973. At the same time I am reminded of the fact that Mac McMillan had been a member of the International Committee since 1979 up to 1990. He was chairman from 1982 to 1985, so he too had been very much involved with 4 of the 5 meetings either way. Those not involved in these visits sometimes comment, “What do we get out of all this?”. I would say, and am sure those of us who have hosted here or travelled to Munster, we are getting a better understanding of each other and Rotary Fellowship. In many cases it has gone beyond that, with private visits and contacts being made with various families both here and in Germany...

Rotary York-Ainsty — 2 years ago

...Audrey and I are one of these, having visited Munster twice and hosted here on two occasions. We have also had three children from one family to stay with us, on their own, on two separate visits.” Finally, after all these years and as we look forward to the visit of the Munster Rotarians and their wives this summer, I think you will agree that our meetings every other year are in keeping with the fourth object of Rotary, namely, the advancement of International understanding, goodwill and peace throughout the World, a fellowship of professional business persons united in the Ideal of Service. Dick Swallow - 1992

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