International Rotary Meeting at March
THE meaning of Rotary International was made clear on the evening of February 28, when March held its International Evening, with guests from Overseas, and the local clubs of Chatteris and Wisbech.
For many years now March has been twinned with the Rotary Club of Halle, North Rhine-Westphalia, with biannual exchange visits. Every third year both clubs meet at a neutral location, Berlin being this year’ venue. With this in mind the Guest of Honour invited to the dinner was Herr Peter Ritzer, and his wife, Lydia.
The Conservative Club was superbly decked out in National Flags, and banners for the evening, with the ‘Halle Man’, a unique porcelain figure, the gift of the German Rotary club on display.
Rtn George White introduced Herr Ritzer, who is part of a very small team who speak on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, Press Department in London.
He gave an informative, and in depth talk on the consequences of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and the effect of reunification between the former Eastern Bloc and what was then, West Germany.
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Explaining that prior to the ‘fall’ the GDR under the Soviet control was in effect a ‘nanny state’ with full employment, at the expense of personal freedom. He likened the book 1984 as an example.
With the fall of the Wall, euphoria soon turned into disillusion, and now the results of the freedoms gained has brought a heavy tax burden. While some hearken back to the old days, all in all this has only been for the good of Europe.
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Rtn on Morris proposed a vote of thanks, to our guest, and for his advice on sights to see while in Berlin.
The President, John Lattimore proposed the Final Toast, ‘Rotary and Peace The World Over’.