Jacky Foster is presented with Paul Harris Fellowship by Foundation Chair Chris Spear
  • Frank Rigg, Concord Rotarian and Speaker
  • Karin, as District Conference Chair, presented a video advertising the conference, produced by Richard Simon.  The conference will be 5/20-22, at the 1620 Hotel in Plymouth.  This year, desserts at the Hospitality suites will be judged; another event will be Taste of Rotary – what Rotary does.  Saturday afternoon is open for touring, with a harbor cruise. Saturday night, awards will be given, including “Best Club.” Sunday morning, after breakfast, there will be a memorial service for Rotarians who have passed away. Be sure to “like” our club’s Facebook page; the club that gets the most likes gets a free harbor cruse.
  • Members were asked to volunteer for the “house of friendship” at the district conference.
  • We completed the most recent Repair Café, and a letter appeared in the Bolton Independent thanking us for it.
  • Power of Change; thanks to Karin, Mary, and Nancy for their work to organize the event. An article will appear in the Lowell Sun centerfold on Sunday.
  • The Stop Hunger Now food packaging event was also completed at Nashoba Regional High School. Over 12,000 meals were packed, thanks to the other clubs participating, the NRHS Interact club, and the Junior ROTC at Assabet Technical High School.
  • There will be no meeting Thursday; instead, we will have a special joint meeting with the Hudson Club on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6 pm, at the Hudson Portuguese Club. A major feature will be a discussion of the 2016 Brewfest.
  • Chris presented a Paul Harris pin to Jacky.
  • Ron discussed an idea for future district grant, to the Nature Connection. Their mission is to bring nature to people who can’t access it themselves. The grant would pay to produce a new video.  This would be a continuation of our tradition of having a district grant and global grant every year.
  • Sunday, March 6th at 4:00, we’re invited to Don’s 70 birthday party. BYOM (meat) to cook on the bonfire.
Happy/sad fines:
  • Rich: glad to have his computer back and fixed, so he doesn’t have to read his own handwriting when taking meeting notes.
  • Ray: has been retired for one month, and wonders how he ever fit working into his schedule.
  • Mary: just happy.
  • Don: moving his office to another part of the building and clearing out stuff.
  • Nancy: also moving her office, next to Don’s.
  • Bob: The Red Cross has had to cancel blood drives because of snow, and now is in need of blood; their next drive is Feb. 18th at Trinity Church in Bolton.  RYLA applications are available for sophomores. And he picked up his new hearing aid.
  • Jacky: had a visit from her son; and is glad to have snow!
  • Ron: happy that Frank Rigg is joining us.
  • Karin: also happy for Frank’s visit; sad that there was no heat in her meeting room this morning, so happy for heat.
  • Frank: also got his computer back today, and today is the eighth anniversary of his retirement.
  • Carol: caught in the recent terrible snowstorm, but glad to be back; and happy for Tuesday’s meeting with Hudson.
  • Jim: happy that the Red Sox truck left for Florida this morning!
Concord Rotarian and Historian, Frank Rigg, commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. In the summer and fall of 1940, German and British air forces clashed in the skies over the United Kingdom, locked in the largest sustained bombing campaign to date. A significant turning point of World War II, the Battle of Britain ended when Germany’s Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force despite months of targeting Britain’s air bases, military posts and, ultimately, its civilian population. Britain’s decisive victory saved the country from a ground invasion and possible occupation by German forces.
The genesis of this talk came while he was in England and driving to Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill in Kent, and past by Biggin Hill, a RAF airbase, tasked with getting planes up quickly when they received word of the approach of German bombers. There he saw two Spitfires, one of the great planes of the war, known for its speed and firepower. The airbase also had the advantage of radar, and the secret of Ultra, a code cracked by Alan Turing. Pilots came from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and even America, which wasn’t part of the war effort yet.
When Churchill bought Chartwell, he didn’t tell his wife. She almost divorced him. Later, when asked why he drank, he quipped, “In defeat, I need it, in victory, I deserve it.” It’s possible to imagine Churchill standing on the balcony, looking to the south at the mounting storm-clouds. In fact, in his later memoirs of the war, the first volume is called, “The Gathering Storm.” After Dunkirk came his famous declaration: “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Hitler was so eager to invade Britain; he ordered the blitz of London, industrial areas and the civilian population. Up to a thousand Londoners were killed per week.  Finally, in August 1940, having lost 394 planes (to 14 British planes), he called off the invasion plans and turned his attention east, to the Soviet Union.  Churchill’s summation was, “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.”