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Ending 2023 on a High

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  Ending 2023 on a high. We left our pony-tailed hero having finished the half-year meeting in Cyprus and the halfway point of his year as 41 Club International President. His next visit was to Switzerland for their AGM in November.    First stop was a visit to stay with Swiss IRO, the irrepressible Noe Zanotta.   Noe of course provided wonderful company but also was happy to show   Barry around. A trip to one of Noe’s shops was followed by visits to   Montreux and a highlight visit to “Barryland”. Yes there really is one, in   Martigny, but unfortunately it is not dedicated to the Barry we know but to a   very worthwhile cause, that of the Great St. Bernard Dog breed. They then   moved on to the beautiful city of Lausanne for the AGM where many friends   met for the last International AGM of 2023.  The final trip of the year was to be in Merano for the renowned Chestnut Festival. Squeezed in between Switzerland and Merano Barry and Rachel joined five other past GB&I Presidents (in

The Half-Way Point

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  The Half-Way Point After spending 7 weeks touring around Africa, India and Romania Barry returned home, but only for a very short while. Quite clearly he has a phobia about sitting still for even the shortest of time. One could describe it as ants in the pants but even the ants need a rest some time! Barry reminded me that although I mentioned his short visit to Ukraine he hadn’t told me much about it. During his time in Romania he had the opportunity to visit Ukraine (pictured in Cernau). For obvious reasons it was a long way from the war zone but nevertheless an important visit to show support for that ravaged country and its people. Many of you will know that Barry has been part of the Christmas gift transportation for a number of years which goes to Ukraine and other surrounding countries. Barry has regularly travelled to Moldova as part of that. In fact, his two charities are both from that country. If you get an opportunity, please buy a badge or make a donation. Having a

The Grand Tour - Part 3

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  The Grand Tour  - Part 3 The African leg of the mammoth tour finished and Barry moved on to India and being hosted by Paresh and  then TCI President Jayashree Chaudry in Mumbai. He has developed a head for heights and needed it as their apartment is on the 33 rd floor of the building. Barely having time to breathe Jayashree got Barry on an express train (right up his street) to Surat to visit the Round Table Family School built under the Freedom through Education project and funded by 41 Club, Round Table, Tangent and Circle, a tremendous example of working together for the community.  A great evening of fellowship with local clubs and then back to Mumbai the following day. As you can see from the photo Barry took the opportunity to get his washing done in the outdoor laundry, well he has been away for a long time!  It was then time to move on to Kolkata for the Indian AGM’s Tangent and 41 Club. Now we think our AGM’s are long but the Indian one started at 9-30am and finished at 9

Africa - Part 2

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  Africa Part 2 After a wonderful two weeks in Botswana and Zambia the tour moved on to South Africa. After the 3 rd flight of the day the group arrived in East London for the South African AGM. The few days spent here included a wonderful “Braii” at the local 41ers clubhouse and then the Friday was spent with some meetings with friends followed by the traditional Nations Night. Lots of the recent YAPS were there that night which livened up the dancing. Saturday saw the AGM which was well chaired by Nico as President Ben had gone down with food poisoning although he did get back later in the day to complete the celebrations. 41 Club in South Africa is facing similar issues to many associations around the world with the transfer from Table to 41 club being at a low level. Many people will have read or heard about the tragic accident at the time of the AGM when Moffat Nyirenda’s (Zambian 41 clubber and past RTI President), 2 year old son was run over by a car and sadly died. The tho

Africa - Part 1

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  Africa Part one After a restful summer playing with the trains and walking up and down the Millenium Way the pace of life for an International President now picks up. This was the start of the epic travel period across 3 continents with 7 AGM’s during 7 weeks. Leaving on the 16 th August via his own gate 41 Barry won’t return to the UK until October. As Barry said this is the trip of a lifetime and it started in Botswana . Barry was joined by Rachel for the first part of the trip and after a 22 hour, 3 flight trip via Istanbul they arrived in Maun to join a group of 18 International travellers, unfortunately arriving without suitcases which we are pleased to say did catch up with them 24 hours later. Fortunate ly, the hand luggage had contained some antiperspirant! A wonderful welcome awaited them from 41 clubbers and in traditional fashion they were taken to a local bar that night. The second night a wonderful BBQ at a local craft brewery. Do we detect a theme here? The AGM h
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  Full steam ahead in the first month for King Barry   It's been all go in the month of May for Barry as he takes over as the International President. The world meeting in Stratford-on-Avon was a wonderful, fun-filled event culminating in the installation of our own pony-tailed hero as the new International President for 2023/24.  A few people have asked why is the blog called "There's only one.....blog". Those in GB&I, and others from overseas may well remember that when Barry was National President he frequently coined the phrase "There's only one Barry Durman" to which those of us who knew him well would respond with "thank goodness for that!". This blog continues the theme. Barry launched his international presidency with the theme of "Full Steam Ahead", a passing reference to his passion for steam trains but also a reference to his vision for 41 CLUB INTERNATIONAL. It is worth reminding those who were still awake at the end o

All Ready for the Year ahead

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Barry, our pony-tailed hero, is almost ready for the AGM and World Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon at the end of this week. National President Steve James and his conference committee have been working tirelessly (so Martin Green says) for the past 3 years to make this a memorable conference for the 450 plus visitors who are now descending on Stratford. 27 countries of 41 INTERNATIONAL together with members of Tangent and Agora are represented and, as I write, the pre-tour is now underway. Over the last couple of months Barry has been very busy travelling. He went to Estonia at the beginning of March for the joint meeting of the 41 INTERNATIONAL Board with RTI and this was followed by a visit to go ice-fishing in Finland, although I think he went to a meeting as well. On to the GB&I conference in Jersey  and then just back in time from Denmark and Italy, where he joined Napoli's party when they won the Italian Serie A, for the World Meeting. For those of you who don't kno