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 of the AGM of some of the things he said.

"My theme for the year is FULL STEAM AHEAD. This is meant to signify that at 41 years of age or older we need to be energetic in support of our own club, our own Region, our own Country and of course 41 International. Some see 41 as the end of the track and time to put our feet up and relax - I think that's rubbish - when we leave Round Table, all that happens is that we arrive at an interchange station, get off one train and walk across the platform and get on the 41 Club train. It's heading in the same direction. The track is clear. The signals are green, so let's go Full Steam Ahead."

41 CLUB INTERNATIONAL will follow the themes established by Luca and Tom:
  • Fellowship
  • The Round Table Family
  • Membership
  • Community Service
Barry's charities this year follow the theme of Community Service following his numerous visits with the German Christmas convoy when he has been to Moldova. The charities are both based in Moldova and will be House of Hope a charity championed by Bob Parton and Hope 4 victims of crime and conflict which I'm sure will have your full support.

The World Meeting was a great event superbly organised by GB&I National President, Steve James, and his committee (including me!). It nearly didn't start that well for Steve although I probably shouldn't tell you. In his hurry and keenness to get to Stratford he discovered he had forgotten to bring his chain of office. For a host National President, oh dear. Never mind to the rescue came his wife Karen and with one, threatening, phone call, with a bit of blackmail involved, persuaded son Alex to drive up from Cardiff to Stratford to bring the chain, so no-one knew! (until now). Thursday night we managed the Bar-B-Q in the hotel gardens with a visit from none other than Henry VIII, Friday night saw the party move on to the motor museum at Gaydon where we managed not to lose anyone in getting people onto coaches both there and back. On to Saturday with the AGM's. The final night gala dinner was a splendid affair with over 450 people attending. There were one or two surprises, even for the committee, but apart from singing chefs and illuminated dancers one of the highlights was the handover to the new Presidents of both 41 Club and TCI. Barry certainly seemed to be happy at that moment, see photo. To top that though there was a further presentation to Barry led by Steve, organised by  "Pastor" Bob Parton and the crowning by Past International President "Pope" Luca. (see above).

So where has Barry been since. He is quite difficult to follow and I'm quite seriously looking at getting a tracker for him. He managed to get to the airport for his flight to his first meeting in Utrecht. Unfortunately it looks like we might have to buy him a watch that works, or a new diary, as he got there an hour earlier than he needed to as he got the time of the flight wrong. Not bad for a first event. However he did attend the AGM of Netherlands. As I write this he is in Austria for the Austrian AGM in Kitzbuhel where we hope he sticks to talking and doesn't try skiing.

That's it for now. We will try to publish this blog on a monthly basis to follow Barry and his travels. Please do though, keep an eye out for the International Newsletters expertly put together by Ray Hill. You can see the latest one at https://www.41international.net/2023/06/news-no-13-june-2023/.  

Best of luck Barry, or is it his twin Arawn?


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