The Half-Way Point


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 arrived home from the big tour on the 3rd October he was off again to Stranraer in Scotland 2 days later, “It’s not that far….Oh yes it is!” for the GB&I HYM and National Sports and Social weekend (NSSW). This time it was serious though as he had a trophy to defend having won the 2022 games. GB&I believe in fair play though and despite every effort he didn’t win, in fact no-one wins it twice the organisers see to that. A wonderful time of fun, fellowship and competition with a couple of meetings thrown in. 

Next up was the World HYM on the wonderful Island of Cyprus. Travelling with Rachel and a large party of around 60 Brits, including 18 from his own club Shirley Late Nights, this trip was apparently brilliant. Unfortunately I couldn’t go as my own club decided to visit Benidorm for a boys few days. Chris is now talking to me again, just, but usually with a comment about all the photos she had been following as everyone enjoyed a great time without us. As the International President, part of Barry’s job of course was to chair the main meeting on Saturday which went well, some good decisions made and a welcome to Lithuania and Malagasy who have submitted applications for membership to be ratified in Marrakesh in May next year. Apart from the meetings and the three forums those attending were part of a wonderful continuous party from a cruise on the Thursday night, through party on the beach on Friday to a gala dinner on Saturday night. Some partied so hard that they only got home a week later. 

The next part of the story will be a trip to Lausanne for the Swiss AGM but as the title of this blog says this is now the half-way point in his year as International President. He has had a few reflections, not quite sure when, but overall it has been a brilliant time. He has enjoyed meeting hundreds of people across the three continents he has travelled so far, he’s been hosted by some wonderful people and tried to strengthen relationships both with the various countries but also with the family of clubs following on from the work done over the past few years. The downsides? Of course there are some like living out of a suitcase for weeks on end, waiting at airports, train stations and on delayed journeys but these are relatively minor in comparison with the experience.

Half way there now and the pony tail is still in place.

Follow Barry through the blog over the next 6 months until we get to the World meeting in Morrocco.


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