The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming members and one new member and then outlined the current thinking for events and guest speakers for 2022 – these will be further discussed at a business meeting of Probus in early 2022.
Ruth Walne was then introduced as the guest speaker. Ruth was trained as an orthopedic nurse in Oxford. Since her recent retirement Ruth joined the Mercy Ships organization which is a global (c.40 countries) charity that brings hope and healing to those suffering from disability, disfigurement and disease. It deploys a hospital ship, Africa Mercy, and has a second ship, Global Mercy, which is currently being fitted out in Holland. All staff on the Africa Mercy are volunteers. Ruth, with the aid of slides, described the process for engaging with a particular country and the work done by the medical staff (c. 400) on the ship. Most of the deployments have been in African countries eg Benin, Senegal and lasts for notionally 10months – each deployment is preceded by a Country Engagement Plan where the particular country and Mercy Ships agree, on a partnership arrangement, the activities that will be undertaken on and off ship for the duration of the deployment. All activities undertaken are provided free of charge to the country involved and the facilities used for the medical activities are both on and off ship.
The talk was followed by a large number of questions, a vote of thanks and a very appreciative applause from the audience.
Henley Probus meets at Badgemore Park on the second Tuesday of each month; it starts with an informal gathering of its members (plus visitors) for a discussion and coffee, with the formal meeting commencing at 1130 followed by a lunch. If anyone is interested in joining the Club please make themselves known to Roger Griffiths our Membership Secretary (01491575137/email email@example.com) or to any Club member that you may know.