Our speaker this month is our senior vice President Sinead Darker sharing some of her life and interests with eRotarian John Isles
John: Sinead, Welcome and can I start by asking you tell our members a little about yourself.
Sinead: I was born in Dublin in southern Ireland, and attended a nice catholic girls’ school. I graduated from University College Dublin and came to live in the UK in my early 20s. I am married to David Wren (another club member) and we live in Swindon with two very supercillious cats. I pursued a political career in Swindon and served 8 years as a Borough Councillor, it was very enjoyable but very very very hard work. My tenure as a Councillor ended in May 2012. David was also a Borough Councillor for 10 years and served as Mayor of Swindon. During his Mayoral year I had the opportunity to learn about all the voluntary organisations in Swindon, I loved it, there is a lot going on here! A few weeks ago we sold our house, we are heading off to Ireland to find a home there, although it will be a bit of a culture shock as I have very happily spent most of my adult life in lovely England.
John: Why did you join e.rotary and not a traditional Club
Sinead: I was involved in lots of community ventures on a voluntary basis and knew I couldn’t commit to weekly meetings. I realise now that that kind of set up works really well for some people, but it just isn’t me. If I had joined a lunch/breakfast club I would have dropped out by now. I love the flexible friendly nature of our club and the variety of personalities and ages in our membership. I also like the fact that our geographical location is so wide – it has led me to visit places I wouldn’t have normally thought of going to. For example, Worcester, for the mental health day, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
John: Tell us what kind of music do you like:
Sinead: I love opera but I also love chart music and I download lots on itunes. I spend a lot of time at the gym so like fast music to help me exercise.
John: You are very much a lady who enjoys changes. If you could change anything in the World what would it be?
Sinead: Apart from concern about global inequality, I am passionate about recycling, it seems to me that we import some stuff we don’t really need and it somehow ends up in a landfill site in beautiful rural England. In an ideal world everything manufactured would have the potential to be recycled completely or mended effectively at low cost. I try to do my bit by using charities, Freecycle, ebay etc.
John: In relation to development and your role as V.P. how do you see the e.club developing.
Sinead: I foresee a very successful year under President Janice’s leadership. It would be great to see an increase in membership and with it, an injection of energy and ideas into the club. I am supporting Janice by setting up real time meetings via Skype and this will help us develop fellowship in the Club. Through our twinning activities we can learn more about successful rotary clubs in other countries. Rotary offers great opportunities for engagement at an international level, for example we are going to Australia next year for the Rotary Convention in Sydney, I am really excited about it!
John: If you were offered an airline ticket to anywhere in the World for a holiday where would you go and why?
Sinead: Venice, Venice, Venice – churches – museums – canals – great weather – lovely beaches…….
John: And to take with you what is your favourite book to read
Sinead: Wow that’s a difficult question – I love reading and am currently reading The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carre but my favourite book is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – what a witty, clever person she was! I also love anything written by Hilary Mantel, P.D. James., William Boyd, Stephen King ….
John: Finally, how effective do you believe the new RI website is to introducing people to Rotary.
Sinead: I love the website, the first thing you see on the top banner is “get involved” and the club finder puts our club no.1 in Swindon – Yay! The pictures show a diverse range of people so it’s sending the right message. I believe though, that most people will get involved because they are invited by a friend to join a club.
John: I think we can all agree with that. May we wish you a safe and happy trip back to Ireland we hope you will come back and see us from time to time
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