On Wednesday 13th March 2019, over 80 members, partners and friends from seven Rotary clubs across northeast Surrey attended a special event organised by Leatherhead Rotary Club at Betchworth Park Golf Club near Dorking.
After enjoying an excellent three-course meal, everyone present was richly entertained with a special balloon debate, which saw three famous people, played by representatives from three of the seven clubs, in the basket of an imaginary hot-air balloon falling rapidly to earth.
“Having each been given four minutes in the first round and a subsequent two minutes in the second round to put forward their argument for not being thrown from the balloon basket to almost certain death, their fate was then decided by a vote from the audience. First to be thrown overboard was the Reverend John Scott, Nelson’s Chaplain on board HMS Victory, played by… the Reverend John Scott from the Phoenix Club (formerly Reigate Hill Rotary Club), whose faith sadly could not save him on this occasion.
“This left the remaining two contestants, Maria von Trapp, played by Adrian O’Loughlin from Leatherhead Rotary Club, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, played by Mark Cooper from Coulsdon Manor Rotary Club, to go head-to-head in a final one-minute round before taking questions from the audience.
“After a closely-fought and well-argued battle for survival, a final vote saw the former nun turned governess sent tumbling to the ground, singing all the way, leaving the 19th century engineering giant to float safely back down to ‘terra firma’ as the winner!
“Event organiser and Master of Ceremonies, Simon Edmands, said he was delighted with how well the evening had gone, adding “This event used to be organised every year for almost twenty years by Reigate Hill Rotary Club before they sadly disbanded in 2015, so it was great to be able to get it back ‘off the ground’ (pause for laughter) and hopefully re-establish it as an annual event.”
“Leatherhead Rotary Club meets at 7pm most Wednesday evenings at the Police Federation Headquarters in Highbury Drive, Leatherhead. For further information about the club and its wide range of community, fundraising and social activities, please contact Simon Edmands on 07753 821964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.