The Mayor Opens the Rotary garden at Sunbury Manor School.

GardenOver the weekend the focus of our attention switched to the Sunbury Manor Garden, and the opening ceremony on Tuesday. On the day before, the usual team of Ken, Geoff, Andrew, Jacqueline and Mike spent a few hours tidying the garden up, lawn mowing, weeding, re-planting gaps, laying chipped bark along the borders, installing an automatic sprinkler system, fixing up a bracket for a hanging basket and filling bird feeders. The next morning, there was a nice piece of tape tied in a bow across the entrance, for the mayor to cut.

LouiseOn the morning of the ceremony, it was good to see several members from both clubs there to support our efforts, and the school were very excited about the whole thing. Several teachers, and also several pupils attended, including Interact President Farrah, and RYLA student Louisa. It felt like being part of a family. The school has a terrific atmosphere about it, and there is clearly a very good relationship between Head Teacher Louise Duncan, staff and pupils. It is remarkable how Louise knows every pupil by name. She still does some teaching herself, not because she needs to, but because she wants to.

MayorThe ceremony began with Louise giving a short speech welcoming everybody to the school, during which she emphasised how much she values the relationship between her school and Rotary.

The President of Shepperton Aurora Rotary, Mike, then gave a bit of background about how the project developed, whilst Geoff, from the evening Club thanked all those who took part and our two corporate sponsors, crowdNotcutts and Tesco, neither of whom were able to attend. The mayor, Councillor Alfred Friday, then said how much he enjoys coming to Sunbury Manor School, and how much he appreciates the work of Rotary before cutting the ribbon with a giant pair of shears. We all thought the garden looked good. A lot of the shrubs, planted in the Autumn, were in flower, and a wheelchair-using pupil gave the thumbs up to the matting we had laid to make the garden accessible all year round.

As our President left the school, hespoke to Deputy Head Allan Cottle, who was very interested in the idea of planting a carpet of purple crocuses in support of the Polio campaign.