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Recent Programs - GSE Team Visits
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Rotary Group Study Exchange Team from England Visits Lawrenceburg


by Bob Augustin Jr.




GSE Dutch Country



      The Lawrenceburg Rotary Club hosted the Group Study Exchange Team from Rotary District 1030 in North East England May 8 through May 12.   The British GSE Team consists of Team Leader David Sadler, member of the Saltburn-by-the-Sea Rotary Club, Kathryn Fisk from Gateshead, Colin Barnes from Bournmoor, County Durham, Claire Pounder of Middlesbrough, and Will Sadler from Whitley Bay. 

     The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four weeks, the team members live in the homes of Rotarians and tour the district.   GSE Team members experience the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their personal vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.


     The GSE Team arrived at Rotary Park the evening of May 8, after having been hosted by the Savannah Rotary Club, and were welcomed by their Home Stay Families and several Lawrenceburg Rotarians.  The Lawrenceburg Rotary Club hosted a Welcoming party at the Chaparral Restaurant to provide a opportunity for the Home Stay Families (HSF) to meet and become better aquainted with the team members.  Bob Augustin, Jr., Club GSE Coordinator, welcomed the team to Lawrenceburg and provided them with the itinerary for their stay.  Representing the Rotary Club were Dan and Julia Mills, Home Stay Family for Colin Barnes, Jack and Deb Grinnell, HSF for Dave Sadler and Kathryn Mills, Polly and Bill Marsh, HSF for Claire Pounder, Randy Brewer, Maria Santini-Bolin, James Keeton, Savannah Rotarian Lynn Cockrell, and Sima Shabaneh, Foreign Exchange Student to LCHS.


   On Friday morning May 9, Rotarians Randy Brewer and Bob Augustin, alumni of the 1986 GSE team to Japan, escorted the English team on a tour of the Amish Community. 

   The Rotary Club welcomed the GSE Team to its regbular noon meeting, where the team presented the program on their home in North East England.   North East England is an area rich in history.   It was here that Julius Caesar invaded England in 45 BC.   Hadrian's Wall was built here by the Romans in AD 122 to keep the barbarian Picts and Scots out of the Roman Empire.   The district is also home of  the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and Durham cathedral, which houses the relics of St. Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede, who wrote the first history of the British Isle.  Washington Hall, the ancestral home of George Washington's family, is located here, as well as the home of the region's most famous son, maritime navigator James Cook.  Cook found and chartered New Zealand, parts of Australia, and many other islands including Hawaii.

    Rotary District 1030 in North East England stretches from the Scottish border down to the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.  Its eastern boundary lies in the Northumberland National Park and to the south in the North Pennine Area of Natural Beauty, while stunning coastlines face the North Sea to the east. The area has a population of 2.5 million.


 GSE Vaughn


       In the afternoon, the team visited Lawrenceburg's Town Square where they posed for the obligitory photo in front of the David Crockett statue.   The team then visited the James D. Vaughan Museum and were given a personal tour by curator Tom Crews. From the square the team proceeded to David Crockett State Park where they spent a leisurely afternoon in the warm Tennessee sunshine. Last on the afternoon's itinerary, the team was treated to afternoon tea at Crockett Hospital before returning to their Home Stay Families for a short rest and to prepare for the evening's events. 

 GSE statue



       Friday evening, the team was treated to an old-fashioned American cook-out, complete with hot dogs and hamburgers, at the home of Jack and Deb Grinnell.




      Bright and early the next morning, the team left Rotary Park, escorted by Rotarians Bert Spearman and Randy Brewer, for the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  That evening, the team was the special guests of the Rotary Club at their Fifth Annual Rumble at the Crossroads Truck and Tractor Pull.


GSE Rumble 


       Sunday May 11, Mothers' Day,  was a leisurely day for the team spent with their Home Stay Families.  That evening team members Will Sandler, Kathryn Fisk, Colin Barnes, Dave Sandler, Jane and Dan Jennings, Will's Home Stay Family, Jack Grinnell, Sima Shabaneh, and Bob Augustin enjoyed the hospitality of Jimmy and Avagene Moore in their home.  The Group Study Exchange program is designed to enable its member to exchange vocational ideas with their counterparts.  Will Sandler is the owner of Arpeggio Films LTD, a film production company that works in the public, educational, and charitable sectors in England.   The team viewed a sampling of Jimmy's extensive photo and video work and toured his home studio.



       Monday was another travel day.  The Home Stay Families and the Lawrenceburg Rotary Club bid the team a fond farewell and wished them a continued safe journey.   Rotarian Jim Bush delivered the team to Clifton, Tennessee where they were met by the Jackson Rotary Club.  The team, minus Team Leader Dave Sandler who was being joined by his wife Anne for an entended visit in the U.S., left for England on Thursday, May 15.




 GSE Rotary meeting



Pictured above are, front row, L to R:  Colin Barnes, Claire Pounder,  Kathryn Fisk.  Back row, L to R:

Randy Brewer, Dave Sandler, Bill Phillips,  Will Sandler, and Bob Augustin Jr.