Rotary round up - English speaking Rotary inaugurated.jpg

Rotary round up – English speaking Rotary inaugurated

The Almancil International Rotary Club is one of the most recent Rotary clubs to have been inaugurated in Portugal. The inauguration ceremony took place recently at the Ria Park Hotel in Almancil, in the presence of José Pereira, the District Governor, and other Rotary dignitaries and friends numbering nearly 100.

New members to Rotary received their membership pins from existing members from clubs across the Algarve and Leif Axelsson was presented with his chain of office, as first president of the newly formed club.

A great deal of consideration was given to the formation of Rotary clubs in Portugal, which choose to hold their meetings in the English language, and this was mentioned during speeches by the District Governor and the new president of Almancil Rotary, Leif Axelsson. Almancil International Rotary Club has already welcomed many guests from non-Portuguese clubs to its meetings, all of whom have found it very welcoming (for meeting details please see below).

During the dinner, Rotarians and their guests were entertained by renowned international soprano, Birgit Wegemann, who sang songs from operas and light classics.

Visit from American

Ambassador to Portugal

At a dinner hosted by three Rotary clubs – Loulé, Lagoa and Almancil – members of Rotary were particularly pleased to welcome the United States Ambassador to Portugal, Mr. Alfred Hoffman Jr., who paid a visit to the Algarve. Following the dinner, Mr Hoffman gave a speech outlining his background as a property developer, and the role the US is currently performing in some parts of the world. He mentioned terrorism in general, the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the developments in North Korea. He also commented on the growing importance of China, both in the world markets and as a developing world power.

Almancil International Rotary Club invited Mr. Hoffman to become an honorary member and Mr. Hoffman graciously accepted. He explained that he has not previously had the time to be a member of Rotary, but is pleased to be an honorary member.

“It is very encouraging for us, as a newly established Rotary Club, to have Mr. Hoffman as a member,” said Leif Axelsson, the president of the club. “We fully understand that Mr. Hoffman will be unable to attend all our weekly meetings, but we look forward to seeing him here whenever he is able to make time in his busy schedule to pay us a visit. We also hope to be able to visit him in Lisbon at some time in the near future.”

The Almancil International Rotary Club holds all its meetings in English and is already working hard to achieving the requirement of Rotary, which is ‘Service above Self’. It is hoped that the Almancil club will prove a great attraction for English-speaking visiting Rotarians, as the club offers a full schedule of speakers on a variety of subjects.

Almancil International Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at Restaurant Couleur France in Almancil between 1.30pm and 3pm. The club now has 28 members from seven different nations.

For more information contact Peter Hinze by e-mail: [email protected] or visit

Please note that meetings during the first three weeks of August will be held at Barringtons, Vale do Lobo, after which they will be back at Couleur France.