The personal thoughts of Peter Woods on the Rotary trip to Denmark - May 2014

After nearly thirty years of our twining programme with Hinnerup Rotay Club in Denmark I thought rather than just a 'report' it was worth a look back on what my experience has been over the years and perhaps why we are still in such good shape with our inter-club friendship. Many others in Church Wilne will have their own stories and remember as far back as I do. As I say this is mine but would welcome others.

Denmerk 2014

Niels S√łndergaard was one of the inaugural members of Hinnerup Rotary Club, a club formed just six months before ours. Susan and I first visited during his first marriage probably about 1986/7. His three children, two boys and a girl, were in the background but only when he lived on his own for a short period on our second visit do I remember particularly his daughter, hiding behind his legs and being very shy. Niels cooked and looked after us on his own very well and this first house of his had a wind turbine just a few yards outside his back window. In those days quite a novelty, although it did create strobing in the kitchen which proved annoying at times. Niels married Vivi shortly after and moved into what I suppose can be classed as a small holding with horses, hens, dogs etc. Here is where his love of wines flourished and in a small warehouse at the side of his house he developed, as a hobby, a wine importing business aimed specifically at business people wanting, for example, Christmas client presents. I'm still not sure if the main reason behind this is to have a large cellar at the side of his house for personal needs. However, his main business as an attorney continued to flourish in the town of Hinnerup.
Over the years he and Vivi visited us not only in Rotary twinning but also in South Africa with their newly adopted daughter who is now twenty. As well as this we were delighted to give his older son Jesper a help with accommodation when as a late teenager he came to Britain looking for work.

2001 visit when President

So, as a family we have a close tie with the S√łndergaards but it's not just that. The Danish people's mind set is so similar to ours with such a great sense of fun and humor. During this year's visit, one remark from a Dane sums up just how close the two nations are. Denmark haven't qualified for the World Cup so we now cheer on England; this is not the first time I've heard this style of casual thought. Perhaps it's the Viking blood in us they like and visa versa!
Generosity is something we all equate with the Danes so let's do them proud in a couple of years time! They have many new young members including one lady doctor who we had a meal with this visit. As you see Greg was in his element playing piano to accompany her daughter on the flute. Much more on this years visit can be seen via Greg's input on our Church Wilne Facebook page.



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