Rotary Club Of Warwick

Dec11 - American Couple bid a fond farewell

“Amidst the turmoil and turbulence of the times, peoples of both sides of the Atlantic still have much for which to celebrate and be happy,” say a couple from America.

This sentiment is expressed by James O. Coleman and his wife, Joann W. Coleman, as they complete their stay of nearly 18 months here in Warwick. They speak with fondness of their lovely time living in this community, the land of enchantment with spires, steeples, cathedrals and castles with wonderful loving, kind people. “The Colemans have said, “We have been dealt with kindly in the shops and stores. When we have needed assistance with documents, procedures or navigating the necessities of life with public facilities such as the Post Office, Shire Hall, medical consultants, and all aspects of our interaction here have been handled with utmost courtesy and professionalism. We say thank you to all who have served us and cared for us in any way.”

The Coleman’s activities here have permitted them to catch a glimpse of much of the country and the people of England from Yorkshire to the north to Plymouth, Canterbury and Dover to the south, as well as Scotland and the Emerald Isle. They are volunteers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints working in its Communication Department. Their duties have been to support local congregations, like the one here in Warwick on Saltisford, and to assist the Church in its partnering activities with local communities. The Church offers its facilities at no charge to serve local needs, such as the frequent NHS Blood Draws.  It will be a polling venue for this General Election 12 December and other times.

The Coleman’s work has been to create awareness and spread goodwill among the people of the UK, striving to promote the positive image of the Church’s high standards for righteous living. Listed among their Articles of Faith (tenets of belief) are: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. … We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may. … We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; … If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”

While in Warwick, Jim became affiliated with the local Rotary Club of Warwick. The couple made presentations to several Rotary Clubs throughout the UK with a program they called “Friends to All Nations.” In their recent presentation to the Warwick Rotary Club, a proposal was made for a twining venture between Warwick and Coleman’s U.S. home Rotary Club in St. George, Utah.

Because of their Church activity and their involvement with Rotary International, they have been privileged to participate in many of the local community celebrations and events. Most recently, they were invited to come along with David Brain, President of the Warwick Rotary Club, for the Victorian Evening Celebration 28 November to the reception at Guildhall Lord Leycester Hospital. The Colemans not only enjoyed the ambiance of the delightful historic hall, but they also enjoyed socializing with Cllr George Illingworth, Warwickshire District Council Chairman, who told them of his train trip through Utah, and with Cllr Neale Murphy, Mayor of Warwick. They even chatted with the Town Crier and Father Christmas, who inquired as to whether or not “they have been behaving themselves.” Then they proceeded to the Town Centre stage area for the switching on of the lights and the delightful entertainment.

Other significant occasions to which the Coleman’s have been part, include the outstanding and very moving worship service and placing of the wreathes and parade for Day of Remembrance. They have attended on other very note-worthy occasions at St. Mary’s and St. Nicholas’s with friends and associates.

The Coleman’s will return home with vivid and very memorable recollections of their life in Warwick. These particularly include learning to drive the narrow roadways, negotiating roundabouts, watching for traffic ahead that may switch lanes and even park on the opposite side of roadway facing opposing direction, although they praise the patience and courtesy of drivers allowing entry to roadways from side driveways; the plentiful eating-out options in addition to the British mainstay of fish and chips; sorting the spoken language of British or American: “Is it really English?”; and continuing on with usual life activities despite the rain, as this is quite a shocker for them as their home area in Southwestern Utah, the land of red rock canyons and National Parks, only gets some eight inches of rainfall annually.

The greatest treasures the Colemans will carry home with them are the experiences and unforgettable memories with a very long list of new friends. They cherish their stay in Warwick and the UK, the land of many of their ancestors, and pledge to live up to the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” and the message they have delivered here of being “Friends to All Nations,” while they long for a return stay.