June 19 2013 Latest news:
Sukran Sahin, Senior Reporter
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Nickie Kenning is the president of the Rotary Club of Dagenham and founder of the Bahay ng Pag-asa (House of Hope) outreach centre in the Philippines. She regularly sings at St Peter’s Church in Goresbrook Road, Dagenham.
»In 1978 I moved to Dagenham with my husband John and two children Liza and David.
Shortly afterwards I became a driving instructor, which was an unusual occupation for a woman at that time. I really loved my job helping so many people and after a few years started my own driving school.
In 1990 I became one of a handful of women driving examiners working at the test centre in Barking.
From the time we moved into Dagenham, we have been regular attendees at St Peter’s Catholic Church, and I was very quickly involved with running the Guides, Brownies and Rangers and on various committees.
My husband John is the organist and I am the cantor, leading the singing for over 30 years now. When I started as the soloist I had no idea about singing, didn’t even know that I could sing.
To be honest, at that time I could not sing very well, so I decided that if I was going to make the congregation suffer my noise every week I had better get some training – which is what I did. I had classical voice training for 15 years with Professor Ivor Evans in Ilford. I have performed in several operas and stage shows and continue to sing regularly at St. Peter’s.
In the early 1980s the church organised a pilgrimage to La Salette, a shrine in France. One place on the trip was raffled for £1 and that is really where my story starts.
I won the trip which led to my becoming a regular visitor to the shrine, where I met some Filipino nuns who in 1995 invited me to visit their country. I was so touched when I visited an orphanage there that I decided to volunteer to help look after the children, which I did.
I have been a voluntary missionary ever since, founding Bahay ng Pag-asa (House of Hope), a halfway house and outreach centre fighting child abuse and poverty.
For more details please see www.bahay-ng-pas-asa.org.
I joined the Rotary Club of Dagenham five years ago and have organised several community and fundraising events, including a health awareness day giving free health advice to the public and a fundraising barbeque in aid of the Somalian Famine Appeal.
At the beginning of July I had the great honour of being elected as the first lady president in the 74-year history of the club. And all because I bought a raffle ticket!
One of the victims of a vicious pub attack in Rainham that saw three men punched, kicked and stamped on says he only remembers waking up in a pool of blood.
Hundreds are expected to attend an annual exhibition promoting some of east London’s top businesses.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson lists Barking’s Riverside development as a critical area for economic growth in his vision for the capital’s future.
In November 1956 Mr Munn, chief public relations officer of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, walked into the office of the Barking Advertiser, where I was a reporter.