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ROTARY
 

ROTARY INTERNATIONAL

Rotary is a volunteer organisation of 1.2 million Business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian services and help build goodwill and peace. About 32,000 Rotary Clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas conduct projects to address today's challenges – including illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water and environmental concerns – whilst encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations.

Polio Plus is Rotary's flagship programme. By the time polio is eradicated, Rotary Club members will have contributed US$850 million and countless volunteer hours to immunise more than two billion children in 122 countries. Rotary is a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, along with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Founded in Chicago in 1905 as the worlds first volunteer service organisation, Rotary quickly expanded around the globe. Today, club members meet weekly to plan service projects, discuss community and international issues, and enjoy fellowship. Clubs are non political and open to men and women of every race, culture and creed.

For more information about Rotary International see www.Rotary.org
or for Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland see www.RIBI.org

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WESTON-SUPER-MARE ROTARY CLUB

There are over 1,850 Rotary Clubs across Great Britain and Ireland , each with its own unique personality. Weston Rotary Club is one of the oldest Rotary Clubs in the country havin been formed in 1921. We meet every Friday lunchtime at Weston Golf Club from 12.45 to about 2.00 for a drink, lunch, discussions about ongoing projects and usually a speaker. It's meeting weekly that makes it work. The good humoured banter and chit chat makes it enjoyable, creates friendships and enables the Club to do great things in the local community.

We do many things throughout the year, such as the Easter Party for around 150 elderly residents of the town; joining other Rotary Clubs for Kids Out which involves taking busloads of disadvantaged children to Longleat for the day; running our Golf Charity Day (this raises around £10,000 each year for our charity fund); taking books and magazines to waiting rooms and surgeries; marshalling events such as fun runs and sponsored walks and organising our annual Charity Christmas Fayre, enabling local community groups and charities to set out their stall and advertise themselves and the work they do.

For more information about Weston Rotary Club see www.westonrotaryclub.org.uk

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HISTORY OF WESTON ROTARY CLUB

The journey from Chicago to the UK had taken a mere six years since the formation of the first Rotary Club in that city in 1905. The first club on this side of the Atlantic was Dublin in 1911 followed by London , Belfast , Manchester , Glasgow , Edinburgh , Liverpool and Birmingham , forming the eight founder clubs in Britain . Rotary came to Bristol in 1917, Club number 15, followed in 1920 by Gloucester and a year later by clubs in Bath, Cheltenham, Stroud, and Club number 51 in Weston-super-Mare.

Weston-super-Mare in 1921 was very different from the town we know today, with a population of 31,000 it was a thriving holiday resort attracting thousands of visitors each year from the Midlands and South Wales . In the summer of 1921 the formation of a Rotary Club was suggested and a group of prominent Westonians, including John Hodge, Barney Butter, Henry Butt, Ernest Macfarlane, met with one of the founders of the Bristol Club, Stanley Hill, to seek advice and information. As a result, a public meeting was held at Brown's Café in Weston High Street on July 15 th , and as reported by the Weston Mercury “in the middle of a heatwave and the tourist invasion”. The meeting heard a fine, clear account of the aims and procedures of Rotary, and passed a formal resolution that a club should be formed here. Thus the stage was set for the history of the Weston-super-Mare Rotary Club to begin.

On Friday 23 rd September 1921 the new Club held its inaugural luncheon under the Presidency of T Ernest Macfarlane. Other Officers were – Vice President: John Hodge; Hon Secretary: H A Dossor and Hon Treasurer: R A Hurst. The twenty-six founder members received the greetings from Sir Harry Hatt, President of the newly formed club in Bath and listened to an enthusiastic address by Ernest Walls, President of the sponsoring club of Bristol . The club received its charter on 21st October 1921.

Over the years we in turn have sponsored 6 Daughter Clubs - Yeovil, Taunton, Hereford, Bridgwater, Mendip and West Woodspring and from them 12 Grand-Daughter Clubs - Glastonbury & Street, Minehead, Hereford Wye Valley, Burnham-on-Sea, Wrington Vale, Crewkerne, Chard, Langport & Somerton, Yeo Vale, Wellington, Sedgemoor and Taunton Vale. These clubs have also sponsored other clubs giving us 7 Great Grand-Daughter Clubs - Avalon, Ilminster, Somerset Levels, Crewkerne District, Quantocks, Wiveliscombe and Hereford Marches .

One of the earliest major Club projects was the Boys House which gave holidays to disadvantaged children and ran for 50 years. The proceeds from this when it was finally wound up in 1979 formed a Trust which still to this day provides grants for children's holidays. The Club gave awards for driving proficiency before driving tests were introduced and an Old Folks Rest Centre was set up and ran for 16 years. The Club was instrumental in the formation of the League of Friends of Weston Hospital, the International Club, the local Samaritans Group and Eye Camps in India .

The Rotary Club of Weston-super-Mare is proud of its record of Service.

For a brief history of Weston Rotary Club 1921 – 1980 as researched by Rotarian John Horler see http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/westonrotaryclub/HISTORY.pdf

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