Rotary - a personal perspective - 2

  |  Published: Jun 27th 2017

Rotary was set up on 23 February 1905 in Chicago by professional businessmen who believed in using their skills to make a difference to society. Rotary arrived in Britain in 1914. Each Rotary Club is based on similar lines to the original American model to provide business fellowship and undertake charitable activities.


Rotary has had as its major goal to remove polio from the world, a project known as End Polio Now, www.endpolio.org. In recognition of how close Rotary is to achieving this aim, since 2010, local Rotary Clubs, including Wendover and District, have been planting purple crocuses referencing the purple stain put on the smallest finger of every child who receives the vaccine. Recognising this tremendous initiative, The Gates Foundation now matches every dollar raised by Rotary by donating an extra 2 dollars, including donations. 


Shelterbox was founded by a Rotary Club in Cornwall but has grown to become a charity in its own right, ensuring that tents and other equipment are in place all over the world in readiness for disasters, natural and man-made. Rotary in Wendover aims to add one or two such equipped tents every year to the world-wide stock.


The President of each Club will nominate a charity for that year. Rotary in Wendover has supported local charities such as Chilterns MS Centre, Lindengate, PACE, Wheelpower and national charities including Alzheimer's and Save the Children since it was founded in 2009, a young Club. However, in that time it has undertaken several projects and established a number of annual events:

August - Teddy Bears' Picnic, since 2010, this year on Wednesday 9 August in Weston Turville Playing Fields, designed to entertain young families with an inexpensive summertime event, supported by Harpenden BS.

November - Let the Chilterns Sing concert since 2012, this year Saturday 18 November in St Mary's, Wendover Designed to showcase local singing and musical talent including Chess Valley Male Voice Choir, Military Wives Choir and Gateway School Chamber Choir and has twice featured the Central Band of the RAF.

Spring - The Big Quiz, since 2011, enjoyed by over 100 people, in Wendover Memorial Hall, most recently on Friday 17 March.Spring - Young  Writer Competition, started in 2011 and most recently on Thursday 23 March in Weston Turville School where 11 winners from local Primary Schools were given dictionaries and certificates. Prizes donated by Harpenden BS and handed out by Phil Bannister, Head of Operations.

This latter is an example of Rotary supporting and encouraging education. A Wendover Rotarian led a Group Study Exchange for early career adults to Australia and Rotary in Wendover supported an Ambassadorial Scholar from Japan, based in London. Last year two volunteers at Wendover Youth Centre were sponsored on a course for Young Leaders (under 30) and both have now secured permanent jobs locally.

For more information about Rotary, go to www.rotarygbi.org. Local information is available on Facebook.

Our meetings are on Monday evenings.

Kevin Towler

To read part 1 of this series, click here

To read part 3 of this series, click here

Rotary logo
End Polio Now logo
Focus on the crocus
A spread of crocuses in Ashbrook Playing Field for everyone to enjoy each Spring
Shelterbox
Story Competition
Winners in the local heat of the Rotary Young Writer Competition sponsored by Harpenden Building Society
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