Hartlepool Rotary celebrates 100 years of helping the community
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Rotary Hartlepool held its first meeting in the Grand Hotel on January 23, 1923, and has gone on to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for local and worldwide causes.
Today, the club is still going strong with members dedicated to serving the community through a number of fundraising activities.
Celebrations planned to mark their centenary this year include a gala charity dinner, tree planting and a charity art sale, along with the naming of a road Rotary Way to mark the club’s service to the town.
Current club President Jane Tilly, whose forebears were prominent Rotarians, said: “We have members whose professions range from a surgeon to a scaffolder and a solicitor to a midwife.
"It doesn’t matter what job we do we are a group of volunteers, part of Rotary International, who are dedicated to make life a little better for our community.
"Our motto is Service Above Self.”
Projects over the past 100 years have included the presentation of £40 in 1923 to Cameron Hospital and Hartlepools Hospital – £2,800 in today’s money.
During its early years, the club also helped local Scouts and donated books to hospitals and offered transport to visit the sick.
More recently members have taken part in charity bike rides, supported Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign, and also Hartlepool’s annual Poppy Appeal, raising £15,000 for it last year.
Rotary Hartlepool’s Big Community Draw has benefited local teams and other charities while food banks and baby banks have been supported through grants.
The club’s current membership is around 20, including one honorary member, and new members are welcome.
Member Alan Lakey said: “We are looking for new members who wish to help us grow the club, are keen to give back to the community and expand their professional, leadership and networking skills.
“There are really no age restrictions or qualifications required, just energy and a sense of humour.”
Rotary Hartlepool meet at West Hartlepool Rugby Club, in Catcote Road, on Mondays at 6pm.
Hartlepool Mail editor Gavin Ledwith was a recent guest speaker.