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Centenary Celebrations for the Northampton Rotary Club set to go underway

Written by on January 25, 2022

In just under a month, the Northampton Rotary Club will be celebrating their 100th anniversary with a Centenary Thanksgiving Service at All Saints Church in Northampton.

The event is set to take place at 11am on Wednesday 23rd February with local dignitaries and representatives of various faiths in Northampton.

This includes Bishop John who is also a member of the club, who will be the Speaker at the event and complimentary singing will be led by the Malcolm Arnold Academy Choir.

In addition to the celebrations at the All Saints Church, before that, the Rotary are holding a Charter Dinner at The Marriott Hotel on February 5th at 7.30 pm.

Both Events will be attended by The Mayor of Northampton, The Lord Lieutenant . The High Sheriff and senior Members of Rotary International.

Originally, the Rotary Club was started in 1921 by Councillor A.E Marlow, a former mayor and Alderman of Northampton, alongside a number of prominent local businessmen.

However, the centenary celebrations commemorate the formal Charter which was received on the 1st February 1922.

‘Service Above Self’ is the motto the club devotes their efforts to, which the current President Brian May proudly says they have “steadfastly and wholeheartedly upheld.”

Members of the club, nicknamed Rotarians, have undertaken considerable voluntary work both in Northampton and beyond ,over the years, including projects overseas.

This ranges from:

The Design and build of the iconic Goosander Bird Hide at Pitsford Reservoir Nature Reserve – currently at risk due to deterioration of the pile supports

Establishment of the Repertory Company at The Royal Theatre

Creation of sensory gardens at local schools and care homes

Donation of infusion pumps to a children’s hospital in Kiev for the treatment of victims of Chernobyl

Supply of equipment to an eye hospital in Bisauli, India

Provision of water storage tanks to villages in Kenya

In addition to their worldwide Samaritan work, more locally in collaboration with other Clubs in the Northampton area, they have organised Dragon Boat Festivals, Swimarathons and Santa Runs to raise funds for local charities across the county.

Current President of the Rotary, Brian May who previously also acted as president in 2012 said,

“One of the highlights for me as a member of the Rotary Club has been several trips to India to take part in National Immunisation Days in the fight against Polio.

Thankfully, Rotary’s promise made back in 1988 to rid the world of Polio is almost complete with only a handful of cases now in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

On top of this, the four Clubs in Northampton are working together to put on a Showcase at Northamptonshire County Cricket Ground on Saturday 5th March.

The working title is “Rotary 100 Not Out!”, which will include many exhibition stands by local organisations the clubs have worked with in the past, performances by groups from the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust, a presentation of the Rose of Northamptonshire Awards and a set by Ska2oons, a local band.

President May concluded:

“One of the bedrocks of Rotary is fellowship. All our work needs us working together and we strive to enjoy ourselves at the same time. We welcome new members who are interested in volunteering and helping the local community.”

The ‘Rotary 100 Not Out!’ event due to take place on March 5th, will have local hot food stalls / a bar open for visitors and admission is free.

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