97 years of Rochdale Rotary Club

Date published: 16 November 2023

The annual Rochdale Rotary Club charter night celebration was held at Rochdale’s Masonic Buildings, Richard Street, on the group’s 97th anniversary on 21 October.

The club’s newest member, Faisal Latif, read the original Charter document to over 60 Rotarians and friends, a long-standing tradition.

After a meal, MC John Kay introduced 97th President Linda Mainwaring. She welcomed Rotary District 1285 Governor Swati Mukherjee, and representatives from the Rotary Clubs of Middleton, Heywood and Rochdale East, and Rochdale Inner Wheel.


Faisal Latif reads the Charter
Faisal Latif reads the Charter


Rotarian Irene Davidson outlined all the very important projects Rotary International is running, including much-needed support to Ukraine and its refugees.

DG Swati responded by describing how the Polio Plus campaign is getting closer to Polio eradication worldwide and mentioned many other international projects including helping poor nations to become self-sustaining and to obtain clean water. A collection during the evening raised over £300 for the Rotary Polio eradication programme.


Irene Davidson toasts Rotary International
Irene Davidson toasts Rotary International


Middleton Rotarian Janice Sawle toasted the club, mentioning how the first Charter night was held at the Flying Horse Hotel and cost members 15 shillings to attend (75p in modern terms).

She congratulated the club on continuing to serve the Rochdale community with many projects including the Classic Car show at Falinge Park every year.


Janice Sawle toasts Rochdale Rotary
Janice Sawle toasts Rochdale Rotary


President Linda responded by thanking Janice for her kind words and also all the guests for making the evening one to remember.

Long service certificates were made by DG Swati to Rotarians John Kay (40 years), Elvet Smith (30 years) and David Acton (20 years).


David Acton 20 year award from DG
David Action receives an award for 20 years of service


Elvet Smith 30 year award from DG
Elvet Smith receives an award for 30 years of service


A special Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship award was also given to Rotarian Neil Williams for his efforts keeping the club going during the Covid pandemic and supporting the Classic Car Show.


Neil Williams receives Paul Harris Fellowship from President Linda
Neil Williams receives the Paul Harris Fellowship from President Linda


A musical duo from London, Ailsa Mainwaring and Paul Kendler, then entertained everyone with catchy folk tunes and sea shanties. Soprano Ailsa also played the piano accompaniment with Paul singing.


President Linda with singers Paul Kendler, left, and Ailsa Mainwaring, right
President Linda with singers Paul Kendler, left, and Ailsa Mainwaring, right


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