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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

New Rotary Club has successful launch evening

* An illuminated tractor run, on December 4, in association with Llangollen and District Young Farmers Association, is an early project by the new Rotary Club.

Founders of the new Rotary Club serving this area are aiming to create an organisation whose members “make a difference” within their local community and abroad – while still having fun.

That was the message the people running the new Vale of Llangollen Rotary had for potential new members during a launch meeting held at Liberty Tavern in Market Street – its new base - yesterday (Monday) evening.

About 10 possible recruits heard from club president John Clifford that it was about bringing like-minded people together to see how they can collectively help the community, whether directly or by supporting others.

Secretary Mike Lade gave a potted history of the movement which he said was started in Chicago in 1905 by a group of businessmen who would “rotate” their meetings around one another’s offices – hence the name Rotary.   

The international organisation now spanned around 200 countries and numbered 1.4 million members. In Great Britain and Ireland there are 1,800 clubs.

Llangollen’s original club folded earlier this year when its numbers began to dwindle after 60 years in existence, although it was explained there was a hope its successor club would be able to attract the 20 members necessary to inherit its all-important Rotary charter.  

There was much emphasis during the meeting on the way Rotary had been changing to become more modern in outlook.

Mr Lade said the new Llangollen club – covering the whole of the vale area – would have “no funny handshakes and “no gongs”, adding “You don’t have to wear a jacket and a tie and don’t have to attend regular meetings”.

Although the club, he said, would meet every Monday at Liberty Tavern, attendance was not essential. However, he did point out the importance of members turning up for the monthly business meeting – on the third Monday – to receive updates on what the club was planning and to vote on proposals.

While there would be no sit-down meals, as many Rotary clubs still held, there would be the occasional guest speakers at these meetings.

The new club would be “dual gender” with membership open to “anyone over 18 of good character who want to be involved in their community”.

Mr Lade went on to outline the areas in which Rotary is involved, including the promotion of peace, the prevention of disease in Third World countries and the environment.

Locally, the new club was helping to run the Bra Bank scheme to raise money for the Third World by either reclaiming or re-making and re-using unwanted bras donated at collection points in the area.

Another idea from the new club was the creation of a business hub in which small and medium businesses would have a forum to aid their future development.

The club was also backing the Rotary concept of holding competitions to for young musicians, chefs, photographers, poets and sculptors.

“We want people to enjoy each other’s company in the name of friendship. We want to be a social group,” said Mr Lade.

“We want to work together as a team, either raising money for others or for specific projects. We want to make a difference but we also want to have fun.

“We’re part of a new breed of Rotarians, relaxed in style. But it is also important that the work of the old Llangollen club is carried on.”

The cost of club membership is £10 a month and a number of people at the meeting expressed an interest in joining.

* For more details, go to the club website at: or check out the Facebook page: @ValeofLlangollenRotary  

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