Fines Raise Money for Charity
Wadebridge Rotary Club members "behaviour" raises fines for Help For Heroes
ROTARIANS FINED FOR CHARITY
Wadebridge Rotary Club meets weekly at the Swan Hotel and during the course of each meeting the Sergeant at Arms quietly observes members, looking for any misdemeanour or contrived excuse to fine them a nominal 20p.
The Sergeant at Arms is appointed to keep order at meetings and the term derives from meaning a veteran foot soldier equipped with a long pike who would march on the sides of the infantry company keeping the men in tight rank.
The original responsibilities of the Sergeant at Arms also included collecting loans, impressing men and ships, serving on local administrations and, in all sorts of ways, interfering with local administration and justice. In modern legislative bodies the official, as well as keeping order during meetings, can, if necessary, forcibly remove members who are overly rowdy or disruptive.
In recent times the position has become more ceremonial with the actual ability to eject members not necessarily being a primary requirement. The long pike referred to has long since gone - Health and Safety would have seen to that! to be replaced with a fines pot.
During his year as Wadebridge Rotary President for 2012-13, Ken Metcalfe decreed that the contents of the fines pot for his year should go to Help for Heroes; the British charity launched in 2007 to help provide better facilities for British servicemen and women.
Largely down to the mischievous, devious inventiveness and ingenuity of John Pomeroy , the Sergeant at Arms for that year, the contents of the fines pot were handed over at a club meeting this October.
The photo (taken by Abert Ridgeley) shows a cheque for £250 being presented to Wendy Buckthought of St Issey, the North Cornwall volunteer for Help for Heroes, by Ken Metcalfe (left) assisted by John Pomeroy (Sergeant at Arms for the year). Wendy gave a most interesting and at times moving account of the valuable work of the charity.