87th Charter Anniversary 2017

87th Charter Evening January 2017


   It didn't rain.  It didn't snow. It couldn't possibly be Oldham Club Charter evening.  But it was.  Eighty seven years and one day after Rotary International President M Eugene Newsom signed the Charter that formalised the club.

  Forty three hardy fellows put away the prepared galoshes and  mufflers for more appropriate fair weather attire.  Best Western Hotel Smokies were also caught out-the upper room was unusually hot from steaming radiators and shit tight windows.

  After those in power power ambled in procesion towards the top table President Neil Taylor intoned grace hearalding the start of the celebrations.  The meal main course, either beef or salmon was a sad occasion, it was to be the last supperviswed by our own Maitre d'hotel, Peppie.  He has played host during our sojourn here.  A Friend of Rotary his plesant careering maner will be missed.

  Past President Michael Wills has served Rotary in many roles, Chairman of Community Service, Club Treasurer between 1987-1993 and 2006-2015, but until now he has never been priveledge to read aloud the Club Charter.  He didn't let us down.  It was so emotional that President Neil had to call a toilet break.

  On restart all the guests a true Oldham welcome before District Governor Stan Bowes P H F was invited to propose the toast, "Rotary International and The Rotary Club of Oldham."

  Following the well tried format Stan first brought greetings frrom R I B I President Eve Conway and from his own club Saddlworth's Presidnt Antony Burke.  He explained that Darlington, County Durham was birthplace and how he arrived here via Faroe and various other palatable places. 

  For non Rotarians he emphasised that Rotary International was first and foremost a service giving organisation.  Perhaps in terms of numbers no longer the largest in the world, that is now The Lions, undeniably Rotary International is still the largest in terms of achievements.  The crowning glory amongst these is the eradication of Polio.

  In 1988 the World Health Organisation each week reported 2,000 new cases of Polio, in 2016, worldwide during the whole of that year it was down to 20.  Hopefully, by 2018 this will be down to zero. 

  To achieve this Rotarians have raised over one and a quarter billion U S Dollars.  That's just one example of the many life saving projects undertaken by ordinary, but dedicated people.

  Tonight we celebrate the achievements of The Rotary Club of Oldham, 87 years old, yesterday.  Not many clubs can boast to have produced a National President, it in 1947.  Harry Shaw is still remembered for his efforts that enabled R I B I to continue as a seperate body.  More important locally, you have formed five daughter clubs, each represented here tonight.  Thats the highest number of any club in the Manchester area.

  There are lots of other involvement I could include, but no such list would be complete without a mention of HeartStart.  It is impossible to estimate how many lives this has influenced and change.

  Following this Toast Master Past President Bernard Stone introduced that evening's main speaker Norman Prince, a former Local Government Officer, and twentry years leader and front man of the Haughton Weavers.






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