Pantiles Rotary Club has been going strong since its foundation in 1987 and we’re always happy to welcome new members. This leaflet aims to tell you a few things about the club, and, if it sounds interesting to you, why not consider joining us?
What is Rotary?
Rotary is an international organization with over 33,000 clubs around the world. It all began in 1903, when a Chicago lawyer, Paul Harris, started up a lunch club with a number of other local professionals. As well as enjoying each other’s company, they wanted to do things that would benefit wider society. From this small beginning, the idea spread around the U.S. then to Britain and the rest of the world. Today there are clubs in over 200 countries.
What does Rotary do?
True to its origins, Rotary is based on two important principles: Service and Fellowship. In simple terms we aim to give something back to society, but also have a good time doing it.
On an international scale this means contributing towards major projects, such as Polio Eradication or emergency relief for victims of disasters like the war in Ukraine and the recent floods in Pakistan.
Most of our charitable work, however, is focused on the local community. The Pantiles Club has a long tradition of fund-raising, which over the years has provided tens of thousands of pounds for a wide range of charities, including:
- Hospice in the Weald, where Pantiles Rotary was the main sponsor for a new ward
- Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance
- Macmillan Cancer Support
- Kids Out, where every year we organize a trip, giving disadvantaged children from a local school the chance for a fun day out.
- Numerous smaller charities, such as Medical Detection Dogs, the Bridge Trust and Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre.
Rotary members also help in a more hands-on way:
- At Christmas we help with the organization and collection of food for the local food bank, Nourish.
- We’ve undertaken work to decorate and refurbish a local Women’s Refuge.
- We help with the marshalling of local events, such as Round Table’s Dunorlan Fireworks Display, the Lantern Parade and the Tunbridge Wells half-marathon.
- We hold occasional tin collections in the Pantiles to raise yet more money for charity.
Generally we have a lot of fun working together to help the community, but we also do plenty of things just for our own enjoyment. We meet two or three times a month for a meal (See below), which is usually followed by a talk from a guest speaker. We also have visits to places of interest, quiz nights, Burns Night and a Christmas party. On the international front, we have an annual get-together with members of our sister club in Wiesbaden, Germany. One year we travel to them and the next year they come to us.
Who are we?
At present we have about 30 members – currently all men, but ladies are more than welcome to join. too. A number of us are still working, but others are retired. We come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, including banking and finance, education, business, the law, farming, retail and industry. What we have in common is an interest in helping to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves, and to enjoy ourselves in the process.
When do we meet?
We have two or three meetings a month, which are usually held at the One Warwick Park Hotel in Tunbridge Wells . We meet at 7.30 p.m. for an 8.00 p.m. start. Members are encouraged to attend as many meetings as possible, but we all have busy lives, so there is no minimum attendance requirement.
Would you like to find out more?
If this leaflet has roused your interest, then why not come along to one of our meetings and find out more. We’re always happy to welcome prospective new members. Rotary isn’t an exclusive organization, so you don’t need to be invited. Just call one of the contacts listed below to find out what’s on and which meeting might be of most interest to you. We look forward to hearing from you.