History of the Rotary Club of Guernsey



When I started to compile the 80th year history of our Club I went to see our senior member and double President, Gervaise Peek, whose father had been our Founder President and, to my delighted surprise, he was able and willing to lend me his father's membership booklet.

Extracts from the Founder Members' Booklet.


Making the acquaintance of men you ought to know.

Genuine, wholesome good-fellowship.

Developing true and helpful friends.

Enlightenment as to other men's work, problems and successes.

Education in methods that increase efficiency.

Stimulation of your desire to be of service to your fellow men and society in general.


To attend meetings regularly.

To pay my dues promptly.

To do my part when called upon.

To be a big-hearted, broad-minded man - a man of energy and action - a real man - a Rotarian.

Advantages of Limited Membership.

1.   Representative and Efficient Membership. Such a plan is representative of the community and at the same time it is impossible for membership to become so large and unwieldy as to make difficult the promotion of acquaintance and intimate friendship among members.

2.  Concerted Action Easy. United action by the club is much easier than with a large, cumbersome membership.

3.  Ideal Forum for Discussion. A club composed of one member representing each business or profession becomes an ideal forum for the consideration and discussion of public questions and all matters pertaining to the public and to the various trades and professions.

4.  Clique Rule made Difficult. No one profession or allied professions can become numerically strong enough in the club to dominate it.

5.  Provides avenue for the removal of 'deadheads'. This plan provides a basis upon which to establish and maintain the membership so that the club can insist on regular attendance and active participation or the surrender of membership to someone else in the same line of business.

6.  Individual member Benefit. The Business and Professional man is given a more sympathetic understanding of other businesses and professions, thus lifting him out of the narrow rut of his own business routine and giving him suggestions and information obtainable in no other way.

President 1922 - 23: G F Peek (grandfather of Gerve Peek, Paul Harris Fellow and twice President)

Vice Presidents: Arthur G Bird  & Arthur L Elliott.

Hon. Treasurer: William J Beer.

Hon Secretary: W H Smith

Assistant Secretary: T Gaved

Council: H G Wheadon, W B Randell, C Stonelake, H H Collins, A Marshall, A H Brice.



Membership: A H Brice, J J Eveson, A J Sherwill, A J Roussel,  C B Blampied, I B Young.

Boys Welfare: C B Howitt, F W Thomas, W J Beer, A L Elliott

Children's Entertainment: H G Wheadon, F C Thorne, T Gaved.

Programme: H G Wheadon, C Stonelake, J J Eveson.

Fellowship: G F Peek, C Stonelake, A Marshall.

Honorary Members:-

Sir John E Capper KCB, KCVO,  Lieut. Governor.

Sir H W De Sausmarez, Bailiff of Guernsey.

1923 List of Members and Classifications:

Adams  C


Hotel Manager, Royal Hotel

Agnew C E A


Ironmonger, Bordage

Arnold S H


Motor Car Dealer, Manor Place

Barnett H


Ship Owner, Candie

Bean T R


Inventor, Vale

Beer W J


Banker, Commercial Bank, High Street

Beghin L C


Footwear Specialist, High Street

Bird A G


Tramways Engineer, Les Banques

Bird W J


Commission Agent, The Pier

Blampied C B


Bulb Grower, La Fosse

Brice A H


Jeweller, Arcade

Brooks H


Quarry Manager, St Sampson's

Carey C de Lisle


Medical Practicioner, New Street

Carey Very Revd D F


Dean of Guernsey

Chilcott R J


Butcher, Market

Collins H H


Grocer, High Street

Corbet E T


Quarry Owner, Vale

Creasey B B


Draper, High Street

De La Mare W H


Outfitter, Beehive

De La Rue F H


Chemist & Optician, States Arcade

Edwards P H


Poulterer, States Arcade

Elliott A L


Wine Merchant, Bucktrout & Co

Eveson J J


Advertising Manager, The Star

Falla C R


Wireless Expert, Mont Plaisant

Frossard Revd E L


Clerk in Holy Orders, St Sampson's

Fuzzey L C


Furniture Dealer, Mill Street

Gaved T


Picture Framer, Arcade

Grut N


Photographer, Pollet

Guilbert T O


Architect, Ls Varendes

Hamson J A


Artist, St James Street

Harris A H


LMS Railway Agent, Esplanade

Head G


Haulier, Vrangue

Henderson Capt W L


Box Manufacturer, Esplanade

Hickey Revd T G


Clerk in Holy Orders, St Joseph's

Howitt C W


Hon. Sec. Chamber of Commerce

Kerr J


Theatre Manager, St Julian's

Le Page E D


Manager, Anglo-American Oil Co, Rocquettes

Le Patourel H A


H.M. Comptroller, Court Row

Leroy H L


Printer, Smith Street

Lovell W D M


House Furnisher, Smith Street

Luff F A


President, Chamber of Commerce

Mann E J W


Vegetable Grower, St Andrew's

Marquand A J


Motor Omnibus Manager, Fountain Street

Marshall A


Tomato Grower

Martineau G


Grape Grower, Broomfield Vineries, Collings Road

Ozanne I


Shipping, Court Row

Peek F F


Newspaper Manager, Smith Street

Peek G F


Director of Public Companies, Delancey

Penney Revd W C


Principal, Elizabeth College

Pierce J


Postmaster, Smith Street

Randell W B


Ecrivain, Bank Chambers, High Street

Roussel A J


Deputy Greffier, Royal Court

Sherwill A J


Advocate, Manor Place

Smith W H


Life Insurance Agent, Doyle Road

Stonelake C


Chemist, Smith Street

Stranger J J


Mineral Water Manufacturer, Truchot

Straw A R


Coal Dealer, Phoenix Mills

Thomas F W


Chartered Accountant, New Street

Thorne F C


Windmill Engineer, South Esplanade

Travers  J L


Restaurant Proprietor, Smith Street

Van Der Sluys C F A


Dutch Vice Consul, St Margaret's Lodge

Watkin W W


Chief Constable, Lefebvre Street

Whales F


Provision Merchant (Wholesale) Murdoch's Stores

Wheadon H G


Cigarette Manufacturer, Bucktrout & Co, High Street

Young P B


Miller, St John's









Formed by Rotary Club of Bournemouth - 1923.

Visit by Paul Harris.

This took place in July 1937. He said that as his wife came from Edinburgh they had some direct connection with the British Isles and they had been thinking for a long time of visiting us since this was the home of the world-famed Guernsey cow and for a time was the home of Victor Hugo. He said that Rotary was gradually spreading throughout the world and there was originally an impression in America that Rotary couldn't be established in England because Englishmen didn't have that 'get together' idea that characterised the average American' but experience had proved that wrong. He extended his good wishes to the Guernsey Club and said that as a very active club they should realise their responsibility to other Clubs. He called attention to Jersey with its fortnightly meetings and expressed the view that we could help to remedy matters by getting them into line with other Clubs (!)

Visit by Clem Renouf, President of Rotary International

This took place in 1979 on the initiative of Club President Bob Chilcott (Junior) and he joined us for lunch at the Royal Hotel. Since he had a Guernsey surname it gave him great pleasure to be able to trace his ancestry.     

Boys' Camps were held at Rocquaine between the Wars and in 1952 contact was made with the Rotary Clubs of Stepney and Poplar and camps using marquees were re-started on a site between Grandes Rocques and Cobo. They were plentifully supplied with tomatoes, potatoes, meat and straw for the palliasses the boys slept on. The Revd. Jimmy Butterworth was a Rotarian who knew Bob Chilcott senior through the Brock Road Methodist Church and he ran youth clubs in Poplar and Stepney and arranged with us to bring his lads here. Two young schoolmasters, Harry Bisson and Bob Gill, both of whom became headmasters and in Harry Bisson's case a Jurat, helped to run the camps.

Rotarian Bertram Bartlett married into the Luff family and ran the Luff grocery stores that were the forerunner of the Island Wide Stores. He was one of several Rotarians who were appointed Jurats.

Christmas parcels were started soon after the Liberation and goods were supplied by Luff & Co.  This is funded from an annual Flag Day held on the Saturday that Father Christmas comes to town and last year almost £7,500 was collected. Fuel vouchers are now included which can be traded in for coal, gas, electricity, etc. 

Guide Dogs for the Blind.  Gerve Peek, who was twice President of our Club, met GDBA Organiser Bill Binning during a train journey in England and this led him to set up a branch in Guernsey. A number of dogs were supplied to local people. 

The Samaritans was set up by the Club with the co-operation of the Telephone Department, since counsellors initially worked from their own homes using a telephone transfer system.

Sarnia Housing, was set up by Bob Chilcott senior, who was a Founder Member and Club President 1954/55 and his involvement was recognised by the naming of Chilcott House in Havilland Street shortly after his death. The Association  provides a valuable community service to this day.

Refurbishing of the Men's Lounge at St John's Residential Home.  This was a regular commitment started by Bob Chilcott Senior, during his year as President in 1954/55. The commemorative plaque on the door was polished until it was unreadable and removed to the Warden's office. She has now been told to what it refers. Bob senior was a founder member of the Club and, according to Gerve Peek, was a quiet unassuming man who had always taken an interest in the elderly. He had been in Rotary for 31 years before being persuaded to become President and after his death the Club placed a seat outside the Home in his memory.


St John Residential Home Fetes.

For many years, Club members assisted in the Home's fund-raising by manning the various gates for the annual fete at Saumarez Park.

Twinning with St Malo Club.

This was set up in ????? and one year, to  assist in the language communication problem, we formed groups of Club members and each group circulated round members' house once a week and were allowed to speak only in French from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Each group had a French-speaking Club member attached. It is questionable whether or not it did much to help us when confronted by our French visitors colleagues but we had many enjoyable and often  hilarious evenings as a result.

Sun Lounge at Castel Hospital was provided in the Rotary year 1965/66.

Probus Club for retired businessmen was started in the Rotary Year 1977/78.

A Bird Sanctuary marking the Queen's Silver Jubilee was opened by the Lieut. Governor in July 1977 near Torteval Church and a plaque was placed on the wall next to a new gate that we provided. 

Children's Christmas Parties. Ebenezer Church children brought toys to a special service attended by Rotarians and these were then wrapped and given out by Father Christmas at parties in the Ebenezer Church hall.

Tree of Joy. This was started in 1994 on the initiative of Rotarian 'Jerry' Girard, who had encountered it in Australia during his travels as an airline pilot. It has taken the place of the Children's Christmas Parties and a large Christmas tree is erected at the roundabout at the bottom of St Julian's Avenue and a smaller one in the Town Church Square. Other Christmas Tree images are placed at strategic points bearing labels detailing gifts that would be welcomed by coded children recipients whose names are obtained via the various welfare agencies. Members of the public take the labels, buy and wrap the gifts and return them for distribution.

Inner Wheel Club was started 30th January 1947 and Chartered on 24th September 1947. In the early days one of the ways the ladies helped Rotary was to provide confectionery for the Boys Clubs. In addition to community service in their own right they have developed a valuable working relationship assistance with our Club, now notably with the Tree of Joy.   

Past Rotarians was formed to enable ex-Rotarians to continue their links with Rotary. It was the initiated by Rotary Club Presidents Barry Lovell and John Williams and Rotarian Keith Misselbrook, all of whom were made honorary members. Its first President in 1969/70 was PDG Arthur White, meetings were held at the Royal Hotel and the first Past-President of Guernsey Rotary to become President of Past Rotarians was Bill Green in 1971/72.  It still flourishes with monthly meetings at the Idle Rocks Hotel and supports the Rotary Club in many ways. 


The League of Friends of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital was formed in 1970 and Rotarian Bill Clark was its first Chairman, assisted by Rotarian Stan Power.

Alderney Rotary Club set up by us in 1980.

Rotary Guernesiais Club set up by us in 1994.

Rotaract was set up in 1979 by PP Alec Forty and these young people gave a lot of very useful service to our community. After a few years the Rotary Club decided to 'put it on the back-burner' where it still remains, but some of its ex-members decided to meet as a Rotaserv Club to continue their community service work.   

Youth Speaks, a public speaking competition for school students was re-created by John Nettleton and Alec Forty in 1992 using the St James Concert & Assembly Hall. It goes from strength to strength and success has been obtained in the Rotary District Finals.

A Vocational Service Award was created and presented in June 1992 to Pamela Bartlett for her initiative in initiating yearly 'Jumbulance' visits to Lourdes for handicapped people.    

District Conferences were held in Guernsey and organised by this Club in 1972, 1978, 1982, 1987 and 1996.

General. Many Club members have given service to our community in the roles of Constables, Douzeniers, Conseillers, Deputies and Jurats, as well as involvement in many charitable organisations.

Alec Forty




This is a supplement to the Rotary Club of Guernsey history produced for our 80th Anniversary  and covers the 10 years up our  90th Anniversary.

Our club endeavours to help young people develop talents that will be of value to them in their careers and social lives. The Youth Speaks competition was reborn 21 years ago and has become an annual event that has helped many young people to develop public speaking skills that will benefit them all their lives.  In 2006 we started participating in the Young Chef of the Year contest and this was an immediate success with young people who were considering a future in catering. In addition, this year the Young Photographer contest is being piloted in a Guernsey school and we are optimistic that this will flourish in the same way as our other contests for young people.

Some years ago we introduced a Christmas Tree of Joy event, placing model trees in prominent locations, bearing tags showing what certain needy children wish for Christmas. The public collect these tags and buy the gifts for distribution to delighted and surprised children. In 2005, a 32 metre tall replica of a ship's mast, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, was erected on a large roundabout in St. Peter Port. This mast has remained in place ever since and we promote our Tree of Joy every December by hanging light strings attached to guy ropes from the top to the ground to create the tallest light tree in Europe. This provided a significant boost to the campaign and has become iconic. The original lights have been replaced by better ones and the originals used to create a similar structure outside the airport, so giving additional publicity to our Tree of Joy scheme from which 600 needy children benefited last Christmas. These light trees are in addition to the traditional Christmas trees in the Town Square and in the Airport.

One of our members is a surgeon who lived and worked in Uganda in 1969 and 1970 and developed a love of the country and its people. He's now retired and makes regular visits to Uganda, giving his services to the Kitovu Hospital in the Ugandan town of Masaka where he trains its medical students and performs operations. On his initiative, 20 houses near the hospital have had 1,000 litre plastic containers fitted to collect roof drainage and supply fresh water. Also, our Rotary Club provided £30,000 to fund a new roof for the hospital's maternity ward, rebuild its operating theatre and replace its neon strip-lights with modern theatre lighting. We are delighted that our member received the MBE in recognition of his work in Uganda. He considers a highlight was a visit he organised for a cheerful and optimistic group of 8 Guernsey Rotarians who gained insights into the medical and social problems of a third world country and the very positive contribution that our Club and the wider Rotary family had provided.

Another member is greatly involved with Rotary's campaign to end polio in the world. She's been involved at District Executive level for 6 years, of which 3 were focussed on polio and 3 as District Foundation Chairman responsible for polio and other Foundation activities. In 2010 she visited India (which as since become polio free) to participate in a National Polio Immunisation Day when over 176 million children received life-saving polio drops. She has initiated and runs a Rotary End Polio Now shop through which branded products are made available worldwide to Rotarians to raise the profile of the campaign and produce profits to the End Polio Now programme. In July 2013 she will join the Rotary GB&I Foundation Committee and have specific responsibility for Polio and also become  an  Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Co-ordinator.

Delancey Park is located on high ground with spectacular views of the sea and neighbouring islands of Herm and Sark and our Club has raised £20,000 to transform a part that was virtually derelict. With the help of Rotary Guernesiais, Floral Guernsey, Garden Design Studio, HSBC, Saffery Champness, Create Architects and the States of Guernsey Works Department, a steeply sloping 2,000 square metre site has been redeveloped to provide 6 picnic benches, 100 meters of walkways with 600 plants, 5,000 crocus bulbs and shrubs, thus creating a beautiful sloping garden.


When the tsunami occurred in 2004 one of our members toured the island schools with an Aquabox to raise funds for the purchase of these items for stricken areas. As a result, the surprising sum of £100,000 was raised which was sufficient also to replace some fishing boats in Sri Lanka.

A 39 mile coastal fund-raising Itex walk for charity has now become the Itex Rotary walk, largely organised by Club members from Rotary Club of Guernsey and Rotary Guernesiais. It has about 600 walkers and each year raises more than £50,000 for charity. We continue to hold Flag Day in December to provide Christmas parcels to needy people and, in 2012, the £5,800 we raised was supplemented by £1,000 from Lagan Construction, a company carrying out major development at our airport which decided Rotary merited support.  170 food parcels were distributed, together with fuel vouchers for some.

The Royal Court of Guernsey is the island's supreme legislative body and its judgements are made by 12 Jurats, 6 of whom are members of our Club. We also have several members of the States of Guernsey, which is our 'parliament.'

In short, we have continued to flourish during the past 10 years and our recruitment efforts have resulted in us having 70 members, an increase of more than 50% over the past 10 years. This runs against the trend elsewhere and makes us one of the largest Clubs in District 1110.

Alec Forty

March 2013

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Background information on Rotary in Guernsey


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