How the club began

Norwich Centenary Rotary Club was first mooted in June 2004 by Rod Spokes, Frank Eliel and Lucy Dent of the city's Blackfriars Rotary Club. Initial thoughts were for another breakfast club or a twilight club at a local fitness centre. Neither was pursued after Lucy met a member of the Oasis Leisure Club in Thorpe St Andrew who suggested holding it there. Richard Maxwell, general manager of the Oasis, was not only keen to have the meetings there but also to be a founding member.

The club started holding its meetings at the Oasis in October 2004. Recruitment was initially slow but the club eventually got to the key number of 20 needed to officially start a new Rotary Club in the early summer of 2005. This co-incided with the centenary of the launch of Rotary in Chicago in 1905.

The inaugural meeting

The inaugural meeting took place at the Oasis on Wednesday 15th May 2005. Speakers at the event were Kevin Webb (President Elect of the sponsoring club Norwich Blackfriars), Roger Green (District Extension Office) and John Gillespie (District Governor). Incoming President Lucy Dent, one of the driving forces behind the new club, was away and unable to attend. Her address was given by Mags Morrison.

The Charter Ceremony


The Rotary Charter for the new club was received in early September and presented officially to Norwich Centenary at a charter ceremony on 28th September. To celebrate the original first club of Chicago, the evening meal was a Chicago style buffet. Tickets were