History/ Newquay Rotary 1923

The first Rotary club in Newquay was formed in 1923 and was disbanded in 1939.

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The first Rotary club in Newquay was formed in 1923 and was disbanded in 1939.

The following were known to have been members of the club, unfortunately a full list of members is not available:

TMP Elford         GA Ockford                  GC Chugg

WL Horler           G Hawke-Thomas        FS Sowden

N Stringer           R Treglown                   EH Trembath

RE Trethewey     EW Wearne                 GH Widgery

Three members: Dr Hardwick, Messrs Trembath and Wearne became founder members of the current club.

The district, then number 17, held its Conference in 1937 in Newquay.

One of the community projects for which this club will be remembered was its involvement in the town’s effort with the Trenance Lake, by the provision of meals for the unemployed men working on this scheme, which had been arranged for the improvement of the pleasure lake at Trenance by the enlistment of purely voluntary labour offered by local unemployed men who, unfortunately could find no openings in their normal occupations at that time.

The scheme which had the approval of the Ministry of Labour in that the men’s "Unemployment Insurance Benefits" would not be affected, was one which would add appreciably to the amenities of the town, but which, for financial reasons, could not be undertaken by the local authorities then or in the near future.

The Newquay Rotary Club had undertaken to raise the necessary funds and to make arrangements for the provision of a hot dinner each day free for all voluntary workers.

In an appeal for support, the club mentioned that the cost per meal was one shilling, that the work commence on Monday the 19th December 1932, and that the estimated cost was £5 to £6 per week during the period of the work.

The following reports and notes by "Pentire" were printed in the Newquay Express (now the Cornish Guardian):

22nd December 1932

Unemployed But Busy

"Among the many men who are now unemployed in Newquay there are about twenty of them who, being accustomed to manual labour, have found this enforced leisure both wearisome and deteriorating. On hearing that the scheme for converting the Trenance Moors into a beautiful lake had not yet been approved for a loan from the Ministry, they decided to give their services voluntarily, and to undertake to make this beauty spot for the town during their quiet period. No man, not even the foreman, receives any remuneration other than the usual unemployment pay. The council is lending the small tools, a contractor the tram and rails, and the local Rotarians have guaranteed to collect sufficient funds to provide each man with a mid-day meal. This last item will amount to a very considerable sum through the winter, but it is confidently expected that the action of those twenty men will be so sincerely appreciated that residents will respond freely to the fund. One pound will feed the men for one day. Donations may be handed to Mr George Hawke-Thomas at 15 Bank Street, Newquay, the Hon. Secretary of the Rotary Club. It is most satisfactory to learn that the Council is renewing its efforts to obtain a loan from the Ministry to enable necessary town improvements to be undertaken, Nothing would please those interested in the Trenance Lake scheme more than to see every unemployed man re-absorbed into industry, and we cannot help feeling that this voluntary effort will in some measure strengthen the hands of the Council in pressing their application. Nevertheless, should all these men and others find employment later on there will still be some who cannot be placed, and who will probably be anxious to carry on the good work now begun. Those who "listened in" to the Premier's speech on Monday evening will feel much satisfaction in his commendation of such arrangements as these and those at the Church Hall for trying to meet this very serious, but temporary situation.

19th January 1933

Trenance Lake

Rotarians and Workmen Lunch Together

"Members of the Newquay a Rotary Club met at the Trenance a Pavilion on Monday, under the chairmanship of Rotarian GH Widgery, and took lunch with the unemployed men who are giving voluntary service in making the lake at Tenance. Rotarian Widgery thanked the unemployed men for their services and said they were by their action making history and had given the lie to the assertion that unemployed did not want to work. He hoped that their service would be rewarded by the authorities. Rotarian A Bond also spoke commending the men for what they were doing. He said that when the scheme was mooted the Rotary a Club at once said they would be responsible for the dinners each day. With public assistance they meant to continue. Mr WH Slater who was elected foreman, replied, stating that action of the Rotary Club was much appreciated. Rotarian GC Chugg remarked that thanks were also due to Mr A Sollis who was so generously catering for the dinners. He hardly knew how he could put on such a good spread for the money. One of the unemployed men seconding, said that their dinners were excellent and varied each day.
Mr Sollis, in reply, said that the food supplies to the Rotary Club was exactly the same as that supplied to the men. He had not put on anything special for that day. He was only too glad to help in any way he could.
Rotarian R Treglown, treasurer of the special dinner fund, gave a financial statement and it was urged that the public should subscribe as generously as possible to the fund which was serving such a good purpose and encouraging the working men who were rending valuable service to the town."

19th January 1933

Rotarians and Unemployed

The following letter has been sent to the Secretary of the Newquay Rotary Club by the Building Industries National Council.
"My Council has noted with warm appreciation for the fine work in which Rotary is engaged in forwarding the idea of community spending at this time. We observe with especial interest the many really practical suggestions, from building a new house to repairing a cracked window, for employing in each locality those members of Britain's biggest industry who have been stricken by the economic blizzard.
So compelling is the evidence of Rotary's sympathy with the men and women who have temporarily dropped out of the ranks of industry that my Council makes no apology in asking you to place before Newquay Rotary Club the results of an inquiry which we are at present conducting in regard to the number and the nature of building schemes now held up by local authorities throughout the country. Already there is abounding testimony to the catastrophe which this form of corporate economy has created. We have before us particulars of 111 such schemes, to the value of approximately £5,000,000, which thus far have been curtailed, and it is our considered view that today the curtailment for the whole country cannot be less than £30,000,000.
Rotary has made its splendid appeal to individuals. May we now invite your club to consider a similar appeal to your own local authority? If a scheme has been held up, let the question be re-opened in these calmer days almost eighteen months after the first fever-fit of saving, intelligible at the time. If there is no postponed scheme in your town, the desirability of some form of community building might be fruitfully debated at an early meeting of your club. I hope that you will not resent these suggestions. The need is as great as is the influence of Rotary to meet it; and should you require additional facts, or any other information, I shall be very happy to hear. So many Rotary clubs in their desire to assist the community have adopted the slogan "Spend more". I wish it might be enlarged to read "Spend more, build more."

2nd February 1933

"At the Newquay Rotary lunch held at Mrs Jacka's Corner Cafe on ?Monday, Rotarian GH Widgery presiding, satisfactory reports were given concerning the Rotary X Club fund for providing dinners for the voluntary workers on the Trenance Lake. Contributions have been coming in to the Treasurer, Mr R Treglown, in increased amounts and there had been evinced a wide and sympathetic interest in the scheme."

20th March 1933

Extract from Report of Chamber of Commerce

"On the question of the continuation of subscriptions to the Rotary Club dinners to the voluntary workers' fund, Mr R Treglown said the supply of dinners ceased on the previous Saturday, owing to the introduction of a new scheme. The Rorary a Club had a few pounds in hand which would be retained until next winter. Mr GH Thomas said that if a similar scheme was brought forward next winter, the Rotary Club would be glad of the Chamber's assistance again. The a Chairman said he was quite sure the Chamber would give every consideration to the application."
The foregoing reports serve to remind us of the circumstances prevailing at the time.
How history repeats itself!
Today we have the Manpower Services Commission, Job Creation Schemes, Training Schemes and the like.