High Flying Handover for Rotary President
Handover of President, Rotary Club of Carlisle South
In a ‘transatlantic’ meeting the outgoing President of Carlisle South Rotary Club, American Mike Esters handed the role to his English successor Brian White in front of a F4 Phantom at The Solway Aviation Museum, Carlisle Airport.
Mike from Webster City & Mason City, Iowa is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force and a former Electronic Warfare Officer who flew in similar aircraft to this over the RAF Spadeadam ranges in the 1980s, while stationed in Germany then later in his career served as the US Air Force commander at RAF Spadeadam. Following other assignments, he then settled here in Cumbria with his British born family following his retirement from active duty.
Brian who now lives in Brampton is a former Royal Air Force Radar specialist who maintained and operated the same radars at RAF Spadeadam at the same time as Mike flew over. He recently retired from the RAF Reserve as a Flight Lieutenant after almost 45 years in RAF Uniformed service.
“People talk of the special relationship between America and the United Kingdom” says Brian, “but we have lived that relationship for real for many years in Cumbria. We met each other in the 1980s at a distance of five hundred feet and a speed of five hundred knots.”. “Only many years later did we meet in person through our Rotary club” he continued.
“It seemed a great idea to handover the Rotary Club Presidency to Brian in front of a common tie, the Phantom” added Mike. “The one here, beautifully preserved by the Solway Aviation Museum, is an F4M version which was formerly on the gate at 14MU and is slightly different to the F4G ‘Wild Weasel’ variant I flew. But the memories came flooding back as soon as I got near it”. Mike said.
Rotary is a world wide service organisation open to all from 18 upwards, of any gender or social background. “Joining this club has enabled me to help people locally and world wide, most of whom I’ll never meet, to have safer, better lives in many ways form providing clean water thus stopping diseases to trying to eradicate polio from the world” said Brian.
Mike has personally assisted with projects in Africa with Rotary, but he stresses “Rotary also works on our own doorstep with our club raising tens of thousands of pounds to local charities. Rotarians from the club and members of our friends group were there helping during all of the floods in recent times” Mike said.
“It’s going to be a fun year as President with events such as the fire show collection with the Mayors Office, helping Santa at Houghton hall at Christmas and much more. I can’t wait to get into the role after Mikes highly successful tenure before me” said Brian.
The Rotary Club of Carlisle South meets each Tuesday at the Shepherds Inn, Rosehill, Carlisle.