Guest Speaker: Donna Wallbank, Immediate Past RIBI President
Donna Wallbank, Immediate Past RIBI President
Her Rotary journey I had gone to lunch. It was the Talisman pub in Brynmawr on a Tuesday where Rotary met, and a lady came down from the restaurant. So I said: “What are you doing upstairs with all of those men?” She went on to explain to me that Rotary wasn’t just men, it was dual gender – and she was a member. I was a community-minded person and she suggested: “Why don’t you come along next week?” So I did. This was in 1997.
What attracted you to Rotary? I was 34. At the same time, I had been invited to join the Lions. With my background, it would have been natural if I had joined the Lions because I come from a really challenged working class background. But once I had been invited to join Rotary and I looked at the four-way test, what they stood for, and the ‘service above self’ motto got me, I thought I would go. I was scared because, to me, they were posh people and I wasn’t. Whereas, in my head, the Lions were working class people. Rotary wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. They were lovely people, and all of them have gone on to become great friends.