It was a pleasure and, indeed a great
privilege to be selected as the Founder President of Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary
Club way back in 1981.
of my year in office remain vivid in my mind.
Before the actual formation of the Club itself, we formed an Inaugural
Club, under the watchful eyes of the two Extension Officers from the Great
Yarmouth Club – Ray Barratt and Keith Horne.
President of RIBI Eric Firby presented our official Charter to us at a most
enjoyable ceremony at the Garibaldi on 26th June 1981.
Also present on this occasion were District Governor Ron McLeod, District
Governor Elect Stanley Heighton, and District Extension Officer Charles Bixley,
together with all Founder Members of the Haven Rotary Club.
Each member received a tankard from the District Governor, whilst the
wives were invited to Ron McLeods’s home, where his wife Jessie entertained
them and Beth Firley, wife of the RIBI President.
the run-up weeks prior to our Charter Night, Aileen and I, together with
Jennifer and Ian Tilley, our Senior Vice-President Elect, visited the RIBI
Conference at Blackpool. We spent a
most enjoyable few days there and after visiting a theatre one night, actually
sat at a table having a meal alongside the cast of the show – which included
the course of my year we visited the James Paget Hospital before it was opened
for patients. We also visited the
Fire Station where we saw a car dismembered by modern machinery in a matter of
minutes. On both these occasions
our wives accompanied us. We held a
fund-raising stall at the Round Table Donkey Derby and organised a Fun Run on
Bure Park, we also held our first Ladies Night at the Cliff Hotel, Gorleston
which was most enjoyable, as was our Charter Anniversary Dinner at Ormesby Lodge
which had a 100% turn-out, plus my invited guests of Ray Barratt, Keith Horne,
Ron McLeod and Dickie Moore.
during the course of the year included Billy Ecclestone, Aleyn Jordan, Peter
Howse, Jonathan Peel of Radio Norfolk, our Mayor the late Gordon Chapman and a
certain young man named Charles Lewis who gave an interesting talk about the
my wife, designed the President’s Jewel on the Chain of Office and Keith
Horne, a bell by Ray Barratt and the Rotary insignia to hang on the wall by
Charles Bixley, a gavel by Gordon Chapman and a frame for our official Charter
by myself presented the Club at its formation with a lectern.
conclusion I would like to say what an exciting time it was to be so deeply
involved in the formation of the Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club from its