That’s the way to cel­e­brate Ro­tary’s 18th an­niver­sary

18-hour meet­ing had talks from ath­lete and Punch and Judy man

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

MISBOURNE Matins Ro­tary Club will re­mem­ber its 18th birth­day for a long time af­ter their record break­ing meet­ing on Wed­nes­day last week.

More than 500 peo­ple – ro­tar­i­ans and non ro­tar­i­ans – turned up to the Ger­rards Cross Golf Club to show their sup­port through­out the day as club mem­bers at­tempted a record break­ing 18 hour long meet­ing.

14 ro­tar­i­ans from the Ger­rards Cross and Chal­font St Peter club, along with four from other district clubs, showed their sup­port and some lasted the full 18 hours, show­ing up at 6am and stay­ing un­til mid­night.

En­ter­ing into the spirit, the Ro­tary Club of Mar­low Thames had a dif­fer­ent mem­ber turn up for each ses­sion, and passed an en­graved ba­ton they had brought with them to the next mem­ber.

The brain­child of PR man and mem­ber Tony Shin­ner, at­ten­dees heard a num­ber of talks given by Par­a­lympian hope­ful Andy Lewis, town crier Dick Smith, gov­ern­men­tal pol­icy ad­vi­sor Sarah Hickey and David Bal­combe from the Bri­tish Youth Opera, among oth­ers, in­clud­ing Ge­off Felix who gave a talk on the his­tory of Punch and Judy. He will also be at Feast Day in June

Mike Ley­land, club pres­i­dent, said: “Part of the event is about fun and let­ting peo­ple know what we do in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“I was here at 5 o’clock to set up. We started at 6am sharp and we fin­ished at 12 mid­night sharp, per my watch.”

About half way through, close to 3.30pm, nei­ther Mr Ley­land and Mr Shin­ner looked tired, and both men said it was go­ing well. Speak­ing at time, Mr Ley­land added: “It’s gone very well so far.

“Peo­ple are en­joy­ing them­selves.”

And the cel­e­bra­tion was not just held to cel­e­brate the club’s birth­day – Mr Ley­land said it was to get the mes­sage out there that both vol­un­teer­ing, and ro­tary clubs, are fun.

Mr Ley­land added: “Vol­un­teer­ing is fun. You can en­joy your­selves and do some things to­gether - that’s the pur­pose of to­day.

He added:”Ro­tary club is very much a ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“At the heart of is a sense of fun and fundrais­ing, be­cause who would vol­un­teer if you didn’t en­joy it?”

It was hard, they said, to shake off the im­age of

it ro­tary be­ing a ‘men’s club’, for ex­am­ple it of­ten draws com­par­isons to the Freema­sons.

Mr Ley­land said peo­ple were of­ten sur­prised to find out that the club had an even split be­tween male and fe­male mem­bers.

Mr Shin­ner added: “We had the idea that we should cel­e­brate com­ing of age, and we all said ‘let’s do it’.

“It’s to raise the pro­file. Of the 280 peo­ple, 40 or 50 are non ro­tar­i­ans.

“If they go away with a bit of knowl­edge that the ro­tar­i­ans do this, it’s all for the good. It’s not a char­ity event but we are rais­ing money.”

The club is on the look­out for new mem­bers. Visit­­page. php?ClubID=1824 for more in­for­ma­tion.

Hear ye!: Phil Daw­son, Tony Shin­ner, Town Crier Dick Smith and Ge­off Hoare ring in the Misbourne Matins Ro­tary Club 18 hour meet­ing and left,

Par­a­lympian hope­ful Andy Lewis

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