That’s the way to celebrate Rotary’s 18th anniversary
18-hour meeting had talks from athlete and Punch and Judy man
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. Visit http://www.rotaryribi.org/clubs/homepage. 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