Morpeth Rotary Club
A total of 60 guests joined Jim Dunn for the club’s President’s Night, which was held at Morpeth Golf Club.
They included Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, his researcher Mark Fitton, Mayor of Morpeth Joan Tebbutt and her escort Alison Byard, Rotary District Governor for the North East David Sadler and his wife Ann, Margaret Miller, President of Morpeth Inner Wheel, Elaine Smith, President of Alnwick Rotary, Don Metcalf of Wansbeck Rotary and Dr Paul Creighton of Amble and Warkworth Rotary.
There were also a number of Morpeth’s well-known characters in attendance, such as George Strachan, Alex Swailes and George Brown.
After an excellent four-course meal, the MC for the evening, retired King Edward VI School headteacher Michael Duffy, introduced the District Governor to toast the club.
Mr Sadler listed a dozen local, national and international charities that had been helped and supported by the club in the last year and said that Morpeth Rotary was a legend within the Rotary movement for the help it had quickly organised for local flood victims in co-operation with other service organisations in the town.
He noted that Morpeth is sending financial help to flood victims in Somerset.
Mr Dunn and his wife Rhona had been recognised as champions of the local community even before they joined Rotary and they had both been awarded Rotary’s highest accolade, a Paul Harris Fellowship – named after the founder of Rotary.
The club President replied by noting that the club was set up in 1938, the year of his birth, before many things now in everyday use had been invented.
In his early days, hardware was nuts and bolts from Swailes. He even got married first and lived together afterwards!
Rotary is much less formal now, women are greatly valued and hold important posts and Morpeth has two lady members, with the hope of recruiting more. Looking at the list of past presidents, including Waters, Robson, Appleby, Daglish, Green and Chapman, he was proud to follow the Rotary tradition. He commended the Rotary motto of Service Above Self and the Rotary four-way test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Guest speaker Ian Lavery MP gave his own congratulations and said that Morpeth Rotary had made such a significant contribution to the community that he could give no greater compliment than saying it had acted as the best sort of socialist organisation.
Members received the statement enthusiastically once they had recovered from the initial shock.
He spoke about his time as a prominent member of the National Union of Mineworkers and how he has found being an MP – he was elected in 2010.
The evening closed with some very fine singing of Northumbrian and other songs led by Ken Irvine (keyboard) and Gillian Irvine (vocals).
They were supported by two fine young local singers, Chloe from KEVI and Jake from Bedlington, and everyone was able to join in with the chorus.
The raffle raised £450 for Barnabas Safe and Sound.
Mr Dunn thanked Professor Andrew Hamnett for organising everything and closed the meeting with a toast to Rotary the World Over.