Rhona bows out after a busy year in office

Charity representatives with Morpeth Rotary President Rhona Dunn.
Charity representatives with Morpeth Rotary President Rhona Dunn.

Morpeth Rotary Club

It is that time of year when Rotary presidents change and Rhona Dunn came to her last week as President at Morpeth.

Rhona said that she had tried to make a difference in the community and be a credit to the club.

She started with a terrifying 150ft charity abseil at Coniston in the Lakes in August, where new Mayor Alison Byard shared the experience. Money was raised for the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Rhona joined in the spinathon cycle event at Sanderson Arcade, raising money for Barnabas Safe and Sound, and went on to bake hundreds of mince pies at Christmas that made £600 for Crisis. There was an unpleasant bug eating contest for Barnabas, before working with Medi Parry at Sanderson Arcade to plan the first Tree of Light for Morpeth.

This project worked really well and raised more than £3,000 for the air ambulance, Barnabas and Cancer Research. Supporting guests included Caroline Pryer and the Duchess of Northumberland. People said it was lovely to be able to leave a message, and planning for next Christmas has already started.

There were 60 people at the Christmas Message event, where the Rev Mike Willis was the speaker.

The annual brass band concert raised money for the Sand Dams clean water charity, working in rural areas of poverty worldwide.

President’s Night had 88 guests, who arrived through the ladies’ toilet because of building work.

A wine tasting raised money for the Rotary District Governor’s charity at Kandy in Sri Lanka. Cash was sent off for an emergency ShelterBox, and the club looked after young people from Chernobyl for a day out.

During the year members had helped to collect for Red Cross, for refugees and for flood victims.

Two excellent fellowship events were held with the Morpeth Lions.

Chantry Middle School joined in with the Rotary writers’ competition and did very well in the region.

Rhona felt that the club had done its bit for others in the community and she was proud to be President.

The club had lost two members during the year, but gained four, and George Strachan was made an Honorary Member.

Rhona gave a special thanks to the Press for the way they had kept the public informed, and to her husband Jim, who had supported her in everything she tried to do. She enjoys a challenge and has always faced life with hope. He thanked members for their support and for giving her the chance to be President. It had been a really enjoyable year.

Cheques were presented to Barnabas Safe and Sound, the Red Cross, Daft as a Brush, the Salvation Army, the Northumbrian Gathering, Blyth Tall Ships Project, Amble Lifeboat and Contact.