A FAMILIAR face made history at a recent meeting of Morpeth Rotary Club.
Rhona Dunn, who worked closely with Rotary members when they ran the furniture depot in support of Morpeth residents who were badly affected by the floods of 2008, has become its first lady member.
Her husband Jim has been a member for several years and as well as their efforts after the floods, the couple are well known for their involvement with the Boys Brigade.
Mrs Dunn – who was awarded Rotary International’s highest honour of a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2009 – recalled the comradeship of that time, saying she was pleased and proud to be the first woman member.
She was inducted by President David Richardson, who said: “It was a priority of my presidential year to welcome the first lady member and hopefully many other local business and professional ladies will join the club.”
It was in 1989 that the Rotary International Council voted to admit women into clubs worldwide, although Indian Rotary clubs had been pushing for the removal of the word ‘male’ from the constitution since 1950.
By 2011, there were more than 200,000 lady Rotarians.
Only a handful of clubs in the North East are still men-only.
This was just the start of a very special meeting, as members were pleased to welcome representatives from Morpeth Lions Club for an evening of social activities and games.
Lions President Dave Wheeler and fellow member Simon Pringle were at the top table with Mr Richardson to lead the events.
Long-service awards were also presented to past Mayor of Morpeth Clive Temple and Rotarians Michael Duffy and Rob Metcalfe.