A busy and enjoyable Presidential year

Morpeth Rotary President Andrew Hamnett sums up a busy year and prepares to pass the chain of office to Rhona Dunn.
Morpeth Rotary President Andrew Hamnett sums up a busy year and prepares to pass the chain of office to Rhona Dunn.

Morpeth Rotary Club

The usual meeting at Morpeth Rotary Club was followed by an awards ceremony, presentation of cheques to charities, and the farewell address of outgoing President, Professor Andrew Hamnett. Mayor of Morpeth Alison Byard was an honoured guest and spoke to welcome incoming President Rhona Dunn.

President Andrew expressed relief and regret at the end of an eventful year with admiration for the organisation and the ideal of Rotary.

Andrew had attended events at Rotary clubs in Amble and Warkworth, Wansbeck and Seahouses.

He was pleased to induct two new members, with more applications expected. For the first time in a while the whole Rotary region has seen an increase in membership, although there has been the sad closure of some smaller clubs. He was certain that the vibrant and friendly atmosphere at Morpeth Rotary would continue to be an attraction.

It was a great strength that members come from a wide variety of backgrounds. It made it easier to work together for the common good. A new team is working under the leadership of Rhona to bring the idea of a ‘Tree of Light’ to Morpeth, with the aim of raising money to support local charities.

Rotary teams have worked on gardens, tree planting, health and welfare, including Age UK lunches, Talking Newspaper and the Food Bank. Support has been given to young people travelling to other countries and they have returned to tell us how they have developed.

Rotary takes part in many community activities. Andrew attended the annual service for Scouts and Guides, the Remembrance Day service, the 65th birthday of Inner Wheel and a Christmas Tree Festival in Rothbury.

As for weekly meetings, attendance has been good and activities many, including a tour of Floddon battlefield and talks on subjects such as archaeology, flood prevention, Palestine, and guarding a German Field Marshall. There were memorable social events, such as catering at Longhorsley, a regional quiz and a fund-raising social with the Lions at a restaurant.

Sport included indoor bowls, golf, table tennis and a disappearing dart board. We had ‘Desert Island Discs’ and an excellent President’s Night with lots of money raised for Samaritans and ShelterBox.

Andrew attended regular meetings on Rotary in the region and went to the national conference at Belfast. It is satisfying to know that Rotary is a force for good in and around Morpeth, the region and the world.

Andrew has been proud to be President. It was busy, productive and enjoyable. He passed on the chain of office to Rhona Dunn knowing she will do a brilliant job and have a great time. Rhona reminded everyone about the ‘Tree of Light’ project.