Celebrating 90 years of rotary in King’s Lynn

From the Left: Deidre Rothwell (wife of Rotary District 1080 Governor Derek Rothwell); district gov

From the Left: Deidre Rothwell (wife of Rotary District 1080 Governor Derek Rothwell); district governor, Rotary District 1080, which comprises Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, Derek Rothwell; Robert Ghazi (husband of President of RIBI Eve Conway, President of Rotary International Great Britain and Ireland Eve Conway; Suzanne Pellizzaro, (wife of President Michael Pellizzaro); Michael Pellizzaro, president of the Rotary Club of King's Lynn. Picture: Ron Jackson - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk rotary club is celebrating more than nine decades of helping others.

Rotarians from across the region attended a special dinner at King's Lynn Town Hall.

They included the Rotary national president Eve Conway, the governor of 1080 District, which covers Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Derek Rothwell, the Mayor of West Norfolk and presidents of several East Anglian clubs that over the years were formed by King's Lynn.

Rotarians met for the first time in the nearby Duke's Head Hotel, on the Tuesday Market Place in King's Lynn, in 1925. The great and good of the day were called together by the town's mayor of the time WR Sadler.

Rotary itself had been formed two decades earlier by high-flying Chicago lawyer Paul Harris, who said that he and executive friends were 'lonely' and needed an opportunity to meet for a meal and relax with others.

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The name was chosen because members met by rotation at each other's places of work.

By the time of Harris's death in 1947, at the age of 79, the movement had grown to more than 200,000 members - today there are more than 1.2m rotarians worldwide in 33,000 clubs.

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Lynn rotary club's earliest members were solicitors and shopkeepers, hauliers and chandlers, accountants and business people from around the town.

Over the years, it would go on to raise hundreds of thousands for charities around the world and closer to home - over the course of last year alone, it raised £40,000.

Ron Jackson, the club's longest-serving member, joined in 1972, at the age of 42, when the club had more than 70 members.

The retired property agent, from King's Lynn, said: 'Through the community committees huge sums are raised to assist local individuals, groups, causes etcetera.

'Had I been at that very first meeting in 1925 and summed up my counterparts there, I doubt very much whether I would have found their intentions, abilities, principles or values any different.

'Okay, times change, formalities weaken and everyone seems to be in a hurry - that's the modern world - but what hasn't changed is the will, the energy and the desire to serve others.

'In Norfolk our motto is do different - but in the end really and truly - nothing has changed.'

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