As this year sees The Rotary Club of Forres celebrate 65 years since it was chartered, it is an ideal time to look back and see what the club has achieved and how it has changed.
In 1951 the club had 23 members; all male and only one from each category e.g. doctor, banker. Today there are 40 members, one third of whom are women and there are no categories so the job or profession is no longer important. Rotarians are people who want to serve the community so anyone who fits into that category is welcome.
The Rotarian motto is “Service above Self” and over the years Rotarians have helped with disasters internationally and locally. In 1951 money was raised to help the Greeks and in subsequent years refugees from Cyprus and Hungary as well as earthquakes in Persia and Nepal and typhoons in Hong Kong. In 2014 the club raised £16,000 (£10,000 of it in one day) to help those who had suffered in the Boxing Day Tsunami. For thirty years the club has supported the very successful Rotary campaign to end Polio and is delighted to know that this year less than 20 cases have been reported worldwide.
The flooding in Forres in 1997 saw Rotarians help with the clear up and raise money for those affected. Club members have always been ready to support local events and Rotary members are involved in supporting Piping in Forres.
Our work in the local community is wide and varied. For youngsters we organize competitions like the interschool Primary School Quiz and mock interviews. For our senior citizens we have organized bus trips, pantomime visits and, most recently, an afternoon tea with music. Since the demise of the Round Table in Forres Rotarians have taken over the planning and running of the Bonfire Night and Santa Sleigh from the Round Table.
Over the years we have also been involved in small but lasting projects like providing the war memorial plaque and seats, providing a park bench in the Rose Garden and the draught Board in Tollbooth Street.
We annually distribute the funds we have raised locally and encourage local organizations to bid for support. In the past our main fundraising event was the annual Taste of Moray event at Brodie Castle but today we raise most of our money through the annual Children in Need Quiz and the Santa Sleigh collection. Any local organization can bid for funds and a form for this can be found on the Forres Rotary Club website.
However, being a Rotarian is not just about serving the community and fundraising. Rotarians also have fun by taking part in activities within the club e.g. Car Treasure Hunts, Burns and Safari Suppers as well as competitions with other clubs. Some members have even taken part in golf and curling tours to the USA and Canada.
If you would like to be involved in serving the community then think about becoming a Rotarian. You can find out more from our website and Facebook pages and we can be contacted through these pages.