Welcome to District 1190 which comprises 68 Rotary Clubs located in Cumbria & Lancashire
Outstanding Achievement by District 1190 Rotarian
Bill’s Big 542 in 2016 Challenge for Cancer Research UK
Past President Bill Honeywell BEM PHF has been absent from most of the Clitheroe Rotary Club
meetings this year as he’s been engaged on another of his ‘jaunts’, otherwise known as Challenges, in an attempt to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
After 86 days spent on the Lake District fells, many of them alone, Bill reached his 542nd and final summit Saturday, 29 October. On this occasion he was anything but alone, as around 60 people including Rotarians (from Clitheroe, Ribblesdale, Church & Oswaldtwistle and Accrington), friends and family were there to enjoy the party atmosphere. There were even famous people among the walking party, including guide-book author Mark Richards and the man responsible the eponymous summits, Bill Birkett.
Although cloud and drizzle presided over the weather, it was mild and calm, and the party enjoyed the autumn colours and good conversation as they walked to the summit of Carron Crag, where David Evans produced a bottle of champagne and congratulations were made.
Back at the Grizedale Visitor centre we were joined by Miles & Lynda Leadbeater (and eventually rejoined by one or two Rotarians who’d taken a wrong turning on the way back) – free refreshments were kindly provided courtesy of the Visitor Centre and Bill made a short speech, mainly thanking Val for her incredible patience.
For those of you who like statistics, since 14 January 2016 Bill has climbed 542 summits - including all the 214 ‘Wainwrights’ (for the second time); walked 750 miles; climbed almost 225,000’ (42 miles, or the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest from base camp 19 times) and would probably have worn out his boots if he hadn’t decided to alternate two pairs! He says he’s not prepared to discuss his fuel bill!
When Bill was asked what his next challenge was going to be, Val said “The Back Garden.”
Bill then added “I’d like to thank everyone for their tremendous support on this Challenge, the aim of which was to raise money for Cancer Research UK. So many people have pledged donations (which are now due!) and ALL further donations will be welcome – details of all the walks, and how to donate, are on my website at www.542in2016.org.uk.”
How People Join Rotary
The President of Rotary International 2016-17, John Germ used his first newsletter to recount how he was invited to join Rotary by an executive of the company he worked for. His message was that Rotarians must continue to invite colleagues in order to sustain membership.
This model still works well in the tiger economies of the Far East and developing countries where Rotary is thriving, but meets a problem in Great Britain and Ireland. The average age of Rotarians in our District means that many of them are retired, and although '70 is the new 60' their contacts are not with today's working population.
Eve Conway, the President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, has a mission to increase the proportion of women in Rotary to 25%. The organisation opened its doors to women members in 1989. Many older Rotarians however don't have links with today's working women, and so encouraging them to invite colleagues to join the organisation may not be as fruitful as our presidents would wish. We need to reach out to the public and tell them that Rotary is changing.
Earlier this year the organisation rewrote its rulebook allowing clubs much more freedom in how and when they met. New ideas such as smaller satellite clubs and corporate membership were introduced. In the North West, Rotary clubs are taking a long hard look at the impression they create on visitors and becoming less formal.
These changes will help to attract new members, but we also need to change the public perception that membership of Rotary is 'by invitation'. A successful consultant, with happy memories of a Rotary exchange program that took him to Sweden as a young man, was recently asked why he hadn't considered joining Rotary. He replied 'Nobody asked me'.
DON'T WAIT TO BE ASKED!
Your local Rotary Club would be pleased to hear from you and will encourage you to visit and get to know it before any talk of joining. Many clubs now have informal 'Friends of Rotary' groups for people who don't want to join but are happy to help and support club events.
Find your local Rotary Club here.