The busyness of the week continues…………………. By no means as important as Alison’s Ordination and definitely not on a par with the pomp and circumstance of Derby Cathedral, but last night was an important evening for me as I was officially inducted as President of West Ashfield Rotary Club.
As many of you know I`ve been a stand-in President since January after Graham moved to the Isle of Wight, but last night brought what the club calls `the change over` night when the Presidents of Rotary and Inner Wheel (the ladies club) are inducted.
As I didn`t have an outgoing President I asked the previous years President to come back and do the job of handing me the badge of office that I`ve been wearing for the last 6 months ! This time with my name badge on it !
We began as usual by welcoming the ladies of Inner Wheel amongst us, having our dinner, receiving a short speech by Terry Wilson in which he congratulated Alison on her Ordination (nice touch I thought) and then I handed over to President Pat of the Inner Wheel who inducted President Margaret and her team for the coming year. The Inner Wheel is a fine organisation in its own right; it began life simply as a meeting of the wives of men in the Rotary club, but it too has grown into a wonderful international work and often in many ways achieves more and better charitable work than most Rotary Clubs.
After Margaret had introduced her team, her husband (as a previous President) inducted me and I then proceeded to welcome my team of John as Senior Vice President and peter as Junior Vice President, alongside my treasurer, secretary and committee chairmen.
We then had a wonderful, humorous speech from Phil who is our sergeant-at-arms and responsible for `in-house` fund raising with his series of fines for misdemeanours such as 20p for starting the meeting early, late or even on time ! It’s a lovely bit of fun to end a Rotary meeting with and it raises funds for Rotary Foundation, our own charity.
Although I`ve been doing the job for 6 months now, it really felt as though I had arrived last night. It is a terrific responsibility to be worthy of such an accolade (although it was mainly because no one else wanted the job !) and to be given the trust of the men of the club. I appreciate it and trust that I will respond appropriately.