Any views expressed are not necessarily those of all Club members
The Rotary Club of Arbury is not an agency of or controlled by Rotary International
When I was asked to join I did not hesitate but I was very uncertain what the organisation did apart from meet regularly for a meal. It opened up a whole new world for me. I had joined Courtaulds after living in London, and Joan was fresh from Barnsley, as a result we had few local friends apart from those through work.
I can honestly say that joining Arbury was the finest thing that happened to me since marrying Joan although I have also got a lot of pleasure from the Nuneaton Rambling Club.
Although the bonds that are built up over the years with seeing fellow members in a relaxed friendly atmosphere are a great source of comfort there is more to Rotary than just the dining together. We organise our own functions like theatre visits, barbecues, weekends away and so on.
I found I had joined a world-wide organisation with it roots spreading from a seed sown in Chicago by a man called Paul Harris over 100 years ago. There are now over a million Rotarians across the world. Apart from the regular weekly meal we organise ourselves into small working groups that try to do good - sometimes on a worldwide scale, - to projects in our own localities. Through Rotary I have become involved with a plant nursery that is run by the excellent charity ‘People in Action’. It is based in Bedworth and provides training and employment for adults with learning difficulties.
On the grand scale Rotary UK set the wheels in motion for the establishment of UNESCO - The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation. More recently a Rotary International President persuaded the World Health Organisation to try to eliminate polio from the world’s population . Rotary paid for the vaccine. There are just a few pockets of the disease left in a handful of countries and Bill Gates had given heavy financial help backing up Rotary’s efforts to put the problem to rest.. At the club level we help the elderly, the sick, the poor, and the young. We also financially support local charities. Some do more than others but that is the nature of clubs. Those that put in most get the most out.
There are further benefits for members that come to mind. You can establish business relationships with people you trust. Unfortunately one of our members found that it is not always true. When I was made redundant from the now no-existent Courtaulds a fellow Rotarian helped me find a most pleasant consultancy job. In our swiftly changing world a person new to the neighbourhood who joins Rotary can get to know a group of pleasant acquaintances where friendship grows. If he is moved to another area another Rotary club will take him in and he can start again widening his circle of friends. Finally a welcome and even aid is given to a visiting Rotarian. I have done a lot of walking by myself in this country and I have always received a warm welcome at club’s evening or lunchtime meetings. At least two members of our club have been taken seriously ill abroad and were helped by local clubs. Possibly the life of one of these members was saved by the speedy action of a South African club.
The wives and partners of the members have an active sister organisation called the Inner Wheel that meets monthly at Weston Hall for a meal. My wife, Joan, enjoys her involvement.
Sadly most clubs and friendships organisations in our society are finding it difficult to keep up their membership and we are no different. This is not the case for Rotary in the dynamic Far East So if you like the look of what you have read and are, shall we say, a senior member of your business or even just retired, then perhaps you would like to give us a try. If so, the person to contact is our Secretary John Parkinson.
I was one of a lucky few who were invited to join our Rotary Club at its formation. It was not until quite some time afterwards that I found out who put my name forward I have been eternally grateful to Dick Smith of the Nuneaton Club for his recommendation. He had been a neighbour but we had moved away and we met up again quite by accident at the same hotel on holiday. Luck can play such an important part in our lives! It had been decided that our mother clubs, Nuneaton and Bedworth who meet at lunch-times should try to form an evening club covering both towns.
When we got off the ground we had to decide on a name that covered both places so we settled for ‘Arbury’ and then we had to chose a meeting place and the day for our meal. Over the years we have dined at quite a few establishments - the Bull (now the George Eliot), the Rugger Tavern, The Long Shoot, the Chase and now Weston Hall, where we are treated very well.
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