Rotary District 1040
THE DISTRICT 1040 HISTORY
Prepared by the district and not verified by Rotary Global History
Officially the District covers part of the East Riding of Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
A total of 79 Clubs, from Richmond in the north, Holmfirth to the south, Scarborough in the east and Settle to the west.
The area is approximately 125 miles north to south and 110 miles east to west. It is a region of outstanding natural beauty with the contrasts of moor land and shoreline never far from the industrial heritage around Bradford and Leeds.
These cities were both major centres of the woollen industry in the past and are bustling major centres of commerce and trade today.
District 1040 was spawned out of the original Northern District of British Rotary. It then became District 19 until 1923 when the British system of Districting came into place, Yorkshire became District 4 until with part of District 7, formed District 104.
Administratively the district had built up to have over eighty five clubs. We ceded a few clubs in south Yorkshire to help form the new District 1270. It was not long before the formation of new clubs took us back up to the upper 70 mark in what is a very compact District.
Later with the advent of computerisation at Rotary International we became District 1040.
The march of the development and expansion of Rotary in these islands is well chronicled in the book “Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland” by Roger Levy and lists in an appendix the Charter years of Clubs through till 1975.
Rotary came to Yorkshire in 1916 with the formation of the Rotary Club of Leeds it being the eleventh club to be formed in Great Britain and Ireland. The mother club of Leeds is the Rotary Club of Edinburgh, Scotland, which was the sixth Club to be formed in Great Britain and Ireland in1912.
Without doubt the Leeds Club is the solid foundation upon which the District has been built and expansion included Sheffield (1919) and Rotherham (1921) both of which are now in our neighbouring District 1270.
As far as the History is concerned the extension led to the formation of the Harrogate Club, the York Club and the Wakefield Club all in 1921 and in 1922 the lateral spread of Rotary took in Huddersfield, Halifax, Bradford and Dewsbury. An interesting facet is that the first seven clubs mentioned above have all extended Rotary within their own town or city limits with the formation of Daughter Clubs meeting as breakfast, lunch or evening Clubs.
Another interesting fact is that the York Club became the 1000th Club to be granted its Charter by Rotary International.
In preparing this brief history of the District, it would be very tempting to catalogue the many events and projects undertaken by Clubs throughout the District, but suffice to say that in common with other Districts almost every conceivable idea, has been devised or adapted to raise funds with which to carry forward the ideals of Rotary in Community, International and Youth activity. Naturally good ideas have been copied, modified or adapted to meet the needs in the local community in which a club exists.
But Rotary is about people who have shown a high level of commitment in the past and those who follow the spirit of the motto “Service Above Self” through to this day. In that respect I will focus on certain names of Clubs and personalities who, in my humble opinion, are deserving of special recognition for their efforts to advance Rotary in this District.
Similarly it would be easy to fill paragraphs with names of Past District Chairmen, Governors and Club Presidents, but realistically these would mean very little to future readers of this epistle.
The foundation of this District was in fact laid on the 17th February 1916 when the Inaugural luncheon of the Rotary Club of Leeds, was held. It is on record as being a marathon meeting with seventeen speakers. The fledgling club was addressed by the Honorary Secretary of the British Association of Rotary Clubs who spoke on “Service not Self” ( which was later amended to Service above Self ) His audience proved their tenacity and endurance for it was on the 8th of May that the Charter was granted to the Rotary Club of Leeds.
Three Founder members came through to some prominence in Rotary ………. John C. Innes became Treasurer of R.I.B.I. (Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland) The Rev. Thompson Elliott became a President of R.I.B.I. when a member of the Liverpool club and William Moffatt who was District Chairman in 1924-25 and District Secretary went on to be a Director of R.I.B.I. in 1928.
These three Rotarians had the honour of being received by His Majesty King George V at Buckingham Palace on July 2nd 1927 in recognition of their sterling Service to the Rotary movement.
Another fact which is worthy of note, is that Paul Harris, the Founder of Rotary spoke to the Club on 8th June 1928, his only visit to a club in the then District 4. I can find no record of his speech, though one imagines that it would have been highly motivational.
Another Founder member Charles Davis, left the Club for a short period but returned to become a very well respected District Secretary, serving from 1927 to 1971 apart from the year of his Presidency in 1946 –47.
He gave wise counsel and advice to all and was highly regarded for his interpretation of constitutional matters.
William Moffatt was also at various times, Chairman of RIBI Club Service Committee and of the RI ( Rotary International ) Education Committee and became Club President after holding these other Offices
He was bold enough to argue against Paul Harris who believed that Rotary should focus on Children`s Work. Moffatt believed that Rotary should focus on the Community. It was the subject of debate at the St. Louis Convention. Resolution 34 was defeated and as a result Community Service was taken on board.
He is also credited with putting forward the idea of an Information Meeting for prospective members and for suggesting to Paul Harris that Rotary could expand further by permitting more than one club to be formed in a City or town.
Both of these ideas were controversial but were adopted throughout Rotary. In District 1040 for example the Rotary clubs of Crossgates, Roundhay, Headingley and Rothwell were all conceived. All are towns around the City of Leeds and further expansion has followed in similar fashion with formations at Aireborough, Calverley, Pudsey, Osgoldcross & Elmet, Leeds Elmete and Leeds White Rose.
Tadcaster & Wetherby also came into the Leeds grouping, but in recent times has changed to being known simply as the Wetherby & District Club. Situate between Leeds and Wetherby is the effective Club of Lower Wharfedale within a very affluent commuter area.
Moffatt was a regular contributor to the District magazine “Rotary In the Ridings.” In April 1947 the series of articles, which he had written on what were often regarded as problem areas of Club Service, were published in the book “Spotlight on Rotary” by William Moffatt, under the auspices of the District Council.
In the Foreword he was described as a giant in the Rotary movement of the calibre of Paul Harris. Moffatt would not have thought himself worthy of such an accolade.
Without doubt these persons had brought a considerable Yorkshire influence to bear upon Rotary International.
The dedication, commitment and enthusiasm of William Moffatt working with John Innes, had very successfully furthered the extension of Rotary in the North of England. Another note worthy fact is that a member of he Leeds Club namely Frederick William Hedges, 1898-1954 Classification Insurance Services
Served in the Great War 1914 – 1918
Was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V on 15th May 1919
For conspicuous bravery at Bousies, France,
on 24th October 1918.
The Rotary Club of Harrogate was Chartered on the 8th January 1921 and immediately set its standard by involvement with the Community. The Town Mayor was elected to Honorary Membership for his or her year of Office, a practice which has continued to be adopted to this day and which has been taken on board by many other clubs too.
Very detailed records show that care in the community and the environment have been constant considerations for the Club. The members have planted tens of thousands of spring flowering bulbs and a novel “Trees in Remembrance” scheme started in 1981, has done much to enhance the beauty of this original Spa town.
A key project for many years was the Holiday Camp for Poor Children, first opened in 1921. A new camp was opened by the Mayor on the 8th June 1928 in the presence of the Mayor of Leeds and of Paul Harris after his speech at the Leeds Club. The camp continued through till 1956.
An unusual story exists about the distinctive Presidential regalia, inscribed “Service not Self" which was housed in the club meeting place but in April 1947 it could not be found !
Its whereabouts remained a mystery until early June of the following year, when a labourer walked into the police station and confessed to the theft.
He apparently had a few drinks too many and later the theft preyed on his mind. The magistrates viewed his confession favourably fining him just £5. The regalia was recovered from the roof of the Corporation laundry.
The Club also organises the Nidderdale Walk of three distances amidst beautiful scenery. There is also a special route for the Disabled, who with their carers, greatly enjoy the whole event.
The Club has hosted the RIBI Conference in 1928 and has hosted nine District Conferences between 1932 and 1974 since when the District confers by the seaside at Scarborough.
Extension has been with the formation of the Rotary Clubs of Tadcaster & Wetherby and Knaresborough. In 1980 and within the town itself, the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes was formed.
The Club has produced many Rotary stalwarts, one of whom was Arthur Mortimer OBE who served the original No 1 District well. He left Harrogate for London, becoming President of the St. Pancras Club, then Chairman of District 113 and President of RIBI in 1948.
Many others have served on District Council and RIBI Committees but I will mention Harold Rhodes who was District Governor in 1964-65 and Harold Taylor who was honoured by the Club for his enthusiasm and contribution to the environment in Harrogate.
If you visit the town in spring and summer, you will see a magnificent living memorial to him in the trees and floral displays and in winter the town becomes a fairyland with lights festooning the trees.
If you are visiting Harrogate be sure to enjoy the famous Valley Gardens just off the Town Centre. You can then proceed through the
Rotary Centenary Pine Wood and onto the spectacular Harlow Carr Gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Having mentioned the Rotary Club of Tadcaster and Wetherby above, it would be remiss of me were I not to highlight the name of Jim Watts as President of RIBI in 1984-85.
He became heavily involved with the International Committee of the club and went on to serve as District International Chairman and subsequently Chairman of the RIBI Committee. He also served on the District Club Service Committee and the RI Membership Development Committee. During his Presidency of RIBI was the difficult move of RIBI Headquarters from London to Alcester, Warwickshire.
He was described as a very friendly bear of a man who, with an engaging grin could charm his audiences. His vast administrative knowledge stood him in good stead at whatever top table or committee meeting he attended. His personal encouragement to me as I started out on the District Team was very much appreciated.
The third key Club currently in District 1040 is the Rotary Club of York which was also chartered in 1921 with the Lord Mayor, Alderman Teddy Walker becoming the first President of the Club.
( Note : An Alderman is next in dignity to the Mayor of an English City or Borough)
From the outset the club became thoroughly involved in care in the community by providing help for crippled and orphaned children.
The York Boys Club, the York Companions Club and the York Community Council were formed. The welfare of the blind was also a main concern. As many other clubs have done since, the transport of the elderly and the disabled to and from hospital has continued to this day.
The York Club has extended Rotary in the City by the formation of the Rotary Clubs of York Ainsty and York Vikings. In recent times the Club produced “Rotary News” as a regular monthly feature in the local Yorkshire Evening Press covering the activities of the three Clubs in half page features.
Such publicity has attracted the attention of adjacent Rotary Clubs
and I was pleased to draw it to the attention of other district clubs during my term as Governor.
The first Interact Club in the District, for young persons of secondary school age was formed at Fulford School and has been the flagship leader in the development of other Interact Clubs in District 1040.
For examples of community achievement the York Club is hard to beat ….. they have done it all and can wear the tee shirt with pride !
The Club has been committed to Rotaract which can best be described as a Service oriented social club. These young persons become fully involved in fund raising, but have great fun in doing so. To learn about “Pubopoly” contact the York Ainsty Club. They recently gave us Harry Windle as Governor who has now retired to Scotland.
York Vikings brought forth the right man, for the right job, at the right time, in the formidable shape of the late Governor Raymond Burn. ( 1987-88 ) He was an inspirational leader and through his personal enthusiasm, everyone who met him in District became fired up for the Rotary International Polio Plus Campaign
The York Club had in its membership a holder of the Victoria Cross namely Alfred Knight and had four other members who were awarded the Military Cross.
Sixteen members have served the city as Lord Mayor and seventeen have served as Sheriff.
Distinguished Honorary members include Lord Halifax who went on to become Foreign Secretary and all the Archbishops of York from 1938 to the present day. Many have gone on to be Archbishops of Canterbury.
The Club also had as a member Bert Keech who was an England bowler and who was captain of England in 1953.
The skyline of York is dominated by York Minster which is an outstanding place of worship and well worth a visit. While you are in the city visit the National Railway Museum and Jorvik, the Viking experience. Plan to stay a while for there is much to see and enjoy in and around York.
The next Club to be formed in 1921 was the Rotary Club of Wakefield, which in 1925 produced the second District Chairman namely R.P. Dodgson. ( Chairmen were later to become to be known as District Governors, who are in fact Chairmen of the District Council ) As usual the club became heavily involved with the Community and the local Pinderfields specialist hospital. Extension was continued with the formation of the Wakefield Chantry Club.
Renown came to the Wakefield Club via Calcutta and Liverpool in the form of an Anglican priest who was a Vicar at Holmfirth. His vocation took him on to Brighouse and the Rotary Club. He was elected Chairman of the District Aims and Objects committee and was elected President for the year 1946-47 however he did not complete a full term due to his appointment as Canon Missioner of Wakefield. The Brighouse Club acknowledged his service and noted two facets of that distinguished service.
1/ His profound Faith and belief in Fellowship 2/ His ability to remember the Christian names of countless Rotarians throughout the country.
He was District Chairman for two successive years 1944 to 1946 when a member of the Brighouse Club and Chairman of the first post war RIBI Conference. He was Canon Tom Cashmore who later became a forceful President of R.I.B.I. in 1950-51 when a Wakefield member. He went on to be Bishop of Dulwich and was a much loved inspirational Speaker in Great Britain and Ireland and in the United States.
In 1932 Wakefield Club together with others from across the UK, contributed to a piece of Vocational work, completed in 1936` entitled “Education for Industry and Commerce” with the Board of R.I.B.I. and the Board of Education. The Club was also involved in a Conference debate on the value of the territorial unit of R.I.B.I.
Wakefield gave us two more knowledgeable and popular Governors , George Thompson in 61-62 and Frank Foley 82-83
Expansion radiated outwards across the district with clubs being formed in 1922 in Huddersfield, Halifax, Scarborough, Bradford and Dewsbury.
The Huddersfield Club has a unique story to tell for it was apparently formed in just an hour or two ! They knew exactly what they were about, for their first meeting place proved to be just right as they met in that venue for the following 56 years. There were several other clubs in the district who met in their original meeting place for similar periods of time. Were they responsible for the old Club Service statement that, a club which had continuity in its meeting place was built on the right foundation?
Later circumstances led to three changes of meeting venue in just one year !
Of the first eight Presidents, seven were Founder members and it is surprising that after 1933 no other Founders went on to be President.
Expansion was continued with the formation of the Holmfirth Club in November 1935. Today Holmfirth is famed as being the location for the Television series “Last of the Summer Wine”.
In July 1939 the new President Dr J. Walker Hirst was installed but by the end of August he was on active service in the Royal Army Medical Corps serving on the hospital ship “Paris” which was sunk at Dunkirk. After further service overseas he returned to be President again in 1947.
District sent out a copy of Rotary in the Ridings for each member at a cost of four shillings per year. The members were not happy about this approach and further objections had apparently been lodged in in the late 30`s and again in the 70`s but they could do little about the 100% allocation of the magazine from District.
The Huddersfield Pennine Club was chartered in October 1974.
Concern was raised about the inflationary trend of Rotary costs between 1951 and 1981.
Subscriptions then 3 guineas in 1981 ……..then to £25 (8 times)
Meal cost 20 pence ……… then to £2………(10 times)
Dinner Dance 75 pence ……… then to £7.50 (10 times)
They posed the question as the costs in the year 2011 !
Would they be £250 , £20 and £75 respectively ???
And will there be anyone there to pay ?
As I write this in spring 2005 all I can say is that they are heading upwards and clubs have concern about the non paying, often historical Guest list and the trend of lower number of attendees.
At Halifax the suggestion of a Rotary Club was floated in an article in the Halifax Courier newspaper. The early days of the club were used to consolidate and develop a good base in both Community and International Service. Indeed there can not be many Clubs who in their first years would be ambitious enough to entertain some 800 of the poor children of the town.
In 1927 an international link was established by the presentation of a silver mounted gavel and stand to the sister Rotary Club of Halifax Nova Scotia and in the following year the Canadians reciprocated by the presentation of a Ceremonial gong. The club was instrumental in the formation of the Round Table Club in 1929 and the Inner Wheel Club in 1935, a pattern followed by many clubs since then.
In 1946 after the war, the Halifax Club restarted the expansion of Rotary in Yorkshire with a club being formed in Todmorden ( your scribes own Club )
This continued throughout the Calder Valley with clubs successively being formed in Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, Halifax Calder, Elland and Brighouse. The Halifax Calder Club being formed in the 75th anniversary year of the parent Club.
The Club has produced three District Governors in Norman Collins, Will Patterson and Norman Ashton.
Paul Harris Fellowships have been given to two distinguished Rotarians, namely the late John Bearder M.B.E. founder of the Bearder Charity and to the late Maurice Jagger, a recipient of the Rotary Service Award, a former Mayor of Halifax and founder of the Maurice Jagger Centre for the Disabled.
Again most other clubs have recognised commitment to service by Rotarians and others in the community with this award.
Extension spread to the east coast with the formation of the Scarborough Club which led to the formation of Whitby who hosted the first District Conference in 1927-28 and another in 33-34 .
Bridlington and Filey were formed later and within the town itself Scarborough Cavaliers.
As mentioned this glorious seaside town is popular for conferences not only for our District, but for other Districts too.
The club decreed that meetings should commence at 1pm prompt and conclude at 2.15pm sharp.
Canon W.T. Elliott, the President of R.I.B.I. was an early speaker at the Club and who apparently spoke “for a few minutes short of an hour.”
Another unusual speaker moment occurred in 1929 when the three parliamentary candidates for the General Election were invited to attend and speak with the proviso that politics was barred !
Community Service in the town continued and International exchange visits became a feature of activity.
Several members of the Club have served on District and it is perhaps surprising that no one has gone on to be Governor from such a well organised club.
Rotary House in Scarborough provided a welcome holiday retreat for kidney patients and their carers. Patients and support came from clubs across the District. Through advances in clinical technology the necessary equipment has become very much smaller and patients can be more readily treated at home. Rotary House was taken over by the Wilf Ward Trust and is today a half way house for patients with psychiatric problems as they work their way back into the community under daily care.
The next of my highlighted clubs is Bradford. The City was the major centre for the woollen industry. Today it is estimated that one sixth of the population are of ethnic origins and integration into the greater community is steadily and progressively happening.
Community Service has always been to the fore and in 1953 they completed a mammoth task whereby some 1010 (one thousand and ten ) persons over the age of 65 and who were said to be living alone, received gifts as part of the Coronation Celebrations, Each person received a gift of jam, tea, sweets, tinned meat and biscuits etc. delivered personally by individual members of the Club.
Another fine piece of community service was the organising of evening concerts in local residential care homes and this was recognised and acclaimed by Rotary International at Evanston. Taped messages from residents to relatives in Canada were also greatly appreciated by the recipients.
The club members have been active debaters in the Ulrich Atkinson Debating competition. Ulrich was a member of the Shipley Club and what was initially a contest between local clubs is now District wide and the Bradford club team, have made it through to the semi-finals and to be Final winners on many occasions.
The club has enjoyed the services of Fred Lee as Club Secretary for some twenty five years. His display of Rotary Information at Club meetings was quite amazing and if members did not pick up on Rotary events and changes, it really meant they had missed much of the material put before them.
Extension in the city led to other formations of Bradford Blaize, Bradford West, Idle & Greengates and most recently Bradford Bronte, our first dual gender club, meeting for breakfast at 7-15am.
This was an introduction to a different style of Rotary with a prompt
start, a satisfactory meal, slick business and a speaker and a departure to the members places of business all done by 8.30am.
The clubs of Shipley, Keighley, Bingley and Bingley Airedale are also within the Metropolitan Borough of Bradford as is the Rotary Club of Haworth and Worth Valley who were the 2005 winners of the R.i.B.I. Environmental Trophy. Haworth is a very popular tourist attraction with its steep main street with some of the quaint old style shops still in evidence and one must not miss the Bronte Parsonage and Museum filled with the treasures and writings of the Bronte sisters.
The Bradford Clubs most recent lady President, Rotarian Valerie Binney, of just two years ago will become Lord Mayor of the City in May 2005.
My final featured early club is Dewsbury formed in 1922 out of the towns flourishing textile trade. In the dark days of the depression of the early thirties the club formed the Dewsbury Community Service Council. Local businessmen were encouraged to find work for the unemployed in Odd Job Week and it is on record that the dole queue of the unemployed was temporarily reduced by 500.
In 1937 the Club received the “Club of the Year Award” from Rotary International.
Community activity continued through the war years by the hosting of Belgian refugees and they gave hospitality to the Dunkirk military evacuees from the beaches of France.
Later food parcels were sent to Holland, which had become a battlefield in the later stages of the war.
The club continues its work in Community and International Service today. Several members have played a significant part in District activity as Chairmen or Members on District Committees.
Norman Cooke was District Chairman in 1946-47 and Clifford Turner in 1955-56.
In the previous pages I have given a summary of the early pioneering work of clubs in District 1040 as it now is, together with mentioning some of the most dedicated Rotarians who have come to particular notice in my research. The task now enters a more difficult phase of trying not to offend some Club or Personality by not having them included on the document.
However since only 15 Clubs submitted information in the form of a Club History or other documents, I feel that should there be some item which a club considers an outstanding fact about their part in Rotary in Yorkshire, but about which I was not informed, then I tender my sincere apologies for any omissions through lack of information to me..
I will now mention some notable points picked out from other contributing clubs.
The Bridlington Club when only ten months old suggested to District that they could host the District Conference and they did so in 1930-31 and again in 1949-50. Their member Harry Davis served as District Chairman in 1927-28 and in 1928-29 and also served as District Secretary. Charles Harrop was a well respected Governor in 1973 who was given considerable support by the Club.
In 1956 the Club recorded a 100% attendance on the occasion of the visit of the RIBI President. I noticed two items which appear to be unique in the histories which I have seen. One was they organised as “Pageant of the Empire” to celebrate the Coronation.
Secondly, members helped a blind student of the Classics by reading Plato`s “Republic” on to tape to assist with his studies. The result was he gained a BA Honours degree.
The Bridlington Club is a popular visiting place for Rotarians for the quality of the catering is superb and one is made most welcome as a visitor from “foreign parts” of Yorkshire and further afield.
The Rotary Club of Batley was the second Yorkshire club to be formed after the war and for its Golden Jubilee in 1996 produced a very attractive club history which is a combination of year by year detail coupled with quality photographs.
The Morley Club formed in 1950 is typical of many clubs in the District being both highly involved with the community and is greatly appreciated by the community. It too has a splendid record in great detail of the year by year activity of the Club.
The Rotary Club of Pontefract chartered in 1926 is also noteworthy for excellent club records and for the manner in which the early members “kept a close watch on what was happening in Rotary.”
The early records feature topics which must have been of great concern to Rotarians at that time. Some of the titles reprinted in the Annual Club Bulletin were “The Birth of a Notion”, “Into the Future”, “The Controversial Note”, sub titled “Tinkering with Rotary Activities” and “Moving toward Rotary Ideals”.
Pontefract joined with the Wakefield and Castleford Clubs to form a loose combination of Clubs with the intent of fostering inter-club fellowship. Later they were joined by Normanton, Hemsworth and South Elmsall to form the Joint Six group of Clubs. Similar groupings of neighbouring clubs have occurred across the District.
There has been no Governor from Pontefract but there is currently an Assistant Governor from the Club.
Castleford Club formed in 1924 has produced Arthur Gregory (two years) 1932-34, Edgar Riley 1965-66 as Governors. ( See PDG List )
The Hemsworth Club have met at the very choice venue of Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel for many years as did the South Elmsall Club which sadly closed down at the end of June 2004. Both Clubs had small membership totals, however the Hemsworth Club carries on and is again highly regarded in the community as evidenced by the magnificent support and coverage of their activity by the local press.
However having spoken of the loss of a club a new formation occurred at Helmsley in spring 2005. It already has the distinction of having currently the youngest Lady President in R.I.B.I. at the tender age of just Twenty Four and so we once again have 79 clubs in District 1040.
In 2004-05 we changed from five Groups to eight Groups each with an Assistant Governor as “carer” for clubs in proximity to his or her home Club. with the idea of spreading the workload and giving better support to the Clubs. In earlier times we did have six Vice Chairmen in the District with the most senior progressing through to become next on the list to become Governor if he so wished.
Alas in the late eighties early nineties the system which had worked successfully for years started to break down as some very fine prospective District leaders either passed to Higher Service or they had to move to progress in their chosen vocations.
A similar situation happened at Club level with the succession through to the Presidential chair. Clubs have had to fill the gaps with
Officers and Committee Chairmen who have been thrust into the jobs, having only minimal experience or knowledge behind them. This was never considered to be a possibility some twenty years ago
To combat that problem, the need for some Training in fundamental Rotary affairs and practices became of greater significance with better programmes to help men and women into their new leadership roles. Your scribe was pleased to be nominated as the first Trainer in District 1040 and subsequently our Training Manuals for Club Presidents, District Officers and Assistant Governors were sent to R.I.B.I. and to R.I. This position was held for five years. Rotary Training in these islands has progressed still further with the training starting earlier and training modules being developed for use in every district so creating a more uniform standard and which benefits the R.I.B.I. Assembly.
2004-05 saw more of the District news being communicated electronically though it has to be said that not all members are connected to the internet. ( See my notes in PDG List )
This may be due to the age of the current membership for very many clubs have a predominance of members past retirement age and who feel that the internet is not for them.
The risk is that members in Clubs could have and possibly do have, the information from the District Secretary, almost censored by the Club Secretary, as being “not for us” and that will not be good for the membership at large. If he ( the club secretary ) decides not to download pages then it may have a detrimental effect throughout Rotary.
While many clubs have recruited younger members in recent times, that too has brought about change in Rotary. The availability of time is the greatest factor facing the young executive who departs from home early in the morning to commute to work and returns late in the evening. Family time is therefore limited and does he or she really want to attend a Rotary meeting after a tiresome stressful journey. This in reality means that they are reluctant to take on the role of Committee Chairman or President.
The young executive has to consider relocation as a necessity if they wish to progress in their vocations. The family has to come first and sooner or later the ever increasing cost of Rotary has to be balanced against the costs of the mortgage, tax and the general cost of living.
I have added the above notes as being relevant to how these factors have affected the membership and succession to Office in the clubs and in the District and it is true to say that clubs do have difficulty in filling the Offices on occasion. ( see first entry in PDG List )
Other factors have also influenced changes in Rotary practices in the Clubs - Health and Safety regulations, Risk Assessment and Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy have all caused Clubs to re-assess Community Service projects particularly concerning Catering
at outdoor events such as long distance walks which may also have a risk factor for consideration. Even Senior Citizens parties demand more care in planning …… transport of the elderly and ease of access for the disabled must be carefully thought through today.
That Happy Breed !
At this point I will include the list of Past District Governors who are currently members of District 1040 Clubs. They served the District welI & I note their Club & particular interests or achievements
Roger Bouvet Cross Gates Governor in 1974-75 is again serving as Club President in 2004-05. District was awarded the RIBI Connecticut Trophy for International Understanding.
Laurie Ramsay Cross Gates Governor in 77-78 Founded Medicaid ( The collection and distribution of drugs for use in Third World countries.) His sterling work was recognised
with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award on 16th Nov `91 presented in Leeds Town Hall.
Terry Knowles Harrogate Governor 81-82 when a member of the Ripon Club and as far as we know the youngest DG. Raised funding for Foundation awardee to go to the Philippines to set up a dental practice. Aid also sent to Poland after liberation from Communism.
Jim Wootton Idle & Greengates Governor 85-86 Keen to support Youth Activities including Rotaract. The “You are the Key” year.
The launch of the Polio Plus campaign.
George Locke Elland Governor 86-87 Long serving Assessor for Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme over 35 years. Keenly promoted The Caravan Fellowship of which he was Chairman.
Edward Robinson Aireborough Governor 88-89 Long serving District Archivist Keenly promoted Rotary Fellowships of Scouting and Stamps of which he too was Chairman.
Bass Ikoku Normanton Governor 89-90 very active and successful in raising the profile of and promoting Youth Exchange.
Pat Beeson Elland Governor 90-91 key motivator on Adult Literacy and the Kwa Zulu Natal
3-H Project COL Representative. Chairman RIBI Magazines & Publications
John Neasham Ilkley Governor 91-92 Keen promoter of Rotaract, Interact and Youth Exchange. COL representative ( Council on Legislation
Recipient of RI Presidents Award. Served on 15 RI Task Force Committees since 1992
Gordon Rowling Leeds Governor 92-93
A believer that Club Service is fundamental to a good Club.
Representative of RI President.
Trainer at International Assembly
Harry Gordon Todmorden Governor 94-95 Keen on Club Service and District Training. RIBI Rotary/Rotaract Banner awarded to District Received RI Ideas Bank Plaque one of only 22 awarded throughout the world
Leslie Clarke Settle Governor 95-96 Keen to promote better communications but battled against
e-mail reluctance but achieved success which was carried forward progressively
Peter Hart Leeds Governor 96-97 Received RI Award for Increased Membership.
2 disabled youngsters given a very worth while sailing experience on a tall ship. Both selected from PHAB.
Gerald Newsome Todmorden Governor 97-98
Excellent District Interact Chairman. keen promoter of Interact and Hope & Homes for Children which has received tremendous support from district Clubs.
Allan Jagger Elland Governor 99-00 raised the profile of Foundation went on to be R.I.B.I. Foundation Chairman,
Trainer at International Assembly
Roy Watson Ilkley Governor 2001-02 Recruitment was a key promotion. Met RI target of 100 new members. Leeds White Rose Club formed , $100,000 raised for Foundation
Ewen Cameron York Governor 02-03 Thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to enhance his knowledge of Yorkshire. Highlight of the year was the continuing support of Polio Plus
Milton Frary Castleford Governor 03-04
Outstanding ideas man and Foundation Fund Raiser. “Spread and Save”, the Rotary Tea Pot, & “Yorkshire Tea” Caddy. Amazing response from clubs to many diverse challenges set during the year.
Robert Jackson Birstall Luddites Governor 2004-05 The Centennial Governor > District was presented with the RIBI Connecticut Trophy for International Understanding last awarded to District in 1974-75 ( see that entry ) Presented at Manchester Conference.
The above list shows that in addition to those Governors mentioned in the main text, Castleford has had an additional Governor, Leeds has had two others and York has had one other.
In the past twenty years, five of the Governors have come from the Calder Valley clubs namely three from the Elland Club and two from the Todmorden Club and there is another from the Hebden Bridge Club who is about to take up Office in July.
June 30th 2004 brought to completion a period of nineteen years of Service by Harry Gordon on the District Executive. After serving as President of the Todmorden Club he went on to be Vice Chairman West Group, District Club Service Chairman, Governor, then District Trainer, Membership Development Officer and ended as District Secretary. All Offices were served for the full terms. His Service was recognised by presentations of a leather bound, gold tooled book “A Century of Service”, a print of a Painting of Paul Harris and a gold watch inscribed “For Service Above Self” given by his fellow Past Governors.
He served as Club President twice and Club Secretary and was the Clubs first Paul Harris Fellow. He also served on the R.I.B.I.
Public Relations Committee.
Concerned that he would have nothing to do, the outgoing Governor nominated him to write this History !
The Year 2005 was the Centenary of Rotary International on the 23rd February and the District marked the occasion in with a Service of Thanksgiving in York Minster. At Club level trees were planted, commemorative beds of roses were planted and there were numerous Celebration Dinners and special meetings.
This however was against the background of the Tsunami tragedy which decimated vast areas of south east Asia with the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives caught up in the overwhelming tidal surge in the last days of December
Rotary as a whole was quick to respond and in the District the amount raised by clubs exceeded £250.000. This was applied to the purchase of 227 Shelter Boxes providing shelter for 2,270 people and 229 Aquabox 30s which can provide safe drinking water.
In addition funds were raised for a further 71 Aquaboxes and some £57,000 was made in direct contributions.
The Todmorden Club renowned for its consistent support over the past 16 years of the Emergency Box Scheme, received cash donations
from the public of £3,700 for the purchase of Emergency Boxes plus massive donations of brand new goods with which to pack the boxes from the local and neighbouring communities. In total the club packed 117 boxes which was a remarkable unequalled effort estimated to be worth in excess of £35.000. In addition surplus goods which were not suitable for the boxes were sent by the carload to the International Aid Agency and to the Salvation Army.
This club started the distribution of International aid in its first year in 1946 and is still doing so today.
The District Executive will be seeking approval at District Council in
May, to start a micro loan scheme to help people rebuild and restart their livelihoods together with a sponsorship scheme to rebuild a school in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
In the text I have mentioned a few of the “different” Club projects giving direct aid to certain countries, but Community Concerns is to the fore throughout the District. Funds have been raised to benefit the young, the elderly and the disabled, equipment has been given to nurseries, playgroups, youth clubs, hospices, care homes and hospitals.
The local environment has been improved everywhere with the planting of hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs, bulbs and plants.
This has been achieved by funds raised from Walks, Fun Days , Carnivals and Dances all organised by clubs in their Communities, with the profits being put to use and to the benefit of the Community.
In this respect the Rotary Wheel commands huge support.
The Lions Clubs and Round Table Clubs which in many instances
were formed with Rotary influence are also very well supported in their communities throughout the District and on occasion the individual Service organisations work together in joint projects for an even better result.
Reciprocal fellowship is enjoyed by the Presidents and Chairmen at special charter functions of the three organisations.
Some clubs also maintain strong links with the Soroptomist Clubs.
The key link organisation however is the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs whose members have given unstinting support to their Rotarian husbands and Rotary Club projects and events over very many years. Sadly the number of clubs has fallen over recent years but their endeavour as an independent organisation remains undiminished.
Although Interact and Rotaract Clubs have a floating membership through age and the progression of students through to Universities Rotary Clubs do recognise the enthusiasm and contribution of these youngsters who in many instances brought a fresh vitality to an event.
Many have gone on to be worthy Ambassadors through Rotary Scholarships and Group Study Exchange visits to other countries.
To witness the benefits to them is always a delight for in D.1040 we have a pre-travel presentation and a follow up report on their experiences after they arrive back. Their personal development makes the programme very worthwhile.
I will now pick up on the other Clubs not mentioned in the main text
and working inland from the coastal clubs on the east of District are Driffield, Pocklington & Market Weighton, Malton & Norton and Pickering . These are small market towns all with thriving Rotary clubs which play a key role in their respective communities. Clubs throughout the District came to the aid of Malton & Norton, when the town was devastated by severe flooding.
To the North are Knaresborough, Northallerton, Northallerton Mowbray, Richmond, Thirsk and a small but very effective club at Wensleydale which has for very many years been on the R.I. critical list … it may have been small in membership totals but is a real force in the rural community. They had for very many years a weekly rota of members who went out to play dominoes at Seniors Clubs and Groups. The club met in two or three different village locations but has now settled for one central venue.
Also in this grouping are the Clubs of Ripon and Ripon Rowels both based in this city. The two clubs work well together but the Ripon Club has been stars on environmental matters with the “Rotary Way” into the city, planted with tens of thousands of daffodils is a sight to behold. Their efforts have been rewarded as winners of the Environmental Trophy in 1999.
Ripon has the oldest Cathedral in Yorkshire and has parts of the building which place it amongst the oldest Christian buildings in the British Isles…….. it is well worth a visit.
And if you want to go horse racing then you can certainly enjoy racing at Ripon, Thirsk. Caterick, Wetherby and York.
Richmond is a club which used to meet at an Inn just off the main square which is said to be probably the largest in the British Isles. The alleyways off the square are known as “wynds” and the town is dominated by the hilltop ruins of an 11th century castle.
There is also a theatre dating from 1788.
Today the Club meets at the more “upmarket” Richmond Golf Club.
This trend has occurred over recent years as part of the changes introduced to encourage younger members to join Rotary. Regretfully numbers continue to fall slightly each year in the Clubs inspite of these “better venues”.
In this respect I recall visiting the small Rothwell club which met in a tiny pub……… the attendance was always high simply because the quality of the food was superb.
In the Dales there are Rotary Clubs at Ilkley Wharfedale and at Ilkley where there was another care home for Kidney patients set up by the Rotary Club and well supported by District Clubs.
Nearby are the Otley club and the Otley Chevin Club which is the home of our popular District Quiz.
The market town of Skipton well known for its street market, is the base for the Skipton and Skipton Craven Clubs At the end of the main street is the famed Skipton Castle which is a 13th century fortification steeped in history. Alongside the castle is the Church of the Holy Trinity with artefacts of the 14th to 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
In the south west of the District three clubs not mentioned are Denby Dale, Elland and Sowerby Bridge.
Elland commands its place in District History by having three Past District Governors currently serving as members …….. any new President or Secretary will obviously have to tread carefully !
Denby Dale is one of our smaller clubs but fulfils a community need on a rural area between Huddersfield and Sheffield.
Sowerby Bridge just gets on with the job in a very efficient manner. They have just celebrated their 50th Anniversary in May 2005, in the presence of the President of R.I.B.I. One of their most successful ventures is a Sunday Carved Lunch supported by at least 120 persons who strip a gigantic Tombola bare, during the run up to the lunch. Tickets are almost becoming a family heirloom, such is the popularity of the event.
And that leaves me with a group of Clubs known as the Inner Nine. Together with those already mentioned namely Batley, Birstall, Mirfield, Morley, Wakefield and Dewsbury these all operate within short distances of each other. As a result inter club fellowship is strong.
Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike, Ossett. Horbury & Ossett Phoenix all play a part in supporting club events within the group of high density populated towns and which were mainly associated with the textile industry of the past.
The Ossett Club has strong links with a Club in Sweden and reciprocal exchanges have been in place for many years and good solid friendships established. One of our recent Governors has moved to Sweden to be with his Swedish lady friend. Both had lost their respective husband and wife quite suddenly so romance blossomed through the friendship exchange visits.
The Ossett club has one of the best Charter Anniversary Celebration evenings in the District, enjoying great support from their neighbouring club members.
It is worthy of note that the Mirfield Club was formed and Chartered on the 7th November 1939 just after the outbreak of the second world war. At Mirfield they embarked on a community service project to give Treats to children whose fathers were in the armed forces, this continued throughout the war years and by the sixth they were entertaining over two hundred children with gifts and a meal.
They also did parcels of cigarettes and tobacco, games, playing cards
and books to the crew of a minesweeper and to merchant navy ships.
Parcels were also sent to Rotarians and to the sons and daughters of members who were serving in the Forces.
The Normanton Club was the only other Club formed in the District during the war years.
I have mentioned several methods of Fund Raising throughout the Text but will just add a few more of the regular happenings.
Garden Parties, Dances, Rail trips, Country Fairs, Barbecues, Car Rallies. Long Distance Walks, Carnivals ……… I could go on and on but whether large or small events, the proceeds have been used to provide Holidays for needy families, Benefits for individual young people, Christmas trees and Festive lighting, Equipment for schools, hospitals, ambulances and Sports facilities together with support for all well known Rotary programmes.
In this respect the Clubs in District “Ten Forty” have an exceptional record in the support given to the wide range of Rotary projects.
That level of support is inevitably carried through into another Rotary Year due mainly to new programmes being announced after the Clubs have held their Club Assemblies and available monies have already been allocated to other deserving causes.
There is no doubt that Rotary is Yorkshire is flourishing due to the remarkable spirit of fellowship which abounds in the Clubs, so do pop in to see it for yourself. A very warm welcome awaits you !
I mentioned the area as being one of great natural beauty and will now give a taste of some places of historic and visual interest which will certainly delight when you visit the District.
The area is served by the Leeds Bradford International Airport with excellent services to and from a wide range of countries.
By road the county is dissected north to south by the M1 Motorway which is a fast but extremely busy road with the “A” Road network taking you to all parts of the District
By rail there are excellent services carrying you north to Edinburgh and beyond to London in the south while the east to west trans Pennine routes will carry you from Blackpool to Scarborough
Primarily the great stately homes of Castle Howard, Harewood House and Newby Hall are outstanding historic homes filled with beautiful works of Art and furnishings. These fine buildings are set amidst beautiful scenery and each with large landscaped park lands and gardens of international repute.
Other places of interest are :
Sewerby Hall and Gardens near Bridlington.
Nostell Priory near Wakefield
East Riddlesden Hall near Keighley
Shibden Hall near Halifax
Benningborough Hall and Gardens near York
Many of these feature various aspects of life in bygone days all set out in accurate reflections of how hard life was in the past.
There are countless beautiful Gardens which are open to the public including the Walled Garden at Helmsley and Scampton near Malton and these can be checked out through the famed Yellow Book of Homes and Gardens which is updated annually.
Places of Historic Interest include Whitby Abbey, Bolton Abbey, Fountains Abbey & Stoodley Royal Water Gardens and Rievaulx Abbey and Terrace. There are very many ancient fortifications and castles which have been restored and preserved as being sites of great significance and are therefore worthy of a visit.
The area is rich in places of great architectural interest ….. with distinctive and beautiful buildings located in the cities and towns throughout the region
The gigantic Salts Mill at Bradford will amaze and fulfil the senses of how things were in the past, together with uplifting the spirits with a view of the famous David Hockney Art Collection. The Lister Mill and Crossley Carpet Mill at Halifax have all been adapted to modern usage.
If it is the great outdoors which stimulates you, then surely a visit to Hardcastle Craggs will certainly please.
Hebden Bridge is nearby and is a popular location for filming period dramas for television. The small communities of Heptonstall and Howarth are just minutes away
The visitor is well catered for by top quality restaurants in the cities and by local Inns and hostelries out in the rural areas so the range of cuisine is truly amazing and is there to enjoy.,
For a bit of total relaxation and fun there are two main Theme Parks ………. Flamingoland near Pickering and Lightwater Valley near Ripon, both are certain to please the younger visitor and those who are still young at heart.
Up to date information on all local attractions is available to the visitor at any of the local Tourist Information Centres who in many instances may also be able to assist in finding accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.
The area is now well served by top grade modern Hotels owned by the best companies in the land and as a result the quality of service and facilities is outstanding.
There are many Guidebooks available at the Information Centres and these are updated annually and give brief summaries of the featured locations and facilities available, together with times of opening and contact numbers.
For details of all Rotary Clubs in these islands, use the R.I.B.I. Club Directory again with District and Club contact details and times of meetings.
In all cases it is wise to make contact prior to a visit since Clubs may have special meetings or functions arranged for the time of your proposed visit.
I have no hesitation in saying that the visitor will find much to enjoy in District 1040.
PDG Harry Gordon Posted 10/26/2005 by RGHF staff