Rotary District 1170
THE DISTRICT 1170 HISTORY
Prepared by the district and not verified by Rotary Global History
District Conference Video for 2011. Rotary Conference 1170, Langstone Cliff Hotel, Dawlish Warren. 25th - 27th February 2011. A unique video to promote the conference of 2011 (provided by RGHF members DG 10/11 Carole Angliss & Peter Thornhill, UK)
Membership Ideas from the Totnes Club
DISTRICT 1170 came into existence on 1st July 1991, with 46 Clubs.
Previous to this, Clubs in this new District had been classified under four different headings - 4th DISTRICT, DISTRICT 10, NUMBER 17, and DISTRICT 117.
The earliest document retained in the District records is a Report of the Council of the 4th District for the year ended 31st May 1921. This states that a full meeting of the Council had not taken place, but the administrative work had been done by correspondence between the District Chairman, A.E. Stanley Hill (Bristol) and the District Secretary, J.A.J. Venmore (Gloucester). Clubs then existed at Bristol (1917), Gloucester (1920), Torquay (1920), Bath (1921) ,Cheltenham (1921), Plymouth (1921), and Stroud !1921).. (Dates are official Charter Dates). The governing body for the British Isles was The British Association of Rotary Clubs.
The next earliest record are the minutes of a District Council Meeting of the 4th District in October 1922. Clubs now existed at Exeter (1922), Falmouth (1922), Newton Abbot (1922), St Austell (1922), Truro (1922), Weston-super-Mare (1922) and Yeovil (1922).
In 1923, the governing body was re-named as Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, and the area of the districts was revised - the 4th District was divided, and District 10 came into being, comprising the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Gloucester and Somerset. During the rest of the 1920s, among the Clubs formed were those at Barnstaple (1924), Paignton (1924 ), Bideford (1925), Exmouth (1925), Ilfracombe (1926) and Teignmouth (1926). Clubs at Camborns, Kingsbridge and Totnes also existed, but these became defunct, to be reformed in later years.
A proposal to open a Rotary Boys House at Weston-super-Mare was made at District level in February 1923. By May, this large house in South Road had been purchased by money raised by the Clubs of District 10, and opened for holidays for socially disadvantaged children aged between 9 and 14 from Bristol and the Midlands. A per capita levy of 2/6d was made by each Rotarian member of the District. The House was a splendid example of service to the community, and continued until 1976 , when inflation, social changes and legislation and the need for extensive repairs made it impossible to continue its work. In all, almost 30,000 boys benefited from holidays from the scheme. The proceeds from the sale of the House are now held by the Rotary Holidays for Children Trust, administered by one Trustee from each of the original participating Districts (now known as 1060, 1100, 1170, 1200, 1210 and 1290). A Detailed report with several photos was included in the December 1944 edition of The Rotarian.
On 1st July 1928, District 17 was formed, comprising the counties of Devon and Cornwall., with 18 Clubs. P.H.W. Almy (Torquay) was elected District Chairman in July 1929, and became President of R.I.B.I. for 1938-1939. A Chairman's badge was presented to District by the Plymouth Club to mark the fact that the first Chairman of the new District was from that Club - Dr R. Jaques. This badge remained in use until 1948, being replaced by one presented to District by Garfield Daniel (St Ives). In 1929, it was decided to elect two Vice-Chairmen annually one from Devon, the other from Cornwall. Badges for use by these two Vice-Chairmen were presented by District Chairman F. Dobson (Torquay) in 1936.
The first District Magazine was issued in 1945, with C.R. Davis (Exeter) its first editor; it was a quarterly publication.
In 1950, it was agreed to elect annually three District Vice-Chairmen instead of two. For easing the administration of the District Service Committees (then known as the Aims and Object Committees) throughout the large geographical spread of Clubs, it was decided to divide District into four areas.
The following year, District Council agreed to cede the parish of Uplyme, which is within the county of Devon, to the area of the Lyme Regis Club in District 12.
In July 1957, the District was re-numbered as District 117, and a Blue District Year Book appeared for the first time in 1959. District celebrated the 50th Anniversary of R.I.B.I. in 1961, with Services of Thanksgiving in Exeter Cathedral, St Andrewís Church in Plymouth and Truro Cathedral. Attendances were over 700, 400 and 500, respectively. Half of the offerings at the three Services was given to the Rotary Boys House in Weston-super-Mare.
District commenced its support of the Ranfurly Library Scheme in 1967, a scheme supported by innumerable Clubs over the ensuing years; Rotary cooperated with Inner Wheel, which organised the collection of used spectacles for transport to Third World countries. Also in 1967, The District Chairman was re-named District Governor, and a working relationship was formed with the Past Rotarians Association, forming several Clubs in the District. Arthur Newcombe (Newton Abbot, and President of RIBI in 1982-1983) designed a Bell and Stand for the District, the Bell being provided by David Haggett (Plymouth).
.The demand for re-districting of 117 was a major item within the District Governor year of John Denman (Exeter West). Many meetings were held, and on 1st July 1989, the existing District 117 was divided into two. District 129 was created, to comprise the Clubs in Cornwall plus the Clubs of Drake (Plymouth), Plymouth, Plympton, Roborough, Saltham (Plympton) and Tavistock. Ten Clubs from District 120 joined the new 117 - Axminster, Cullompton, Culm Vale, Exe Valley, Exmoor, Honiton, Otter Valley, Seaton, Sidmouth and Tiverton. Eric Watts (Exmouth) became the D.G. of 117 and Neville Hargreaves (Redruth) the D.G. of 129. Name Bars on the D.G.'s Chain of Office were allocated appropriately to each District for attachment to the two new Chains of Office; the existing D.G.'s Jewel was forwarded to the St. Ives Club, the original donor.
During 1990, a number of British business men were taken hostage in Iraq, and held in Baghdad. Among them was Okehampton's Vice-President John Rattenbury, who was teaching Arabs how to grow grass without soil. After several months of correspondence and negotiation by D.G. Roy Wood, the R.I. Office in Zurich and King Hussein of Jordan (an Honorary Rotarian and PHF) , the hostages were released.
1st July 1991 saw the renumbering of District 117 to DISTRICT 1170, with 46 Clubs.
That same day saw Districts first Young Inventor of the Yearly Competition, held at the University of Exeter, master-minded by D.V.C. Conrad Edwards, and attracting 23 entries. There were over 1,500 visitors to the Exhibition.
1991 also saw the agreement by District Council that in future the annual sub paid by all District members would incorporate a Conference component.
The District Conference of 1991 was the first to be run on this basis, with a £3 component. Sufficient numbers attending the 1992 RIBI Conference in Glasgow warranted the chartering of a District Coach, which enabled members to tour adjacent areas as an addition to attending Conference sessions. So successful was this that PDG Eric Watts organised a District Fellowship Exchange visit to the U.S.A., to attend the R.I. Convention in Orlando, Florida, in June 1992, and visit Rotarians in Arkansas City, Dodge City and Wichita in Kansas, Columbia and Charleston in South Carolina, and have other stays in Georgia and Florida. Eight couples participated (from Bideford, Exmouth, Exeter, Kingsbridge, South Molton and Tiverton.
D.G. Geoffrey Joyce initiated in 1170 a Pre Presidents Elect Training Seminar. Held in January 1992, the event was the custom in District 1200, to which the D.G. has previously belonged, and its purpose was purely social, enabling incoming Club Presidents and their partners to meet one another; Rotary business was to be reserved for the P.E.T.S. scheduled for later. There were now 49 Clubs in District.
By 1994, an East European Students programme had become firmly established. In association with the University of Exeter, two to four students from Eastern Europe attended the English Language Centre in each of the three summer months, the purpose being to increase their command and knowledge of the English language and culture.
In 1995, RIBI President Bill Huntley challenged every Club to participate in a Rotary World Window Week for one week during February,to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of Rotary. In 1170, of the Clubs which participated, that of Babbacombe/St Marychurch was adjudged First for its window display, with Sidmouth coming a very close second. A Commemorative Service at Exeter cathedral was also arranged, and nearly 400 Rotarians. Rotaractors, Inner Wheel members and Past Rotarians, friends and families attended.
Through the initiative of PDG Peter Adams, a regular fortnightly spot on the local Gemini Radio on Friday afternoons was secured, enabling Clubs to advertise forthcoming events and also to promote Rotary membership.
Organised by the Torrington Club, and supported by the Clubs of Braunton, Exe Valley, Holsworthy, South Molton, Barnstaple, Barnstaple Link and Seaton, twelve Latvian farmers spent three months in 1170 gaining practical hands-on experience of basic farming techniques.
A District Coach took a full load of passengers for a week to the R.I. Convention held in Glasgow in 1997; trips to neighbouring places of interest were included.
Also in 1997, District Conference was held at Weston-super-Mare, DG Adrian Lunnon being the first 1170 DG to take Conference out of District.
With thanks to PDG Adrian Lunnon Photo per favour Phil Kennedy, Weston-Super-Mare. October 2009
Rotary Global History Senior historian Basil Lewis posted circa 2009
Membership from Rotary Club of Totnes – District 1170 Created by RGHF Member DG 10/11 Carole Angliss, UK
An effective Club from a membership point of view is one that notes its number of members and their average age at the beginning of the year, and at the end of the year there is no decrease in the number of members and no increase in the average age.
Membership and its retention is a fundamental necessity for effectiveness.
Without it service becomes more difficult and the club can no longer fulfil its function. The club loses its vibrancy and the members lose interest. It is important that Club Councils, under the leadership of the President, look critically at the membership from time to time to assess whether or not they expect any losses. Once they have established this they need to add a small percentage for the unexpected!
So, why is membership recruitment so difficult? For some time now there has been a great deal of talk about membership recruitment but not a lot of action. It is no accident that in the CLP membership is one of the main committees in the recommended structure.
Historically, Rotary has always been an elitist organisation to which people wanted to belong. In today's busy world that is no longer the case, and potential Rotarians in the community need to be identified and nurtured. In most cases, they will no longer beat a path to your door.
What do we know about a Rotary club with it's head in the sand regarding membership recruitment? It's a club that says we're alright thank you, we have enough members and we don't need to recruit. It is like a frog. If you place him very cold water and he's a bit uncomfortable he is very active. If you warm up the water he goes to sleep. If you continue to heat up the water he dies and he didn't even see it coming! That's what has been happening to Rotary, and that's what will happen to clubs who take no action.
The way forward is to identify the goal and set an ambitious but realistic target for an increase in your Club numbers. You must be proactive. Generally, new members will not come to you. You have to go out and find them.
Membership recruitment is a logical step by step process. Although it can be achieved by a small group working together, it needs one person at the helm. This must be someone who is passionate about Rotary, can communicate their enthusiasm to an audience, who is committed to the programme's success and will make sure that every part of the process is followed through.
Don't worry about age; you should be looking for active people who have something to offer.
There are an increasing number of people who have taken early retirement, particularly in this part of the country. They have time on their hands, and they would be pleased to give service. You are looking for the MAMS-the middle aged movers and shakers.
There may be younger people out there who have time to devote to Rotary service, and there are the alumni, those who have been part of a Rotary programme; GSE, Ambassadorial scholars and more. They already have experience of Rotary and have some understanding of what it does.
Look for past Rotaractors and past Round Tablers. They have experience of Service Clubs and an understanding of what they involve.
The Totnes way of finding potential Rotarians is to get the membership to identify them. That way there is personal contact and I think that that is most important. You must be proactive. It is no good expecting members to come to you with names, because, in the time-worn manner, they will expect someone else to do it! Give them a form and keep niggling them until they fill it in. Tell them that the only factor to consider is whether they think a person would be a good Rotarian. It doesn't matter if they have declined an invitation before because their circumstances may have changed. In my experience you need a pool of at least 50 names to start with' The easiest way to make contact is by letter.
Tell them that you are writing to them because a member of the Rotary Club has identified them as a potential Rotarian. Give them a taster of information about Rotary and invite them to come and learn more.
Make it as easy as you possibly can for them to reply.
Enclose a reply slip, and most importantly, a stamped addressed envelope. It is likely that even if you are lucky, you will only get a 50- 60% response---don't be disappointed! Always follow up the most tenuous of positive responses. So long as it is not an outright negative there is always a chance that this is a fantastic Rotarian who just needs a little encouragement.
When you run your information evening tailor it to suit the number of people you are expecting. Most of all, it must be professional. Who wants to join a sloppy organisation? If you have had a good response, say 10 and over, then a meeting with coffee and biscuits is probably the answer. If you have less than 6 then it's probably better to bring them to a meal meeting and give them a flavour of what Rotary does at that meeting. Plan it so that they learn something positive about the organisation and get the member who suggested them to look after them. This is mostly common sense. In Totnes we have prepared a PowerPoint presentation which considers the service provided by Rotary in general, and has particular emphasis on our Club and its activities to both service and fellowship. We do change this from time to time removing bits and adding more up to date information so that members don't get bored. It is imperative to have full Club involvement. Always follow up: don't expect your potentials to make the running if they are out of their comfort zone.
The next step is to go through the new member process with those that have shown interest. In the Totnes Club we arrange for the sponsor to invite the potential member to a meal meeting. The cost of this first foray to a Rotary meeting is covered by the Club. We then expect the potential member to attend at least two more meetings at their own expense before we move on to a personal information evening.
If you are lucky enough to find you are inducting new members take them through the membership process as a group. There is strong evidence to suggest that if you take them into the Club as a peer group, retention is easier. They already have a group of people they can identify with and won't feel so isolated, unlike a lone member trying to put names to faces.
Involve the partners. Make the pre-induction information meeting comfortable, preferably in a member’s home. We like, if possible, to have two or three potential members go through this meeting together with a couple of experienced Club members. Don't have more than 3 Rotarians present and invite the wives, husbands or partners. Rotary is going to become a significant part of their lives too and they may have some questions. Don't hold back, be honest about the costs involved and the amount of time that is required. Better to lose a member at this stage than a year or eighteen months down the line.
Encourage questions as that way you make sure that any doubts are answered. If this meeting is run well you will also gain a significant insight into your potential members.
Don't be afraid to discourage those who you may consider to be unsuitable. This is a controversial thought perhaps, but an unsuitable Rotarian can cause havoc in a club and it is not worth that to play the numbers game!
Invite partners to the induction meeting and make sure you give your new members a ‘New Members Pack’. Make it special, it is not only a milestone for the new member but also for the club.
Let's talk about retention. Make sure all new members have a job. It's important that they feel part of a team. Make sure each new member has a mentor with whom they can form a relationship; someone they will feel easy with and who is happy to answer questions and explain things. Most of all make them welcome. Always remember that although existing members only have a handful of new faces to put names to it can take a new member 6-12 months to work out who everybody is. Make sure that a senior member of the Club is responsible for keeping an overall eye on what is going on with the mentors and their new members so that there is no chance of anyone falling through the net.
Occasionally make time during your meetings for something that will be of interest and informative for new members, something that may stimulate them to want to know more and ask questions. You never know; some of the longstanding members may learn something too. They certainly have in the Totnes club!
I believe that one of the reasons why this approach can work is because it takes away the possibility of rejection from individual members. They are much happier to suggest people for membership if they don't have to do the asking. That is, of course, once you have convinced them that the suggestion form is for real.
This isn't the end of the story though. When you feel your Club numbers are up to strength don't stop. Now is your chance to look for much younger members by considering starting a Breakfast Club in your location. If you have had a problem with the recruitment of young members this could be the answer. These Clubs are ideally suited to young people who have both work and family commitments and who wish to serve, as they don't eat into the time set aside for either. After all the older age groups don't have a monopoly on social conscience, and two clubs working together in an area can surely achieve much more.
All those involved in Rotary programmes are part of the Rotary family. Unity, Strength, Compassion and ‘Support For All’ should be the long term purpose of all Rotarians.
Most of all, Rotary is like love; if you're not enjoying it, then you're not doing it properly!
Membership from Rotary Club of Totnes – District 1170 Created by RGHF Member DG 10/11 Carole Angliss, UK
Submitted by RGHF member Peter Windett Thornhill, UK, and posted 16 February 2010 by Jack Selway