Farewell to our 19 – 20 President

Rotarian Bob Barrett

Outgoing Presidents are often solely remembered for their fundraising successes and judged on how much monies they can give to charity.  However for Bob that was not possible, thanks to Covid 19 and the subsequent lockdown. 

We lost out on monies normally raised through Swindon’s Famous Duck Race and the quizzes and activities with Swindon Cares and Old Town Festival and VE Day celebrations.  We missed out on Bob’s President’s Night and his planned trip to take us all to a twinning visit to Ypres.

And yet in other ways Bob’s enthusiasm and support, for not just Rotary but his many other charities have made his year very special. 

In the first part of the year Bob was able to go back to Belarus to visit his families and their school.  He had persuaded three local runners to enter the London Marathon in aid of the charity but then lost that thanks to the pandemic.  However, he has continued to support the people of Ozarichi and draw attention to their plight, in every way possible.

As our President Bob was always there to welcome new speakers and when required join in the fun.

The year featured a successful Rotary Young Photography competition with a record number of entries and one local winner who went on to the Nation Competition. The mayor alongside Bob presented the certificates and prizes in the Mayor’s Parlour.

In the public eye Bob was able to represent us at the Swindon Remembrance Day in November 2019 with the Presidents of Swindon and Thamesdown.

Bob worked tirelessly with other local Rotary clubs to share publicity and media opportunities as well as involving our local MP in his various causes.

Bob pictured here with members of Swindon Club who contributed to the defibrillator presented to the Kings Arms in Wood Street.

He also attended many other functions along with Glen for his favoured charities and other Rotary clubs during the winter months.

Since club members stopped meeting in person Bob has written his weekly President’s Message published in the Friday Update to keep us all informed and in touch with each other despite the physical distancing.  He has continued to chair all the Council meetings via Zoom and actively encouraged members to embrace the new ways of meeting.

Bob presenting the club’s contribution to Graham for the Satellite Club launch.

Most importantly, despite all the odds in this Covid 19 year, Bob will be remembered for inducting into our club two new active and valued Rotarians, Junab Ali and latterly Neil Hopkins, as well as supporting the development and launch of our first satellite Club.

 Thank you, Bob, for a great Rotary Old Town Year 2019 – 2020