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Meet our members – Mike Dunn

Welcome to our occasional blog series ‘meet our members’. This month we meet Mike Dunn currently Chair of Membership a member since 1994

I joined the Rotary Club of Swindon Old Town in 1994, sponsored by Rtn Martin Vandervelde. My career then was a senior logistics manager with BT, having moved to Swindon in 1976, as part of a dispersal exercise of the Civil Service from London (sounds familiar?). Working for BT took me all around the UK, and globally, but I had realised I really didn’t know much about Swindon and was keen to learn.

Service above self

The Club met for breakfast, as now, at the Kings in Old Town Swindon, and my first meeting had a great impact on me. Firstly it was the fellowship, but also the sheer range and scope of both the Club’s work and Rotary. I thought then: this is for me, and have never wavered since in my support for the Rotary movement. As a result I have been very fortunate in meeting and making friends with all the great personalities who have been club members in those years. I served as Club Secretary and Chair of various Club Committees and had a fabulous year as President in 2003/2004.

Meet member Mike with Ritva at Avebury
Mike pictured here with wife Ritva holding up Avebury

Travelling the world

Rotary is a global, and local, charitable movement. It has been successful in achieving, with others, the virtual eradication of polio, and helping disadvantaged communities across the world. In my subsequent career in academia, I travelled internationally and made a point of visiting Rotary Clubs whenever I could. I was able to visit clubs in such places as Ethiopia, Finland, South Sudan, Serbia, Indonesia, and Macedonia. Each visit my experience was similar: to be warmly greeted and made to feel at home in the family of Rotary.

Members and friends too

Of course, membership of our Club has waxed and waned and waxed over my time in Rotary. Women have joined and have helped shape Rotary to be more holistic and representative of the community we serve. Having bumped along for a while, we are now recruiting great new members like Junab Ali and Neil Hopkins. Along with our brand new satellite group at Goddard Park, we must support Rotary as it navigates the COVID, and post COVID environment.

Fundraising faces difficulties

Historically, the Club’s fundraising with events such as the Swindon’s Famous Duck Race, Sporting Dinners, and sports events has been very successful but we are not sure exactly what this future landscape will look like.


What is clear is that the need for the Rotary movement is greater now than ever.

Meet our members Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn

Mike has been committed to Rotary and in particular Old Town Rotary in lots of ways he’s too modest to mention. Throughout the lockdown he’s shared not one but two Where am I quizzes introducing us to often forgotten parts of Swindon. We plan to share the quiz here soon. He’s provided a series of very clever cartoons about COVID and kept in close touch with isolated members. He recently encouraged two new members to join us who we will soon introduce in our Meet our Members blog.

Latest news

Mike running in his first half marathon
Mike pictured here accompanied by Rtn Junab Ali for the last two laps!

Mike ran his very first half marathon at the age of 70 to raise funds for Brighter Futures. It took place on 20 September in Lydiard Park and thanks to members and friends generosity raised £739 plus gift aid. Brighter Futures is one of President Ray’s charities for his year 2020 -2021 Check out the details on our Community Links page

Follow previous Meet our Members Dick Mattick