Thoughts in a New President’s year

Rotary Old Town New President

Rotary Theme 21-22

Meeting our new President for 2021 -22

My thoughts for my year – July 1st so, as I write this, it is my first day as Club President of Swindon Old Town. My thanks to Ray and all the other members, who have helped to keep the club going throughout the pandemic. We have met every week on Zoom, with good attendance, throughout that period. I think that stands us in good stead for when we can begin to resume normal meetings and activities.

Four Swindon Old town Presidents
Four old ( previous) Swindon Old Town Presidents

Open to new members

One of the most important issues for our club, like many others, is to increase our membership. We were fortunate in setting up the Satellite group shortly before ‘lockdown’ began last year. This has increased overall membership of the club. We have 16 members currently in the main club, and 17 in the Satellite Group, 33 in total.

Rotary Satellite Group
Carmen First Chair of the Satellite Group

However, we need to grow numbers in the main club. I am one of the ‘oldies’ in our club, but like the others, I believe we are young at heart. We welcome people who want to join. Of course we can achieve more as a club if we increase membership. We can ensure the club continues to thrive in the future.

Rotary volunteers from Swindon Old Town
Easter Treats at Swindon Old Town Gardens

Getting out and about

As Club President I’m pleased we will soon be able to start meeting up again physically. We will return to being more active in the community. It is an important time to re-establish good activities. We also to think anew about how the club looks to the future. We must give a strong focus on attracting new members. There are people who may have little or no understanding at present, of what Rotary is and does. However they maybe very effective Rotarians in one way or another. Rotary can seem like a bit of a mystery to outsiders, we need to have a better understood public image.

Hopes for the return of the Duck Race  

Swindon Old Town Duck Race
Swindon’s Famous Duck Race

We are looking forward to holding our Duck Race again next year. It is scheduled for the end of May 2022, either the Sunday or Monday Bank Holiday. Both days are booked, but which day depends on plans made for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee that weekend. TBC.
I want to offer more opportunities for our club’s Honorary members to have links with us. We know from their interest in Charlotte’s excellent Friday Update, that they are interested in what the club is doing. We also hope to have closer links with other local Rotary clubs, where co-operation would be of mutual benefit. Steph and Pam will resume the very popular Soft Toy Tombola in support of Desai school. More about other hopes and plans next week.

Old Town Rotary Tombola stall
Pam and Steph and the Soft Toy tombola

Since joining Rotary, I have made many new friends and have met many other Rotarians from around District 1100. I have had chance to visit several other clubs and I have always received a warm welcome from each club. Two or three years ago I joined a club meeting  in Canada, at one of the Rotary clubs in Peterborough, Ontario, whilst on a visit there. They are a large club with over 60 members at the time. I was made to feel very much at ease by everyone. I have also hosted two Rotarians from Australia. They were part of a group visiting our district in 2014, and we still keep in touch via facebook. Rotary truly is a world wide organisation that achieves good things and also brings people together. That must be good.
Thank you.

Peter Elliott

2 thoughts on “Thoughts in a New President’s year

  1. Congratulations Peter on taking up the role of President if Old Town Rotary.. I wish you well in fulfilling your hopes and plans for the coming year. I have recently become Chair of the Swindon u3a and wondered if we could explore any possibilities of our two organisations working together? If you think this is worth discussing do get in touch:

    1. Thank you Gill, and Congratulations to you on your role as Chair of U3A. I think your suggestion is a very good idea. I’ll send you a separate email. Many thanks and best wishes.

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