In October 1984 I was asked by John Parkin, a member
of Long Eaton Rotary Club and a former business partner of mine, if
I was interested in joining a new Rotary Club which was being formed
by the Long Eaton Club and which would meet in the evenings. After
confirming that I was interested I was invited to attend a meeting
on 6.11.1984 at the house of another Long Eaton Rotarian, Vic
Taylor. I anticipated that there would be several prospective new
members present and so I was very surprised to discover that I was
the only one.
The others present at the first meeting were
Paul Gaunt (District Membership Committee Chairman & Past District
Governor), Dick Shaw (a member of the Rotary Club of Beeston, who
had been asked by the District Membership Committee to deal with all
matters relating to the formation of the new Club) and 2 members of
the Rotary Club of Long Eaton Len Yates and Vic Taylor who
represented that Club in the formation of the new Club.
hearing about the ideals of the Rotary movement from the 4 Rotarians
present I confirmed that I was interested in joining and I was then
asked to be the Leader in the formation of the new Club.
was told that it was not the responsibility of the 4 Rotarians
present at that first meeting to find new members for the new Club
but it was the sole responsibility of myself in the very first
instance and then as other prospective members agreed to join, it
then became their responsibility to find new members ...and so on.
We had 5 meetings in 1984 : 6 / 13 / 20 / 26 November and 3
December. These were attended by 5 Rotarians (the 4 stated above
and Joe Rudin, the President of the Long Eaton Club) and a gradual
increasing number of prospective members of the new Club.
was not easy getting prospective members particularly in the early
weeks. The weekly attendance commitment was a big stumbling block
for many people. Those who were approached were in their 40's or
early 50's and all were in a full-time job : in most cases a " very
full time " job.
One of the early decisions to be taken was
the weekly meeting day and it was decided at a very early stage by
the few number of prospective members at that time that a Monday was
likely to be the day of the week on which there were the least
number of existing commitments for prospective members.
Another early decision taken was the name of the Club. The original
catchment area was Breaston, Draycott, Borrowash and Ockbrook but at
an early stage the Long Eaton Club decided to keep Breaston within
its territory. Two or three of the names of Draycott, Borrowash and
Ockbrook were discussed but it was Len Yates' suggestion of Church
Wilne which received the unanimous approval of the prospective
members at that time.
After the fifth meeting on 3.12.84, the
new Club had 10 prospective members :
Roger Graham, Derek
Orchard, John Cox, Bob Hall, Chris Bostock, Tim Barker, Barry
Austin, John Astell, Vic Gillgan, Peter Mann.
The first meeting in 1985 was held on 7 January and
weekly recruitment/information meetings were held until 11 February
at which date there were 34 prospective members. The early stages of
the recruitment process were led by me (10 out of the first 17
members were invited by me) but after my contacts were exhausted
the recruitment process was taken over by the other prospective
After 11 February 1985 membership was " closed " for
the time being and the official formalities relating to the
formation of the Club were commenced.
The names of the other
24 prospective members were:
Barry Halford, Martin Wilson,
Mike Fletcher, Mike Hammond, Gordon Ash, Peter Dawson, Roger
Sanderson, John Pykett, Graham Stalker, Brian Machin, Alan Welbourne,
Wilfred Baxendale-Baines, Maurice Adcock, Peter Woods, Brian Smith,
Mike Basford, John Flattley, John Heather, Paul Juffs, David
Jones, Ken Watson, John Welch, Brian Collyer, Mike Stevenson.
Elections were then held for Officers and Council :
were contested elections for Senior Vice President (2 nominations), Junior Vice President (2 nominations) and Council (14
nominations for 6 places !!! ) .
I was unopposed as
President, Derek Orchard became Senior Vice President and Barry
Austin became Junior Vice President.
One of the successful
candidates for a Council position was Vic Gillgan, who after
attending the first Council meeting on 14 March 1985 as Community
Service Chairman, resigned from the Club on the following morning
after deciding that the work load as a new Council member of a new
Club did not fit very easily with his business workload.
Heather also resigned shortly afterwards as a prospective member and
so at the Inaugural Meeting of the Club on Monday 15 April 1985 at
Grange Farm, Toton there were 32 Founder Members of the Rotary Club
of Church Wilne.
The Club was presented with its Charter by
the District Governor Arnold Crosby on Monday 3 June 1985, also at