Background Information

Inaugural President Roger Graham writes:

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.

After 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.

I 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.

It 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 members.

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 :
There 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.

John 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 Grange Farm.