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What is Rotary about? Some half year thoughts from President Mike

It is very enjoyable being a Rotary Club member. The Rotary Club of Swindon Old Town is known for its humour, friendship and fellowship.


It’s what gets us out of bed each Wednesday morning for a breakfast meeting at The Kings in Wood Street. We rarely go away without much laughter yet being better informed by speakers and each other.



Being a Club Member is fun, but brings with it a simple commitment; that is to the Club and Rotary.

What does this mean?


Well we all give up some time to assist those in need. This might take the shape of a group arranging a social event, or making sure the projector is turned on for a speaker and one or two other jobs in between. This all helps our Club run smoothly and enables everyone to feel that they ‘belong’. This is an important feature in modern life and one we should not dismiss, as many live isolated lives even with people around them.


One of Swindon’s many proud achievements was that once upon a time it had more voluntary societies per head than anywhere else in the whole Country. Rotary Clubs are the future. They provide opportunities to meet and do something for others who are less fortunate at home and abroad.


What else does a Club need? Well it helps greatly if a few members each year agree to take on leadership roles. This shows a willingness to give a little extra time to making sure that events happen, payments are made, and meetings run (more or less) to the benefit of all those present.


Although we have a President and a few more Officers, they act with and gain support from the whole Club. It is brilliant to see how different people interpret this role in different, but equally good ways. It is important therefore that all Club Members consider how they can best serve the Club……and don’t worry we quickly ensure that they remain grounded through well-aimed humour.


To be effective any group needs people to perform key roles. Having been President two years ago, and now in a Co-Presidency this year with two friends I can refer readers to how in Roman times such an arrangement led to the killing of Co-Consuls (I’m hoping to live to a ripe old age but my children at 9 and twins at 6 think I was born with the Romans anyway). So each Wednesday I consider wearing a chainmail waistcoat, but then remember that my Co-Presidents are simply taking their turn to ensure that we are really effective in all we do.


Our unofficial motto is ‘#Neverwrongforlong’ and this reflects that we respect and support each other and whatever the situation someone will come to the rescue and put us on the right path.


We are proud of our achievements which include raising many thousands of pounds for local and international charities, mainly though our Swindon’s Famous Duck Race, assisting in setting up and helping a School to operate in the desperate slums of East Africa, and supporting many small and large Swindon charities making life a little better for many and greatly better for a few.

Desai Memorial School, Kenya
Desai Memorial School, Kenya




And we have a great time doing it…




Why don’t you come and join the fun on a Wednesday morning?

Mike Welsh  Co-President 2016-17



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