The President of the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge, Ian McGaw, welcomed the Henley Rotary Club, partners and friends to a celebration of the Rotary Founder’s Night. The Rotary movement started in February 1905 in Chicago, USA, and is now a Worldwide organisation with 35,000+ clubs and over 1.2 million members. In recent years, the two Henley clubs have held a joint meeting on or around February 23 to celebrate and remember Paul Harris, Rotary’s founder. This year it was the turn of the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge to host the event which took place at Badgemore Park Golf Club.
After dinner, the President of the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge, Ian McGaw, welcomed the speaker Brian Stoyel, a current Rotary International Director. Brian gave a very interesting and informative talk about Arch Klumph, one of the founders of the Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s own charity founded by former Rotary International President Arch Klumph whose idea for an endowment fund dedicated to, ‘Doing Good in the World’, planted the seed for the Rotary Foundation. The original donation was $26.50, which whilst modest by today’s standards, would have been a considerable donation in 1917, when the Foundation was started. Over the last 100 years, the Foundation has spent over $3 billion on humanitarian programmes across the world. This includes spearheading the movement to eradicate polio across the world which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation now match funds. Last year only 22 cases of polio were reported Worldwide.
The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotary members and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of creating a better world. This support is essential to make possible projects, funded with Foundation grants, that bring sustainable improvement to communities in need. This work takes place throughout the World and helps many communities within the United Kingdom.
Maria Bunina the President of the Henley Rotary Club gave the vote of thanks. Earlier in the evening the Henley Club’s incoming President, Peter Thomson said grace and Elsie Frost, the Henley Club’s newest member, lit the Candle of Friendship. The Candle of Friendship was a gift from the Henley Rotary Club and is a symbol of understanding and friendship between Rotarians and between Rotary Clubs.
The Henley Rotary Clubs welcome new members and information about the two clubs can be found by googling either The Rotary Club of Henley Bridge or Henley Rotary Club.