The Anniversary Lunch to mark the 90th Anniversary was held on January 14th 2011
in the sumptuous surroundings of the
State Room at the Mansion House in York.
Guests of honour were the Lord Mayor, Cllr Sue Galloway,
and the Sheriff of York, Cllr Richard Watson.
New Fundraiser launched
During the Anniversary Lunch, our Club President Graham Wilford announced the launch of the Club's new Internet Fundraiser, "York 90".
More details are available here
90th Year Logo for the Club
Following a competition where there were several quality entries, Council finally chose the "90 Year" logo from a design idea submitted by David Thompson, and finalised by Darrell Hind.
The York 90 Fundraiser logo
Also during the Anniversary Lunch, President Graham talked about, and displayed, the new medallion that forms part of the President's Regalia. The previous "80" medallion has been replaced with one that reads "Founded in 1921", rather than "90". Was this in order, the President speculated , to avoid people thinking the latter was actually his age?!
A total of sixty Club members and guests took their seats for lunch in the Mansion House, home of the Lord Mayor of York, and the scene of the very first Preliminary Meeting of the Rotary Club of York on 12th January 1921.
President Graham Wilford opened the 90th Anniversary proceedings with a warm welcome to the distinguished guests, and thanked the Lord Mayor for allowing the Club to use her “front room” for this event!
Senior Past President Geoffrey Sherwin, who was President of the Club in 1977, said a specially prepared Grace, and there followed a buzz of fellowship, memories and banter as everyone enjoyed a very well prepared lunch of Braised Daube of Beef, followed by Sticky Toffee Pudding!
After the Loyal Toast proposed by the Sheriff of York, and reading of the “Object of Rotary” from Vice President Darrell Hind, President Graham gave an entertaining speech in which he called upon many memories of the Club’s past 90 years, and the vision of its founders who started the Club during very dark economic days throughout the country, just after the end of World War One and shortly before the General Strike.
The founders, including the predecessors of both the Lord Mayor and the Sheriff of York, wanted to do “something constructive” and certainly did do that in terms of helping the needy, but also laying firm foundations for the next 90 years of service by our Rotary Club.
President Graham also talked about the more recent past. The last decade of the Club have seen many innovations including the introduction of lady members, the introduction of colour to Rotagraph, a pioneering website, use of email, the Dragon Boat Challenge which has raised a mere £500,000 (!), an Annual Technology Tournament, a Valentines Day Lunch fundraiser and a new Walking Group.
The Club will continue to flourish and innovate, continued President Graham, announcing the launch of the new internet fundraiser, “York 90”. He said he felt proud of the Club, primarily because of the active participation of so many members, and the "tremendous fellowship" within the Club.
The Lord Mayor responded to the President's “City of York” toast with a speech that emphasised particularly the many activities she was involved with (a total of 250 functions and events), and the large number of those (40%) that involved charities within York.
Her emphasis on supporting these charities, and particularly getting more young people involved in charitable activities, were a hallmark of her time as Mayor. She thanked the Club for the contribution it was making to the City and wished the Club well for the future.
The lunch was rounded off with an appreciative Vote of Thanks proposed by President Elect David Jesper, wishing the Mayor every success for the remainder of her term of office, and also for the many good causes she supports.
It was evident that everyone present felt they had been part of a historic event, meticulously planned and executed, that had marked a milestone in our Club's history in a most enjoyable way.
Politically correct spell-checker?
At one point in the President's luncheon address, he mentioned that as he was preparing his speech earlier, he typed in the word "Quango" only to be asked by the spell-checker whether he really meant "Guano" !
There were 19 Past Presidents seated at the Anniversary Lunch, including Senior Past President Geoffrey Sherwin (1977).
click photos to enlarge
A report in "The Press" covering the Anniversary, and the Lunch, can be found.
There was also a special welcome for the "Father of the House" Bill Stubbs who has been a member of the Club since 1965.
The Rotary Club of York is celebrated its 90th year in 2011.
These "90th Anniversary" Group photos of Club members were taken in April and June 2011