It is now four months since I took over from Immediate Past President Paul Bonnett, and what an exciting four months it has been! Being President of the Rotary Club of Leicester is always a great honour but to have been invited to be President in the Centenary year is particularly special.
During my first four months we saw the culmination of three years of planning and fundraising to create a Visitor Centre in Bradgate Park, when on 22nd September Sir David Attenborough officially opened the new facility. The Visitor Centre unofficially opened in July and by the official opening, 25,000 people had passed through its doors.
The Visitor Centre is a great example of Rotary Serving Humanity and Rotarians are encouraged to visit and see what has been achieved.
Shortly after the official opening of the Visitor Centre we held our Centenary Dinner at the Grand Hotel.
The event took place on the 10th October, with 230 Rotarians and guests attending. Over 40 Clubs were represented on the night, including the Edinburgh Club, which is the mother Club of Leicester, and the Rotary Club of Guimaraes, Leicester’s twin Club in Portugal.
Guests included the RIBI President Eve Conway and her husband, and District Governor John Dehnel, both of whom spoke and proposed toasts on the night. Responding on behalf of the guests was antiques expert Lars Tharp who was interesting and stimulating and recounted his memories of his Grandfather as a member of the Leicester Club and his Father who is still a member of the Oadby Club. It was a splendid evening of fellowship enjoyed by everyone.
Our most recent celebration took place at Leicester Cathedral when over 50 Rotarians and guests attended a special Evensong service on 16th October to celebrate the Centenary of the Club and the achievements of Rotary worldwide. The service was conducted by the Dean, David Monteith. The Bishop, Martyn Snow, spoke of the great achievements of Rotary locally, nationally and internationally.
Looking forward to the rest of our Centenary year we already have plans in place to deliver all the events we support. These events include numerous young person’s competitions, RYLA, Kids Out and blood pressure awareness, Christmas lunches and many more. I hope we can organise another theatre trip similar to last year’s visit to The Curve and another special Centenary event towards the end of my term as President.
I am grateful for all the support I have received from the Club members during my four months in office, and with continuing support I will continue to do my best in leading the Club for the remainder of my year.