July 1977, The start of :- THE ROTARY CLUB OF FARINGDON AND DISTRICT
The process of starting a new Rotary Club starts with the District Governor, Rtn. Bob Sands deciding that he would like to see more Clubs in his District. An area was identified as being centred around Faringdon.
Rtn. John Smith from the Rotary Club of Banbury was at that time the Extension Officer, and he consulted the two clubs nearest if they were prepared to cede some of their designated area to a proposed new club in Faringdon, and to assist in the formation.
The Witney and Wantage Clubs both agreed, and also that the Witney club would undertake the lead. Rtn. Dick Bedwin was selected to lead the process and he subsequently contacted his opposite number in Faringdon, Barclays Bank Manager, Malcolm Hutson, who then contacted Jack Whittaker, the Vicar of Faringdon, who also was a founder President at his previous Parish and myself.
The four of us met over a lunch to discuss the possibility of founding a Club in Faringdon. The outcome was positive, and it was decided to start collecting names of possible potential members, and to meet at the Vicarage in order to explain the implications and procedures leading to the formation and eventually the Chartering of a new club.
This progressed until about Christmas 1977. An Inauguration Dinner at Brimpton Grange was organised to be held in February 1978. Invitations were sent to every Club in the District to come to the official forming of the Interim Rotary Club of Faringdon and District.
We then met on an official basis each week. We were not permitted to invite any more
prospective members until we were Chartered. The object of this is so that we had the opportunity to gel as a Club, getting to know one another and be educated in the ways, rules and procedures of Rotary.
One of the rules that we had to adhere to, was that our members had to represent a trade, profession or occupation in order that the Club had a broad knowledge of the make up of the town, and could therefore have the ability to respond to the needs of the designated area. When we were Chartered we had 3 farmers and so we had them represented as :- a. dairy farmer, b. arable farmer, c. general farmer. There was always a way!!
It was just one year since we first were approached that we decided to apply for the club to be Chartered.
District 1090 Governor Eric Reynolds, in the presence of Geoffrey Pike, President of R.I.B.I. and District Governors Ivor Reed and Maurice Casling, made the presentation to our elected founder President Jack Whittaker, on behalf of the 32 founder members. The event, dinner and presentations were held at the then Secondary School, Fernham Road, Faringdon on 19th July 1978.
Due credit and thanks must go to Rtn. Dick Bedwin for his dedication and hard work ensuring that The Rotary Club of Faringdon & District became Chartered.
We were very privileged to have 200 Rotarians from other Clubs in the District to send us off into the World of Rotary.
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