The History of
Whitchurch Rotary Club
1938 - 2008
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Visitors Welcome

We meet in the Dodington Lodge Hotel every 1st & 3rd Tuesday evening at 6:30pm for Dinner, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 12:45pm for lunch, and if there's a 5th Tuesday, we meet at 7:00am for Breakfast. Visitors are welcome.

The History of Whitchurch Rotary Club

The Founding | Wartime | After 1945 | The 21st Century | Club Organisation

After 1945

The early post war years brought a more structured approach to the Whitchurch Rotary Club's charitable work, locally, nationally and internationally with the formation of the four 'service' committees with specific areas of responsibility, Community, Club, International and Vocational, which structure, with a few refinements, additions and name changes still broadly exist today.


1957 Food Parcels at Christmas and Christmas Day lunches provided to local needy and elderly folk.
Twenty-fifth Anniversary celebrations. President : Basil L. Gibbs
Probus Club formed
Rotaract Club formed
1974 May concerts commenced
Father Christmas Float commences. By 2001 had raised over £ 54,000 for local, national and international charities.
Club hosted first Group Study Exchange team from South Africa.
Four club members and their wives visit South Africa.
1978 Derek Bennion first Group Study Exchange team member.
Club raises £ 4560.00 in four months towards Polio
Plus campaign to eradicate this disease world-wide.

Golden Jubilee. President : J. Ken Taylor
Diamond Jubilee. President : David Corfield. Tree of Light initiated.
David Williams Team leader of Rotary Study team to Mexico.

Paul Harris Fellowships
Awarded to Rotarians who have made outstanding and significant contributions to the Rotary movement.
Past President Harry Richards became the first Whitchurch Paul Harris fellow in 1978, similar awards to pp's Len Bowen and George Harris in 1988, Sam Eccleston 1991, John Roberts and Vic Foster 1993, Roly Wyatt 1996 (This a District nomination as Roly Wyatt was District attendance officer for some 21 years), John Bellis & Eric Wright 2001; Peter Williams, Don Pearce and Tom Kelly in 2007.
The late Past President Len Bowen was the Whitchurch club's most 'senior' member ever with 56 years active service. He died in July 2003. He was instrumental in the foundation of the Wem and Ellesmere Clubs


Club meeting places have been : 1939-41 Swan Hotel; 41-47 Victoria Hotel; 47-74 Fulgoni's Cafe; 74-77 Civic Centre; 77-82 Victoria Hotel, 82-20 The Mount Hotel; 2000 Terrick Hall, 2005 (Oct) The Dodington Lodge Hotel. The present cost of lunch is about 65 times the starting price !

Probus Club

Was founded in 1972 through the efforts of Whitchurch Rotarian Don Phillips and the first president was ex Whitchurch Rotarian Harold Buckland Jones.

Rotaract Club
Formed in August 1973 and over the years made significant contributions to the local community. Lack of interest has sadly meant the suspension of this organisation, but any upsurge of interest locally would receive vigorous encouragement from the Whitchurch Rotary club, who provided all the original regalia etc.

Annual Members' Golf Competition
Past President John Bellis inaugurated this annual Stableford golf competition for the Bellis trophy in 1994. Usually held in the autumn members of varying ability and experience compete.
Winners : 1994 Roly Wyatt; 1995 John Bellis; 1996 David Williams; 1997 Eric Jones; 1998 David Williams; 1999 Roly Wyatt; 2000 Sam Eccleston; 2001 Greg. Watson; 2002 Greg. Watson; 2003 Don Pearce; 2004 Sam Eccleston (37 pts); 2005 Don Pearce (41 pts); 2006 Sam Eccleston (35 pts); 2007 Greg Watson (34 pts); 2008 Greg Watson (35pts);
Lowest number of putts : 2007 Joe McMahon (28); 2008 Peter Williams (25)
District GOLF competition : In June-August 2006, Whitchurch Rotarians Don Pearce and Sam Eccleston represented the club in its first ever entry in the 59 club district competition. They defeated Tettenhall (4 & 3), Stafford (1 up), losing to Uttoxeter (4 & 3) in the semi-final. Better ball 78 to 83. In 2008 the aforementioned were joined by PPs Greg Watson and David Williams to form an 'A' team, but both teams failed.


60th charter night. click to enlarge

RIBI president John Hockin in Millenium year


John Shaw and GCSE Team members with Rtn David Williams


District conference 1998. click to enlarge


Harry Richards receives his Paul Harris Fellowship


George Harris & Len Bowen receive their Paul Harris Fellowships