Rotary club says its final farewells

Final meeting of Daventry Rotary Club after 66 years, Casey's Club, Market Square, Daventry.
Final meeting of Daventry Rotary Club after 66 years, Casey's Club, Market Square, Daventry.

Daventry’s oldest Rotary club has held its final meeting after 66 years of history, winding itself up due to falling numbers.

The 19 members of the Rotary Club of Daventry met for the last time on Wednesday last week.

The club, which formed in 1946, has faced falling membership and problems created by the increasing age of its members.

The club’s final president, Ossie Williams, said: “It’s a shame that it had to happen under my presidency, but it was inevitable and unanimous as well.

“We don’t have many members, and those we do have are largely on the older side, which means what we could physically do was limited.

“We tried running a Rotaract group which is aimed at younger members, but people drifted away from that.

“We all felt it was much better to end the club properly rather than let it fizzle out.”

The club was formed in 1946 as a daughter club of the branch in Northampton, and has itself two daughter branches, the Rotary Clubs of Danetre and Brackley.

Representatives from both the daughter groups were at Casey’s Club for Daventry’s last meeting.

David Pound, who joined in 1976, said: “Back then it was a lot more secretive. You could only have one banker member, one doctor and so on.

“But we used to be a lot more active too – there used to be a group called the 32A Club and we had a rota for who would provide transport to their members.

“The club, like all Rotary clubs, raises money for local, national and international causes.

“We have held art competitions, inventor competitions. One of the art competitions meant we had a painting which we donated to Danetre Hospital.

“We also commissioned the clock that hangs in the reception of the hospital.

“And the Rotary Club also designed and paid for the gazebo at the top of Sheaf Street.

“We’ve done a lot down the years and we are all sad to have to wind the club up.”

The club’s residual funds have been divided between more than 20 different local charities, schools and other good causes.

A lunch club has now been set up for the former members.