Rotarians call it a day in Honiton

67 years of history remembered.

One of Honiton’s most prominent and long-established organisations is set to fold.

The Rotary Club of Honiton will cease to meet at the end of June after 67 years.

Club president John Dalton, who has been a member for 44 years, said: “It is a sad day for the club’s members and all those who have benefited from the club’s work throughout the 67 years of its existence.

“However, times have changed and businessmen have found their commitments changing, making them unable to attend lunchtime meetings as they did in years gone by, when most shops and businesses closed for lunch.”

Mr Dalton said meetings at The Deer Park Hotel would continue for another month.

It is understood by this newspaper that Rotary’s district governor is hopeful a new club, perhaps in a different format, will be established in Honiton in the future.

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The Rotary Club of Honiton was formed in 1944 when a group of like-minded businessmen came together and joined the worldwide organisation with the motto ‘Service above self’.

The men were committed to high ideals and helping others, both in local communities and further afield.

In keeping with the times, the new Honiton Rotarians started by sending magazines and newspapers to the troops.

Since then, the presence of the club has been obvious in projects such as the re-planting of trees on Dumpdon Hill and the erection of blue plaques around the town that denote interesting and historic buildings and their notable former occupants.

Donations have frequently been given to help local organisations and charities and the well-known Rotary-instigated ShelterBox charity has benefited to the tune of many thousands of pounds.

In the international sphere, the club has also helped considerably in the Rotary fight to eradicate polio throughout the world.