Wiltshire Publications

Westbury Rotary Club marks 65 years of community service

WESTBURY Rotary Club celebrated its 65th anniversary last week, with a special evening which brought together Rotary members and local community leaders at Heywood House. 

The Westbury Rotary Club, founded in 1958, has been a pillar of the community, known for its commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of residents and beyond.  

This milestone anniversary was an opportunity to reflect on the club’s numerous accomplishments and to look forward to an even brighter future. 

Amongst those attending were the mayor cllr Mike Sutton and deputy mayor cllr Jane Russ. Cllr Sutton praised Westbury Rotary Club’s contributions to the town and the local community, saying, “Their work has touched countless lives, and their dedication to making Westbury a better place is inspiring.” 

The evening began with a warm welcome by the current president of Westbury Rotary Club, Elizabeth Webbe, who said Rotary International has 1.41 million members worldwide in more than 200 countries, with 38,000 members in the UK in 1,500 clubs, all rooted in their own communities. 

She said locally, nationally and internationally, members made a meaningful difference in a wide variety of ways including with their worldwide campaign to fight polio and by supplying help to disaster areas with the water survival boxes and locally, in planting trees and the Youth Adventure Trust. 

“As Rotarians, we volunteer our time, professional skills, experience and expertise from all walks of life to tackle challenges at home and overseas,” she said. “We are people of action who want to support those who need it most and try to enhance or indeed transform their lives.” 

Last year’s club president Jon Street spoke to White Horse News to outline some of the events and initiatives that Westbury Rotary Club has been involved in over its 65-year history; these included:

• Setting up and supporting Abbeyfield House in Westbury.

• Fundraising to eradicate polio, to provide clean water in African countries and to purchase ‘Water Survival Boxes’ and ‘Shelter Boxes’ for areas affected by natural disasters. 

• Marshalling and supporting local events including the  the town’s Christmas lights, the Donkey Derby and Bath Half Marathon and 

• Covid vaccination centre stewarding. 

• Litter picks on the White Horse and in town and abseiling to paint the White Horse and associated fund raising. 

• Kids Out – taking disadvantaged children from local schools to Longleat for the day and supporting youth projects including The Youth Adventure Trust. 

• Street collections usually outside Morrisons – including for Marie Cure and various disasters. 

• Old Time Music Hall – started out to entertain elderly Westbury residents but also became a fundraiser. 

• Organising the Imber Ultra Marathon in conjunction with Avon Valley Runners which last year raised £2,000 for Rotary charities.

• Christmas carols each year in Market Square or church. 

• Setting up, in partnership with Westbury Lions, the Westbury Music Festival in 2008/9. 

• Other fundraising events have included international cuisine and curry evenings, wine tastings and buffets and zoom a whisky tasting, zoom bingo and murder mystery during covid restrictions. 

Some of the many supported organisations include Julia’s House, Wiltshire Life Education Centre, Dorothy House, Westbury Food Bank, Crosspoint, White Horse Day Centre at Grassacres, the RNIB and Westbury Cottage Hospital. 

For more information about the club, visit https://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php?ClubID=1231 

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