New Rotary president takes on changing times

Neil Taylor, left, hands over the chain of office to Jo Bowman, President 2019-20. President Elect for 2020-21is Alan Lakeman, right. EMN-190723-093552001
Neil Taylor, left, hands over the chain of office to Jo Bowman, President 2019-20. President Elect for 2020-21is Alan Lakeman, right. EMN-190723-093552001

The chain of office for the Rotary Club of Market Rasen has been handed on, and changes could be on the cards.

The official handover was made at the group’s regular meeting at Rase Park and outgoing president Neil Taylor spoke of the successes over the past 12 months in his closing address.

He said: “There is no doubt that through the efforts, enthusiasm and skills of the membership the club will continue to raise funds for those in society that need a helping hand at home, and to support those abroad who suffer from natural and man-made disasters.

“Our Shelterboxes were sent to East Africa after the terrible flooding that occurred.

“There is a toilet block in a village in West Africa with our logo on, which provides not only an improvement in hygiene for its community but, as one elderly village leader said, it has ‘given us back our dignity’.

“Our local schools have been supported in providing leadership training, and also recreational areas - helping fulfil my theme for the year ‘Community near and far’.”

Incoming president, Jo Bowman thanked President Taylor for his efforts throughout the year and helping to ‘keep the show on the road’ !

He then went on to talk about membership.

He said: “We are under pressure from Rotary International and our District to introduce new younger members, but I am not convinced this is the correct policy.

“Looking at our current membership we are hardly going to be attractive to the young 30 -40 year olds we are requested to approach. These people are busy establishing their careers and families and have little time for weekly Rotary meetings.

“Perhaps a better target would be those reaching the end of their employment and have time, and are looking for something worthwhile to occupy their time.

“We are also coming in for criticism because we are now one of the few clubs in the country with no female members.

“We need to explore the possibility of expanding our membership to include women, and also the possibility of establishing a Rotaract Club for young people.”