Littlehampton Rotary Club marks 90 years of success

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THE cash raised by a charitable Littlehampton community group during its 90-year history is hard to place but it could run easily into the hundreds of thousands.

And after almost a century in business, the Littlehampton Rotary Club shows no signs of slowing down, having generated an estimated £35,000 in 2013 for needy causes both local and international.

The club, which was awarded its charter on December 15, 1923, celebrated its impressive achievement with a formal dinner at The Norfolk Arms Hotel, in Arundel.

Bill Paine, vice-president of the rotary, said he was overjoyed with the landmark anniversary.

“I think it’s because the members over the years have literally come from a fairly small, local community,” he explained. “Because of this, there is a strong interest and connection with the local community and a drive to help that community. This is why I think we’ve been so successful.”

Spearheading this fundraising drive is the rotary’s charity shop in Rustington, which was opened in 2010.

It has helped to raise vast sums for needy causes, including the Littlehampton Food Bank and Children in Need.

More recently it has also played a key role in securing cash – about £3,000 – to aid stricken Filipinos left in a desperate situation after Typhoon Haiyan levelled much of the country, in November.

Bill added: “We currently have a Rotarian, John Haynes, in Natal, South Africa, who is supervising the rebuilding of a primary school in Estcourt, Natal.

“The local rotary club has John’s son as a member and he told us that the local primary school was in danger of falling down, owing to poor foundations and cracking walls.

“So John has taken some £2,000 to finance the school to be rebuilt.”

Seventy people took part in the anniversary meal, in Arundel, with guests including rotary district governor Michael Goodridge and his wife Hilary, a rotary ambassadorial scholar Justine Flynn, from Canada, and Harry Clarke, a local historian.

Littlehampton president Alan Moss updated members on the club’s latest services and the good work carried out by the Littlehampton Rotaract Club for younger members.