The 70 year connection between the two Northallerton Rotary Clubs and the Town of Northallerton has been honoured by Hambleton District Council. In recognition of the valuable work in the community locally and internationally by the Town’s Rotarians, the loop road surrounding Hambleton District Council’s Civic Centre and Leisure Centre has been named “Rotary Way”.
The Rotary Club of Northallerton was founded in 1947, and Northallerton Mowbray Rotary Club was formed 47 years later in 1994. The clubs each meet weekly, and their members regularly contribute to community life. Locally, the Clubs have been involved in annual technology tournaments for schools, schools debating competitions, young musician of the year competitions, young chef of the year competitions, and film shows and quizzes for remote communities and in sheltered accommodation. Over the years Rotary has been instrumental in the formation of the Northallerton PROBUS club, Northallerton Samaritans, Northdale Horticulture, and has supported a variety of local charities.
As part of Rotary International, Northallerton Rotarians have raised considerable amounts of money to help eradicate Polio in the world, an objective which has almost been reached after consistent effort since 1985. Both Clubs have recently been involved in a project that brought 40 children from the remote hills of Nepal to sing and perform in a national Rotary concert. It is the latest in a long involvement with projects in Nepal including a 10-year computer programme for schools, earthquake relief, and the provision of goat banks which allow the community to increase herds and develop self-sufficiency. Regular collections of used spectacles to send to Africa have brought vision and employment to thousands of people, and funding of Shelterboxes has delivered swift assistance following natural disasters world-wide. Bringing healthy water to needy communities overseas has also been a priority over the years. Rotarians can be seen out and about at Christmas with Santa’s sleigh, and often collect at supermarkets to support worthy causes.
At the unveiling of the new Rotary Way road sign by then Hambleton Chairman David Blades, Leader of Hambleton District Council Councillor Mark Robson, said: “It would be very difficult for anyone within the local area to miss the impact of Rotary Club projects, and our newly named Rotary Way is a lasting testament to that service”.
President Janet Crampton of the Mowbray Club, speaking on behalf of both Clubs, added: “It’s very satisfying to have Rotary’s contribution towards local, national and international community projects recognized in this way. Hambleton District is fortunate to have several Rotary Clubs working in partnership to support community projects and achieve meaningful change, in the work that we do. We are grateful to Hambleton District Council for showcasing Rotary in this way, recognizing our work from small and local projects to major international enterprise.”
Chairman of Hambleton District Council, Councillor David Blades, cuts the ribbon on the new Rotary Way in Northallerton, with Rotary Club Presidents, Ralph Andrew (Northallerton) and Janet Crampton (Northallerton Mowbray), Council Leader Councillor Mark Robson, and Rotarians from the two Clubs.