The talk was given by members of Tottington and Bury West Rotary Club. There was a good turnout despite a sudden drop in temperature and we were well rewarded. The session was led by Sue Pinder and Paul Jarvis, ably supported by Mike Pinder. The presentation was bright, lively and informative and we all agreed that our eyes had been opened – we learned what the Rotary Club was and how much it did in our local area.

The Rotary Club is a worldwide organisation with 1.2 million members in over 200 countries. We were disabused of any notions we might have had of the Rotary Club being a place where middle aged men meet, drink and listen to a good speaker. Sue assured us that much has changed: the rigid codes of practice have been left behind and even women are now members. Rotary Clubs worldwide engage in good works and give service to the community, having good fun.

Weekly meetings now focus on four areas. A business meeting is held in week one, a social activity in week two, members pursue a voluntary activity in the third week and week four is the more traditional meal with a speaker. Sue then described what had been planned and implemented. What became abundantly clear was the level of work and commitment of the eighteen members of our local Rotary Club and how this extends well beyond the confines of four meetings a month.

We were taken through the last year’s impressive programme of their activities. They raised a very significant amount of money for local and national xcharities. A swift estimate of the total, from a list of causes supported, was in excess of £20,000. This is a truly admirable achievement. Taking this in conjunction with the worthwhile nature of the activities, it explained the enthusiastic applause and thanks that was given at the end of the meeting.

Our local Rotary Clubs have undertaken or contributed to the projects listed below. The list is by no means exhaustive, but gives an indication of the achievements of the group.

  • The Environment
    • Litter picking in the Kirklees Valley
    • Daffodil planting in the verges and hedgerows of local roads
    • Helping with Bury in Bloom
    • St. John’s Tottington Garden Project
  • Work with Children
    • Organising and Funding a Young Musician of the Year Competition
    • Organising and Funding a Junior Masterchef Competition
    • The Annual Santa Sleigh fund raising event
  • Supporting Other Local Initiatives
    • A Five Day Activity Programme based at Tottington High School
    • A Christmas Party for Carers
    • Practical support for the Poppy Appeal
    • Regular support for Pets in Need on Turton Road
    • Stewarding at Turton Tower


In addition we learned, each year Rotary Clubs support national and International charities. In 2017 it was to support the eradication of polio worldwide [Bury and Radcliffe raised £3,000]. This year the charity supported has been Parkinson’s UK and next year will be Dementia UK.

We learned about the history of Whitehead Gardens and were pleased to hear that an up grade is to be next year’s project.
At one point in her talk Sue suggested that “Perhaps they[The Rotary Club] shouldn’t be so modest”. Indeed they shouldn’t. Their achievements are impressive and it was uplifting to hear about them, especially within a lighthearted and amusing presentation.

Tottington and Bury West welcome new members. If you are interested contact Mike Pinder at