The inaugural meeting of the Rotary Club took place on the 9th February 1978 and the Charter Presentation on the 19th July 1978. The new president was Jack Whittaker, who, at that time, was the vicar of All Saints Church. He had been a member of another Rotary Club before moving to Faringdon and, as the only one with experience in the running of a Rotary Club, was judged the most suitable to become Faringdon’s founding president. The Rotarians are a world-wide association of Service Clubs for professionals and business men. Their aim is to give service to the local community by investing their time, energy and professional skill. They help advise the youth, aged, handicapped and infirm members of the local society. Their meetings are held once a week and members are required to attend 60% of these. Part of their service to the community is to organise local events and to raise money for charity. Faringdon Rotary Club has organised many events over the years including a sponsored bicycle ride to raise funds for a Palliative Care Training Unit at Bangalore Hospital, Inter Pubs Dart Competitions, Barn Dances, Carnival Days. The club has given money for many good causes including motorised wheel chairs for the disabled, equipment for the Health Centre and schools, sponsored local people on charitable expeditions, assisted in Millennium projects such as the Folly beacon. The club has also offered its services in running Young Enterprise projects at the senior school, counselling University students from abroad, holding an annual tea party for older people and spring bulb planting at the entrances to Faringdon. They have an International Service where young adults are helped to go to other countries on a Youth Exchange scheme. The motto of the Rotarians is “Service before Self”. The Presidents, each serving for one year, have been: Jack Whittaker; Tom Buchanan; Peter Knowland; Derek Jenkinson; Jimmy Mackworth; Ken Durringer; John Carter; John Bolter; john Greatrex; Harry Drew; David Petchey; Tony Bishop; Chris France; George Goddard; Bryn Torrington; Frank Brooks; Stuart Spencer; Mike Cornley; Paul Rogers; Roger Heeks; Ken Diccox; Colin Holman; Tony Bishop, 2nd time around.
Extracted from: The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Book 3 p47. By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications. Now out of print.