Christchurch Rotary – A Brief History

Christchurch Rotary received its Charter as an official Rotary Club on 20 March 1950. The Club initially met over lunch on a Tuesday at the Kings Arms Hotel and was, at that time, an all-male organisation like every other Rotary Club.

In 1957 it established a twinning arrangement with the Rotary Club of Cognac, France, with exchange visits every second year between the Clubs – a tradition that continues to this day.

In 1977, the Club started its annual Charity Bonfire & Fireworks event at Stanpit Marsh, to provide a spectacular display without the dangers of domestic fireworks.

In the late 1900s, members voted to become a dual-gender Club, as then allowed by Rotary International.

In the early 2000’s The Club changed to meeting over dinner (rather than lunch) on Tuesdays at various hotels.

In 2008 it changed meeting arrangements to just two dinner meetings in a normal month, with committee meetings, aperitifs or visits to other locations on the remaining Tuesdays.

In 2011 the Club returned to the Kings Arms for its dinner meetings, usually with a speaker.

In 2021 the Club organised the first Christchurch Living Advent Calendar event to celebrate the Festive Season while raising money for local charities – nearly £20,000 – a figure that was surpassed in 2022.

In 2022 the Club was sadly not allowed to hold its Bonfire and Fireworks display on account of methane leakage at Stanpit Marsh – a new site is being sought for 2023.

History of Christchurch Rotary 1950 - 2000

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