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Club History

On January 28th 1925, the Inaugural Meeting of Putney Rotary Club was held. It had been organised by two Founders: Gordon Bradley, a dentist, and Ernest Clarke, a company director. The first meeting had 18 members. The first President was Arthur Mathias, the head of a well-known Department Store in the Upper Richmond Road.

In the early years links were forged with the Royal Hospital and Home for Incurables (now the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability) and also with Putney Hospital on Putney Common, now closed. Several members of the Club came from these establishments. In the early 1930’s a bed was endowed at Putney and members were actively involved with the patients at West Hill.

For over eighty years Business Leaders, Educationalists, and Principals of the Professions in the area have been members of the Club.

Over the years the Club grew and flourished until the war years. Even then, Service to the Community continued. In 1940, the Czech President Benes was made an Honorary Member of the Club and he regularly attended lunch; he was living in Putney at the time. Queen Mary’s was a military hospital and it became the custom to have patients to lunch. Sadly, towards the end of the war both the Vice President and Secretary of the Club were killed on one night of bombing in Putney.

In 1945 regeneration started and the Rotary Year 1946/47 saw 13 new members being inducted by President Bert Gostelow; six in one meeting in February that year. At that time an Old Peoples’ Club was established and 100 met for tea once a week. This continued until 1975. In 1950 the Club celebrated its Silver Jubilee and provided a Chiropody Clinic in Clarendon Drive.

The hand of fellowship reached to France in 1966 when contact was established with the Rotary Club de Tourcoing-Ouest. This is ongoing.

1975 saw our Golden Jubilee and a presentation of a Gastrocope to Queen Mary’s Hospital.

Over the years the Putney Club has achieved much, including: sponsoring Rotary Foundation Scholars, helping to supply a Minibus for Special Needs, sponsoring Manpower Services Commission training workshops, Putney Nature Conservation Scheme, taking the elderly to the Wembley Ice Show, helping Greenmead School and many other projects.

In wider avenues of service Putney has supplied members to Rotary District 1130 (London): a District Governor, a District-Governor Elect, two District Sergeant–at-Arms, three leaders of Group Study Exchange Teams and numerous District Committee Chairmen and committee members.

To mark the turn of the century, the Club sent a cow to a family in an African village. Several other families have benefited from the breeding programme that was so established.

2005 marked the Club’s 80th birthday and on the 23 February 2005 Rotary International celebrated its centenary. During that centennial year the Club initiated an electronic link between a Primary School in Putney and a Primary School in Africa in an attempt to help unite the youth of the world in friendship and understanding.

For 81 years Putney Rotarians have upheld the aim of “SERVICE ABOVE SELF”. We have served and will continue to serve the local community of Putney and the wider International Community. It is a tradition of which we are justly proud.

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Rotary Theme 2018/19

Rotary Theme 2018/2019

Next Club Meeting

Mon 7th Jan 2019
Cromwell Room, St Mary Church, 1 Putney High Street SW15 1SN
With guest speaker:
Valeria & Catalina
More club meeting details...

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