Derry’s Rotary Club celebrates centenary

Derry’s Rotary Club will celebrate its centenary with a dinner at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel this Saturday (July 9).

Werner Scheel is president of Derry's Rotary Club.
Werner Scheel is president of Derry's Rotary Club.

The local organisation was chartered as The Rotary Club of Londonderry on July 17, 1922.

As part of Rotary International, an organisation of 1.4 million members, with more than 46,000 clubs spread across the globe, the local club has lived up to the Rotary ideal of developing fellowship among its members while practising “Service above Self” both locally and internationally.

In more recent years, the club has championed the establishment of the Foyle Food Bank, worked with other local organisations in refurbishing a childrens’ home in Romania, sponsored the establishment of the Cain Project at UU Magee, and organised an international peace conference in 2013 attended by representatives from around the globe, including the President of Rotary International.

The club has also brought District (all-Ireland) Rotary conferences to the city in 1999, 2006 and, shortly again, in September 2022.

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One of its most colourful and projects was the Rotary Tree of Remembrance which ran annually in the countdown to Christmas at Foyleside. The club also participates with local schools through Rotary Ireland’s annual Youth Leadership Programme.

Currently, the club is undertaking a Centenary Project, together with the Rotary Clubs of Limavady and Coleraine, to provide a water supply to 184 homes and a school in the village of Amarauli in Nepal. This involves sinking a well more than 90 metres deep, installing solar panels, pumps, storage tanks, filtration systems and piping to all the homes. The total cost of US$88,000 was aided by The Rotary Foundation (Rotary’s international fund for humanitarian and educational

sponsorship), with professional supervision from the Rotary Club of Narayangarh in Nepal.

The club has recognised the endeavours of many local people by awarding them Paul Harris Fellowships (PHF) - named after Paul Harris who was one of the Founders of Rotary in Chicago in 1905. Past recipients include Bishops Edward Daly and James Mehaffey, Paddy ‘Bogside’ Doherty, Dr Tom McGinley, Jeanette Warke, and Dana. John Hume received his PHF from the Rotary Club of Dublin.

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Paul Harris Fellowship Awards will be presented at this weekend’s centenary dinner.