The High Sheriff was originally the King's representative on taxation upholding the law in Saxon times. The title of Sheriff is therefore much older than the other crown appointment, the Lord Lieutenant which came about after 1545. Unlike the Lord Lieutenants who generally hold their appointment until their death or incapacity, the title of High Sheriff is appointed/reappointed annually. The High Sheriff is assisted by an Under-Sheriff of Berkshire.
The earliest recorded Sheriff was Godric, who was killed in 1066 and since 1800 there have been only 5 High Sheriffs from Maidenhead:
1822 Sir Gilbert East
1897 Henry Gold
1907 Major Edward Arthur Barry of Ockwells Manor
2014 Christopher Koo
and now Graham Barker
Graham told us of the modern role of the High Sheriff, which is now largely ceremonial, but carries the status of being the Queen’s highest judicial officer in the county. The role involves a mix of ceremonial, charitable and community functions.
25 February Club Evening Meeting - Graham Barker, High Sheriff of Berkshire
Message from Anne Matkin (Club President):
I went to Sir Nicholas Winton's garden today and took some photos of the crocus planted for the Rotary Purple for Polio campaign. They are doing well in this lovely spring-like weather.
The club held its Christmas Evening Meeting on Monday 17th December at Maidenhead Golf Club. A very large number of members attended, with family and friends, to enjoy a 3 course meal and a tricky table quiz. After dinner everyone joined in to sing carols with a small group of musicians from the Salvation Army, who very kindly came to entertain us and spread the message of Christmas.
The club held its annual Christmas Party for the senior citizens of Maidenhead on Monday 10th December at the Holiday Inn, Maidenhead. The Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Paul and Laura Lion attended, and had lunch with the guests. The Larchfield school choir also attended and sang a medley of carols and Christmas favourites, well performed and much enjoyed by everyone. Father Christmas also put in an appearance and handed out gifts to all the guests.
A very successful Charity Race Night was held at St. Piran's on Saturday 20th October. Over 90 tickets were sold for the event, organised by Rotarian Lindsey Allen and the Fund Raising Committee of the club. No serious betting was involved but a lot of fun was had by everyone, betting on the outcomes of various horse races. A magnificent sum of around £2,000 was raised for the club's charity fund.
On Sunday Oct 11th the Rotary Clubs of Maidenhead & Maidenhead Bridge held their 38th successful Maidenhead Boundary Walk. The walk sponsored by the Shanley Foundation and the Baylis Trust attracted participation by 665 walkers - a record number for recent years.
The Boundary Walk was officially started by the Deputy Mayor of Maidenhead, Colin Rayner, and the High Sheriff of Berkshire along with Maidenhead Rotary President Anne Matkin and her husband David. It is based on the ancient custom of Beating the Bounds, a custom going back to mediaeval times when parishes reaffirmed their boundaries. Parishioners were required to process around the Parish Boundaries at Rogationtide, stopping to beat each boundary mark with sticks and praying for protection and blessings for the land.
Nowadays the Boundary Walk is a Rotary supported ready-made means of team-building and fundraising for local organisations and individuals. Many organisations such as local charities, clubs, churches, community groups or businesses take part. This year our walkers supported 66 separate charities. The biggest group comprised 53 walkers who walked on behalf of the Makindu Dental Project - a charity long supported by Maidenhead Rotary, and close to the heart of our Past President Gurdip. The largest groups and numbers involved were recorded as:
By walking the picturesque 13-mile route around the boundary of old Maidenhead, a current total of £13,313 has been raised for 66 charities. The sum is still provisional: many of the accounts are on-line and we have not yet collated all returns. We expect participating charities and groups to raise much more i.e. last year’s sum was over £20,000 (so we are hopeful that the final sum will be increased).
The event is becoming ever more popular (e.g. as a snap comparison, in 2012 the event had 427 walkers taking part, and it raised £14,918 for local organisations). The Chairman of the Maidenhead Community group and Lisa Hunter for Maidenhead Bridge would like to thank all the Rotarians who made the event possible and made it a great success.
The annual Skittles Evening was held once again at the Jack O'Newbury in Binfield on Friday 14th September. Club members were joined by members of Maidenhead Rotaract for a light-hearted skittles competition, plenty of beer, and pub food.
Peter Hughes, one of our members, visited Chicago Elgin Rotary Club on 23rd August. He was presented with a club banner - a greeting from one Rotary club to another. This club is one of many in Chicago and one of three in the suburb of Elgin, meeting at 7am for breakfast before members start work.
Rotary International began in Chicago, with the formation of the first club. Their first project to help the local community was the construction of public toilets. Sadly they no longer exist, but there is a plaque on the wall to commemorate them and the formation of Rotary.