An evening of smiles, laughter and much-missed fellowship was enjoyed by Rotarians and members of the wider Rotary family as the club held its first physical meeting since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions 18 months ago.
The meeting, on Monday, July 26, at Taplow House Hotel, was the rescheduled presidential handover. It provided the perfect opportunity for Rotarians to catch up properly, after holding meetings by Zoom since lockdown began.
Outgoing president Mary Spinks thanked members for their support during a difficult year before presenting her successor Martin Trepte and president’s lady Amel Alariqi with their chains of office.
Martin paid tribute to Mary for her leadership in a year which had seen the club adapt to remote meetings and still run a number of successful projects that proved the importance of Rotary during the pandemic.
Looking ahead, Martin outlined his priorities for the year ahead which included completing a review of the club, supporting new environmental and fellowship initiatives, and encouraging members to come up with their own projects.
As well as supporting the club’s existing commitments to local and international charities, Martin said he wanted to honour the humanitarian legacy of former club member Sir Nicky Winton by raising money to help unaccompanied child refugees.
He also aims to personally complete a 1,000-mile sponsored run during his year as president in aid of the UNICEF Yemen Crisis Appeal.
The handover ceremony also saw new president elect Jim Howles presented with his badge of office before guests enjoyed their first meal together since February 2020. Dinner was followed by an illustrated talk by Martin about a book he had produced to mark 150 years of the Maidenhead Advertiser.
Martin said: “It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Being able to get together in person after meeting for so long over the internet was wonderful.”
The club will continue to meet at Taplow House Hotel for a trial period during August.
Below:The pictures are of tables of Rotarians enjoying the evening.
(All photos by Maria Scavetta/Photogica)