Quadrilateral makes a triumphant return
FOUR packed days of fun and friendship saw Maidenhead Rotary Club entertaining fellow Rotarians from across Europe in the triumphant return of its unique Quadrilateral weekend.
About 40 Rotarians from twinned clubs in Tivoli in Italy, Bonn in Germany and St Cloud in France came to Maidenhead for the annual gathering, which dates back to the 1950s.
Each club hosts the event in rotation but due to the coronavirus pandemic the last two Quadrilaterals - in Germany and France – both had to be cancelled.
“It was wonderful to be able to get back together at last,” said chair of the organising committee Rotarian Eddie Clarke. “Planning began more than a year ago and always in the back of our minds was the fear we might have to cancel again. Thankfully we didn’t and the result was a wonderful weekend of renewing old friendships and making lasting new ones.”
The weekend was set against the historic and picturesque backdrop of the River Thames, with most of the visitors staying at the Compleat Angler Hotel in Marlow, which hosted a gala dinner on Thursday night.
On Friday there was a regatta-themed river cruise complete with straw boaters and a jazz band, followed by a relaxing evening of food and music at Marlow Rowing Club overlooking the Thames.
Saturday saw the visitors presented with the choice of a tour of Henley or a visit to the gardens at Cliveden. That evening featured another great Quadrilateral tradition as the visitors enjoyed dinner parties in the homes of their Rotarian hosts.
On Sunday, the last day of the event, a farewell brunch was held in historic Bisham Abbey at which Maidenhead MP and former Prime Minister Theresa May was the guest of honour.
In a parallel event, members of Maidenhead Rotaract, a separate club for younger Rotarians, played host to a nine-strong group of Rotaracters from Bonn. They followed their own programme of sightseeing, activities and eating out.
Eddie said: “It was a fantastic weekend. We really put the Quadrilateral back on the map. We had some brilliant weather and we really struck the right balance for a relaxing weekend of Rotary fellowship with our twin clubs which is more important now than ever.”