West Worthing Rotary Club closes down ‘with regret and sadness’ after 67 years’ service

West Worthing Rotary Club members last summer, wishing Sue and Chris Worthington well for their move to the north
West Worthing Rotary Club members last summer, wishing Sue and Chris Worthington well for their move to the north

West Worthing Rotary Club has closed down after 67 years of service.

Members said the decision was made with regret and sadness.

Charles Pressley said: “The president and members reluctantly decided they could not continue to fulfil their obligations as part of the Rotary organisation.

“A combination of the ageing membership and lack of successful recruitment made continuation impractical. West Worthing has ceased to continue as a Rotary club.

“We are extremely grateful for the six decades that the members of the Rotary club of West Worthing have carried out a whole range of voluntary service under the Rotary banner and thank everyone for the support you have given our club over the last 67 years.

“We wish success to the two continuing Rotary clubs in Worthing.”

The club was chartered in 1952, with founder members including professionals and businessmen in the area.

Over the years, noteable achievements have included the building and establishment of Rotary Lodge, in St Botolph’s Road - an early example of a housing association.

In 1980, an association with the Lavinia Norfolk Unit at The Angmering School was established and as it continued, the Tony Moore Award was presented annually to two sixth formers who gave inspiration to their fellow students by adapting to independent life and mainstream schooling.

Internationally, the club has supported the Shelter Box scheme, providing emergency accommodation for families affected by disasters.

With the benefit of a Rotary grant, donations and fundraising, the club financed the building of a medical centre in a remote area of Nepal.

Charles added: “Over the years, as well as enjoying an active social programme, members have raised funds and helped others in the local community, assisting the elderly, disabled and those less fortunate.

“Also, we have supported many individual worthwhile causes, as well as contributing to Rotary International appeals and the Rotary Foundation Charity.

“Since the inception of the club, the members have played a vital part in the running of the Rotary August Bank Holiday Carnival.

“Some of our members will be joining the other two Rotary clubs in Worthing and as individuals, we shall continue to support charities such as Sight Support Worthing and Care for Veterans, one way being bingo for those with impaired vision, an activity which we set up 50 years ago.

Additional efforts of note include:

Taking a caravan with equipment to help with the aftermath of the Skopje earthquake in Yugoslavia in 1963.

Taking a large lorry filled with household goods, clothes, medical supplies to Romania, post the revolution in 1990.

Running a charity shop to raise money for Chestnut Tree House, when it was proposed.

Providing a woodworking workshop for Worthing Mind, now Gateway

Providing kitchen equipment for Lionel House, a Worthing Churches Homeless Projects home.

Distributed Christmas food parcels to needy elderly residents of Worthing for many years.

Collecting for local charities at Christmas with the mobile Christmas tree, round the roads in West Worthing and Goring.

Taking children from the John Horniman Home in Worthing to Kids Out at Butlin’s in Bognor for the day.

Darts at Care for Veterans, with all participants sitting in wheelchairs.

Youth activities including sponsoring two young people in the Rotary Young Leadership Awards, the Rotary Young Chef competition in local schools, donating illustrated dictionaries to year-six pupils and supporting Scout and Guide groups.