LICKEY Hills Rotary club has been reflecting on some of its highlights as it celebrates 50 years of fund-raising and community support.
The club, formerly known as the Rotary Club of Rubery, was established by John Atkinson and Mike Bennett who put on lunchtime sessions before moving on to evening events.
The club’s focus has always been on fund-raising for good causes over the years with one of its biggest achievements in the 1970s being raising £1million for local charities through raffling off a caravan.
Other notable moments include running Rubery Carnival and organising annual pantomime trips for youngsters in local children’s homes.
The group has also provided equipment for quiz nights, discos and steel band performances for the local physically handicapped and able-bodied (PHAB) club and more recently have worked with several West Midlands foodbanks after receiving a £25,000 global grant.
Club President John Atkinson, 83, said: “On one particularly memorable weekend in 2013 we visited the European Parliament in Strasbourg as guests of our local MEP.
“We listened to Nigel Farage making his point in the debating chamber, were there when the Pope made his address to the Parliament and we walked along the Rhine to see the German flags on one side and the French on the other.”
The LitterAid campaign saw the club provide, pack and ship several tons of books to Zimbabwe as part of a literacy support project and a Land Rover for teachers to use.
John added: “Unfortunately the success was halted when President Mugabe decided he wanted people to be working in the fields and factories of Harare rather than getting an education.
“The whole issue became a political hot potato and our contacts in both Zimbabwe and KwaZulu Natal were put under severe pressure.”
Moving into its golden year, the rotary club will be supporting four local hospices as well as the Midland Air Ambulance and Churches Together in Northfield Christmas Party.
Members will also be offering aid to Northfield Community Partnership Foodbank and Ukrainians living in Bromsgrove.