Members of Crickhowell’s vibrant club has met together for the celebration of their 40th Anniversary.

Between 1982 to 2022 the club has met at the Bear Hotel in Crickhowell. The event was a celebration of a wonderful period of the club’s development and at the same time recognised the invaluable support of the owners of The Bear Hotel.

Ever since the club’s inception the club has been proud to regard The Bear as its home.

Commenting, the present owner Mr Stephen Hindmarsh said, “My family and I are immensely proud of our association with Crickhowell Rotary.

“My late mother, Judy Hindmarsh, greatly admired the Rotary objective of ‘Service Above Self ‘.

“She had great pleasure in welcoming the founding members of Crickhowell Club to avail themselves of the facilities at The Bear from the earliest of their meetings. Samantha and I look forward to continuing this relationship for many more years to come”.

In 1982 an exploratory meeting was hosted by Judy Hindmarsh. Rotarians Michael Jones and John King invited six local people and a decision was taken at the meeting to form The Rotary Club of Crickhowell.

In proposing the toast to Crickhowell Rotary Club, Councillor Ann Jeremiah, the town’s deputy mayor, paid tribute to the club’s effectiveness over its 40 years of ‘Service above Self’ in the local community.

Cllr Jeremiah listed some of the club’s outstanding successes, in particular managing to raise well over £250,000 in the period. In describing the fun everyone in the community experiences during the ‘Duck Race’ and recalled humorous tales of the particular challenges associated with running the event.

She said the ‘Annual Duck Race’ was a major contributor to Rotary’s financial success. In turn, this had led to the development of programmes supporting needs in our own community, alongside national and international charitable efforts.

Worthy of mention, she said, was the Youth programme which supports six of inter school competitions such as Young Writer, Young Musician and similar every year. The club also sponsors attendance by local senior school pupils to achieve the Rotary Young Leader Award (RYLA).

Further, local community action has seen support for the elderly and vulnerable, such as organisation of Christmas hampers and social café events in conjunction with Crickhowell Volunteer Bureau.

The club provided some funding on a monthly basis to Abergavenny Food Bank and during lockdown, additional computers and I-pads were supplied to local schools. Most recently the club has funded a new defibrillator installation at the town’s police station.

The club’s support of Children in Need, and internationally, the funding of ‘Shelter Boxes’ for those in disaster zones, had been noteable she said.

Working with the local `Ukraine Support Group’, driving fund raising for Ukraine Charities and offering targeted support for Lisa’s school in Kenya, demonstrates that the club is highly active and effective. Through its national and international connections the club has contributed to the highly successful ‘Stop Polio Now’ campaign.

In addition, Crickhowell’s Rotarians are often seen in their High Viz tabards offering marshalling services and similar to other organisations and events in the town.

In proposing the toast Councillor Jeremiah offered fulsome praise for the club’s success over the years and wished present members success in the years to come.

Responding, President Mr Kevin Phillips thanked The Deputy Mayor and said it was an honour for him to lead the club in its 40th year. He expressed pride in the achievement of members past and present and paid tribute to the six founding members, five of whom remain members today, namely Bob Cule, Geoff Davies, Wally Elliot, Tony Newman and Malcom Thomas.

Leslie Beckett now a member of the Crickhowell Club, was also in attendance 40 years ago as President of Abergavenny Rotary Club, the mother club of Crickhowell, responsible for the chartering of the new club in Crickhowell.

Kevin acknowledged the changing times in which we live and the need to continue to provide the kind of service to our community that Mrs Jeremiah had outlined.

He continued “three new members will have joined by the end of December 2022 and this increase in membership will enable us to maintain the good community work and vibrant social life of The Rotary Club of Crickhowell.”

The event was attended by Rotarians, along with the Crickhowell Rotary Ladies support group. A delightful meal with wine and refreshment was served by the expert staff of the Bear Hotel. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.