Rotary District 1190

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Prepared by the district and not verified by Rotary Global History


The first printing of the “History of Clubs” was initiated by PDG Ian Smith, 1996-97 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of District 1190.

It was compiled by the late Past District Secretary and Archivist Donald Gleave of the Rotary Club of Blackpool.

Our present District was originally part of District 5 but it was agreed that this was far too large with too many Clubs.. A meeting of Club representatives was held at the Reform Club, Manchester under the chairmanship of Rotarian Jim Watchurst (Warrington RC) where it was agreed that the area and clubs to the north, comprising N.E. Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland should form the new District 19.

The first District Chairman was Leslie Noble, with Secretary Tom Hulley. Both these members came from Lancaster. The Treasurer was Ernest Westmore of Colne.

During the early years, District Executive Meetings were held the Royal Kings Arms, Lancaster.

It soon became apparent that two years in office as District Chairman was too long and in 1949 this was changed to one year only.

The District Conference and Council Meetings were held at different venues in the district. Eventually conferences settled at the Norbreck Hydro for many years and Executive Meetings were held on Saturday mornings at the Station Hotel, Carnforth.

Council Meetings followed on the same day, terminating around 4.30pm.

Eric Gaskell who started his Rotary life with Bacup RC before moving to Colne RC was an outstanding Rotarian and he became District Chairman in 1950-51.

He later became President of RIBI, a Director of RI, and First Vice President of RI.

Tom Hulley was elected District Chairman in 1951-52 with Cecil Williams as Secretary.

Ron Thompson, a man of few words but always willing to say his piece on important matters under discussion succeeded Tom as District Chairman and in 1953-54 Ernest Westmore took up this office.

It is interesting to note that the title District Chairman changed to District Governor to conform with the rest of RI in 1968-69 when Fred Green became our first District Governor.

Looking back over the early years as a District, the work load was very much smaller then since many aspects of Rotary – Group Study Exchange, Rotary Scholarships etc, only came into being after Rotary’s 50th anniversary.

An extreme highlight in the history of Rotary was the visit by Founder Paul Harris to Manchester RC when he addressed a splendid gathering of Rotarians from the North.

Conferences have attracted many excellent speakers and such names as Jack Pryde, Bill Carter, Harry Shaw, Bishop Claxton and Lord Barnetson spring to mind.

The District has 74 Clubs and 2400 members as at June 2008.

This reprint was approved by the District Council as a Centenary project to celebrate 100 years of Rotary service. Every Rotarian in District 1190 was presented with a personal copy.

This report provided by PDG Len Baseley, President of RC Wigton

See also