Rotary Sunrise Rose

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History of the Rotary Sunrise Rose

Frank Fryer, whose father founded Fryer's Roses, was a member of Knutsford Rotary Club for over 50 years. In recognition of completing 50 years as a member, on 19th February 2002, the club honoured him with a prestigious Rotary Award, a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Additionally, as a further recognition of Frank's service to Rotary, his son Gareth, who was then running the business, agreed that we could name a rose in Frank's honour, and furthermore he agreed to pay a substantial percentage of the profits from the sales of this rose each year to The Rotary Foundation. On average, this amounted to around £600 p.a. and was a significant part of the clubs annual donations to The Rotary Foundation.

Frank himself chose the rose in 2003 from a selection of new roses being bred at Fryer's. The original intention was to call the rose “The Rotarian”. However, because of its appearance and at the suggestion of Fryers’ Canadian agent, who was a Rotarian and who intended to promote the rose to “Sunrise” clubs in North America (Breakfast clubs in the UK!), it was named Rotary Sunrise. He also agreed to donate a proportion of the profits to The Rotary Foundation.

Rotary Sunrise.jpeg

In 2011, Fryer's sold the business to Blue Diamond, who have several garden centres in the UK, as a result of which the association with Rotary through personal connection with the family ceased. We were unable to persuade Blue Diamond to continue the arrangement that we had with Fryer's, especially as they wanted to assess all their options having just acquired the business. However, the rose is still grown and we hope that its name will continue to raise awareness of the Rotary movement.

Pieta Van Dyke of the Harbourside RC in Canada with the Rotary Sunrise rose at the Butchart Gardens in Victoria B.C. Canada

Derek Sutcliffe Past President (2001 – 2002) Rotary Club of Knutsford 02 August 2013