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Dumfries Rotary Club Charity Profile
The Rotary Club of Dumfries is the first daughter club of its Sponsor, the Rotary Club of Glasgow which was itself only the fifth club in RIBI and the 60th Club in the world. So our Club is amongst the earliest Rotary clubs to be established. The two significant dates are, the Inauguration date: 3 June 1921, and the Charter Date: 18 August 1921. So at the turn of this century, we were already nearly eighty years old. In passing we note that by 1992 Glasgow Rotary Club’s genealogical tree extended to 80 clubs. We ourselves have four daughter clubs to our credit, namely, Kirkcudbright (1949), Annan (1949), Thornhill ( 1975), and Dumfries Devorgilla (2002).
The Club serves the town of Dumfries and its immediate environs with an approximate population of 40,000, although in 2002 it was joined by a second club in the town, - the Rotary Club of Dumfries Devorgilla. Since our inception we have met at lunchtime, now on Fridays at the Cairndale Hotel in the town.
The Rotary Club of Dumfries has always been a highly active club and in the earliest years, eg in 1922 the Rotarian businessmen in the town formed a Boys’ Club, financed and run weekly for boys in the age range 10 -14. This club grew to a strength of over 50 boys from deprived homes, involving club nights, summer camps and was housed in a substantial club hut. The Boys Club flourished until the early 1990’s.
Dumfries Rotary Club continued its activities throughout the World War, raising funds for many war-time charities, and offering help and support to the very many servicemen and women in the district, including a considerable number of Norwegians.
The Club has many strong ties to Scotland’s Bard – he was resident here from 1791-96, and is buried in St Michael’s Kirkyard. The Club ties, banners and letter heading – and now this website - sport Burns’ profile along with the Rotary wheel, and Dumfries Rotarians have twice - 1978 & 1985 - served as World President of the Burn’s Federation. Indeed the Club’s Rotary Centenary Project involved support for the special Robert Burns developments at Ellisland Farm, just outside the town.
Twice over the years – 1853 and 2000 - our Club has produced the chairman of the District. Percy W Hopkin’s lead was followed by pp Wilson Ogilvie, and in each case the Club had the traditional responsibility for the organisation and management of the annual District Conference, first at Rothesay and then at Harrogate.
Club Members of Distinction
Our Club currently boasts three Paul Harris Fellows, one of the highest honours awarded to Rotarians for outstanding service. pp Matt Roger (1974), pp Bill Scott (1976) and pp Dr George Hutchison (2004) have all been so honoured. For long service, however, no-one has equalled the late pp Noel Dinwiddie who, at his death in 1994 had been a past president for 50 years.