Rotary president hands over chains to successor

The new president of the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis, Richard Main (right) pictured with his predecessor John Berry

THE Rotary Club of Lyme Regis’ presidential chain has been handed over to a new incumbent in a much more low key affair than usual. 

Outgoing president John Berry handed over the chain to his successor, Richard Main, at a garden party for just six club members due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In previous years, the handover has been a very social occasion, where many members, friends and supporters of the club have gathered to witness the handing over of the chain of office, which is embellished with the names of all the previous presidents from the formation of the club in 1950. 

This event has previously been held on boat trips down the River Exe, at garden parties and was this year supposed to involve a tram ride in Seaton, but had to be a much more low key affair due to restrictions on large gatherings.

However, other club members were able to join in the proceedings via a virtual meeting on a screen erected outside.

President elect Chris Buckingham (left) and new president Richard Main

While Mr Main took over as president, it was announced that Chris Buckingham would become president-elect, preparing to take the lead role in 2021/2022. Also in attendance was club secretary Jim Moseley and treasurer Bill Taylor.

Under the direction of retiring president Mr Berry, the club had a very successful year despite having to operate under trying circumstances due to the pandemic. A total of £20,000 was raised for good causes in the community and internationally.

New president Mr Main said that the club would continue to operate with meetings via video link and it was planned, subject to government guidelines, to carry on with the major events in the town that the Lyme Regis Rotary Club have become so well known for, including Carols Around the Tree in December and the Lyme Lunge on New Year’s Day.

An international example of Rotary friendship

A unique event took place this week when the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis was invited to attend the virtual installation of the new president of the Rotary Club of Luyang in northern Borneo.

Seven members of the Lyme Regis club joined the meeting on Saturday, July 11 via video link.

It was a truly international meeting with Rotary Club members joining in from Taiwan, Singapore, Shanghai in China, Bali, Manila in the Philippines, Australia and Lyme Regis.

The invite was as a result of a visit made by Rotarian Peter Fortnam and his wife Lynne to Borneo last March, when visiting their son Matthew and his family who had been working on a university project in the region.

Mr Fortnam said: “We were made very welcome and they took time to show us various projects they were undertaking and also some of the city of Koto Kinabalu , the capital of Sabah province in northern Borneo part of Malaysia.”

Since the visit the two clubs have kept in contact, exchanging various information about each other.

Mr Fortnam met Kenneth Tan, the newly-elected president of the Rotary Club of Luyang for the year 2020/2021, and members said they were delighted to be able to take part in what turned out to be a truly international example of Rotary friendship throughout the world. 

Rotary is a global organisation in more than 200 countries, of more than 1.2 million men and women who work for peace and goodwill locally, nationally and internationally.

To find out more about the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis, visit or call Peter Fortnam 01297 443145.

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2546 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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