Jumping back along the time line for a bit, I’ll tell you about ‘Charter Night’. Charter night is different from Inauguration. I think inauguration is the formal welcoming into Rotary whereas Charter night is more of a celebration of the new club joining the Rotary family.
Our Charter night was June 21st 2008. I confess I had nothing to do with the organisation of the event. In fact, not many in the club did – it appears mostly the work of our first President, Jarle. We used a large room at Kent County Cricket ground for a formal meal. Rotarians from all over the district came to join us along with the President of Rotary Internation in Britain and Ireland, Allan Jagger. He gave a very entertaining speach welcoming us into Rotary and set a challenge I think we have no hope of achieving. He joked that ‘your club has in a single swipe halved the average age of Rotary’, the challenge is that in 10 years time we keep the same average age as now. Our club was given gifts by other clubs of things that a new club will find useful. Chains of office for the President, President Elect and Tresurer, a table lecturn, a bell (I assume that Rotarians are generally rowdy and need calling to attention by bell) and lots of pennants.
The event was also used as a fund raiser for Odyssey. A gambing area was set up on the floor below. For a donation of real money you got some tokens to play with. At the end of the night if you had lots of tokens left you might win a prize that had been donated by a member. The crupier (or whatever they’re called) told me how to play roullete. I’ve decided I’m still not a gambling person.