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History of the Rotary Club of St Austell

Formed in 1922, the Rotary Club of St. Austell is one of the oldest clubs in the district and serving the community for over 90 years, we always welcomes new members.

From its beginnings in the town, membership grew until the outbreak of the Second World War.

During 1939 to 1945 the club had an average membership of ten but speakers were plentiful and covered many subjects.

Members on active service were elected honorary members until their return and retained membership when the hostilities ceased.

During the war the club took on the responsibility for forming the St Austell Air Training Corps and organised concerts and parties for serving men based in the area.

On the return of members from the services membership rose until there were 25 members in 1950 and in the later years it rose to 70.

There are currently over 40 men and woman who belong to the Rotary Club of St Austell, which meets every Tuesday at the Britannia Inn for an evening meal, usually followed by a talk on general interest topics, including Rotary matters.

The club is mixed gender and our second female President takes over in July 2019.

Since its formation the club has been involved in many activities that over the years have helped the community.

From the early days the club's barrel piano collections have raised money for senior citizens' Christmas parcels. It has also introduced, bowling for the blind, riding for the disabled and the Probus Club.

For many years the club supplied the minibus crews to transport young people with learning difficulties to their Thursday Club meetings but this later ceased with the change in legislation. It now provides its services to the Parkinsons' Club at Cuddra Hall and it also supports the local Memory Cafe helping people with dementia.  It previously supported the local Stroke Club.

The club places more importance on directly helping the community than fundraising but has had great success in collecting money for local charities, especially Cornwall Hospice Care.

In years past the club raised more than £15,000 a year for charities through fundraising events such as the May Bank Holiday Saints Way sponsored walk and the summer Lunch Beside the Lake. The club's motorcycle super cross race events were a big hit and raised £100,000 for local charities.

In addition to raising money for some 25 local charities, the club supports candidates for the Rotary Youth Leader Award Scheme (RYLA), a Dartmoor leadership course for 18 to 30 year-olds, and school based competitions Youth Speaks and Young Chef special, Young Musician and Young Photographer.

Rotary is involved internationally with the eradication of Polio, a disability wheelchair programme, provisions of a grain store, a school in Africa and Filta straw scheme that provides clean water in emergencies. The club also supports disaster relief charity, Shelter Box.

Members have previously helped plant trees at Roche and Lanlivery, built a garden at Churchtown, development of the district Scout Camp at Scredda and recently planting some 2,000 crocus bulbs at the Cosgarne Triangle to raise awareness of the polio eradication programme.

Article written by Caroline Chick of the Cornish Guardian.

First Lady President - July 2013

A St Austell woman has made history after becoming the first female president of the town�s Rotary Club in its near one hundred year existence.  Liz Rowe has taken on the mantle of president some five years after she set her last bench mark by becoming the organisations first female member in 2008.

The club felt that Liz was an ideal candidate, Liz was married to former Rotarian Tony Rowe. He died just days before he was due to take over as president in 1992.

Liz told the Cornish Guardian that it was an honour to be chosen as president as she is a Rotarian at heart. She said she would work hard over the next twelve months to help her chosen charities: Cornwall hospice Care and the St Austell branch of the Home Farm Trust. She is also hoping to establish a contingency fund to be used for urgent local and international appeals. (Extract from Cornish Guardian 10th July, 2013)


At a recent Parkinson's Hub meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Cuddra Hall, St. Austell, Rotarians from St. Austell Rotary Club were presented with an award to thank them for their on-going voluntary support. The monthly Hubs are organised by the Cornish Charity, James Parkinson Centre Cornwall and are dedicated to improving services for anyone in any capacity touched by Parkinson's.

Pictured presenting the certificate is Parkinson�s Bernard Salisbury and receiving the award on behalf of the Rotary Club of St. Austell is Rotarian John Hawkins with Rotarians Clive Gronow and John Tregaskes.