Rotary Club of Sidmouth members celebrated 75 years of helping those less fortunate than themselves at an annual dinner at the Victoria Hotel on Saturday.

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The historic milestone prompted reflections on how the group has lived up to its motto of “service above self” over the decades.

President Barry Chapman said that Rotarians in Sidmouth have always lived up to the spirit of the slogan.

He added: “This has enabled the club to make a significant difference to improve the lot of people and organisations locally, nationally and internationally; this has only been achieved by the commitment of the members, the generosity of the people of Sidmouth and also the help and support of the Inner Wheel Club of Sidmouth.

“Current members are steadfast in their efforts to maintain the values of Rotary and by so doing they continue to work to help those less fortunate and less able than themselves. “With the continued generous support of the people of Sidmouth, Rotary will be able to maintain its presence in the town and carry on the good works started by its founders.”

The organisation’s charter was granted on November 9, 1937.

On Saturday, Mr Chapman welcomed the president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, John Minhinick, district governor Graham Smith and president of The Inner Wheel Club of Sidmouth, Anne Hale.

Rotarians and guests from both Sidmouth and neighbouring clubs also attended. The club received a citation from Rotary International and of an inscribed gavel from The Inner Wheel Club.

Sidmouth now has two Rotary clubs, of Sidmouth and of Sid Valley, with a combined membership of more than 75 Rotarians.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Rotary is promised a warm welcome at both.

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