‘True gent’ Dennis marks 50-year Rotary milestone at Sidmouth club

Dennis Bennett receives a certificate and badge to recognise 50 years of service in Rotary.

Dennis Bennett receives a certificate and badge to recognise 50 years of service in Rotary. - Credit: Archant

One of Sidmouth’s ‘perfect gentleman’ has been recognised by Rotary International for his five decades of service.

Dennis Bennett marked 50 years as a member of the Rotary Club of Sidmouth, which he paid nine pounds and seven shillings to join on September 28, 1966.

To mark his anniversary, the club held a surprise party on Wednesday and presented him with a 50 years’ service badge and certificate from the organisation.

Graeme Bullock told Dennis: “What inspires me is you epitomise what a good Rotarian should be - and that’s as true today as it was when we met in 1985 - and for reaching a milestone that many Rotarians do not achieve.”

Sandy Macfayden added: “The thing about Dennis is that he is a perfect gentleman - he is a kind and a very nice man and he is a man of style.”

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Dennis, 95, grew up in Exeter and served in the RAF for six years. He joined men’s outfitters Yendells and helped to open its Sidmouth branch. Dennis bought the Fore Street store in 1968 and ran it until 2002.

A passionate supporter of the arts, he was a member of Exeter Operatic Society from 1952 until 1958.

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His love of the theatre saw him organise trips for Rotarians to the Northcott Theatre.

Dennis, of Sidbury, thanked his fellow Rotarians for so many ‘overwhelming compliments’.

He said: “It is such a great worldwide organisation which benefits every community and I feel that our Sidmouth club does everything possible to support the local community in the best way possible. I am so proud to be part of Rotary. The best part, and particularly with the Sidmouth club, is that they have been a wonderful group of men.”

Dennis is a former president of the Sidmouth club.

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