CLUB FOR ALL

Diane Glister, Gail Williams and Angela Butcher from Blackpool Palatine Rotary club are looking for more members.
Diane Glister, Gail Williams and Angela Butcher from Blackpool Palatine Rotary club are looking for more members.
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IT was once thought of as an all-male preserve.

And generally a club for retired gentlemen.

But Rotary wants to send out the message it is a club for all, and women are more than welcome.

And this trio certainly enjoy being members of the organisation, which has the motto “service over self.”

Gail Williams, Diane Glister and Angela Butcher are all members of Palatine Rotary, and have not looked back since joining.

Gail, from St Annes, ended up becoming a member after being asked to give talks to Rotary as a guest speaker about her role at ADS (Addiction Dependency Solutions) in Blackpool.

She said: “I just found them such a nice, friendly bunch.

“We were chatting afterwards and they asked if I would like to join them.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing things to try to help people and fundraising.

“I think there’s always been this image of Rotary as being an old man’s supper club.

“But our club has six female members and other clubs on the Fylde have ladies too. And it’s for all ages – our youngest member is 22.

“It’s for everyone, all backgrounds and ages, and it is active. We have nights out, weekly meetings, meals, day trips and even holidays.

“The social side of it is great, meeting new and interesting people.

“And when you go abroad to other countries, you can visit Rotary clubs abroad, who make you welcome.

“It’s like a big family. But we also know we are doing something worthwhile, raising money and helping good causes.”

Angela Butcher, 57, a secondary school supply teacher from Thornton, said although her dad was a member of Rotary, she had never really thought about it being something for women.

But she joined a year ago.

The mum-of-two said: “I wanted to give something back.

“We get to meet interesting people from different backgrounds and the guest speakers are always interesting.

“Rotary supports different charities and good causes and, as well as doing fundraising, it carries out other good works, such as creative writing competitions in schools.

“Everybody is really sociable and we have members of all ages and, of course, women as well as men.”

And Diane, 60, who joined in September 2008, said: “I was on the Crimestoppers board, which is also a charity, and met Rotarians through that.

“It sounded like something I might enjoy, and they invited me along to meetings.

“I just loved it. Everybody was really nice, I was able to join the fundraising committee and I really enjoy fundraising and organising.

“I just love helping people. The motto of Rotary as an organisation is service before self. Rotary has helped largely eradicate polio throughout the world.

“It’s about friendship too, and certainly helped me after my divorce and going through cancer.

“I would encourage any women who are thinking about joining to come along, have a chat to myself, Angela or Gail, and see what you think.

“I am so glad I joined and have never looked back.”