The Rotary Club of Wokingham was formed in 1951, when it was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Reading.
Life in Wokingham at that time was more leisurely. The membership then was mainly local business men, a doctor, a dentist, a solicitor and one or two local councillors. The names of some early members are reflected today in Wokingham's street names; Reeves Way, Alderman Willey Close, Barrett Crescent and Perkins Way. In those days women were not invited into Rotary.
Sixty years ago, Wokingham was a market centre for the surrounding countryside, isolated from the County Town of Reading and the recently designated New Town of Bracknell. Like Wokingham itself, the Club has altered with changing times but the ideals of the founding members and that of our world wide organisation remain instilled in the Club today.
As of then, we still uphold the ideals of fellowship and friendship within the Club. Today, we also support local schools, originally by outings for needy children, but now through our "Young Chef", "Young Musician", "Young Photographer" and "Youth Speaks" competitions. We make donations to Dingley Family Centre in All Saints School and to the Alexander Devine Hospice building fund. Together with two other local Rotary Clubs, we have contributed to a special day for pupils at New Addington School. Internationally, we have just completed a water project in Sri Lanka in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Colombo and donated to an ongoing hospital project in Uganda.
At Christmas, between 50 and 100 Hampers have been assembled and delivered to the needy of Wokingham. These hampers could not be prepared without the generous support of Wokingham's residents. In the weeks before Christmas Club members raise the money needed through street collections and outside supermarkets. In the past, members raised the money by buying Christmas trees in bulk to sell in the Market Place. Not all activities involve money; service to others is and always has been just as importantFor example, for over 50 years Wokingham Rotarians have driven members of Wokingham Blind Club to their monthly meetings. Always upholding Rotary's Motto:
"Service Above Self"