I’m so pleased that I’ve joined my local Rotary club, The Rotary Club of Sutton Nonsuch (www.nonsuchrotary.org). I thought about it for some time and now I’ve taken the plunge! Here is the short speech I gave last night after Chris Hughes, the President, inducted me.
‘First let me thank you Chris for those kind words. I am truly looking forward to working with you guys and of course to socialising with you. My wife, Janet, is also looking forward to the Rotary adventure ahead!
I feel really honoured to be accepted into your ranks. I am especially grateful to Chris Forkan, my proposer, who is the first Sutton Nonsuch Rotarian I spoke to, when he turned up with a collection bucket on our doorstep the Christmas before last. I offered to give you all a talk about my then just published book. And here I am, now a member of Sutton Nonsuch Rotary! But I have met nearly all of you before so I’ve some idea what I am letting myself into!
We are not of course the only Rotary group in or around Sutton and I did have choice. The lady president of Kingston Rotary attempted a keen seduction. She pointed out that their meetings took place on a Thursday lunch time and that their venue was not far from my golf club. Malden, by the way. But I really wanted to join one on my own patch. I couldn’t identify with schools in Kingston or their local charities. And as for one other local Rotary in particular, I didn’t fancy meetings held in the context of fried eggs, sausages and bacon. I get up early enough to play golf. So here I am!
Groucho Marx once famously said that he wouldn’t join any club that would have him as a member. I thought about whether I should think in those terms. Then I realised we are fellows rather than members so that doesn’t necessarily apply.
Well, it remains for me to get on the floor, lie on my back and drink from the chalice of sheep’s blood. Where have you put it, Chris? And someone must show me the Rotary handshake!
Thank you all for voting me in!’