Socially distancing handover for new president of Richmond Rotary Club

From left, outgoing president Chris Kirby delivers the Richmond Rotary chain of office to incoming president Warnock Kerr.

Social distancing measures were in place for the traditional handover to the new president of Richmond Rotary Club.

Rotary clubs usually mark the change with a dinner but due to the coronavirus pandemic the club’s handover meeting took place by Zoom this year.

Outgoing president Chris Kirby reported on a strange but surprisingly successful year in which the club had once again supported local charities and helped more than 20 young people through the work of its trust.

In just over 12 years the club has donated £110,500 to 126 organisations and individuals.

Speaking at the first ever virtual handover meeting Chris reminded people of some of the ways Richmond Rotary has contributed to local life in the last year, such as the Best Kept Village competition, a school’s technical tournament and an emergency collection for the Upper Dales following the devastating floods.

Incoming president Warnock Kerr thanked Chris Kirby and his wife Pauline for all they have done to keep the club working well in the difficult period of the pandemic.

He said that although nothing beats face to face contact and despite the fact that some planned events have had to be cancelled, club members have enjoyed remote business meetings as well as quizzes and social events.

What caused great amusement was when the two presidents reported that the official handover of the chain of office had already happened.

There was a round of applause when the socially distanced handover picture at Richmond’s boundary was shown.

Warnock said: “Despite the current circumstances our handover this year was a great reminder of the many ways that Richmond Rotary contributes to our local communities whilst having a lot of fun in the process.”