On the 9th October The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock was 93 years old and is never looking more healthy! 
On the 10th September 1930, Rotary International issued the Club Charter which was presented to the club in the Queens Hotel, Grays on the 9th October 1930 with over 100 people present at this inauguration. The Presidents Bell was presented by the Southend-on-Sea Club which is our Mother Club. The inaugural meeting of the club which had 15 members by now, included the Headmaster of Palmers College, Roland Hall Accountants, Frank West and W E Walsham (unable to attend at the time) and E V Saxton all notable professionals and business owners from the local area. Today we are over 38 members with Mr John Walsham our current Father of the Club providing continuity (and an enduring link with our origins) over the generations. 
Our first home was the Queens Hotel and regular lunchtime meetings began with a four course lunch costing 2 shillings, today we meet for lunch at the Orsett Hall (except on the 2nd Thursday of the month where we have an evening meeting, see "Why Not Join Us" section of the website for more details) and it costs £20 for a two course meal! In the early days Rotary allowed only one member per business classification and initially all members were active business men, but today everyone who wants to contribute to society and in particular, people in need, whether in the UK or abroad are welcome to apply for membership, providing they can commit to giving time, their passion and expertise.
In the 1930's the club raised funds by a "whip-round" at Christmas and a Christmas party for "Crippled Children" as there were many such children following an outbreak of Polio in the late 1920's. Today we raise substantial sums through various initiatives and give to international appeals such as relief for natural disasters and unfortunately war relief. On the 24th October it was WORLD POLIO DAY and Rotary can be justly proud with its leadership and efforts which have all but eradicated Polio from the world (except for Afghanistan and Pakistan).
In the 1960's we started a Tripartite relationship with a club in Germany and Holland with the first joint meeting held in Grays on the 14th May 1960, each year we take turns in hosting the other clubs and it was Grays's turn this year with a truly amazing event in Greenwich and Orsett (see earlier posts). 
In the 1980's the club sponsored the formation of the Rotary Club of Mardyke Valley with it boundaries the same as the Grays Thurrock Club but they tended to concentrate on the western half of our area. Our involvement in the District and National parts of Rotary remained strong and in 1988 Geoff Player became our second District Governor.
In the early 2000's our involvement with "Kids Out" started and is just as strong today (see earlier posts for our recent trip to the Southend Sea Life Centre) and in 2008 we started our annual "Mystery Trip" for members where you just turn up with a few well packed clothes, a few quid in your pocket and your passport for a great few days away.
The 2020's were a challenge, particularly the pandemic as we were affected as everybody was and life changed. We continued meetings but by Zoom, so technology came to our aid and the tenure of our President at the time, Adrian Alsop, was extended to 18 months from the normal 12 months. 
Today with our new President John B Smith we are 38 active members and actively looking to grow and are particularly keen to attract Ladies into our club.