Welcome to Harpenden Village Rotary Club

New President for 2021

John Murray is our new club president. He has lived in Harpenden since 2001 when, after a career including spells in the oil industry and running his own business, he was appointed chief executive of the Society of Maritime Industries.

John is married to Christine and they have two grown-up children.

This is not his first Rotary presidency. He joined Darlington Rotary Club in the 1970s and was president in 1989-90. He has been a member of Harpenden Village Rotary Club since 2001.

John commented: ‘The core ethos of Rotary is encapsulated in its motto, Service above Self. While serving and supporting the community, both locally and through our international contacts, may appear to be on hold at present, as a result of Covid-19, I can assure you that our club members are working behind the scenes to ensure that during my year we will be able to deliver on our remit.

‘For those of you fortunate to have been able to continue working, albeit from home, Rotary is an ideal vehicle through which you could deliver on many of your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility objectives. If you would like more information about membership please look at the other pages on this website, follow the links and register your interest. We will be in touch.’

POLIO–Another triumph for Rotary

Rotary and its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners have announced that wild polio virus type 3  has been certified eradicated worldwide. This achievement means that two of the three wild polio strains have now been wiped out.

Since 1985, Rotary’s key humanitarian priority has been to rid the world of polio. From over 1000 cases a day in 125 countries, paralysing and even killing children, that number is today down by 99.9%.

Over the last 30 years, Rotary has donated US$2 billion to the eradication effort, protecting more than 2.5 billion children from the disease through vaccination programmes.



Lottie Apsey (inset) used a host of photos to illustrate her Zoomed talk on her experiences in Malaysia.

The former St George’s School student deferred her degree course to spend eight months as a volunteer, teaching conversational English to senior school students. In return, they taught her much about the Muslim way of life in Malaysia.

Her fascinating talk drew many questions from her audience.

Lottie concluded by thanking the club for helping to make the project possible.

CLUB Meets regularly – on sCreen

Since April our club members have settled comfortably into attending the weekly meetings via Zoom.

We’ve had the usual measure of speaker meetings with some speakers showing videos supporting their talks.

We’re now into our new Rotary year. Just what we’ll be able to tackle and achieve in 2020-21 is very difficult to assess at this stage. But we’re not sitting on our hands. Now that some physical contact is allowed we’re meeting in small groups, in members’ gardens, to brainstorm ideas of how we might best adapt to the clouded future.

As our immediate past-president commented when the impact of the pandemic first hit us:  ‘Rotarians are positive people. They see problems as obstacles to overcome – and usually succeed.’

Conference hears how Club helps the Prince’s Trust

Club member David Rankin, speaking at the Rotary District Conference on February 29 about the Village Club members’ involvement with The Prince’s Trust.

David explained that our club members, having a long history of providing annual ‘mock interviews’ for 70 bright final-year students of Harpenden schools, were keen to extend their work to less capable young people.

Finding youngsters who desperately needed help finding employment, training or further education drew him to the Prince’s Trust and their well-established 12-week programme designed to assist 16- to 23- year-olds make something of their lives.

In the 18 months since club members took on providing face-to face interview training with the Trust the ‘positive outcome’ of those completing the programme has risen from 65% to 86%.