Thursday, 27 August 2015

Centenary President - Keith Harbage

Former President Bronia Cam welcomes Centenary President Keith Harbage
In 1916, the founding President of the Rotary Club of Leeds was Frank Horsell, a printing ink manufacturer. The Club's President in its centenary year is Keith Harbage, a retired Chartered Accountant and Everton FC supporter, who was the proud recipient in 2014 of a Paul Harris Fellowship for his contribution to the work of Rotary International in District 1040 (which has 79 Rotary clubs in North and West Yorkshire). Keith first joined Rotary in Leeds in 1983 and almost immediately accepted the position of Club Assistant Treasurer, responsible for the charity account. Unfortunately, in 1987 the pressures of a new job caused him to put in Rotary life on hold for twenty years, before early retirement allowed him to re-join in 2007. Keith was welcomed back with another post – this time of Club Secretary - which he performed for three years, until volunteering to be District Treasurer in 2010.

Being District Treasurer meant that Keith was also involved in every aspect of Rotary in Yorkshire, serving on the District's Executive, Policy Committee, Continuity Committee and Conference Planning Committee. If that was not enough, he was additionally preparing for his presidential role in our centenary year, which he had agreed to do way back in 2010. Keith was inducted as President on 3 July 2015 by retiring President, Bronia Cam. Happily, Keith's wife Marilyn, his son Julian and daughter-in-law Liz were able to attend the handover ceremony. On becoming Club President, Keith said: “2015-2016 is an important milestone in the history of the Rotary Club of Leeds and we must seek during the next year to leave a lasting legacy of our 100 years of service!”

The new President and Club Members now have a busy year ahead – a major feature of which will be the centenary dinner on 12 May 2016. The Club will also be working tirelessly for Keith's nominated charity - The Candlelighters Trust. Faced with the additional activities of this special year, the President will be ably supported by President Elect, Peter Loveday, Vice-President Bernard Cohen and long-serving Secretary, John Hill, who has agreed to help Keith by staying on in that role for another, sixth year! Yet more firepower is will be provided by the other Officers, the Council, ordinary Members and a Centenary Planning Committee, who together intend to make our centenary year one to remember!

President's Centenary Charity