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Maurice Franks says that rather than stuffy men they are a fun group which helps the community

THE new president of Thatcham Rotary Club, which brings together business and professional leaders for social and humanitarian reasons, said that one of his ambitions for the year ahead was to increase club membership.

Maurice Franks, aged 63, who runs his own IT company MDT, has been a member of the Rotary Club for six years and was officially appointed president in June.

He said: “People who don't know anything about Rotary have mixed views.

“When I was first approached my view was that it was a bit stuffy.

“That was my perception, but Thatcham is far from that.

“We get involved with the community and we have a lot of fun doing it.”

He added that he hoped to continue the fundraising successes of last year, which included the annual fireworks display, which the group has been holding for 20 years.

“There's always something someone can get involved with.

“I'm looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

At an official ceremony in June, the retiring president, Rob Tayton, was joined by former Rotary presidents Ashley Gold, from Newbury, and Graeme Sleeman, from Hungerford, Thatcham mayor Lee Dillon and the Rev Tom Moffatt, formerly of St Mary's Church, Thatcham.

Of Mr Tayton's year in charge, Mr Franks said: “He had a brilliant year.

“He was quite interested in music so we got involved with the Berkshire Maestros.”

He added: “I'm looking forward to the year; it's a bit of extra work, but it's a fairly relaxed and fun club with great characters in it.

For more information about the work of the Rotary Club, telephone Mr Franks on 07771 734 089 or email Gerry Cowan at gerry_cowan@yahoo.co.uk



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