Humanity in motion
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  • History

    In the beginning

    The Early years of the Club by founder member, Jamesie Bass.

    The first meeting of the foundation committee was held on 17th February 1954 and was presided over by Charles E White, an influential member, in the early years of Rotary in Ireland. He founded some 80% of the earlier clubs in Ireland. His modus operandi was to select a prominent, respected local person to be the first member and gradually build the new club around him. However, things were different in Lisburn. For various extraneous reasons I, although a comparatively new comer to the town and still in my thirties, was selected. This meant that Lisburn was a comparatively youthful club, the average age being around 40 and there were no grandfathers in the club at that time!

    The inaugural dinner was held in the Temperance Institute on 25th May 1954. The Temperance Institute established in 1890 (and now known as The Bridge Community Centre) was, among other things, the only community centre in Lisburn and it was here that the club was to meet over the next dozen years or so. It was here that new friendships were formed to last a lifetime and old friends were seen in a different light. It is a rare privilege to be a founder member of a new Rotary Club. The overriding feeling among the members was enthusiasm and we tackled the new projects that faced us with gusto. We had a hands-on approach to what we did, bringing the members of the Old Men’s Club that met in the Temperance Institute on annual trips to the Mourne Mountains, bringing patients from Thompson House on a bus run, having a party for under privileged children, mounting art exhibitions etc.

    I do not want to turn this into a parade of good deeds but our activities covered the four avenues of Rotary Service. Interesting too, the management structure, set up in 1954 and based on that operating in the Bangor Club, is still largely the same today as it was 50 years ago. Looking back over those 50 years, I realise how much richer and fuller my life has been through Rotary. My hope is that people now joining this great movement will, in the fullness of time, look back and say the same thing.

    Jamesie Bass

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    Sadly Jamesie Bass and Jim Black, two of our founder members passed away in the Rotary Year 2004/2005. Both were in their nineties and had given great service to Rotary  for their fifty years as Members