AN innovative virtual AGM ensured the changing of the chairman for the Saddleworth Round Table went ahead almost as planned.
Andrew Rothwell, outgoing chairman, was set to hand over to John Arthurs at The White Hart, Lydgate in April.
The coronavirus outbreak made the original plans impossible but that did not stop Round Table from making it a night to remember.
Andrew and John organised a Zoom video conference call for all members, complete with pack which was delivered to each member’s house prior to the meeting.
It included a meal prepared by Manns Wharf catering, beer from Donkeystone Brewery and Winos supplied a selection of red, white and rosé for a virtual wine tasting.
Andrew said: “I’ve had the pleasure to be chairman of such a fantastic organisation for the last year.
“It fills me with pride that our members and the community has enabled Saddleworth Round Table to donate a record amount (£26,791) to local worthy causes.
“What has stuck with me is the amazing work done at ‘Point’ charity. We enabled three coaches of children to go to Chessington World. When I met the children it was clear how much the trip meant to them.
“In the current pandemic, it is not the best time for John to take over. However, it’s clear he is the best man to take Saddleworth Round Table forward.
“John has been a leader for SRT since he joined just over three years ago, improving our events and steering our meetings. I know he will lead us into an exciting future.”
John confirmed his executive committee including Ste James as Vice Chairman, Stephen Shepherd as Treasurer and Andrew Butterworth as Secretary. He also inducted Max Lees as the newest member.
John said: “I am very excited for the year ahead as chairman. It’s a difficult period to be taking over as one of the highlights in our calendar – Band in a Barn – has been cancelled due to Covid-19.
“We are still looking forward and hopeful for events later in the year.”
He highlighted some of the work some by members to help raise money and buy care packages and items for NHS and frontline workers across Oldham.
He revealed: “We quickly hit our £5,000 target and were able to purchase products to send into various departments. We had some amazing donations from local companies.
“The campaign has really been a team effort and I am pleased to be part of it.
“We have currently raised more than £10,000 and will be continuing the campaign as long as it is needed so please look for our JustGiving page or our Facebook page and donate.”
• Saddleworth Round Table is always on the lookout for new members. If you are a man aged 18-45 and want to get invovled, then speak one of their members or contact them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SaddleworthRT/