Winchester Rotary appoints first woman president

Basingstoke Gazette: Gill Russell receives the chain of office from Nick Bell Gill Russell receives the chain of office from Nick Bell

GILL Russell has been installed as the first woman president of Winchester Rotary at the handover ceremony at the Royal Hotel.

Until May 2011, she worked as a civil servant at the Department of Health and has lived in Winchester since 1980 with her husband Paul – himself a former Winchester Rotary president. She joined Rotary in 2009.

Outlining plans for 2014-15, she paid tribute to outgoing president Nick Bell – during whose tenure around £30,000 was raised for good causes.

Mrs Russell said: “It is a great honour to be entrusted with the leadership of Winchester Rotary and one which I greatly appreciate. I look forward to continuing our ongoing projects, as well as developing new ideas.

“We are the largest club in this area with a growing, diverse membership, which reflects the local community.

“One cause particularly close to my heart is the Rotary International global initiative – End Polio Now – so close to success, but which needs continued support as health systems break down in areas of war and unrest. As a polio survivor myself – of the last UK outbreak in the 1950s, I well understand the effects of this dreadful disease.”

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