Former top cop takes reins at Seaford Rotary Club

Seaford Rotary Club’s future remains in safe hands with retired Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Mike Ogilvie succeeding ex-Customs and Excise officer Martin McGill as President.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 9:37 am

Each year the club installs a new president on June 30 and, since its foundation in 1947, only one man (Michael Logan) has done the job twice.

Mike Ogilvie’s accession to the top office was performed in a hand-over ceremony via Zoom technology on Wednesday but there are plans to stage a special ‘live’ Dinner event for his predecessor in August at Seaford Golf Club - government regulations permitting.

Martin’s term of office has been served almost entirely on Zoom and severely restricted by Covid-19’s impact on all events, but members have been impressed by how he has conducted it with determination, wit and good humour.

Mike Ogilvie SUS-210630-112741001
Mike Ogilvie SUS-210630-112741001

And Mike Ogilvie, who became a Rotarian when joining the Seaford club only five years ago, has also already earned admiration with his stated vision for the club and, particularly, his outstanding work in support of the Seahaven Storehouse, the local food-bank delivery service.

Born in Cullen, Moray Firth, Mike moved from the Scottish Highlands to London with his parents aged just two.

On leaving South Wandsworth comprehensive school he became a Land Surveyor but then in 1967 joined the police for what was to become a stellar career, rising through the ranks including qualifying, during the time of the IRA bombings, as an authorised marksman (shot).

He was on duty at such dramatic terrorist events as the Balcombe Street Siege and the shootings at the Portman Hotel but also regularly handled security at such as the Notting Hill Carnival, many top London football matches and even The Boat Race while moving up to Chief Inspector.

After earning an MA from Exeter University, (studying part-time), Mike took leave of absence to go to America to establish links with the Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York police departments.

He retired after 30 years service with ‘The Met’ at just 49, having achieved the role of Chief Superintendent and Commander for the London Borough of Merton and moved, with wife Wendy and their two children, to Somerset.

Soon, though, he accepted an invitation to join a NATO mission in Albania to establish the rule of law following the country’s collapse.

That lasted three years and then, just two more later, he left a role with the Somerset County Civil Contingencies Unit to go to Southern Sudan with a United Nations force managing the post-conflict reconstruction of the area.

Mike, who has recruited several members of the Seahaven Storehouse as his honorary members of the Seaford club for this year, says: “I want Rotary to become known as enablers and facilitators in the community and to work with other groups to achieve, through a scheme of projects and grants, some lasting benefits for people in need.”

He added: “Our ethos is ‘Service Above Self’ and our challenge is to identify and help those less fortunate.

“Our members are at a stage in life where we have something to give back and we are embarking on a three-year strategy to ensure Rotary will be fit for the purpose.”

• Seaford Rotary will meet again each Wednesday lunchtime at Seaford Golf Club after government restrictions are lifted. New members are welcome via www.seafordrotary.org.uk