Round Table marks 85 years

Pictured are Luca Venditto, Shawn Downey, Colin Gooch, Amber Rudd, Dave Thomas and Paul Roddy
Pictured are Luca Venditto, Shawn Downey, Colin Gooch, Amber Rudd, Dave Thomas and Paul Roddy

Past and present members of the Round Table organisation came together last Friday (February 27) at Bannatyne Spa Hotel to celebrate Hastings Round Table’s 85th anniversary.

Partners, sponsors, local businesses and the town’s MP Amber Rudd also attended the celebration, called the Charter 85 event.

Hastings Round Table Nr. 21 was inaugurated at a meeting held in the Town Hall on November 23, 1929. The formation of Hastings Table was sponsored by Brighton Nr. 10 and Guildford Nr. 3.

The original Table consisted of 22 members under the founder Sir Alfred Dyer and first chairman Godfrey West.

The charter was presented on February 20, 1930 and is still in the Table’s possession, signed by Louis Marchesi, the secretary of RTBI and founder of the Round Table Movement.

Round Table is a social networking and charitable organisation and its guiding principle is to be involved in the local communities it serves.

Hastings Round Table organises and runs the highly successful Hastings Beer and Music Festival every July, which has so far raised and distributed almost £1 million to local good causes since its inception.

The profit from Friday’s Charter 85 event will be donated to the Jake’s Splash of Delight appeal, set up by the family of Jake Davis.

His family is fundraising to buy a small hydrotherapy pool for him to help relieve the everyday pain caused by his cerebral palsy and being in a wheelchair full-time.

Among its former members, Hastings Round Table can boast two former National Presidents – Leslie Crew (1948) and Rodney Lillicrap (1939 – 45); two Area Chairmen – J. Paterson (1949) and Colin Wren (1969).

Notable landmarks have included the hosting of four National Conferences (1936, 1948, 1957 and 1960); the 1948 Conference being the first R.T. International Conference, from which the movement spread worldwide.

In more recent times, members have been active on area committees and represented the area at various National Sports Weekends and National Conferences.

Hastings Round Table has sponsored the formation of four other Tables – Bexhill 188, Heathfield 757, Rye & Rother Valley 1009, and in 1957 Madras Nr. 1, the first Round Table in India.