A ROTARY club has celebrated a new presidential year with a virtual handover.

Like Rotary clubs the world over, at this time each year Richmond Rotary Club celebrates the arrival of a new president with a special handover meeting.

There is usually a dinner with invited guests but this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the club’s handover meeting took place via Zoom.

Outgoing President Chris Kirby reported on a strange but surprisingly successful year in which the club had once again supported local charities and benefitted over twenty young people through the work of its trust.

It is no mean achievement that over the past 12 years the club has donated £110,500 to 126 organisations and individuals.

Speaking at the first ever virtual handover meeting, Mr Kirby reminded people of some of the ways Richmond Rotary has contributed to local life in the last year, such as the Best Kept Village competition, schools Technical Tournament and emergency collection for the Upper Dales following the devastating floods.

Incoming President Warnock Kerr thanked Mr Kirby and his wife Pauline for all they have done to keep the club working well in the difficult period of the pandemic. He said that although nothing beats face to face contact and despite the fact that some planned events have had to be cancelled, club members have enjoyed remote business meetings as well as quizzes and social events.

What caused great amusement was when the two Presidents reported that the official handover of the chain of office had already happened. There was a round of applause when the socially distanced handover picture at Richmond’s boundary was shown.

Commenting on the whole experience Warnock Kerr said: "Our handover was a great reminder of the many ways Richmond Rotary contributes to our local communities while having a lot of fun."