Marking fifty golden years in the Rotary

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A dedicated member of Heckmondwike Rotary Club has celebrated his 50th year with the group.

David Armitage, 84, first joined the club while he owned Armitage Allott and Partners opticians in Market Street.

Since then he has become president of the club twice, in 1975 and 2010, and has seen a lot of changes in the town.

Mr Armitage, of Brighouse, said: “It’s been 50 very interesting years. There’s been a lot of changes in Heckmondwike in that time.

“I think the biggest single change is when Morrisons opened. It did change the town centre – it went down quite a bit but it’s built up again since.

“The general atmosphere of Heckmondwike has improved in the last 10 to 20 years.”

Mr Armitage was congratulated on his milestone at the last Heckmondwike Rotary Club meeting by president Mike Lister on August 11 at Healds Hall in Liversedge.

Mr Armitage, who is originally from Bradford, added that one of the main benefits of joining the club has been meeting new friends.

“I’ve got to know an awful lot of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s a totally diverse group of people that meet,” he added.

Member Bill Hofstetter said: “David has never sought recognition for his involvement with Rotary.

“David is a very quiet and humble man and for 50 years has found the time to put service before himself.”

During his second presidency of the group he made Help For Heroes his charity of choice, raising funds for wounded soldiers with regular events.

He said that one of the biggest challenges now facing the group is attracting new members.

But he hopes to remain part of the group for as long as he can.

He said: “Perhaps another 50 years.”