An increase in membership and raising the profile of Rotary and its work in the community and on Third World projects are among the priorities of Patrick Bardon, the new president of Rotary Clonmel.
A member of the local club since 2009, he has succeeded Gerry Flynn at the helm and says he wants to continue its good work while upholding its traditions and values. A solicitor, he’s looking forward to a busy and challenging year.
The international service organisation has 28 members in Clonmel and Patrick hopes that this number will increase in the coming years.
Locally Rotary’s main project each year is the Remembrance Tree, where people remember their deceased loved ones at Christmas while making a contribution to Hospice.
Other popular fundraisers include a cookery demonstration night in Raheen House, the celebrity chef competition and the annual golf classic.
For almost the past 30 years Rotary’s main international focus has been aimed towards the eradication of polio. In 1985 there were 125 countries where polio was endemic. Since then almost a quarter of a billion American dollars have been collected by Rotarian projects and now there are just three countries where it is still widespread - Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. However a recent outbreak of the disease in Somalia has underlined the need to keep that push going, says Patrick. Another project he’s keen to develop and expand in the local club is support for the Sand Dams project, which operates mostly in Kenya. Sand Dams are a relatively modern approach to providing a clean natural water supply in regions where no water is otherwise readily available.
Originally from Leixlip, Patrick Bardon moved to Clonmel in 2004. He is married to fellow solicitor Deirdre Maguire and the couple have two sons, 5 year-old Darragh and 2 year-old Odhran.