The club started in 2001 and received its charter in May 2002. Originally with 33 members there are now 65 members regularly attending breakfast meetings and working on International, National, and Local projects in our community.
Key people in the creation of the club were Tony Freeman and Mike Brown:
Keith Hoskins was the first president (so has the distinction of serving for more than the usual 1 year) and the first meeting was in November 2001. Membership is diverse and inclusive; perhaps more importantly than it should be it is open to men and women of all ages. And in truth the lady members provide the real energy and drive of our club.
33 members to start with 7 of which have now served as presidents of the club
Tilehouse is one of four Rotary Clubs in Hitchin and the Club is named after the street in Hitchin where initial meetings were held before we moved to our new home of the Sun Hotel.
Since 2001 the club has seen over 100 different members with a vibrant team of over 70 working for our communities today. We have raised and donated over £258k to charities and organizations to make a difference to our community including Children in Need £11k, Prostate Cancer £36k, Rotary Foundation £25k and over £15k to Shelterbox and Aquabox disaster relief organizations.
Special projects include the Hitchin Trek, Back to the Source; where teams walked the length of the Thames and then a few years later back again:
We are also very excited by the latest initiative to provide an irrigation system for a village in Haiti which is suffering the after effects of the 2010 earthquake and a severe Cholera outbreak
This is our first International project we have organized and lead ourselves. It pulls together all the resources of Tilehouse and utilises the support of RI and District to enable people whose lives have been decimated by politics, natural disaster and disease.
In 2012 to celebrate the London Olympics we organized the Go-Hitchin event with local sports days at Hitchin Boys School, a fantastic Parade through the town centre, Paralympic demonstrations, Sports Village, The Hitchin Hard Half Marathon, Duck Race, Market Place Celebration.
It was an amazing event only slightly inconvenienced by rain, highlights being the visit of the Para-Olympic Torch and the dancing in the street.
Ethos of the club is:
‘Tilehousians’ tend to be people who take what they do seriously but not don’t take themselves seriously so humour and having fun is very much order of the day whatever we are doing.
make a difference, make friends and make it fun
Many of our events involve dinners and dancing and we love to dress up when the opportunity arises:
The challenge here is to partner Tuxedo with frock
There is some evidence, however, that our dancing is not necessarily as good as our ability to wear a tuxedo and or posh frocks:
We can be quite inventive when the need arises; no prizes but suggestions welcome as to what these three were doing and why.
Tilehouse has a tradition of “can-do” and we do try to enable and support each other to go get things done. Nothing that we do is so good it cannot be improved and it is more important to do something than to stand and stare or walk idly by.
We very much encourage new people to join us; you can be sure of a warm welcome. Please do not wait to be asked to get involved contact us here