Anne makes Rotary history

Kirkcudbright business­woman Anne Halliday celeb­rated this week after taking up the reins of the local Rotary Club presidency, the 65th person in its history to do so.

Anne, 64, spoke of her joy at the historic appointment on June 26, which marked the first time a female Rotarian has held the position.

She said: “I’m very proud and very pleased. I’m very honoured that I was asked to stand for presidency and then, when I was elected, I was just thrilled.”

Since joining the club seven years ago, Anne has made her way through various positions in the organisation, from sitting on the International Committee, then starting on the path to presidency as junior vice-president and onwards to her current seat.

She has had plenty of assistance from her husband, past district governor Maurice Halliday, in learning about the role and the responsibilities of club leadership.

She said: “I can always refer back to my husband if I have a problem, or one of the members of the club. They’re always very helpful and very friendly.”

The Rotary Club had histor­ically been reluctant to accept women into its ranks, the only opportunity to join being afforded to Rotary Club members’ wives and only then to join the Inner Wheel group.

Recent years have seen this reversed, as more and more women have been invited to join the Rotary fold and take up positions of leadership.

Now that she’s in the hot seat, Anne thinks the Kirkcudbright branch might attract more women to become members. “I think the fact that maybe because it’s a lady president it might bring more ladies actually into the club. That’s what I’m kind of hoping, that it might open doors and allow ladies to think, ‘Oh, maybe I could join’.”

Anne will certainly have her hands full in the coming weeks with the organisation of the upcoming Galloway ReCycle Sportive event on August 11, and the 5th Annual Duck Race at Kirkcudbright Harbour on August 26.