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York Rotary's

Community Legacy

photo courtesy of Deb Cammish

York Rotary's Legacy in the Community

  York Rotary has, for 100 years, been making a difference in our local community in numerous ways.

  Some of the specific "physical" projects, with a lasting legacy, which we have been involved in are recorded here...

Centenary Gift      2022

2021 saw the 100-year anniversary of the founding of York Rotary.  To mark this historic milestone, as a gift to the City of York, Rotary members funded the restoration of the 18th century sundial on College Green. 

Full details and photos/video here

Nov 2020 1.JPG

Family Tree Planting Partnership    2019

This "Centenary" project was a partnership led by, and administered by, York Rotary.  


It offered to plant a tree at no cost to the parents of every child born in York in 2018/19.  Over 1,100 have been registered and trees planted on a site off Haxby Road, York.

Full details and photographs  here

Tree planting 2019

Family Tree Planting Partnership    2005

Tree project 2005

To commemorate the centenary of the formation of Rotary in Chicago on 23rd February 1905,  the three York Rotary Clubs developed, administered and managed  the York Rotary Family Tree-Planting Partnership 2005.

The parents of every child born in York in 2005 were offered the opportunity to have a tree planted to mark the birth of their baby. This was done without any cost to the parents because of the generosity of the group of partners who cooperated to support the Rotary project.

All the native species trees were donated by the International Tree Foundation.

The City of York made suitable land available at Monk Stray Heworth and Rowntree Park. The planting was done,  under the supervision of Askham Bryan Agricultural  College staff and students, by young offenders and by volunteers from ITF and the Rotary Clubs. The offer leaflet was designed by Dreamworks Design and the printing paid for by CPRE York & Selby Branch.

The City Registrar issued, with every birth certificate, an application form, to be returned to BBC Radio York for processing by Rotary.

The first planting of 100 trees was at Monk Stray on 23rd February 2005 launched by the Rt Hon  Lord Mayor of York Clr Janet Looker.

300 trees were then planted in Rowntree Park on 9th December and a further 300 at the final planting there on 23rd February 2006. The last tree was planted by the the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York Cllr Janet Greenwood in Rowntree Park.

Over 500 babies had trees planted to mark their birth. No trees are allocated to specific children. Their names are recorded in a Register available to the public in the Central Library and in the City Registrar's Office.

York Centre’s Tactile Model      2001

Minster Model (800x432).jpg

photo courtesy of Deb Cammish

Millenium Project 2001

The bronze tactile model of York City centre, located beside the west front of York Minster, was the gift of the three York Rotary Clubs to the City to mark the Millennium

The concept of such a model for York was that of the Rotary Club of York Vikings, after they had seen a similar model in Munster during one of their exchange visits to the Rotary Club of Munster; and became a joint Millennium project with the Rotary Clubs of York and York Ainsty.

The model, presented to the Lord Mayor on 8th May 2001, was designed by the Dog Rose Trust, an innovative charity which works to make all environments accessible to people with visual and other sensory impairments.


The bronze, which was cast in Edinburgh, is mounted on a stone plinth made in the Minster Stoneyard.  


The £30,000 cost of the project, which took four years from concept to unveiling,  was met by the York Conservation Trust. 

Tactile Model

York Tactile Model outside York Minster

Wooden model from which the bronze casting mould was made

Mansion House Restoration      1999

Francis Drake Portrait

When York’s Mansion House was splendidly restored to its former glory in 1999 on the initiative of the York Civic Trust, the Rotary Club of York as its contribution to the restoration work, paid for the cleaning of the portrait of the famous York antiquary Francis Drake which hangs over one of the two fireplaces in the Dining Room. 

Drake compiled and in 1736 published Eboracum, the first and most influential history of the City. The Portrait, believed to be by Philip Mercier, shows Francis with the two Volumes of Eboracum, which he gave to the City and which remain in the Mansion House Collection.

Minster Gates Clock      1971

Minster Gates Clock

The public clock mounted on the wall in Minster Gates carries the inscription-

This clock was given to the City of York 
in its 1900th year by the Rotary Club of York 
in its 50th year – 1971

It was the idea of that year’s Club President, Vincent Fisher; the cost of £600 being met by the donations of Club Members. 

In making the Presentation on 27th September 1972, the Rotary Club of York President Cy Read asked the Lord Mayor, Councillor Vic Boulton, “to accept the clock as an acknowledgement by each Member of the Rotary Club of York of the happiness derived in fellowship and service and in the pride and privilege we feel in our citizenship of this great City”. 


In acknowledging the gift, the Lord Mayor described it as "most sensible, most useful and a reminder of our ancient heritage.”  

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