Turning 75 may be seen to many as a time to sit back, relax and reflect on years gone by, but for the Stratford Rotary Club, turning 75 means looking to do even more in the future.

Over the last year, the Stratford Rotary Club has enjoyed a new lease of life, resulting in the club receiving an award for the greatest percentage membership increase of Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 9940, which covers the lower North Island, New Plymouth to Wellington, at the District 9940 conference last month.

Stratford Rotary Club chairman Barrie Smith says the increase in members is the result of the establishment of the Satellite Rotary Club of Stratford in August last year.

'The group has been busy fundraising to fund defibrillators for the community to be placed in local rest homes and therefore available 24 hours a day, a goal Daniel says he believes they will reach by this August.'

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The satellite group was started after Daniel Stieller was sponsored by the Stratford Rotary Club to attend the Rotary Young Person Leadership Awards (RYLA), a week-long leadership development programme for 18 to 24 year olds hosted and sponsored by Rotary.

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Daniel returned from this experience feeling inspired and motivated to make Rotary more relevant and appealing to his age group, and started talking with Barrie about establishing a satellite group.

Now, less than a year later, Daniel is the chairman of this new group and was invited to speak at the recent conference in Palmerston North about his experience at RYLA and how he was inspired by it.

Following the conference, the Stratford Rotary Club celebrated its 75th birthday with a formal celebration at the TET Stadium and Bar on May 17.

This event was attended by Rotary district governor Mitchell Brown, who formally congratulated the group on their success over the past 75 years. He also awarded certificates to Barrie, Daniel and Mel Cook, who is the area's assistant district governor for their outstanding contribution to the establishment of the Satellite Club.

He also had a special shield to present to the Satellite Club, the Friendship Shield.

This shield is awarded to the club who shows the true spirit of friendship and fellowship at the conference each year.

Daniel says he and his fellow club members are delighted with the success the club has enjoyed in its first year, and appreciate all the support they have received from the main Stratford Rotary Club.

He says they are also very appreciative of the support they have received from the Stratford community, especially with all their fundraising over the year.

The group has been busy fundraising to fund defibrillators for the community to be placed in local rest homes and available 24 hours a day, a goal Daniel says he believes they will reach by this August.

Barrie says all the members of Stratford Rotary are delighted with the success of both the satellite and main club over the past year, and they hope to continue to grow their membership.

Barrie says they are inviting anyone interested in becoming a member of the club to join them for a meal and hear more about Rotary.

"We would love people to come along, enjoy a free meal on us and to spend a bit of time hearing from our members as to what Rotary is and what we do for our local community."

The meal and info evening will be held on July 12. RSVP required. Contact Barrie: barrie.r.smith@gmail.com or on 06 765 5458. To find out more, like their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/rotarySatelliteStratford or email rotarystratford@gmail.com