History is made in Galashiels as daughter passes on rotary chain of office to mother

History has been made at Galashiels Rotary Club after its presidency was passed on from a daughter to her mum.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 11:46 am
Lynda Stoddart presents her mother Elizabeth Norman with the Rotary chains of office. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Lynda Stoddart presents her mother Elizabeth Norman with the Rotary chains of office. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

In rotary circles it’s not uncommon for mums to pass on the chain of office to their daughters – but it’s rare the other way round.

Outgoing president Lynda Stoddart is well-versed in presidential duties.

She was the Gala club’s president in 2015/16 and again for the last two years – continuing in the role for an extended period to cover lockdown.

Now the honour has been taken on by her mum Liz Jamieson, who has the task of guiding the club post-lockdown.

Lynda, who arrived in Scotland from Zimbabwe 26 years ago and was joined here by Liz a decade later, said: “Liz was scheduled to take over from me last year but I agreed to stay on because of all the ambiguity around Covid. As far as I’m aware this is the first time a mother has taken over the presidency from a daughter, certainly in our club.

"I’ve been a Rotary member for about 17 years now. I started in Edinburgh and when I moved to the Borders I joined the Gala Rotary Club about 12 years ago and Liz joined about three years ago, but has been on the fringes of Rotary for a long time.”

The club has focused primarily on causes close to home in the last 18 months

The Gala club has been busy during lockdown with a number of Christmas events, such as the window dressing and the carols in Bank Street gardens and supporting town care homes with Christmas and Easter packages.

Lynda said: “It’s been very much focusing on our doorstep in the last year. Liz has come from a very strong background of commerce. We’re both from Zimbabwe and she’s had a lot of influential positions when she was there and hasn’t really taken any on since since she’s been in Scotland.

"She has a wealth of experience and it’s now just a question of translating that into activities and making them happen as things are allowed to open up.

"Rotarians are very social creatures and all our meetings for the last 18 months have been on zoom, so we have lost a couple of members who just have taken to that but have also gained a couple of members too.

"We have a great team lined up behind us now for the next four years.”