Undeterred by Covid restrictions the Reverend Richard Baxter (left) receives the chain of office from President Clive Talbot at the Peace Memorial in Fort William on Wednesday, July 8. The handover was filmed and shared.

‘Since we cannot have our normal meetings in the Alexandra Hotel at present, this part of the Parade seemed like the perfect place for the handover,’ said Clive.

Richard explained that the bell-tower in the middle of the monument came from the old Maryburgh Church (later the Town Hall), the successor of which was Duncansburgh MacIntosh. ‘The monument has a plaque unveiled in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and this year is the 75th anniversary of that milestone,’ he continued. ‘It marks the friendship between Fort William, Dudley and Hiroshima, and contains the words “May we all work together for peace and goodwill and live together as one great family”, words that are very close to the heart of Rotary’s values.

‘Finally, the back of the monument has a plaque bearing the words “Rotary and Peace the world over”. It would be hard to think of a more fitting place.’

Lochaber Rotary has been serving the community since 1949, and marked its own 70th anniversary during Clive’s presidency.

Asked about plans for the year ahead, Richard Baxter said: ‘Many of our regular activities cannot go ahead during the Covid-19 outbreak, but we are meeting online, and planning a series of events.

‘We will focus on supporting a wide range of local causes and helping local businesses to recover from the effects of the pandemic, and we will support Rotary’s international work on eradicating polio and a range of other humanitarian causes.’

We wish President Richard well for the year ahead.