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Pen Portaits

Brian Arnold

Brian’s career has covered Chef, Hotelier and Catering Advisor for RHM foods.

In 40 years together with his wife, Brian has bought, renovated and sold 16 businesses and houses.  They spent 10 years living in the Dordogne in SW of France.

Brian’s leisure activities involve rowing and sailing and was president of the Westover and Bournemouth Rowing club.

Brian joined Paignton rotary Club in April 2015

Derek Brown    

Derek is President for the rotary year 2014-15. His interests include bridge, golf and gardening together with the theatre and films. Derek has been a member of the Club since 2005 and has promoted a number of music events for the Club charities and also an annual bridge day. He is currently chair of the sports committee, which is responsible for co-ordinating the club’s participation with other Bay Clubs in various sporting activities.

He also chairs the special events committee, organising a Brass Band/Male Voice Choir concert for “Help For Heroes” with further events in the pipeline.

Kenneth Browse

Born locally Ken has always been involved in the local fishing industries.  He has several crabbing boats operating out of various ports and for many years ran a crab processing plant on Paignton Harbour.


Kenneth was President 1986-87

Ian Caplan

Ian was born and educated in Kent and at London University before moving to Paignton in 1970, working in the Capacitor division of ITT in various roles.

After industrial experience he trained as a teacher and went into education at a local Secondary school. Since 1972 Ian has been involved in many theatrical productions both on and backstage, mainly with the Bijou Theatre and also as an extra in many TV programmes

Chris Carter

I am married and have one daughter and one son, and also have two grandchildren. Over the years I have worked in a variety of roles, from working for the House of Fraser as the ladies fashion buyer travelling the UK and putting on fashion shows, to managing a Sergeants’ Mess for the Ministry Of Defence.

I also trained in London in catering and worked in many of the large major hotels around London. I have also run my own businesses; a printing shop in Surrey and a guesthouse in Paignton, and also work freelance teaching with the WEA.  I have accountancy training, teaching qualifications and a high level of IT skills.

In addition to being an administrator for a charity, I am also a Councillor on Torbay Council, and have previously served as a Councillor for 8 years in the Goodrington with Roselands Ward. The Ward I currently represent is the Roundham and Hyde Ward.

My interests and hobbies include playing a variety of sports, watching rugby, driving and helping charities.

Matthew Clarke

Matthew is the co-owner, with his wife Sarah, of the Torbay Bookshop with Thorntons, and has previously been in marketing for a number of major UK publishers.

As a new boy in town, back in 1993, Rotary became a pivotal part of his business success and busy social life. Involvement in the community has led to his having been Chairman of the Paignton Chamber of Commerce and the Board of The Riviera International Conference Centre, and current Chairman of the Business Improvement Centre and Vice Chairman of The Palace Theatre.

Rotary has enabled he and his wife to meet  people and go to places which otherwise would not have been possible. Delivering wheel chairs to Serbia was certainly a memorable highlight in his life.

Matthew was President 2006-07. He is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Lee Cochran

Lee is an Architectural Technologist and Surveyor in a long established practice where he is now sole partner.   

He has always enjoyed active involvement in charitable causes.  Joining Rotary has opened many doors for him to service in the locally and internationally. The fellowship within the Rotary Club of Paignton has enhanced his working and social life and allowed him to get to know the local community. He has found the strong bonds and humour in the Club adding greatly to enjoyment for he and his wife.

Lee is Chairman of Primley House Residential Home and a trustee of the Paignton Club. He and his wife, Irene, enjoy regular cruises all over the world.

Lee was President 1998-99. He is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Terry Cousins

Joined Rotary to give something back, and to do good in the widest sense. Introduced by an existing member, the lunchtime meetings suited his life style. He wanted a wider group of friends, and found in Rotary a group of like minded people and the opportunity to help others in the community both practically and through raising money.

Married with three children and five grandchildren, and as a registered nurse, his work has been with people having learning disabilities and latterly as the owner of three Care Homes for them.

His interests include travel, reading , bowls and family matters.  He much enjoys the banter of active Rotary meetings, and was surprised to find that he liked everyone there!

Terry was President 2008-09

Maggi Douglas-Dunbar

Maggi moved to Paignton in 1989, originally from Wiltshire. She retired from the NHS in September 2014 after a 40 year career working as a nurse and midwife in both the public and private sectors. Worked in torbay as a Dementia Specialist Nurse, with a particular interest in  Education. Fund raiser of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Joined Rotary in July 2015 both for the fund raising activities and social events.

Charles Durkin

Textile Technologist /Manager in the textile industry

Technical College Lecturer in textile technology in the UK and twenty-five years’ service in Hong Kong in the following posts;

Hong Kong Polytechnic Senior Lecturer [textiles] and as Department Head the- planning and starting-up of The Textile & Clothing Department Kwai Chung Technical Institute.

Director in Charge of 8 centres for training disabled youths [covering some 80% of all disabilities] for open employment, Hong Kong, [1,200 places of these- 400 were residential]. Planning & Starting-up two Skills Centres for the Disabled 300 places in each centre with a third of these being residential.

Member of the committee for the production of the; “Annual Review of the Hong Kong Rehabilitation Programme Plan”

Member of the Textile & Clothing Training Boards of Hong Kong.

Chairman of the Textile Institute [Hong Kong Section]

Other Youth Activities-Operating a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, Chairman of Youth- Rotary District 1175, planned & started Rotary District 20/20 Devon schools under 13 cricket competition.

Personal Competitive Sporting Activities-swimming, cycling, rugby and sailing.  

Charles was President 1999-2000   He is a Paul Harris Fellow

Graham Eyre

Graham states that Rotary is a founder organisation of the United Nations for peace and international understanding. Our Rotary Club in Paignton fosters the many facets of its ideals through our voluntary service which allows members to put something back into helping humanity both locally and world wide.

Graham is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Roger Higgs

Roger joined Rotary in 1984 and was Founder President of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire. When he retired from farming he went to live in Southampton to pursue his love of sailing and joined Rotary there, and for the last seven years has enjoyed the great friendship of the Rotary movement in Paignton. Roger had the unique honour of leading a Rotary GSE team of five young men visiting Australia on their Bicentenary to study their vocations there for five weeks. Outside Rotary, Roger was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Society for Epilepsy in 1989-1992, was magistrate for 27 years, firstly in Buckinghamshire and later in Southampton, and was Honorary Secretary of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club for three years.

Roger is a Paul Harris Fellow

John Hopkins

President 2016 -2017

John Hopkins is 68 and one of the most recent additions to the Rotary Club of Paignton.

He joined because he felt that he could contribute some time and help towards the principles of Rotary.

He says that he has been made most welcome and is enjoying the fellowship of Rotary.

Richard Innes-Lumsden


Richard spent his early working life as a pilot in the RAF. He then opted for a more dangerous career, namely teaching. When he retired he was head teacher of a large primary school in Paignton.

He joined the club in 1981 and has remained committed to the club mainly because of its continuing support of organisations working with our young people. It has also set up support and help for youngsters with learning difficulties and this is ongoing today.

Richard was President 1994-95.  He is a Paul Harris Fellow

Stephen Kings

Immediate Past President

Stephen Kings taught in and led secondary schools for 34 years before retiring in 2010. He was head teacher at Churston Ferrers Grammar School, Brixham for ten years and Principal of Merchants’ Academy, Bristol for three and a half  years. During his time as an educational leader he became convinced that improving standards of literacy for children aged 6 and 7 was the key to raising achievement for the most disadvantaged young people within our society and has therefore taken the lead in Paignton Rotary Club’s innovative Literacy Project in partnership with Kings Ash Primary School,Paignton. He is also chair of the club’s Youth Opportunities Committee.

He joined Rotary in February 2011 and is thoroughly enjoying its positive atmosphere and spirit of fellowship.

Stephen was President 2015-2016

Michael Kirkham

Michael Kirkham was born in 1951 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and was educated at an all boys school. He left school at the age of sixteen and started an apprenticeship in Engineering. He left engineering and joined the army in 1969 in the 16/5 Queens Royal Lancers. He left in 1964. He then joined the ambulance service and progressed from an out patient driver to a paramedic divisional officer. After 30 years he decided it was time to retire. His wife and he always said they would retire and live in Torbay, with the smell of the sea and have a relaxing life. He then needed something to do like being a member of Paignton  Rotary Club.

He is married and has two grown up children and is the proud grandfather of two girls and a boy.

Mike joined the Club in December 2013

Sue Kirkham

Sue originates from the Midlands and moved to Paignton in 1988 and spent most of her professional life in Coventry working for GPO latterly to become BT.

She worked as a full time Personal Assistant for one of the NHS Trusts in Torbay and has some 40 years administration and organisational experience to offer the Club.  She joined pre-retirement to enable her to find her niche and network socially with what is renowned as a very open and friendly Club.

Sue joined Paignton Rotary Club in December 2014, where she met fellow Rotarian Mike Kirkham and they married in June 2017.

Robert Letcher

Robert is a solicitor whose family has been associated with Paignton since the 1890’s. He followed his father into a local legal practice. He joined Rotary after several enjoyable years in the Round Table for the regular fellowship and an opportunity to be of service to the local community. He has two married sons and two grand children.

Robert was a founder member and one time chair of the Friends of Torre Abbey, one time south west regional co-ordinator of the British Association  of Museums and secretary of the Friends of Devon Archives. He is currently secretary of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and the Arts which is a county wide organisation based in Exeter for anyone with an interest in all things Devonian. He is keenly interested in the arts, history and natural history when time permits.

Robert was President 1983-84.

Nicholas Meyer.

He joined Rotary, 10 years ago in the Lake District and had no hesitation in transferring down to Paignton when his business interests moved. Because he lives in Herts. and works in Devon, Rotary gives him the flexibility to attend wherever he is, which has included Kowloon, HK and the more mundane Bishop's Stortford. He works with old people in care, so enjoys getting away from work on a weekly basis, with the banter in the club being second to none.

Nick’s hobbies include running marathons and doing triathlons, so he is no slouch. The backing of the club has meant that he has been able to raise monies for Parkinson's research. During this last year, he has had illness within the family and has found that the Club has been unstinting in its support of himself and his wife.

Brian Montgomery

Brian joined Rotary four years ago to meet interesting people

and widen his interests, as his international travel declined. He joined the Rotary Club of Paignton because of the friendly welcome, its fellowship and his desire to become involved in community ventures. Brian came from a chemical engineering background and at one time was Managing Director of an oil exploration company that actually discovered oil in Hampshire!

Brian’s interests include sailing, walking and cycling and he still travels for adventure. He believes Rotary contributes to society and is keen for it to further modernise itself for the benefit of the community as a whole.

Clive Morgan, O.B.E.

Clive was educated at Torquay Boys Grammar School, and did National Service with the Royal Artillery in Germany and Hongkong. He was recruited by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and lived , worked and travelled for the next three decades as an International Banking Executive with HSBC in various countries of the Middle East,specifically Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Aden, Kuwait,the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Syria, India, and Hongkong. In 1971 he attended the U.K's Foreign Office Arabic language school at Shemlan, Lebanon where he studied the Arabic language for a year. In 1979 he was appointed O.B.E.(Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to British business in Saudi Arabia. His final assignment in the Middle East before retirement was as Managing Director of HSBC's banking operations in Saudi Arabia.

After retirement, Clive undertook a number of short term banking consultancy assignments advising banks in Eastern Europe and sub- Saharan Africa, namely Slovenia, Hungary, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda.

Having joined Rotary in 1998, Clive served as President for the Rotary year 2003/4 and considers himself fortunate not only in having made valued friends through Rotary, but also in having the opportunity to serve both the international and local communities.

His interests include music, writing (he recently published his Memoirs, 'A British Banker in the Arab World') walking,world travel, the Arabic language and Islamic and Middle Eastern studies.

He is a member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts and Science.

Clive was President 2003-04

John Page

Since moving to Paignton in November, 2009, John joined Rotary to do something different, and where he could “put something back “. Strong friendships have been made, and one or two innovative fund-raising ideas have been enjoyed and borne fruit.

Out of University, John had adventures researching for VSO in Pakistan before a career in retail Banking which included a period of secondment to the Rural Development Commission. Until recently, he ran Pre-retirement Seminars.

Interests include the Theatre, the performing arts, photography and the subtle art of wine-tasting. A family man, Rotary has brought him comradeship, friendly support and the means to help others.

John is currently serving the District as its Assistant District Treasurer, as an Assistant District Governor and is  a member of the District Foundation Grants Assessment Team.

He is also very happily reciprocating a role played by his wife, Marion, during his Club Presidency – namely, the President’s Consort.

Marion Page

Marion trained as a journalist with the Devonshire  Press. After raising a family Marion worked for a local building company. She then joined an international broking company and became involved with computers when the technology was coming into it own and eventually headed up a department covering the British Isles.

Has been involved with the Torbay & SW Festival for 45 years and became the SW representative for the British and International Federation of Festivals and later became a Trustee on the Board of Directors.

Marion joined the Club in March 2014 and is already taking a leading role in many aspects of the Clu

John Pappin.


A recently retired doctor, John had a very demanding job as a consultant, specialising in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine, at Torbay and associated hospitals.  Although very enjoyable it left little time to socialise with non medical people in area.  He found joining Rotary an excellent way of getting to know people of similar outlook through a very friendly Club with an excellent sense of humour and an active social programme involving wives and family.

John is currently Chairman of the Club’s Community committee of which the prime aim is to help and support disadvantaged people in the area, a very busy but rewarding position. A family man, John’s hobbies are travel, golf tennis and music – choral society and saxophone playing!

John was President 2009-10

John Perrett

Honorary Member

John was born in Paignton and apart from National Service in the Royal Artillery and a short period spent training in London has always lived in the town. On leaving school he trained as Quantity Surveyor but soon changed career and entered the family retail clothing business in Paignton. After a period in Round Table he joined the Rotary Club of Paignton. He has gained great satisfaction from community and charity work, both nationally and locally.

Over the years his hobbies have included rugby, hockey, boating, golf and lawn bowling. He has also taken advantage of the social aspects to be enjoyed as a member of Rotary International.

John retired as an active member of this club in 2014. As a result of his services to Rotary over many years he was made an Honorary Member in May 2014.

John was President  1982-83

David Post

David was a professional cricketer and in the winter drove a truck around France collecting wine from the vineyards for Yapp Bros, Averys and Tony Laithwaite.  After marriage he joined Whitbreads,  looking after reciprocal trade with other brewers and training  tenants.

When they disposed of tied pubs, he and his wife acquired the Church House at Marldon and developed the village pub into a thriving business. That was sold and he continued to work in the wine and spirit trade and is a Fellow Member of the British Institute of Innkeepers, Director of business development Devon County Cricket Club, and  Vice President and Committee member of Torquay Athletic Rugby Football Club.

Rotary has always enabled him to maintain his many friendships in the community and to give something back to Society.

David was President 2010-2011

Fiona Faith Ross

Fiona was educated at St.Maur’s Convent School Weybridge.

During the 1970s Fiona ran her own Sound & Lighting company hiring and operating equipment for theatres and television companies.  She worked with acts such as Ike & Tina Turner, Black Sabbath and The Carpenters and on TV shows such as Dr. Who and Top of the Pops.

In the 1980s she founded Herb and Spice, a company specialising in Indian cuisine.  At the same time she arranged Gourmet Tours to India.

She then spent time in Spain and became a fluent Spanish speaker.

From 2008 to 2010 she attended Reading University gaining a BSc in Information Technology.  Much of her time now is spent as a writer and artist, and working as an English Teacher and Business Consultant.

Fiona joined the Club in December 2013.

Adrian Sanders.

Honorary Member

Adrian Sanders was the Member of Parliament for Torbay from 1997 to 2015.

Christopher Sumner

Vice President

With over 40 years in Hotel & Events Management, Chris was forced to retire from Business due to his failing sight through Diabetic Retinopathy.

Still very active in the Voluntary sector, Chris has now expanded into the  Visually Impaired Community and Chairs Devon in Sight; works with Action for Blind in many areas and the RNIB; is a Trustee with Torbay Healthwatch and Chairs the Torbay Parents Participation Forum which represents disabled children and their Parents/Carers within Torbay.

Tommy Sutton-Coulson    

Honorary Member

Tommy joined the Club in 1963 and has remained a supportive and active member since then. Tommy was a G.P. When he joined the Club and remained in practice in the area until he retired.

This year (2014) Tommy reached the age of 100.  He still regularly attends meetings and was made an Honorary Member in 2013.

Tommy was President in 1974-75

Eric Trotman

Eric served thirty years in the Gloucestershire Police and upon retirement moved to the Isles of  Scilly, where he ran a guest house with his wife Rita.

He joined Rotary on the Islands and was President of the Island Club 2002/3. Rita and Eric returned to the mainland in 2006, moving to Totnes where they ran a Holiday Cottage Complex.  

He was ‘kidnapped’ by a member of Paignton Rotary Club and is currently the treasurer of the Club. His hobbies include travel, squash, and motorcycling. He’s an avid reader. He is also a trustee of the Joseph Foundation Charity which he and his wife founded in 2001. They have created an Independent Living Project for a group of boys from  a Romanian orphanage and travel regularly to Romania to oversee the work.

Stan Westmoreland

A Police Officer by profession, Stan joined Rotary after retirement. He has lived in Paignton since 1985 and has been impressed by the warmth extended to he and his wife by the Rotary Club of Paignton.  Despite joining the Masons as well; becoming Master of the Lodge, it is Rotary and its activities that have given him most satisfaction.

In his year as President, he was especially pleased to raise a record sum of money for the Club’s Literacy Project by holding a Crab Supper. As President he was pleased to get to know many Rotarians from other Clubs.

In his view there is always someone who can help out with any problem that may arise.

Stan was president 2011-12


Bryan Wordsworth.

A solicitor, lecturer, and former Round Tabler , Bryan joined Rotary for its welcome, companionship and social side, something for which the Club has always been very strong, and for the many opportunities it offered in community service and also in business.

Bryan served in the Royal Navy, is a family man,enjoyed sailing and skiing and has served as a churchwarden. He has held  many positions in the Club and led its very successful Child Project for children with learning difficulties.  Outside the Club, he chairs Abbfest, a large Beer and Food festival in Teignbridge, and is actively involved in other charities. The Rotary Club is very much part of his life.

Bryan was President 1969-70.

Simon Wyeth