A FORMER Stonehaven hotelier who has played a key role in the sometimes challenging rebirth of Stonehaven’s outdoor swimming pool has been awarded a top rotary honour
Mike Robins, a past President of Stonehaven Rotary Club, and former owner of the County Hotel, was literally lost for words when outgoing rotary club President Douglas Knox broke the news to him at the club’s recent meeting that he was being made a Paul Harris Fellow, a rotary honour only awarded for very high achievement on the part of a rotarian.
But after he had recovered his composure, Mr Robins, chairman of the outdoor pool’s friends group, told his fellow rotarians that he was overwhelmed by the surprise award. He went on: “Just to be a rotarian is an honour and privilege and being able to serve our community is what we do. We do it because it is the thing to do, but to be recognised in this way is overwhelming.”
Mr Knox said that Mr Robins, was a “very worthy addition” to the Paul Harris Fellowship. He said Mr Robins was a native of Norwich and had spent the last 40 years in the catering and hotel business both in management and training.
In 1988 during a spell working in Stoke-on-Trent, he joined the local rotary club. As a “very active” rotarian one of his principal achievements was to set up a major project to get local teachers involved with the needs of industry.
Other initiatives included input to BBC Radio Stoke and its commercial counterpart and involvement in the North Staffs Special Olympics.
In 1992, he moved to a management appointment at the Stakis Treetops Hotel in Aberdeen and he maintained his active interest in rotary by joining the Aberdeen St Fitticks club.
After taking ownership of the County Hotel in Stonehaven, he joined the Stonehaven Rotary Club and immediately applied his energies in the activities of various Committees. He served as its President during Rotary Year 2007–2008 in which he oversaw the Stonehaven club’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
When, after almost 10 years, he sold the County he had since able to devote even more time and energy to his Rotary work
He had been very active in Rotary International’s polio eradication campaign and he had put a “massive effort” into raising funds and raising the club’s profile locally. He had gone on to organise a highly successful rotary Young Chef competition, initially locally for two years then managed the regional final this year. He was currently negotiating to bring the 2013 National Final to the North-East.