Obituary: Heather Read, Rotarian

Heather Read, who has died after a short illness, was the first female president of Aireborough Rotary Club in its history of more than 60 years.

Heather Read
Heather Read

Heather Read, who has died after a short illness, was the first female president of Aireborough Rotary Club in its history of more than 60 years.

She joined the branch, based in Horsforth, Leeds, in 2013, having been introduced by a fellow member while volunteering in a charity shop run by the Martin House Hospice. She assumed the presidency within four years.

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A seasoned charity worker, she had been assistant head at Braithwaite Special School, Keighley, and a warden at St Peter’s Parish Church in Rawdon, as well as a governor at St Peter’s Church of England Primary, where she continued to take part in fortnightly assemblies. She was also a Community Ambassador and a volunteer for Martin House.

Her first move in taking on the Rotary presidency was to invite as speaker at the annual Charter dinner another female groundbreaker – Tricia Stewart, one of the Women’s Institute members in the Yorkshire Dales who had posed for a nude calendar some 20 years earlier.

One of six women who joined the Aireborough club at the time, Mrs Read was credited with making it more responsive and inclusive.

Her husband, Geoffrey, predeceased her and she is survived by her children, Sam and Tim.