New Members

On 12 November 2013 Paul Kennedy became our 50th member.

Paul was introduced to the club by Geoff Tabbron. He was born in Bradford where he was educated.  From there he went to the University of Leeds and gained a degree in Textile Design in 1957.  During his time at the University he resided in Devonshire Hall.

He then did his National Service where he spent time at the Joint Services School of Languages learning Mandarin followed by an operational year in Hong Kong.

President Nick welcomes Paul Kennedy (centre) accompanied by his proposer, Geoff Tabron

President Nick welcomes Paul Kennedy (centre) accompanied by his proposer, Geoff Tabbron

Following this he was employed for four years at ICI Fibres in Harrogate in the Marketing Division.  In 1964 he was employed by a German manufacturer of Industrial textiles to open up the UK market and spent one year in Germany before returning to the UK.  As a result of this he is a fluent German speaker.  After 20 years as an employee, he set up his own company as an independent sales agency representing several German, Belgian and Finnish companies supplying industrial fabrics (amongst other things).

He was a Justice of the Peace for three years, but resigned due to pressure of work. He  retired in 1999 and now lives in Ilkley.


On 15 October 2013 we welcomed John Hafseth and Alan Wittrick into the club.

Alan was brought up in Norwich and moved to Leeds 30 years ago. He is an accountant by profession and has spent half his working life in the private sector. The second half was in the NHS where he was Director of Finance in South Yorkshire and then Chief Executive in Wakefield for six years until his retirement in April. His wife Sue is a solicitor and they have three grown-up daughters and two young grand-children.


President Nick welcomes John Hafseth and Alan Wittrick while their sponsors Don & Martin look on

John was brought up in Hastings in Sussex, where he attended grammar school. After getting his first degree in London, he spent a year teaching English in Mainz, Germany, before having his first encounter with Leeds, getting a PGCE in English as a Second Language at the University in 1971. Following that, he returned to Germany, got married and taught adults for a further two years in Frankfurt. 

In 1973 he went to Saudi Arabia  to teach at the University  of Petroleum and Minerals and ended up spending thirty years there altogether.  Along the way, he acquired a tiny smattering of Arabic, two children, a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics.

In 2005, he and his wife, Connie, moved to the United Arab Emirates where he taught at the Women’s College of the University of Sharjah for six years before retiring in 2011 and coming to Leeds where he is looking forward to giving something back to the community that has made him and Connie so welcome.

On 17 September 2013 we welcomed Stephen Bates into the club. Steve is a ‘proper West Riding lad’, born and brought up in Huddersfield, and educated at King James School there, from where he went on to Manchester University.  In 1975 he joined the Factory Inspectorate, moving to the Railway Inspectorate in 2000, retiring in 2010.

Steve Bates addresses the membership

Steve Bates addresses the membership

Steve is a widower, with two grown-up children, a son Andrew, 28 practising as a vet in Suffolk, and a daughter, Jennifer 26 who is a graphic designer in Bradford.

Steve wanted to join Rotary as a means ‘of putting something back’.  A working member of Bramhope in Bloom, Steve has already joined the gardening gang at Caring for Life.



On 23 July we welcomed Pranjit (Pran) Bhattacharyya into the club. He is a retired a GP who was active in the local medical committee and was chairman from 2004-7.


President Nick welcomes Pran into the club

He joined Leeds Elmete Rotary Club in 2002 and was their President in 2008. During this time he ran 3 golf tournaments raising about £5k for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

His main interests are golf, bridge and U3A in Otley where he oversees a health related section.



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