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Windhoek Rotarians make 60

Helmut (Finko) Finkeldey, one of the oldest members of Rotary Club Windhoek, asking other Rotarians to join him in a toast on the club’s 60th anniversary. This legendary charity celebrated six decades last week at a Windhoek hotel.

Helmut (Finko) Finkeldey, one of the oldest members of Rotary Club Windhoek, asking other Rotarians to join him in a toast on the club’s 60th anniversary. This legendary charity celebrated six decades last week at a Windhoek hotel.

Rotary Club Windhoek was established 60 years ago in the same year that clubs were formed in Saigon, Vietnam and in Ndola, Zambia. Chartered on 31 March 1953 it was the first community service club established in the capital of South West Africa. Since then and over the past six decades, Rotary Club Windhoek has been instrumental in providing support to numerous organizations and institutions. This include the establishment, with the support of other Rotary Clubs around the world, of SOS Children’s Village, Herman Gemeiner School and Oponganda Community Centre.
One of eight Rotary clubs in Namibia, support to the community by Rotary Club Windhoek is not restricted to the capital city. Instead, their activities cover the broader Khomas Region. Presently there is a focus on working with young people at schools and at tertiary educational level with the object of helping prepare the leaders of tomorrow.
Internationally Rotary is also well known for its work with the World Health organization (WHO) to eradicate polio. That support has extended to include locally Rotary clubs working closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the local representative office of the WHO.
Rotary Club Windhoek kicked-off its 60th anniversary celebrations with a luncheon last week at a city centre hotel. At the event the club’s current president, Eckart von Oehsen, announced that several club and community service events would take place over the coming twelve months.
Rotary Club Windhoek has a proud history of service, a tradition that continues to this day. Many members have served with commitment and distinction. As an example two generations of well established Namibian families of German origin have been members. The late Piet Böttger, who joined a few years after the club was chartered, served as president in 1969-70. Two of his sons are presently members, with Manfred having served as president in 1994-95 and again in 2008-09, and brother Walter in 1997-98. Jörg Finkeldey, the son of one of the club’s oldest members, Helmut (Finko) Finkeldey is also an active member. Finko served as the club’s president in 1989-90.
Namibia’s first chief justice and a much loved, respected and admired legal profession icon, the late Hans Joachim Berker, served as club president in 1973-74. He went on to become District Governor some years later. Rotary Club Windhoek has produced two district governors, the other Ken Howes served in that capacity more recently.
The oldest serving member of Rotary Club Windhoek is Albi Brückner of NEC fame, who has given decades of service to the club and to the community. He served as president in 1976-77.

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