A Tribute to Our Founder – Geoffrey Pike

As a keen cricketer Geoffrey’s innings finally came to an end. But what an innings.  

People might say that his greatest claim to fame in the Rotary world is as president of GB&I and as an RI Director.

Those Rotarians with a love of cricket will forever be grateful to Geoffrey for his foresight in creating IFCR - the International Fellowship of Cricket Loving Rotarians.

Geoffrey was a capable man in all the matters he dealt with. His family firm of bakers gave him his early training in that profession and when the Second World War broke out Geoffrey used his professional expertise to prove that an ‘army marches on it’s stomach’ by organising the baking of loaves all over the Middle East and Europe. His many war medals vouch for how close to the action Geoffrey was throughout the war.

After the war he set up his own business in Swanage in Southern England. His love of, and ability in, sport was a real part of his life as was his community involvement. He was a founder member of Swanage and Purbeck Rotary Club in 1959. He was president of his club, District Governor in 1971/2, and then president of GB&I in 1978/9. He then went on to serve as an RI Director and as a trustee of The Rotary Foundation.

But his love of Rotary and Cricket was never quelled and in 1993, at the age of 77, Geoffrey attended the RI Convention in Melbourne. He decided that a cricket fellowship was worth exploring and organised a meeting in the Long Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for anyone who was interested. From that beginning the organisation grew. Geoffrey acted as Chairman and Secretary. He arranged tours with Indian and Australian Rotarians and then oversaw the first World Festival in Fordingbridge in 1997. The second followed in Chennai in 1999 and then the third in Christchurch in 2002.

It was then, at the age of 86, that Geoffrey decided he wanted a rest, relinquished the chairman and secretary jobs and was pleased to become the first president of IFCR.

IFCR was his baby and only a few days before his death on December 26th 2005 Geoffrey was telling visitors to his hospital bed how proud he was that IFCR was now actively involved in seven countries - Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and GB&I. He was also pleased that, from its early days of a few members, there are now thousands participating in IFCR activities.    Geoffrey

Geoffrey was a very capable and likeable man and IFCR is sadder for his return to the pavilion.