Having turned all of 22 in April 2017, Martin William Judd is believed to be the youngest serving Rotary club president in the world and among the youngest in Rotary’s 113-year international history. Judd was born in Tokoroa, North Island in New Zealand. The son of a racehorse trainer, he grew up in Cambridge and elsewhere in the UK before moving to his present home in 2012. He then joined the newly-formed ‘Manchester Trailblazers’ Rotary Club in 2014 and was elected President Nominee within a year.
Judd currently lives in Oldham, splitting his time between working in the Customer Services department at Manchester Piccadilly’s Waitrose branch, studying for an Open University degree in Economics and Mathematical Sciences, setting up his first company called ‘World Cultures Festival’, campaigning in local politics and — of course — leading his club!
The upside is people want to hear what you have to say. So new ideas can spread quickly and help change the way we do Rotary for the better.
Below are snippets from a conversation I had with Judd when I happened to be in Manchester briefly during my recent visit to London. Attendance at such meetings forms part of a President’s official presence at club activities globally and are considered significant in taking up Rotary’s goals for the purpose of joint action worldwide.
Your motivation to join Rotary?
I was motivated to join Rotary after reading about all the fantastic projects that Rotarians have done all around the world. I also have a personal ambition to help people escape poverty and see Rotary as a vehicle to do that.
As a club, we have set ourselves a few targets:
- To boost our membership
- To raise £2,000 for The Rotary Foundation
- To raise a total of £2,000 for other groups
- To support three local charities and an international one
We are making quick progress on this and will definitely achieve it.
Your club’s signature projects
Currently, our only project is WOW Water, a water project for building pipelines in four villages in Ghana, to connect them to the main water supply.
We are currently developing a literacy project for local schools as well.
Any other priority areas?
My other priority is to help grow Rotaract clubs. Presently, we do not have a Rotaract club but I would love to create one soon. Rotaract is very weak in the UK and needs a big drive to help create more clubs.
Can we work together?
I am sure there is something we can do to collaborate, maybe you have Rotaract in your area and could share some tips on how to get them started.
The ups and downs of being a young president
The main upside is that people want to hear what you have to say which means that some new ideas can spread quickly and help change the way we do Rotary for the better. It is also a fantastic experience in managing people and a good way to grow my skills.
The downside is that some equate age with capability, and believe that young people are incapable of holding high positions, but I am determined to prove them wrong by leading the club successfully this year!
Your message for today’s youth
Get out there and try your hand at something new. If you have grand ideas for change, then let them be known. Tell people about them and do your best to try turning them into reality. Be a person of action; create the change that you want to see.