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Tameside Rotarian prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday and 60 years of rotary service

World War Two veteran Jack Millin, originally from Waterloo in Ashton and now residing in Stalybridge, is getting ready to celebrate his upcoming 100th birthday on May 23, alongside 60 years of being a Rotarian.

Jack has received many accolades during his life of service and achievement. At age 97 he was presented with a plaque by the then Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Janet Cooper, on behalf of TASC  (Tameside Armed Services Community). 

The award recognized Jack’s service to veterans and his leading role in the Veterans in Schools programme.    TASC’s citation includes the words ‘This is in recognition of outstanding efforts, commitment and support to the ex-services community’ and ‘[Jack] has performed the role with dignity and purpose - his sense of honour is a shining light’.

Jack’s military service began with the RAF in 1943, although we should note that as a teenager he was a member of the local Air Training Corps Squadron and the Home Guard.    

Jack  served as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner posted to the Middle East with the 12 Squadron South African Air Force on the B26 as part of a crew of six.  He flew over 20 missions from bases in Italy.

By way of recognizing his service with the South African Air Force, he received a personal letter from the High Commissioner in London. Some years later, Jack organized ‘The Heroes Return’ trip for forty people to the battlefields of Italy. 

Jack’s trade career began as an apprentice painter and decorator working in the family business for 5 years, before joining the RAF; he returned to the business after the war eventually becoming the Managing Director until  his retirement in 1988.

Not one for putting his feet up in retirement, in his late 70’s Jack’s passion for tennis resulted in him negotiating a deal with Priory Tennis Club, Stalybridge, which allowed retired people to play tennis at a reduced rate during the day. The group was so successful that it grew from sixteen initial players to over one hundred. 

In 1964, Jack joined Rotary becoming the President of Ashton Rotary  in 1977. From 1969 onwards, Jack also served as District Commissioner for Ashton and North Tameside District Scouts, as a local Magistrate (serving for a total of 25 years) and as President of the Manchester Branch of the Aircrew Association.

In the 1990s, Jack continued to serve his community by becoming a member of the Greater Manchester Police Authority and Chairman of the Ashton and District Probus Club in 1996. In 1990 he married Vivienne Howard and they remain a devoted couple to this day. Jack’s first wife Mary passed away in 1986; they had two children Anne and David. 

As President of Ashton Rotary, Jack used his leadership skills to help build and sustain the club and took an active role in many acts of community service and fundraising projects.

On the anniversary of 50 years of Rotary service, Jack accepted honorary membership of Ashton Rotary. When Ashton Rotary Club ceased, Jack transferred to Tameside Rotary where he remains held in high esteem by fellow Rotarians.

In recognition of his long-standing service to Rotary and on the 60th anniversary of joining Rotary, Jack will receive a commemorative certificate signed by the President of Rotary International acknowledging his dedication and commitment to the service of others. 

Tameside Rotary President, Steve Knowles, paid tribute to Jack stating: ‘What Jack has accomplished during his lifetime of commitment and service to others is outstanding. He has been a guiding light in the Rotary club for many years and we hold him in the greatest affection and respect’.

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