A FORMER doctor who was born in India says he is relishing the chance to lead the St Helens Rotary Club in its 92nd year.

Gowdagere Jayaram will by the charity's first overseas president to have been born overseas.

He left India in 1972 after graduating as a medical doctor and practised in general medicine, general surgery and anaesthesia, specialising in regional anaesthesia and pain medicine, before retiring in 2010 after 38 years of service.

St Helens Rotary Club has been in existence since 1923, helping and supporting local and international communities and charities and putting in to practise the rotary international motto of ‘Service above Self.’

Last year the club raised £22,000 for local causes through bag packing events supported by supermarkets, a Santa's sleigh, charity golf day at Royal Birkdale and bonfire night.

The theme of Rotary International this year is ‘Light up Rotary’ aiming to increase members and help the fight against polio.

Jayarem said: “My aim this year is to help us to reach out to more local charities and more charitable organisations to raise awareness of the support and help that the Rotary may be able to offer.

“I will also to work with them to make sure that their good causes achieve the desired result.”

Members of St Helens Rotary Club are already undertaking evening reception duties at Willowbrook Hospice and act as stewards for the Moonlight Walk and for the Steve Prescott 10K charity run.

They have also conducted Healthy in St Helens day and a sports day for disabled people.

International work includes working for the End Polio campaign, raising funds and awareness through local schools to secure shelter boxes to help in devastated areas of the world, support the Water Aid to Zambia charity and Mary’s Meals Africa and the Wheelchair Apple to Africa.

To help them continue carrying out these works, the Rotary is looking for new members and invites interested people to come along for a meeting.

The club meets each Monday at 6.30pm at the Chalon Court Hotel. For further details visit www.sthelens.rotaryweb.org.