Thorns joins in Rotarians’ centenary celebrations

28th July 2009

Thorns Group pulled out all the stops supplying furniture to the Rotary International Convention as it celebrated its landmark centenary.

More than 16,000 Rotarians from all over the world arrived at The NEC, Birmingham, for the historic event. Thorns Group supplied a vast amount of furniture to the exhibition and feature areas, corporate entertainment facilities and organisers’ offices for the celebrations which took place from June 21 to 24.

Contracted by NEC Managed Events, Thorns provided over 12,000 pieces of equipment from cherry oak office furniture, banqueting chairs and tables to a variety of lounge furnishings including the ‘Vancouver’ black leather settee and armchairs, ‘Lorenzo’ brown leather chairs and coffee tables.

Rotary International has more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. The Rotarians work locally, regionally and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace and eradicate polio under the motto ‘Service Above Self’.

Clair Whitecross, Thorns’ Group Sales Director, said: “The Rotary International Convention centenary celebrations mark such a significant year for the organisation that we are absolutely thrilled to have been part of this historic event. We provided a vast amount of furniture to the convention including over 120 settees to the lounge area, which we believe is the largest for an event in some time.”

Among the delegates was anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu who in his keynote speech at the Rotary World Peace Symposium, which formed part of the celebrations, discussed the challenges of peace-building and ways of achieving worldwide friendship.

Other notable figures attending the convention included Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, and Jane Goodall.

More than 150 countries showcased hundreds of Rotary International's humanitarian and educational projects and programmes at the aptly named House of Friendship exhibition area. Some of the activities at the convention included dancers, music, demonstrations, displays, arts, exhibitions, sculptures, a pub and a bandstand.

Thorns Group is the UK’s premier independent supplier of equipment, services and expertise to the events, exhibitions and conference sectors. With operations in London, Birmingham and Manchester, the group acts as a single-source supplier through its Thorns Furniture and Catering Hire, Camden Exhibition Services and Classic Technical Services specialist divisions.

It can meet every furniture and catering equipment requirement, whether clients are seeking tables, chairs, office furniture and bespoke furnishings or the finest china, cutlery, silverware, glassware and linen. Thorns Group also offers plasma screens, electrical fittings and power supplies.

The team at Thorns recently established a stand-alone venture, Thorns Support Services Ltd, to provide short-term staff and longer-term contract personnel to customers including catering companies, hoteliers, restaurateurs, exhibition organisers and sporting arenas.