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Club History

Compiled by Past President Garry Gardner


In 1927 The Rotary Club of Melbourne, with its 37 members, was the first club in Australia to 'be admitted to membership in Rotary International.  Clubs were then chartered at Dandenong in 1935, Warragul 1938 and Korumburra in 1948.


The first meeting to explore the possibility of starting a Rotary Club in Leongatha was held at 11 Ogilvy Street, Leongatha, Hubert Potter’s home. A second meeting to set up a sub-committee was held in the State Savings Bank, Leongatha.  After a third meeting at the  Water Trust Office in Roughead Street and after a discussion and explanation of the ideals of Rotary, a vote was taken with the recommendation that a provisional club be inaugurated, the result was unanimous. The Club was organised on 26th October, 1953.


The Club was advised that a charter had been granted on 23rd November, 1953, with Korumburra being the sponsoring club. The first official dinner was held at the Kiwi Cafe.


The Charter Dinner was presented on 12th February, 1954 in the Memorial Hall; the

Chairman was Ralph Hurst. The Investure of the Charter was done by Bill Birch. The Charter was presented by District Governor W. Eric Stinton to 29 members.


A concise history of Leongatha Rotary follows:


Key to Abbreviations: President (P); Vice President (VP); Secretary (S); Treasurer (T); Sergeant At Arms (S/A); Club Service Director (A); Vocational Service Director (B); Community Service Director (C); International Service Director (D).



1953-54               Ron Webb (P), Hubert Potter (VP), Roy Harding (S), Charlie Edney (T), Arthur Bentley (S/A), Tony Atkinson (A), Doc Bennett Snr. (B), Fred Stansfield (C), George Ormandy (D). 29 members.


First Rotary project was installation of children’s playground equipment and laying out of playground for children at rear of Mechanics Institute in McCartin Street.

May, '54 held joint meeting with Korumburra.

7th June, 1954 had Miss. Janet Johnson, Rotary Foundation Scholarship holder from Iowa, U.S.A., talking on farming, housing and education in U.S.A.



1954-55               Ron Webb -Hubert Potter (P), Hubert Potter (VP). 26th February, 1955, Ron was transferred to State Savings Bank at Warragul and Hubert took the chair for the balance of the year. Roy Harding (S), Chas Edney (T), A. Bentley (S/A), Tony Atkinson (A), Doc Bennett Srn. (B), F. Stansfield (C), G. Ormandy (D). 30 members.


Meeting at Presbyterian Hall, Peart Street, 6.15 p.m., Monday. Hosted the Rotary District Golden Jubilee celebrations. Host to Korumburra, Drouin, Warragul, Yarram, Memorial Hall, 25th February, 1955.



1955-56               Hubert Potter (P), Tony Atkinson (VP), Roy Harding (S), Chas Edney (T), Max Nathan (S/A), Fred Stansfield (A), Harry Cumming (B), Bert Arnold (C), Neil Challis (D). 33 members.


Club helped with establishment of Leongatha Musical Group in June, 1956. They talked about holding Art and Crafts Show. Had world famous naturalist Crosby Morrison as guest speaker Visited Shell Refinery at Geelong for Ordinary Dinner Meeting. President from hospital said a new bed would cost $100 and four-bed ward totally furnished $900. Meals cost 60 cents and Sub $6.



1956-57               Roy Harding (P), Bert Arnold (VP), G. Martin (S), Chas Edney (T), M. O'Brien (S/A), H. Cummins (A), H. Bates (B), A. Nelson (C), N. Challis (D). 31 members.


Talent Quest ran and made $236.74 profit. The 99th meeting had 100% attendance. In those days if you missed a meeting you might get a phone call from President and he'd pick you up and take you to Korumburra for a Make Up. Club helped with formation of Fairbank Young Farmers Club.


Started Woorayl Lodge by buying old Hospital in McCartin Street. Club vote on crucial decision was 24-74 (Bul No. 108). Helped with running Back to Leongatha, Easter '57.


1957-58               Bert Arnold (P), H. Cumming (VP), F. Boreham (S), C. Edney (T), L. Amiet (S/A), A. Nelson (A), V. Knight (B), A. Miles (C), R. Eccles (D). 31 members.

Ran Fashion Parade and grossed $600.


Sir Herbert Hyland guest speaker in October.


Annual subs $10. Club had internal debates. Some subjects, "The White Australia Policy", "Do The People Get Value For Their Money From Council". Both these subjects still topical. Large fireworks display for town on Easter Monday, 6th April, 1958.

Talent Quest, $693 profit. Spud crop, 9 tons 6 cwt, all sold.


1958-59               H. Cumming (P), G. Martin (VP), X Nelson (S), C. Edney (T), C. Blake (S/A), A. Miles (A), R. Eccles (B), L.Timmins (C), V. Knight (D). 29 members.


Harry Cumming was host President for Clubs Fifth Anniversary, Memorial Hall, Friday, 21st November 1958. Had Past District Governor, Eric Stinton talk on Club History and Past District Governor from Korumburra, Bill Birch proposed toast to Rotary International.


Arthur Nelson was asked to address Hobart Conference on Duties of Club Secretary. Arthur did so and the club saluted his honor. Dinner meetings cost 75 cents and subs $4.50. Six Rotarians and four wives went to Hobart Conference. This year was spent mainly raising funds for Lodge. They also had great businessmen in club. They brought large tract of land for $1200 for Lodge. Sold small block off it for $900 net cost. Large parcel of land - $300. This is good business.


1959-60               G. Martin (P), A. Miles (VP), A. Nelson (S), R. Eccles (T), L. Wells (S/A), A. Smith (A), A. Bennett (B), L.Timmins (C), H. Biggs (D). 31 members.


George Martin led the club and really expanded clubs visions. Members thinking about going to First Asian Conference in Japan. They ran first Vocational Guidance Clinic at Memorial Hall. Leongatha's effort re Woorayl Lodge was reported at the Conference at South Melbourne. Also the Woorayl Lodge was written up in Rotarian. Thinking about expansion to Dumbbell -Meeniyan Region. They helped with motor cycle scrambles at Koonwarra, 21/8/60.


1960-61               A. Smith (P), A. Miles (VP), A. Nelson (S), F. Boreham (T), H. Potter (S/A), A. Bennett (A), K. Ireland (B), L. Wells (C), B. Shea (D). 38 members.


Bert Smith was in the chair. This was a great year for Leongatha when both the Woorayl Homes (Sic) and the swimming pool, both of which had a lot of Leongatha Rotarians sweat, opened in December. They also established the playground at back of hospital, opposite Jim Williams. They sponsored an essay competition with prize money of three guineas. They were still growing spuds everywhere including part of area of the now Housing Commission up on the hospital hill. Ran Hobbies Exhibition. Subs cost $9. A group of Leongatha Rotarians and wives travelled to R.I. Conference in Japan.


1961-62               A. Miles (P), L. Timmins (VP), C. Middlebrook (S), L. Wells (T), A. Nelson (S/A), K. Ireland (A), B. Shea (B), F. Boreham (C), B. Head (D). 37 members.


Alan "Jacko" Miles lead the club and that year they had a motion that no raffles or wheels be used for fund raising. Motion lost. Paddy's Market profit $246. Had a guest speaker telling club members to buy Australian to save jobs. Had Mirboo Club's Charter Night, 12th October. After Formation, 22nd June, 1961. Thanks to D.G. special representative Hubert Potter. Club had guest speaker Mr. Alford of Australian Waterside Workers Federation talking about Communism in Australia, Club hosted Japanese exchange student, Takayuki Uno, aged 18. Also "Jacko" went to R.I. Conference in Japan.


1962-63               L. Timmins (P), A. Bennett (VP), N.D. McFadden & B. Gleeson (S), C. Sutherland (S/A), L. Wells (T), F. Boreham (A), R. Perrett (B), E. Smith (C), R. Cashin (D). 36 members.


This year was a year of fund raising for Lodge. They had a great year but turning out to working bees was also a problem then, editorial in John Hurley Bulletin No, 24, 14/1/63 stated


"Members not able to attend working bees should make a donation to club for labour not done." Note on interviewing a past member of this club 1 was informed that this actually happened for a period of time. That year our Rotary exchange student Takayuki Uno won Leongatha Jaycee's Public Speaking contest (he had a unfair advantage - he spoke English while the rest spoke Australianstrine). Club changed meeting venue to "Merrilyn" towns new catering service 10/12/62. Board meeting Nov. '62 went to 12.15 a.m. Ran another public concert and were carting wood to Lodge and gross income from potatoes was $806.00.


1963-64               Dr. A. Bennett (P), A. Nelson (VP), B. Gleeson (S), R. Perrett (T), D. Ball (S/A), E. Smith (A), G. Martin (B), -R. Cashin (C), P. Jackson (D). 39 members.


This year club brought more land at back of Lodge and donated same for building self-contained flats. As well as working magic they contracted "Dante" the magician to put on a show as a fund raiser. Neil Challis and wife went to conference at Lakes Entrance, four days including fellowship for two cost $16. This was the year if you did not turn up for a working bee you paid for labour to others to do your job. In his report President Alex reported, "and although the year was not a huge financial success, the potatoes were good to eat, but financially an embarrassment, and the club had carried out a tremendous amount of work for all sections of the community.


1964-65               F. Boreham (P), E. Smith (VP), H. Dearricott (S), R. Perrett (T), L. Goldsworthy (S/A), G. Martin (A), P. Jackson (B), j. Hurley (C), P. Jones (D). 42 members.


This was the year that Rotaryannes started. Morning coffee, monthly get together. Editors note: -It's strange how the war Americianised us, 20 years prior it would have been morning tea. What a great service to Rotary Leongatha was that year. Bert Arnold was D.G. special representative to investigate Rotary extension to Dumbalk-Meeniyan District. Club hosted Tony Pillay from Malaysia as Rotary Exchange student. Bert and Roy Motton both attended R.I. Conference at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Still had 12 charter members in club. Sent G. Alford as Exchange Student to Waverly Club, U.S.A. Ran a wine and cheese tasting at $1 a head and it was a great fund raiser.

Oh for the good old days!


1965-66               E. Smith (P), P. Jackson (VP), H. Dearricott (S), E. Stammers (T), F. Gannon (S/A), W. Coulter (A), J. Hurley (B), B. Gleeson (C), N. Dean (D). 43 members.


Started Inverloch Senior Citizens Club. Many a local student has sheltered under cover thanks to Rotarians work in erecting sheds at Koonwarra. This was the year that the club started to run in conjunction with Mrs. Linda and Mr. Gordon Watson, the annual Garden Party. Raised thousands of dollars for local community groups. Rotary Down Under cost 20 cents an issue. Club Directors meeting went to 1 a.m. Bert Smith was nominated for District Governor. Club made money selling Christmas trees, Christmas Dinner Dance cost $6.20 a double. Ran town courtesy contest, over 3,000 votes cast and Harold Loftus of Edneys won.


1966-67               P. Jackson (P), W. Coulter (VP), G. Olle (S), R. Evans (T), B. Clifton (S/A), B. Gleeson (A), S. Cochrane (B), H. Dearricott (C), P. Fawcett (D), H. Potter, Advisory. 45 members.


Club arranged for New Guinean teacher to train and gain experience at our district schools. Maleua Aria trained here and returned with books in President Wils' year. That year club had four Smiths, Bert, Erie, Jim and Noel. Algo had trainee student from Thailand on Rotary Exchange. Bullet No. 11 Vol. 42 saw Line Timmins made honorary member. Foster Club charter night was well attended by Leongatha Rotarians on 27/8/66. Club had change-over at Meeniyan Hotel-Motel and P. Nixon was guest speaker.


1967-68               W. Coulter (P), B. Gleeson (VP), R. Johnson (S), R. Evans (T) B. Clifton (S/A), H. Dearricott (A), F. Gannon (B), P. Riseley (C), P. Fawcett (D), A. Miles, Advisory. 47 members.


Financial help to Sale Rotary Club project to establish Hospital Ward at Nagari Hospital, India. Garden Party at Will's home raised $60.00. Club sponsored Alistair Jones and Anne Forsythe as Exchange Students to America. D.G. visit, dinner held at Mardan Hall. Donated $1000 to Senior Citizens Club Building Fund. Text book sent to New Guinea with New Guinea teacher Maluea Aria. $50,000 received as bequest from deceased estate for Woorayl Lodge. Alex Bennett suggested club use Australian flag and a new flag was donated by past president Bert 

 Smith (Had Nationalist in those days too).


1968-69               W. Gleeson (P), H. Dearricott (VP), N. Smith (S), G. Hitchcock  (T), E. White (S/A), P. Riseley (A), F. Gannon (B), R. Evans (C),D. Miller (D), E. Smith, Advisory. 47 members.


Club used to run card nights at $1 a head. Fund raising for Lodge, providing bus shelters for school bus stops. Many of these shelters can still be seen along country roads today, 1 wonder if the students know who built them and set them up.19/8/68 seen this item in Bulletin -Rotary Choir to be formed, see Graham Olle. Bulletin covers in those days had multi- coloured photo of South Gippsland Milk Industries on front 21st April club hosted 17 men inmates from Morwell River Prison Farm for dinner meeting. Bulletin 26/51169 stated guest speaker Brian Fitzpatrick at Apex Combined Service Club. Quoted petrol prices 42.3 cents a gallon and Government to get 12.3 cents a gallon.

Club became 200% Rotary International Plateau.


1969-70               H. Dearricott (P), P. Riseley (VP), R. Johnson (S), F. Bailey (T), A. McAlpine (S/A), R. Evans (A), R. Lundstrom (B), W. Slaney (C), G. Hitchcock (D). 43 members.


This was the year they cleared blackberry brambles from a house at Mt. Eccles, painted and spruced it up and gave holidays to families with handicapped children at the princely sum of 50 cents a day. Ask Wal Slaney about this project, he was in charge of it. Club also hosted 28 children from Sorrento Deaf and Dumb School with a barbecue. Ran a rural night at Dumbalk Hall. Meeting at High School catered for by students, 13th October. Ran annual old folks concert. Five Rotarians and wives attended convention at Launceston, Tasmania. Dinner Meeting. Meals cost members $1.15 and they paid' 60 cents levy for D.G. Dinner.


1970-71               P. Riseley (P), R. Evans (VP), L. Green (S), F. Bailey (T), F. Gannon (S/A), W. Slaney ( ' A), G. Hitchcock (B), R. Lundstrom (C), N. Smith (D). 35 members.


Main project, exchange of Young Farmers with New Zealand Rotary Club of Palmerston North, our representative Richard Jackson and they sent Allan Craig over here. This year was spent supporting many local youth projects and of course Phil's Paddy Market. C. Kelly was our R.Y.L.A. Awardee.. Ladies Night with music, $3 a head. Club still running house at Mt. Eccles and building bus stop shelters. Due to extra building grants our own committee relinquished rights and interest in land at Lodge in favour of Lodge Committee. Club reached 300% Plateau Rotary Foundation.


1971-72               R. Evans (P), W. Slaney (VP), L. Green (S), B. Clifton (T), N. Spencer (S/A), N. Smith (A), F. Bailey (B), A. McAlpine (C), G. Rose (D). 36 members.


Started Rotoract Club of Leongatha. Robert Ashenden was Charter President in April, '72 and in May sent J. Hattam and A, Jefferies to R.Y.L.A. Paddy's Market profit $598. Watson Garden Party resulted in cheque of $1126. To Senior Citizens Building Fund Rotary $281. District Conference in Tasmania last for this District due to the fact Tasmania and mainland to be two separate Districts. Club cleaned 10 miles of roadside from Barnes Road to Koonwarra, 3rd July. Became 400% Rotary Foundation Club.


1972-73               W. Slaney (P), N. Smith (VP), R. Stanley and N. Smith (S), G. Olle and R. Leslie (T), J. Gavin (S/A), F. Bailey (A), H, Roberts (B), B. Clifton (C), A. McAlpine (D). 42 members.


Installed street seats. 300 Senior Citizens attend entertainment and afternoon tea. Official opening of Woorayl Lodge. Raised $2475.00 for medical treatment and travel for Jamie Taylor to New Zealand for heart surgery. Ran several community education ventures. 110 attended a dinner on taxation cost $5. A three night supper series: (i) Structure of organisation, (ii) Leadership of groups, (iii) Duties of officers of those organisations e.g. President, Secretary etc. Cost participant $3 for three nights. Sent two students, L. Knight and M. Keys to New Zealand on Exchange trip and hosted C. Ladyman and E. Longworth. Garden Party $1972. Paddy's Market $504.


* * * *   Note to future Rotarians. This year club posted you a letter to be dug up out of High School Time Capsule year 2012. It contains club report, photos, etc.     


1973-74               N. Smith (P), G. Hitchcock (VP), R. Stanley (S), M. Hall (T) B. Clifton (S/A), F. Bailey (A), H. Roberts, J.J. Moss (B), K. McDonald/F. Boreham (C), R. Cashin (D). 41 members.


President Noel and club dug spuds and raised $780 for Ethiopian Famine Appeal. Meal cost rose from $1.70 to $2. Hosted three Japanese as part of group study tour of District. Sent D. Taylor and B. Hester to RYLA Training Camp. Decided in conjunction with Watson's, half of money from Watson's Garden Party $668 has been set aside to build an ornamental rock pool with running water in the Community Centre Complex also decided to develop what was called Gravel Pit Park to an Adventure Park. This is the park in Worthy Street. Paddy's Market raised $530. Reached 500% Plateau Rotary Foundation Club.


1974-75               G. Hitchcock (P), F. Bailey (VP), K. McDonald (S), Mac Hall (T), R. Stanley (S/A), R. Moody (A), Richard Pegler (B), J. Moss (C), A. Hyde (D). 36 members.

Donated $2000 to St. Vincent's Hospital for a Dialysis Machine and with a two to one grant this meant $6000 to hospital. Donated $1000 to Moonya Committee, $500 to Darwin District Rotary Clubs for Cyclone "Tracey" Appeal. Had P. Reamy here as exchange student from U.S.A. "Club worried about falling membership due to unfavourable economic climate for private enterprise" (Sic) (Editors note -Little did they know). District Conference at Mornington.


1975-76               F. Bailey (P), J. Moss (VP), R. Lundstrom (S), D. Harrison (T) T. Watchorn (S/A), R. Pegler (A), A. Hyde (B), K. McDonald (C), G. Gardner (D). 33 members.


Trip to St. Vincent's, Hospital to see Dialysis Machine donated by Club. District Conference at Albury. Bus trip to G.M.H. Dandenong by Forms 1 and 2 at High School was sponsored by the club. Past Rotarian A. Biggs bequeathed $500 to club, who donated it in total for air conditioners at Lodge. Supplied medical identicards to local chemist for distribution to local citizens. Seminars included small business. Sent three students to New Zealand, R. Binks, 0. Gwynne, P. Muir and J. Hyde to Japan.

Supporting Foster Child "Mardi" in Indonesia.


1976-77               J. Moss (P), R. Pegler (VP), G. Olle (S), A. Hyde (T), G. West (S/A), P. Higgins (A), R. Stanley (B), G. Gardner (C), R. Nicholson (D). 35 members.


Sponsored Phillip Island. Thanks to D.G. Special Representative W. Holtschke. Covered walkway at Lodge. Donations to Neighborhood Centre. Ran safety night at which a Senior Officer of the Department of Labour and Industry gave a lecture and showed film. Many hours were spent constructing potato chip fryer, who knows its whereabouts now? Plus duplicator, gas stoves, etc.??? Garden Party at Watson's raised $2200 and Paddy's Market again raised $1300. Club sent two students to New Zealand. J. Hinds and S, Spencer. Sponsored a Drug Awareness meeting when over 100 persons attended.


1977-78               R. Pegler (P), A. Hyde (VP), T. Rundell (S), G. Olle (T), J. Cusack (S/A), R. Stanley (A), F. Larkin (B), R. Nicholson and G. Gardner (C), J. Van Duren (D), V. Hemming (Youth). 35 members.


Adventure playground continued. Ornamental Pool started. Club sent S. Martin to Japan as Rotary Exchange student. This year it was decided to break a long tradition and not hold a Garden Party, but instead try our hand at a machinery sale. $900 was made and at the machinery sale the club was offered an onion cart by P. Wilson. Club hosted members of U.S.A. Group Study Team, also had Andrew Peacock as guest speaker Paddy's Market raised $1200, donated to many organisations including $500 to local Fire Brigade.


1978-79               A. Hyde (P), R. Stanley (VP), E. Rundell (S), J. Cusack (T), H. Dearricott (S/A), G. Gardner (A), J. Van Duren/R. Evans (B), F. Larkin (C), G. Olle (D), A. Moore (Youth). 41 members.


This was the year of disaster for all the service clubs in town. "Pennygreen" Reception Rooms were burnt down. Most service clubs lost valuable regalia and records. Rotary was no exception. Club had tremendous addition of 13 new members. Dick Watson resigned after 25 years from Charter. The club held its 25th Anniversary Dinner at Dumbalk Hall on 2nd December. District Conference was held at Sale. We sent B. Prosser and P. Van Boven to R.Y.L.A. Camp. Major project was building ornamental pool in front of Shire Offices, which cost 600 work hours plus $1700.


Club reached 600% Rotary Foundation Plateau. Rotaryannes planted native garden at Lodge to celebrate clubs 25th Anniversary. Club hosted Yoriko Sudoh from Japan.


1979-80               R. Stanley (P), G. Gardner (VP), R. Pegler (S), W. Holtschke (T), D. Hogan (S/A), G. Olle (A), E. Rundell (B), A. Moore (C), T. Nettlebeck/G. Hewett (D). 43 members.


The year of 75th Anniversary of Rotary, so club jointly with Wonthaggi hosted combined dinner with all South Gippsland Rotary Clubs. Club also hosted small business dinner with Peter Boschomn as guest speaker. Dairy farmer night re U.H.T. by Bob Wilson. Sponsored two girls to New Zealand on student exchange. Started connection with Daffodil) Art Festival by committing members to support Art and Craft Society with hands on service. Paddy's Market, machinery sale, hospital fair, Christmas carnival, all part of service projects. Received "Rotator" from Canon Smallbone, where is that now???


1980-81               G. Gardner (P), G. Olle (VP), J. Williams (S), B. Thomas (T), R. Alford (S/A), N. Smith (A), A. Moore (B), G. Beasley (C), G. Hewett(D). 42 members.


Club visited Mirboo North Club to present Roly Hill Fellowship Wheel. Where is it now?  Had great father and son night when R.A.A.F Flying Roulette team from Sale spoke and showed film of their routines. Large group of Rotarians attended District Conference at Phillip Island. Raised money from machinery sale, Paddy's Market, Art Show chicken and champers or should I say Spumante. Took wagon decorated to Karmai Festival and Meeniyan Centenary Festival. Had K. Oldham and L. Stephens as Exchange Students to New Zealand and P. Vanzuyden was successful in selection for group study tour of Sweden. Built and supplied double electric barbecue at Recreation Reserve.


1981-82               G, Olle (P ), A. Moore (VP), .1. Williams (S), S. McDonald./B. Weston-Arnold (T), P. Riseley (S/A), G. Hewett (A), D. Hogan (B), G. Beasley (C), D. Ryan (D). 41 members.


How could the club forget this year when Phil Riseley became the clubs first Paul Harris Fellow. Great to see Phil's sponsor to Rotary, Neil Challis present at the presentation-We hosted D. Dorset from Mississippi, U.S.A. and had sent off T. Stephens to Canada. Club ran small business seminar at McMillan Rural Studies Centre. Ran Daffodil Festival Art and Craft Show for the first time as only organiser. Prior to this year it had been run in conjunction with Art and Craft Group. Painted Woorayl Lodge. Started Helipad at hospital as community service project. Many donations to local organisations. Club raised to 1000% Rotary Foundation Plateau.


1982-83               A. Moore (P), G. Beasley (VP), J. Cusack (S), J. Williams (T), B. Weston-Arnold (S/A), D. Hogan (A), R. Matthies (B), F. Shaw (C), S. Colyer/G. Gardner (D). 41 members.


Ran Daffodil Festival Art and Craft Show. Completed Helipad enlarged landing base etc. Club sent R. Spencer to R.Y.L.A. training camp at Raymond Island. Completed painting of Woorayl Lodge. Continued sponsoring youth and again ran and organised U/16 Lightning Cricket Premiership. Welcomed Gail Wannenburg from South Africa. Organised three New Zealand exchange students, J. Bleeser, A. Hasting, J. Oldham. Were again successful in nominating C. McRae for group study tour of U.S.A. Paddy's Market raised $2130 which was donated to the Bush Fire Appeal via Rotary Club of Terang.

Club on 1100% Plateau Rotary Foundation.


1983-84               G. Beasley (P), J. Williams (VP), N. Smith (S), R. Eccles (T), P. Higgins (S/A), R. Matthies (A), J. Cusack (B), R. Pegler (C) R. Alford (D). 38 members.


This is a year of President Gordon and his merry men. President Gordon set out this year with the aim of trying to get the club to enjoy Rotary with the National theme of Share Rotary Serve People. So far we have sent three Rotary Exchange students to New Zealand. The club is presently hosting Gail Wannenburg from The Republic of South Africa. We had over 50 Scouts and Venturers as guest of the club to hear Commander Hack R.A.N. Queen Scout. We look forward to sharing fellowship with you tonight at the 30th Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Leongatha. With thanks to those who gave and loaned papers, time, advice and information. May the next 30 years equal or better if possible the preceding years.


1984-85               R. Matthies (P), R. Afford (VP), J. Cusack (S), B. Eccles (T), L. Sharp (S/A), R. Afford (A), P. Higgins (B), D. Ryan (C), S. Bergman (D). 37 members.


This year the Club lost 2 members but gained 3 new members. Rotary Ball and trip to "Caravan" a comedy show were great success financially and socially. Croquet and bowls club evenings were held plus club visit to Langwarrin Rotary Club. Leongatha Rotary exchange student, Dean Langenberg, was sent to "Kamloops", Canada for 12 months while we hosted Jill Osborne, his counterpart from Canada. Jill and our 4 matched twin N2. students were taken to the Geelong District Conference. Level 2 Apprentice of the Year, Tom Pouw, was presented with a "Certificate of Recognition". Investigations took place into establishing a "Safety House Zone". A very successful Art Show ($2,400 raised) and Paddy's Market ($1,550) were held creating good working bees and fellowship as well as profit. Other activities included assisting Lions Club with Hospital Fair and Apex with the re-opening of the rail service, raising $227 and $450 from these projects. Sadly, the Leongatha Rotaract Club had to close down this year through lack of numbers. Remaining members joined up with Korumbura Rotaractors. Cot Death Syndrome, Jaws of Life, Leongatha Fire Brigade, Rover Scouts, Scout Building Fund, Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul were recipients who benefited from $2,350 distributed amongst them.


1985-86               R. Afford (P), D. Hogan (VP), K. Johnson (S), G. West (T), G. Olle (S/A), D. Ryan (A), E. Rundell (B), P. Higgins (C), P. Coates (D). 36 members.


This year President Ray made full use of the Rotary Diary introduced by P.P. Gordon last year. This proved very successful. Full review of our club finances was carried out and a new method of payment of subscriptions was made, instigated by P.P. G. West. Arts and Crafts Society display boards were painted by Rotary. A new Town Notice Board made and installed in town., Owing to the "Sugar cane slump" in Mackay, 4 students who were considered underprivileged, were hosted and entertained in Leongatha during January holidays; a very rewarding project. Group Study Team from Brazil 23rd -28th February. 35 Chelsea Rotarians visited 9th - 10th November. A very successful Art Show with 449 paintings displayed made a net profit of $2.400. 2 students, J. Findlay and S. Williams, sent to New Zealand. Toshie Yamazaki was our 12 months exchange student from Japan. A. Norton and H. Baudinette presented with R.Y.L.A. awards. A successful Paddy's Market made $3,913.10 with a net profit of $1,450. B. Geary was presented with Woorayl Citizen of the Year award. $500 presented to Worthy St. Park improvements. Work was carried out at Woorayl Lodge and the Safety House program was assisted. A total of $8,400 was distributed to many worthy community projects.


1986-87               R. Hogan (P), P. Higgins (VP), K. Johnson (S), G. West (T), G. Beasley (S/A), D. Ryan (A), F. Rutherford (B), R. Pegler (C), P. Coates (D). 36 members. 2 members resigned this year.


Our Club became incorporated 1.3.1987. Our exchange student from Japan, Toshie Yamasaki, returned home 15.3.1987. Our student to Japan was Sue Williams. 4 students from Leongatha were matched with 4 from New Zealand. They were M. Vanzuyden, L. Atkin, N. Griffiths, J. Oldham from Leongatha and R. Honeyis, N. Williams, A. Carpenter and R. Phipps from N.Z.  Plans for our next overseas student were finalized and Mien Singgih from Indonesia was our overseas student for 1987-88. 2 very successful projects were run- the "Art Show", September, '86 which netted $4,600 and "Paddy's Market", March, '87 netted $3,000; also $450 was made dispensing refreshments at the Air Pageant. The Club assisted in Hospital Fair, ran a Lyric Theatre night, Croquet Night and B.B.Q and Rotary Ball October 31st. On the 4th May, '87, the Club attended the 10th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Phillip Island started by our Club in 1977. A Rotary Lightning Cricket Premiership was run by Club member, A. Moore. Our combined meeting with Korumburra and Mirboo North entertained the Group Study Team from U.S.A., District 454. Working Bee at Worthy Street Park. 100 trees were planted and 2 park benches made. 4 Leongatha students sent to Mackay, Queensland and hosted by Mackay Rotarians, total cost $692. Plans were made for the construction of the "Leongatha Town entrance identification sign. 53 Safety House signs were installed about town. $10,050 was distributed by the Club to a wide range of 15 worthy projects.


1987-88               P. Higgins (P), K, Johnson (V.P.), R. Alford (T), P. Riseley (S/A), F. Shaw (A), E. Rundell (B), J. Westaway (C), R. Pegler (D). 35 members.


This year saw celebrations for Australia Bi-centennial year, Woorayl Shire's centenary and the official opening of the new Federal Parliament House. President Pat's aim this year was to "review and maintain" past accomplishments. The Rotary Helipad at Hospital was completely repainted, the B.B.Q. area was restored and given a facelift, steel storage shed purchased and erected to house Art Show equipment. P.P. G. West organized successful Art Show., net profit $4,000 -the 32nd Paddy's Market also great success, net profit $2,700. 2 great "Rotary Balls" capped off our commitment to "Polio Plus" - some $6,000 +. Rotary helped marshal and organise the float procession sequence for Shire Centenary celebrations. Mien Singgih from Indonesia was our international student for this year. 2 Group Study Exchange members were chosen from this Club to go to the Netherlands. We had 3 matched twin students to New Zealand. Club hosted Pres. Elect Training Seminar. With profit from this Rotaryannes presented Hospital with "Small Change Box" which is placed in foyer. Rotaryannes also donated resuscitation equipment for nursery and Day Centre to the value of $200. Work on town entrance signs was carried on from fast year and $9,095 was distributed by the Club to a wide range of 25 community projects. P.P. Jim Moss was made a Paul Harris Fellow this year -the 3rd in this Club.


1988-89               K. Johnson (P), R. Leslie (VP), P. Vanzuyden (S), R. Afford (T), J. Westaway (SIA) R. Leslie (A), P. Carter (B), P. Coates (C), D. Ryan (D). 36 members.


Membership grew this year from 36 to 40 even with the resignation of 2 members, one of them charter member Bob Eccles. Arthur Nelson is now the only remaining charter member in the Club. 2 local students were selected to attend the "Dingley Great Adventure". D. Slattery and R. Ditchfield travelled with Group Study Exchange Team to Holland (a first for 2 representatives to come from the one Club). District 108 G.S.E. Team from England were made welcome in our area. P. P. G. West and wife Pat with Rotary and Rotaryanne members ran a very successful "Art and Craft Show", net profit $6,000 for the Community Service account. J. O'Connor and his team also ran a very successful Paddy's Market with a profit of $4,000. Pat Coates and team rebuilt shelters for the local croquet club. The "Jamie Taylor Trust Fund" was terminated this year due to death of Jamie. The fund remains in trust to help people in desperate need of medical help. The exchange program was very successful this year with Leigh Mathews sent to Kamloops, Canada and S. Kamphuis, S. Stone and S. Seabrook exchanged to New Zealand. P.P. Wal Slaney was made an honorary member this year (the 3rd in history of Club), the others being the late Linc Timmins and Rod Nicholson. At the end of the year President Ken dispersed $11,479.89 to 37 community organisations, a great twelve months' club effort by all members. P.P. Wal Slaney and P.P. Gordon West were both made Paul Harris Fellows this year, making a total of five in our Club.


1989-90               R. Leslie (P), G. West (VP), P. Vanzuyden (S), R. Afford (T), J. O'Connor (S/A), J. Westaway (A), P. Carter (B), P. Coates (C), D. Ryan (D). 39 members.


This year the Club sadly lost Rotarian Eric White, a P. President of the Rotary Club of Orbost, who joined this Club in 1966, and died suddenly on 10th April, 1990. Thanks to the efforts of President Bob Leslie, P.P. N. Smith and Ted Rundell, the 1st Probus Club was formed February, 1990 with over 100 members. Every Annual Meeting since has been chaired by P.P. R. Leslie. This year the Club also participated in the Australia wide '7rees for Survival" project. 600 paintings were displayed at Rotary Art Show with record sales of $20,400 - profit of $5,200 went into Community Service account. The same account also received $5,500 being record profit from the 34th Paddy's Market. Rotaryannes celebrated their 25th anniversary 2nd October, '89. The concept of a Rotarian welcoming fellow members and visitors to Club was initiated and still working well to-day. The amount of $11,413.52 was distributed in a wide range of 28 community projects.


1990-91             G. West (P), P. Vanzuyden (VP), A. Meiers (S), R. Alford (T), G. Cashin (S/A), J. Westaway (A), M. Winkler (B), J. O'Connor (C), D. Ryan (D). 43 members, including 6 new members inducted this year.


Major projects during year were "Art Show", Paddy's Market, the continuing support of the Probus Club, Citizenship Award Night with 3 people from Leongatha becoming Australian citizens. Community Service Awards to 2 citizens, sponsoring of Literacy Week with an Expo display in Shire Hall, student exchange with NZ (4 students) and with Finland (1 student) plus the hosting of the Group Study Team from Virginia, U.S.A. Community projects included Meals on Wheels, supporting Hospital Fair, Sausage Sizzle and balloons on Australia Day, Xmas town promotion in conjunction with Chamber of Commerce and Talent Quest held by 4 local Rotary Clubs at Wonthaggi Art Centre. A total of $10,831 was distributed by the Club in a wide range of 29 community projects ranging from support for the "Chernobyl boys and girls" program to the Peer Support Program in the local schools.



1991-92               P. Vanzuyden (P), D. Ryan (VP), A. Meiers (S), R. Narson (T), P. Carter (S/A), G. Cashin (A), M. Winkler (B), J. O'Connor (C), G. Evans (D). 40 members. Club this year lost 5 members and inducted 3 new members.


The 1 5th annual Art Show was a great success, organised by P.P. N. Smith and wife Margaret. 630 exhibits, 70 sold for a total of $18,772. Raffle raised $3,370 - net profit $8, 532. Paddy's Market plus wood raffle raised another net profit of $7,920. A special Rotary Committee worked on designing a Prospectus for building a new Tourist Information Centre and $8,000 was set aside for this project. The Shire held a special Naturalization Ceremony on changeover night organized by Rotarian M. Winkler. 3 Community Service Awards were presented. R. Matthies and P. Coates had 100% attendance. Trees for Survival, Australia Day sausage sizzle, Tarwin Scouts Craft Market, Woorayl Hospital Fair, Meals on Wheels, repainting Rotary Helipad and town's main Notice Board, Peer Support program at Primary School, Excellence Awards at Leongatha Secondary College, Xmas Hamper for needy families, Multiple Sclerosis and Huff'n Puff Run were some of the many projects undertaken this year. This year the Club honoured P.P. Reg Evans by making him a "Paul Harris Fellow". Reg was the 6th member of our Club to receive this award.


1992-93               D. Ryan (P), B. Weston-Arnold (VP), K. Johnson (S), K. Taranto (T), J. Coyle (SIA), B. Weston-Arnold (A), G. Cashin (B), R. Pearson (C), G. Evans (D). 36 members.


This year sadly we lost Rotarian Pat Coates. His death left a huge gap in our Club and community that will be hard to fill. 5 members also had to leave and 3 new members were inducted. Land was obtained and the erection of a Rotary Storage Shed was started. 16th Annual Art Show raised $18,620 -raffle $2,754 - net profit $6,300. A great Paddy's Market, helped by the tremendous amount of work by P.P. Phil Riseley, raised a net $9,250. Our twelve month exchange student withdrew at the last moment but a new student will be arriving from Canada in August. We had 2 matched twins to NZ. - Kate Lawry and Cherrie Draper. The presentation of Small Business Awards and the organization of a Small Business Seminar were a great success. Applicants for the Summer Science School in Canberra are being sought also. Congratulations to Kevin Taranto and Roy Matthies, 100% attendance this year. Community activities included Meals on Wheels, Peer Support Program, Australia Day celebrations, Excellence Awards, M.S. Huff'n Puff Run, Easter activities and Hospital Fair. Club activities included entertaining Bangladesh G.S.E. team, testicular cancer talk, progressive dinner, trips to Melbourne Harness Racing and 42nd Street" helped to make this a very successful year. $5,612 was donated to 22 community projects, $4,000 toward Tourist information Centre and $7,390 for purchase and erection of Rotary Shed plus $1,000 to Rotary Foundation, making a grand total of $18,002 distributed; a great year in the history of our Club.


1993-94               B. Weston-Arnold (P), P. Pearson (VP,1, C. McKenzie-McHarg K. Taranto (T), M. Bone (S/A), R. Pearson (A", J. Coyle (B~ F Bright (C), F. Shaw (D). 36 members.


Our new President Basil (who is also a P. President of the Rotary,  Club of Maungaturoto, NZ and wife Judy are looking forward to a busy year of fellowship and community projects in this year of our 40th anniversary.


A very successful Art Show has already been organized and conducted under the able leadership of P.P. Noel Smith and wife Margaret. This show netted a gross total of $19,641 plus the ladies, canteen sales of $411 and a very successful raffle of $2828.

Gemma Zelmanovits, a female Canadian exchange student, has been organized to arrive here early in September. 4 students from our District have been placed in the Siemen's School of Science.


The Club has also organized a student essay writing competition for all Leongatha Secondary Schools, the subject being the "History of our District With several other worthy projects on the agenda, we can look forward to another very successful year in the history of our Club, under Pres. Basil's leadership.


1994-95               R. Pearson (P), G. Evans (VP), Col McKenzie-McHarg (S), J. Dyer (T), P. Higgins (S/A), G Evans (A), J. Coyle (B), R. Bright (C), F. Shaw (D) Membership 32.


Major events. Art Show very successful with a net profit of $6,603.57 and Paddy's Market with a net profit of $5,031.15. The profit included $1,298.70 from wood raffle and cubby house sales. Unfortunately this was the last Paddy's Market that had the influence of our Past President and the Club's first Paul Harris Fellow, Phil Riseley who died just prior to this Paddy's Market.

November 7 ' the Club held the Inaugural Debate between Mary MacKillop College and Leongatha Secondary College with the topic “Is marriage a dying institution?" with Leongatha Secondary College the Inaugural winner. P.P. Alan Hyde made and donated the shield and this Debate has continued on in the Rotary year ever since. The Rotary Exchange students for the year were Thomas Verbeet incoming from Germany and Janelle Malone outgoing to Brazil. On the 20th February, the Club celebrated Rotary's 90th Birthday and topped the night off with President Ross presenting P.P. Ray Alford with a Paul Harris Fellow.

On 18th July, it must be noted that Brian Chapman, Agriculture Pilot was a visitor to the Club. Brian is still a visitor to this Club when he works in this area.


1995-96               G. Evans (P) F. Shaw (VP) C. McKenzie-McHarg (S) N. Dunwoodie (T) G. West (S/A) 32 Members.


Again our two major fundraisers were very successful with the Art Show returning a profit of $4,700.00 and our Paddy's Market returning a great result of $6,100.00. During the year we had some great nights of impromptu speaking organised by Geoff Cashin. These nights highlighted some special skills of our Club. Other Club activities were Meeniyan Bowls Club night and BBQ. Leongatha Croquet Club night and BBQ. Christmas Dinner at the RSL.  Combined meetings with Inverloch and Wonthaggi Clubs also with Leongatha Lions Club to raise funds for Seeing Eye Dogs Appeal.  Student Exchanged saw Janelle Malone arrive home from Brazil and we hosted Akemi Matsura from Japan. Also $5,000.00 added to the Tourist Stop Fund.


1996-97-             F. Shaw (P) M Winkler (VP) C. McKenzie-McHarg (S) N. Dunwoodie (T) K. Howard (S/A) 30  Members.


Another successful year in the History of our Club.  Of course our Art Show and Paddy's Market were again very profitable and achieved a great deal of fellowship amongst our club.  A good night was had by all at our Bus Trip to Sunset Boulevard Show in Melbourne and also at the Progressive Dinner Bus Trip night at various Rotarians Homes. A great highlight was the presentation of a Paul Harris Fellow to Past President Pat Higgins.  Some other club activities were Youth Career and Vocation awards.  Summer Science School promotion. The Great Debate Leongatha Secondary College v Mary MacKillop College.  Leongatha Secondary College were the Winners. Youth Exchange.  Akemi Matsura returning home to Japan and Tanya Polleti from Fish Creek left for Zimbabwe.


1997-98               M. Winkler (P) R. Bright (VP) G. Beasley (S) Bob Leslie (T) G. Evans (S/A) 29 Members.


Art Show and Paddy's Market very good again with results of $5,200.00 Art Show and $3,800.00 Paddy's Market.  Noel Smith (Art Show Director) awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for his many years of Rotary Service. We held an Employment Seminar at the Leongatha Secondary College for year 10 students.  This was very well received by both students and teachers.  Donated $1,000.00 towards Blind Student Chris Bailey's trip to Hurstville Alabama USA for space program education. Another 2 great Community Projects were the painting of old Courthouse and painting of Gates at Leongatha Showgrounds. Other Club Activities included Progressive Dinner via Coach, Children's Christmas party, Woodcutting BBQ nights, welcomed three new members, Promotion of Medi-Alert Program, Purchased Tandem Trailer for our club use.  Transferred $8,500.00 to Tourist Stop Fund.


1998-99               R. Bright (P) C. McKenzie-McHarg (VP) R. England (S) B. Leslie (T) G. Beasley (S/A) 28 Members.


Again a busy year for our club.  Three members travelled to Bairnsdale to assist with Flood Relief work. Art Show and Paddy's Market once again successful with Paddy's Market revenue down slightly due to lack of donated goods for sale.  International Service Proved to be very active this year with Neil Langstaff returning from GSE exchange in Germany and Nick Dudley being selected to GSE team for trip to England.  Hosted Atsuro Tanaka from Japan for 12 months and selected Kirsten Mee for 12 month exchange to Sweden.  Tanya Polleti from Fish Creek spoke to the Club on her recent 12 month exchange in Zimbabwe.  Other Club activities were Hosted 5 couples on Friendship Exchange from Colorado USA.  Assisted with City Link opening in Melbourne.  Schools Debate Night. Justine Schellekens from Mary MacKillop College attended Siemens Science School.  Bowls night at Meeniyan.  Rotary Great Industrial Experience program.


1999-2000           C. McKenzie-McHarg (P) P. Carter (VP) R. England (S) B. Leslie (T) G. Evans (S/A) 39 Members.


Art Show and Paddy's Market once again proving a good income source for our Club. Art Show $4,700.00, Paddy's Market $2,300.00. A great year for new members, Club inducted 7 new members.  Nick Anagnostou, Paul Beck, Col Byatt, Michael Delaney, Nick Dudley, Neil Langstaff and Michael Malone.  Kirsten Mee returned from 12 month exchange in Sweden. Had a very successful Combined Services Dinner with approximately 120 people in attendance. Other Club activities were Men’s Health Night, Bowling night and BBQ at Meeniyan. Wood cutting and BBQ nights, Bowel Scan Program. District Conference at Geelong.  Schools Debate, Christmas Break up Party at Kev Taranto's Farm, Paul Harris Fellowship presented to Ron Stanley for service to Rotary and the community.


2000-01               P. Carter (P) D. Ryan (VP) N. Langstaff (S) M. Westaway (T) M. Oliver (S/A) 38 Members.


Erection of toilet block at Tourist Information Stop. First female Member Jill Carmody inducted to Club, and two other new members Stuart Evans and John Mackie.  Art Show moved to Memorial Hall and was a success. First manpower raffle organised and raised $1,800.00. 45th Paddy's Market again a good income raiser for our Club We sent Tony Jackson on 12 month exchange to Sweden.  Also Kim Gilliland was part of the GSE Team to India and participated in New Zealand twin programme with Karly Larkin from Leongatha and Odette Arthurs from New Zealand. Also organised welcome home party for GSE team returning from India. Other activities included Lawn Bows Night at Meeniyan, Croquet Night at Leongatha, Second Year of Bowel Scan Programme.  Family Christmas Party.  Catering at Winkler's Clearing Sale.


2001-02               D. Ryan (P) G. Templeton (VP) N. Langstaff (S) M. Westaway (T) M. Oliver (S/A) 42 Members.


Continuation of Toilet and Information Stop Project.  Many Social events at President Dennis and Jill Ryan's house with the last gathering raising $320.00 for Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal. Welcomed 3 new Members to our Club Meg Riseley, Kerry Pritchard and Martin Scrimshaw. Again a very successful art Show and Paddy's Market.  Returning a great financial result for our club.  Held a Community Health Night with topics covered Diabetes and Skin Cancer. Sent 4 Students to the RYPEN Camp.  Our 12 Month exchange programme was very busy with Tony Jackson arriving home from Sweden and we welcomed Louise Dubois from Belgium for 12 months and selected Sarah Lawry to be our next outbound student to Canada. Other activities included Combined Rotary Meeting with Foster Club and GSE Team. Bowls Night at Meeniyan. Wood Raffle at Leongatha Show. Australia Day Celebrations. Repaint Helipad at Hospital, Bowel Scan Programme, Children's Christmas Party at McIndoe Park.


2002-03               G. Templeton (P) K Taranto (VP) N. Langstaff (S) M. Riseley (T) C. Byatt (S/A) 38 Members.


A Busy year with Richard Pegler and Ron Stanley organising another successful Art Show and also the Clubs 48th Paddy's Market was a financial boost to our club funds.  Louise Dubois returned to Belgium, Sarah Lawry left for 12 months exchange to Canada and Daniel Langstaff selected for next years exchange.  Another great Debate Night with Leongatha Secondary College winning the trophy back after 4 years losing to Mary MacKillop College. District Conference in Geelong and Rotarian Michael Malone took part in the Ride to Conference and his efforts in fundraising produced in excess of $4,000.00 for Drug Addiction Programs.  The year ended at changeover night with a presentation of a Paul Harris Fellowship to Past President Dennis Ryan.  Other Club activities included Wood Cutting and BBQ at Ross Pearsons.  Children's Christmas Night at McIndoe Park, Bowel Scan Program. Bowls Night and BBQ at Meeniyan.


2003-04               Kevin Taranto (P),  Jill Carmody (S), Stuart Evans (T), Meg Riseley (PE and Club Service), Gary Templeton [Immediate PP],  Paul Beck (Vocational SD) Michael Westaway (S/A), Michael Malone (International SD), John Mackie (Community SD) 39 Members


This year was approached with much anticipation, as Kevin [Tonto] Taranto, and Leanne, had already been having a very positive influence on the club for some time.

An inspired selection right at the start was Col McKenzie-McHarg as the bulletin editor.  This bought an eloquence and turn of phrase to the club, which to say the least was a little “different”, for instance I quote the following: “relaxed affair the last meeting I must say - got off to a late start, and finished up early. The middle was a bit all over the place dog’s breakfast affair”.


Student exchange was well and truly on the agenda, Daniel Langstaff left for Switzerland and we welcomed Franzi Schumacher from Germany. Another returning student was Sarah Lawry who had been in Canada.


We participated in the RYPEN seminar at Forest Edge, the students were, Rachel Harley, Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College, and Garry Bethune and Amanda Lucas, from the Secondary College.


We had several long serving Rotarians who retired this year [not Pres Kevin’s fault!]. They were PP Phil Carter [Pres 2000 -01], PP PHF Pat Higgins [Pres 1987-88], PP Bob Leslie [Pres 1989-90], and PP PHF Noel Smith [Pres 1973-74], a lot of experience lost.

On the other hand we welcomed the induction [again] of John O’Connor [Real Estate]

This was our 1st ride to conference [Bendigo]; Pres Kev and Michael Malone represented our club. Overall, the ride raised $6,000, for the Life Education Program. Speaking of rides, bit hard to beat Lindsay Powney, who rode a postie bike from Brisbane to Darwin! Michael Malone made an application for GSE Team Leader to Alabama, Michael was not successful, but he learnt a lot for his next try.   


 We all were on deck for the 48th Paddy’s Market, but it is getting harder to acquire goods of value.


The art show was run and won again. Total receipts for the night were $15,213.  $6,800 was transferred to the club.  We continued to support the Shires Australia Day program, by setting up chairs / stage etc. and also providing the public address system.

This year being our 50th anniversary, a very busy committee worked to ensure a great night was had by all. Guest speaker was Dr. Peter Love, from Swinburne University.

Pres Kev and Leanne hosted a very enjoyable Children`s Christmas Party. Santa [Lindsay] arrived by Harley Davidson, quite a sight to hear!


Some worthwhile progress was made to the tourist stop over several working bee`s, and we had a very productive wood cutting arvo in John Mackie`s back paddock.



2004 –05                   Meg Riseley (P)  Michael Malone (PE & Club Service),  Jill Carmody (S)  Stuart Evans (T), Kevin Taranto (Immediate PP) , Michael Westaway, (Intl SD) Lindsay Powney (S/A), John Mackie(Comm SD)  Michael Delaney (Voc SD). 36 Members

Our first and to this time, only lady President, Meg is the daughter of the legendary PP, PHF, Phil Riseley, who was our first Paul Harris Fellowship Awardee.

Meg had aimed to complete the toilet stop, but for various reasons this did not occur.

Two members were called to higher service, they were PP Roy Matthies [Ret], and Rotarian Geoff Cashin.


$7000 was raised at the Annual Art Show, but Paddy’s Market struggled, only raising $778, the wood raffle on the other hand, raised $1472! Community director John Mackie presented a cheque for $2250 to the club.


We had several joint club events, most notably at Wonthaggi to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Rotary.


The Club maintained our involvement with student exchange, sponsoring 1 outbound and 1 inbound student. We also had 3 students attend the RYPEN weekend at Forest Edge.


2005-2006               Michael Malone (P), Stuart Evans (Club Service & PE) Jill Carmody (S), Don Bruce (T), PP Meg Riseley (Immediate PP) PP Kev Taranto (Community SD), Michael Westaway (International SD) Michael Delaney (Youth SD) Nick Dudley (S/A), Col Byatt [Vocational SD & Ride to Conference]. 35 Members


This year had a very sombre start as incoming President Michael lost his wife Rhonda to cancer in the days before the changeover. It was Rhonda’s wish for Michael to continue with Rotary so he did. Surrounded by his family, Michael took office in memory of Rhonda, who had been his biggest supporter [in everything he had done].

Michael instigated the Sunday market. Driven by John Mackie, this was expected to gather momentum. Despite our best efforts, this did not prove to be the case, however $5,244 was raised over the year.


A Melbourne Cup function at Eugenie’s was a great success; this was an event close to Rhonda’s heart.


$6,352 was raised for an oxygen pump unit at the Palliative Care unit at the Southern Health Service


The Annual Art Show was our best fund raiser, with $9,180 going into our coffers.

Michael M is a great supporter [now director] of Gippsland Rotary Centenary House, and this club donated $14, 049 to the start of the project.


This was a busy Rotary year for student exchange: we welcomed Elliott Dearman back from Sweden, farewelled Rebecca Dutton to Germany, and selected Grace Collins for exchange to Brazil [In Jan 07]. Daniela Peier returned to Switzerland and our next incoming student is Marie Guillemain from France.


Youth Services were very busy, with involvement in the Secondary Schools Debate, National Youth Science Forum, RYPEN, and MUNA.


Our Ride to Conference team of Michael Malone, Kevin Taranto, Kerry Pritchard, Stuart Evans, and Col Byatt, raised $6,500.


2006-2007               Stuart Evans (P), Neil Langstaff (Club SD & PE), PP Michael Malone (Immediate PP), Nick Dudley (S), Don Bruce (T), PP Kev Taranto (Comm SD), Col Byatt (Intl SD), Michael Westaway (Voc’l SD), Bruce Grainger (S/A). 35 Members


The club distributed over $19,650 this year and had an interesting program.

The Art Show was again the biggest fund raiser of the year, followed by our Cup Day at Eugenie’s [$3,500], again the proceeds going to palliative care.


2007 was our inaugural “Show & Shine” event, which was a hint of bigger and better things to come.


New members were Gordon Morrison [Finance Manager], Helen Barrow [Pharmacist], and retiring members were PP Roy Bright, Rotarians Kevin Howard, Martin Scrimshaw, and June Alexander.


This year, 2 Paul Harris Fellowships were conferred on PP Richard Pegler and PP Garry Gardner. Before the year was out, we mourned the passing of long serving member, PP [1977-78], PHF, Richard Pegler, a friend to all, including your author.


It is not often that someone from “Head Office” talks to the club in person, but we were able to have a talk from Carrie Charles who was at that time, Don Bruce’s future Daughter in Law. Carrie was an employee of Rotary International in Chicago USA.

Carrie and Dan are now happily married and ensuring the family business continues.

PP Michael Malone had the honour of leading the District GSE team to Wichita Kansas USA.


Student exchange remained large in the clubs program: we hosted Marie Guillemain from France. Bec Dutton returned from Germany and Grace Collins is in Brazil.


2007 – 2008               Neil Langstaff (P), Nick Dudley (S), Gordon Morrison (T), PP Stuart Evans (Immediate PP), John O’Connor (Club SD & PE), PP Kev Taranto (Community SD), Col Byatt (Intl SD), PP PHF Garry Gardner (Vocational SD). 32 Members.


Pres Neil listed the many and varied projects and involvements over the year:

Meals on wheels, Art Show, Melbourne Cup Day, Show & Shine, Leasing out Hessian Screens, Men’s Health Night, Corks for Motor Neurone Disease, Bowel Scan Project, Collect/Cut firewood, Building a Raised Garden at the Gray St Special Accommodation Center, Attend District Conference, Newsletter, Fellowship, Family Nights, Interesting Guest Speakers, Visits to The RACV at Inverloch and Mirboo Nth Brewery, Continued interest in the Secondary Schools Debate, and vigorous participation in Youth exchange, RYPEN, and Youth Science Awards.


$28,474 was raised from all sources, to support club projects.

Our incoming International exchange student was Amanda Nelson, from Moscow Idaho USA, outgoing was Ellie Thwaites, who departed for Oberland Switzerland.

The annual Secondary Schools Debate was won by Mary MacKillop Catholic RC.

This was the year we first looked into the possibility of creating new committee structures going forward. This was led by Pres Elect John O’Connor and his team.

The Art Show, Cup Day @ Eugenie’s, and Show & Shine, were again the major fund raisers for the year.


2008-2009               John O’Connor (P), Helen Barrow (S), Gordon Morrison (T), PP Neil Langstaff (Immediate PP), Col Byatt (Int SD & Membership), PP Ross Pearson (Rotary Foundation), Bruce Grainger/Michael Delaney (Club Administration & PE), PP Kevin Taranto (Service Projects), PP Col McKenzie-McHarg (S/A) with Michael Westaway as Assistant. 28 Members


Two incoming presidents? This was due to 1st nominated president Michael Delaney having to resign the position due to work commitments. Fortunately at short notice, a very worthy replacement in the shape of Bruce Grainger agreed to take the position.

This year saw the introduction of the “Club Leadership Plan” which went smoothly, thanks to much forward planning and the goodwill of members.


An innovation this year was the exciting “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” fund raisers.

Our regular “Money Makers” all were well run and some additional events were a fund raising dinner for Polio Plus, the Christmas Toy Appeal, Combined meetings with the Rotary Club of Foster and the Lions Club of Leongatha.


We also assisted Red Cross to cater for fire fighters at Mirboo Nth during the bushfire emergency.


Unfortunately we had a net loss of members this year due to some retirements and not enough new members. At the end of the year the club had 27 members.

Ellie Thwaites has returned from Switzerland and Tom Dudley is preparing for his trip to Europe. Special effort went into publicity this year; the intention being to raise the public profile of the club.


The Secondary College Debate was well contested with Leongatha Secondary College winning.  Fellowship at club meetings and gatherings has been a feature this year.

The bulletin has maintained a high standard, which continued during the smooth changeover from ‘’His Honour’’ Col McKenzie-McHarg, to ‘’Justice’’ Bruce Grainger. The inclusion of “Candid Camera” photo`s on a regular basis has brightened up the publication, law suits are pending. The club raised $42,834 gross during this year.


2009 – 2010               Bruce Grainger (P), Kerry Pritchard(S), Gordon Morrison (T), PP John O’Connor (Immediate PP), Col Byatt (Club Administration & PE), PP Col McKenzie-McHarg (Membership & S/A), Jill Carmody (Service Projects SD), PP Ross Pearson (Rotary Foundation SD),  Michael Malone (Public Relations SD). 27 Members


Perhaps the highlight, or most significant event of the year, was the induction of 7 high quality members in Kerrie Baker [Insurance], Philip Butte [Hotel Management], Ed Carmody [Travel Consultant], Jim McNiven [Automotive Parts/Accessories Retailer], Lindsay Moore [Veterinary Services & Geelong Supporter!], Danny O’Neill [Accountant], and Kerry Thornton [Business Proprietor].


This year also saw two more inductees as Paul Harris Fellows, when PP Ross Pearson and PP Col McKenzie-McHarg were honored by the club..


The enthusiasm generated by the new blood, coupled with the implementation of the “Club Leadership Plan” by PP Gary Templeton, really kept the club on its toes.


This was also the start of the “Gallipoli Project” which involved the selection of 3 students to attend the Anzac dawn service in Turkey, being hosted by Turkish families and then a return visit to Australia by Turkish Students, with their teachers. The local RSL was, appropriately, also involved in helping fund the project. The project was embraced by the whole club, while being driven specifically by Col and Barb Byatt.

Some innovations were a BBQ at Mossvale Park to start the year and a President’s Cocktail Party to end the year.


A special night was run at the Mardan Hall as a fundraiser for the Gallipoli project.

A great supporter of our club is Carmel Slater, who again staged a concert at the Celia Rosser Gallery, Fish Creek.


A re-designed, re-invigorated and re-named “Prom Country Arts Show" was a success and the “Show & Shine” continued to grow.


2010 – 2011               Col Byatt (P) , Kerry Pritchard (S), Gordon Morrison (T), PP Bruce Grainger (Immediate PP), Paul Beck (Club admin & PE)], Kerrie Baker (Public Relations SD), PP Kevin Taranto (Service Projects SD), PP PHF Ross Pearson (Rotary Foundation), PP PHF Col McKenzie-McHarg (Membership SD), Ed Carmody (S/A). 33 Members.


This year, the club’s strategic plan was implemented. This was driven by Gary Templeton with input from current directors and past presidents. Membership has now grown to a very healthy 39 by the end of the Rotary year. New members Leonnie McCluskey [Education – Primary], Shirley Seabrook [Agricultural Consultant], Taehee Lee [Dental Surgeon], Harry Leggett [Manufacturing], Kaz Hughes [Real Estate Sales] and Sue Dutton [Nursing Services] were welcomed to the club.


Thanks to the efforts of Kerrie Baker and Phil Botte the club has its own website, and we are being dragged kicking and screaming into the “E” ways of the 21st century.

Fund raising was up by $20,000 on last year, thanks to the usual events i.e., a “Hard Day’s Night” Dinner Auction, a lot of work for the committee, but a great result.

Student exchange continues with Tom Dudley back from Switzerland and Abby Butler off to the USA. Thilo Schweizer from Switzerland is making his mark on the Leongatha community. RYPEN, MUNA, RAIC, and the Secondary Schools Debate all continued, with Leongatha Secondary College winning the debate.


We met with the Rotary Club of Korumburra to hear the story of the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant and everybody can make up their own mind on that one!

$31,000 has been distributed this year, notably $10,000 to the town of Charlton, which had been badly hit by floods. The Gallipoli project continues to gather strength, as it continues to garner support from the schools and the RSL.


Our secretary was being swamped by emails from many sources, not the least of which was the district. Such is the new “E” world. We had enjoyable outings such as visiting “Bellevale Winery”, Christmas break up at the McKenzie-McHarg's, a working bee and BBQ at the Rotary Shed and fellowship at Kerry Thornton’s.


“New” member Ed Carmody proved to be a very effective Sergeant at Arms. Instigated by Pres Col, each 5th Monday of a month we enjoyed social dinner away from our usual venue, such as “The Manna Gum”, ‘Thornton’s”, “Bellevale Winery” and McCartin's Hotel.

The 2010 – 2011 annual report also contains a very detailed story on the Turkish Exchange by Rtn Leonnie McCluskey.


2011 – 2012              Paul Beck (P), Kerry Pritchard (S), Gordon Morrison (T), PP Col Byatt (Immediate PP), Nick Dudley (Club Administration & PE), Daniel O’Neill (Service Projects SD), Kerrie Baker (Public Relations SD), PP PHF Col McKenzie-McHarg (Membership SD), Ed Carmody (Rotary Foundation SD), Jim McNiven (S/A). 39 Members


President Paul and his team led the club through a very successful year and fellowship was a highlight. The club was described at district level as vibrant, and a definite buzz was evident at meetings. The club’s strategic plan continued, and we were within reach of several of the goals in the Five Year Plan. The membership of the club at the end of the Rotary year is now 43, with 6 new members: Christine McDonald [Company Manager], Barry Paterson [Media Broker], John Ellis [Winemaker], Tim Marriot [Machinery Retailer], Jo White [Aged Care Management], and Alan Bartlett [Real Estate Sales]. We also reluctantly accepted the retirement of PP PHF Ron Stanley, a member for some 40 yrs. Over 3 years our membership has increased by 16, and this was recognized by the district, who presented the club with a citation for “Highest Membership Growth 2008 – 2012”. At Conference the District also awarded the club with the “Highly Commended Website”. Thanks to Kerrie Baker and Phil Botte.

Our “MUNA” team was selected to compete in the Canberra final. They did not win but gave it a good try. The Turkish exchange continued to gather strength and popularity under the guidance of Leonnie and her “apprentice", Shauna.


We welcomed Leonie Albers from Germany for a 12 month exchange, Abby Butler returned from the USA, and Libby Panther departed for Switzerland.

Our 3 main projects have been successful, that is, the “Prom Country Art and Photography Show”, The “Saturday Night Live” Supper Dance and the “Show & Shine”. Net profit was approx. $34,000 from these events alone.


Other notable fund raisers were the concert at the Celia Rosser Gallery Fish Creek, organized by Carmel Slater, “Hot November Night” put on by Korumburra Rotary Club and PP PHF and OAM Bill O’Neill, “Red Dog” film night organized by Kerrie Thornton and Marg Beck. Very welcome funds continued to flow from Nick Anagnostou's “Gold Coin” donation Jar, for his JP work.


This year the Jamie Taylor Trust set up in 1972 as a Benevolent Fund for his medical costs was wound up.  It had been used through the years to support others with donations for medical costs. $11,595 was divided between ROMAC, Interplast, and the Kelly Richards Family Trust. Our Mental Health Awareness Night, “Hats Off to Good Mental Health” was a success.


Again we were well represented on “Ride to Conference” with 6 riders participating. $6,600 was raised and the “Quiet Achievers Award” went to Leonie Albers.

PP PHF Michael Malone’s Kenyan project continues to gain District and community support with $24,000 raised so far and our club has pledged $5,000.


This year was the centenary of the Leongatha Secondary College [Leongatha High School]. A time capsule that was buried in 1972 was dug up and opened. We received a letter from Rotary President 1972 – 1973 Wal Slaney, addressing the club of 2012! Included were high quality photos of their Club at a meeting. Your author was introduced to this club by Wal Slaney.


Some social nights were held at Leongatha Bowls Club, McCartin's Hotel, PP Kev and Leanne Taranto’s place, Lucinda Estate, and Pres Paul and Marg Beck’s place.

2012 was a very busy and rewarding year with $21,000 distributed, $10,000 put aside for the expected big project in the next few years and $5000 for the Kenyan project.

Over 20 members and partners attended the Ballarat conference.

Yes, the club is now on Facebook and Twitter.


2012 – 2013               Nick Dudley (P), Sue Dutton (S), Daniel O’Neill (T), Kerry Pritchard (Club Administration & PE), PP Paul Beck (Immediate PP), Jill Carmody (S/A), Jim McNiven (Service Projects SD), Ed Carmody (Rotary Foundation SD), PP Col Byatt (International Projects SD), PP PHF Col McKenzie-McHarg (Membership SD). Kerrie Baker (Public Relations SD). 44 Members


Our club continues to enhance its reputation for great fellowship, thanks to the interesting and varied programs offered to them.


New members are Cam Abood [Civil Celebrant], Jeremy Curtis [Knockwood Estate], Andrew Debenham [Dairy Nutrition], Mary Dortmans [Registered Nurse], Graeme O’Connor [Camping and Outdoors Retailer], and David Panther [Mens Wear Retailer]. Thanks Col McK McH for your hard work in attracting new members.


This year saw the passing of our last charter member PP Allan “Jacko” Miles [Ret] and also PP Roy Bright [Ret], PP Max Winkler [Ret] and John Westaway [Ret].

Four Paul Harris Fellowship Awards were presented this year, to PP Michael Malone, PP Kevin Taranto, PP John O’Connor, and PP Col Byatt, all very well deserved.

Meetings at members’ homes were a feature of fellowship this year, such as the Christmas party at Jim and Shirley Seabrook’s, PP PHF Ross and Marj Pearson's for the first meeting of the new year and a fellowship evening at Chris and Grant McDonald's for the 5th Monday.


Youth took a large part of the program as usual.  The Secondary College Debate was won by Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College. We also participated in international exchange, RYPEN, MUNA, RAIC, and the Gallipoli Turkish Exchange. This year 6 students participated in the exchange guided by Leonnie McCluskey and Shauna Delaney. We said good bye to exchange student Leonie Albers and welcomed home Libby Panther. Matt Dudley left for Finland and is having an enjoyable year. Our exchange student Annika Ruokolahti from Finland was exemplary and left a great impression with the club.


Over 30 Rotarians and partners attended the Geelong conference thanks to efforts by Kerrie Baker. We had 10 riders on the Ride to Conference including Annika and Marg Waldron. The ride was marred by the death of Cranbourne rider Jarred Dunscomb on the last day. We won the trophy shield for the most competitors and Rtn Kerry Pritchard won the Star Performer's award. The club website and Facebook sites have continued to grow with the club truly entering the digital age.


This year the 3 major fund raisers netted over $35,000. New events were the Machinery Clearing Sale and a Ride to Conference Auction Night. These raised an extra $8,500. Total donations for the year were just over $33,000. We now have $22,500 put aside for our future, as yet unnamed, major project.  A very successful year.



2013 – 2014               Kerry Pritchard (P), Sue Dutton (S), Chris McKenzie (T), Col McKenzie-McHarg (Membership SD), David Panther (Public Relations SD), Gordon Morrison (Club Admin & PE), Jim McNiven (Service SD), Lindsay Moore (Foundation SD), Shirley Seabrook (Vocations SD), Leonnie McCluskey (International SD). 44 Members


Yes, this is the 60th year of our service to Leongatha and District, but that is not all, because of Rotary being an International organization, we have also influenced and helped innumerable people, places and projects all over the world. Because we are members of Rotary, we have made a DIFFERENCE in so many ways. We should be proud of this.


The student exchange program alone means that we have friends in all parts of the world. This reminds me of how small the world has become.


This is a true story, friends of mine were in a queue at a West End Theatre [London] some years ago, and the young lady behind them noticed the accents, and introduced herself as Arne Tetri from Finland, telling them she had been an exchange student in Australia and where were they from? Thinking too much detail would be a waste of time, they said Melbourne, where in Melbourne?  Was the query, well, south east of Melbourne actually, was the reply, where exactly? was the query again, finally they said Leongatha, she said great , I was on exchange at Korumburra , say G'day to Pam and Garry Gardner for me, when you get back !. As I said it is a small world and getting smaller thanks to electronics / internet / Face book and Twitter.


On a sad note, this year will also be known as the time we lost some members of the Rotary family. The club was shocked by the sudden passing of PP PHF Ross Pearson, a long serving member, and pillar of the club. Our sympathy is extended to Marj, Tim, Angela and their families. Also, due to a horrific car accident, PP Alan Moore [ret] and his wife Elsie were both killed. Again the club extends our sympathy to Shane, Brett, Linda, and their families.


On a lighter note, the year kicked off with a great “Christmas in July” at the Carmody hacienda, maintaining the fellowship we are renowned for.

By the time you read this, we will have completed another Prom Arts Show, and be fully into organizing the Show & Shine.


Yes, things are always happening, hopefully for another 60 years at least.



Ron Webb (9 months)

Ron Webb - Hubert Potter

Hubert Potter

Roy Harding

Bert Arnold

Harry Cumming

George Martin

Bert Smith

Jacko Miles

Linc Timmins

Dr. Alex Bennett

Fred Boreham

Eric Smith

Peter Jackson

Wils Coulter

Bill Gleeson

Herb Dearricott

Phil Riseley

Reg Evans

Wal Slaney

Noel Smith

Gordon Hitchcock

Frank Bailey

Jim Moss

Richard Pegler

Alan Hyde

Ron Stanley

Garry Gardner

Graham Olle

Alan Moore

Gordon Beasley

Roy Matthies

Ray Alford

Richard Hogan

Pat Higgins

Ken Johnson

Bob Leslie

Gordon West

Peter Vanzuyden

Dennis Ryan

Basil Weston-Arnold

Ross Pearson

Graeme Evans

Frank Shaw

Max Winkler

Roy Bright

Colin McKenzie-McHarg

Phil Carter

Dennis Ryan

Gary Templeton

Kevin Taranto

Meg Riseley

Michael Malone

Stuart Evans

Neil Langstaff

John O'Connor

Bruce Grainger

Colin Byatt

Paul Beck

Nick Dudley

Kerry Pritchard

Gordon Morrison

Shirley Seabrook

Don Bruce

Sue Dutton

Jeremy Curtis

David Panther

Lindsay Moore

Mary Dortmans

Sue Dunton

David Leslie









































































Past President

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Past President

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Past President

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Member Partner

Member Partner

Music Teacher

Past President


Member Partner


Past President

Phil Riseley

Wal Slaney

Gordon West

Arthur Nelson

Reg Evans

Jim Moss

Ray Alford

Pat Higgins

Noel Smith

Ron Stanley

Dennis Ryan

Richard Pegler

Garry Gardner

Ross Pearson

Colin McKenzie-McHarg

Jim Cusack

Michael Malone

Kevin Taranto

John O'Connor

Colin Byatt

Graeme Evans

Stuart Evans

Kerry Pritchard

Harry Leggett

Paul Beck

Gordon Morrison

Shirley Seabrook

David John

Chris McKenzie-McHarg

Pam Gardner

Carmel Slater

David Panther

Michael Hogan

Diane O'Connor

Chris McDonald

Sue Dutton

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