Rotary marks 90 years of service in the Illawarra

Rotary Clubs in the Illawarra, recently celebrated 90 years of Rotary service in the Illawarra.   During the program for the evening, the various projects and programs of the current nine clubs were highlighted and shared to over 130 guests from the community, Rotary Clubs, Rotary District Governors - present, past and future, Rotaractors, Interactors, PCYC, partners and friends.

The 90th birthday cake, of rich chocolate, 70cm x 40cm was created, decorated and presented by the TAFE Certificate III Baking Students and cut by the longest serving, oldest, current Presidents and Assistant Governors.  A real feature on the night.

A great achievement: The presidents of Rotary clubs across the Illawarra region cut the cake to mark 90 years of service to the community.

A great achievement: The presidents of Rotary clubs across the Illawarra region cut the cake to mark 90 years of service to the community.

Currently, all clubs as part of their goals for the current Rotary Year, provide details of funds raised, donated and volunteer hours served. 

In the last 12 months almost $500,000 was donated to organisations in the Illawarra community and Rotary International – Rotary’s Charity. This excludes ‘in-kind’ donations and funding of the vast number of youth programs which are regularly highlighted through this column. 

Included is support for the University of Wollongong Rotaract Club – 18-30 years; the two Interact Clubs – 14-18 years, St Mary’s Catholic Girls High School; and the oldest in this Rotary District – 60 years – Keira High School.

The recording of volunteer hours indicates a significant commitment. As an example, in just 3 months the RC of Wollongong’s hours have totalled almost 1000.

A table program was created for the night, providing a summary of the individual clubs’ projects, highlighting shared projects.

Three iconic Illawarra tourist locations have been made possible during the past 70 years, with Bulli Lookout in the North – RC Bulli (has handed in its charter), Mt Keira Summit Park – RC Wollongong; and Saddleback Mountain in the South – RC Kiama.

Combined projects include: Bowel Scan – started by Rotary and now a Commonwealth Government project; Imagination Library Illawarra for children 0-5 years; Rotary Youth Driver Awareness; Ride4Rotary; END POLIO NOW – raising $US43,650; Emergency Services Awards– now statewide after being piloted in the Illawarra seven years ago; and Wings over the Illawarra.

Individual clubs’ programs/projects include: Graffiti Busters; Don’s Farm; Dapto Dogs races; Farm Aid; Days for Girls; Dream Cricket; Annual Razzmatazz children’s concert; Strategic Community Assistance for Refugee Families (SCARF); Fairy Meadow Demonstration School; Gun Battery, Cliff Road Wollongong; International projects providing funding, supplies, building schools, hospitals, medical missions in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste Dental program, Cook Islands; Australia Day March from the Gun Battery in Cliff Road to Smith’s Hill Fort; Mental Health First Aid Courses; Rotary Park, established at Albion Park Railway Station; Shellharbour Monthly village markets; Para-Meadows school for children with special needs, shed upgrade; 25 years of installing Baby Capsules as an inexpensive alternative for new parents and grandparents; Car and Bike show; 27 years - an Antique Fair; Mt Keira Summit Park, almost 70 years of maintenance, currently holding summer family working bees; Santa Claus Pub Crawl; plus countless barbecues and other fund-raising projects.

For further information about Rotary and Rotary projects, contact Dot Hennessy on 0412 120 314 or dothennessy@gmail.com