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The beginning Rotary Club of Corrimal - An organisational meeting was held at Corrimal Surf Club on 29th April, 1959 and officers were elected to the various Committees. The Provisional Rotary Club of Corrimal was thereby established.
The Club was accepted as a member of Rotary International on the 6th June 1959 and received its charter on 20th June 1959 from the then District Governor of District 275, Hugh Lloyd-Owen. With Charter President Jim Tippett at the helm, members sought to learn about Rotary.
This was a very busy year of fellowship, and written responses were made to the hundreds of letters of congratulations which were received from all over the world.
A Working Bee was held at Mt Keira, Scout Camp. Rotary signs showing our meeting place were erected - four in all. A donation was made to Corrimal High School for Dux of the year. Street Park project was undertaken. The area was converted into netball courts and a recreational area. Our first Hawkesbury weekend was held in January 1962. The Club's first Vocational Service Award went to Mr Hugh Kerr, head postman at Corrimal Post Office.
This was the first year we accomplished something at District level - the organisation of the District 275 Institute. The bulletin was called "Corrimal Rotary Gazette". Rotary International President, Joseph Abey and his wife Eula, attended a combined meeting of our area clubs at the Bulli Police Citizens Boys Club at Bulli. Also a first, was the "Careers Night" at Corrimal High School. Another first was the arrival of Miss Toshiko Kojima from Japan, our Youth Exchange Programme student who came to stay with different families and to attend school for a period of twelve months.
World understanding week was celebrated with Bulli Club in the Corrimal Community Hall. A total of 235 persons, including people of all different nationalities, were present. A donation was made to the Mayor of Wollongong for the establishment of a Home Nursing Service. Freedom from Hunger door knock raised £1,170.0.0.
Our meeting place changed to the Corrimal RSL. Rotary - Districts 268 and 275 (our district) - undertook to raise £200,000 to have an International House built at the University of Sydney and the University of NSW. £400,000 was provided by the Commonwealth Government of the total cost of £600,000. The Vocational Service Award was presented to a worthy citizen and the Club won its first District Attendance Trophy.
A record of attendance was established with nine new members joining within the year. The District Attendance Trophy was retained. Chesalon Home for the aged was assisted with the provision of 12 bedside tables. Improvements to Cram Park in Cabbage Tree Lane, Fairy Meadow, were carried out. It became a netball park. Several members made a visit to the Rotary Club of Noumea.
World Understanding Night in cooperation with West Wollongong and Dapto Clubs was an outstanding event. The sign on Street Park was finally erected. The District Conference endorsed our proposal to plant a "Rotary Forest in Israel". The wine tasting night raised funds which were distributed to Corrimal Surf Club, Boy Scouts and India Flood relief.
The Rotary Forest in Israel proposal was translated into action at a national level and the Rotary Club of Corrimal became known throughout Australia and beyond. Medical equipment to the value of several hundred dollars was despatched per ship to Malalia Hospital in New Britain. Investigations into the possibility of erecting units for the aged persons in our area were made and initial moves to form a Rotary Club in Fairy Meadow were taken.
Rotary Club of Fairy Meadow was Chartered on 1st December 1967. Club membership was 27, and Don Robinson was our Club President at this time. The club assisted West Wollongong Club in organising the District Conference. It was our first year of sponsoring two young persons to attend Rotary Youth Leadership Award Seminar at Otford for a week. They were Ron Critcher and Bev Booth. There was further development in Ziems Park.
This was the Club's 10th Birthday. Particular interest was taken on the proposal to erect living and intensive care units for the aged persons in our community. The Vocational Service Award was carried on, and the Careers Night at Corrimal High School was expanded. Two of our members attended the Dedication of the Rotary Forest in Israel.
Corrimal Rotaract Club was formed. The club purchased land in Brompton Road Bellambi, built a house and sold it, making a profit for our club. An International concert was held in Wollongong Town Hall with over 200 artists and was a great success. The Rotary Clock Project commenced. 15 Indonesian students were hosted by different families for a weekend. A donation was made to IRT for a unit in Diment Towers in conjunction with Wollongong, West Wollongong, Fairy Meadow and Bulli Clubs.
Rotary International Convention was held in Sydney in May 1971, and a strong contingent of members attended. The emphasis for this year was definitely on the International Aspects of Rotary. The Club made and sold tie clips at the Convention.
This was a year of consolidation and saw the satisfactory completion of projects carried over from previous years. One project was the Rotary Clock.
We hosted students from the Teachers' College and University at our normal meetings. The Club donated 3 wheelchairs to the Crippled Children's Association.
The Club changed meeting places three times but still managed to restore and raffle a motor car, which was good for fellowship and Club funds. Four of our members and their wives visited the Rotary International Convention at Lausanne. Dr Max Diment was made an Honorary Member of our Club.
This was our fifteenth year, and we changed our meeting place to the Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) Village at Towradgi. The Executive Director, Mr Noel Howard, was a member of our Club at this time. The Interact Club was formed at Corrimal High School. Oxy Viva units were presented to the Illawarra District Ambulance and the Bellambi Surf Club. A donation was given through the Salvation Army for flood relief in Queensland.
Stormwater pipes were laid behind the Salvation Hall in Tarrawanna. The Vocational Service Award, RYLA and Careers night were all very successful. The Trailer raffle provided donations to Bulli Hospital and to IRT for therapeutic equipment and general hospital use. Our first Rotary Foundation Awardee Ms Sharynne Jones Trawser, was granted a twelve months scholarship to the Philippines University in Quezon City.
The Dudley Read memorial seat was completed at Tarrawanna Primary School. The Club donated to IRT for more therapeutic equipment and to complete the furnishing of the Corrimal Rotary ward at Bulli Hospital. The Vocational Service award and RYLA became an annual event.
Our work at Mt Keira Scout Camp continued. A new tent was presented to the Handicapped Scout Group. Our members controlled parking arrangements for two days at the State Surf Life Saving Championships which were held at Corrimal Beach. Community Blood Pressure Screening was carried out. We assisted at Bulli Hospital Fete and made donations towards the purchase of an ECG machine, and for sound equipment at the IRT dining Room.
Senior Citizens week was celebrated with our local citizens and 110 people attended this function. We hosted students for a weekend from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tonga and New Hebrides. We held a Captains and Prefects night where 37 pupils, headmasters and teachers from our three high schools attended. Donations were presented to Corrimal Surf Club to help purchase a beach buggy and to IRT for new carpet.
Work was commenced on "Rotary Park" on the corner of Underwood Street and Tarrawanna Road. A Senior Citizens Dinner was held again and Christmas parcels were delivered to the needy. Donations were given to Towradgi and Corrimal Surf Clubs, to the Salvation Army in Chile for the purchase of cutlery and crockery for their hostel, and to Bulli Hospital to commemorate "The Year of the Child".
The first Probus Club in our area was formed by Corrimal Rotary Club. Rotary's 75th Anniversary Park at Blue Divers Bridge on Towradgi Creek was commenced. The Captains' and Prefects' night was another success as was the Senior Citizens Dinner. Donations were made to Funnel Web Spider Appeal, Human Resources Centre and Senior Citizens Club. We celebrated Rotary's 75th Anniversary with a special dinner.
Rotary Anniversary Park was declared open by Laurie Kelly MP in December 1980. Two Beef and Burgundy nights were organised which resulted in raising funds for IRT, the Human Resources Centre, Bulli Hospital and for Multiple Sclerosis Society. We also donated and installed a hot water system at Mr Keira Scout Camp and to Mt Hagen Rotary Club for wells and pumps. Lew Jarratt became our first Paul Harris Fellow recipient.
Work continued on Rotary Park, which was then called Tom Ward Park - more clearing - and 100 shrubs and trees planted. Telegraph poles were laid around the perimeter. The mining equipment was located at P B Coleman Pty Ltd yard in Rothery Road for restoration and painting. Donations were made to the Human Resources Centre, Bulli Hospital, Mt Keira Scout Camp, Salvation Army and to the 3H program.
Many working bees were held in order to complete Tom Ward Rotary Park. Six seat-and-table combinations were installed. The concrete was poured for the foundation of the Mining equipment which went into place. This year saw Rotary to the fore in conducting the first ever Australian Retirement Planning Association at Corrimal High School which was conducted in three seminars. Finance was given to a former Youth Exchange Student to continue her education at the Centre of Research International Studies in Japan. Donations were given to the Salvation Army, High Schools and Christmas parcels were prepared for the needy.
Tom Ward Rotary Park was officially opened by the late Tom Ward's wife Islay in conjunction with the Lord Mayor and many relatives and friends. The "Christmas Wishes" project through newspaper advertisements attracted members of the public to answer the wishes of the needy. This was a great year of fellowship and community service. Donations were made to the Crippled Children's Society and to the Salvation Army. John Hall was made a Paul Harris Fellow.
Tom Ward Park, a ten year community service project launched by Corrimal Rotary Club in 1974, was officially opened in January 1984 by Wollongong Lord Mayor Ald Arkell. The park on the corner of Tarrawanna Rd. and Underwood St. was established in honour of a former President, Tom Ward who died last year. Tom Ward was a former Deputy Lord Mayor on Wollongong City Council and Alderman on the North Illawarra Council prior to its amalgamation with Wollongong and a member of Corrimal Rotary Club for more than 14 years.
As had been done for many years, we helped the Salvation Army with drivers and collectors for their Red Shield Day. A Naturalisation Ceremony was held at our Club meeting again this year. The accent on youth was very evident by the number of young people attending our meetings. Two students from Corrimal High School, Paul Morris and Robert Hutchinson, attended the National Science Summer School in Canberra. Donations were made to Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, Rotary Foundation, and scholarships for the underprivileged in Pudu, Malaysia.
The Peer Support Plan was launched at a dinner at which all High Schools in our area were represented. Two bicycle marking days were conducted and over 1,000 were marked. Rotary Club of Little Rock, Arkansas USA, offered a six week exchange for a student and our applicant Patrick Eltridge was successful. This was the first year we sent two students from Corrimal High School, Sally Dane and Tracy Stubbins, to New Zealand for a school term and received two New Zealand students back for the following term. Donations were distributed to various charities in our area - Salvation Army, Illawarra Ambulance, Peer Support Foundation and Human Resources Centre.
Our yearly calendar project commenced and 6,000 calendars were delivered personally by Club members to local residents. This assisted financially to send our Youth Exchange Student to Norway. Bicycle marking was again undertaken, but was more simplified by engraving the parents' car licence number on each unit. The International Variety Concert was a huge success. Donations were made to Polio Plus campaign, Wollongong City Mission, Wollongong Cancer Appeal and Life Education Fund.
The Girl Guides' Hall in Robson Road was repaired and painted. The Bicentennial Debutantes Ball with 20 debutantes was a huge success. The calendar project and sale of Christmas cakes were both very successful, as was our progressive dinner. Donations were made to Polio Plus, Life Education, Rotary Foundation and the Salvation Army. Tom Armstrong and Bill Claridge became Paul Harris Fellows.
A Naturalisation Ceremony and RYLA were again supported. 400 trees and shrubs were planted in Ziems Park around the Olympic Pool. The Vocational Service Award was made this year to Mr Frank Guest, a past member of our Club. We made our first visit as a Club to Parliament House in Sydney. The Club decided to become Incorporated. Donations were made to Polio Plus, ARHRF, Life Education, Smith Family and the Salvation Army. Two young students were sent to RYPEN.
Our Car Boot Market commenced in Coles Car Park in Underwood Street, Corrimal. The Autistic School moved to Corrimal and was assisted with labour and a donation. The Rotary Club became the Rotary Club of Corrimal Incorporated. The Lord Mayor's Giving Tree and Spring into Corrimal Festival were well attended and added to our Club's funds. Vale Past President and Paul Harris Fellow Lew Jarratt, 10 August 1990. Bill Reynolds was made a Paul Harris Fellow.
A Shade House was erected at Holy Spirit College for the planting and fostering of trees in Rotary's project "Trees for Survival". An excellent Variety Concert was held at the Performing Arts Centre. We provided a new shower and disabled toilet at Bellambi Neighbourhood Centre. Club also sponsored 7 students from Year 10 to attend the Summer Science School for 3 days at the University of Western Sydney. We held Working Bees at the Autistic School and gave them a donation.
We helped the Smith Family, the Bangladesh Cyclone Disaster Fund, A.R.H.R., Bulli Hospital and Smith Family with another donation towards the cost of an apheris machine. Past President, Stan White became a Paul Harris Fellow.
The Community Service Committee organised an auction which raised money for the autistic School. The Vocational Service Committee erected a 4 Way Test Sign in Corrimal. Donations were made towards the cost of the apheris machine and to Mt Keira Scout Camp, Eddy's Place and Wollongong City Mission. Our first ever FAIM Team went to Papua New Guinea - Manus Island and helped to build a two-storey dormitory for the Papitalia School. Past President Phil Coleman became a Paul Harris Fellow.
Members assisted and acted as marshals for the opening of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel which was acclaimed as the most organised event ever in NSW, thanks to Rotary. We repaired and painted the Girl Guides' Hall in Robson Road, Corrimal. We sponsored an underprivileged child's schooling in Zimbabwe. We also donated to the Wollongong Eisteddfod Committee. We hosted over one hundred students and parents at a barbecue for the Siemens Summer School. We organised for a shade cover to be erected over the toddlers' pool at Corrimal Swimming Pool, and also over the rest area. Ray Fenton became a Paul Harris Fellow. Stephanie Giesajitis was our Youth Exchange student to Austria.
Our Spring into Corrimal and Calendar project were good fund raisers for the club. International Night with High Commissioner of Zimbabwe and international students from Africa. Membership night with guests from near and far was a huge successes. Our first RTA Rotary road safety awareness day. Playground equipment and a new fence at Autistic school. Pride of Workmanship and Vocational Service awards were carried on again. Paul Aleksandrovics became a Paul Harris Fellow. Donation to the Autistic School, Alkira Lodge, Wollongong Eisteddfod.
Another team to Papua New Guinea to assist in construction of a Medical Centre at Kakadu. Blue Divers Rotary Park refurbished with seats, tables etc. In conjunction with Fairy Meadow Club another successful Road Safety Day. Special mention for our Community Service Award for the year was the Executive Director of the Illawarra Retirement Trust Mr Noel Howard OAM and a past member of the club. Now a Honorary member. Help also to Autistic School. Rebecca Hall our Youth Exchange Student to Finland. Harry Smith was made a Paul Harris Fellow as was Barbara Williams. Donation to W'gong Children's Ward Appeal, Autistic School, Salvation Army, FAIM, Papua New Guinea.
High School debating was introduced this year together with our long term events like RYLA, RYPEN. Siemens Science Summer School, Model United Nations Assembly, Vocational Service and Community Service Awards, Calendars, Spring into Corrimal, BBQ, Road Safety Day. Shade house in Russel Vale Primary School, medical equipment for Kakoda Hospital, Ebony House supplied with double garage, painting, and colour bond fence. Three teams to Papua New Guinea helped build Kakoda Hospital and work on schools in Poppindette. Hiroko Masui our exchange student from Japan. Donations to Kokoda Medical Centre, Wollongong Renal Unit, Camp quality, Salvation Army.
This year saw the return of our Naturalisation Ceremony. RYLA, RYPEN, Siemens Summer School all were very successful again. High School Debating with District 9710 joining us for the first time with 45 teams competing from as far as Yass in the west to Moruya in the South. Simon Beriaux arrived from Belgium for a year of Youth Exchange while we sent Jane Thomson to France. Pride of Workmanship and Community Service awards were excellent public relations. Spring into Corrimal and Calendars our main source of finance. Shade House erected at Russel Vale Primary School, repair and painting to Autistic School and Girl Guide Hall, erected double garage at Ebony House. Donations were made to Autistic School, Ebony House, Scout Camp, Wollongong Eisteddfod, Salvation Army, Smith Family, Rotary Foundation.
PP Frank Guest and Vince Costa became Paul Harris Fellows. John Hall was awarded a Sapphire pin, a first for our club.
We continued with our traditional Naturalisation Ceremony. Our participation in RYLA, RYPEN, Siemens Summer School all were very successful again. High School Debating with District 9710 and with 45 teams competing from as far as Yass in the west to Moruya in the South. We again supported the Youth Exchange programme Patricia Shanahan was our outgoing student to France and Johanna Zetterlund is our incoming student from Sweden. Pride of Workmanship and Community Service awards were excellent Public Relations. Spring into Corrimal and Calendars still remain our main source of finance. Combined service club raised $ 72,000 for Bulli Hospital emergency unit,- clean up of Blue Divers Park, Meals on Wheels, participation in Rise and Shine, sausage sizzle for Autistic school, painted Mrs Wesley's house, supervised children at Kid's Disco at Balgownie, major repairs and maintenance of the Autistic School Donations were made to Bulli Hospital Emergency Department, Rotarians Against Malaria, Illawarra School for Autism, Rotary Wheel Chair Project, Life Line, St Vincent De Paul Society, Church of Christ, W'gong Eisteddfod, Salvation Army, Sydney City Mission, Rotary Foundation etc. The Rotary Club of Corrimal supported about 16 charity organisations. Jim Murrie and Greg Simpson became Paul Harris Fellows.