The History of the Rotary Club of Shellharbour City

   Published: Sunday, 14 October 2018


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Chapter 1 A Short History of Shellharbour
A Short History of Shellharbour
Although Bass and Flinders sailed into Tom Thumb lagoon in 1796 in search of water, it was
not until 1817 that free settlers began making their way into the area. Governor Macquarie,
in 1817 had made known his intention of opening up the area by the issue of land grants.
Following this in 1821 the Surveyor-General, John Oxley and his deputy, Meehan, visited
the area. Their visit resulted in the issue of the first significant land grants to D'Arcy
Wentworth, Dr. James Mileham, John Horsley, Samuel Terry, David Johnston and Thomas
In 1843 Caroline Chisholm brought twenty three families into the area on clearing leases.
Through an arrangement with the Wentworth family, the settlers were able to live rent-free
on their leases for six years providing that they cleared the land. These early settlers turned
mainly to setting up what was to become a thriving dairy and meat industry. Others turned
to timber getting and found that the cedar that grew in abundance in the area was much
sought after. Timber and produce was transported to Sydney and other centres by ship. In
1886, the amount of produce and timber shipped out of the area justified the purchase of a
ship that was renamed the “Peterborough”, the original name of Shellharbour.
In about 1832, the area was renamed from Peterborough to Shellharbour because of the
abundance of seashells that were to be found in and around the harbour. In 1851, the area
around the harbour was officially declared the town of Shellharbour. The town of
Shellharbour and surrounding district was proclaimed the Municipality of Shellharbour on
the 8
June 1859. At the time, the Municipality of Shellharbour had a population of 1,264 and
was one of only six municipalities in NSW.
The first meeting of Council was on 22nd July 1859; the first Council set a rate of ten pence in
the pound of land value. With the formation of the Council, bridges and roads became the
order of the day to provide vital links between the various small towns and settlements
within the district. In 1878 Macquarie Pass road opened to connect with Wingecarribee in
the highlands.
As the timber began to peter out, dairying became a major industry of the Municipality.
Dairy factories were built at Tongarra, Yellow Rock, Marshall Mount and Albion Park. From
the end of the nineteenth century when William Brownlee, in 1893, first mined coal at
Tongarra, coal became an important part of the area’s economy contributing to the
establishment of heavy industry at Port Kembla.
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From the beginning of the twentieth century, agriculture has gradually given way to a
mixture of industries, large shopping areas and residential areas. The area is now known as
the City of Shellharbour. Those hardy pioneers would be both surprised and proud to
survey the district today, to see how their descendants have built of their early endeavours,
and developed a vibrant modern city that retains its rural character.
Chapter 2 1966 – The Beginning
1966-67 Presidents Report
(Authors Note - Club operated between January and June of 1966 thus in effect this is
Shellharbour second fiscal year)
Abridged Presidents Annual Report - l966 / 1967
President : Frank Smith
Vice President : Jack Pike
Treasurer : Eric Trimble
Service Directors:
Club - Jack Pike
Community - Ray Hippisley
Pres. Elect : Cobber O'Brian
Secretary : Ray Clay
Sergeant at Arms : Laurie Garvin
Vocational Frank Smith
International - Col Willetts
Fellow Rotarians. I have pleasure in presenting to you the First Annual Report for this
Rotary Club of Shellharbour.
May I first of all express my thanks for the privilege of being your Charter President.
I would take the opportunity to thank Secretary Ray Clay, my Board of Directors, Chairmen
and members of various committees for the help and support given to me over the last
Rotary Year (ours being 15 months).
I have gained a wealth of knowledge and made many new friends, and feel the past year has
been and successful one and has been a year of consolidation rather than one of great
District Governor Eric Callaway visited the club in August 1966 and assisted in the
betterment of this club's foundation. In the first month District Governor Les McGregor
visited us and helped in many ways.
Frank Smith
Charter President
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Our Mother Club, Kiama, has been a tower of strength to us. President Don Barr followed by
President Les Robins assisted us by invitations to Kiama Club’s board meetings and Club
Assembly. We also thank District Governor Representative Hedley Johnston and assistant
Vic Lyons for their part in the formation of this Club; Secretary Jack Dennerley and members
from Kiama Club who addressed us and helped.
Club Service Director Cobber O'Brien has been a great help to me, always willing to
deputise. Taking into consideration that all members were new to Rotary, made the service
committee work , as well as other committee work, more difficult. We were fortunate to
have PP Jack Thickett on Rotary Information as a back-stop and guide.
Attendance: Chairman Bill Bout.
Average attendance 82.06%, one meeting of l00% attendance.
Rotarians with 100% attendance Guntha Bayha, Harry Steenbergen, BiIl Bout.
New members inducted totalled eleven, whilst there were seven resignations.
Club membership is 29, a gain of 4 members as at Charter.
Classifications: Chairman Roy Goodwin. A. Neate, J Thickett.
Several meetings held during year to open classifications.
Club Bulletin: Chairman Brian Winship
The Club Bulletin has been designed and originated by Brian Winship. Cover depicts early
history of the Shellharbour district. Rona O’Brien printed our Bulletin free of charge during
our past 15 months.
Fellowship : Chairman Harry Steenbergen.
Committee: Russell Mears, Austin Robinson
Fellowship has been of a high standard throughout the year and has assisted in the
assimilation of members. Night bowls was held against the Rotary Clubs of Kiama and
Berry. A Combined Meeting was held with President Hec Harvey and members of Dapto
Rotary Club.
Magazine : Chairman Albert Neate.
Rotary magazines distributed to hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and high schools.
Programme : Chairman Bob de Jong.
From scratch, despite disappointments, Bob has arranged guest speakers, films, job talks and
Rotary Information: Chairman Jack Thickett.
Jack kept us in touch with Rotary, acted as Conference Officer, guided us at meetings and
Club Assemblies.
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Sergeant-at-Arms : Laurie Garvin
Laurie, assisted by Andy Vassiliou as Corporal, added to the fellowship and entertainment
at our meetings. Thanks to Frank Metz who filled in on occasions.
Vocational Service: Director Frank Metz. Committee Keith McBeath, Albert Neate, Russell
A trip and inspection of Australian Iron and Steel works with children from Albion Park
Primary and Catholic Schools participating.
Reference Libraries were started at Warilla and Oak Flats High Schools. Students addressing
meetings telling us the requirements needed at their schools.
Community Service : Director Ray Hippisley. Committee John Youll, Jack Van Krevel,
Arthur Jones.
District divided into four sections, largely a scattered area, community needs are great. Our
first project; toilet blocks for boys and girls at Albion Park Rail Scout Hall. Plans were drawn
and approved by local council, working bees arranged. Job took 6-8 weeks' 109 man hours
worked, completed value £300 each block.
Student Guests: Chairman Jack Van Krevel, Ken Stuart.
Arrangements to house 15 Junior Farmers for coming Rural Youth Conference. Members
have undertaken to accommodate the above number for three nights.
International Service : Director Col Willetts.
This section, difficult to break through, contacted clubs in the U.S.A., Brazil, Mexico and
India with no replies forthcoming. Contact made with Leprosy Mission at Tari New Guinea,
successful drive for wool and knitting needles resulted.
Rotary Foundation : Chairman Arthur Jones.
Rotary Foundation to receive our support in the future.
I am sure this Rotary Club of Shellharbour is well established in this wonderful Municipality
of Shellharbour and have no doubts as to its future. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Wiggins for the
royal treatment we receive from them as we meet week by week. Thanks to my wife Peg, for
her valuable assistance and comfort she has given me during my term of office.
Congratulations to President Elect Cobber O’Brien, his incoming Board, Chairmen and
Committees. I wish them a successful year in office.
Frank Smith.
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1966 Club Bulletin
Following is an extract from Club Bulletin No 11. Thursday, 15th September, 1966.
Bulletin editor - Brian Winship.
I proudly present to you fellows a club bulletin the creation of which was a challenging
experience. But humbly I say the job is done.
My special thanks to Jack Waugh, who offered his artistic talent, and thanks also to Jack
Wiley for a good job of printing around my budget allocation. Jack Waugh is of course the
well known artist from Jamberoo, and Jack Wiley is of the Kiama Independent Newspaper
Office. Both gentlemen are fine examples of "service above self”.
The design is my impression of the history of the district of Shellharbour - the district that
we serve as Rotarians. I was impressed by the link between the steamer "Peterborough" and
the desire to name the district Peterborough instead of Shellharbour during the early 1800's.
Here indeed was history and a solid base upon which to link the new with the old and give
the design strength in foundation and meaning.
The steamship "Peterborough" was secured in 1886 by shareholders in a co-operative
company for the transport of primary produce from the district to the markets along the
coastline to Sydney. And whenever the "Peterborough" was in port the farmers were
signalled by means of hoisting a large black cane ball to the top of a pole secured to a tall
Moreton Bay fig-tree on Dunsters Hill. The farmers would then transport their produce to
port, to be loaded aboard the "Peterborough" for the markets.
So on that basis, fellows, a club bulletin is born.
Chapter 3 50 Years of Community and International Service
50 Years Supporting Our Community
In our Charter year, 1966/67, the first project tackled by the club was the construction of
toilet blocks for boys and girls at the Albion Park Rail Scout Hall.
The following year, 1967/68, saw the commencement of work on the Rotary Park adjacent to
Albion Park railway station. Forty trees and shrubs plus some forty-five rose bushes were
planted. Work at the Rotary Park continued as an annual project for the next three years. A
water supply was installed in 1969 followed in 1971 by concrete lunch tables and seats, a
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BBQ and garden edging. The park
was completed in 1972 by the
construction of a public toilet
block, swings and other play
ground equipment. At completion
the Rotary Park was handed to
Shellharbour Council for the
benefit of the local community
and visitors to our municipality.
During the same period fly
screens and a concrete ramp were
installed at a house in Oak Flats
for the benefit of a girl who had
been crippled by polio. Work
continued on improving parks in the municipality with the installation of playground
equipment at parks in Mt Warrigal and Lake South.
In 1972 the Club commenced a project that was to become one of the longest running
projects the Club embarked on. Paint Your Heart
Out is a project that embodies the true sense of
community service. Each year the Rotary Club
selects one house to paint, providing a service to
needy, elderly or disadvantaged people whose
houses need painting and who have no means of
getting the work done. At no cost to the
occupants, club members spend a
weekend painting the exterior of the
house with paint and equipment
donated by local businesses. To date over thirty houses, units and community facilities have
been painted.
In 1973, after much debate, the club made the decision to purchase Illawarra’s first
Intensive- Care Ambulance. This project was not completed until 1980. The original
intention was to purchase two ambulances, one to be stationed at Bulli and the other at
Warilla. The estimated cost was $54,000. Due to shortfall in funding, only one ambulance
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The Ambulance on display at Warilla Grove
(from left) Paramedic Mr Kevin Dent,
Station Officer Mr Robert Smith, President
Shellharbour Rotary Club Mr Allan White
and the incoming President Mr Keith
was purchased. To ensure adequate area coverage it was agreed that the new ambulance
would be stationed at Wollongong.
1980 Sophisticated Ambulance to Serve Illawarra
(Handed over to Health Commission 5 June 1980)
Although Shellharbour Rotary Club
started the appeal for the intensive
care ambulance, service clubs from
throughout the area offered
assistance to help with the project.
President of Shellharbour Rotary Club, Mr Allan White said three local men, Dr B. A. James,
Mr Keith Gardiner and Mr Trevor Dalla, pioneered the move for the ambulance.
“These men believed that the area was in need of this specialised service,”
Mr White said. “When we first started the appeal seven years ago it was
hoped that the club would only need to raise $6,000, with government
subsidies covering the remainder of the cost. When it became clear that
government grants would not be forthcoming Shellharbour Rotary Club
approached the Zone President of Lions, Mr Ron May, for assistance and
he was only too willing to offer support. The recent purchase of the
ambulance was only made possible by the continued co-operation
between the ambulance service paramedics and the local service clubs.”
Mr White said the he believed it was the first time local service clubs had combined. The
success of the project indicates that combined service club projects will be a thing of the
The ambulance started its duties on June 6, 1980 and patrolled the area from Helensburgh to
Gerringong. When required in cases of emergency the ambulance travelled as far south as
Nowra to assist in the care and carriage of severely ill or injured people. It was manned by
paramedics 24 hours a day and able to operate in any life-threatening emergencies.
Equipment included in the ambulance; a life pack cardiac monitor, oxygen ventilation
equipment and resuscitation equipment. The ambulance design include provisions to
transport premature babies in thermo cots. The beauty of the new ambulance is that it was
designed by paramedics to suit their work in the field.
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In 1974 the Rotary Club was appointed by Shellharbour
Municipal Council to construct an entrance gateway to
Bass Point Reserve. This was followed in 1976 by other
works to beautify the area and provide amenities for the
public. These works included a brick hut for the Ranger,
picnic tables and shelters. The work was completed in
1980 with the building of a brick amenities block, public
toilets, security gates and bitumen paving of the entrance
road to the ‘Gateway’.
During this time club members found time to assist with the planning of the Mt Warrigal
Rest Home, a project that the club remained committed for many years, being actively
involved with the building of the Warrigal Retirement Village at Albion Park Rail.
The Shellharbour Council, in 1979, suggested that a worthwhile project for the Club would
be constructing and installing bench seats at various parks and at bus stops throughout the
Municipality. Thus began a four year program that resulted in some forty bus stop seats and
sixty park benches being built and installed. Even though the Club was busy building bench
seats, the members still found time to paint the Shellharbour Guide Hall.
Success of the Bass Point project
resulted in the Council, in 1982,
commissioning the Club to carry out
similar work in the lower area of
Blackbutt Forest reserve. A Gateway,
security gates and sign erected at the
entrance to the Reserve. The work was
completed in 1988 with the planting of
trees, construction of a toilet block, BBQ
shelters and picnic tables. During this
period BBQ facilities, picnic tables and
shelters were also erected in Lorna
Shacklock Reserve Warilla.
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During 1990, the club completed the extension to the Oak Flats Senior Citizens centre. This
project had taken some time to get underway but was finally finished to the satisfaction of
all concerned.
The club was engaged on a number of projects during 1991, starting with a large driveway
at Mt Warrigal Primary School. This major concreting job, done in two weekends, enabled
vehicle access for the disabled students attending the school. Other tasks carried out during
the year included the rebuilding of a burnt out BBQ shelter at Blackbutt and the building of
a shade house for Lake Illawarra High School. In addition to building projects club members
acted as marshals for crowd control at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.
However, the highlight of 1991-92 must surely be the magnificent Air Pageant at Albion
Park Airport.
1992 July Air Show
Shellharbour Air Show -- by Ray King Rotary Club of Shellharbour N.S.W.
The Rotary Club of Shellharbour in its first venture into an air show had a wonderful
success, raising $18,492 for district charities and the Australian Rotary Health Research
Fund. The show staged at the Albion Park Airfield, near Wollongong, N.S.W., attracted
7,000 people. A gratifying feature of the exercise was the way local organisations rallied
around the event. The show became a community effort and raised Rotary's image and
standing considerably. Club Secretary John Bunt, a keen amateur pilot, initiated the idea.
Club treasurer Steve Parkinson was also to the fore.
There was a years planning and three months of organising by a committee. Wollongong
Flight Training Centre and Shellharbour Council helped greatly and the council used the
day to test its emergency management procedures. The hospital auxiliary, the Air Training
Corps, ambulance, fire brigade, service personnel and HMAS Albatross all contributed.
Businesses set up static displays and enthusiasts for veteran cars, motor cycles and models
gave support. Aircraft flew in from many regions of the state to take part.
Air show organiser John Bunt of the
Rotary Club of Shellharbour with
exchange student Laurence Minguet
from Belgium.
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President Shellharbour Rotary Lloyd Tyson,
Shellharbour Hospital Manager Kieran Mahony
and District Governor Grahame Jones
The John and Margaret Land Hostel at Warrigal Care’s Albion Park Retirement Village was
ready in 1993 for landscaping, a task all members, partners and friends took to
enthusiastically. The landscaping included paving the courtyard area, building gardens, the
planting of shrubs and the laying of turf. Members as well as being gardeners, were
instrumental in starting the construction of the Shellharbour Memorial Airport Terminal at
Albion Park Rail. This project was carried out in conjunction with the Shellharbour
Municipal Council.
The Club, in 1995, identified the need
for a Helipad at Shellharbour Hospital.
This facility would serve the needs of
the local community and the whole of
Illawarra. The project was successfully
completed and the helipad became a
vital part of the Illawarra’s emergency
response network. As in many projects
undertaken by the Club, their success is
in no small way due to help from the
business community whose support for
this project was outstanding.
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Another major project during 1995 was the inaugural Shellharbour Rotary Rodeo. The event
was plagued with problems from the
outset however, as usual, Rotarians and
their partners pulled together and, having
been blessed by a magnificent sunny day,
the event turned into a resounding success.
And to make sure members didn’t relax
too much the Club "assisted" in the
renovation of the Scout Hall at Warilla. In
fact, you could say that Rotary almost
rebuilt the Scout HalI. What started out as
a few little jobs became a major renovation.
The year 1997-98 was once again busy with the construction of the Barrack Heights Public
School Covered Outdoor Learning Area (COLA). The benefits of seeing the children enjoy
the area and the gratitude displayed from teachers and parents was well worth Rotary’s
During 1998-99, in conjunction with local high schools and youth organisations, the Club
introduced two new initiatives aimed at two very troubling issues in our community. The
first being youth suicide. The Club purchased 1250 booklets titled "Turning the Tide of
Suicide" from an organisation called "The Rose Foundation". In April, the booklets were
distributed to the five high schools in the City for issue to all Year 11 students and all high
school teachers, to help them recognise the symptoms of potential youth suicide. A small
number of the booklets were also given to the Anglican, Catholic, Salvation Army and
Uniting churches to assist troubled people with whom they may come into contact. The
second issue dealt with violence. To address this issue Ken Marslew of the "Enough is
Enough" organisation spoke to Year 7 students in the City's five High Schools. Ken captured
the attention of the kids. His presentation declared highly successful by school staff and
those Rotarians who attended his lectures.
The Rotary year 1999-00 saw the running of the inaugural Billy Cart Derby in conjunction
with the Shellharbour Festival and our annual Rodeo, which again was very successful and
growing each year. The Clubs “construction skills” were once again called on to build a
covered walkway at Oak Flats Primary School. The project was successfully completed to
everyone’s satisfaction.
The Shellharbour Hospital Auxiliary, in 2000, sought help to purchase a new defibrillator for
the hospital a request that the club was pleased to meet. The club continued supporting the
youth suicide prevention and anti-violence programmes.
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The year 2001-02 saw some firsts for the Club with the fitting out of the disabled toilet at the
revamped Lake Illawarra Police and Citizens Youth Club. The washing down of an elderly
couples' home in Warilla was also a first-time exercise. As was a very large clean up for an
elderly, bed-ridden lady from The Boulevard in Oak Flats, where grass was cut and slashed,
trees pruned and many years of residual trash removed. All hands were on deck for the
Breakfast by The Lake on Australia Day 2002, (the quietest on record) but according to
Council, it was a great success.
During the year 2001-02 the Club became involved with the Shellharbour City Community
Drug Action Team (CDAT). The NSW government established CDAT, a four-year strategy,
to provide the structure and support to help communities take collaborative action on drugs.
The strategy is part of the government's plan of action to tackle drug misuse through
prevention, education, enforcement and treatment. The principle component of the strategy
is the development of locally based Community Drug Action Teams. By bringing together
people who live, work and raise their families in the community, local drug trends are
quickly identified and plans made to respond to specific problems. By being part of CDAT
the Club and the community were able to work together to help the youth and our
The Club organised a Health Forum held at the Shellharbour Workers Club during 2002-03.
The forum focus was on mental health and featured three great keynote speakers, including
Fay Jackson. It was a very enlightening and informative event providing necessary help and
answers to those suffering the stigma of a mental illness. The Club continued with its
support of local youth through Rotary’s youth programmes and continuing its membership
of CDAT.
Following from the success of the health forum of the previous year, in conjunction with
CDAT, the Club ran another successful forum during 2003-04 at Shellharbour Workers Club.
The forum focussed this time on Alcohol and Other Drugs. The forum featured five great
keynote speakers and was a very enlightening and informative event. Also during the year,
the Club continued to support local youth via Rotary Youth programmes and maintain its
link with the community focussed CDAT. To compliment the health forum the Club ran
their first Birthday Bash Fundraising Dinner Dance. It was a great night with our auctions
raising funds for Drug-ARM.
The following year, 2004-05 was apart from erecting a
shade cloth at the Warilla Women's Refuge and
constructing a community chessboard for the Warilla
North Community Centre, a year for fund raising. Major
events were BBQ’s during Men’s Health Week and a
concert by the lake to raise funds for the Tsunami Appeal.
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The Club’s inaugural “Service Person of the Year Awards” during 2005-06 was a resounding
success. These awards were introduced to
recognise the work that the emergency service
groups, many of them volunteers, do in our
community. The awards are to recognise the
dedication and professionalism that these
people bring to the aid of the community. The
groups recognised include the officers of local
command of the NSW Police, Rural Fire
Service, State Emergency Service and the NSW
Ambulance Service.
The Club continues to focus on the youth of Shellharbour through a number of Rotary Youth
programs as well as programs initiated by
the club. These programs included Rotary
Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) a
program for 14-16 year olds that aims to
help young people develop their
confidence and cultural awareness during a
weekend retreat.
Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program
(RYDA) aims to prepare Year 11 students to be
safer, more aware drivers leading to a reduction
in young people being involved in accidents.
The program has been running in the Illawarra
for ten years; to date over 15,000 students from
22 high schools have gone through the
program. The Rotary Youth Leadership Award
(RYLA) is for 18-25 year olds and is a weeklong
retreat that aims to develop leadership skills.
Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA); each of these programs gave opportunities for
young people from our area to mix with young people from many other areas and
experience activities that are not available through schools or other local venues.
Local students at RIPEN
Students at one of the RYDA session on road safety
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The Club also supports local school students through Colin Willetts Improvement in
Reading Award that focuses on recognising the hard work that Year 5 students have done in
improving their reading skills. The Club also supports Shellharbour Rotary Science awards
at each of the high schools in our area as well sending students on learning experiences at
the University of Wollongong and Canberra.
Each year the Club disburses a major part of our earnings to youth groups such as Scouts,
Girl Guides, special school excursions, Camp Quality Truck Convoy and Breakfast Clubs.
Included in our work for young people was the building of a School Trike Track at Mt
Warrigal Primary School. This track will help children with disabilities to improve their
coordination and social skills.
As well as supporting the youth of our community, the Club continues to support the
community at large, via donations to Shellharbour Public Hospital. To date some $72,000
has been donated to the Hospital through the Hospital Auxiliary for such items as power
inverters for emergency power supply, heart stress tester, defibrillator, lift hoists, monitors
and specialist video printers as well as a number of beds and other much needed equipment.
In 2007, the Club joined the
SHAPE (Shellharbour Albion
Park Events) consortium to
launch and manage KidsFest.
During 2010, the consortium was
re-structured and the KidsFest
program separated out to stand
on its own as the now successful
KidsFest Shellharbour. It is the
longest running weeklong free
children’s festival in Australia.
Whilst it started as a project to
promote child-friendly concepts and attitudes in the Shellharbour LGA, it evolved to include
social inclusion and literacy amongst families with small children. KidsFest has developed
Winner of the Shellharbour Rotary
Science Award with Rotarians Larry
How & David Hooper at Shellharbour
Anglican College
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an enviable reputation amongst its peers and community leaders, and all this whilst kids
have fun. Members should congratulate themselves on another successful Rotary
partnership and project.
The Club continued to carry out projects and events to raise funds and support the
community as well as opportunities to obtain community wide media coverage and
awareness including launching the Club's operation of the Shellharbour Village Market in
2011. The monthly market is located in Little Park and has proven to be the cornerstone of
the club's commitment to community service. Special ongoing thanks to the efforts of the
Market committee. New banners and signs also highlight our presence in the community.
Shellharbour Village Rotary Market at Little Park
From the beginning, in 2005 of the now very popular Camp Quality Truck Convoy, the Club
has manned BBQs to cook and serve
countless numbers of sausages for the
hungry hoards that came to give their
support to this worthy cause. We have
seen the event grow from a few trucks to
hundreds of trucks and motorbikes until
now it is a major event that no longer
needs our cooking skills. The Club has
enjoyed its association with the convoy
and Camp Quality and will always
maintain an interest in their activities.
Camp Quality Truck Convoy BBQ
Anyone for a sausage?
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During the past few years Club members
have ,in conjunction with the Rotary Club
of Corrimal, been actively engaged in the
Farm Aid project, a project that sees
Rotarians travel to country areas to help
farmers and country people that have been
hit hard by drought and floods.
Rotarian Richard Gilmartin trying to
gauge how high the flood waters came or,
trying to see where the fence has gone.
Rotarian Pat Giles developing his skills at fence
Australia Day Breakfast by the Lake has
been a long running community event
organised by Shellharbour City Council.
Club members have for more than ten
years, dragged themselves out of bed in
the wee small hours to cook and serve
countless sausages and eggs.
In the early morning light Rotarians and
helpers prepare breakfast for the many
people, local and visitors that come to
share in Australia Day celebrations by
the lake.
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50 Years of International Service
Since its Charter in 1966, the Rotary Club of Shellharbour City has been very active in
supporting Rotary International Service programmes.
In 1973-74 the Club supplied fifteen school desks to a school in Indonesia through an IPAC
(International Projects Advisory Committee) project. This was followed in 1974-75 with a
consignment of school equipment to the Solomon Islands and funding to a Papuan Island
school for a 1,000-gallon drinking water tank.
During the same period, we assisted in obtaining and sending shoes to lepers in the Leper
Colony in Pusan, New Guinea. In addition we were able to assist with four piglets and all
medicine and supplies necessary for a pig-raising project in the Leper Colony. The letters of
gratitude and photographs from Pusan were very heart warming. The success of this project
was in no small part due the enthusiasm and hands on work of the people in the Leper
The Club obtained two films from A.I.& S. (now Blue Scope) to send to the Rotary Club of
Eischweller in Germany. The films showed the state of steelmaking in the Illawarra as well a
snapshot of picturesque Illawarra. The Rotary Club of Eischhweller sent in return technical
film of Steel Making in their area.
In 1986 Club member Ray Tarlinton, travelled to
Vanimo, Papua New Guinea to assist in the
construction of a building to house "Wayward
During 1989-90 a team of seven Club members
participated in a FAIM (Fourth Avenue in Motion)
Project in Papua New Guinea. The team, lead by PP
Ron Wynn, consisted of Club Pres. John Bunt, Pres.
Elect. Neville Norris, Joe Dreshen, Jim Gough,
Lloyd Tyson and PP Ray Tarlinton.
The project involved building domestic service
block and the completion of two classrooms 60
kilometres north of Port Moresby at Marionville,
Sacred Heart Girls High School. It proved to be a
most rewarding experience for all that participated.
The Rotary team and
happy helpers
Wayward House under
The Rotary Club of Shellharbour City
50 Years Serving Shellharbour Community Page 22 of 30
During 1994-95, PP Ron Wynn took on the role of Project Co-ordinator for the Eastern
Region of Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS). Rotary Clubs through
RAWCS took on the task of building a Rural Hospital at Kokoda in Papua New Guinea. Coordinating
this project resulted in a busy year for Ron but one that gave a lasting satisfaction
of a job well done. The hospital stands as a lasting and living memorial to all those who
perished in the Second World War.
Ron made several
trips to Papua New
Guinea to gain
knowledge of the
project and to
monitor progress. The end of September 1995 saw the official opening of the Rural Hospital.
Ron had put Rotary Club of Shellharbour City well and truly on the map with his
involvement in the project.
The finished class rooms and
􀈃The Shellharbour Bridge􀈄
Kokoda Rural Hospital
Papua New Guinea
The class rooms under
construction. Interesting
The Rotary Club of Shellharbour City
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In 1996, Club member Ray King spent time in Nepal with Rotarians from other clubs to
build a health clinic at Kaligasthan near Kathmandu. This was Ray’s second working
holiday in Nepal.
During 1999-00 the Club, for the first time became involved in Interplast, an initiative of The
Rotary Australasian College of Surgeons. Interplast is a voluntary organisation that either
sends medical teams to, or brings people from remote Pacific areas for operations to correct
cleft palate and other disfigurements needing plastic and microsurgery. The Club combined
with other Illawarra Rotary Clubs in raising the funds needed to finance the project that
along with a matching grant from Rotary International was enough to send a medical team
to the Philippines. The team successfully completed their work and returned from the
Philippines during August.
The Club selected two projects in 2000-01 to help the people of Timor. The first was "Toys to
Timor". The second was the transportation of a container load of commercial sewing
machines from Jamberoo to Prospect, and on to Timor.
Dave and Baby Collins from the Philippines visited the club during 2001-02 to give a
presentation of the work done by the Interplast. The value of the work done by the
Interplast Teams in surgically correcting birth defects in young children and doing it free of
charge is undoubtedly a fine example of compassion. Our role in raising the funds to get the
doctors, nurses and their equipment to where they are needed, is perhaps one of our finest
Support for International Service continued throughout 2001-02 and 2002-03. Working with
Donations in Kind (DIK) PP Col Willetts collected a large quantity of school books and
shipped off to Fiji for use by primary school children. We were also fortunate to get a
donation from the Illawarra Credit Union of their old uniforms (some were still in the
original packaging); these were packed at DIK and transported to East Timor. The Club
joined with the Rotary Club of Corrimal to help send two Interplast teams of surgeons to the
Philippines to carry out numerous operations on disfigured people. The project also
included working with DIK in packing a container with a number of hospital beds and other
medical equipment for the same area.
Club members collected a large quantity of spectacles that were urgently required in Nepal
and Papua New Guinea. Ray King also got his hands on a portable typewriter. A monetary
donation had also been made to Donations In Kind (DIK) to assist in covering the costs of
sending a container to East Timor.
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50 Years Serving Shellharbour Community Page 24 of 30
Donations In Kind (DIK), a Rotary initiative, became the club's main interest during 2003-04
with some members travelling to Prospect to finish off a stormwater trench alongside the
storage warehouse to stop inside flooding. Beds and other materials were collected from
both Shellharbour and Port Kembla hospitals and transported to the warehouse at Prospect.
Spectacles were again collected and sent to DIK to be forwarded on to Nepal, East Timor
and Vietnam.
The Club’s support of RAWCS during 2004-05 included providing some of the cost of
getting containers loaded with equipment to both Wewak and Kundiawa in Papua New
Guinea. The much-needed equipment provided resources to a local school and medical
equipment to a hospital. Sponsorship of a RAWCS project on Timor Leste saw the Club
provide funds to help cover the costs of a dental technician for twelve months at Maubara's
dental project. Our club and nine other Rotary Clubs in our District supported these 2004-05
RAWCS projects.
In August 2004, the Rotary Club of Shellharbour City had been inspired by an initiative of
North Balwyn Rotary Club in Melbourne, which received media coverage when they sent a
much-needed humidicrib to a Hospital in Western Baghdad. A Shellharbour businessman,
David Arapali and Rotarian Jim Gough, on seeing the news item offered a generous
donation of $10,000 if Shellharbour Rotarians would accept the challenge to buy a second
humidicrib for the Baghdad hospital. At the next Rotary meeting the Club members agreed
and donated the additional $3,500 needed to send a second unit to Baghdad. However the
situation in Iraq had changed and many months of waiting and frustration followed before
it was realised that delivery to Baghdad was impossible. After much research and exchanges
of emails the Club was advised by Assistant D.G. Ron Seddon in Port Moresby that the Port
Moresby Hospital had recently updated their infant care unit and were desperate for
equipment; at the top of the list was a humidicrib. The Club agreed and purchased a
humidicrib. The humidicrib and a donation from Draeger Medical of a Phototherapy unit, to
treat infant jaundice delivered to Port Moresby Hospital early 2006.
Shellharbour Rotary President, Vi Tease, echoed the sentiments of the Club's two preceding
Presidents by saying, after her induction in July 2006, that the project although drawn-out
and often frustrating would nevertheless be a valuable service for the babes in New Guinea
and was thus extremely worthwhile. We owe the successful conclusion to the never tiring
efforts of Ray King. "Despite the disappointment of not getting the humidicrib to Baghdad,
the unit is getting to where it is desperately needed at the Port Moresby Hospital." said Vi
The Club has continued supporting the work of Rotary International in its major worldwide
campaigns to alleviate poverty, malnutrition and the many other tragedies that so often
devastate communities around the world.
The Rotary Club of Shellharbour City
50 Years Serving Shellharbour Community Page 25 of 30
Projects such as:
Rotary Australia World Community Service
Australian Rotary Health,
Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM),
Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children
Interplast Australia & New Zealand
Shelterbox Australia
Photo courtesy of ShelterBox Australia
Over the years the Club has donated ten Shelter Boxes to disaster areas in various countries.
Our boxes have been sent to Somaliland, Agok in Sudan, Pakistan, Java, Peru, Philippines
Zimbabwe and Niger. The Shelterbox program offers
humanitarian aid to help families rebuild their lives after
losing their homes and possessions following a disaster
such as earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone,
tsunami or conflict
Shelter Box provides humanitarian aid—emergency dry weather
proof tented shelter, warm beds, blankest, water purification,
cooking aids; stove and utensils, practical tool kit and children’s
pack. Each box is equipped for ten people.
We are very proud of the part that we have played in Rotary International’s program to
eliminate from the world the scourged of Polio. This has been such a debilitating disease for
so many for such a long time. The evidence is that the campaign has been successful and we
should very soon have proof of a world free from this terrible disease.
We look forward to continuing supporting the needy people of the world through Rotary
International’s worldwide network of Rotary Clubs.
Shelter Box in the
Philippines Dec 2012.
Photos courtesy of
ShelterBox Australia
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Past Presidents
President Year President Year
Frank Smith (CH) (Dec) 66-67 Cobber O’Brien (Dec) 67-68
John Youll (Dec) 68-69 Ron Beard (Dec) 69-70
Harry Steinberger (Dec) -70 Bob Benson 70-71
Ken Stuart 71-72 Col Willetts (Dec) 72-73
Trevor Dalla (Dec) 73-74 Ray Timbs 74-75
Col McPherson (Dec) 75-76 Keith Gardiner 76-77
Mike McNamara (Dec) 77-78 Ron Wynn (Dec) 78-79
Alan White 79-80 Keith Hazelgrove (Dec) 80-81
Arthur Jones (Dec) 81-82 Lindsay Clifford (Dec) 82-83
Merv Gilroy 83-84 Ray Tarlinton 84-85
Joe Geenty 85-86 Mike Barry (Dec) 86-87
Ron Elliott (Dec) 87-88 Alan Cluff 88-89
John Bunt 89-90 Neville Norris 90-91
Jim Gough 91-92 Peter Fairweather 92-93
Rob Willetts 93-94 Alan Rothery 94-95
Lloyd Tyson 95-96 George Mailath 96-97
Joe Drehsen 97-98 Bill Lebherz 98-99
Garry Pymont 99-00 David Upton 00-01
Greg Armstrong 01-02 Larry How 02-03
Patrick Giles 03-04 Kevin de Main 04-05
Wayne Hockey 05-06 Vi Tease 06-07
Paul Burgess 07-08 Patrick Giles 08-09
David Hooper 09-10 Rob Beveridge 10-11
Michael Sampson 11-12 Adam How 12-13
Gladys Alarcon 13-14 Ray Tarlinton 14-15
Robyn Campaign 15-16
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50 Years Serving Shellharbour Community Page 27 of 30
Paul Harris Fellows
Greg Armstrong Shirley Gough
Robert Beveridge Wayne Hockey
John Bunt Larry How
Paul Burgess David Hooper (Sapphire Pin)
Robyn Campaign Audrey Jones
Lindsay Clifford (Dec) Arthur Jones (Dec)
Kevin de Main Ray King
Joe Drehsen Keith Mc Beath (Dec)
Ron Elliott (Dec) Col McPherson (Dec)
Peter Fairweather Neville Norris
Pam Fairweather Ray Tarlinton
Laurie Garvin Vi Tease
Cec Glenholmes (Dec) Lloyd Tyson
Richard Gilmartin Col Willetts (Dec)
Patrick Giles Lorraine Willetts
Jim Gough Ron Wynn (Dec)
Val Wynn (Dec)
The Rotary Club of Shellharbour City
50 Years Serving Shellharbour Community Page 28 of 30
Members and Honorary Members (H)
of the Rotary Club of Shellharbour City
wish to thank you for sharing with us this very special day.
Gladys Alarcon Greg Armstrong Rob Beveridge
Robyn Campaign Kevin de Main Peter Fairweather
Patrick Giles Laurie Garvin (H)
Richard Gilmartin
Jim Gough Wayne Hockey David Hooper
Larry How Adam How (H)
Audrey Jones (H)
Benjamin Jimenez Margaret Keevers Ray King (H)
Yavani Mudaly Michael Sampson Ray Tarlinton
Elaine Tarlinton (H
Lorraine Willetts (H)
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Front Left to Right: Patrick Giles, Yavani Mudaly, David Hooper, Pres. Robyn Campaign, Wayne Hockey and Margaret Keevers
Rear Left to Right: Michael Sampson, Benjamin Jimenez, Jim Gough, Ray Tarlinton, Richard Gilmartin, Greg Armstrong,
Robert Beveridge, Peter Fairweather and Larry How
Kevin de Main
Gladys Alarcon
Rotary Club of Shellharbour City – 2016
The Rotary Club of Shellharbour City