Grand Prix Attendants Story


In 1986 President Robert Brookes negotiated with Mary Chesters, of Chesters Staffing, for members of the Club to work as gate attendants and stand ushers at the Australian Grand Prix. It was the beginning of an ongoing fundraising project that has continued for eight years and raised $33, 404 for the club. Under the working arrangement members, family and friends worked for the four days of the Grand Prix and their wages were paid free of tax to Club funds.

It has been a project where members have enjoyed immense fellowship and which has given the opportunity for the Club’s Exchange students to work and observe the Grand Prix and experience the carnival atmosphere. Mostly, the Morialta staff have worked in the Bronze and Silver sections near Brabham Straight. However, the odd occasion has arisen where some members have worked on Corporate Platforms and Stag Corner. For five years from 1986 to 1990, the group of members supervised the service gate at Prince Alfred College Oval. This allowed the opportunity for barbecues, champagne breakfasts and hospitality which soon became known amongst staff around the track, as did its reputation for providing efficient and friendly service whilst on duty.

At the conclusion of each Grand Prix on the Sunday, the Fellowship Committee or some of the partners set up refreshments in the Prince Alfred College Marquee, on their front oval, where the workers adjourned for some quiet fellowship to discuss the experience.

The first six years were coordinated by Robert Brookes and on his resignation that duty was taken over by Kevin Roberts. It became traditional on the Wednesday before each Grand Prix to present the “Jackets” to the workers, as an appropriate gift to outside people working for the club. The jackets were purchased by the club and presented to each worker as a souvenir for that year. These presentations were quite colourful fellowship nights, where partners attended.

In 1987, a party of four Rotarians came from as far away as the Gold Coast to work for the club at the event. Two Rotarians, Rex Mead and Kevin Roberts have worked at each Grand Prix for Morialta and Kevin also worked in 1985 for Kidman Park Rotary Club.

At the District Conference at Ballarat in 1993, the project was entered for Best Fundraising Project and Best Displayed Project and Morialta won both awards.

from page 106 A Ten Year History 1984 – 1994