30th Birthday Story

Celebrated 28 November 2014 at Sferas Modbury
The Talk by Guest Speaker – Robert Brookes – 3rd President and Charter Member
• “The service we give to others is the rent we pay for our space on earth”
• Since 23 years old Iwas involved in Church Revues, Meals on Wheels.
• Provisional Club 30 May 1984 – David Richards and David Tuckwell were my interviewers (Campbelltown club). Charter night and off and running 3 November 1984.
• I was third President of Club 1986-87.
• Formula 1 Grand Prix’s from 1986 – I arranged paid work for members as donations to club.
• Pickled onion nights at Spring Gully. Gully winds and Chillis.
• In the third year we started to recognise Paul Harris Fellows as a contribution to the significant work done by The Rotary Foundation.
• In the 3rd year we welcomed our first Youth Exchange Student, Annette from Denmark. The first outgoing student was Jane Reddy.
• Camp Quality Christmas Parties at the Edinburgh Air Force Base, with Nick Bianco supplying wonderful Christmas gifts for the children.
• “What’s Cooking Around Rotary”, one of Kevin Roberts creations raised $11,600.
• I had 8 ½ great years in this club and then moved to Spalding, switching districts and joining the Rotary Club of Clare which began another Rotary journey.
• Moving to a small country town, you are suddenly wanted and asked to join everything. When I retired I became a member of CFS and SES, working on fire trucks and radio. RI rejoined Meals on Wheels, only 2 meals to be delivered, not as busy as Campbelltown.
• I was caught in the street one day by a CFS mate who yelled “you are needed, truck roll over Gulnare Road”, I supervised traffic. A large refrigerated truck had gone over and slid about 100 metres down an embankment on its side. Carrying ice creams, little pies and pasties. Driver was ok except for possible broken leg. Insurance assessor at 9.00 am said dig a hole and bury the goods. I said “I have a big hole in my fridge” and he said do as you please. Filled the ute and distributed the goods.
• I was President of Clare Club in 1997/98, project committee and started annual art show in Clare Valley. Winemakers’ Gourmet weekend. The third year of the art show the Winemakers were advertising the Art Show in their brochures.
• In 1999 I was invited to hear Cliff Dochterman, I was tapped on the shoulder and nominated for the position of Governor. I was shocked. I remember the interview for the position and the PDG’s who looked me up and down. I was asked, “what will you bring to the office of District Governor?” I replied, “what you see is what you get, you all know me well enough and if that doesn’t fit your model, please don’t pick me”. Peggy (who also became my District Secretary after a short period) and I had a wonderful successful time in 2001 – 2002 under the theme of ‘Mankind is our Business’. I simply believe that some things are meant to be. President of Rotary International in that year was Rick King and his style suited me. I am still remembered as the ‘Singing Governor’. Rick’s song formed part of my presentations on official visits. It was a huge personal and financial sacrifice for both of us, however you only need to have passion and commitment and you will succeed. You are on the go most of the time, phone calls are huge, two of the more unusual stick in my mind because they go to show that Rotary is known when help is wanted or there is no where else to turn.
• In 2004 we moved house, having built in Lyndoch. I joined Rotary Club of Barossa Valley. For more than 4 years served the District as Chair of The Rotary Foundation and later we became major donors.
• In 2005 went to India for NIDS and assisted with the Polio program at the medical centre in Agra. Eradicating this crippling disease and it was a privilege for both of us. Smiles of parents following those two drops of vaccine was more than enough.
• Toured the south and visited a 01-02 Governor colleague in Mysore. Live-in school and clinic for severely hearing impaired children. Some of the mothers who come from far away live in the hostel for up to 3 ½ years and help teach the children to communicate. We were so taken with this project that we donated an air conditioner for their sound proof room at the school.
• In 2011 a few months after turning 71, I was asked to join a club work party of 6 to the Solomon Islands for a SWSL project. Quarters were a thatched ‘A’ frame elevated room for a week or more. Laying ½ km of pipe, tank stand etc in this remote village. Fairly primitive living, no power, no shops, warm coke and whisky for a night cap and we slept like logs, except when a rat invaded our food supply. Went to Anglican church (14 services per week) and sang ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’. Offering money in plate 100 Solly dollars (about $A12) – minister’s wife nearly fainted.
• District Changeover 2012 – I received the biggest surprise of all in my Rotary life – our then District Governor called on me and said The Board of Rotary International bestows on you ‘The International Service Above Self Award’ of which there were just 130 of these worldwide in that year.
• Rotary involvement has now slowed down a bit, even though I still enjoy the great fellowship of current club. As far as community goes I am currently president of the Combined Probus Club of the Barossa (Peggy is Secretary) and we have 120 members. Also been Chair of the Barossa and Districts Justices Group for the past 4 years.
• Family life continues to expand with the recent addition of our 13th grandchild followed by our first great grandchild – both girls.
• So let me leave you with that quote again “The service we give to others is the rent we pay for our space on earth” and oh! Yes that song of President Rick’s went something like this ….
SING OUT A SONG OF ROTARY
WE’RE IN THE BUSINESS OF MANKIND
WE SOAR THE EARTH LIKE REGAL EAGLES
NEW MEMBERS EACH TO FIND
WE ARE THE CLASS IN BLACK MY FRIEND
WE SERVE WITH ALL OUR HEART AND MIND
SO SING OUT A SONG OF ROTARY
WE’RE IN THE BUSINESS OF MANKIND

(The tune is ‘GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY’)