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A First 50 Years History of the Rotary Club of Epping

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This book is a tribute to the many every-day, but extraordinary, men and women who, under the banner of Epping Rotary, have given of their time, their talents and their money to change lives and build community over a period of 50 years. It portrays the human face of many outstanding projects, and provides a fascinating insight into the nature of the Club over the years and how it has changed over each decade since its charter in 1962.

Text of A First 50 Years History of the Rotary Club of Epping

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    Presidents Opening Remarks

    This book is a tribute to the many every-day, but

    extraordinary, men and women who, under the banner of

    Epping Rotary, have given of their time, their talents and

    their money to change lives and build community over a

    period of 50 years.

    It portrays the human face of many outstanding projects,

    and provides a fascinating insight into the nature of the

    Club over the years and how it has changed over each

    decade since its charter in 1962.

    Whats in it for me?

    For former Epping Rotarians, its a wonderful and nostalgic trip down memory

    lane.

    For current Epping Rotarians, its a source of ideas, interest and inspiration; also

    of pride to appreciate the achievements of the Club over the last 50 years.

    For local historians, its a unique insight into the activities of a significant

    contributor to service within the community.

    For the casual reader, its an uplifting story of human interest, a story of dreams

    of making a difference turned to reality with the help of like-minded people.

    Enjoy!

    Finally, a word of acknowledgement. This book could not have come into existence

    without countless hours of voluntary effort collecting, compiling, writing and editing.

    There could not be a more capable or appropriate person to lead the authorship; Graham

    Stevens, in addition to twice being President of Epping Rotary and holding several

    Rotary District level positions, has been a major mover and shaker behind many of the

    projects that the Club has undertaken in its more recent history. So my heartfelt thanks

    to Graham; and also to Paul Clune and Stan Ledger, without whose dedication to

    preserving the Clubs history and Pauls many direct contributions, this book would not

    have been possible.

    Chris OBrien

    President 2011-12,

    Rotary Club of Epping Inc

    Chris OBrien

    President, Rotary Club of Epping Inc

    2011-12

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    Rotary International Presidents Message

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    Foreword by Andrew Tink If to give not to receive was Paul Harriss main

    motivation for founding Rotary in 1905, no club in

    Sydneys Northern District, renowned for its volunteer

    spirit, has demonstrated this better than Epping Rotary.

    During the last half century, the club has generously

    supported local hospitals, schools, and community

    groups. Among other things, it has helped to fund a

    Coronary Care Unit at Ryde Hospital, promoted debates

    between Epping Boys and Cheltenham Girls High Schools and constructed the Epping Guides

    hall.

    Since the year 2000 alone, over $300,000 has been raised for local and overseas community

    projects and charities. But countless initiatives have also been hands on including painting at

    Karonga Special School, the rebuilding of a mobile canteen, local graffiti removal, RYDA and the

    Terrys Creek Walk.

    As Epping has changed since 1962, so has the club. This sense of changing community is well

    captured in the clubs different banners the first featuring the Channel 7 tower, the second

    highlighting Epping Stations heritage building and the third depicting the eastern water dragon

    found on the Terrys Creek Walk.

    It would be a mistake to think that Epping Rotarys focus has always been local. Disadvantaged

    communities in places as far afield as Nepal, the Philippines and Vanuatu have received

    generous assistance for dental, cleft palate and eye programs.

    The Club has also been at the forefront of leadership within the Rotary movement itself,

    providing two District Governors in succession during 2007-09. This provided an unparalleled

    opportunity for Epping Rotarys successful formula to be emphasised in wider forums,

    especially the District Conferences held at Bathurst and Newcastle in those years.

    But Epping Rotary is not just a place of good works; it is also a place for good fellowship among

    other places at the Everglades Restaurant, Araluen, the Epping Club and Boronia Grove.

    However the most exotic venue must have been in Siberia where a number of Epping Rotarians

    and their partners enjoyed the hospitality of the Irkutsk Eco Rotary Club.

    Graham Stevens, Paul Clune and Stan Ledger have collaborated to produce this highly

    informative and delightfully readable tribute to fifty years of Rotary in Epping. It is also an

    important work of local history which will no doubt be a valuable reference book within the

    Hornsby, Ryde and Parramatta Library networks for years to come.

    Andrew Tink 28 April 2012.

    Andrew Tink was a Member of the NSW State Parliament for 19 years as the Member for Eastwood 1988-99 and the Member for Epping 1999-2007. In that time he held a number of shadow portfolios including 11 years as Shadow Attorney General and he was Leader of the House. He was an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Epping from 2003 to 2007. In 2009 Andrew completed the first biography of William Charles Wentworth. His most recent book is a biography of Lord Sydney

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    Contents Presidents Opening Remarks ........................................................................................................ 2 Rotary International Presidents Message ...................................................................................... 3 Foreword by Andrew Tink ............................................................................................................. 3

    Preface ............................................................................................................................................ 7 The Spark and fire of it All .................................................................................................... 7 Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................ 8 Other Contributors ................................................................................................................. 9

    Chapter 1 The Swinging 60s ..................................................................................................... 10 Epping in 1960s ........................................................................................................................ 10 Charter of Epping Rotary granted June 15th 1962 ................................................................... 11

    The Pedigree ......................................................................................................................... 11 The Charter Members .......................................................................................................... 12

    .................................................................................................................................................. 12

    The Club ................................................................................................................................... 13 The Club Banner .................................................................................................................. 14

    The Projects .............................................................................................................................. 15

    Epping Guide Hall ................................................................................................................ 15 Carols in Forest Park ............................................................................................................ 16 Youth Exchange 1968 ongoing ............................................................................................ 16 Seniors picnics 1963 to 1993 .............................................................................................. 19

    Chapter 2 The Contributing Seventies ......................................................................................... 21 The Club ................................................................................................................................... 21

    Fellowship ............................................................................................................................ 23 Rotannes 1972-2005 ............................................................................................................. 24 Epping Rotaract Clubs 1970-1984 and 1994-1998 .............................................................. 26

    Our First Sister Club Relationship-The Rotary Club of Tokyo Ikebukuro Japan 1971

    ongoing ................................................................................................................................. 27 Our Probus Club Success Story ........................................................................................... 29

    The Projects .............................................................................................................................. 31

    Epping Flea Markets 1973-1982 .......................................................................................... 31 The Epping Rotary Catering Van 1976-2009 ...................................................................... 32

    Pride of Workmanship Awards 1979 ongoing ..................................................................... 33 Ryde Hospital Coronary Care & Intensive Care Unit.1979-80 ........................................... 34

    Chapter 3 The Golden Eighties .................................................................................................... 36 The Club ................................................................................................................................... 36

    Fellowship ............................................................................................................................ 38 The Projects .............................................................................................................................. 42

    Microsearch Concerts at the Opera House 1982 and 1992 .................................................. 42

    High School Debates 1983 ongoing ..................................................................................... 43

    J. W. Langston Memorial Epping Scholarship 1984 ongoing ............................................. 44

    Polio Eradication 1985 ongoing ........................................................................................... 45 St John Ambulance Caravan 1986 ....................................................................................... 46 Camp Breakaway Wyong 1987 ......................................................................................... 47

    Chapter 4: The Nineties a Decade of Change .............................................................................. 49 The Club ................................................................................................................................... 49

    Fellowship ............................................................................................................................ 50 Rotary Friendship visits ....................................................................................................... 51

    Ikebukuro, Japan 1978 ..................................................................................................... 51

    China International Goodwill Mission 1993 .................................................................... 52 China 1998 ....................................................................................................................... 52

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    South Africa 1999 ............................................................................................................ 53

    Great Siberian Railway Adventure 2007 ......................................................................... 53 Women in Epping Rotary ..................................................................................................... 55

    A New Sister the Rotary Club of Monza Ovest 1998-2009 .............................................. 56 The Projects .............................................................................................................................. 57

    Eastwood Sunday Markets 1993-1997 ................................................................................. 57 Floods Earthquakes and Bushfires ....................................................................................... 58 RAWCS International Projects 1995-2007 .......................................................................... 59

    Nepal ................................................................................................................................ 59 Vanuatu ............................................................................................................................ 60

    Meadowbank Mystery Tour 1997 ongoing .......................................................................... 61 Carols in Boronia Park 1997-2009 ....................................................................................... 62 M2 Opening 1997 ................................................................................................................ 63

    Primary School Debates (The Roy Sadler Trophy) 1998 ongoing ............................................. 64

    Golf Days 1998 to 2002 ....................................................................................................... 64 Chapter 5 The New Millennium .................................................................................................. 66

    Epping in the new Millennium ................................................................................................. 66

    The Club ................................................................................................................................... 67 Two District Governors ........................................................................................................ 68 2008 District Conference ..................................................................................................... 71 District Conferences engender fellowship ........................................................................... 74

    The Rotary Foundation ........................................................................................................ 75 Australian Rotary Health ...................................................................................................... 76

    The Projects .............................................................................................................................. 77 The Terrys Creek Environment Project 2001 ...................................................................... 77 The RYDA Program ............................................................................................................ 79

    Epping Street Fair 2005 ongoing ......................................................................................... 81

    Graffiti removal .................................................................................................................... 82 Youth Programs ................................................................................................................... 83

    RYLA ............................................................................................................................... 83

    RYPEN ............................................................................................................................. 84 NYSF ................................................................................................................................ 84

    Chapter 6 Rotary Today and the Future ....................................................................................... 85

    Epping Today ........................................................................................................................... 85 The Club Today ........................................................................................................................ 85

    The Meetings ........................................................................................................................ 85 The Members ....................................................................................................................... 86 Fellowship ............................................................................................................................ 87

    The Projects .......................................................................................................................... 88 Fundraising ........................................................................................................................... 88

    The Future ................................................................................................................................ 89 Appendix 1 Past Presidents ....................................................................................................... 91 Appendix 2 Membership Today .............................................................................................. 103

    Current Members ................................................................................................................... 103 Honorary Members ................................................................................................................ 113

    Appendix 3 Epping Treasures .................................................................................................... 117 Appendix 4 The Walker Family a 50 year continuous link .................................................... 122 Appendix 5 History in photos .................................................................................................... 125 Appendix 6 Epping Members 1962 to 2012 .............................................................................. 135

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    Preface

    During the summer of 1900, Paul Harris was invited to dine with a

    lawyer friend and after dinner he and his friend took a walk, during the

    course of which they called on several neighborhood stores and shops of

    various kinds and at each visit his friend introduced him to the proprietor.

    Paul was deeply impressed with the events of the evening walk. His host

    had evidently found a good many friends among the business men in his

    neighborhood.

    Pauls clients were business friends but they were not social friends, and he

    wondered if there were any reason why he could not make social friends of

    his business friends, at least of some of them. He conceived of a group of

    business men banded together socially; then he thought that there would be

    an especial advantage in each member having exclusive representation of

    his particular trade or profession. The members would be mutually

    helpful.

    In 1905 he resolved to organize such a club. Who should be asked to join?

    Of one thing he was certainthey must be friendly men. The literature of

    the period, most of which was the work of Paul, emphasized the business

    advantage of membership. Prospective members were frequently appealed

    to directly on the basis of business gain. But even here is a distinction,

    subtle though it may seem. The prevailing thought was to givenot to

    receive. Giving was more reconcilable with the other thing that went along

    with itfriendship.

    The net result was that those who came into the club for the sole purpose of

    getting as much as they could out of it were disappointed and dropped out.

    Edited extract from The Founder of Rotary Paul P Harris

    Rotary International 1928;

    The vision of a world-wide fellowship of business and professional men united in the

    ideal of service had yet to come but the foundations of the organisation had been laid.

    Since that time Rotary International has grown to 1,213,500 members in 34,145 clubs in

    530 Districts in 210 countries. For the past 50 years the members of the Rotary Club of

    Epping have been part of that great organisation.

    The Spark and fire of it All

    Our Anniversary history has revealed outstanding achievements of our beloved Rotary Club

    since the day of its charter fifty years ago.

    How did it all happen? Who made it happen one may ask. The answer is simple It has been the

    committed, professional and dedicated men and women who joined our club over the years,

    who sought out needs in the local Community, raised funds and fulfilled them. They made it

    happen. They maintained an interest in improving the lives of the disadvantaged and elderly

    in our community and the well being and personal development of young people here and

    overseas.

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    They also had a vision beyond the local scene. They could see clearly that they were members of

    a prestigious worldwide organisation carrying out projects around the world for the betterment

    of humankind, such as the elimination of Polio and projects that lift the lives of the poor

    and needy in many countries and one strongly dedicated to peace.

    It does well for each Rotarian to be confident and always remind ourselves of the fact that

    each one of us is a member of such a wonderful worldwide circle of people endeavouring to serve

    humanity when and where we can, wherever we may be in the world we have friends with shared

    values.

    Throughout the fifty years of our clubs there has been a great strong thread of fellowship that

    has woven its way through it all, has bound the membership together and has been a basis for

    uplifting ones approach and experience in membership of our Rotary Club. It has been

    Fellowship together with friendship and commitment and dedication to Service above Self that

    has been a driving force in the club in the past. This was each members motto and mantra. The

    Four Way Test was also their guidance as the club grew and became the great club it is and no

    doubt will continue to be. Paul Clune

    Acknowledgements

    The Rotary Club of Epping has been uniquely served by PP Paul Clune and Rotarian

    Stan Ledger who have documented the history of the club every year since its inception.

    Their work is preserved on the clubs website www.eppingrotary.org.au as a testament

    to the contribution of members each year through their involvement in meetings, social

    activities, fund raising events and community service projects both locally and

    internationally. It documents the coming and going of members and how our funds were

    earned and distributed. It provides readers with a tangible record of the contribution

    that Epping Rotarians have made to the local community on a day to day basis.

    In completing this story of Contribution and Achievement we have drawn on the official

    history but also the memories and reminiscences of members past and present, in an

    attempt to put 50 years of community service into perspective, to provide personal

    insights into what motivates members, and to look to the foundations of many of the

    great programs that the club has embarked on over those years.

    We have also looked at the club in the context of changes in Australia and the local

    Epping community that have occurred over the period and speculated where Rotary and

    the club might be heading over the next 50 years.

    Paul Clune and Stan Ledger without

    whose efforts much of our history would have been lost

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    It is our hope that by better understanding the history and traditions of the Club, current

    and future members will lift it to even greater heights.

    We thank those current and past members who have taken the time to document their

    memories of this great club.

    In any endeavour of this type not all events or activities will be captured and some may

    question the prominence given to one event over another. As editors we have tried to

    present a balanced and comprehensive view. We will leave it to the readers to judge our

    success.

    PP Paul Clune PP Graham Stevens

    Other Contributors

    PP Ken Beacom

    PP Max Breckenridge

    PDG Tony Castley

    PP John Corney

    PP Ian Dence

    Rtn. Arch De Pomeroy

    Rtn. Wal Dover

    Rtn. John Fenessy

    PP John Goddard

    PP Ray Hosking

    President Elect 2012-13 Bruce Jacob

    Rtn. Stan Ledger

    PP Ian Mackay

    PP Athol Mc Coy

    Hon Rtn. / PP Algy Morris

    Rtn. Bob Nash

    Rtn. Betty Ockerlander

    President 2011-12 Chris OBrien

    PP John Payne

    PP Doug Rae

    PDG Monica Saville

    PP Graham Simons

    Rtn. Bob Smeallie

    PP David Stewart

    PP Alan Thomas

    PP Cees Thurmer

    Rtn. Don Townsend

    PP Peter Tugwell

    Hon Rtn. Diane Walker

    PP Ken Walker

    Rtn. Pam Waugh

    Rtn. Stephen Wright

  • 10

    Chapter 1 The Swinging 60s

    Epping in 1960s When the Rotary Club of Epping was chartered in 1962, it was part of an expanding

    suburb. New housing developments in North and West Epping brought an influx of new

    families into the area. New High Schools at Epping and Cheltenham had been built to

    cater for educational needs the post war baby boomer generation, and a new primary

    school was opened in North Epping to cater for the growth in that area. While there was

    some migration from overseas into the area, in the early 1960s less than 5 percent of the

    population was born overseas.

    The Epping shopping centre had developed separately on the east and western sides of

    the main northern railway line, and provided a diversity of shopping experience from

    menswear, shoes and ladies fashion, jewellers, TV and radio repairs, hardware,

    pharmacists, cake shops, service stations, a produce merchant, a timber mill, hotel,

    picture theatre, post office, bakery, several banks and a building society, two estate

    agents, a newsagent, local newspaper, a laundry, clothing manufacturer, and a co-

    operative building society. Complementing the Chinese Restaurant in the Beecroft Road,

    an enterprising restaurateur had constructed the Golden Inn on Kandy Avenue with its

    own on site parking. Barry Scotts had completed a new shopping arcade between

    Beecroft Road and Rawson Streets. A PMG line depot stood on the site of the current

    Epping Community Club. Moran and Catos grocery store had given way to a new idea

    from America, a self serve super market. By todays standards it was tiny but it was a

    big innovation for Epping.

    Houses in Ray Road and Bridge Street, Oxford Street and Cambridge Street were starting

    to give way to apartments. There were signs that change was in the wind.

    To cater for the growing population scouting and guide units flourished, the Seals

    swimming club was formed at the new Dence Park Pool, new sporting clubs like the

    Epping Rams Rugby Club were formed and the YMCA took possession of its new hall.

    The tennis courts at Rockleigh in Essex Street and Midson Road were packed and the

    croquet club and Central Epping Bowling club were thriving.

    With the growing community came a need for more facilities like scout and guide halls,

    kindergartens, schools, libraries, hospitals, sporting fields, bowling clubs and meeting

    rooms for senior citizens. The Poplars Community Hospital in North Epping, established

    in the 1920, run by local doctors, and the birthplace of many of the post war baby

    boomers in the suburb, was the pride of the community.

    There was also pressure on existing infrastructure and plenty of demand for parents and

    community minded people to get involved in maintaining and repairing existing

    buildings and facilities. Older institutions like the Dalmar Childrens homes and Lottie

    Stewart Convalescent Hospital relied heavily on community financial support and

    volunteer help for painting and maintenance tasks and to help with their fund raising

    efforts

  • 11

    It was into this environment that 26 local business men came together in 1962 to form the

    Rotary Club of Epping. Not surprisingly most of the charter members were local

    businessmen who had premises in Epping, a veritable whos who of the High Street.

    Charter of Epping Rotary granted June 15th 1962 The formation of the Rotary Club of Epping was rapid. On 22nd May 1962 proposed

    members of the club were invited as guests of the Rotary Club of Ryde to St. Anne's

    Church Hall Ryde. A further meeting was held on 6th June 1962 at the home of Eric and

    Vera Allars.

    On 11 June 1962 the proposed members met at the Everglades restaurant Epping at 6pm

    for an organisational meeting chaired by District Governor Sleath Lowry. Officers were

    elected and the club's Constitution and By-Laws adopted. The charter for the formation

    of the club was granted by Rotary International on 15 June 1962 and at that date the

    membership was 26. The first meeting of the club was held at Everglades 18th June, 1962.

    On 10th September 1962 twenty seven members were inducted by District Governor Ed

    Hill, the first District Governor of District 268, and Epping's Charter was presented by

    Past District Governor Sleath Lowry in the presence of 450 Rotarians and wives in St.

    Albans Church of England Memorial Hall. Lloyd Gollan was Charter President.

    On 29th October 1962 official visits were made by Rotary Clubs of North Sydney and

    Ryde. At that meeting the clubs presented a silver salver to PP Eric Allars in appreciation

    of his work in the formation of the Epping club and President John Edmonds of Rotary

    Club of Ryde, our mother club, presented a cheque for 122.8.2 ($224.83) representing

    the surplus of funds after the expenses of the charter night.

    There were three remarkable features of the formation of the club: firstly the charter was

    granted within a record short time of four days due to the expertise of District Governor

    Sleath Lowny, secondly Epping was the last club formed within the boundary of the

    previous District 275, (the northern portion of which became District 268 on 1st .July

    1962), and thirdly, because the Charter was granted so quickly the club never met as a

    provisional club

    The Pedigree

    In 1921 two Special Commissioners arrived in Australia with credentials from the Board

    of the International Association of Rotary Clubs in Chicago, to establish Rotary in

    Australia and New Zealand. At that time there were only 800 clubs in the United States,

    Canada and the British Isles.

    The Rotary Club of Sydney held its inaugural meeting on 7 May 1921, with 35 members.

    In 1926 the Rotary Club of Sydney chartered the next Sydney club, the Rotary Club of

    Parramatta. In turn Parramatta chartered a number of clubs including the Rotary Club

    Burwood in 1939. In 1946 Burwood Club chartered the Rotary club of Ryde and Epping

  • 12

    Rotary is one of the five daughter clubs of the Rotary Club of Ryde.

    The Charter Members

    All of the charter members either worked in or had businesses in Epping.

    Ryde

    1946

    Rydalmere

    1955-2008

    Hunters Hill

    1958

    Gladesville

    1978

    Epping

    1962

    Carlingford 1972

    North Rocks

    1994

    E-Club of Greater Sydney

    2011

    Eastwood

    1967

    Ryde North

    1978

    Macquarie Park

    2006

    Back Row (L to R) Frank Hunt (Menswear); Wal Heiron (Motor Repairs); Wal Cooper (Watch Repairing); Col

    Kirkwood (TV and radio repairs); Russell Walker(Radio and TV repairs); Stuart Beck(Painting and Decorating);

    Bill Jennings(Sec) (Accountancy Services); Norman Charge(Garage Services); Rev Bert Parker(Minister of

    Religion) Jock Brodie (Insurance-Life);

    Middle Row John Niccol (Newsagency;) Jack Rae (Pharmacy); Les Booth (Dentistry); Bill Sterland (Groceries

    Retailing); Lloyd Gollan (P) (Optometry); Cec Chambers (VP) (Primary Education); Arthur Walker (Electrical

    Contracting); Frank Bloom (Poultry Wholesale); Ken Rhodes (Real Estate); Bob Watson (Treas) (Banking);

    Front Row: Bruce Scotts (Property); Ron Jacobs (Feed and Grain Retailing); George McIntosh (Menswear);

    Barry Catt (Nurseries); Jim Hawkins (Building Construction); George Heath (Insurance General)

  • 13

    The Club

    At the time the Rotary Club of Epping was chartered, Rotary International had only been

    in existence for 58 years and consisted of 11,400 clubs and 509,000 members worldwide.

    In Australia there were 462 clubs and 18,851 members.

    Epping Rotary in the 1960s was a very formal affair; the charter members had the benefit

    of the considerable Rotary experience of Lloyd Gollan, Arthur Walker and Jack Rae, who

    had been long term members of Ryde Rotary. They brought with them the traditions and

    rituals of that club. Each meeting commenced with the loyal toast and the singing of

    Rotary grace. The President with his newly acquired chain of office would sit at the head

    table flanked by the Secretary and Treasurer. The Charter was displayed each meeting

    together with a photograph of the Queen on the wall and the Australian flag. Anything

    less than a suit and tie was frowned upon and members would not have contemplated

    anything more casual for the weekly meeting. Meetings followed strict protocols. Each

    three months and on special occasions like changeover and Christmas, club members

    would invite their wives to attend a ladies night and ladies would attend dressed in their

    finery.

    All of the 26 charter members had businesses in Epping or worked and lived in the

    Epping area; that was a strict membership condition in the early years, and the Club

    boasted a weekly attendance rate in excess of 90 per cent.

    The charter members reflected the diversity of the Epping shopping strip in the 1960s.

    There was an optometrist, pharmacist, minister of religion, motor mechanic, menswear

    shop proprietor, bank manager, building society manager, school principal, property

    developer, insurance salesman, nurseryman, newsagent, produce merchant, real estate

    agent, TV and radio repairer, watch maker, printer, grocer, as well as an electrician,

    builder and painter and decorator

    As a sign of the time the Rotary club bulletin of the new club was called RIM (Rotary in

    Men)

    In 1963 District 268, as it then was called,

    organised its first District Conference at

    Katoomba, The registration cost was $2

    and members from Epping Rotary

    attended. A very young Diane Trayor

    made her debut at the Rotary Ball with

    partner Russell Walker, the youngest

    member of the fledgling Rotary club

    In 1963 the club was shattered by the tragic

    death of one of its charter members Rev

    Bert Parker the local Congregational Church minister, who was killed returning from his

    holiday home on the Central Coast. The planned Girl Guides Hall in Brigg Road Epping

    was named in his honour.

    Shortly before the Epping club was Chartered in 1962

    Russ asked me to accompany him to my first Rotary

    meeting at Everglades, Dence Park Epping. I was 16, in

    my first year out of high school, and my knowledge of

    Rotary then, was zero. The guest speaker happened to be

    Miss Bessie Mitchell, the first principal of Cheltenham

    Girls High School. I was quite traumatised when faced by

    my past high school principal, as my only other close

    encounter with her was receiving a detention for wagging

    scripture class.

    Another significant moment in my life came 1963 when I

    was a debutante at the Rotary District Ball with Russ as

    my partner. We were presented to District Governor Ed

    Hill. Di Walker

  • 14

    Early projects of the club included supplying books for patients at the Poplars

    Community Hospital, sending books to PNG, painting the Isabelle Pulsford

    kindergarten in Bridge Street. A young watchmaker Wal Cooper was very much

    involved in starting the annual Carols in Forest Park and organising picnics for the

    elderly from Shalom nursing home, a passion he would retain for the whole of his Rotary

    career

    In 1966 three members Lloyd Gollan, Jack Rae and Arthur Walker and their wives visited

    PNG to inspect the work that the club had being done with local schools.

    In 1967 the club sent out its first youth exchange student Narelle Sonter to Lacombe in

    Canada, The following year the club received its first inbound student Marylin Nelson

    (Stelfox) from the same club in Canada. There was some drama when Marilyn's flight

    from Canada was diverted to Melbourne due to an airline strike and Epping Rotarian

    Russ Walker contemplated driving to Melbourne to collect her. Fortunately a club in

    Melbourne was able to take her in and send her to Sydney the next day. That however

    was too late for the celebratory dinner that the club had planned in her honour

    In 1968 the club, together with Ryde Rotary co-hosted the D268 District Conference held

    at Macquarie University on behalf of District Governor Gordon Harmon of Manly club

    At June 1970 the club membership stood at 43. It had inducted 46 new members and had

    seen 29 members depart. Only ten of the original charter members were still in the club,

    Stuart Beck, Les Booth, Wal Cooper, Lloyd Gollan, Bill Jennings, John Niccol, Bill

    Sterling, Arthur Walker, Russ Walker and Cec Chambers. Two of the Charter Members

    PP Russ Walker PHF (Sapphire pin) and PP Wal Cooper PHF (sapphire pin) recently

    passed away, achieving just short of 50 years continuous membership of the Club.

    The Club Banner

    Original Club Banner 1962-1997

    Second Club Banner 1997-2003

    Current Club Banner 2003 -

    One of the Rotary traditions is for members visiting other clubs, particularly overseas, to

    provide the host club with your club banner. The first banner received by Epping Rotary

  • 15

    was from the Rotary Club of Hunters Hill in July 1962. The banner usually has been

    designed to reflect some aspect of the area in which the club operates.

    Epping Rotary's first banner was designed in February 1963 by a Mr. Petley and

    represented the ATN 7 TV tower, an iconic structure in Epping in the 1960s built to

    coincide with the introduction of television into Australia in 1956.

    The banner was redesigned in May 1997 to depict Epping railway station in 1905. The

    design was taken from a painting commissioned by PP John Hayes, at a time when the

    historic platform buildings were being torn down for a redevelopment of the station.

    Andrew Tink, former State Member for Epping and a past Honorary Member of the Club

    recalls:

    The station building depicted in the banner is the oldest station building between Strathfield

    and Hornsby and is now well over 100 years old It had been under threat during the

    redevelopment of the station but I successfully lobbied the then Transport Minister to save it

    from demolition with help from Epping Rotary and the Epping Civic Trust. Unfortunately a

    second station building, dating from 1927, which the Minister refused to reprieve, was

    demolished.

    In 2003 the banner was again redesigned to depict the eastern water dragon, a common

    sight during the construction of the Terrys Creek Walking track.

    Over 50 years the club has accumulated many hundred banners from other clubs and

    Rtn Stan Ledger did a marvellous job laminating them so that they can be used as place

    mats on Rotary special occasions

    The Projects

    Epping Guide Hall

    In 1963 Howard (Jum) Land, a builder and President of the Epping Girl Guides

    Association approached Epping Rotary for assistance to build a Guide Hall on a site at

    the corner Blaxland Road and Brigg Road Epping. The parents had undertaken

    fundraising and had enough money for materials. The site had been leased to the Guides

    by Hornsby Council for a peppercorn rent.

    President elect Arthur Walker readily accepted

    the challenge to build the hall and the

    foundation stone was laid in December 1964. In

    the previous year Rev Bert Parker the Epping

    Congregational Church minister and charter

    member had been killed in a road accident and

    it was decided to name the hall the Bert Parker

    Memorial Hall.

    Epping Rotarians were able to bring to the project building skills, the services of an

    electrician, painter and general willingness to get involved. They were also able to use

    their influence to source material such as the concrete for the foundations cheaply. The

  • 16

    building was erected within six months for a budget of

    $11,000. The project was not without incident. When President

    Arthur Walker broke his wrist, his son Ken, who was also a

    member of the club, used some broken fibro to splint the wrist.

    This first aid measure was not highly regarded when Arthur

    arrived at the Ryde Hospital casualty department.

    The hall was officially opened on 26th June 1965 by Miss

    Eleanor Manning OBE, Chief Commissioner of the Girl

    Guides Association of Australia. The

    opening was also attended by ATN 7

    personality Mavis Bramston who was very well known and

    popular character at the time.

    The Club re-established its links to the Guide Hall on 29th May

    2010 when it dedicated a memorial to Past President Russ

    Walker on the front wall of the building next to the foundation

    stone laid by his father, and planted a memorial tree. This

    celebrated Russ membership of the Club from 1962 to 2009. Subsequently the Club has

    used the hall as a venue for its annual austerity night dinner.

    While the Guide Unit was disbanded for several years it has recently been re-established

    and the hall is still an important community asset.

    Carols in Forest Park

    Wal Cooper loved to sing, he was in the church choir and the Rotary song master so it

    was a natural progression for him to suggest that the club should organise Carols in

    Forest Park each Christmas. Wals Church would tell the Christmas story and provide

    the choir and Epping Rotary would sell candles and hand out song sheets. The first

    Forest Park carols in 1966 raised $150 for the club and the carols continued until 1986.

    In 1982 the club joined with ATN Channel 7 to assist with their carols. ATN had decked

    out its television tower at Mobbs Lane with Christmas lights and this tradition continued

    until the site was closed in 2000. The ATN carols continued until 1994. In the last year

    the club raised $1,000 from the sale of candles and food from its catering van.

    Youth Exchange 1968 ongoing

    Youth Exchange is an official program of Rotary International and allows around 8,000

    students to exchange annually to around 60 different countries.

    Rotary Exchange students spend one year living in another country, usually with three

    or four host families. The exchange offers students the opportunity to learn another

    language, experience different foods, study different subjects, enjoy a new culture and

    enjoy a new way of living it allows students to learn a great deal about themselves and

    gain confidence and self-sufficiency.

    The ambassadorial nature of the exchange promotes world understanding and peace.

    During 1965 my good friend

    Harold (Jum) Land suggested I

    might like to assist him in helping

    Rotary with a project to improve

    the Epping Guide Hall. As I had

    two guiders in my family this

    began a long association with the

    Rotary movement, and

    introduced me and my family to

    the joys of work and fun in the

    communitys interest. Ian Dence

  • 17

    Epping Rotary first became involved in Youth Exchange in 1968 when it sent its first

    exchange student Narelle Sonter to Canada. In the following year Marylin Stelfax from

    Canada became our first inbound student. I recall the excitement for the arrival of the first exchange student, Marylin from Canada in 1968. A welcome

    party was arranged at The Lands home, her first host parents. She was due to arrive on a Sunday morning

    when unexpectedly the day before a Sydney airport strike was called, and her flight was diverted to Melbourne.

    Fortunately a Rotary contact in Melbourne rescued her. Although Russ and his brother Ken had volunteered to

    drive to Melbourne to pick her up.

    Russ and I were Marylins second host parents. I was only five years older than her. Our friendship has

    continued since and on the three occasions we have shared visits in Canada & Australia, its as if the years

    between just melted away

    Di Walker

    Over the years Epping has sponsored 44 outbound students and hosted 38 inbound

    students. In all 13 children of Epping Rotarians have participated in youth exchange, 7

    sponsored by Epping Rotary and 6 sponsored by other clubs in the District. The most

    popular destinations has been Japan (8) followed by USA (6) and Denmark (5)

    The Rotary Youth Exchange program relies heavily on host parents, both in the

    sponsoring and receiving clubs. Many members have been host parents to students

    over the years and found it to be a very rewarding experience, often leading to long

    term friendships.

    Margot and I enjoyed our involvement with the Youth Exchange programme. It was marvellous to watch

    the transformation of a number of the students during their year in Australia and Im sure the benefits

    will be lifetime. We were host parents to 4 students and still have a close attachment to the 2 girls from

    Scandinavia, both of whom are now married with young families. The programme was under the

    committed leadership of the late Roy Sadler who ensured that it ran smoothly

    Graham Simons.

    Host parents are also responsible for the safety of the children while they are on exchange

    and sometimes the unexpected can happen: The year I was International Director we were hosting Tom an exchange student from USA. We visited

    Dee Why. Tom had never seen the ocean before and was amazed. We plunged in the surf and were enjoying

    ourselves. I turned to warn Tom of a possible rip and found he was battling to stay on his feet, walking

    across the main rip. We quickly went to his aid and fortunately we managed to drag Tom out of harms

    way. This was a good warning.

    Arch De Pomeroy

    For many years PP Roy Sadler and his wife Heather were the clubs youth exchange

    counselors, heavily involved in the welfare of both the inbound and outbound exchange

    students. Roy and Heather would take the students under their wings as soon as they

    arrived, setting up bank accounts, arranging their school enrolments and organising

    uniforms so the transition was as smooth as possible. Every student inbound and

    outbound would receive regular hand written letters of encouragement from Roy in his

    beautiful script, and he and Heather used to keep in touch with the inbound students

    long after they had returned home. Roy would say that he knew that non English

    speaking students had settled in and adapted when they started to dream in English

  • 18

    A highlight of my year as President was the

    presentation of Order of Australia Medal to Roy

    Sadler for service to youth, particularly through the

    youth exchange programme of The Rotary Club of

    Epping Ian Mackay

    PP John Corney was the District Youth

    Exchange Chairman for a number of years

    and he provides this perspective on the

    program

    The Youth Exchange program had its

    beginnings in quite early days within

    Rotary (1920s). In Australia, the earliest exchanges occurred in the 1950s with Taiwan.

    However by the early 1960s the organisation of exchanges was being managed globally by the

    Rotary Foundation. By the rules of the Foundation, no member of Rotary can benefit from

    the Foundations activities so the children of Rotarians were unable to participate in

    exchanges. Eventually the Rotary Youth Exchange Program was taken out of the ambit of the

    Foundation to eliminate the restriction.

    In the 1960s in Australia most exchanges were arranged as a club-to-club exchange. Later it

    evolved into a District-to-District exchange so now the inbound student a club takes does not

    have to be from the same place as the destination of the outbound student.

    In the 60s, 70s and 80s the cost of international travel was significant and the opportunity

    for a young person to travel and live overseas for 12 months was particularly attractive.

    Accordingly there was quite a lot of competition for places in the program. With the increasing

    availability of international air travel in the 90s and on into the 21st century, the novelty

    has worn off and there is not as much competition for places. However the intangible benefits

    gained are just the same. Rotarys supervised exchange program is not as attractive to young

    people as the less structured gap year programs now available. There are thousands of

    organisations providing student exchanges worldwide and hundreds of thousands of students

    participating each year.

    The structured nature of the Rotary program appeals to the parents more than the students.

    Amongst the benefits to the student of participation in an exchange, the growth in self-

    confidence which it fosters is particularly significant.

    From Rotarys perspective the main benefits of the RYEP are

    it delivers to our community young people more tolerant and rounded by their year

    in another culture

    it gives them experience of how other families organise their lives by comparison to

    their own family

    It fosters world friendship and understanding by the hundreds of contacts the two

    students (inbound and outbound) make with other people during their year away.

    These contacts cannot be replaced by the words of politicians or the accessibility of

    the internet. Ultimately it is the combined effect of millions of such contacts which

    forges the attitude of people in one country/culture to those of another

    country/culture.

    Roy and Heather Sadler

  • 19

    It expands the contacts between the Rotarians and others who are involved in the

    management of the RYEP worldwide, starting with the host families.

    One factor which has impinged on the operation of the RYEP exchanges is the ease and reduced

    cost of international communication and the effect of social media services. Communication

    has progressed from letter writing and a few phone calls a year to faxes and calling cards,

    then to mobile phones and now to Facetime, Skype and Facebook. This leads to problems with

    some students running up huge phone bills but more importantly students now arent forced

    as much to resolve issues themselves, but can rely on others back home or across the world to

    help them instantly. There are still problems to be solved but theyre different ones!

    One aspect of youth exchange has not changed. Many students choose to participate in youth

    exchange because they hope to reinvent their personality in the process to escape from

    personality traits they perceive they have (rightly or wrongly) and to become a better person.

    Rotarians need to be cognisant of this aspect of the RYEP program and assist the students we

    host to develop as they hoped within the rules laid down by the program for the safety and

    benefit of all participants.

    John Corney

    Seniors picnics 1963 to 1993

    Our Club has a long history of supporting our local senior citizens including many years

    association with Shalom and Willandra Aged care Facilities of Baptist Community

    Services.

    In the early days, picnics were the order of the day and over the period 1966 to 1993 there

    were nine outings for the residents of Shalom and Willandra

    In November 1966, April 1968 and August 1969 PP Wal Cooper and PP Ken Walker

    organised picnics at Bobbin Head

    In September 1970 Rotarian Bob Nash organised another Senior Citizens Outing to

    Bobbin Head for the residents of Shalom and also on this occasion for the residents of

    nearby Willandra, In February 1972, the outing was organised by Rotarian Mal Mitchell.

    In September 1972, Rotarian John Dunn organised a car drive. The picnics lapsed for a

    number of years, although members still supported a range of seniors outings, lunches,

    and concerts organised by other groups like Christian Community Aid

    In December, 1990, Rotarian Bob Smeallie reintroduced the annual outing, inviting sixty

    elderly and lonely people from

    Shalom to a Christmas picnic.

    Bob organised a similar outing in

    1992 and Wal Cooper combined

    a picnic with a paddle boat ride

    for the residents in Lane Cove

    Park in 1993

    Simply recording the timing of

    the outings understates the contribution of Service above Self, by so many members in

    the club who contributed their time and the use of their vehicles, also the planning and

    Seniors picnic 1992

  • 20

    fund raising to support the outings and the contribution of the Rotary wives and

    Rotannes supplying the afternoon tea. All of these things ensured the enjoyment of so

    many and were a fitting prelude to the Rivercat Cruises which commenced in 1997.

  • 21

    Chapter 2 The Contributing Seventies

    The Club

    A knife and forker - Never! was the members catch cry that heralded the Contributing

    Seventies. Active contribution was the order of the day. The club started the decade with

    42 members and ended with 60 members, a net increase of 18 for the period.

    Club meetings were quite formal with a structured agenda

    combined with humour, particularly from the sergeants of

    the day. It was considered quite an honor to be invited to

    join the Club. Fellowship was most paramount and was the

    very glue that bound the club together as it went about

    raising funds and contributing with a hands-on perspective.

    1971 saw the inauguration of the Sister Club relationship

    with Ikebukuro Rotary Club in Japan. And the first of a

    number of Youth Exchange students coming from and going

    to Japan

    In 1972 we sponsored our daughter club, the Rotary Club of Carlingford, which became

    one of the most successful clubs of our district

    Members enjoyed a sense of achievement through the many hands on projects, such as

    erecting fences and undertaking renovations at the Poplars Community Hospital,

    painting and building a bus port at Dalmar Childrens Homes, renovating and painting

    the Scout Hall, painting at Karonga Special School House, We also installed a clock at

    Epping Arcade and a drinking fountain at Poplars Hospital in memory of Charter

    Member, PP Arthur Walker who passed away in September 1973.

    Two buses were presented to Karonga School for handicapped children and the club

    donated $10,000 to various charity appeals as diverse as, The Darwin Disaster Appeal,

    The RPA Hospital, Christian Community Aid Eastwood and Shoes for Lepers in New

    Guinea

    Our first flea Market in March 1974 raised $1,400 with Rotannes playing a significant role

    in its success.

    The Member of State Parliament for Eastwood Jim Clough was inducted as an Honorary

    member of the Club on the floor of State Parliament. Over the years the club has had

    the privilege of inducting as Honorary Members the sitting Members for Epping,

    Andrew Tink and later Greg Smith SC MP.

    When the Headmaster of the local

    Primary School knocks on the

    front door, you might be forgiven

    for wondering which one of the

    three kids is in trouble. I was

    relieved to know that Horrie

    Mendham had called to invite me

    to join Epping Rotary. This

    began, for me, 22 years of

    pleasure in the friendship of

    number of men and their families

    Don Townsend

  • 22

    A burnt out tandem axle caravan was rebuilt and became the famous and well worked

    catering van of the club, which, became a source of so much vital finance to support the

    clubs projects throughout the years. It also earned the club an Achievement Award from

    Rotary International for the building and development of the Van

    High School Debates between Epping Boys High and Cheltenham Girls High Schools

    commenced. These debates were prior to those which were held in later years competing

    for the Cec Chambers Memorial Trophy.

    The largest Rotaract Club in the Southern Hemisphere was sponsored and organised by

    our Club. We also established our first Probus Club The Epping & District Mens Probus

    Club, which made a significant contribution to and benefit for the lives of retirees of our

    local community

    Charter President, Lloyd Gollan, became our first Paul Harris Fellow.

    It was indeed a busy and contributive decade. Some

    twenty five fundraising events were conducted by the

    Club raising in the vicinity of $28,000. The events covered

    Bowls and Golf Days, Fetes at Dalmar and Karonga

    School, Carols. Flea Markets were a feature six raising

    $19,000

    Our Youth Exchange program moved ahead - 10 Overseas

    Students stayed with us and we sent 11 away. Students

    came from a wide range of countries such as Japan, USA,

    Denmark and South Africa and our outgoing students went to Japan, Canada, USA,

    Indonesia and Thailand.

    During 1977-78 and with a club

    membership over sixty,

    fellowship was at an all time

    high, enabling many new

    community and international

    service projects to be under

    taken.. Family support within the

    Rotary Club of Epping was also

    particularly strong with BBQs, numerous social functions and

    tours throughout the year

    Ray Hosking

    Jim Clough MP (left) with President Algy Morris and PP Cec Chambers at Parliament House following his induction as an Honorary Member

    of the Club

  • 23

    Fellowship was an important ingredient in the life of

    the club if not most paramount in the bonding of the

    members in Community Service and Service above

    Self. On at least thirty occasions throughout the

    Seventies, Family Days, Family Picnics, Family

    Weekends Away. Bucks Weekends, Boating

    Weekends, Progressive Dinners and Austerity

    Dinners, all brought members together as a Rotary family. These set the stage for the

    building of the club as a leading club in the District and its

    success in contributing to the welfare of our local Community

    in Epping. Bob Nash was one of the key organisers of the

    fellowship activities and the weekends in particular, always

    undertaking a recce in advance to make sure everything

    would be in place for an enjoyable weekend

    The club initiated the Ryde Hospital Project and together with five other clubs raised

    $100,000 towards the building of a Coronary Care Ward. The government agreed to

    contribute dollar for dollar.

    In 1979 when the Everglades venue where weekly meetings were held closed

    unexpectedly, meetings were held at "The Walkers in Brucedale Ave until the Araluen

    Receptions venue became available. Dinner fees increased to $5.50.

    It was a significant and contributing club during the Decade of the Seventies, led by

    outstanding Presidents, Eric Wade, Les Booth, Wal Cooper, Ron Turner, Algy Morris,

    Alan Emery, Ian Dence, Ray Hosking, Max Breckenridge and Fred Arthur.

    Fellowship

    The importance of Fellowship was a recurring theme during the

    seventies. Bob Smeallie reflects on his early years in Rotary

    I was nominated by Max Breckenridge to join Epping Rotary in 1973 but at that stage

    because of work and family commitments I postponed joining till 1974, the late Ron Turner

    was President and it was a great to be part of an elite group of men that were committed to

    do things for the community.

    Joining Rotary for me did have some early problems in so far that I was known to quite a

    number of people. I had been working in Epping since 1961 and also having to call

    Rotarians by their Christian names was rather daunting, the likes of the Late Lloyd Gollan ,

    Ian Dence , Don Townsend the late Jum Land and others who had been customers of our shop

    for many years previously were all known to me as Mister.

    My recollections of the early Flea Markets, where thanks to Ian Dences great truck and

    trailer we were able to collect many old wardrobes etc through the week after work and take

    them back to Ians place for sorting and pricing, I should also mention how the Rotannes

    used to go there to help price things through the week, what a great team.

    I well remember the great social events, such as Progressive dinners, Trivia nights and

    various fund raising dinners, not forgetting our Austerity nights some of which we had at

    our home.

    Anything I organised, day picnics, weekends away like

    Sofala and Bendalong, or

    fellowship evenings I would

    always try out myself in

    advance and ideally take along

    some other members - Bob Nash

    Each year Epping Rotary had a Bucks weekend which was eagerly anticipated by all previous attendees, sleeping

    accommodation was usually primitive but

    was readily made up for by the fellowship

    and food provided by members Eric Wade,

    the butcher and Algy Morris the pastry

    cook and ably cooked by Russ Walker and

    his helpers - PP Ian Dence

  • 24

    The next great project the club had was to rebuild the caravan, we well remember the late Russ

    Walker finding a burnt out caravan on the central coast and taking it to Ian Dences home

    where it was stripped to the bare chassis and rebuild into a great catering van , not only was

    it a worthwhile project but the camaraderie with everyone was memorable , and we learnt so

    much from the likes of Bob Nash, the late Jum Land , Ian Dence and many others who were

    willing to teach the likes of myself with a lot of patience, to do things I thought I was not

    capable of.

    I must mention of course the brilliant Bucks Weekends we used to have, the most memorable

    for me was when we stayed in the shearing shed at my cousins property out of Crookwell, the

    looks on the faces of some of our members was outstanding, the cricket we played, the Clay

    pigeon shoot, picking up of bales of hay was an eye opener to many, but the food and

    company was so memorable.

    One of the funny things that happened that time was when the late Mal Mitchell asked how

    you shear a sheep. We got the hand piece and shore Mal then shot him down the Shute. He

    was unable the get back up so had to crawl under the shed into the counting yard. The next

    morning the late Russ Walker and I filled the shed up with sheep and then introduced some

    of the ewes to the guys who were still in their beds.

    In 1975/76 when the late Allan Emery was President I was nominated to the sergeants

    position. This was a great experience for me as you had to be on your feet every Monday night

    even if you had had a bad day, and try to be amusing, all my jokes had to be vetted by Ray

    Hosking but the lessons I learnt from being able to get up and speak was a life changing

    event.

    In 1999 I was presented with a Paul Harris Award by President Ken Beacom it was a

    tremendous and most humbling event that has ever happened to me, to be nominated and

    join the previous members of this elite group was unbelievable. I certainly enjoyed my years

    in Rotary and with the experience of those years I have endeavoured to live by the 4 way test.

    Bob Smeallie Epping Rotary 1974 2005

    PP Max Breckenridge remembers the club at that time as very family

    oriented My years in Epping Rotary have left a lasting memory of strong and enduring friendships

    whereby all my family enjoyed participating in the activities. The Club was very family

    oriented which contributed to the successful club.

    We have maintained contact with two Japanese exchange students we hosted, Reiko Mizuno

    and Atsuo Iiyama and visited them in Japan 3 years ago

    We organized an Australia Day party with a colonial theme and those attending dressed in

    all manner of suitable clothing. There were plenty of willing helpers who organized tables

    and chairs and Ken Walker built a mechanised rotisserie for the spit roast lamb, vegetables

    and damper which was enjoyed by the Epping Rotarians and their families

    Max Breckenridge, President 1978-79

    Rotannes 1972-2005

    From the earliest years wives of Rotarians have assisted their husbands with various

    projects and being denied the opportunity to join Rotary some wives turned to forming

  • 25

    their own service clubs. The wives of the Liverpool Rotarians in England became known

    as Rotary Ladies. They later called themselves The Service Club.

    Many similar Clubs under various names were formed to help Rotarian husbands.

    However, it was the Manchester Club which in 1924 provided the name and model rules

    upon which the Inner Wheel movement is based. The Emblem is a small wheel contained

    within the Rotary Wheel, hence the name Inner Wheel.

    At an early stage in its existence Inner Wheel began to spread overseas. The first Inner

    Wheel club in Australia was formed in 1931, Ballarat, Victoria (disbanded in 2001) closely

    followed by the still active North Sydney, NSW. From these small beginnings and the

    dedication of original members, Inner Wheel has grown in all States. Ryde Inner wheel

    was started in mid 1962.

    In 1972 President Wal Cooper suggested the Epping wives should form a ladies group.

    Some wives such as Arthur Walker's wife Dot, then a member of Ryde Inner Wheel were

    adamant that they did not need the formality of an Inner Wheel club and she suggested

    that any group should simply be for fellowship between the wives creating an

    opportunity for the wives to meet once a month for a social get together and perhaps an

    occasional guest speaker. Someone suggested the group could be called Rotary Annes

    but sensibly this was shortened to Rotannes. This style of wives group was unique to

    Epping Rotary and proved very successful.

    Rotannes would support the club and their husbands in service projects like fetes and

    barbecues and help out in the Rotary caravan and also invite the wives of new members

    to join. This would play an important role in introducing families to Rotary. The group

    was not for fundraising but if they wished to support a club project financially or support

    a worthy cause they could do so. For many years Joy Payne arranged" Biggest Morning

    Rotannes 10th anniversary 1982

  • 26

    Teas" supported by Rotannes, donating an amazing contribution to the Cancer Council.

    Rotannes funds supplied a refrigerator for the caravan and an air conditioner for the St.

    John Ambulance caravan.

    Over the years the club relied heavily on the wonderful support provided by the

    Rotannes. Rotary wives and the Rotannes came to be relied on for help on any project.

    This could include selling candles at carols celebrations, helping out at fetes, pricing

    goods for the Flea markets and warehouse sales, preparing and serving afternoon tea for

    the seniors picnics, looking after food sales from the caravan, acting as models at the

    annual fashion parade or entertaining the members of Ikebukuro Rotary Club on their

    visits to Sydney. The 1993 Epping delegation to Japan presented Ikebukuro club with a

    tapestry of Australian native flowers jointly created by Rotannes.

    The first president of Rotannes was Dot Walker but it soon became a tradition for the

    Rotary President's wife to take on the role of President of Rotannes. A monthly news

    letter 'Rotannes Chatter' for many years edited by Beverley Ledger informed partners of

    upcoming events and family news, sometimes a recipe and helpful hints.

    The group continued to meet every second Tuesday of the month in members homes

    until 2005. Many excellent and interesting guest speakers were enjoyed and always

    supper and conversations. Some meetings were visits to places of interest, inspired by a

    guest speaker, Great friendships and cooperation were engendered between members

    but over the period from the late 1990s attendance at the monthly meetings gradually

    dropped as the older members retired and more wives of the newer members found it

    difficult to make the meetings as they juggled both family responsibilities and work

    Rotannes have made a wonderful contribution to the club. Stalwarts of the group have

    included Diane Walker, Bev Ledger, Sandra Castley, June Dence, Judy Land, Margo

    Simons, Margaret Goddard, Annette Hosking, Dorothy Turner, Ainsley Thomas, Carol

    Stevens, Dawn Dover, Del Morris, Joan Clune, Joan Stewart, Joy Payne, Sue OBrien, Lyn

    Mackay, and Lorna Wade and of course Dot Walker and many more wives have enjoyed

    the company and friendship of the Rotannes.

    Epping Rotaract Clubs 1970-1984 and 1994-1998

    Throughout the life of our club it has always maintained an interest in the development

    and well being of young people. In this respect and in addition to its other programs for

    youth, it initiated and coordinated the charter of two Rotaract Clubs.

    Such Clubs are an important unit in the Worldwide Rotary Family. They provide

    opportunity for students and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 30 to

    engage in Community Service and experience Social and Self Development. To this end

    the following reflects our involvement in the two charters:

    In October 1970, highly esteemed member, the late Mal Mitchell, was the driving force

    in the formation of a very strong Rotaract Club. It was chartered with 65 young people

    and at that time was claimed to be the largest of such clubs in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • 27

    John Knight was appointed Chairman of the club and under his direction the club went

    on to significant achievement, for quite a number of years, contributing greatly to the

    community and to the personal development of the lives of its members.

    When the Rotaract club closed in 1984 John was subsequently inducted as a member of

    our Rotary Club, and remained a member for some eight years thereafter.

    Epping Rotaract was re-chartered in February 1994, when twenty five members were

    inducted.

    Rotary Club members became involved in the formation of the club, attended its

    meetings and joined with our Rotaract friends in a number of social activities, especially,

    competing with each other at ten pin bowling.

    It was a very active and dynamic Rotaract Club. Its members appreciated the interest

    and help of Rotary Club members and expressed thanks, especially to PP Peter Tugwell

    and the late PP Roy Sadler for the assistance and advice extended to them on many

    occasions about its operations, its service to the community and guidance in the

    development in the lives of its members.

    Our First Sister Club Relationship-The Rotary Club of Tokyo Ikebukuro Japan 1971 ongoing

    The first contact with Ikebukuro was made in 1970 when the Rotary club of Epping

    hosted their first Japanese Youth Exchange student Miss Chizuru Jimbo. The then

    International Director Theo Taylor had applied for an exchange with Japan and had

    written to Mr. Tatsuji Kojima, the Rotary Youth Exchange Director for Japan and member

    of the Rotary Club of Ikebukuro.

    It was during a makeup dinner by Theo Taylor at Ikebukuro and subsequent

    correspondence between Theo and Tatsuji Kojima, that it was considered that the

    forming of a sister club relationship between the two clubs would be of great importance

    in the development of Youth Exchange and open the door for goodwill and

    understanding between the youth of our nations and Rotarians of both clubs.

    In May 1971 at the Rotary World Conference in Sydney, delegations from the Rotary club

    of Ikebukuro Sunshine Japan and the Rotary Club of Epping, NSW Australia, met at the

    Sydney Showground. Despite differences in culture, language and history, the

    delegations from both clubs joined each other and the then President of the Rotary Club

    of Epping, Eric Wade invited the Ikebukuro delegation to attend Epping Club's meeting

    on Monday 17th May 1971.

    It was at that meeting that Past President Yoshinoro Terada, on the suggestion of Tatsuji

    Kojima, officially proposed a sister club relationship between the Rotary Clubs of

    Ikebukuro and Epping. His proposal was enthusiastically endorsed by the Rotary Club

    of Epping and President Eric Wade formally announced and promulgated the new

    relationship. This was a bold move at the time as Japan was emerging as an important

    trading partner for Australia but many of members had served in World War 2 and had

    very strong feelings towards the Japanese.

  • 28

    Since the formation of the relationship 18 youth exchanges have occurred between the

    two countries. The first exchange was in March 1972 involving Hiroko Kojima, the

    daughter of Mr. Tatsuji Kojima. Eight exchanges have been from Japan and four to Japan

    and six short term club/club family exchanges.

    In 1976, a monster cake baked by Algy and Del Morris found its

    way to Tokyo, but the Japanese Customs were baffled by it. After

    many days of confusion about the

    whereabouts of the cake, it arrived

    just in time for Ikebukuro's Annual

    Celebration of the relationship.

    1978 saw the visit of 5 fellows and

    their wives from the Rotary Club of Epping to the Ikebukuro

    Club. It was during this visit that PP Alan Emery laid the

    foundation for short term exchanges between families.

    On the tenth anniversary in 1981, 17 members and wives

    from Ikebukuro visited Epping to celebrate the occasion and to strengthen the goodwill

    and friendship that had developed between the two clubs. During that year 3 Epping

    Rotarians and their wives visited also Ikebukuro.

    In 1991, 23 Rotarians and

    families from Ikebukuro

    visited Epping to celebrate

    the 20th anniversary of the

    relationship. The Epping

    President Cees Thurmer

    welcomed the members

    from Ikebukuro to our

    dinner at the Araluen

    Function Centre in Epping

    and the following evening

    the Epping members were

    hosted at a special dinner at

    the Intercontinental Hotel

    In 1993, 30 Epping Rotarians and wives visited Japan and the Rotary Club of Ikebukuro

    for two weeks. The tour was led by President Tony Castley and included a welcome

    meeting at the Sunshine Prince Hotel, presentation of a tapestry organised by Bev Ledger

    and made by the Rotannes, a tennis match at the home of Mr. OHara followed by a

    journey through Japan that culminated in a trip to the ancestral home of Mrs. Harada at

    Yanagawa on Kyushu Island.

    17 Rotarians and wives from Ikebukuro visited Epping in April 1996 for the 25th

    anniversary of the association (Yoshiyasu Harada was president of Ikebukuro and

    Graham Simons was President of Epping). Among other things, there was tennis at the

    Visiting members of Ikebukuro Rotary 1991

    Qantas flew the cake up

    free of charge however

    the Japanese Customs

    would not allow it into the

    country without payment

    of duty. No doubt very

    costly for our sister club

    Algy Morris

    My association with Epping

    Rotary took my family to many

    functions and places, had

    numerous outings in and around

    Sydney, introduced us to people

    from many walks of life and

    culminated in our first ever trip

    overseas when we joined a group

    of 15 Rotarians and wives to

    attend the International

    Conference in Tokyo in April

    1978. Don Townsend

  • 29

    Castley's, lunch at Doyle's seafood restaurant at Watsons Bay and a very big night at the

    club.

    In April 2001, 22 Rotarians and wives from Ikebukuro visited Epping for the 30th

    anniversary of the association

    (Shutoku Yoshida was President of

    Ikebukuro and John Payne was

    President of Epping). Highlights

    were a barbecue at Avoca, lunch at

    the Fish Markets, a Bridge Climb (for

    a hardy few) and another big night at

    the club.

    A joint Rotary and Probus team led

    by PP Wal Cooper visited Ikebukuro

    in 2003.

    To celebrate the 40th anniversary of

    the relationship, members, partners,

    and friends of Epping Rotary planned a trip to Tokyo and Japan in April 2011. The club

    produced two photograph albums as a memento to record the events over 40 years and

    ordered wine with commemorative labels as gifts for the Ikebukuro members.

    Unfortunately fate intervened and northern Japan was devastated by an earthquake and

    Tsunami on 13 March 2011. In addition to the loss of life and disruption there was a

    major nuclear accident and it was decided to postpone the visit. Subsequently Epping

    members held a trivia night to support the victims in Japan and $6,000 was sent to the

    Ikebukuro Club to be distributed as part of the Rotary relief efforts in Japan.

    The theme of the World conference in Sydney in 1971 was "Bridge the Gaps". During the

    past 41 years the two clubs have succeeded in this ideal, we were ahead of our time in

    the establishment of this relationship. Our governments and business have since joined

    in the path we so firmly commenced 41 years ago.

    Our relationship with the members and families associated with the Rotary Club of

    Ikebukuro Sunshine Tokyo has extended friendships and left lasting happy memories.

    Our Probus Club Success Story

    The formation of Probus Clubs throughout the Rotary World has served and satisfied a

    deep need for Retirees and elderly people. Over the years our Club has played a real part

    to that end in our local Community. Happily our club has sponsored and organised the

    formation of six Probus Clubs over the years and especially during the years 1979 to

    1996. Of those six, five have survived and are still operating effectively. All meet once a

    month, engage fascinating and informative speakers, have a wide range of committees

    and activities which contribute to the enjoyment of the lives of the members of each club.

    The following is a brief summary about each one:

    Mr & Mrs Harada and members of the Rotary Club of

    Ikebukuro planning for the 40th Anniversary visit by Epping Rotarians

  • 30

    Our first Club, the Epping & District Mens Probus Club, was

    coordinated by Rotarian Don Townsend. It was formed in

    April 1979 with 15 members and continues today with 90

    members. It meets on the 2nd Monday of the month at the

    Epping Presbyterian Hall.

    Our second Club, the Epping North Mens Probus Club, was coordinated by Past

    President, the late Horrie Mendham. It was formed in November 1984 with 41 members

    and continues today with 116 members. It meets on the 3rd Monday of each month at the

    North Epping Bowling and Community Club.

    Our third Club, the Epping Ladies Probus Club, was coordinated by Rotarian Des

    Ferguson. It was formed in September 1986 with 97 members. Although successful for a

    number of years, unfortunately its ageing and declining membership meant it was

    wound up during 2009.

    Our fourth Club, the West Epping Mens Probus Club, was coordinated by Past

    President, the late Ron Turner. It was formed in April 1986 with 68 members and

    continues today with 73 members. It meets on the 4th Friday of each month at the Brush

    Park Bowling Club.

    Our Fifth Club, the Epping East Ladies Probus Club was coordinated by Rotarian Mal

    Bracken. It was formed in November 1992 with 100 members and continues today with

    60 members. It meets on the 3rd Monday of each month at the Epping Church of Christ

    Hall.

    Our Sixth Club, the West Epping Ladies Probus Club was coordinated by Past President,

    the late Wal Cooper and former Secretary, Rotarian Bruce Edwards. It was formed in

    June 1996 with 100 members and continues today with 76 members. It meets on the 2nd

    Thursday of each month at the Epping Baptist Hall.

    Many Probus Clubs these days are formed as mixed clubs, whereas, as can be seen, the clubs

    outlined above are gender specific, which, also, was the case in Rotary, when a number of the

    above clubs were formed. Since formation thereof, in some instances, the gender identification

    Being in Probus is like

    taking a luxury coach to

    Paradise

    Colin Campbell

    North Epping Mens Probus Club formation meeting 1985

  • 31

    has been deleted from the clubs title. In addition most are now incorporated. In discussions

    with executives of each club, it is clear that members are happy to retain each clubs gender

    orientation, particularly the Ladies Clubs, where many members may have lost partners and

    accordingly find such orientation more appropriate.

    The membership of Probus Clubs is much sought after and continues to reflect the outstanding

    contribution by Rotary, to the lives of so many of our senior citizens.

    Paul Clune

    The Projects

    Epping Flea Markets 1973-1982

    As a Rotary Foundation Awardee and Member of a Group Study Exchange Team to

    Texas USA in 1971, PP Ray Hosking saw Rotary on the World stage before becoming a

    Rotarian in 1972, which undoubtedly influenced his commitment to Community service

    over the following 30 years. Ray reflects on the development of the Epping Flea markets.

    Commenced in 1973, these markets played a significant role as a major fund raiser for over

    10 years. Club members would spend months collecting and storing furniture and other items

    to be sold at a market day. Fortunately the club had the services of member Don Townsend who

    owned the local transport and storage company, so they had the resources to collect and sell

    the goods.

    Initially the market was held at the Mobil Service Station on the corner of Ray Road and

    Carlingford Road in the centre of Epping. Later it moved to the car park of the AGL building

    in Langston Place.

    A valuable contributor to Club fellowship and fun, thousands of man hours were contributed

    each year to guarantee their success. In the first year, only $1,100 was raised, with much

    energy expended in clearing unsold items. In some ways these markets provided a community

    clean up for many to dispose of unwanted items.

    Over the years, the marketing operation became more sophisticated and selective with over

    $150,000 being raised to support a variety of Community projects. With the Ryde Hospital

    Appeal in full flight, a record $16,750 was taken in one day!

    Apart from fundraising, these Epping Flea Markets added a new dimension in Public

    Relations, enabling all Rotarians to have a direct contact with our Community as well as

    significantly raising the community profile and awareness for Rotary International.

    Ray Hosking

    Flea market on Carlingford Road in the 1970s

    In 1978-79 the

    Flea Market

    raised over

    $6,300. This

    involved much

    activity in

    obtaining and

    sorting goods for

    sale. The

    legendary

    camaraderie of

    Epping Rotary

    was to the fore

    with so many

    willing helpers

    and a wonderful

    financial result

    to support local

    hospitals and

    charities

    PP Max

    Breckenridge

  • 32

    The Epping Rotary Catering Van 1976-2009

    In 1976, club members identified a burnt out

    caravan they thought would be suitable for

    conversion to a catering van. The caravan cost

    the club $900. It was transported to the home of

    the Club Service Director, Ian Dence where it sat

    in the driveway, while members rebuilt and

    converted it. The members spent most Tuesday

    evenings and Saturdays working on the van

    followed by a BBQ with the wives and children.

    The caravan was reclad, new windows cut in

    both sides for serving Inside serving benches

    and storage were added The conversion took 5

    months, and most of the members of the club

    were involved. The total cost to the club was

    $2,200 and the project received a District,

    Community Service Award at the 1977 Canberra

    District Conference and President Ian Dence

    proudly towed the van to Canberra to receive the award

    The van served the club well for many years, acting as a mobile catering facility, and was

    hired out to other organisations. Generations of Rotarians refined their barbecue skills at

    fetes, Christmas carols and other community events, and wives and partners willingly

    assisted. In 1991, when the club started the Eastwood markets it was pr