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Club History

Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Bellerive

Rotary International Charter Granted (date of charter): 17 May 1976

Rotary International Charter Presented: 5 June 1976

Inaugural Office Bearers:
President: David Armitage
Vice President: Trevor Leo
Secretary: Rod Menzies
Treasurer: Chris Oakman
Directors: Alan Morriss, George Casimaty, George Bales, David Secombe
Sergeant at Arms: Don Sullivan

First Meeting Place:                The Shoreline Hotel, Howrah
Currently meeting at        Police Academy, Rokeby
Membership at Charter:          25
Current Membership:              26

Club Records

Club Boundaries Initially: Southern side of Wentworth Street and includes Tranmere, Rokeby, Lauderdale, Seven Mile Beach, Cambridge, Sandford, Cremorne, South Arm and Opossum Bay to the south

This was later changed to all the Eastern Shore of the Derwent River.

In November 1975 the then District Governor, Eric Webster, appointed two special representatives, Don Dudgeon and Bill Barnard, both from the Rotary Club of Bellerive, to form a new Rotary club within the town boundaries of Howrah and South Arm.

On the 27th January 1976 the Rotary Club of Bellerive called an informal meeting of interested people to form the new club.  Twenty two interested business and professional people attended this meeting and were guided through the process by Harry Beltz and Cliff Vicary. The success of the informal meeting was closely followed, on the 25th March 1976, by the first official meeting of the new, “Rotary Club of Howrah”.

All meetings of the Rotary Club of Howrah were held at the Shoreline Hotel until 1996. At that time the membership decided to move the designated meeting place to the Foreshore Tavern at Lauderdale. It now meets at the Tasmanian Police Academy at Rokeby.

The Rotary Club of Howrah was officially chartered on the 5th June 1976 with a membership of 25 members. The charter evening was held at the Shoreline Hotel.

From the charter members there are two Rotarians who remain members of the Rotary Club of Howrah. They are Graeme Farrell and Allan Morriss. Noel Jacobs is an honorary member.

In 1978 the Rotary Club of Howrah sponsored its first Ambassadorial Scholar. Syd McClymont,then a Sergeant of Police, attached to the Tasmania Police Academy, who was successful and traveled to the United Kingdom where he undertook further studies with the Metropolitan Police, and later the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department.  On returning to Tasmania in 1979, Syd enthusiastically joined the Rotary Club of Howrah where he undertook many senior roles, and became a very active Rotarian. In 1985 – 86 and again in 2009 -2010 Syd was Club President.  In 1986 Syd was successful in leading a Group Study Exchange Team to South Carolina, USA, and shortly after his return he was elected as District Governor for the years 1991‑92, a year both he, and his wife Sally, enjoyed immensely.

The early years were exciting ones, with high expectations and much enthusiasm.  One Rotarian who stood out was the late Eric Meagher who was bulletin editor for the first five years, and took on the role of club historian, providing much of the material for this document. Eric later became the club’s first Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Rotary. An Inner Wheel Club was formed in the charter year and continued until 1992. Although ceasing to be a formal group, partners continue to provide strong support for club activities.

Early fundraising and community service activities set a pattern of whole Club participation which brought members together and fostered a sense of common purpose.

Royal Hobart Regatta 1994

Royal Hobart Regatta 1994

In later years the supply and erection of barbecues at Cremorne, the Art Shows in Hobart and later Rosny , a major auction at Cambridge, the provision of playground equipment at Morton Place Park, wood chopping and family picnic days on Bruce Downie’s property at Copping, the Minerva Park Walkway, the restoration of the Sandford Congregational Church, the provision of food and drink for the public at Government House Open Days, the selling of Chocolate Wheel tickets at the Hobart Regatta, the Richmond Fair and Bushy Park Show, the Apricot Fair which later became known as the Sandford Fair, organising and running the Boat, Caravan and Outdoor Leisure Show in partnership with the Boating Industry Association and a wine and Oyster Bar at the Taste of Tasmania continued the “whole club activity” theme.

At present the Club raises money from catering activities ranging from to catering on the lawns of Government House for their Open Day to BBQ’s at shopping centres..

We have provided food stalls at events on the Bellerive Boardwalk (Jazzfest and SeaFarers Festival) and a number of other activities

In order to advance its fund raising, the Club purchased a caravan for chocolate wheel activities and tents for its various stalls and a BBQ trailer.
Social activities have also played an important part in the life of the club, whether “Million Dollar Meals” and barbecues at members properties, dinners at member’s homes, tenns days, bush barbecues, beer tasting, quiz nights and general fellowship before, during and or after meetings.

The Rotary Club of Howrah sponsored the Rotary Club of Sorell as well as the Shoreline Combined and Howrah Ladies Probus Clubs which were established in the early nineties. We ran the District Conference in 1987 at Wrest Point and a RYLA Conference at the Police Academy at Rokeby.

The Club has a strong commitment to the young citizens of our area. We have sponsored people to RYLA, RYPEN, and MUNA for many years and have gained particular satisfaction from the achievements of those Rosny College students we have sponsored to the National Science Forum in Canberra.

For a number of years we conducted camps at Roches Beach for underprivileged children from our area. Those Rotarians who assisted found the camps to be a rewarding and enlightening experience.

The club has provided pre-vocational assistance to Rokeby High School in the form of employment interview experience, work experience programs, and discussions on employer ‑ employee relations.

For many years we have supported the Christian Care Centre at Rokeby by providing clothing and shoes for needy children and each year have provided end of year prizes for the schools and colleges in our district.

We have sponsored and hosted international exchange students as well as being involved in the New Zealand Twin Exchange Program.

For older citizens we have provided ongoing support for the Lillian Martin Home and have taken groups of seniors on picnics and outings to places of interest in southern Tasmania.

Our first international project was the sponsorship of four Indonesian orphans in our charter year, and we have supported this F.A.I.M. (now RAWCS)  project each year since then, increasing our contribution over the years and recently including children from Bangladesh. One of our charter members, Noel Jacobs, was a volunteer for a F A.I.M. building project in the Rihona Valley in Papua New Guinea. This hands‑on project was a typical example of Noel’s contribution to Rotary. More recently we have supported a literacy project in San Pablo, Philippines and members have participated in projects in Nepal and Fiji.

The club has nominated a number of very capable people for Group Study Exchanges (GSE ), one of whom, Glen Woolley, has subsequently joined our club.and become a GSE Leader himself.. We have provided hosting and visits for a number of G.S.E. teams from overseas.

When chartered, the club’s membership was twenty five, which grew quickly to forty and was relatively stable at thirty five but presently has dropped to twenty six. Like many clubs, our population is ageing and the challenge of recruiting new, younger members is a formidable one.

August 2015