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April 2019
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About Our Club

Welcome to our Club!

Mount Gambier

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 6:15 PM
Macs Hotel
21 Bay Rd
Mount Gambier, SA  5290
District Site
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Club 90th Anniversary
Rotary Club of Mount Gambier 90th Birthday celebrations
President Kathryn opened our special 90th Anniversary meeting at Thyme at the Lakes, welcoming  District Governor Anthony Ohlsen and Kerrie, AG Group 1 PP Ian McKay, Mayor Andrew Lee (representing the City of Mount Gambier) and Grant Council Mayor Richard Sage and Lynette.
The venue was decorated with blue & gold helium-filled balloons hovering above the table centrepieces,   around which four small banners from various national and overseas Rotary clubs were clustered.  
The program for the evening and some early history of the club was printed on the cover of a folder at each place setting.  Within the folder was a record of Presidents since 1928, Past District Governors from our club and the RI Theme for their years.
Recipients of Avenue of Service Citations, and listings of club membership and the Board of Directors for 2017-18, were also included, as were former Honorary members, Longest serving members since 1998 and the names of the Rotary, Probus, Rotaract and Interact Clubs we had sponsored over the years.
In proposing the toast to “The Rotary Club of Mount Gambier” District Governor Anthony Ohlsen presented President Kathryn with a letter from RI President Barry Rassin and a certificate from our District 9780 acknowledging the 90th Anniversary of the chartering our club on 11th October 1928.
In her response President Kathryn indicated how our sponsorship by the Rotary Club of Adelaide, in turn, gave us the opportunity to sponsor four Rotary and four Probus clubs as well as an Interact and Rotaract club, some of these in conjunction with the RCMG West.  It also enabled over four hundred members of the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier to experience the Rotary journey over the past 90 years.
Following the toast, the 90th Anniversary cake was cut by joint participants President Kathryn Weddell-Lucas (youngest current member in terms of years of service), Bernice Dickins (wife of our current longest serving member PP Neil Dickins OAM who was unable to attend due to hospitalisation) and PDG Bruce Ridland (our second longest serving current member).
In between the meal courses there were three presentations associated with the history of our Rotary Club.  They were titled ”In the Beginning” presented by PDG Bruce Ridland, “Rotary Service” by PP Trevor Buck and “90 Year Highlights” by PP Mike Toogood.  Thanks to those members for delivering these segments.  They brought back many happy memories for former and current members, and gave others an insight into some of the club’s involvement and activities since 1928.
Once the meal was finished there was ample time for fellowship, renewing friendships and dancing (for some at least)!
Various items of memorabilia were displayed on tables along one wall of the restaurant.  This enabled those attending to browse through many early documents, conference reports, bulletins, annual reports and scrap books that were on display. 
It’s now just ten years until the club celebrates a huge milestone… our centenary!
ECG donated to Mount gambier Hospital Renal Unit
ECG Donated to the Mount Gambier Renal Unit
Support for the Mount Gambier Hospital Renal Dialysis Renal Unit with a donation of $10000 from the Rotary club of Mount Gambier to assist with the purchase an ECG. Upon enquiry it was suggested the most urgent need was an ECG machine costing about $9,000 and a Blanket Warmer at a cost of $5,000
To assist with raising funds for the hospital, there was a Bollywood Ball held at the Barn Palais on the evening of Saturday 14th October 2017. This gala charity event was held to provide support for the Renal Dialysis unit at which our cheque was presented at this event to purchase an ECG machine for the Renal Dialysis Unit M.G.D.H.S.
In addition, our club were supported by local businesses assisted by donating a TV and a small oven for the comfort of dialysis patients undergoing extended treatment.
The Bollywood ball was a very successful evening for the Renal Dialysis Unit having raised $50,000 and as a result gained political bipartisan State Government support to build a purpose built Renal Ward with an increase from four beds to six and an overhaul of the facilities at an estimated cost of $2, I00, 000.
Longreach Rotary Drought Appeal
Donation to Drought Appeal
The full profits from the 2-18 Book Fair were donated to the Rotary Club of Longreach Drought Fund, to allow them to continue the wonderful work they do in Central and Western Queensland, helping local communities to survive the recent years of debilitating drought.
Rotary Club of  Longreach Treasurer, Damian Arthur, indicated how much the members of his Rotary Club appreciated the support from our members and this donation from our Book Fair. 
Damian wrote “We make a concerted effort from late November onwards to do something in each of the communities we support.  Last night Windorah had its Christmas Tree and while none of us could make it we sent down hams and meat for the BBQ. We looked after the bar at the School of the Air Awards Night last night and contributed funds to help the school produce its fourth full school musical; absolutely amazing.
Tomorrow afternoon we will present a cheque to the Longreach School of Dance to help cover overheads during the Christmas recess. Prior to the drought the school had 150 students, now it has less than 100. It is the only surviving school of dance in Western Queensland.
This Saturday we head about 155km down to Stonehenge where we will cater and cook the BBQ as well as distribute a ham to each family. Some other members will head up to Lake Dunn (north east of Aramac) and show a movie with our blow up screen as well as cooking the BBQ. Round trip to Lake Dunn is about 480km.”
Books in Homes presentation
Books in Homes Presentations
Previous Rotary Community Book Fairs have raised funds for the very worthwhile “Books in Homes” program, which aims to donate a pack of high quality new books to primary school children; especially in more disadvantaged areas. The sad fact is that in many homes, children do not have any books to call their own and in fact some homes have no books at all!
It’s really important to get youngsters into the “reading habit” in their early years, and to generate a life long love of reading.
Books in Homes really helps here.
Last year, Rotary Club of Mount Gambier sponsored the program for kids at the Gordon Education Centre in Mount Gambier. Gordon Education Centre caters for students with special needs, and is the only facility of its type in the Limestone Coast region.
The first hand-over of book packs took place at the Mount Gambier Public Library who are partners in the project. Julian Mattay acknowledged Trevor Buck, Ian McDougall, and Alan Richardson for joining with him at the library for the presentation. In response, one of the students gave a warm and heartfelt speech thanking the Rotary Club for its involvement.
The final presentation to their students was held on Friday 26th of November, and Rotarian Julian Mattay was “blown away” by how enthusiastic the students were about receiving their precious books.
Rotary Book Fair
Rotary Community Book Fair
Every 18 months or so, the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier holds a huge Book Fair in the City Hall. This year (2018), the event was held on Saturday and Sunday the 15th and 16th of September.
It takes a lot of preparatory work, arranging the venue (thanks to the generosity of the Mount Gambier City Council), lining up sponsorship with many helpful local businesses and spending many Sundays sorting through, categorising, pricing and packing literally thousands of donated second hand books. Trevor Buck and Ian McDougall did most of the organising, arranging meetings, working bees, pick up of empty fruit boxes, delivery of donated books and generally rounding up Rotarians to help out.
The end result was that the Rotary Shed at Hastings Cunningham Reserve was literally packed to the rafters with  hundreds of boxes of books, each box labelled with its particular category, be it paperback fiction, lifestyle, gardening, travel, Australiana , railways etc. etc.
On the big weekend of the Book Fair, the City Hall was crowded with numerous trestles and tables, groaning with books of every size and genre, and the crowds of buyers responded enthusiastically to the chance to purchase some really cheap reading material.
The end result was over $6,500 in sales, with sponsorship money and raffle proceeds covering most of the expenses.