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The Rotary Club of Alexandra Headland

10th Anniversary Dinner

Headland Golf Club, Wed 3rd Nov 2010

I was asked to put together a “History of the Alexandra Headland Rotary Club”. This was not an easy task, as although I was indeed a Charter Member, there are not many records available to delve back into the club’s history. Therefore, the following recount of the things that have occurred over the past ten years may not have actually happened. This has been done to protect the innocent, shame the guilty and of course, to provide entertainment value. This is my account....

Once upon a time, there was a young man named Chris Baker. He was a determined boy from a little town called Bundaberg in the centre of the state. He had a misspent youth but developed into a hard working lawyer, the apple of his mother’s eye. He had however, always had the dream of leaving the home town to make good in the big smoke. Consequently, he ends up on the Sunshine Coast as a qualified lawyer in the late 90’s. (The storey of how he came to be is another long and sordid tale for another time).

Something is missing in his life. In Bundaberg, he was involved with a organization known as Rotary. That gave his life a second purpose and meaning. As a lawyer he was trained to rob from the rich, and now through Rotary, he could give something back (particularly to the poor). He thought of himself as a modern day Robin Hood.

But there was a small problem. He was based in a sleepy seaside town known as Alexandra Headland, but there was no Rotary club for the area. He had learnt that there was a club to the south (Mooloolaba) and one to the north, Maroochydore. This would not do for the young Baker boy. So he approached the Sherrif of Mooloolaba (Gary Dillon) and the Sherrif of Maroochydore (Bill Dethlefs) in the thought of forming his own club.

Soon the word was out, and a gang of merry men and women were meeting on a regular basis at the Horton Golf Club. Recruting was furious and the time was right in late 2000, the Rotary Club of Alexandra Headland was formed.
A gala banquet was held at Twin Waters and the club was officially chartered on 4th November 2000. Chris was quite pleased with himself and was the inaugural Charter President. His dream was realized. His mother would be proud.

His inner sanctum was formed and included Marie Benventui (Secretary) and Kerryn Parry (Treasurer).

On the night he was presented with the “Rotary Necklace”, a symbol of prestige and power for the ruling President of the day. For Chris, this was the ultimate. “My precious” he would say.

Celebrations were long and hard. His gang of merry men and women included:

  • ♦  David Aiken

  • ♦  Peter Andrews

  • ♦  Chris Baker

  • ♦  Marie Bienvenuti

  • ♦  Scott Brimelow

  • ♦  Kevin Clark

  • ♦  Anita Corbet

  • ♦  Bob Critchley

  • ♦  John Fear

  • ♦  Mark McCardle

  • ♦  Brad McDonald

  • ♦  Dale Osbourne

  • ♦  Kerryn Parry

  • ♦  Pat Ryan

  • ♦  Greg Schnell

  • ♦  Owen Scott

  • ♦  Trevor Smith

  • ♦  Bob Sparks

  • ♦  Charlie Summers

  • ♦  Norm Townsend

  • ♦  Bernard Tully

  • ♦  Rolf Weigand

  • ♦  David Woodrow

    A wide variety of vocations were covered: Bankers, Teachers, Architects, Car Salesmen, Lawyers, Builders, Real Estate Agents and Rocket Scientists to name a few.

    And off they went amongst the community, doing good for the fellow townsfolk. Then something disasterous happened, Chris was cast out from his employment, and was left no choice but to head to the really big smoke of Brisbane in the vain home of establishing a life for himself (a search for his very own Maid Marion perhaps).

    The club was in turmoil, but never fear, our very own Trevor (Friar Tuck) Smith stepped up to the task and took over the President role from Chris for the remainder of the Rotary Year. Trevor was a hard working architect and was very community minded. He would ensure that the club would continue doing the good deeds that were promised.

    Trevor led us when the club was resident in the bowels of the Alex Surf Club, we had since moved from the Horton Golf Club. Times were good and we had approx 25 members. Meetings were enjoyable mostly thanks to Charlie Summers and his great jokes (sometimes falsified) as the Seargant at Arms. However, there was always a dark side to the club around these times – there were a lot of New Zealand members! Rolf Weigand of course was our resident German member.

    Thanks mostly to Bernard Tully, John Fear, David Aiken and Kevin Clark, there was always banter between club members around Bledisloe Cup time. Rivalry was fierce, and a second all Kiwi Rotary Club of Alexandra Headland was almost born, except for the fact that Trevor stepped in and calmed things down. He always had that calming way about him, Trevor. A few of the members nicknamed him “BP – The Quiet Achiever”.

    Then disaster struck, Bernard was killed in a motor vehicle accident in Noosa. Club members were shaken. Around the time, we had formed a relationship with the Street Angels, an organization that helped provided support for kids on the streets late at night around the coast. We had a trailer built and donated to the Street Angels in memory of Bernard and his efforts for the club.

    David - 2001
    Trevor’s time was up as fill in President, and David Woodrow took over in 2001. David was a past member of Maroochydore, so the newer club members were hesitant to befriend him at first, thinking he was a “plant” by the Sherriff of Maroochydore. But it turned out that David was right behind the new club, and he set out on his own quest.

    One day David woke up in a pool of sweat, his heart racing. He had dream. He at once set out to find out everything there was to know about the Energex Resuce Helicopter service. Over the next few years there was no club he would not visit to extol the virtues of signing up on your electricity bill to help support the service. He visited Rotary Clubs, Apex Clubs, Probus Clubs, Golf Clubs, Bowls Clubs, nightclubs, Gay Clubs and even those clubs that are only spoke out in private between ex servicemen. He was our very own Pied Piper. David would prance into the clubs, show off a presentation and as though under a spell, the members would hand over small and large amounts of cash to him. Needless to say, the presentations continue today under the AGL banner, and it’s one of the club’s most successful fund raising ventures, with over $100 000 given to the Rescue Helicopter since inception.

    Members came and went under the rule of David and the club shifted to the Headland Golf Club. The death of Bernard did see some of our Kiwi brothers leave the club, but as always, there was a great core of members working in the background. Chris had even returned from Brisbane, where his search for his very own Maid Marion proved fruitless. He set up his own company and commenced legal work (thieving from the rich and the poor this time).


We also commenced our Pride of Workmanship award dinners and these have been a shining light for both Rotary in general, but particularly for recognition for hard and valued workers amongst our community. Many thanks must go to all of our Vocational Directors over the years who have worked in conjunction with other club members to make these nights a success. People like John Fear, Carmel, Gary, Prue, Colleen and Bob Murdoch to name but a few.

Chris 2002
At the end of the 01/02 Rotary Year, Chris was ready to give it another go as President, this time for the full year. The club was happy and many activities were now forming part of the AHRC’s roles, namely:

  1. Vocational Visits

  2. Clean Up Australia days.

  3. Social BBQ’s at the Alex beach

  4. Youth Activities such as Rotary Exchange Students, RYLA.

  5. Pride of Workmanship awards nights

  6. Fifth Friday social functions

  7. Participation in numerous Charity Golf Days throughout the region.

John Fear even organized a Sunshine Coast Rotary Club “Blood Bank” challenge and took the club to many sites were we had breakfast then donated our blood. I think John was not only a Kiwi, but a close vampire.

The trailer was back in our hands again and thanks to David Woodrow, was fitted out with a BBQ. We were now able to take our vision to the public. We started cooking BBQ’s at various events such as:

  1. The Row for Cancer (held every year in Sept for the Wishlist Foundation)

  2. The Mooloolaba Seafood Festival

  3. One off events in the community.

  4. Bunning’s weekend days (where we still hold the record for selling the most sausages in one day –

    90kgs). We also learnt a lot about Bob Thompson’s cooking techniques on one of the days. Suffice to say, that I’ve never seen a man burn a sausage in so many different ways. We also had our current Bulletin Editor, Bill Brereton join the club from this event, enquiring about us. He remarked on how friendly we were to each other and also how hard and black the sausages were. I’m sure Bill joined just so he could show Bob a thing or two!

Who could ever forget Tony Parker standing beside the BBQ under the Deck restaurant at the Spit for the Seafood Festival? It was freezing cold and the poor bugger was by himself trying to keep up with demand. Tony was one of the nicest guys you could meet (for a Pommy) and was a hard worker in the club, filling the position of secretary on a number of occasions. He was also a real estate agent (we’ve had a few of those in our time) and a great mate of everyone’s. Tony passed away in Aug 2007, and we have a seat at the top of Alexandra Headland dedicated to him. He is sadly missed.

In his time as President for the second time, Chris did actually find his Maid Marion in Brenda. She was a school teacher, was fit, good looking and intelligent. What they had in common we will never know? The relationship flourished and they eventually married and had two wonderful kids. Brenda continues to be the better looking and fitter of the pair, and still holds the record for the fastest run leg for our Mooloolaba Triathlon team. Something that we have let Chris forget easily!

Peter - 2003
Peter Andrews was a fellow Charter Member and wore the Rotary Necklace in 2003. In a previous life, he was a corporate type who spent most of his working life in Asia, particularly Hong Kong. In fact, he still frequents the region as he has many friends, family and business associates living here. Peter’s line of work was elevators - the design, installation and maintenance of elevators in large multi-storey buildings. How did Peter became involved in this line of work?
One day, as a little boy, Peter had come home from school and arrived to greet his mother early (usually Peter was in detention and he was very quick witted and his sarcasm got him in lots of trouble with the

teachers). His mother was short of milk so asked Peter to visit the local shop. On his way, he was met by a man, who talked him into buying some “magic beans”.

Peter took the beans but when he arrived home with no milk or money and only a hand full of beans, his angry mother threw the worthless beans out the window and sent him to bed without supper for his foolishness.

As Peter slept, the beans germinated in the soil, and by morning a gigantic beanstalk grew in their place. When Peter saw the huge beanstalk, he immediately decided to climb it. He arrived in a land high up in the clouds that happened to be the home of a giant. When he broke into the giant's castle, the giant quickly sensed a human was near and chased him down the beanstalk.

However, as Peter escaped from the castle, he took a bag of gold coins with him, vowing never to return. Before his mother found out, he chopped the beanstalk down and from that day forward he dreamed of once again visiting the land in the sky. Thinking that there was a better way to visit the land in the sky, the elevator business was a particular interest to him and he worked towards his dream.

I have grave doubts as to whether or not this story is factual, but this was the account he gave me when I asked. I think he shouldn’t have experimented with those mushrooms during his years at the University of Hard Knocks.

One of our early club distinctions was to have many Youth projects. Our first Rotary Youth Exchange student, Majella Daniels (was a daughter of Greg Daniels, one of our members at the time and senior policeman), went to Germany, and we have hosted a German exchange student, Mark Hohnhaus. Other exchange students were Enni-kukka Tuomala from Finland; Andrew Baker, who went to Germany; and Cassandra Dickens who went to Canada in 2005.

We have developed strong commitments to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and have sent many outstanding young people to the course over the years. Of course there are other Youth programs like the Siemens Science Program, the National Youth Science Forum and also locally where we were involved with the Sunshine Coast University mentoring and helping year 9 students.

It was also around this time when population and urban development was a hot topic on the Sunshine Coast. Our member at the time, David Coleman was deeply involved with ideas and planning for 2025 and beyond. He was a cattle farmer from Gympie and was passionate about planned development. We can all remember he big bandy legs that looked like he had just gotten off his horse. Sadly David moved to Caloundra, became a member of their club and passed away soon after.

As we all know Peter is a highly organised individual, and he had the club running like clockwork in his year. His current vocation is Leisure Management, and we can all remember the inspirational talk he gave the club on his current activities. I don’t know where he has the time to do anything?!!

Russell – 2004.

Peter handed the Rotary Necklace over to Russell Thompson in 2004. This was a difficult time in the history of the club as it was quite a task to find anyone to step into the role as President. Russell had been a President before at Woombye Sunrise before he transferred to Alexandra Headland.

Russell was an interesting character to say the least. He grew up in the country the youngest of 5 children, 4 girls and himself. His childhood revolved around school, the farm and rugby league. Being the youngest he was constantly annoyed by his sisters, and they continuously fought over who got to dress him up. Many occasions involved Russell being dressed up in girls and women’s clothing as his sisters played tea parties and the like.

Of course the rest of the boys in town heard about the dress up and Russell was teased amongst his fellow male friends. It was only when, after an interschool league game, Russell found the coach of the team wearing women’s underwear, did the teasing stop. They came to an agreement that day and the coach set to it to ensure none of the other boys picked on Russell, otherwise the coach’s secret would be known. He grew up as quite a talented fullback for his local league teams, until when he was in his early twenties, had a terrible knee injury that ended his promising career.

Russell’s leadership style was direct and to the point, very much in the style how he dealt with people. He was a favourite amongst the females in the club, and we were sad to see Russell eventually leave to return to Woombye Sunrise. He achieved a Rotary Citation in his year, as all of the goals that he set out at the start of his year were achieved.

It was also in Russell’s year that our first Paul Harris Fellow award was given to one of our own members. David Woodrow was the receiptant of this prestigious award for his long term achievements within our club and previous work within the local community.

Also in the year, we commenced our annual Xmas raffle, thanks largely to the work put into it by Gary Lynch. The raffle has proved a big success and our major source of income over the years. It is also an advertising front for Dixon Homes and occasionally, Gary even managed to obtain a few phone numbers on unsuspecting available female members of the public! We think the last female “friend” was a bit of a bunny boiler so that’s the main reason he has “stepped back” a bit this year. Might have something to do with the restraining order hey Gary?

It was also in this year that a few of the members of the club decided to compete in the Mooloolaba Triathlon to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. This was chosen as Charlie Summer’s son was diagnosed with the condition and it was a worthy cause. We were also asked to provide volunteers to the event and this has lead to a long term relationship between our club and USM Events, providing helpers for the Gear Tent on the event day. How can we ever forget the looks on the faces of Bob Murdoch and Geoff Davies (to name a few) when these fit, young and athletic women would start to undress in front of them? With the heart issues Geoff has had, we nearly had to call for an ambulance!

For the inaugural event, Chris Byrnes (Prue’s better and much less colourful half) completed the 1.5km swim, Scott pedalled 40km on the bike and Chris Baker ran the 10km. We set a World Record for Rotary Clubs and raised approximately $10 000 for the Leukaemia Foundation. This would be the start of something....

Early year since we have fielded the same team in the event, except of course when Chris pulled the pin a couple of weeks out and got Brenda to take his place. Lucky too as she has managed to record the fastest run leg to date. I don’t know how he lives with himself, having his wife beat him like that! In 2010, for the first time, we had a team that comprised of all members of the club – Scott swam, Gary rode his bike and Chris ran. An amazing achievement given the training required to complete such an event.

Trevor - 2005

Trevor again took over as President after Russell in 2005, but this time he was in the position for the full year. Trevor is a quiet and unassuming person who is a bit like rust – never seems to stop working. He has been a terribly hard worker and very important part of our Rotary club, filling various roles from secretary, bulletin editor, president and photographer. Our last photographer, Takeo Sakiyama took hundreds of photos for the club over many years (that’s what the Japanese do), however, we could never find out where they went. Takeo was really into his golf and was instrumental in bringing many golfing businessmen out to the coast as well as finding places for Japanese students. Takeo left the club (along with his photos) and has since moved back to Japan.

But back to Trevor. When he was a boy growing up in Brisbane, his father gave him a Kodak Bulls-Eye #2 for his 12th birthday, and his passion for photography was born. Trevor spent the next 5 years photographing everything he could see. He was especially fond of buildings and perhaps this is where his love of architecture was born.

On a holiday down to the Gold Coast when he was 18, Trevor (who never went anywhere without his trusty camera), discovered girls on the beach in bikinis (and the occasional topless one). There wasn’t enough film in the camera to stop him! These days he would be locked up, but that didn’t deter Trevor who set about combining his love of buildings with his love of the female shape.

Trevor’s passion of photography (and the female shape) continues today and he supplies most of the photos to the bulletin editor and also to the webmaster Owen, for our meetings and Rotary events. Occasionally they might receive one of Trevor’s self portraits with his shirt off, but that’s just to keep the boys on their toes.

Trevor is also the leader of the group of men within our club who are too tall for their hair. This club includes illustrious members such as – Geoff Davies, Gary Lynch and Bob Murdoch. They keep saying that it’s a solar panel for a sex machine, but I wonder what happens when the sun’s not out????

Trevor was a wonderful President and kept the club running smoothly. He quietly spoken nature and hard working ideals were just what the club needed to consolidate its member numbers for this period.

Geoff - 2006

Geoff Davies took over the reins from Trevor in 2006, which is an apt term, as Geoff is a horse man. Geoff was born in country Victoria in 1939 and has had a special relationship with horses since he was a toddler growing up on the family’s cattle property. As a youngster he won stacks of pony club awards and also did his share of breaking in horses. Leaving school at 15, he moved to Geelong to start his riding apprenticeship and after riding 60 winners in less than 10 months he moved on to the Melbourne where success followed him. Wins in the Maiden Stakes aboard Hoof Harted and in the Roy Higgins Cup riding Whykickamoocow in 1959 signalled that a special horseman had arrived on the scene.

However, just as Geoff’s career was starting to take off, tragedy struck. When he slipped from his mount in torrential rain on a racetrack in Moonee Valley in June 1960 the initial medical verdict pointed to an abrupt ending to his career. When he crashed to the turf, Geoff suffered two breaks in his neck that could very easily have led to life in a wheelchair. But the prompt action of a crack medical team and one of the world’s top neurosurgeons enabled Geoff to make a partial recovery and after six months in a neck brace amazingly he was back at the track. Sadly his riding career was over partly due to a dodgy neck, and partly due to the fact the he was riding horses carrying 85kg!

He then tried his luck playing AFL for his beloved Collingwood, but even though Geoff had an aura about him due to his high profile riding career as Victoria’s largest jockey, he just couldn’t cut the mustard. Coaches at the time told Geoff to go away and work on his, fitness, handling, kicking, marking, running and game knowledge. But besides that, he was a star in the making.

Geoff was shattered but to this day still supports his beloved Magpies and realised a dream earlier this year when years of abuse from his mates was finally brushed away when Collingwood won the AFL flag. Geoff has had some heart issues over the years, but now is back on his feet and a valuable member of our club. He is also the current President of the Horton Park Golf club, the number 2 rated club on the coast.

In Geoff’s time as President we consolidated our regular Rotary events and even commenced with supporting the Row for Cancer charity event with our BBQ trailer.

Scott - 2007

In 2007, Scott became our 7th President at a time when the club was going through some changes. We shifted location to the Headland Bowls Club. It was interesting times at the Bowls Club as they always seem to want to cut the grass on the greens at the same time our guest speaker started talking!

We also had a different Changeover Dinner at the Envy restaurant which was enjoyed by all (except the older members of the club who wanted to sit down). Scott set about achieving his goals for the club as well as consolidating the regular club events, not bad for the youngest of our club members.

Scott grew up on the Gold Coast, the eldest of two brothers. It was clear at an early age that he was both highly intelligent and a gifted athlete. He attended Labrador State primary school where he was captain of the cricket, rugby league and swimming teams. He was also a leader amongst his peers and excelled in schoolwork, particularly in mathematics.

This trend continued though high school until eventually he entered university studying engineering. Not a bad achievement given he came from a poor family. His father used to work at the sand mines on the Gold Coast and slaved away for most of Scott’s childhood. The family struggled by and a regular diet of dripping on bread, which was all they could afford. Scott would walk 10km to school and back every day, carrying his little brother on his back as he had a deformed foot. He regularly woke up an hour before he went to bed, as he had to help his mother with chores around the house, before setting off for school.

Once graduated, Scott moved to the Sunshine Coast and commenced employment. Scott’s wife Simone worked with Chris Baker and it was then he was drafted into the club to be one of the Charter Members, and still the youngest member of the club. His talent and intellect were obvious to Chris from day one. Scott has since held many positions within the club, not the least being Chief Stirrer. During his time in the club he has managed to father two adorable children, Grace (3) and Jude (1).

In fact, in the 10 years of the club’s history, we have managed to produce a positive population result. Scott has 2 children along with Chris (Chelsea and Ben Baker) and Colleen (Rhianna), whilst we have lost Tony Parker, Dave Coleman and Bernard Tully.

Carmel - 2008

In 2008, the Rotary Club of Alexandra Headland went through a major change and a woman took the top job. Next thing you know they will be able to vote! Carmel Hulett a former teacher from Sienna College, daughter of Eddie DeVere (ex Maroochy Mayor) and first cousin to Kevin Rudd, became our 9th President.

Carmel’s style was typical of a school teacher, and she would commonly “lecture” the class/club with Rotary information and how we were to conduct ourselves at upcoming events. How such stern words and actions came out of such a little person, no one will know (well perhaps her husband Tom does)! Carmel generally takes no crap and we achieved all of the goals in her year that she desired.

She must have been a hit with the kids at school, as it doesn’t matter where we seem to go with our Rotary club, past (and present) students will address her and have a friendly chat. Carmel is also heavily involved with the Stella Maris Catholic Parish here on the Sunshine Coast. I was talking with Father Joe one day when I asked of Carmel. He let out a huge belly laugh and told me the following story that happened a few years back...

After the Prayers of the Faithful one day, Father Joe asked if anyone in the congregation would like to express praise for answered prayers. Carmel stood and walked to the podium. She said, "I have a praise. Two months ago, my husband, Tom, had a terrible bicycle accident and his scrotum was completely crushed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him."

You could hear a muffled gasp from the men in the congregation as they imagine the pain that poor Tom must have experienced.
"Tom was unable to hold me or our grandson," she went on, "and every move caused him terrible pain. We prayed as the doctors performed a delicate operation, and it turned out they were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Tom's scrotum, and wrap wire around it to hold it in place."

Again, the men in the congregation cringed and squirmed uncomfortably as they imagined the horrible surgery performed on Tom.
"Now," she announced in a quivering voice, "thank the Lord, Tom is out of the hospital and the doctors say that with time, his scrotum should recover completely."

All the men sighed with unified relief. Father Joe then rose and tentatively asked if anyone else had something to say. A man stood up and walked slowly to the podium.
He said, "I'm Tom Hulett." The entire congregation held its breath.
"I just want to tell my wife the word is sternum."

Carmel did a wonderful job in her year as President, and even gave up teaching permanently to do it. She is now permanently on holidays and dotes over her one and only Grandson.

Gary - 2009

At a Changeover night in Chris Baker’s shed, one of our hardest working members, Gary Lynch wore the Rotary Necklace with pride and his year began. Gary was a popular member of the club, and his social life is played out almost every week at Rotary meetings, due to his quest to find another female mate. He is generally the brunt of many jokes amongst the males and gains much sorrow from the female members.

Gary had a relaxed style as President and preferred to be “hands on” rather than the showy prancing around stuff that is expected of presidents. During his time at the club, Gary earned the nickname Toaster (as he seemed to pop up everywhere). He has worked tirelessly on the Xmas trailer raffle over the years and selflessly gives his time to club events (probably as he has no other social life to think of).

You wouldn’t know it but Gary is relatively fit, swimming most days in the Mooloolaba bay. He also went through a phase of running and bike riding and completed the bike leg of the triathlon in 2010. This all came to an end when he knees finally blew out, a result of an old sports injury.

When Gary was growing up in the leafy Brisbane suburb of Mt Gravatt, he was a relatively good swimmer. He did little training through primary school though still managed to achieve good results such as aged champion at his school. Entering high school he knew he would have to enter a squad to become more competitive. He started training 3 mornings a week at his local pool under the watchful eye of his coach, Chuck Stevens.

Swimming came naturally to Gary and he excelled in many strokes, none better than breaststroke. By the time he was 15, Gary was the Qld 50 and 100m champion. However, Gary was hiding a secret from his coach. Most afternoons Gary was attending rhythm gymnastics classes not only to help his flexibility, but he was very keen on a girl in the class. It wasn’t until Grade 11, did Chuck find out about Gary’s other passion. By a strange twist of fate, Chuck (Gary’s swimming coach) was also a past synchronised swimming coach and it was natural that he saw Gary’s talent.

Reluctantly Gary was talked into trying out the sport, commonly known as Water Ballet. To everyone’s surprise except Chuck, Gary was exceptional at it, combining his big kick from his breaststroke training with his grace and flexibility from the gymnastics. In the ensuing months, Gary had won both the regional, state and national titles in the Boys Solo categories. There was nothing stopping him.

Gary was hitting the peak of his form and deep in training for the upcoming World Titles in Orlando, Florida, USA. Then tragedy struck. During practice, he was in the middle of his championship routine

under the watchful eye of Chuck, when one of his big eggbeater kicks went horribly wrong. Gary had dislocated his kneecap.

Panic ensued and the verdict crushed him. His synchro career was over. The leg could not sustain that type of pressure again and he would have to give it away. Gary was shattered. After months of moping around, Gary completed high school and entered the work force with a feeling of what could have been.

His knee was never the same. To this day, he still believes he could have won that world title. The other interesting fact about Gary is he claims that seahorses are a good luck charm and wears one around his neck at all times - this reminds him of when he first started to love the sport as he swam in a seahorse routine in his first water show.

During Gary’s year we also inducted a few new members – Sue Quinn, Dennis Alt and Bob Thompson to name a few. The club continued with its regular community events – Row for Cancer, Xmas trailer raffle and Clean Up Australia.

Gary was introduced to the club by Rolf Weigand as they had meet whilst both working in businesses at Alexandra Headland. Rolf could see that Gary had a heart of gold and would be keen to give back to the community. Gary thought it would be a good way to “meet chicks”.

Bill - 2010

Reluctantly Gary handed over the Rotary Necklace to our very own vet, Bill Bradley in 2010. Bill has only been in the role for a few months and nothing disastrous has happened yet so we gather he’s going to be alright. Bill loves a great dog insemination or a cat dissection story and is also especially fond of his acronyms such as: ADR, BIP, DSH, EDUD, PPP and QOL (ask him to explain them). He has other favourites which cannot be shared in this company.

We have lost lot of good members over the years (for various work and personal reasons), however, we were very fortunate to have some great people join our club. People such as:

  • ♦  Bob Critchley

  • ♦  Kerryn Parry

  • ♦  Marie Benvenuti

  • ♦  Mark McArdle (now in politics with the LNP)

  • ♦  Fernand Michot

  • ♦  Dale Osbourne

  • ♦  Les Ross

  • ♦  Don Ryan

  • ♦  Pat Ryan

  • ♦  Takeo Sakiyama

  • ♦  Greg Schnell

  • ♦  Bob Sparks

  • ♦  Charlie Summers

  • ♦  Russell Thompson

  • ♦  Bjorg Thor

  • ♦  Alan Tudman

  • ♦  Jeff Underwood

  • ♦  Phil Smart

  • ♦  Tony Parker and

  • ♦  David Coleman


These were all great workers and unfortunately no longer members of our little Club. However, we have been extremely lucky over the past 10 years to have obtained some fantastic people. The following are not charter members but we are lucky enough to call them fellow friends and members:

  • ♦  Denys Alt (the paddle pop stick man)

  • ♦  Bill Bradley (current President)

  • ♦  Bill Brereton (bulletin editor)

  • ♦  Prue Byrnes (our very colourful and wonderful dry cleaner)

  • ♦  Andrew Conroy

  • ♦  Geoff Davies

  • ♦  Colleen Dunn (Nurse and hard worker. Thanks for your efforts over the years Colleen as

    Community Director, organising the Clean Up Aust Days, Mooloolaba Triathlons etc, and on top of

    that, you are a recent mother)

  • ♦  Nigel Fairbairn (school principal)

  • ♦  Carmel Hulett

  • ♦  John Kenny (treasurer)

  • ♦  Gary Lynch

  • ♦  Bob Murdoch (punter, plonk lover and purveyor of jokes)

  • ♦  Sue Quinn

  • ♦  Brian Robinson (ex pilot)

  • ♦  Bob Thompson (BBQ cooking legend) and

  • ♦  Alan Walter (ex Westpac manager).

    These people combined with our six surviving Charter Members – Chris, David, Peter, Owen, Trevor and myself, make us what we are today.

    Suffice to say that the RC of AH has had a colourful history in its 10 short years. Members have come and gone, leaving around 25 members of various backgrounds and personalities. The same can be said for the Presidents who have ruled over the ten years. Each has imparted their own slant on the club and I believe we are all richer for it.

    Even though the motto of Rotary is “Service above Self”, I genuinely believe that it’s the people within the club who help make it what it is and what you can indeed get out of it. People who come to our meetings and are in the company of our members are always surprised to find how friendly and down to earth we are. We all enjoy each other’s company whilst working amongst and for the community to help make it a better place.

    Where we will be in another 10 years we can only guess. I hope that we have the same close knit bunch of people involved with the club that we do now and we continue to function happily ever after....


2010 - 2020 


Alan Walter - 2011


Bob Thompson 2012


Sue Quinn 2013


Prue Byrnes - 2014


Peter Darnell - 2015


Peter Darnell - 2016


John Malloy 2017


Year               2017 -18 
President       John Malloy 
Secretary       Joy Cowan
Treasurer      Bob Lane
Location of meetings:
For my year I wanted to move to an Alexandra Headland location, so after much discussion (and angst) and help from the Alex SLSC we moved he club meetings to the Alex Surf Club.
This wasn't without lengthy discussions but there really was little choice as the Headland Golf Club arrangement was on a "Take or Pay" arrangement whereby we had to guarantee 20 buffet breakfasts as a minimum to cover Headlands Golf Clubs cost. This was proving to be quite a drain on the club as we often had considerably less than 20 members at club meetings, so club was losing money every week.
After some teething problems with breakfast logistics and not a little effort by our treasurer Bob, we settled into a level of breakfast normality.
We also wanted to give the members greater opportunity to be involved in the running of the club, so we held the Club Board meetings in the Alex SLSC straight after Fridays breakfast meeting. This proved to be quite popular with members, but I did miss the glass of wine I'd enjoyed in previous years at the evening meetings with Peter and Linda Darnell and the rest of the board.
I was also keen to have vocation meetings and so we arranged to meet at different locations around the community to show our support for other organisations and for a bit of variety. So we met at Scootty's "Sructures" office, as well at a memorable breakfast and guest speaker  "The Shack" and we also engaged IFYS as corporate members and also made contact with Birgit at the community cafe in Newspaper Place.
Membership notes
I don't recall inducting new members, but what gave me the most pleasure in this area was awarding PHF's to Peter Darnell and Prue Byrnes at my changeover the end of the year. Two great servants of the club.
Peter for his steadying hand over 2 years, and Prue for her fantastic work with the social side of the club and her tireless youth activities.
The saddest part of my year was when Libby Schick passed away after her long batle with cancer. Libby was a lovely lady who bravely fought her illness and was always willing to help in whatever way she could.
Major projects, fundraisers and other activities
I'd received great support from the club with my passion to help youth transition to work, and so we were able to publish a "worklife" book that contained lots of stories from club members in their work careers, and lots. of sage advice on g=how school kids could transition to work. Interestingly our first worklife "workshop" was 8 weeks at (two hours a week) at Maleny where we spoke to middle aged and elderly women who were joining the workplace after a long period of being out of the workplace.
Councillor John Connolly was a great support to the club at worklife in particular and gave a school assembly talk to Sienna College that clearly showed why he made a great rugby coach for teh wallabies. We conducted a number of work transition sessions at Nambour, Maleny, USC and at Sienna College. The book received a warm welcome from the wider Rotary community with copies going interstate as well as NZ, UK and Alaska!. Its now available for download on the club website. 
We also hade a vibrant cluster group and met a Wendy's where we plotted and completed the "Community Garden" over a couple of years at Landsborough and received a District Award as well as lots of fun with Mooloolaba Rotarians and friends of Rotary John and Lol White among others. 
Also we tried valiantly with Bill Bradleys help to hold a golf day for the club but it was difficult, and after not getting enough golfers to fill half the field we gave up. We later found out that most golf days were unsuccessful, and the club resolved not to run one again.
Also ran a very successful "Surf Show and Shine" at the Mooloolaba Primary school oval which had been started a couple of years before and was growing in popularity. Graeme H was c\Kombi Controller in chief, and as well as various kiosks on teh site, Tanya did an amazing job in rounding up musicians to make it a great community day. By coincidence the cruise ship visits to Mooloolaba had just started and the Mayor and friends popped in to see what all teh fuss was about.
We were able to raise $20,000 which went to Bill and Melissa Close's Care Outreach organisation, as the state was still in the grip of a drought that was in its seventh year.
The money went to the farming community in the form of pre paid debit cards to be used locally.
We also ran our first winter "Solstice Swim" which came from an idea by Bob Lane, one of the morning swimmers on Mooloolaba beach. There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that Bob did this so that he could "graffiti" the lady swimmers with their swim registration numbers. In any case Dave W beat him to it. 


Mike Storkey 2018


Tony/ Mike /Carmel/ Wendy - 2019


Wendy Gilson 2020


Wendy Gilson  2021


Skye Miller - 2022


Tony Freeman - 2023


Geoff East - 2024