Stawell Rotary celebrates sixty years

ROTARY Club of Stawell celebrated its sixtieth birthday and the changeover of executive at a dinner held at the Stawell Golf Club.

Stawell Rotary Club's incoming president Vaughan Williams and secretary Pauline Shirrefs, dressed up to recognise the club's 60th birthday.

Stawell Rotary Club's incoming president Vaughan Williams and secretary Pauline Shirrefs, dressed up to recognise the club's 60th birthday.

The dinner was attended by District Governor Ken McInerney, incoming District Governor Geoff James and his wife Meryl, representatives of Rotary Clubs in District 9780, Northern Grampians Shire Mayor and Rotarian Kevin Erwin and past members, friends and guests of the Stawell Rotary Club.

A special guest was Helen Dean, daughter of Lou Koenig, the foundation president of the Stawell Club.

Incoming president Vaughan Williams was supported by a large contingent of his work colleagues from the Northern Grampians Shire Council.

Mr Williams joined Stawell Rotary in the 2010-11 year, and has served on several Rotary committees, been assistant treasurer and treasurer.

As one of the youngest Rotarians in Stawell's Club, he is noted for his dexterity with, and love of electronic devices - conducting his portfolio in a paperless environment.

Mr Williams' induction as president was conducted by Rotarian Kimberley Gehan, who presented him with the chain of office.

He will continue to hold the position of treasurer with the support of an assistant treasurer.

Incoming secretary Pauline Shirrefs returned to her roots in Stawell after spending more than 40 years living and working in South West Victoria.

A retired nurse, she moved to Stawell after the death of her husband, Geoff.

Rotarian Pauline held executive positions in several organisations in Warrnambool and Port Fairy. She joined the Rotary Club of Port Fairy, and held several portfolios, including president.

Assistant treasurer Ken Agnew and his wife Christine are Corps Officers at the Salvation Army in Stawell.

Mr Agnew joined Stawell Rotary in 2012, having been a Rotarian in Horsham, Colac, Alice Springs, George Town - Tasmania, Bunbury - WA, Williamstown and Preston.

He has held positions of president, youth director and other portfolios.

Mr Agnew's interests outside of work and Rotary are cycling, motorbike riding, driving, gadgets and membership of the Western Bulldogs.

Outgoing president Kimberley Gehan gave a report on the past year's activities.

These included continued support of Probus Clubs, fundraising during the Jazz Weekend in Halls Gap, continued involvement with Meals on Wheels and Christmas Hampers and Toys for Tots program.

One of the proud highlights of the year was again the successful alternative to Schoolies Week - the Students Discovery Tour of Vietnam 2014.

Another feature of the evening was an account of the history of the club over its 60 years and an historical display put together by Rotarians Ted Gaffney and Des Pickford.

The first major project of the new club, which was chartered in 1954, was to build the former Infant Welfare Centre in Wimmera Street, now occupied by the Grampians Regional Waste Management Group.

The club's birthday was marked by a cake cut by Mr Williams and Ms Gehan.

Catering and bar service was supplied by the Golf Club committee with the clubroom and tables decorated to reflect the colourful sixties.

The decorations included six cardboard Kombi vans designed and painted by Glenys Lyall.

Donations of wine and a cake were used as lucky spot prizes.

Retiring Rotarian Ted Gaffney, who held all executive positions and directorships during his membership of the Stawell Club, and was District Governor for district 9780 in 2008-2009, is moving to Dimboola 'to go back to the bush and fish'.

Stawell Rotary Club presented Mr Gaffney with a quality fishing rod, reel and tacklebox to assist him to achieve his goal.

He and Wilton Wells were also made honourary members of the Stawell Rotary Club in recognition of their service.

Mr Vaughan presented his 2014-15 team: Rotarians John Launder - Youth Services, John Artz - Foundation, Robin Kelly - International, Club Catering, Kevin Erwin - Community, Des Pickford - Sergeant at Arms, Special Events, Kimberley Gehan - Past President, Special Events.

Rotarians Des Pickford, Ted Gaffney and Kimberley Gehan received the Lou Koenig Award for 100 per cent attendance at meetings.

Stawell Rotary Club was awarded a Presidential Citation with Distinction. The citation is awarded to clubs that sponsor or participate in a local or district Rotary Day event to introduce non-Rotarians to Rotary.

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