Projects - Current

The Rotary Club of Burnie has endeavoured to have active projects in each Avenue of Service each year.

Projects - Past History

Community Service

After the Second World War, one of the earliest and longest-running projects of the Rotary Club of Burnie was the development of Langley Park at Somerset: This began in 1944 and was completed in 1961. This park is now Somerset’s main recreation venue and is used for football, cricket and athletics events.

Another long-term focus of the club has been the Umina Park Home for the Aged; the club’s involvement having commenced in 1959 and is ongoing.

The Rotary Club of Burnie participated in building the Hilder Parade swimming pool and also assisted in the siting and building of Burnie’s Olympic Pool.

The impact of a major industrial dispute at the paper mill in Burnie in 1992 prompted some concerned citizens to ask the Rotary Club to arrange a land-based festival to coincide with the finish of the Melbourne to Burnie Yacht Race. The club took on the administration and coordination of all activities at the Burnie Port and received assistance from several service clubs including the Rotary Clubs of East Burnie and Somerset. This event was held for four years but the lack of a safe mooring facility for the yachts eventually prompted the Royal Melbourne Yacht Club to move the race destination away from Burnie.

For several years, the club ran an annual Garden Weekend at the Civic Centre to raise money for charity. It was not unusual for more than 2,500 people to see the displays.

A good fund-raiser for the Club for many years was the Rotary Ball. This brought forth the very special talent of one member, Dr Kille, who could visualise the decorations needed in the Town Hall to reflect whatever theme had been chosen for the Ball and, with willing help from other Rotarians in the Club, these ideas were recreated on the necessary scale and proper perspective to yield a magical impact when the doors opened on the night.

Another long-running event was the Rotary Fine Arts Auction, ably organised by Harold Ogilvie. This ran for over 16 years from 1976 and attracted many serious collectors; bidding was often very earnest indeed! It was not unusual for over 200 items to be auctioned on the night by Harold and for the gross income to exceed $40,000 in some years. As an example, at the 16th auction in 1991, 265 lots were auctioned and the Profit and Loss report showed:

Profit and Loss Summary
Income Expenses
Auction Fee$4,333 (Gross = $30,786)Advertising$1,895
Bargain Bazaar$1,628Hall hire$400

Harold Ogilvie with some auction items

Auctioneer Harold Ogilvie with a $3,000 collection of S. T. Gill’s lithographic sketches prior to the Rotary Fine Arts Auction in 1983.[The Advocate]

The proportion (%) of income earned by the ‘bargain bazaar’ table steadily increased from 5% in 1983 to over 20% in 1991: By implication, interest was waning in the actual auction and eventually it was decided to cease with the Rotary Auction.

An even longer-running fund raising venture has been the Rotary Golf Day held each year at Seabrook Golf Club. In 2009, this event will notch up its twentieth year and funds raised typically exceed $6,000 annually.

Sometimes, the club members undertake building projects, for instance: Entrance gates for the Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens; raised garden beds at Umina Park Home for the Aged; rotunda in Romaine Park and platypus viewing platform at Fernglade.

In 1987, the club raised $13,000 towards a bionic ear (“Cochlear”) implant for a 14 year-old local girl, Leanne White.

The club established a custom of making the first donation of money ($1,000) each year to the Advocate Christmas Cheer Appeal that helps to provide food parcels to needy families over Christmas. Club members also take part in the Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield Appeal.

The influx of “new” members from the previous East Burnie Rotary Club brought forth new ideas. Probably the major step forward came in early 2006 when that year’s President Bruce Keene pulled, pushed and cajoled the Club’s members into setting up a weekly barbecue service at a newly opened shopping centre in South Burnie. Manned each Saturday morning by three Rotarians, this service has proved a consistent money-earner for the Club; weekly income has increased year-on-year. The barbecue is now Burnie Rotary’s Number One source of funds for its Rotary work; it has provided an excellent opportunity for fellowship, and it provides effective advertising of the Club’s projects, attracting offerings into a donation box as a result.

International Service

One major initiative of the club was the “Visitation to China” in 1988, arranged through the Chinese Association for International Understanding. Two club members, PP Harold Ogilvie and PP Frank Ellis were instrumental in this. Four club members travelled to China together with a Rotarian from each state of Australia. A return visit by the Chinese took place the following year.

Over the years, the Rotary Club of Burnie has participated in over twenty international Student Exchanges and the club is also a consistent participant in Rotary’s Group Study Exchange program.