Rotary District 9640 had an active team of 180 housekeeping attendants at the Athletes Village of the recently concluded XX1 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. The return was a massive $223,360. It wasn’t easy in more ways than one but Rotary came out winning Gold!
 
PDG Brian Heaton suggested that Rotary could become housekeepers to the Games Village as happened in Melbourne in 2006 & in the last London Olympics. PDG John Wigley who had been D9800 District Governor in 2005/ 2006 and Rotarian Bill Dagg, who had co-ordinated the Melbourne Games housekeeping were flown up from Melbourne to brief clubs.
 
As the successful housekeeping company, Incognitus needed a commitment within 3 weeks, a mad scramble resulted trying to get Rotarians to commit with little knowledge of the degree of involvement. Many had decided to leave town due to the scare tactics on traffic chaos & a lot had already committed to volunteering work during the Games. Our potential workforce was severely diminished right from the start. 
 
We had to go through a rigorous accreditation & training process but we ended up with 22 teams of 5 people per team & a total of 180 volunteers that included 35 Rotarians from Currumbin-Coolangatta-Tweed, Gold Coast, Parkwood, Runaway Bay, Surfers Sunrise, Summerland Sunrise, Warwick Sunrise, Toowoomba North (D9630) & Sunnybank Hills (D9630) plus volunteers from several charity & church groups.  Church groups from the Pacific Islander Communities of Brisbane and the Gold Coast provided a large number of the volunteers.
 
What did we do? District Governor Darrell worked for 10 days, where he was a stripper in the first couple of days. That is one who strips bed linen from beds - not the other type of stripper!. Then he made beds all day on some days or made up linen packs. His exit day, was toilet & bathroom cleaner. Many of the volunteers would do their housekeeping shifts & go back to their normal jobs working late into the night. Everyone pulled together with great camaraderie.
 
Was it worth it? Yes. At the end of the games, Paul Lovett, CEO of Incognitus presented a big cheque to Assistant Governor, David Baguley who coordinated the volunteer work force. Paul praised the team & said that we were the best housekeepers that he had ever had. 
 
The charities that our hard-earned money will support will be the big winners. These include:
 
  • Providing crises care & support to families of patients in intensive care at Gold Coast University Hospital who have arrived outside of the Gold Coast at short notice to be with their loved ones in hospital.
 
  • RC Surfers Sunrise’s Wheelchair Project making wheelchairs for children in undeveloped countries out of discarded bicycles.
 
  • Australian Rotary Health PhD Scholarship in Mental Illness.
 
  • Youth with a Mission Rugby Plus using rugby as a vehicle to train young men & women at home in Fiji & giving them an opportunity to serve in regional & outback Australia in communities that love the game & encourage the youth with healthy thinking, eating & living based on Christian values.
 
  • St John’s Crisis Care in Surfers Paradise.
 
  • Rotary’s Malaria Vaccine Project.
 
  • Sponsorship of Rotary’s Youth Driver Awareness program for a school.
 
  • Rotary’s Polio Plus & Donations in Kind, to name a few.
 
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