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  Welcome to Surfers Sunrise Rotary!
Surfers Sunrise

A great way to start the day

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 7:15 AM
Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club
Esplanade (Cnr Hanlan Street)
(Note: COVID restrictions permitting)
Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Home Page Stories
This coming Wednesday, 14th April, we'll meet at the Project Shed instead of the Surf Club, to receive an update on our X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu project (image on left).  Angus 'Onion King' Miller will have the Bar-be-que on full speed from 07:00 am onwards and cook a hearty breakfast for you! Guests and visitors welcome - why not invite a friend to come along?
The Pallet Jack at our Project Shed has started to deteriorate. So, Geoff Croad and Ian Mayberry contacted Nationwide Forklifts. Managing Director Ron Layton quickly agreed to come to the rescue: the company donated not just one, but two almost new Pallet Jacks, valued at about $800.00, to our good cause, which were delivered last Wednesday. Thank you, Ron, thank you Nationwide Forklifts!  Photo (from left): Ian Mayberry, Bryan Tuesley, Robby (?) who delivered the goods and President Charles Thomasson, the two Pallet Jacks on the ute behind them ready to be unloaded. [Aren't they model citizens? Perfect social distancing, masks only taken off for the photo... ☺ Ed.]
On Saturday 15th May 2021, our District 9640 will hold its Conference at Twin Towns Conference Centre.  In view of the COVID situation, the format is a one day event. This brings the cost down to just $60.00 per head ($20 for Rotaractors and $10 for Interactors) which includes morning tea break and Lunch.  Registrations close on 1st May, or when the maximum of 500 seats have been sold out.
Among the hugely interesting guest speakers is Dr Michael Pyne (picture right), the Chief Veterinarian of the Currumbin Wildlife Centre.  Click here for more information and to book.
Remember our "Pocket Rocket" Youth Exchange Student who returned to Italy in 2016?  Meanwhile, Martina Missarelli has graduated in Economics and Management - here is a photo of her, proudly displaying her Cartoon Well Done Stock Illustrations – 318 Cartoon Well Done Stock  Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstimegraduation certificate.  Congratulations, Martina, well done!
“I went to about 6 different schools” Peter explained. No, not because he was one of those impossible kids who always get expelled!  His father’s work as an earthmoving contractor simply demanded that they live where the big contracts were.  Born in Thornton, North-East of Melbourne near Lake Eildon, the family ultimately settled in Shepparton and then, in 1958, on the Gold Coast, where he studied to Year 9 at TSS, The Southport School. 
At the tender young age of 16, Peter joined the Navy, working in catering, “mostly on shore, looking after Wine and Beer Storage for the officers” he quipped. But then followed postings on numerous ships, from Carriers to Troop Ships, Frigates and Escorts. He served on a Frigate during the Vietnam war. Peter’s Navy career concluded in 1981, after 20 service culminating with the rank of ‘Senior NCO’ (aka Petty Officer).
His training on how to work effectively with people served him well in the ongoing years. “I would buy catering businesses, coffee shops, build them up and sell them again” he said.
These days, besides regularly working at our Project Shed, he enjoys playing Golf (current handicap is 16, but “when I was younger” it was as low as 8), Pistol Shooting, gardening, watching Action Movies and spending time with his Grandkids. No, not pushing them on a swing: one of his grandsons is at Duntroon in officer training with the Army…
Tony Schaper has been doing this for years. On Saturday, he dropped off another 4 bags of ring pulls he and his wife Sue have collected over the last 12 months. That's about  128 KG, estimated to be about 433,898  beer cans. (No, he didn't drink them all by himself! ☺☺) Tony has been collecting ring pulls for Wheelchairs for about 14 years. By now, he and his wife would have collected close to a ton. At current rates of recycled aluminium, this would amount to as much as $1,500 in total.  Thank you, Tony!
At last Wednesday's meeting, President Charles Thomasson inducted our newest member, Trent Belling, under the Vocational Classification of 'Information Technology'.  Proposed by Simon Brook, Trent holds both a Bachelor of Laws as well as a Bachelor of Commerce.  About 7 years ago, he joined Griffith University, where he works in an IT Management capacity. Before that, he worked in IT with UQ.  Watch this space - we'll advise when Trent will give us a deeper insight into his persona when he'll do his 'Rotarian behind the Badge' presentation.
At last week's meeting, Craig Parker and KJ Jewson outlined the progress of the new website for the Surfers Sunrise Wheelchair Trust.  Craig Parker is the owner of Digital Connections, a company specialising in website development for Not for Profit organisations.  Development has well and truly started. In addition to Craig, the volunteer team includes several members of the Burleigh Heads Rotaract Club. Multiple planning meetings have already been held. Watch this space for a more detailed update.  
Photo right: President Charles Thomasson, with some of the development team: KJ Jewson, Craig Parker and Matt Haywood.
When I got up early on Wednesday morning and put on the kettle, my still foggy brain didn’t give the slightest thought on what makes it possible for me to simply turn on the tap. Nor dare I say did 99.99% of the 30-odd people present at our meeting, nor the 600,000 residents of the Gold Coast, nor the 3 Million people who are daily relying on SEQ Water to fully function. Turn on the tap and sweet water pours out. Yet, just visualise for a moment the consequences of the water not running, say, just for a couple of days. Not having your morning cuppa would be the least of your problems, particularly if you live in a high density area!
Jeremy Bishop, who describes himself as an ‘Engagement Advisor’, together with his co-worker Katrina Lambert, provided us with a very professional, concise presentation on the huge organisation which quietly ensures that such a nightmare scenario will not happen. In control of some $11 Billion worth of dams, water treatment plants and pipelines, SEQ Water doesn’t just provide drinking and bath water, but also irrigation water to 1200 farmers.
Remember the “Millennium Drought”? It wasn’t pretty. The Hinze Dam (at that time Stage 3 hadn’t been built yet), as well as overall dam levels in South East Queensland went on average to around the 20% mark.  Meanwhile, we have a Desalination Plant and Stage 3 of the Hinze Dam, built in 2011, doubled its capacity to over 310,000 Million Litres. Our ‘Water Grid’ boasts some 600 Km of bi-directional water pipeline.  Space does not permit to outline Jeremy’s seminar in detail, but on the Download Pages (right side) you will find a PDF of his PowerPoint which is very interesting reading indeed.
(Photo, from left: Chairman of the day, Peter Morgan, Katrina Lambert, SEQ Water, Jeremy Bishop) 
In short: we'll have a dedicated website for the Wheelchair Trust, the Project Shed, the volunteers and all the stuff we do. 
We are looking for photos relating to our Wheelchairs, various buildings we put up over the years etc etc. If you have any, please upload them directly to a shared Google Drive KJ has set up for this:  Click here - it's dead easy - simply drag the photos from your folder into the 'Drop files here' field.
It's not every day one receives a letter signed by a Major General. You may recall a post some time ago where we reported a load of wheelchairs and hospital beds going to Battaramulla, Sri Lanka. The arrangements were made by Adjit Abeywardena of the Rotary Club of Jindalee. Last week, we received a personal letter from Major General (Rtd) Susil Chandrapala MD, who is the Chairman of his Rotary club's Wheelchair Project. the 11 wheelchairs were delivered to the Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Hospital (RRH) in Ragamana, Sri Lanka.  
Quoting from his letter: "On behalf of the President and members of RC Battaramulla of RID 3220 Sri Lanka and Maldives, I wish to sincerely thank you and Members of your club for your generous contribution. These wheelchairs will be used by the poor and needy children who are being treated at RRH."
Thank you for the feedback, General. Good to hear that together we are all making a difference!
You know that recently we despatched a container load of wheelchairs to South Africa, via the Rotary e-Club of South Africa. Here is some feedback: we received an email from the Rotary Club of Port Alfred, South Africa:
Dear “Surfers”
We have just taken delivery of 30 wheelchair kits, 20 for Port Alfred and 10 for Rotary Club of Kenton on Sea, (25kms from us along the Eastern Cape coast, halfway between Durban and Cape Town, both surfing centres).
We have so far made one prototype this week and were excited to see it taking shape;  very simple but clever design, sturdy and manoeuvrable when done.  It took us 50 minutes after a couple of false starts but we reckon 25 mins maximum now we know what we are doing!
We wanted to bring the story to our local press, our Rotary Africa Magazine and to Facebook so we have looked up the story on your webpage and would now like to attach a couple of photos taken during construction, just for you to see.  We plan to create a work party to do the others.  The men in the photos are PP David Hawkins and PP Martin Allison of Rotary Club of Port Alfred.
Distribution will be handled soon. There is such a need for this sort of robust conveyance that we shall have no difficulty in placing them. 
We thought of attaching safety belts, have you any ideas about this?
Thank you also for the knitted jerseys which we will distribute.  Do your Rotary Anns do these?
With congratulations on this great project, and best wishes
Heather Howard
for Rotary Club of Port Alfred.

Last Wednesday night, we enjoyed a great social dinner at the Highland Court Chinese Restaurant.  At the same time, Vocational Service Chairman Richard Smith, together with President Charles Thomasson, presented last year's Excellence in Workmanship Awards to the deserving recipients. Last year's? Yes, COVID-19 forced us to cancel the event, so the awardees have been patiently waiting for almost a year! Photo shows (from left, clockwise) Charles, his wife Angela and their children Amelia and Lauren. Rosie Rocco and her daughter Trinity (Good to see you again!), Mitch and Lydia Brown, Tanya and Mark Twyford.
More photos in the Photo Album - see right side.
Our guest speaker last Wednesday was astounding. If you ever have prepared to do a presentation yourself, you can appreciate the amount of time and energy Briana would have invested to deliver with perfection: fluently, clearly, precisely and with good diction. She made it look all so easy, she had her audience nailed!  And quite uncommon for a teenager: not a single ‘Uhmmm’, ‘like’, ‘basically’, ‘ya know’ ...!
Our club sponsored her to attend the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF). Normally held in Canberra, this year COVID-19 forced it to go on-line. Still, so Briana enthused, it was very worthwhile indeed! “I found NYSF’s most valuable resource to be their range of STEM experts” she said. Among these were Professor Barry Marshall, Dr Carola Vinuesa and Professor Brian P Schmidt. Both Professors Marshall and Schmidt are Nobel Prize Laureates, Dr. Vinuesa is the co-director of personalised medicine at ANU.
Briana made it clear that attending the NYSF is not just about pure science but about live values, such as the value of perseverance. A point in case is Prof Barry Marshall, whose discovery of a cure for duodenal ulcers earned him the Nobel Prize. “There were over 20 years between his original discovery and his receiving of a Nobel Prize”, she said, then cited the Professor: “If you have the facts, you don’t have to worry if nobody believes you.”
Question Time, as expected, was boisterous. What are your future plans? she was asked. “I changed my initial intentions of a career in computer science or biomedicals to go for medicine” she said. Other than Science, Briana is involved in the Duke of Edenborough program, studies Literature, High Level Maths, Classical Singing (she participates in the choir), helps in Student Prep and Debating.
Briana’s PowerPoint presentation and her corresponding speech is available from the Download Section on the right. You should run the two concurrently, the text shows when to change slides. Photo, from left: President Charles Thomasson, Briana's father Michael Dorrough and Briana Dorrough.
About half a year ago, I wrote about Rotary Fellowships (using a title which should have made you look… 😊) There are dozens of them – the forementioned document has the links to every one of them.
Now here I am, a reasonably dedicated and committed Rotarian with almost 34 years of membership under my belt, quietly browsing the January issue of Rotary International’s monthly magazine, now re-branded Rotary Magazine. (Go on, click on the link! It’s very well done, way better than the old fashioned layout of The Rotarian). I was never aware that
Rotary Action Groups
existed! From Addiction Prevention to Clubfoot [no Henrietta, nothing to do with clubs, nor with people who suffer from "foot in mouth" disease… Ed.], Food Plant Solutions, Hearing, Multiple Scleroris , just to name a few of the 25 groups all up.  Well worth your while to browse. And you learn far more than if you hang around Facebook or Twitter…
What a superb morning last Saturday at our Project Shed, where we celebrated the 10,000th Wheelchair manufactured. For any of our readers who are not familiar with the concept: parts from recycled bicycles, marine plywood, solid rubber BMX wheels and... LOTS OF VOLUNTEER HOURS equal a wheelchair which can be manufactured for $100! Give yourself a pat on the back, but particular recognition must go to the principal movers and shakers who started and carried this project through: Des La Rance, Daryl Sanderson and the late Keith Lutz and Bob Harrison. Jan Lutz was there, but regrettably, Gloria Harrison was unable to join us, but for a good reason: her grandson debuted on that same day, playing Grade 1 Cricket in the Queensland Premier League. Howzat! Bob would be proud on both accounts.
We had the bulk of our members and volunteers present from an early hour, setting up the various marquees, putting the last touch to the refurbished bikes we had for sale, setting up the stage, the videos...  The Rotaractors from Burleigh Heads were there in force, the Rotary Club of Parkwood ran a sausage sizzle and the Rotary Club of Broadbeach ran a raffle, our soon to be inducted new corporate members Adam  and Tash from Invincable had a stand and so did the Pimpama State School with their version of the wheelchair design.  We were honoured by visits from District Governor Andy Rajapakse, State MPs Rob Molhoek and Sam O'Connor (he has done a nice write up on his Facebook page too) as well as Councillors Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden and Brooke Patterson.  
President Charles Thomasson opened the formal part of the celebrations welcoming our dignitaries, which was followed by a brief address by DG Andy Rajapakse, in which he referred to his own efforts of taking well over 500 wheelchairs for distribution in his country of origin, Sri Lanka. Following our DG, the inventor of the wheelchairs from bicycles, Des La Rance, outlined the project from early times in the mid 1990's, the breakthrough when Ray Martin's A Current Affair broadcast the delivery of the first 10 wheelchairs to Fiji in 1997, the building of schools for the tsunami affected regions of Thailand and Samoa, the House of Hope in Apia, leading to the current project of the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu. 
But of course, the culmination of the morning was the presentation of a commemorative collage to Des La Rance (see picture). This was designed and made by Neil Thurlow and his graphic wizards of Accent Print and Copy.
Photo shows (from left) Jan La Rance, Daryl Sanderson, Des La Rance, Jan Lutz. More photos are in the Photo Album, videos coming up shortly.
OK, we can't take the credit for the superb weather... after some quite heavy rains on the weekend, the Gold Coast enjoyed the most perfect day imaginable.  Today's Rotary Surfers Sunrise Golf Day turned out in the very best way imaginable.  We had almost 100 players (see President Charles' message above), made up from some 13 Corporate Teams and 6 Rotary Teams from other clubs. At this stage, no results are available yet.  But we have the two major winners: Overall winners were the team of Steve Hamilton, Dave and Daniel Bisker and James Dayton (picture above), the winner of the Rotary Challenge (only open to Rotary Club teams) was the Rotary Club of Currumbin - Coolangatta - Tweed, with Bev & Eric Rosser, Jan Robertson and Ian Petherick. A photo album will be uploaded shortly. - more details in next week's bulletin.
A big thank you goes to President Charles Thomasson and Treasurer Doug Lipp who were the principal organisers, to all the sponsors and competitors, as well as the superb turnout of our members - too many to list - who helped on the day.  Well done all!
JADE McMAHON is the winner of the Lutzy Award 2020! This morning, we had a very special meeting at the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club: we presented the Lutzy Award. This special recognition, in memory of our Charter Member Keith Lutz, is given to an upcoming young leader and mentor, selected by the SLSC. In the words of David Orchard, "it was unanimous": Jade McMahon was selected in recognition of her ongoing demonstration of leadership and nurturing of younger members, as well as her efforts and dedication to the Surf Life Saving movement. The award includes a very special Surf Rescue Board, which this year was sponsored by Immediate Past President Mario Fairlie and Justin Benney of Advent Security.  Congratulations, Jade!
Some of the previous winners, Jessica Webber and Lucy Thorburn, went on to participate in our District's Youth programs and, of course, you may be aware that Lucy also spent a year in the USA as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. 
Photo (from left): Immediate Surfers Sunrise Past President Mario Fairlie (sponsor), David Orchard, Jade McMahon, SLSC President Trevor Hendy, Jan Lutz, Justin Benney from Advent Security (sponsor), Surfers Sunrise President Charles Thomasson, Andy Bell.  Some more photos in the Photo Album section.
In "normal" times, the statement "we'll have more of the same we had in the last year" would not be the most inspiring articulation of a leader's vision. Unless one knows that the year just gone, under Immediate Past President Mario Fairlie, has been not "just good", it was "real good"! At our first 'formal' meeting for the new Rotary year, incoming President Charles Thomasson outlined his overall aims.  There isn't much purpose me listing them here; much easier if you download his PowerPoint (see Download Section on the right), where all his individual goals are outlined.
But the major segments certainly bear mentioning specifically: 
  • Rotary in Australia will this year celebrate its 100th Anniversary.  This in itself is a major milestone, but we are going to combine this with
  • Delivery of our 10,000th Wheelchair: in August 1997 we delivered the first 10 wheelchairs to Fiji, which was filmed and broadcast on Channel Nine's 'A Current Affair'. Our aim is to get Ray Martin, who was that program's host at the time, to participate in a special event to celebrate this major achievement.
  • The 'Sleeping Sanctuary' (PODs) is a definite goer. The aim is to involve all the clubs in Cluster 7
  • The X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu, a joint project with the Rotary Clubs of Broadbeach and Gold Coast which commenced in the previous year, is destined to be delivered and installed in June 2021
  • Youth programs (RYDA, RYTS, RYPEN etc), including the 'Lutzy Award' will continue, and so will other programs such as the Excellence in Workmanship Award
  • Some old, some new ideas in relation to fundraising, membership retention and development will be employed
So, download the PowerPoint and look at the details. Be assured, there won't be any boredom for our members, certainly no such thing as "I don't have anything to do!". In other words: Be involved!
In view of the Wheelchair Trust Deed's fairly strict limitations (money donated can only be spent on materials for wheelchairs and nothing else, not even for the shipment to their destination), we have registered an alternative account for Containers for Change.  If you deposit your empties directly, and wish to donate the proceeds to the Surfers Sunrise Rotary Club - General Account, please use this account code: 
(The account for the Wheelchair Trust is also still active: use C10199443 instead).
So, keep your soft drink bottles, stubby bottles, aluminium cans, milk cartons etc.  As a general rule, most drink containers between 150ml and 3L can be returned for a refund under Queensland's container deposit scheme. Containers should be empty, unbroken, lid-free and display a 10-cent refund marking on the label. Something like the image (right), but many others are simply marked as suitable for recycling. Note: they must NOT be crushed. See image above what is and what is not accepted. For details of what can / cannot be returned for cash, and where the locations are, click on this link
Our super generous printer, Neil Thurlow and his very talented design artists at Accent Print & Copy have created a new flyer for our wheelchairs project.  He has also provided some 2000 printed copies, which will be sent out by Apple Marketing to their mailing list of previous donors.  It is uploaded to our Download Section (see right side), where you can download it and send it on to anyone whom you consider could be interested.
Thank you, Neil and your team!
I've uploaded a video which beautifully outlines what Rotary is all about. Go on, have a look at it. It's only a bit over 2 minutes, but very well done. Go to this link to view it:
August is Membership Development and Extentions Month. Can you remember when you were inducted into Rotary?  Have you considered why you were proposed by your sponsor? What made you to decide to join?  Did you feel a sense of pride, of achievement, to be invited to join an organization of the highest international repute?  Did you feel that your sponsor did “The right thing” by considering you to be potentially a good Rotarian ? Did you feel a little bit overwhelmed, sort of “am I really up to this?” You did? 
“The more hands Rotary has, the better and more effectively the ideal of service will be achieved.  Hence the importance of membership.”  These words, spoken by one of Japans foremost Rotarians, Kanejiro Matsumoto put the point very straight.   I put it even straighter: If we are to spread the workload of running this club, if we are to achieve our aims on the local scene (Youth Service, Vocational Service, Community Service), if we are to pull our weight on the International cart, we have an obligation to not only maintain, but increase membership. Whom have you asked lately to come along to one of our meetings?
Club Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
Vice President
Executive Secretary
Director - Club Administration
Director - Service Projects
Director - Membership
Director - Public Relations
Director -The Rotary Foundation
Director - Youth Services
Director - Fundraising
Coordinator-Vocational Services
YEP Club Protection Officer
Coordinator - International Service
Deputy Sergeant at Arms
Fellowship and Social Program
Chair - Wheelchairs Trust
Liaison - Wheelchair Trust
Coordinator - Community Service
Sergeant At Arms
Vanuatu Program
Director - Corporate Membership
Coordinator Golf Day
Webmaster & Bulletin Ed