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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
I was happy to report that our wheelchair project at the shed essentially is in good order. The production of wheelchairs is running along nicely, though there is a need for two additional workers. However, if we are to maximize the facility and its resources, we need an ongoing program to make improvements wherever and whenever possible.
The report from 180 Degrees Consulting is very professional and informative, helping us to identify points of action, most of which we were aware of but had not been fully addressed. It did strongly advise that we take advantage of Social Media to raise our profile and raise funds. Whilst we frequently post to our club’s Facebook page, this is not happening with the Wheelchair Trust website; there are few or no social media posts. It is necessary to appoint an individual to this job, who would, in turn, need additional help as the job can be quite demanding.
It was agreed that Mark Twyford and Paul Seymour would talk to their companies’ Social Media specialists to see if they can help. It was suggested it may be a service, we will have to pay for, the matter is to be further developed at the next board meeting where a decision can be made if we do nothing it will be a lost opportunity.
The issue of additional shed utilization has so far been a disappointment. All avenues we had explored did not develop into a practical operation; the last attempt was an effort to copy some of the projects they run at Substation 33. I believe this still has potential but is lacking a leader with sufficient technical knowledge. In the meantime, we could consider additional projects utilizing existing facilities, including the manufacture of coffins! Perhaps dog kennels, general pet equipment, including pet coffins? That type of work, if successful, would be undertaken by a different group of people on different days, allowing us to increase the number of days the shed is in operation.
When the shed reopens (expected to be on 26th January) we intend to make a few pet products to test the market and will keep the club informed. The shed is open for everyone in the club. Any suggestions or help is very much appreciated. Please, whenever you can, join us for coffee on Saturday mornings.
To summarize: we are going to do something about Social Media and actively look at additional products. We encourage members to contact anyone they think could volunteer on Saturday mornings.
Larry Murray is Chairman of the Surfers Sunrise Wheelchair Trust, an Australian registered Charity organisation
“The best augury of a man’s success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world” so wrote the renowned English novelist George Eliot in 1876…    So, what has changed? Today, 146 years later, her statement is still true. [No, Henrietta, George Eliot definitely was a lady… ☺]
The international monthly Rotary theme for January is what in the “good ol' days” used to be one of Rotary’s major Avenues of Service: Vocational Service. Since Eliot’s time, lots of changes relating to vocations have happened, and lots of prognoses have been made. 40 years ago it was the demise of the Industrial Age, which was replaced by the “Information Revolution”. Indeed, this has largely happened; in case you haven’t noticed:  We are right in it. Today’s plain vanilla mobile phone, with a measly 64 Gigabytes of memory, is roughly 250 times as powerful as the Commonwealth Bank’s mainframe computer of the mid-1970’s (it had 256 Megabytes of RAM). On top of this, it has access to unlimited information of the Internet. (Watch out: the next major disruptor is the combination of Artificial Intelligence and Biotechnology, which will have a far greater impact.) Yet, whilst the method by which we do things may change, the ethical principles as depicted in the Objects of Rotary have not changed. Click on this link for the complete set of Rotary’s Guiding Principles. For this article, it's the second object that is relevant:
“High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.”
We regret to advise that our Project Shed at the Arundel Community Centre is closed, due to a COVID exposure. Subject to no new COVID regulations emerging, we expect to reopen again on Wednesday 26th January  We'll advise as soon as we are able to confirm.
At this stage, however, we expect our regular club meetings to take place as per schedule, every Wednesday morning.

Geoff Croad has received the go-ahead from Bunnings Olsen Avenue for another Sausage Sizzle fundraiser, so we need manpower! [Hold your fire!For the purists and feminists among you: "manpower" is a perfectly legal word that incorporates both the sexes! ☺] Only 3 shifts - 4 people minimum required per shift to comply with Bunnings rules.

  • 9:00 am - 11:30 am (this shift is filled)
  • 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (still require 2 helpers)
  • 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm (still require 1 helper)
Book your time slot with Geoff directly, by text message or send him an email.
In two weeks' time, on 17th January 2022, Kate will attend our District's Rotary Youth Transition Seminar (RYTS) at Bornhoffen PCYC. RYTS is a transition program with the focus to assist the transition from one area of study into the next phase of life. The program is delivered at a 6 day residential camp for students who are in the senior years of school (Year 11-12). Click on this link for more details. In the past, we have had numerous awardees for this excellent program, many of whom have gone on to International Youth Exchange as well as the Rotary Youth Leadership Award program, for example, one of our regular Rotaractors Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, Lucy Thorburn, as well as Lutzy Award Winner Jessica Webb, just to name a few.
Kate studies at St Hildas Girl's School in Southport, where she is a member of the school's debating team. She already has numerous achievements well worth mentioning, including the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award and the Reuben F. Scarf Memorial Foundation Award. She participated in the State Athletics Championship (Javelin is her forte) as well as in the BSRA Rowing Championships and many other sports. 
Congratulations! Looking forward to your presentation upon your return.  
Kate will join us on 2nd February for a brief outline of her experiences.
As I write this, just one day out from New Year's Day, I just realise that I hadn't committed to one single personal New Year's Resolution. [Yes, a certain country song, starting with "It's hard to be humble..." springs to mind... ☺]. No, primarily I think this is a sign of old age. Particularly, there isn't much anymore I want to give up! 
But there is one resolution I have decided to really give a go: Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta's challenge of "Each One, Bring One". Membership is every Rotarian's responsibility. That includes not only finding new members but equal emphasis must be given to ensure that we keep current members engaged and comfortable within our club. Anyone joining me in the challenge?
This year's event is going to be a real country affair! Go to the Conference Website https://rotary9640.org/page/district-conference and check out what's happening. There you find the program, a brief summary of all the Keynote Speakers, and of course you can register. But of course, one of the big attractions of attending a conference is always the deep feeling of Rotary Fellowship. Being in the country, formalities will be kept to a minimum. You have an opportunity to meet, eat and drink with other Rotarians and their partners from other places in the District, you'll meet overseas Rotary "Royalty" [no Henrietta, I don't think Meghan Markle will be there...] But I know, you are all quite shy and wonder whether you'll be all alone... Not to worry! If worse comes to worse, yours truly and my better half will go, so you can always talk to us. [Yes, I know mate, but then you’re not too hot either... ☺ Ed.]  
Here is just one of the speakers I certainly wouldn't want to miss: Bernie Shakeshaft. Bernie didn’t quite fit in as a kid. He struggled with his schoolwork and was often caned by his teachers. As an adult, Bernie went to the Northern Territory to become a jackaroo. While working on vast cattle properties, he picked up skills as a tracker from some of his Aboriginal co-workers. Later, Bernie got into youth work, and today he runs a youth service in Armidale, Northern NSW. At BackTrack Youthworks Bernie welcomes kids who are a bit like his former self. He meets teenagers falling into a life of petty crime, and sometimes incarceration. As soon as they show up, they’re given full responsibility for a working dog....
Our last meeting for 2021 was our Christmas breakfast at Edgewater Dining. A big thank you to Charles Thomasson for organising this for us. Great attendance too - almost 40 people, including some of our "young un's" Rotaractors. Photo depicts President Paul Seymour giving a super short address - by the time people realised he had started, it was already finished... 😊
(There is also a brief video on our facebook page www.facebook.com/rcsurferssunrise)
Nobody needed to be bored or in search of something to do over the past few days: On Thursday night, we were invited to participate in a Bunnings Community Event. We "waved the flag" and exhibited our very special 10,000th wheelchair, sold a couple of bikes and one of the children's bikes was raffled off.  See photo left of the happy winner, flanked by President Paul Seymour and District Treasurer Mark Twyford.
Then on Friday, our "Minister for Everything" Geoff Croad organised another Bunnings Sausage Sizzle (amazing how many people buy a snag on a Friday! 😊). Many thanks to all who helped on the day: Brian Pearson, Uwe Seifert (RC of Broadbeach and one of our volunteers at the shed), Gaye Miles (the lady who brings scones to the volunteers on Saturday morning), Al Sirovs, Mario Fairlie, Franz Huber, Angus Miller, Andy Bell, Paul O'Neill, Adrian Crowe and special occasion: Doug Lipp brought along two of his grandchildren to help. Getting the next generation involved in serving the community. Good on ya!
This was followed on Saturday morning with the big Christmas Brunch, held at the Project Shed, organised by Wheelchair Trust Chairman Larry Murray, in appreciation of our volunteers' hard work during the year.
Last Wednesday, Sophia Seumahu briefly introduced herself at our breakfast meeting. It is important to note that a place on the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) is very hotly contested - it is considered one of the big prizes to be won if you are a fan of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Congratulations, Sophia!
Sophia will go into Year 12 next year at Kings Christian College. There is no doubt that she is VERY enthusiastic about STEM - almost bubbling with the joy of expectation, the anticipation of meeting or having direct online conversations with a STEM enthusiast's equivalent of a rock star...  Her speech was delivered fluently - not a single 'like...', 'uuhmmm...' one normally expects from a young person (as well as from some not very young either! ☺).
Read her well-structured and informative speech - it is in the Download Section on the right.  Sophia will be doing a full presentation on her experiences on 2nd March 2022.
(Photo: Sophia with her father Ben (left) and PDG Darrell Brown, our District's Chair of Youth Programs.)
Here are some photos sent to us by Charmaine Wheatley, our "go-between" with the South African Rotary clubs. We sent a container there a few months ago. The distribution is organised by some 12 different South African Rotary clubs there. These wheelchairs went to Lesotho, a high altitude, landlocked small country in southern Africa.  See also some relevant files to this project in our Download section on the right.
Whilst we have no doubt that all our wheelchairs arrive at their destination and are most appreciated by their recipients, it's always nice to receive formal acknowledgment.  Recently, a letter arrived from Richard Maegerea, Director Nursing at Kilu'ufi Hospital in Malaita Province, Solomon Islands. Richard confirms the very purpose of why we make these wheelchairs:
"... this donation will for sure touch the lives of some of our patients, which will enable them mobilised..." 
The full letter is in the download section on the right.
All of you who work on wheelchairs and/or are involved in getting them to the "end-user" and raise funds to make it possible: give yourself a pat on the back!
Remember all those chairs we cleaned up and loaded onto a container for the Solomon Islands, on the last Saturday in August (photo right)? Well, they have arrived over there, and the local Rotaractors are involved in their distribution big time... In the Download section on the right is a pictorial of them receiving and distributing the goods, sent by our logistics specialist Col Laurenson who is arranging all the container traffic for us.
Give yourself a pat on the back, people!
”Rotary is the golden strand in the cable of International Friendship”. This quote goes all the way back to 1918: it is attributed to the famous Scottish entertainer Harry Lauder, a “bona fide member of the Rotary Club of Glasgow”. Glasgow? Haven’t we heard a lot about that illustrious town in the past week? But that is another story, and that one certainly wasn’t entertaining, nor promoting international friendship. So, instead, let us look at one of the threads of gold in that cable Harry Lauder talked about…
November is ‘Rotary Foundation Month’. This year marks the 104th anniversary of its formation. If we picture Rotary as a strong cable, then the most lustrous and resilient threads in this cable must surely be the dedicated activities of The Rotary Foundation. Charity Navigator gives it the coveted 4-star rating: 99.4 out of 100 for Financial; 100 out of 100 for Accountability and Transparency. For gold, that is 24 Karat.
Over the years, our club has received support for our projects via various District and Global Grants. (Thank you, Mario Fairlie, for the hours, (nay, days) spent slaving over a hot computer in pursuit of the paperwork!) But TRF goes way beyond this: Peace Building, Disease Prevention, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Maternal & Child Health, Basic Education & Literacy, Environment… … and of course, that Mount Everest of a goal: Polio Plus, the eradication of the Polio virus. From some 350,000 diagnosed Polio cases annually in 1985, to just a handful, and those in regions almost impossible to access in Pakistan and Afghanistan. So, take a moment and bask in the sunshine. Then, let’s get on with it – there’s work to do.
After two postponements, this morning we presented the coveted 'Lutzy Award' to Jett Milford - Ferguson. Congratulations! The award is in honour of Keith Lutz, who was not only a Charter Member of our club but also a highly respected leader of the Surfers Paradise SLSC. The exclusive surf ski is sponsored by our Rotary Club and is presented annually to a young person selected by the committee of the Surfers SLSC. The winner may not necessarily be the top surfing champion but is selected because he/she has demonstrated real leadership qualities. Often, the winner goes on to Rotary youth development programs. Go to our District 9640 website www.rotary9640.org and check it out - top right of menu on the home page.
(Photo - from left: President Paul Seymour, Jan Lutz, Jett Milford - Ferguson, David Orchy, Charles Thomasson)
Last Monday, we conducted the annual Surfers Sunrise Golf Day. Superb day, excellent organisation by Charles Thomasson, Doug Lipp and Paul Smith. Hey, even the rain held off on our patch of paradise on the Gold Coast! Well done everyone. Check out the full photo album on our club's website www.rotarysurferssunrise.org - right side of home page. Photos: (above) the overall team winners: Phillip Eddy, Aiden Pennell, Tim Crouch, Jack Curtis and (below) the winner of the Best Rotary Club team: Currumbin-Coolangatta-Tweed, from left: Eric Prosser, Bev Prosser, CCT President John Giuricin, Carol Outen
Last Friday, we finally were able to stage the 'Long Italian Lunch' at Gemelli's restaurant at Broadbeach. And what an event! Chief organiser Johnny Bueti had them lined up for months (originally, it was meant to be a 'Christmas in July' theme, but the Queensland State Health Department put a stop to that...). Our major sponsors 'My Carte, Salerno Law, Trigonx and Johnny's company, GoTransit Media Group made it possible. In total, we had 120 bookings (the maximum the restaurant can accommodate).  The slumming started at midday and went on into the late afternoon.
Our sincere thanks go to our valued sponsors, the dignitaries from the Italian community, the staff at Gemelli's restaurant and, of course, to Johnny Bueti and his organising team. 
Photo: MC Peppy Bueti with Johnny Bueti.  See Photo Album on the right for a lot more photos!
At last Wednesday’s meeting, Paul outlined his program for the current Rotary year. Paul congratulated Immediate Past President Charles Thomasson for his very successful year and proceeded to introduce his board (see list of our club’s Executives on the right).
Paul’s key targets are
  • Membership, with the specific aim of ‘Quality, not Quantity’. The aim is not only to recruit new members, but also to ensure retention of existing members.
  • To identify a “single major local project or charity to support”.
  • The inclusion of our membership as a group.
  • The continued smooth operation of our Project Shed with all its facets. This is as much an International Service Project as a major Community Service Project. Paul particularly emphasised the superb value of the help we get from the Rotaractors, not just relating to the help with the Vanuatu project and the new websites, but also the establishment of the new Gold Coast Makers Rotaract Club which uses the shed as its base.
  • Ongoing support of our Youth Projects: RYPEN, RYTS, RYLA, RYDA.
  • Achieving fundraising targets: In addition to the traditional activities such as the Bunnings Sausage Sizzles, Business Expo etc., Paul deservedly mentioned Johnny Bueti’s ‘Italian Long Lunch’ and the annual Golf Day, chiefly organised Charles Thomasson, Paul Smith and Doug Lipp.
  • We’ll no longer have a ‘Big Bike Sale’ but instead bikes can be sold on an ad-hoc basis when the Project Shed is open. They will be advertised on Social Media. The recently confirmed Google Advertising grant will come in handy!
A copy of Paul's PowerPoint is available in the Download Section on the right.
In the olden days, for a new member to join a Rotary club the unofficial rule was, expressed in simple terms, he should be "somebody who is in a position to hire and fire". Yes, 'he'. Thankfully, around 1987, the 'he' was expanded to also include the fairer sex. There were lots of other rules too, for example, weekly attendance at our meetings was considered to be just about essential.  
These days, the rules are very simple and straightforward.  Here is an extract from the Membership section of our Club Consitution of 2019 (1):
Section 1 — General Qualifications.
This club shall be composed of adult persons who demonstrate good character, integrity, and leadership; possess a good reputation within their business, profession, and/or community; and are willing to serve in their community and/or around the world.
That should be simple enough. In other words, the majority of people in your circle of friends, in business, your suppliers, your customers qualify. Rotary is absolutely non-denominational, absolutely gender-neutral. All we ask for is of good character, has integrity, and a good reputation.  Start making a list and invite them to come to one of our meetings.
(1) Members can download the Club Constitution from our website: (you need to login to the Member Area, top right of home page), then select Organisation, Documents and search for Constitution.
Last week we received some wonderful feedback from the Rotary Club of Port Alfred, South Africa.  This club has been in charge of distributing 20 of our "Rough Terrain" wheelchairs to worthy recipients. And they would have many more who are in need of them.
A copy of their report, as well as some photo compilations, can be accessed from the Download Page on the right. How good is that!
Photo above: Do we have an African model of our 'Happy' boy who is displayed on our promo material? smiley
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.
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
President Elect
Vice President
Executive Secretary
Director - Club Administration
Director - Service Projects
Director - Membership
Director - Public Relations
Director -The Rotary Foundation
Director - Youth Services
Director - Fundraising
YEP Club Protection Officer
Fellowship and Social Program
Sergeant At Arms
Program Manager-Guest Speakers
Chair - Wheelchairs Trust
Coordinator - Community Service
Vanuatu Program
Coordinator Golf Day
Liaison - Wheelchair Trust
Webmaster & Bulletin Ed