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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, President Charles Thomasson will present on the current situation of the stockmarket.  Originally planned for '100 days after Joe Biden's inauguration), what is the situation now, 5 months later? As a professional Financial Advisor (Charles is a partner in Wilsons Advisory), there wouldn't be anyone in our club who knows more about shares and investments. Order your breakfast in the downstairs bistro and take it to the upstairs venue for some fellowship before the meeting starts at 07:30 am sharp.
After several months of numerous design planning meetings under the guidance of Mario Fairlie, an awful lot of hard coding work (read: hundreds of hours in total) by the main developers Craig Parker (Digital Connections) in conjunction with Rotaractors Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, Matt Haywood and other members of the Burleigh Heads Rotaract Club, the new Wheelchair Trust websites are now LIVE! Plural? You mean there is more than one? Yes! We have the Wheelchair Trust website, as well as a site dedicated to the Moana Hospital X-Ray Unit, now almost ready to go to Vanuatu.  Click on these links:
A big THANK YOU! go to the dedicated development team, who all worked on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, Craig Parker arranged free Google Adwords advertising.  All going according to plan, this should assist us to raise much needed funds in support of our wheelchairs and building projects.
“I am politically active, I play golf quite badly and I am a third-generation Rotarian. I have two brothers, one a technology entrepreneur, the other a classical ballet dancer.  Hands up: who was surprised by anything I said..?”
Trent’s presentation last Wednesday certainly was a departure from the stereotype many of the public view members of Rotary. Conservative? Yes, Trent is very active in the Liberal National Party of Queensland.
However, in many other ways, he certainly is different: He is in a permanent partnership with his partner Nick (actually, they plan to marry in a few weeks). If he were to stand for parliament, of course, he wouldn’t be the first openly gay member (a few weeks ago, our Federal MP Angie Bell spoke at our club and there were others before).
Trent’s career to date is uncommon too: born in Tamworth some 39 years ago, by his own admission, he was a “middle of the road student”. But then he put his mind to it and ended up with the school medal, entered University to study economics and law. He became very active in the Student Union. “I loved the strategy and brutality of student politics,” he said. The passing away of his dad triggered a change again. “I used this as an excuse to retreat from my social circles” and joined a friend in a photography business.  Trent’s words “You learn more from your mistakes and failures than you ever will from your success” give you an indication…
He moved back to his family (meanwhile in Brisbane), step by step worked himself into an IT leader position at UQ, while finishing his economics and law degrees by distance education.
Trent gave us a very honest and powerful insight into his life. Isn’t it great to have a new member of that caliber among us in Surfers Sunrise? Welcome!
On Sunday, in conjunction with the newly formed Gold Coast Makers Rotaract Club and the Gold Coast Tool Library the inaugural Repair Café was staged at our Project Shed. In essence: volunteers from the Repair Café offer their services to repair your tool, or (once you have subscribed to be a member), you can borrow a tool, just as you can borrow a book from the library. Go to the Tool Library's website www.gctoollibrary.org.au for full details, including contact details.
Group photo: President of the GC Makers Rotaract club, Blake Foster (third from right) and Harrison Howick (4th from right). Second photo: Our treasurer Doug Lipp gets his edge trimmer fixed.
Johnny Bueti is again organising an Italian Long Lunch, this time a 'Christmas in July' event, with plenty of Italian style Christmas dishes. Johnny already has secured a major sponsor: My Carte. The price includes all food, unlimited wine and beer, entertainment.  All proceeds go towards the X-Ray Unit and Blood Analyser for Vanuatu.  Note: COVID restrictions impose an upper limit of just 120 attendees. First come, best served.
Put it into your diary now: Thursday 22nd July 2021, from 12:00 pm. 
Bookings are now open: https://www.trybooking.com/BSAJG
No idea when it will finish, but don't expect too much change from the afternoon... ☺
We have again been offered to do the 'Bump-in' and 'Bump-out' at the Gold Coast Business Expo as well as for the Gold Coin collection post at the car park and at the door. Looking for helpers on both days:
Wednesday 23/06/21 at 2:00 pm Bump-in: some more people would be good
Thursday 24/05/21 at 3:30 pm Bump-out - need lots more
Thursday 24/06/21 Gold Coin Collection
08:00 am - 10:00 am - 3 people needed
10:00 am - 12:00 am - 3 people needed, tapering off to 2
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm - 2 people, tapering off to 1
Please email Darrell Brown directly the times you can be there, or call him on his mobile, thank you.
Neil Thurlow wants to know if you'd like to ride 400 Km with him in his Multiple Sclerosis Society fundraiser? Do I hear replies along the line of "No, thanks. Too much action, too dangerous" or "Sorry, I sold my bicycle last week"? In that case, why not SUPPORT Neil Thurlow by donating to his goal of raising at least $1,000 (but the real goal is several times that!). Neil will ride 300 Km 'solitary cycling' over the period of a few days [I'm groaning just thinking about it... Ed.], then will ride in the 100 Km Brissie to Gold Coast You can "ride" with him from your lounge chair. This is the link to access his webpage directly: https://www.brissietothebay.com.au/fundraisers/neilthurlow. DO IT NOW.
Neil is our master printer who supports Rotary all year round by providing printing services either at no charge or at a ridiculously low price. Now it's your turn.
This Wednesday, we didn’t just have one, but two Guest Speakers. Three actually, if one includes the letter written by Andrew Mendes (photo right) and read out by KJ. Andrew attended RYLA together with KJ and Sasha, but regrettably was unable to join us. No surprise when you consider his workload: In addition to patrolling with the Surfers Paradise SLSC as a rescue boat operator, Andrew is an Air Force Cadet Instructor, a State Emergency Serviceman and also a part of Crime Stoppers in the Brisbane Area.
Sasha, who also was a Youth Exchange Student (to Taiwan), described the experience as “So special. Tough, cold early mornings…” She is quite seriously taken in with RYLA: next year Sasha will be back at the camp again, this time as a leader. “RYLA is a once in a lifetime experience” she said. “It’s impossible to go there and learn nothing.”
And KJ? Many of us know her as the hard working, no-nonsense Rotaractor, active just about every week at the Project Shed, as well as the co-developer of the new Wheelchair Trust website. So it came as a bit of a surprise to your Editor to see her becoming quite emotional, as she recounted her experiences: “I needed this camp more than I thought I did. I needed the chance to forgive and let go. Forgive me for my actions and mistakes, and forgive others for theirs. One of the quotes that has stuck with me the most after my week at camp is "You can't drink poison and expect somebody else to die." It was my time to breathe and take a moment to focus on the positives while also being pushed to other extremes both physically and mentally” she said.
Powerful. Hearing these two young women relate their Rotary Youth Leadership experience once again reaffirmed to us the huge value of Rotary’s Youth programs. Do they make a difference? I don’t think anyone who was there this morning had any doubt. The presentation was supported by a continuous slide show - too big to upload. You should have been there!
Andrew’s letter and KJ’s speech are available for download – see Download section on the right.  Photo (from left): Dan Snart - Rotaract Burleigh, KJ Jewson, Sasha Kimber, President Charles Thomasson
Rob was born in Liverpool and like a genuine Liverpudlian, he of course enjoys the Beatles and follows… oh no! Not Liverpool Football Club but that city’s other Premier League club, Everton, aka ‘The Blues’. [I don’t follow Soccer, so I had to look it up: the last time they were English Football Champions was in 1986-87. Appears to be a character-building exercise, just like following the Blues in AFL… ☺ Ed.] Born into a large family of 3 boys and 4 girls, Rob is the only one to emigrate, and he made the decision relatively late, at age 31.  That was some 40 years ago, and he came directly to the Gold Coast (Yes, the man has discerning taste!).
Five years upon arrival he met the love of his life, Sharon, and founded the Australian branch of the Wilson family. They are justifiably proud of their four children and four grandchildren.
Rob is a self-taught professional photographer and video artist. Whilst he did, of course, the usual weddings and portrait work, Rob was engaged in a lot of other professional, commercial work. For the last 10 years before retiring, he also drove a bus full time.
In his spare time, Rob plays the guitar and sings (yes, Beatles songs, but also Cat Stevens, just to name two. We are working on him to bring his guitar to the shed soon!)
For the past couple of decades, our honorary member George Keily (picture right) has collected "superseded" spectacles from Optometrists all over town.  They are then collected to be despatched to recipients in developing countries, via  Donations in Kind, a division of the Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS). By now, the count would have to be in the ten thousands!  Main picture shows Shobha Srinivasan (Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads) collecting an entire car boot full. Good on ya, George and Shobha! Your good work will provide hundreds of people with clear sight. (Photo by George Keily)
Incoming President Paul Seymour and President Charles Thomasson cordially invite you, your partners and friends to join us at the  Winter Luncheon & Changeover on Sunday, 4th July 2021, at the Links Hope Island Golf Club.
This year, to maximize the social aspect, the format will be slightly changed: All formalities will be commenced immediately upon everyone being seated. It is planned to fit into a, say, 35 minutes time frame, after which we'll have a 3-course Luncheon (Vegetarian and Vegan options available), enjoying fellowship. Note: we deliberately title it 'Winter Luncheon'; we really would like our partners, family and friends to come along, making it a real social event!
Bookings are open now - please click on this link: https://www.trybooking.com/BREDU - please book online, we need to provide exact numbers by 21st June.
A young lady (yes, by Rotarian standards, being well below 40 definitely is young) will be District Governor in the oldest District in Australia (Melbourne). Yes, that is Amanda Wendt, a young business woman (“and I’m not about to retire”) who gave a hugely inspiring keynote presentation at last Saturday's District 9640 Conference. This was preceded by a Zoom presentation by Jason Browne (he looks a bit like Bob Marley, complete with dreadlocks - sorry, Gen Y and Millennials. Before your time!) from the US. This was followed by an interview of four young Rotarians, half my age, from newly chartered clubs (Gold Coast Passport, Gold Coast Corporate, Currumbin Beach, Lismore Networking). Then there was ROTEX, the Society of past Youth Exchange Alumni. Not meaning to whinge, but I'd have given my left arm for such opportunities when I was young... ☺
Over my last 34 odd years of Rotary membership, I’ve attended most of the annual conferences. This was the first time it was shortened to just one day, and thus some of the most enjoyable and important ingredients, such as the Friday and Saturday night events and their associated “deep” networking, were sadly missing.  But there was plenty of the conventional stuff too: The Entrance of the Flags, led by Angie Bell MP (she was an Exchange Student to Denmark), Dr Michael Pyne talking about the Koala Chlamydia epidemic, Prof Michael Good AO on the status of the Malaria Vaccine project which is massively supported by Rotary.
Attending a District Conference is somewhat akin to recharging the old “Rotary Enthusiasm” batteries. Or perhaps I could compare it to applying a good cut and polish: Presentations such as the interview by the District’s Youth Programs Chair, “our” PDG Darrell Brown, with four awardees of leadership development programs (picture above), reinforce one’s commitment “to the cause”. You should have been there!
Our Logistics Guru, Col Laurenson sent me this photo, with the comment that the 20' storage container will be used "to hold ckd building until ready..." Explain "ckd"? "Completely Knock Down".  Eventually, when we are able to travel on-site to erect it, we'll transfer it to the shipping container, together with all the other gear such as roof and wall panels, doors, hardware etc. 
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.
In short: we'll have a dedicated website for the Wheelchair Trust, the Project Shed, the volunteers, seeking donations, and all the stuff we do. 
We are looking for photos relating to our Wheelchairs, various building projects we put up over the years 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.  Note: You need to log in with a Google (as in Gmail) account.
Alternatively, feel free to copy them to a USB stick or CD and give them to Franz Huber.
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!
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.
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
President Elect
Vice President
Executive Secretary
Director - Club Administration
Director - Service Projects
Director - Membership
Director - Public Relations
Director -The Rotary Foundation
Director - Youth Services
Coordinator-Vocational Services
YEP Club Protection Officer
Coordinator - International Service
Deputy Sergeant at Arms
Fellowship and Social Program
Vanuatu Program
Chair - Wheelchairs Trust
Liaison - Wheelchair Trust
Coordinator - Community Service
Sergeant At Arms
Director - Corporate Membership
Coordinator Golf Day
Webmaster & Bulletin Ed