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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 20th January, our new members Adam Sheppard and Tash Price (that's them at their induction in November last year) will present a 'Rotarian behind the Badge' about themselves. Very much looking forward to it: did you know that Tash is racing wheelchairs at world championship level? And guess who is coaching her... :)  Grab your meal at the bistro of the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club, and take it upstairs for a bit of fellowship. Starting at 07:00 am for 07:30 start!  Guests and visitors of course are welcome!
How good is that! At last Saturday's Bunnings Sizzle, "our" Rotaractors came to help on the the final shift, and so did our regular visitor, Ann O'Connor. Photo (by KJ), from left: Blake Foster, "KJ" Jewson, Matt Howard. In background, our regular visitor Ann O'Connor. Thank you all! We much appreciate your help! 😊
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…
Picture in your mind a typical Australian farmer. What do you see? Probably same as me: at least 6 ½ foot tall (that’s about 195 cm for those among you who have forgotten imperial measurements), the physique of a Half Back, a bit taciturn, can go for hours without saying a word…
OK, those of you who have met Ray Drowley would by now have a bit of a smile on their dial… Born some 78 years ago into a dairy farming family with 9 kids, he spent the first 58 years of his life in Inverloch, South West Gippsland in Victoria. It wouldn’t have been an easy life. “We also used to trap rabbits to supplement our income” Ray recollected. “The pelts were just as valuable as the meat and would even be exported”. He went to school in Inverloch, completing Year 9 and 10 in an Agricultural Tech Course. For 4 years he worked the family farm with his father and his brothers. “At 19 years, I purchased 75 cows from dad and started on my own together with one of my brothers” he said. At 24 years old, when my second son was born, I started purchasing the farm from dad. Somewhere in-between (some 56 years ago today) he and his childhood sweetheart Kaye married. “We were a ‘closed’ farm, meaning that we bred all our own stock, with only the bull imported”, he stated with well warranted pride. Ultimately, his second son completed Agricultural College and they share farmed together for 14 years and milked as many as 240 cows on 290 acres. Ray was also very much involved with the local community: “I was a member of Life Savers, St John’s Ambulance and particularly the UDV” he said. UDV? The United Dairy Farmers of Victoria, of which he was a committee member “fighting government deregulation”…
In his spare time (and there wasn’t much if one was herding cattle), Ray enjoys boating and fishing, watching Documentaries, and he is an avid reader of Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One, The Potato Factory etc) and listens to Buddy Holly and all the other “rat bags” of the golden era of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
At 58, struck with a severe illness, he and Kaye decided to pull up stumps and move to the Gold Coast. They are the proud parents of 4 children and much enjoy the company of their 13 grandkids and 2 great grandkids. “Hopefully, we’ll again be able to visit them again soon in Victoria, without the worry of having to quarantine upon return”. I asked him what is the theme of his life? “To be a good farmer, to be totally self sufficient”.
January is designated by Rotary International as 'Vocational Service Month'. Last year, Richard Smith spent heaps of time and effort to organise our Excellence in Workmanship Award night. But COVID prevented us to actually run it. We still can't make a decision yet whether we can hold it this year. So, what else can we do to highlight Vocational Service in our club? Well, how about we have a brief 3 minute presentation of 'What's new?' in their profession? Any volunteers?
But, on an all encompassing level, the old Rotary Vocational Service Objective is still as relevant in 2021 as it was 20, 50 or 100 years ago:
  • Adherence to, and promotion of, the highest ethical standards in all occupations, including fair treatment of employers, employees, associates, competitors, and the public.
  • The recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, not just your own or those that are pursued by Rotarians.
  • The contribution of your vocational talents to solving the problems of society and meeting the needs of the community.
It is with great sadness I report that on Sunday 20th December, our Honorary Member Dr Frank Mouser passed away, aged 97. Frank, who was a Surgeon, was a Charter Member of Surfers Sunrise, transferring from his original club Surfers Paradise when we were chartered in February 1987.
Our sincere condolences go to the Mouser Family. Today Monday 4th January, Charter Members Peter Morgan and your Editor attended a brief commemorative gathering at Alambie Gardens to celebrate the life of this proverbial Rotarian.
Great, yummy Christmas Breakfast this morning at the Edgewater Restaurant on Isle of Capri this morning. Thank you, Graeme Isaacson and President Charles Thomasson for organising this. Above expectance 46 members, partners, Rotaractors and guests attended this function, and a good time was had by all. (OF COURSE!! What did you expect when a bunch of Surfers Sunrise Rotarians get together?!?) Sergeant Ian Mayberry explained how our "fines" money he extracted throughout the year is invested in Christmas presents for St John's Crisis Centre, going to children who otherwise would end up... ... with no presents. Thank you all whose misdemeanours (true or otherwise) contributed to the funds, and thank you to all who brought a present along as well.
There are lunches. There are Italian Lunches, and there are the LONG Italian Lunches... What an event! Johnny Bueti (second from left in picture) and his team organised last Thursday's hugely successful event at Gemelli's Italian Restaurant at Broadbeach. Pizza, Pasta, Calamari, Gnocci, Vitello Saltimbocca, Gnoccetti for desert. And - ahem - unlimited beer and wine... Entertainment included an Italian Tenor who brought tears to the eyes of serious opera lovers! It was a fundraiser to help us finance "Rough Terrain" wheelchairs (yes, we still can make them for about $100 each, and let me assure you, there isn't a cent of wages included - all volunteer work!) Thank you Johnny, Paul and the team, thank you to the generous sponsors of Raffle prizes! More photos in the Photo Album on the right!
Youth Service Director PDG Darrell Brown has nominated Sasha Kimber to join Kristen "KJ" Jewson (see Bulletin of 25th November) at the upcoming RYLA camp in January 2021. Here is her brief Bio: "I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Emerald Central QLD. My first introduction to Rotary was in 2015 where I worked with The Rotary Club of Emerald Sunrise to establish the Central Highlands Interact Club. This gave me the amazing opportunity to be sponsored for a Rotary Youth Exchange which I completed in Taiwan for the duration of 2017. Now I am in the final year of my bachelor's degree studying Actuarial Science and majoring in Big Data. Following the completion of my degree, I hope to work in Data analytics and eventually transition into Crime Statistics. I am a member of the Burleigh heads Rotaract club and look forward to continuing to work with Rotary in the future."
Looking forward to meeting you soon at one of our meetings, Sasha! 
Welcome to our newest members of Surfers Sunrise Rotary: Adam Sheppard and Tash Price.
This morning, President Charles Thomasson inducted two very special new members into our club: Well, this is real special: while we have, for some 25 years, been involved with "Rough Terrain" wheelchairs for underprivileged children in developing countries (10,000 of them - see below!), this is actually the first time we have members who... USE a wheelchair themselves!
Adam and Tash run a business named 'InvincAble Pty Ltd'. Well, the name says it all! We'll have more formal introductions later in the year or early next year, but let me spill some beans just a little bit: Tash Price won the 2019 Auckland Marathon (COVID prevented her from competing there this year) and is the 2020 Queensland State Champion in 100, 200 and 400 metres! And guess who is her trainer? ☺ Great to have you both in our club!
Photo: Adam and Tash, with Chairman of the meeting Gerald East and President Charles Thomasson.
For most people, the need to consult a litigation lawyer brings up a feeling akin to the need to get a root canal on your front tooth. You know it will hurt (including at your hip pocket), it is unpleasant, time consuming, but… unavoidable. So it is most refreshing to hear a lawyer professing that his every effort is to keep you away from litigation.
Last Wednesday, Farley Tolpen presented on how to stay out of court. A lawyer for 36 years specialising in Mediation, his aim is to resolve a dispute amicably, rather than confrontationally. Why would Mediation work better? Well, for a start, it is faster than litigation, typically completed within 30 days. Therefore, it is less expensive – on average, about 9 hours of his time will sort it out. But most importantly, the outcome is agreed to by both parties, the conflict is resolved and thus there is a high chance that the relationship between the parties is retained and even improved. And all that contributes to you retaining your sanity.  There are other benefits: Staying out of court, confidentiality is retained, the process is not intimidating, and your chances of an agreed resolution are around 90%.
So how does it work? Initially, there are several serious telephone discussions, individually with both parties, so the Mediator can become totally familiar with each side’s position. All discussions are subject to confidentiality. The aim is to build rapport, to have a clear understanding of each side’s grievances. The Mediator will then arrange pre-mediation meetings, both private and jointly.  The aim is to obtain an agreement to mediate. Goals of what each party tries to achieve are set. In addition to the knowledge of the law, a Mediator must master various techniques and skills, particularly in relation to active listening, being non-judgmental, empathetic. As an example, Farley mentioned the 1970’s Detective Show ‘Columbo’: “I don’t quite understand… can you explain that again?” So, instead of saying “See you in court!!”, perhaps think “Let’s call Farley”. Click on this link to go to his website.  Photo: Farley accepts his "Speaker's Reward", a uniquely labelled bottle of red, from Gerald East.
Many of you already know Kristen "KJ" Jewson (she prefers to be called "KJ"). Together with her fellow Rotaract members, she is a regular at the Project Shed, working on the Vanuatu project and she has joined our meetings on Wednesday mornings a number of times. KJ will hold the Surfers Sunrise flag at the upcoming Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp at the end of January 2021. This is the introduction she wrote:
I'm Kristen, better known to all as Kj. I'm 26, and am in my 7th semester studying Digital Media Production at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremerhaven, Germany. 
My days currently consist of Work, Uni (albeit at 2am), and Rotaract. I'm president of the Rotaract Club Nordwest in Germany, a new member of the Rotaract Club of Burleigh Heads, and am involved in helping the newest club in the district, the Rotaract Club Gold Coast Makers come to life. Through Rotaract I currently have the chance to work on an international project with the Rotary Club Surfers Sunrise to build a hospital annex for clinic on Pentacost Island, Vanuatu. 
Rotary has been a part of my life since I was 14, I've been to RYPEN, RYTS, Youth Exchange to Germany in 2012, and since then have become a member of Rotex and Rotaract. Due to unforseen circumstances (COVID) I am back in the country for the moment, and RYLA just seemed like the next step. 
As I'm almost finished Uni, and now need to make the decision as to where I want to work and live in the world; I find myself at a crossroads, and think RYLA could possibly give me some clarity for the future, so I can't wait to go! 
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