President's Message
Charles Thomasson
member photo

The 9640 District Conference sounds like it went well – if you haven’t already, please have a read of Franz’s report below. Thanks to all from Surfers Sunrise that attended. The District has had a great year from a membership growth perspective growing to over 1,400 Rotarians (from 1,177) and Chartering 5 new clubs. Surfers Sunrise helped out with a net growth of 6 members – well done all.  

Thanks to Vandy Kamara for presenting at last week’s formal meeting. Vandy is one of Surfer Sunrise’s Rotary Peace Fellow applicants and his story is extraordinary. We look forward to helping out Vandy where we can in the future with his various endeavours.  

Please mark in your diaries Sunday 4th July for the Surfers Sunrise Changeover Luncheon. The Changeover will be at Links Hope Island Golf Club. It’s a great venue and we look forward to seeing you all there. Further details to follow.

This Wednesday we have a social meeting downstairs at the Surf Club – see you there just after 7am.   

Charles Thomasson
President 2020-21
WHAT? Where is this leading to?
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!
Last Wednesday's Guest Speaker: Vandy S Kamara
There are some 56,000 (!!) registered charities in Australia. Vandy Kamara's “private” charity, the Sonjor Community School, is not among them.  With “private”, I mean that Vandy finances this school, located in a remote region of Sierra Leone (West Africa), from his own and some of his friends’ savings. Extraordinary!
Located “about 3 – 4 hours’ drive from the nearest town”, the school provides education to underprivileged children. Since his presentation last year, the school has been expanded to cater for the increased enrolments. They have also invested in teacher training and provided learning materials and resources. Vandy is coordinating with the local village chiefs to source some building materials locally. But a lot of building materials such as cement and iron rods need to be imported.
Vandy, who works at Wesley Mission Queensland caring for homeless people in various areas all the way to Katherine in the Northern Territory, emigrated to Australia some 11 years ago. Talking about applying the proverbial Aussie "Have a go" principle! He holds numerous academic achievements, including a Master of Public Health and an Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management. Although last year his application to a World Peace & Conflict Resolution Scholarship was unsuccessful, our club nominated him again upon instigation by the Rotary Foundation to apply again this year.
Photo: Vandy’ (centre) with President Charles Thomasson, Rebecca and Tanya from Wesley Mission and Ray Higgs. Vandy's presentation is in the Download Section on the right.
Snippets of last week’s meeting 120521
Simon Brook was at the door (for Paul Jaffar), Andy Bell was Chairman (for Ben Illes) and Ian Mayberry was Sergeant.  We had apologies from Col Laurenson, Geoff Croad, Gerald East and Graeme Isaacson.
President Charles Thomasson welcomed all members and visitors Ann O’Connor, Rebecca Hilson-Taylor and Tanya Twyford (Wesley Mission) and of course our Guest Speaker, Vandy Kamara.  Charles briefly referred to a proposed cooperation with the Gold Coast Tool Library at our Project Shed. He also confirmed that we have received a membership application for Dean Castell, nominated as the second Corporate Member for the Bank of Queensland.
Mario Fairlie gave us a run-down on his meeting he chaired on the weekend with members of the Rotary Club of Gold Coast and Broadbeach in relation to the Global Grant application for the Vanuatu X-Ray Unit project.  In short: to finance the building, X-Ray equipment, Solar Panel and a water system, we need to meet a budget of some $100,000. We aim to get allocation of additional funds by our District, but we need to match it within 2 weeks!  Mario also indicated that the new website for the Wheelchair Trust will go live shortly.
Following Vandy Kamara’s presentation (see story above), Darrell Brown looked for commitments to help at the upcoming Gold Coast Business Expo on 23 – 24th June. This involves assistance in the ‘Bump-in’ and ‘Bump-out’ on the following day, as well as the manning of the Car Park Gold Coin collection. An excellent fundraiser, and we’ll have a stand there to promote our club.
Wheelchair Trust Chairman Larry Murray advised that we have struck a new relationship with the Wollongong Men’s Shed. We recently sent 6 wheelchair kits to them for finishing. The Toll Group provides free transport services.
President Elect Paul Seymour confirmed that the Changeover Luncheon will be held on Sunday 4th July 2021 at the Links Hope Island Golf Club. Please book online – click here.
Changeover Luncheon at the Links Hope Island
Incoming President Paul Seymour and President Charles Thomasson cordially invite you, your partners and friends to join us a the annual Changeover Luncheon on Sunday, 4th July 2021. This year, it will be held at the Links Hope Island Golf Club. This year we'll enjoy a 3-course Luncheon (Vegetarian and Vegan options available).
Bookings are open now - please click on this link: - please book online, we need to provide exact numbers by 21st June.
Do you have any good wheelchair photos?
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 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.  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.
Duty Roster
Duty Roster - note: subject to change - please check every week.  Note: Fellowship duty also is expected to be at the Project Shed on the Saturday following the meeting
DateDoorChairmanFellowship/Project Shed (Saturday)
19/05/2021N/A (Social Meeting)N/A (Social Meeting)Mark Twyford (Saturday 22/05/2021)
26/05/2021Trent BellingMitch BrownDoug Lipp
02/06/2021N/A (Social Meeting)N/A (Social Meeting)Darrell Brown (Saturday 05/06/2021)
09/06/2021Peter MorganIan MayberryAngus Miller
16/06/2021N/A (Social Meeting)N/A (Social Meeting)Larry Murray (Saturday 19/06/2021)
23/06/2021Al SirovsRamez SalibTash Price
30/06/2021N/A (Social Meeting)N/A (Social Meeting)Paul Smith (Saturday 03/07/2021)
Inspirations - well, sort of... 190521
Car horns should only be made to sound in either C, E or G, so when two people honked at each other it would harmonize, or if there was a traffic jam, it would sound like a symphony.
"The regime that a revolution destroys is almost always better than the one that immediately preceded it, and experience teaches that the most dangerous time for a bad government is usually when it begins to reform. Alexis de Tocqueville, ‘The Old Regime and the Revolution’, 1856
There are two types of people in this world:
a) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
Download Files
Vandy S Kamara - Sonjor Community School
Newspaper article re wheelchairs in South Africa
Rotary Club of Surfers Sunrise - Summary of 2020
The Story of the Surfers Sunrise Wheelchairs Trust
Why Join Rotary?
Upcoming Events
Kristen 'KJ' Jewson and Sasha Kimber: RYLA 2021
Surfers Paradise SLSC
May 26, 2021
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Trent Belling - Man behind the Badge
Surfers Paradise SLSC
Jun 09, 2021
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Changeover Luncheon
Links Hope Island Golf Club
Jul 04, 2021
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
View entire list
Photo Albums
Chinese social dinner and Excellence Awards
The Italian LONG lunch
10,000th Wheelchair Celebrations
Pimpama State College Wheelchairs
Burleigh Heads Rotaractors
Surfers Sunrise Rotary Golf Day Oct 2020
2020 Lutzy Award
Wheelchairs have arrived in PNG and Solomon Islands
X-Ray Unit for Hospital on Pentecost Island
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
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Bulletin Editor
Franz Huber

Surfers Sunrise Corporate Members and Sponsors

Phone 07 5509 5502
Suite 224, Level 2 Oracle South
17 Elizabeth Avenue
Broadbeach  QLD  4218

105 Scarborough Street
Southport  QLD  4215
(07) 5558 5055

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Phone 1800 464 166 

0412 765 717 or 0449 899 806

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