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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)
Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Home Page Stories
If it hadn't been "the way things always were done", one might consider President Andy's proposal to shift emphasis from big board to a committee structure quite revolutionary. "We'll have board meetings just once every three months" he said, "and instead have individual committees in the various avenues of service." Every member is on at least one committee, which is chaired by a member of the board, and ultimately reports to the board. As you read on: Now is the time to indicate what committee you would like to be on. Contact President Andy, either personally or by email. If you don't, Andy will allocate you to a portfolio. Confirm the below committees?
  • Club Service: just that, including Public Relations, Website, Bulletin, Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, X etc)
  • Services: Vocational Service, Community Service, International Service (which ties in with the Wheelchair Trust)
  • Youth Services:(RYTS, RYPEN, RYLA, Lutzy Award, National Youth Science Forum)
  • Fundraising (also tying in with the Wheelchair Trust)
  • Membership, including Membership Development
  • The Rotary Foundation
  • Wheelchair Trust, including the project shed.
An additional, special board position has been created: Welfare. This relates specifically to members. The job entails touching base with ailing members and speaking with members who we do not see often, finding out why and what we can do to encourage them to return to the fold. 
Andy emphasised the importance of one of Rotary’s most principal tenements: the 4-way Test (See image). Interestingly, this was not initially established for Rotary: as far back as 1932 Rotarian Herbert Taylor was charged with saving a near bankrupt company from total ruin. It was then adopted by Rotary International. Well, you learn something new every day!
Remember the around 300 moulded seat chairs we were donated recently? Well, they had had their legs removed, which needed to be stacked into a large skippy bin and the seats stacked inside a container. And half a football field (OK, slightly exaggerated...) of bikes needed their wheels removed, chains cut off etc.. So, Wheelchair Trust Chairman Geoff called for a working bee, to which quite a few responded. And then it started to rain... But a perfect morning tea/coffee with the usual "calorie-free" cake and biscuits made it all worthwhile anyway. (Photo by Ian Mayberry)
Our new Rotary International President, Stephanie Urchick, has commenced her term only a few days ago. Her presidential theme is ‘The Magic of Rotary’. Her lead article in this month’s ‘Rotary Down Under’ magazine is well worth your time to read [yes, Henrietta, you DO have it, it’s emailed to all registered members.]
Allow me to quote: “… I would go so far as to say that belonging is The Magic of Rotary itself”. Some of you might have come across Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. After basic needs (food, shelter etc) and security (both largely taken as a given in our society), the Need to Belong is the next most important. I can attest to that: having run a small business, other than members of your family (very important) and your customers, you don’t meet many others. Membership in a Rotary Club fills that hugely important need. But it goes way beyond that: When you are a Rotarian, you to belong not to just any ol’ club. You belong to a world wide, exceptionally stable organisation that “does a lot of good”. Really corny term, isn’t it? Yet, that describes Rotarians and Rotary clubs, including Surfers Sunrise, perfectly: We send out wheelchairs to give disadvantaged children in developing regions the gift of mobility. We've sent out entire buildings to fill a desperate need of communities after a tsumami had hit it, or simply because they are located too far away from the centre of power. We promote leadership in supporting various youth camps, as well as the annual Lutzy Award. And once a week (or twice a week if you do volunteer work at the shed), we… belong to a group of people whose company you enjoy and whom you can have a reasonably intelligent conversation with. [OK you lot, I heard you. Stop it right there! 😊]
To quote Stephanie Urchick again: ‘The truth is, we’re not going to bring peace to the world, end polio, or grow membership by waving a wand and saying some funny words.” At the next meeting, our new Club President, Andy Bell, will outline his vision and action plan. Be part of it.
At last Sunday's District Changeover, our Immediate Past President Doug Lipp was presented with a special award, in recognition of his services as District 9640 Treasurer (for 6 years) and District 9640 Finance Chairman (for 7 years). 
Congratulations, Doug! You deserve a BIG pat on the back!
(Photo by Andy Bell)
At last Sunday's District Changeover, Surfers Sunrise, together with the two other participating Rotary clubs of Broadbeach and Gold Coast, were jointly declared winners of the most prestigious District Award, the Significant Achievement Award. The three clubs that were instrumental in the implementation of an X-Ray Unit at Mauna Health Centre on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. 
This project started in 2019, but then COVID caused serious disruption, ultimately completed towards the end of last year. More details to follow shortly. Meanwhile, you can download our club's Changeover Report (in the Download Section on the right), where you will find an excellent report of this project, written by Mario Fairlie.
Photo (by Andy Bell): Immediate Past President Doug Lipp (centre), accepting the award on behalf of our club.
We never tire to listen to our incoming President Andy Bell. Last Wednesday, as our scheduled guest speaker from the Pancare Foundation was unable to make it (again), Andy jumped into the breach and regaled us with amusing stories from his early days in the New Zealand Police Force, in 1969.. "In those days, there were height and weight limits applied. I was a skinny bloke, weighing 10 1/2 stone (too light), with a chest circumference of 34" (too small). Then we got to pick up our uniform. Nothing fitted..." In short, Andy ended up (in civilian clothes) as an Undercover Cop. So, here goes...
What do you call a Policeman in bed? An undercover cop.... [ok, I know, I'm asking for it... ☺ Ed.].  But that is exactly what it would appear Andy's job was.  He got his first assignment to go undercover, with a princely expense allowance of $50 and a direct phone number to the head of the Drug Squad. Assignment: to crack a major drug importing gang. But we are getting ahead of the story:  Andy, at the time a uniformed policeman, had a small problem to go undercover: his hair was cut short, in typical policeman's style. But, in the late sixties and early seventies depicted you to be either Army or Police.  Unless... Andy gave himself out to have deserted from the British Army. (The problem soon fixed itself - see photo!) Adopting the name of Adrian McKellar (always ensure your first name initial is the same as your real name!), he had found himself at the Waterloo Hotel, where he managed to attract serious interest from a barmaid, who worked at the pub that was suspected to be a major hub of the trade.  That then led to attracting the head lady of the organization named Jennifer Ann Wilkinson, who "appropriated" him entirely for herself...  Nicknamed 'The Hiker', his initial deployment within the gang was to shoplift "to order". Yup, place your order for whatever you want, and Andy's gang would procure it. Earnings: about $1,200 a trip - in 1971 (wages were about $90.00 a week then).
Not long after Andy graduated to distributing 'Buddha Sticks'. They were imported in 44 Gallon Drums, dumped outside the harbour from the importing ship and picked up by small vessels.  His cut: $1 per stick- which earned him a cool $30,000 a year when his annual salary was about $10,000!  Ultimately, Andy got the entire gang arrested...
There is much more to the story!  Andy has written a book about it: 'Adrenalin Rush - The Adventures of an Undercover Cop'. (it used to be available on Amazon, but checking just now, it is "temporarily out of stock'). If you ask nicely, Andy might be able to procure you a copy.
The Rotary Kokoda Memorial Wall
The Rotary Club of Broadwater-Southport was the principal instigating force behind the establishment of the Kokoda Memorial Wall at Cascade Gardens in Surfers Paradise. We are invited to join them to celebrate the 82nd Anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign.
Cascade Gardens, Broadbeach QLD 4218
10am Arrival for 10.30am Start
The Kokoda Day Memorial Service honours the bravery and sacrifice of the men who fought and lost their lives during the Kokoda Campaign. It is a time for reflection and remembrance of those who served with such valour. 
If you would like to lay a wreath, please register online - click this link
A couple of weeks ago, Wheelchair Trust Chairman Geoff Croad received an enquiry from CMS Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, asking whether we would have a use for 5 conventional wheelchairs? Veolia is a huge, international company in the Water and Waste Industries. We believe they hosted a worldwide conference of their engineers, and after the conference wanted to donate them to a good cause... They found us via our website. The result: Associate Member Rick Parry (2nd from left) swiftly took our ute and trailer and picked up five practically brand new wheelchairs. They most likely will be part of a container shipment to Fiji, together with hospital beds, linen etc etc, and of course Rough Terrain wheelchairs. A big 'Thank You!' to Ashok Damodaran, Oceania Region Director of Veolia (far right) and the company for reaching out to us!
Congratulation, Geoff Croad, on winning (yet once again) our club's top award! Well done, and well deserved. (For those of you who are not familiar with our system: This award is voted on via a silent ballot by all members of the club. Geoff won it this year with a clear majority).
We had again an excellent Changeover Luncheon at Braeside Estate on Sunday 16th June, well organised by Graeme Isaacson. President Doug Lipp officially handed his collar to President Elect Andy Bell (Doug still has another two weeks to go though...☺). The speeches were short and to the point (as Surfers Sunrise events are well known for). As a very pleasant, unexpected surprise, Angie Bell MP, the local member for Moncrieff, joined us as well and gave a brief address. Angie is a great friend of our club, having been instrumental in helping us numerous times, including to obtain a grant which allowed us to purchase a ute for the project shed.  Did you know that she was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Denmark?
In addition to Geoff's Rotarian of the Year award, Doug also presented the other awards
  • Franz Huber - Quiet Achiever Award
  • Charles Thomasson - Doug Waller Trophy
  • Rock O'Keefe - Fellowship Cup
  • John Groves and Matt Hayward both were bestowed a Paul Harris Fellowship (the second one for Matt), in recognition of the enormous amount both have done with the Pentecost Island X-Ray Unit project. John was the registered builder, Matt not only was active in the building phase but also is instrumental of making the electronics work. He'll go up again, now power has been re-established.
In the Photo Album section on the right you'll find a swag of pictures, mostly taken by our new member Dr Elizabeth Celi. Check it out!
“I was born in Port Douglas” Ron proudly declared. To my question whether that was before the emergence of that town in Queensland’s Far North as a major tourist destination, he added “well, there were some 50 hotels already then!”
After High School, Ron initially worked in Retail, then at 21 years of age, decided that the Army was his destination.  Come 1968, he joined the  1st Battalion (Infantry) for 1year service in Vietnam followed by a 3 year posting to Malaysia and Singapore.
After training as a Fire Controller (Mortars) in Australia, Ron was posted to RMC Duntroon as a Drill Instructor. On promotion to WO2 another posting to 2/4th Battalion as a CSM.  A posting followed to Infantry Centre as an instructor on the RSM’s Course as a WO1.  The final posting was to The 2/4th Battalion as the Regimental Sergeant Major.
Upon his discharge, after 21 years in the services, he was appointed to the Defence Housing Authority in Townsville. Upon obtaining formal Real Estate Agent qualifications, his work included the purchasing of houses and accommodation for Defence personnel in North Queensland.
Ron met the love of his life, Zina, in the Army; she then was a Paymaster (Paymistress?). Retiring to the Gold Coast, they both enjoy Golf, going to the Gym at least twice a week, gardening, touring the world, and now plan extensive touring of Australia. Music? “Sure!” He replied, “Rock, Pop, Frank Sinatra, and what’s that blond Australian classic music singer? Yes, Mirusia!”, he confessed…
Ho-hum... 5 of our wheelchairs, parked against a wall... So what?
Well, not so fast: Recently, incoming Wheelchair Trust Chairman Geoff Croad received a photo from Pastor Ken Wigglesworth from the Spirit of Life Church, of 5 of our wheelchairs they had  delivered to the Mahatma Ghandi Memorial Clinic in Zambia - back in May 2009, i.e. 15 years ago. And they are still very much in use! At that time, 64 of them were despatched, shortly to be followed by another 140! (see snippet of our club bulletin of 13/05/2009). Good to receive some feedback!
We need a few more regular volunteers at the project shed. Do you have a half day (or two) a week to spare? Or do you know somebody who would enjoy the fellowship of fellow volunteer workers at the shed, re-purposing discarded bicycles into wheelchairs? Well over 11,000 have been shipped so far, but the need is constant.
A number of formerly regular volunteers at the project shed have "retired", some due to ill health, some because they landed a job which prevents them from attending Wednesdays and/or Saturday mornings. The work is easy and not heavy. It can involve the dismantling of bikes, the cutting of plywood (using a template, called a "jig"), painting the wood and/or the frames, or assembling, checking and packing the finished product, just to name a few.
If you are interested, please contact Larry Murray or Franz Huber, or simply turn up on Wednesday and/or Saturday morning, from 07:30 am. 
Last Monday, 30th October, we held our annual Surfers Sunrise Golf Day, at the usual venue, the Surfers Paradise Golf Club. As pre-ordered for quite some time, we had perfect weather, a steady breeze keeping us cool. This is one of our major fundraising events of the year. This year's major beneficiaries were the Pancare Foundation, a charity dedicated to researching Pancreatic Cancer, and PCYC Gold Coast, specifically directed towards their youth programs. Pancare is scheduled to speak at our club sometime early in the new year; the PCYC is, of course, well known to most of our members. Sgt Cherie McLean, who is the manager of the local PCYC, brought two delightfully eloquent young people along (see photo album section). How refreshing to see an example of today's youth from the positive side.
And the winners...
The overall winners were (Picture above, from left): Jeremy Stevens, Daniel Bisiker, Daniel Pickering, Graham Lewin. Congratulations!
The Rotary Shield (best Rotary Club associated team) was won by... Surfers Sunrise! (No, before you shout "rigged!!": Wilsons Advisory (see photo on right, from left: Matt Crain, Todd Cole, Dan Howes and Charles Thomasson) is one of our club's Corporate Members, so fully within the rules!
A lot more photos can be accessed from the Photo Album
(from left): Matt Hayward, Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, John Groves (the master builder), Mitch Brown, Ava Pearson, Hudson Sirovs, Al Sirovs and (front) Dan Snart.
Not your average meeting last Wednesday: Not only did we welcome a new member (see separate article above), but the team that went to Pentecost Island, Vanuatu to erect the X-Ray Unit at Mauna Health Centre fronted the club.
This wasn’t a simple task by any means: Master Builder John Groves eloquently outlined the enormous task of getting the X-Ray and Pathology Lab Unit built. After a two day trip, by Air to Port Vila, then by ‘Rock Hopper’ plane to Lonorore and a three-hour boat trip to the Mauna Health Centre, the task was to unpack the “flat pack” building which was shipped in two containers from our project shed in Arundel in February this year. There isn't much flat space there! To get it up the hill and re-erect it was a massive task. “Without the huge work of locals, it would never have happened”, John said.

Hard work it might have been, but the team was unanimous in declaring the exercise as a “once in a lifetime experience”. Twelve days of basic accommodation in a guest house, no electrical power (except in the Medical Centre), locally cooked
Last week, the project shed sent off the 11,015th wheelchair. Just on 3 years since we celebrated the 10,000th wheelchair in September 2013. The Photo on the right is our regular project shed worker Al Sirovs pointing out the number on the world map. The photo above shows some of the regulars, taken this morning. The wheelchair displayed is not exactly the 11,000th (that one is already on the way), but nobody needs to know... Third from left is Des La Rance OAM, who invented the concept and delivered the first 10 to Fiji in August 1997, 20 years ago! - See report in the Download Section on the right.
Congratulations! Mia Watson is the Lutzy Award winner for 2023!
At yesterday's Surfers Sunrise breakfast meeting, we presented the 'Lutzy Award' to Mia., in the form of a specially inscribed surf ski. The award is in honour of our former member Keith Lutz, who was a true leader in both our club as well as in the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club. A committee of the SLSC nominates the winner, selected not necessarily because of his/her surfing skills (but that is certainly no detriment!)
, but for their leadership qualities. This was the 8th year the award was presented. And just in case you are interested: of the eight winners, six were female!
Picture (from left): Jan Lutz, David Orchard, President Doug Lipp, the winner Mia Watson and her father Rob Watson. Second picture: Jan Lutz, Mia and last year's winner Pieta Jackson.
As per President Mitch's message above, these photos were sent to to Bryan Tuesley, our wheelchair "foreman", from PNG, where they were deployed by Del Cole ('Someone Who Cares' Gold Coast based charity). Good to see that our work is doing good. Give yourselves a pat on the back!
"We were woken up at 4.30 am to the sound of our camp leaders screaming various commands, including to rush outside and do a wall sit... in our pyjamas! It then went on to challenge both our physical and mental strength for the next TWO HOURS." Uttered by a teenager, you might think that sounds like a complaint... You are sooo wrong!
Chelsea and Zahra had only 5 minutes before having to rush off to school, but they certainly made good use of the time to relate their experiences of attending the recent RYTS (Rotary Youth Transition Seminar) camp, sponsored by our club. This is the very essence of Rotary Youth Service. The girls have given me permission to upload their speech to our website - see Download Files on the right. 
Wow! Two ROSE (Recognition Of Significant Effort) awards were presented to our club at the District Conference. This is a new award designed (I assume) by District Governor Karen Thomas, presented this morning. I admit I wasn't even aware of the awards, not to mention their presentation.
One is for the monumental joint effort with the Rotary Clubs of Broadbeach and Gold Coast in building the Mauna Health Centre (recently packed up and on the way to Vanuatu), the other for 'Improving the Club Public Image' by frequent posts to our website and Facebook pages.
Well, fellow members, associates, Rotaractors and helpers and the project shed: give yourself a pat on the back! You are permitted an extra biscuit or piece of cake next Wednesday morning! 🙂
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, the lid removed 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
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.
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.
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 - Fundraising
Director - Service Projects
Chair - Wheelchairs Trust
Public Relations
Director - Membership
Director, Youth Services
Director -The Rotary Foundation
Coordinator Golf Day
Fellowship and Social Program
Liaison - Wheelchair Trust
Program Manager-Guest Speakers
Webmaster & Bulletin Ed