The First 10 years 1964-73

The Presidential Year's 1964 – 1973
Elwyn Mackay Inducted 22 May 1964
District Governor: Frank Moorhouse (OAM) Club Service: Ross David
Secretary: Ron King Community Service: Keith Lane
Treasurer: George Reynolds International Service: Jack Poel
Sergeant: Bill Richardson Vocational Service: Allan Ward
A Word About The President
Elwyn Mackay (ex RAAF) was headmaster of the West Wollongong Primary School. None of the new Rotarians knew much about Rotary. All they had was a little book to refer to. However, Jack David, of “David’s Foundries”, President of the Rotary Club of Wollongong, helped as much as possible. Elwyn became a most popular president, but little is known of the first year of the club. Jack David was the club’s Rotary mentor for many years.
Formation of the Rotary Club of West Wollongong

The Wollongong Club was rather large at the time, (1964) with 140-150 members, Jack David was appointed to District Governor Special Representative to form a new club – West Wollongong. He met several business and professional people who were interested (see also President Harvey Chesterfield-Evans.)
A meeting to organise and form a new membership was held on 12 February 1964 and on 23 March 1964,Rotary International granted the charter of the new club. D.G. Frank Moorhouse, who inducted all the members, presented the charter to the charter club members on the charter night.

Elwyn Mackay was inducted as President for 1964-65 and the Rotary Club of West Wollongong was under way.
One of the early traditions at the club was that every meeting the fellows were asked to sing from the “Rotary Song Book”. According to Harvey Chesterfield-Evans everyone hated it as it although it was supposed to augment fellowship; however subsequent presidents “got the message”.
A couple of projects that the club became involved in 1964/65 were painting, plumbing and structural repairs carried out on the Wollongong Crippled Children’s School House. Other work was carried out on the Wollongong Hospital’s extension of Children’s Ward to close in the building’s verandah.
Another rule in the first year was that alcohol at the table was banned; Harvey soon found an excuse to break this tradition. When things got too noisy, Elwyn Mackay (being a headmaster) would say “Shut up you lot”. This usually quietened things down.
The first meeting of the Rotary Club of West Wollongong was held in the Grand Hotel, Wollongong. In those days it was run by “a very nice” couple. This is the picture of the club as it was in its first year, Elwyn Mackay in the middle of all these chaps all dressed in double-breasted blue suits.

One of the projects carried out in Elwyn’s year was the West Wollongong Primary School fete, which raised over $1000, a big amount of money at the time.
Little else remains of the history of Elwyn’s year, which is a pity because information from the club’s first Bulletins would have been very enlightening.
Inaugural Members:
Arthur Cratchley, Graham Jurgens, George Mitchie, Dan Ryan, Bill Richardson, Rev. Roy Gray, Bob Morris, Jack Poel, Neville Trotter, Harvey Chesterfield-Evans. Tom Ward, Roger Kee, Geoff Thompson, Col Stewart, Ron Chapman, Dick Bosenquet, Gordon Staff, Visitor, Ross David. Keith Lane, Ron King, Jack David (Wollongong RC), President Elwyn Mackay, DG Frank Moorehouse,. Jack Guest, Alan Reid and Phil Morrissey.
The First 10 years 1964-73 2024-07-13 14:00:00Z 0
Our Club Presidents 2024-07-10 14:00:00Z 0

The Birth of West Wollongong Rotary

A Message from the President in 2003

Kim Hockings

President 2003 - 2004

As we approach the 40th anniversary of the charter of the Rotary Club of West Wollongong  Inc. it is a fitting time to review the history of the club. This history recognises the contributions of the many men and more recently women who have been members of the club.
The history also recognises each of those members who have been President of the club, most often for one year of that 40-year history; it also will be invaluable for new members to obtain an understanding of Rotary and to hopefully carry on the tradition of the club into the future.
When you read the pages which follow you will see a history of “Service Above Self” in a special atmosphere of Rotary fellowship at West Wollongong. Over the years the club has built a chapel at the Wollongong Hospital; annually opened the former State Governors’ country residence for seventeen years (“Hillview” at Sutton Forest), the Sea, Food and Sail Festival at Wollongong Harbour for  nine years and has operated the Wollongong Capsule Service since 1991.
Funds raised from these activities have benefited a myriad of organisation including the Rotary Foundation, Illawarra Society for Crippled Children, the Wollongong Hospital, Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, an orphanage in India and a village in China, whilst club members have travelled to Fiji, New Guinea and recently to the Philippines on Rotary projects.
The club has consistently had an emphasis on helping young people with sponsorship to attendance at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award seminars, international youth exchange, the Model United Nations Assembly and Group Study Exchange. Our members have not only been active in the club but also many have made outstanding contributions to District 9750 (formerly 975).
Forty years is a long time to belong to a Rotary club and whilst two charter members remain with the club, Ron King and Harvey Chesterfield-Evans, one gets the feeling that “the changing of the guard” is taking place with a new era in the making and hopefully another forty years of this great club ahead.
The preparation of this history has been a labour of love for Barry Blundell. The thanks of all members past and present go to Barry for his work in researching the club history and then to document it in the present form.
To find out more about the first forty years of our club, please read on....

Kim Hockings
The Birth of West Wollongong Rotary 2024-07-06 14:00:00Z 0