Rotary in Australia and New Zealand are celebrating their 100th year of service to the community, with Grafton, Maclean, Yamba and Iluka Rotary clubs all getting in on the action.
100 years ago, Rotary clubs were established in major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington. Since then, clubs have gone on to expand right across both nations, and around the globe.
Since last Wednesday, there has been a special baton relay making its way through Grafton, Maclean, Yamba and Iluka. Vic Doe, current President of Rotary Yamba believes that the design of the relay is to not only celebrate the organisation in Australia, but to also entice prospective members to join their ranks.
“The baton relay is celebrating 100 years of Rotary in Australia and they are sending a number of batons around Australia to celebrate this and talk to people who want to come up and talk to us about what Rotary does,” the President of Rotary Yamba says.
Throughout the baton’s time travelling through each town in the Clarence region, a manned stall was set up in each town centre in order to promote and speak with members of the community about what Rotary does and how they can assist their local community.
The baton was not just heading through the Clarence region either but was instead making a route through different parts of Australia. This particular baton had made its was through the southern states of Australia and from Iluka, will head up to Ballina, before ending its journey in Burleigh Heads.
The centenary celebrations raise much needed awareness of the organisation and promotes it to local communities.
Rotary International are responsible for carrying out work across the globe, along with local community work; including an extensive program to stamp out Polio in third world countries and setting up defibrillators on the beaches of Yamba, respectively.
Vic is hopeful that the baton relay has not only shown the people of Yamba, but also the Clarence Valley region what Rotary can do for their community if they become involved, along with what Rotary can do for them. This includes building confidence, building teamwork skills and becoming involved in a social and fun organisation.
The President of Rotary Yamba also notes that there is an aging demographic within the club and hopes that something like this relay will attract new people with fresh ideas to the local organisation, particularly people in their twenties, thirties and forties.
“We need to have new people, new young people, to come in and take Rotary into the new era”.