The Rotary Club of Wonthaggi was inaugurated on the 17th of March 1955. It was formed as a result of visits from members of the Rotary club of Korumburra. After several visits, a meeting was held at Taberner’s Whalebone Hotel in McBride Avenue with an attendance of twenty three interested locals and it was decided to form a club. At the inaugural meeting, also held at the whalebone hotel, Bert Jephcott was elected President, Doug Skermann was elected Vice-President, and Ray Ware was elected as Secretary.
The first project of the newly formed club was the Mentally Retarded School, later to be called Moonya. Over the years the club would contribute finances many projects including:
- Wonthaggi Citizens Band
- Community Assistance to miners who had been laid off
- Wonthaggi North Scout Hall
- Rose Lodge
- Little Athletics
- Wonthaggi Hospital
- Surf Life Saving Club
- Construction of Toilet Block in the Guide park (1981)
- Construction of the BBQ shelter in the Guide Park (1984)
- Fire Brigade
- State Coal Mine.
- Scholarships at a number of Local schools
- Bass Coast Specialist School
Over the years the club has inaugurated a number of local events:
- The Wonthaggi Rotary Market began in 1988
- The Annual Charity Dinner auction began in 1989
- Australia Day Celebrations began in 1994
- Primary Schools Public Speaking Competitions began in 2000
The club has also partnered with Council in a number of projects around the town including:
- Wonthaggi Visitor Information Centre
- Public seating
- Foot paths
- Public toilets
- Fincher Street Rotary Reserve
Rotary also seeks to foster understanding between nations and cultures through its enormously successful Youth Exchange program. Dozens of students have participated over the years in the Wonthaggi Rotary Club’s youth exchange and have formed life long friendships across the world.
The Rotary club of Wonthaggi also contributes strongly to the Rotary foundation which supports many worthy projects around the world and in recent years has been focussed specifically on the eradication of polio.
These principles have been developed over the years to provide Rotarians with a strong, common purpose and direction. They serve as a foundation for our relationships with each other and the action we take in the world.
Object of Rotary
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
- FIRST: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
- SECOND: High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
- THIRD: The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
- FOURTH: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
The Four-Way Test
The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and non-sectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings:
Of the things we think, say or do:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Avenues of Service
We channel our commitment to service at home and abroad through five Avenues of Service, which are the foundation of club activity.
- Club Service focuses on making clubs strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan.
- Vocational Service calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society. Learn more in An Introduction to Vocational Service and the Code of Conduct.
- Community Service encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest. Learn more in Communities in Action: A Guide to Effective Projects.
- International Service exemplifies our global reach in promoting peace and understanding. We support this service avenue by sponsoring or volunteering on international projects, seeking partners abroad, and more.
- Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange.