It is hoped a recent membership drive by Gunnedah West Rotary Club will help recruit new faces into the community organisation which has been operating for more than 50 years.

Twenty five guests of Rotarians, plus members, attended the ‘Getting to Know You’ information night at the Gunnedah Showground’s art pavilion. The venue was a late change owing to inclement weather at the scheduled location, Pensioners Hill.

As part of the presentation, area governor for the Rotary District 9660, Kel Walls, outlined a short history of Rotary and the value in volunteering in the community.

He told the Gunnedah Times the most fulfilling part of his involvement has been assisting those in need.

“Being able to help groups and individuals to achieve something they may not be able to do on their own,” Mr Walls said.

The long-time Rotarian also nominated the group’s role in international causes as another rewarding highlight.

Debbie Croft, Janna Baker, Michael Hennessy, Will Lyle, Andrew Farquhar and Lizzie Blake.

“Polio eradication has been a big push of Rotary for a number of years and that is getting close to happening,” he said.

As area governor, Mr Walls serves as a go-between among about 10 different Rotary clubs in the district.

“Rotary is alive and well in this area,” he said.

Despite the optimism, he conceded new membership has been difficult since COVID times – not only for Rotary but a wide range of community, sporting and welfare organisations as well.

Mr Walls said memberships drives were one mechanism to “get the message out” about the good work undertaken by Rotary in Gunnedah.

He described how Gunnedah West Rotary was founded in 1970 – more than 50 years ago – and today is best known for “signature projects” – the annual debutante ball and the development of facilities at Pensioners Hill Reserve.

“However, there are many other activities in which this Rotary club is involved for the benefit of people in many communities,” he said.

“Rotary is a community-based organisation, which gives its members the opportunity to do some good in the local, national, or international arena.”

Mr Walls said Gunnedah Rotarians are supported by 30,000 members in 1100 clubs across Australia and 1.4 million members in more than 220 countries world-wide.

Supporting Mr Walls in the presentation to prospective new members was Gunnedah West leadership team of Bruce Higham (community service), Karen Neader (publicity), George Truman (youth), Steph Brown (administration), Welington Sardinha (foundation) – in the absence of Mark Kesby, and Marg Amos (membership).

Bruce Higham, David Amos and exchange student from Germany, Bela Tim Neuhaus.

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