Our club was received into Rotary International on the 13th October 1953.  It was part of Rotary District 260 (D260). At the time D260 covered a huge piece of country. It extended from Lismore to Bundaberg and west to the borders of the Northern Territory and South Australia. The club is now 66 years old.

The Rotary Club of South Brisbane was chosen to Sponsor the Rotary Club of Wynnum and Manly. The District Governor (DG) was Aub Budd based in Murwillumbah. He chose South Brisbane to Sponsor the Wynnum and Manly club based on the fact that four South Brisbane members lived in the Wynnum and Manly area. They were Harry Hase, Lew Krimmer, Eric Olsen and Bob Taylor. Harry Hase a Local Dentist was chosen by the DG to be his representative and subsequently, Charter President.

After collecting a group of 24 “good men and true” our club was admitted into Rotary International. Charter night was held on 10th April 1954 in the Municipal Hall on Bay terrace Wynnum. Due to the size of the Rotary District, a number of Rotarians travelled considerable distances to attend our Charter Night.

Charter Members were:

Harry Hase, Dentistry

Bob Taylor, Banking-Commercial

Bob Ferguson, Real Estate

Jack McMaster, Accounting Services

Jack Simpson, Meat Packing

Bob Allison, GIO Insurance

Norm Bahr, Public Service-Police

Eric Bingham, Drapery-Retail

Bert Bunney, Saw Milling

Bill Cafferky, Sporting Goods-Retail

Frank Davies, Mens Clothing-Retail

Max Fisher, Hotels

Jack Fox, Newsagent

Sam Greene, Printing

Al Hillier, Gas Service

Ern Holdaway, Education-Secondary School

Ivan Hooper, Physician

Lew Krimmer, Bacon Curing

George Lake, Industry Window Shades-Retail

Jack McNeilly, Fruit Canning

Padre Nommensen, Religion (CoE)

Harry Pavey, Meat-Retail

Ray Patterson, Produce Wholesale

John Slater, Footwear Retail


Some of our major achievements:

  1. First club in Queensland to host an international exchange student (now YEP)
  2. Continuous and vigorous participation in YEP over 50+ years
  3. First Club in Queensland to have hosted a District Conference outside its boundaries.
  4. Strong supporter of Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Many of our members have served in administration roles.
  5. Three members have served as District Governors, two Assistant DGs, and a considerable number of district officers. DGs include: George Lake, Bill Beverley and Max Cribb.
  6. Have introduced innovative ideas for raising funds which have included:
    • The construction of two houses
    • Parking collectors at Gateway Bridge Opening and at Port of Brisbane for QE2 Visit
    • Fashion Parades
    • Art Shows
    • International Women’s Day Breakfasts
    • Continual BBQs
    • Bunnings Sausage Sizzles (for over a decade)
    • Car Shows to commence 2020
  7. Developed parks, playgrounds and built picnic and bus shelters, and helped maintain charity owned buildings.
  8. Provide management teams for spring carnivals on the foreshore
  9. Financial support given to sporting bodies and charities
  10. Continuous and substantial support to the Rotary Foundation
  11. Supplied a bus for Aid & Recreational Association for the Disabled (ARAD) and supplied Rotary manpower to assist ARAD for over 50 years – ARAD closed in 2020
  12. Have supplied motor vehicles on a number of occasions to local nursing services
  13. Installation of steam engine and carriages to transport visitors around St Helena Island from the ferry to the top of the hill (since removed)
  14. Formation of Probus Club of Wynnum and Manly in 1984 – 1st President Col Piper – and the Probus Club of Waterloo Bay in 1997 – first President PP Jim Brittain. 
  15. Established Rotaract Club in Wynnum and Manly (since disbanded)
  16. An Interact Club was established at Wynnum State High School in the 1980s. Unfortunately, it lapsed over several years, due to extra curricular demands on students
  17. Organised “a local symbol of reconciliation”. We arranged a competition amongst art and architectural students to obtain a design of a memorial on the Wynnum Jetty to the original indigenous Quandamooka people and white early settlers. 
  18. Established and continue to conduct a Primary School Public Speaking Competition.
  19. Formation of a youth concert band in 1992. The Youth Services Director at the time, Rotarian Eric Batten, co-ordinated the establishment of the band and equipment.
  20. The provision of ongoing assistance since its formation to the Meals on Wheels organisation.
  21. Sent teams to build schools, hospitals, and restore other buildings after cyclones in the Pacific area.
  22. Organise a BBQ on the foreshore each year to help celebrate Australia Day. Over 5,000 sausages cooked and distributed to the public each year. 
  23. Created the name “Eastwood Beach” at Manly. This was achieved by depositing a great quantity of sand on the foreshore at that location and periodically replenishing it.
  24. 1988, in conjunction with the Brisbane City Council, established the South Moreton Bay Historical Library in Wynnum Library as a joint Australian Bi-Centennial project.
  25. ANZAC Centenary Memorials were constructed in 2016. Arranged by member Graeme Wescombe, with support from the DVA, Energex and other donors, memorials were installed at 17 schools and colleges. Our teams included Conor McManus, Ken Burkitt, Dave Warren, Damian Nolan, Sandy Marshall, Harold Parker, Nev Harrison, Mick Matthews, Mike McKerrow, Bob de Lange, Graham Pearson, Peter Boddy and son Michael, Jim Byrne.
  26. Our Club has presented over 200 PHFs.
  27. PP Phil Boron PHF. tragically drowned in 1997. His estate donated $100,000 to District funds, hence the name Phil Boron at Bostock House District Headquarters at Wacol.
  28. Additionally, in 2008, PP Tony Fox was awarded the Citation for Meritorious Service by the Trustees of the Rotary Foundation for his significant and dedicated service. Then, in 2015, he was recognised by the Order of Australia Qld Branch with a Senior Volunteer Award.
  29. Group Study Exchange Teams – we hosted Study Exchange Teams from other countries, including from the UK in 2002, and we sent teams to – 
    • Montana – PP Peter Smith led the team in 1989.
    • Manchester and Isle of Man – 6 weeks – past member Dennis Chapman led the team, then was on the District Committee for 3 years.
    • Canada – the late PP Arthur and Rosemary Hall led the first all female team.
    • Philippines – PP Tony Fox led the team for 4 weeks in 1998.
  30. Our Club has participated in Donations-in-Kind for over 20 years. 
  31. Matching Grants have been organised for many years by PP Tony Fox, who has personally visited a number of the overseas projects we have helped fund, including Pondicherry in India, Nepal, Marakina in the Philippines, various places in Thailand, Phom Penh in Cambodia.
  32. FAIM/RAWCS Vanuatu - Graeme Wescombe organised teams to Vanuatu in 2006, 2007 and 2010 to assist the Port Vila Hospital with a kitchen upgrade, to develop the health clinic at Paunganisu to hospital standard and to provide solar power for the maternity ward there. In 2011, Graeme and PP Nev Harrison visited again to check the facility and to arrange local labour at our cost.
  33. International projects over the past 20 years have been greatly supported by funds from Airport Charity boxes at BNE (3 clubs involved $800,000 over 20 years).