September 15th, 2023Daylesford Rotary celebrates 70 years of giving
It’s been 70 great years of doing good deeds in the community – and beyond – for Daylesford Rotary and right now this longstanding local service club is getting set to celebrate in style.
Daylesford Rotary members and friends slip into their finest to celebrate the club’s 70th anniversary – with guests Alla Wolf-Tasker from Lakehouse, Tina Banitska from the Convent Gallery and Carol White from Lavandula – in the Daylesford Town Hall on Saturday, September 23.
In years past, Daylesford also had a Lions and an Apex club as well but these days only the Rotary Club remains as the town’s sole community service club still standing, and new members would be very, very welcome.
Long-time member and past president Danny Moynihan (pictured above) recounts the early days when he joined back in 1985, as a 33-year-old.
Today he is among the staunch members who have stuck with Daylesford Rotary for many years and he says it’s the sense of satisfaction in getting good things done – things that you would be unlikely to achieve alone – that he enjoys.
There’s so much to celebrate for this local service club whose projects are many and diverse, and whose positive contributions ripple throughout the community.
“When I joined there were a lot of tradespeople who were members which meant we could do a lot of things. Now tradespeople are one of the hardest groups to attract and we tend to do a lot more fundraising. The farmers market and the art show are our main fundraisers.
“We’ve done a lot of things over the years. The shelter at Wombat Hill was built by Rotarians, and refurbished since then. Jointly with Lions and Apex, we got the first jaws of life for the CFA. We raised I think $15,000 for that which was a lot of money in those days.”
The Daylesford Hospital, CFA, and schools have all benefited from the work of the club over the years while beyond the immediate area the club also contributes significantly to important international health projects including the global eradication of polio and Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children.
“We got the Hepburn Kindergarten built, which is something a lot of people don’t know about anymore,” Danny said.
But as with so many service clubs in the community, getting new members to join up is a bit of a problem these days as people, particularly younger locals, are so busy just getting by. The average age of the club’s members is now around about the mid-50s and the club would really love to see some fresh faces join up.
Members meet Thursday evenings, fortnightly, temporarily in the Bendigo Community Bank branch building, but is still looking to secure the ideal site.
Jenny Hopkins has been a member of the club for four years and is coordinator of the art show that will transform the town hall over the Melbourne Cup weekend.
“This year’s art show is special because it’s 40 years since its inception so it’s ‘Cheers for 40 years’,” Jenny says.
She says a few extra volunteers would be great to help ensure the smooth running of this year’s art show.
“I would be delighted if there’s anyone who could help out. We need people to fill in gaps for one or two hours, just to make sure people feel welcome and everything is running smoothly,” Jenny says.
Beyond the big birthday bash and the art show, Danny says those who would like to consider joining the club to help ensure it can keep doing its fine work for another 70 years can chat to any of the members or jump online and find out more. Contact Danny on 0407 501 994 or Jenny on 0414 262 524.
Words: Eve Lamb | Image: Kyle Barnes