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History - First Decade

Diamond Anniversary of Wauchope Rotary.

As we celebrate our Diamond Jubilee, it’s worth looking back on the club’s origins, & what the world was like through the years.

Although Wauchope Rotary continues to contribute a great deal, not only to our local community, but the International community as well, it’s safe to say the emphasis in those early years was on fellowship & fun.

In the first 50 years of the club’s existence, the world was changing, & there were many outside influences of great significance. For example, the Berlin wall went up in August 1961 when Claude Griffith was our President, & came down in 1989 during Jack Parsons’ Presidency. The Korean war, the “cold war” “Sputnik” & many other events were going on as the Rotary Club of Wauchope found it’s feet & began to make an impact on people’s lives, at home & internationally.

This is a brief social history of the world, in a year-by-year review, with a commentary of Wauchope Rotary’s progress. For a more detailed account of the club’s activities, go to the Archives link & click on “Golden” or “Diamond Jubilee.” The latter link will be available after August 2012.

1952 – our charter year.

Our first President was Darryl Pead
Vice President was Rex MacEwan.
The Prime Minister of Australia was Robert Menzies
Rotary International President was Frank E. Spain of Alabama US

Chartered on 8th. September, things were quiet as the club found its feet. The club went into recess on 16th. December till 2nd. February 1953.

King George V1 died
The UK announces it has “The Bomb”
The treaty of San Francisco formally ends the war between US & Japan
1st. passenger flight between London & Johannesburg
Ann Davidson becomes the 1st. woman to single-handedly sail Atlantic Ocean
Helsinki Olympic Games are held
58,00 cases of polio reported in the US. 3,100 die
“I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus” is the top pop song

The Shire President was Cr. C. H. Bransdon


Our President was Rex MacEwan
Vice President was Rex Paul
The Prime Minister was Robert Menzies
Rotary International President was H.J.Brunnier of California

Club membership was 27. Things were still fairly quiet.

The US announces it now has a Hydrogen bomb.
Dwight Eisenhower succeeds Truman as US President
“I Love Lucy” is riveting TV
The first James Bond book, “Casino Royale” is published
Watson & Crick announce the structure of DNA
Stalin died
Sir Edmund Hillary & Tensing Norgay conquered Everest
Queen Elizabeth 2nd. was crowned
The first Chev. Corvette was built
The Korean War ends
Univac is the 1st. commercial computer to use random access memory
1st. colour TV on sale for $US 1,175
Albert Schweitzer is given the Nobel Peace Prize for 1952.
Oil discovered in Exmouth Gulf

The Shire President was Cr. C. H. Bransdon


Our President was Neils Brown
Vice President was Morton Trotter
Robert Menzies was still Prime Minister
RI President was Joaquin Serratosa from Uruguay

The concept of a Youth Centre to cater for groups such as the Scouts, Girl Guides & gymnasts was put forward & debated.

Queen Elizabeth 2nd becomes 1st. reigning monarch to visit Australia
1st mass vaccination against polio begins in Pittsburgh
Bill Haley & the Comets record “Rock Around The Clock” starting Rock & Roll
The Petrov affair takes place in Australia.
The French Foreign Legion was wiped out at Dien Bien Phu in South Vietnam.
Roger Bannister runs the 1st 4 minute-mile
“Rising Fast” wins the Melbourne Cup
The Boeing 707 is released
Worlds’ 1st Atomic power station opens near Moscow
Peter Thompson becomes 1st. Australian to win the British Open in golf
Juan Fangio sets lap record or 100.35 mph.
The last episode of “The Lone Ranger” airs after 2,956 episodes over 21 years
The Viet Minh take control of North Vietnam
First TV dinners go on sale
Top pop song was “That’s Alright Mamma” by Elvis Presley
John Travolta was born.

The Shire President was Cr. C. H. Bransdon


Our President was Jack Hannington
Vice President was Ben Lane
Robert Menzies is Prime Minister
RI President was Herbert J. Taylor from Chicago (who gave us the 4 way test)

All funds raised during the year were directed towards paying off the debt owing for construction of the Youth Centre.

England defeat Australia 3-1 in the Ashes.
1st. US advisors sent to Vietnam
The movie “Blackboard Jungle” premiers in US
Churchill resigns as British Prime Minister
Salk polio vaccine passes trials
Albert Einstein died
“Gun smoke” debuts on US TV
Top pop song was “Rock Around The Clock.”

The Shire President was Cr. C. H. Bransdon


Our President was Harold Lindsay
Vice President was Geoff Smith
Robert Menzies was Prime Minister
Rotary International President was A. Z. Baker from Ohio

An anaesthesia machine was purchased & presented to the Wauchope District Memorial Hospital.
All other funds went towards the cost of the nearly completed Youth Centre.

The Summer Olympics opened In Melbourne
The Murray River flooded, at that time the largest flood in recorded history.
First TV broadcast from TCN-9 on 6th. September
“Evening Peal” won the Melbourne Cup.
Lew Hoad won the Australian men’s title in tennis
“Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley was the top pop song.

The Shire President was Cr. G. Hollis


Our President was Ben Lane
Vice President was Geoff Smith
Robert Menzies was Prime minister

Rotary International President was Gian Paolo Lang of Italy.

The first half of the Rotary year was spent organising an Aquatic Carnival, & fundraising for Wauchope District Memorial Hospital’s Respirator Appeal.
The Aquatic Carnival was held on 22nd February, & was hailed a great success. In April it was decided to purchase 50 club banners at 8/6d. each. The club raised £106 in various appeals for the Hospital Appeal, & decided to donate £100, retaining the £6 to purchase furniture for the Rotary Youth Centre. At the changeover, donations made came from the “pennies on the table” with the balance made up by the club. Legacy received £10, & £5 was donated to The Red Cross.

Jorn Utzon wins the design competition for The Opera House.
GTV-9 launched in Melbourne. Australia defeats Britain in the Rugby League World Cup. Aust PGA won by Gary Player.
“Straight Draw” wins the Melbourne Cup.
Kevin Rudd, Gary Sweet & Penny Cook were born.
“Jail House Rock” By Elvis was the top pop song.

The Shire President was Cr. H. S. Brandon


Our President was David “Darb” Olsen
Vice President was Geoff Smith
Robert Menzies was Prime Minister

Rotary International President was Charles G. Tennant from Nth. Carolina

Club membership had risen to 31. The club was still meeting in the CWA rooms, transferring to the Youth Centre on 21st. October, where the dinner charge increased by 1/- to 8/-. The DG Charles May advised the club to prepare a budget & not rely on “the bird” for finance. Profit from the Aquatic Carnival helped pay off the debt on an X-ray machine at Wauchope Hospital, & lined four rooms at the Youth Centre.

Qantas introduces first around the world service. Harold McMillan is the first incumbent British PM to visit Australia. The Cahill Expressway opens. Monash University is founded. Construction of Australia’s largest man-made lake, Lake Eucumbene on “The Snowy” is completed. Australia constructs the world’s 1st. flight recorder, the “Black Box”
“Tequila” by The Champs is the top pop song.
The Shire President was Cr. H. S. Brandon


Our President was Geoff Smith
Vice President was Bill Statham
Robert Menzies was Prime Minister

Rotary International President was Harold T. Thomas of Auckland NZ.

Membership subscription was increased to seven pounds, & fines capped at seven shillings.
The club Changeover took place in the Youth Centre, attended by DG Ian McKenzie & wife.
Re-districting took place with District 32 becoming District 267.
The club supported Apex to improve traffic to Wauchope. The “dangerous traffic hazard at the intersection of Oxley & Pacific Highways” was rectified 34 years later! The “sharp right turn on the Wauchope/ Telegraph Point Rd. shortly before it’s junction with the Pacific Highway” is still there.

Darwin granted City status. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl opens. Formal construction on The Opera House begins. The M/S Princess of Tasmania, a diesel powered roll on/roll off car ferry makes its maiden voyage. Qantas launches the first jet service from Sydney to San Francisco via Honolulu. “On The Beach” starring Ava Gardiner & Burt Lancaster is shot around Melbourne. “Six O’clock Rock,” hosted by Johnny O’Keefe was screened on ABC-TV.
“Macdougall” wins the Melbourne Cup. Jack Brabham wins the Formula 1 Drivers championship. Sigrid Thornton, Mike Whitney & Paul Vautin were born.
“Mack The Knife” by Bobby Darrin was the top pop song.

The Shire President was Cr. H. S. Brandon

Our President was Bill Statham
Vice President was Keith Searl
The Prime Minister was Robert Menzies

Rotary International President was J. Edd McLaughlin of Texas USA.

The club decided to sponsor as many Boy Scouts & Cubs as possible at the Australian Jamboree held in Lansdowne, Sydney. A successful Aquatic Carnival saw profits used to purchase a new electric stove for the Youth Centre kitchen at a cost of £131, & a further £75 was put towards sponsoring the Scouts & Cubs.

Australia’s population was 10,275,020. Frank Macfarlane Burnett is joint Noble Prize winner for medicine, & the inaugural Australian Of The Year. Grahame Kennedy wins “The Star Of The Year (Gold Logie) Arthur Caldwell becomes the leader of The Labour Party in Australia. A TAA Fokker Friendship crashes in Mackay in Qld. Killing 29 persons. Until 2009, it was Australia’s worst peacetime air crash. 8-year-old Graeme Thorn is kidnapped for ransom. The worlds first skyjacking takes place involving TAA flight 408. The Warragamba dam is opened.
“Hi Jinx” wins the Melbourne Cup. Neale Frazer wins the men’s singles at Wimbledon. Jack Brabham wins his 2nd. Formula 1 driver’s championship.
Michael Hutchence, Greg Ritchie, Wayne Pearce, Andrew Denton, Peter Sterling, Mal Meninga, & David Boone are born.
“The Twist” by Chubby Checker is the top pop song.

The Shire President was Cr. H. S. Brandon


Our President was Claude Griffith
Vice President was Max Thompson
Prime Minister was Robert Menzies.

Rotary International President was Joseph A, Abey of Pennsylvania USA.

At its 1st. meeting, the Board resolved to compile a history of the club. The club became formally involved with the annual Wauchope Floral Festival. The club combined with the Wauchope Country Club to sponsor Miss Verona Hall as a candidate in the North Coast Traveller’s Cot Fund Queen Competition. Many “pleasant trips” were arranged to the Woosters property to cut firewood, which was raffled off to fund Verona’s quest. The club thanked The Hastings Shire Council for painting the exterior of The Youth Centre. At the changeover, the sergeant-at-arms excelled himself by collecting £20/10- for Verona Hall. The sum of £30 was sent to Rotary International, maintaining the club’s 100% rating.

Oral contraceptives are sold for the 1st. time in Australia. The last electric tram runs in Sydney. Australia signed the Antarctic Treaty. Parkes Radio Telescope opens. An Ansett ANA Vickers aircraft crashed on takeoff killing all 15 aboard. Dame Joan Sutherland is named Australian of The Year. “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is banned from sale. “Four Corners” first screened. “Lord Fury” wins the Melbourne Cup. Sam Backo, Dean Jones, Gary Jack & Magda Szubanski are born.

The Shire President was Cr. H. Warlters Jnr.

Our 10th Anniversary

Our President was Max Thompson
Vice President was Wal Sneddon
Robert Menzies was Prime Minister

Rotary International President was Nitish C. Laharry from Calcutta India

At a fundraiser for Verona Hall, President Max in a foolish act of bravado, shot himself in the foot with a blank cartridge from a shotgun! The club decided to erect 2 lunch shelter sheds, provide a barbeque & have water laid on at an estimated cost of £50. The first steps were taken to secure land on High St. to establish Rotary Park. The club celebrated it’s 10th. Anniversary dinner at the Country Club. Charter President, Daryl Pead, chaired the evening with assistance from charter Vice-President Rex McEwan, charter Treasurer John Glass & charter sergeant-at-arms, Peter Garrow. Attendance was 162 people. A levy of 1/- on every meal was fixed to help subsidize 3 nursing sisters’ salaries. Without these sisters, it was feared the hospital would close for lack of Certificated Nursing Sisters. £35 was contributed to The Rotary Foundation.

The Australian Ballet is founded. WIN-TV opens in Wollongong.
The Red Sales aerobatic team flying Vampire jets crashes killing 6 people.
30 Australian soldiers made up our first troop commitment to Vietnam as advisors.
Australia wins 38 Gold Medals at The British Empire Games held in Perth.
“Even Stevens” wins the Caulfield Cup/ Melbourne Cup double.
“Gretel” makes Australia’s 1st. challenge for The Americas Cup, losing 4-1.
“The Twist” by Chubby Checker was the top pop song, a bigger hit than before.

The Shire President was Cr. H Warlters Jnr.