Posted by Joy McCaffrey on May 25, 2018
As you may recall the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie celebrated their 70th Anniversary with a dinner which was held on Wednesday 23 May 2018.
Our very own Brian Hole made the toast on the night.  Following in his father’s footsteps when his father made a toast to the Club in 1948 on the night of the presentation of the Club’s Charter.
Following for your information is Brian’s speech to the Club on their 70th Anniversary.
President John, Members of the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie and all those special guests with us tonight.
To begin with I would like to thank the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie for their kind invitation to both, my brother Kerry and myself and our wives, to attend this exciting celebration of your Club’s 70th Anniversary.  May our late father, Frank Hole, be looking down upon all tonight with smiles, recalling the night of the 22nd May 1948 the night of the presentation of your Rotary Club’s Charter.  What a wonderful night it much have been.
I also wonder what he may have said in his toast to your foundation members on that night.  Maybe he would have spoken about the ideals of Rotary together with community service, vocational service, international service, club service and the dedication needed to fulfil all of these service ideals.
Now, speaking of dedication let us think about the dedication of all those Rotarians, back in 1948 who came from your adjoining Rotary clubs, to attend your Club’s Charter.  At your Charter Dinner, I believe you had representation from Guyra, Newcastle, Gunnedah, Wingham, Inverell, Kempsey, Cessnock, Armidale and of course Taree.  How about that for groups of dedicated Rotarians.  Just think of all the mileage they covered on those rough and unsealed roads back then.  It was mentioned that some of those Rotarians had never been to Port Macquarie before!  And would you wonder with the state of the roads.  So why did they come all this way to Port Macquarie?  They did it because of their dedication to the expansion of Rotary throughout Australia.
And as I read a little into your Club’s history, I found that your Club’s determination reflects this same dedication to Rotary Service as shown by those distant visitors that came to your Inaugural Dinner.  Please, just let me speak about your service to the community, mentioning just a couple of examples that amazed me.
And I was amazed when I read that the number of service hours performed by your Club members over these last 70 years totalled 224,000 thousand hours.  Can you believe it … 224,000 hours!  To help me actually understand those hours I extrapolated it out to be approximately 25 years and six months.  Now that to me is an example of dedication.
It is exciting to read about the service schemes your Club has participated in during these last 70 years.  From local schemes like the Rotary Community Centre, your book sales, Rotary Park and so many other worthwhile local projects.  Internationally there’s exceptional work done in Vanuatu involving some 40 teams with some 250 volunteers and again in Nepal supporting a mother’s and babies rural hospital, plus successful fundraising for “End Polio Now”, “Save water save lives” and many other projects.  I’m sure we will hear of many more of the Club’s exploits during the next segments in tonight’s program.
I was also excited to learn that the first service scheme the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie undertook back in 1948 was to clean away, stack and burn the trees for the construction of the new Port Macquarie Airport.  What a big undertaking that was and what a great service scheme to start with.  So there it is you started the land clearing for Port Macquarie’s Airport and just look at it today!  With approximately 100 weekly flight services and 230,000 passengers using it each year.  It is a fine example of … “from little things, big things grow”.
I mentioned earlier how you had so many excellent service schemes in your history but there is just one other which I will mention because I have had the pleasure of experiencing it myself and that is Rotary Lodge at the Port Macquarie Hospital.  Heather and I were able to stay there ourselves, several years ago and we appreciated that opportunity so much.  Rotary Lodge is a wonderful accomplishment.  Yet again another example of “from little things, big things grow”.  Someone just has to sow the seed to start with.  Current members and past members of the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie have planted many seeds over the past 70 years.
I’m sure all of us who are gathered here tonight wish to congratulate your Club on both the quantity and the quality of all of the service projects that your Club has completed for Port Macquarie, for Australia and for Rotary International, over these past 70 years.
So thank you again, The Rotary Club of Port Macquarie.  You have set a fine example of your dedication to the ideals of Rotary for all of us to follow.
May I ask you to all please stand and charge your glasses for a toast to the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie and its 70th Anniversary Celebrations.
President David Denning and Sandi Outtrim enjoying the 70th Anniversary Dinner for the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie
“To the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie …”
A wonderful and fitting tribute and toast by Brian Hole.