History of Randwick Rotary Club
From the talk by Past President Greg Lill at the Inaugural Dinner of the Rotary Club of Botany Randwick.
The history of the Randwick Rotary Club is a vibrant one, rich in local government and involvement in the local community and I am endeavouring to project that essence within the timeframe allotted…..
and …To briefly step back into the club’s history for a couple of minutes, the Randwick Rotary Club was chartered on 29th June 1948. Charter President Bill Lawrence and the club established linkage in that first year with the Randwick City Council by working co-operatively to develop a community library.
Dick Latham, the club’s third president, a club Charter Member and the Town Clerk of Randwick City Council which is the second oldest municipality in Sydney, oversaw the rapid expansion of the club into the field of community service and in 1952 the club completed its first local Community Service project - the Children’s Playground at Grant Reserve, Coogee.
1954 Rotary’s Golden Jubilee Year, the clubs first major local project was to assist build the Senior Citizens Clubhouse in Clovelly. Every member of the club volunteered to work on the project, gave monetary aid or both.
The Governor of the day, His Excellency, Sir John Northcott, K.C.M.G., in officially opening the clubhouse gave recognition to Rotary by saying “Wherever I go as Governor of this State to open a club, school, hospital or charitable institution, I’m told that Rotarians have had a hand in their establishment. We are fortunate in having an organisation such as Rotary in our midst’.
Randwick Rotary highlights include hosting the 29th District Conference of Rotary District 275, now Rotary District 9675, at the AJC Randwick Racecourse in 1955 and in 1959 chartering our sister club, Maroubra.
Yet another link exists with Council - on 1st September 1960 Ken Finn was inducted into the club. Ken was later to become Mayor of Randwick in 1979/80: Deputy Mayor 1996/97: Mayor 1997/1998.Ken was an Honorary Member of this club and for many years continued to act as a mentor for the Marcellin College Interact Club, his Alta Mater.
The concept for a Rotary Market was introduced to Rotary Randwick in 1984 by Honorary Member, Bill Zachariou, whose club in Wagga had developed a ‘Flea Market’ in the early eighties after observing the Rotary Club of Canberra operating similar, and both State Government and the Randwick City Council supported the development of a Rotary market.
The board of Randwick Rotary invited the Rotary Club of Maroubra to participate as joint partners which was agreed and  the markets operated from the ‘Five Ways’ intersection at Kingsford in the car-park adjacent to South Sydney Juniors Club through 1985 until December 2012.
Monies raised through the markets has enabled both clubs to support many local community organisations in those twenty seven years and that support continues now with the possibility of another market being established in the future. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the working relationship that continues to exist with the Randwick City Council and the Rotary Club of Maroubra.