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New president takes the helm of Emerald Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Emerald & District held their President’s Changeover event at The Independent restaurant in Gembrook before over 80 attendees on Saturday 17 June.

The outgoing president Marcus Adams, Partner of Falcone & Adams Lawyers, handed over the reins to incoming President Sangeeta Bajaj, Director of Thats Right Bookkeeping.

Moving into the 2023–2024-year, incoming president Ms Bajaj and club members are hitting the ground running with sizzling the BBQ for the Puffing Billy Train of Lights marathon from 22 June to 8 July at the Gembrook Railway station.

“We’ve got lots of stuff planned for this year and obviously Marcus has left a beautiful club to us and he’s worked really hard, so big shoes to fill,” Ms Bajaj said.

“Last year we donated $50,000 to the Monash Children’s Cancer Ward, so we’re planning to do the same this year, if not more.”

Ms Bajaj said her main goal for the club is to focus on the “Rotary experience,” promoting fellowship and meaningful opportunities for members.

“We also are going to invest in the youth in our area, emphasising the young people through Rotary’s various programmes like Interact, Rotaract, and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. ”

Rotary International granted the Charter to launch the Rotary Club of Emerald & District on 28 March 1980.

At a function held at the ‘Windsor,’ Melbourne Road, Dandenong on 27 May 1980, Bruce Schwennensen became the charter president and the club launched with 28 members.

Saturday’s event moved the club into their 44th year and inducted 40th member Sid Umesh (whose first duty was as MC) after having inducted a total of seven new members in the last five months.

In the years since the club was established, members have been fully immersed in the community working with local primary and secondary schools, the elderly, CFA and SES, business groups, churches, Salvation Army, Emerald Arts Society and Johns Hill Landcare Group among others.

The club has assisted greatly through the local disasters of Ash Wednesday in 1983, through the Covid period with care vouchers and with the Help for the Hills project responding to assist with the recovery effort after the Dandenong Ranges’ terrible storm in June 2021.

Key events include the Kids Fun Run with Puffing Billy (which has raised over $700,000 for Children’s charities), the Annual Debutante Ball which just held its 33rd event on 10 June and the All American Car Show and Man Cave Alley which will be back at Gembrook in February 2024.

In the past Rotary year, the club has run the annual Primary Schools Speech Competition; the Pride of Workmanship Awards; providing scholarships to five medical students via the Macleod Murphy Trust.

The club has also run the monthly market in Emerald, sorted coal with Puffing Billy, assisted the Salvation Army with their Red Shield Appeal, cleaned up for Clean-Up Australia Day with Johns Hills Landcare Group and the Emerald Scouts, and has held two Brushstrokes and Bubbles nights with the Emerald Art Society.

The group has run the RYDA (Rotary Youth Driving Awareness) course for Emerald Secondary College students and assisted the local churches with Christmas Hampers and many more youth, community and international projects.

Anyone interested in attending a meeting or event can contact the Rotary Club of Emerald & District on 0408 769 491, or info@emeraldrotary.org.au

Article by Star Mail