20 years of ‘Sunrise’

Douglas Bryce, John Head, Bruce Fanning, Di Stuart and Sandra Head.

Sponsored by the Warwick Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Warwick Sunrise Inc. was chartered with 25 members on the 22nd November 2000 in District 9640.

The dream of a new Breakfast Club in Warwick was the brainchild of Past District Governor Arthur Devin Boonah Rotary Club. An invitation was extended to interested business men and women in our community on 30th September 1999. Much of the early organisation was done by local solicitor and member of the Warwick Rotary Club, Neil Maxwell.

Local Dentist Mike Geisel took on the job as President for the first very busy and fulfilling one and a half years.

One of our very first fund raiser was a sausage sizzle at the Town Hall on election day 2001.

During the past 20 years one of the club’s focus has been our Rotary District 9640 youth programs. The club has sponsored 19 Youth Exchange teenagers to various parts of the world. In Return the club has hosted 15 Inbounder Youth Exchange students. The club supports many other District Youth Programs including Youth Leadership Awards, Youth Program of Enrichment, Youth Transition Seminars, National Youth Science Forum to name but a few.

Hosting inbound Group Cultural Exchange Teams and Rotary Friendship Teams from around the world has also been a wonderful experience for the members. Many of our members have participated in outbound teams with two of our members taking part in a RFE to India earlier this year.

Polio eradication is one of the main goals of Rotary and over the years the club has held many movie nights to support this cause.

In our local community members are regular attendees at various local events. The Club has come a long way since the first fund raising event, a sausage sizzle at the Town Hall during elections in 2001. A table and a portable barbeque. Today the club boasts a custom-built catering van.

The van has been particularly useful during the Club’s many drought breakfasts held in our local district during the past year. These events have brought much needed support to our locals doing it tough.

One of the Club’s earliest community projects was cleaning up the entrance to Morgan Park.

Many fund raising ideas have been tried over the years but the most successful to date has been the Club’s “Big Book Sale” now in its 6th Year. The biggest fundraiser yet. The most memorable book sale was conducted at the impressive stand stone Goods Shed at the Railway Precinct. The community has enthusiastically supported this event and the number of donated books is staggering. Every year thousands of books are recycled through our book sale. The Club members thank everyone in the community for their support.

This year Club President Douglas Bryce has to be congratulated for his enthusiasm at all the club’s activities and particularly for taking on the Presidency for a second term.

Warwick Sunrise is the same as every other club, desperate for younger members to take on the role as volunteers in our community.

Today only 4 of the original charter members remain, Bruce Fanning, John Head, Douglas Bryce and Dell Maxwell. They are all now 20 years older!

– STORY & PHOTOS COURTESY ROTARY CLUB OF WARWICK SUNRISE.

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