Nelson Bay Rotary's big celebration year

FUNDRAISING: Nelson bay Rotary Club is looking forward to a big year in 2021 through members (l-r) Helen Ryan, president Liz Friend and Arja Levonpera.
FUNDRAISING: Nelson bay Rotary Club is looking forward to a big year in 2021 through members (l-r) Helen Ryan, president Liz Friend and Arja Levonpera.

Nelson Bay Rotary Club is determined to make up for lost time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club plans to celebrate two milestones in 2021 - the 65th birthday of the Nelson Bay chapter and the 100-year anniversary of Rotary in Australia.

The first Rotary club to be established in Australia was in Melbourne on April 21, 1921, followed by Sydney on May 17.

Rotary International now consists of some 34,423 clubs and 1,193,852 members globally with 1067 of these clubs and 26,752 members in Australia.

Nelson Bay's Helen Ryan said that Rotary Australia was very proud of its achievements in the Port Stephens community, which commenced in Raymond Terrace in 1953 followed by Nelson Bay in 1956. Medowie-Williamtown opened in 1996 and Salamander Bay in 2004.

"The four Port Stephens clubs have provided 175 years of continuous community service to the local community, as well as helping those less fortunate in other countries throughout the world," Ms Ryan said.

"As a celebration on the Tomaree peninsula, the Rotary clubs of Nelson Bay and Salamander Bay will join with Port Stephens Council and local primary school students to assist in the planting of 100 trees around the Tom Dyer Oval in Nelson Bay.

"In addition, the two clubs with the valued assistance of local businesses will be conducting a raffle at the Salamander Square in late March to raise funds for a Rotary led national project which is to eliminate Trachoma from Australia.

"Trachoma is an eye infection prevalent in a number of remote Aboriginal communities and is spread by personal contact (hands, towels, clothes). If not treated it can lead to permanent blindness. All funds raised will go to the 'End Trachoma' project."

Ms Ryan said that Rotary's contribution within Port Stephens over the years was large and varied and included assistance and support to retirement villages, youth clubs, local schools, playing fields, driver training, scouts, guides, surf clubs, outings for handicap children, mental health, marine rescue, women in crisis, school reading programs and provision of community service vehicles.

Prior to the centenary event, Nelson Bay Rotary will host its 29th annual charity golf day at Nelson Bay Golf Club on Friday, March 26.

The four-person ambrose event will hit off at 10.30am and feature great prizes and the winning and placed teams.

Organiser Arja Levonpera said that the proceeds this year would go towards the Hunter Research Institute's associate professor Dr Kelvin Long, a former Nelson Bay resident who this year took out the Newcastle Citizen of the Year award.

"The money will support more efficient indigenous ear disease diagnosis and other Rotary community projects," she said. The auctions will take place at approximately 3.30pm

For more information on the charity golf day, go to the Nelson Bay Rotary website or book online through

Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: