The Rotary Club of Toowoomba North was formed in 1971 after District Governor Dr Glen Buchanan appointed Chas Boyd as his representative to form a fourth Rotary Club in Toowoomba.
By October 1971, eighteen new Rotarians and seven from the parent club, the West Toowoomba Rotary Club, became the charter members and the club was officially accepted into Rotary International. The official charter night, with an attendance of 350 Rotarians, friends and dignitaries was held in January 1972. The President for the first term was Raye Hagan.
Meetings for the first number of years were held in the old Hotel Canberra, later at the Range Motel, then at Regents on the Lake. Currently at The Downs Club.
The Club has a long history of involvement with the International Youth Exchange Program with its first student in 1975 and many years ever since. The Club’s first sponsorship of candidates to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program was in 1972. We have previously hosted a Rotary Youth Exchange student for a 12 month period. The other youth project we run is the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness campaign which comprises a program presented to 16/17 year old students at local High Schools in and around Toowoomba.
Each year the Rotary Club of Toowoomba North sponsors a local year 11 High School Student to attend the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra or Perth.
The Forum is a 12 day program for the most talented high school science students in Australia to experience Australia’s best science facilities and scientists, to help launch their future careers in science.
The first community service project was in 1972 and was a sponsorship of the Community Information Centre in Toowoomba. In 1974 a contingent of members travelled to Ipswich to help in the flood clean up. Some years later a similar need arose in Dalby and we responded accordingly. In 1973 the Club sponsored a family from England under the old ‘bring out a Briton’ scheme and helped with finding a job and accommodation. In community service, there has been continuous contribution ranging from annual donations to standard charities and answering requests for specific needs. A few examples are:
- The provision of a sun alcove at Saint Andrew’s Hospital. Money was raised by a show at the City Hall featuring Jamie Redfern and the Horrie Dargie Quintet.
- Supplying a Halter Tape to the Toowoomba Base Hospital for the treatment of heart patients.
- Equipment for the hearing impaired section at the Wilsonton State School.
- A wheelchair for the Ambulance.
- Assistance to the Manuka Respite Centre at Highfields and Mylo Home for the aged.
- Assistance to the Pain Research Department of the Mater Hospital.
- Working bees have been held to assist numerous charities as well as to relocate the “Welcome to Toowoomba” sign after road widening works.
- Organising and running of the Steve Weis auction.
- Organising and running of the annual David Hack Classic.
- Supporting the establishment and running of the Toowoomba Hospice.
- Oakey Hospital Gardens.
- Providing supplies to Solomon Islands.
- Endeavour Foundation Sensory Garden.
- Oakey Hospital Gardens Bar-B-Q.
- Organising and running of an annual Charity Golf Day.
The Rotary Club of Toowoomba North has also completed international projects in the Solomon Islands, which has seen members of the club help build schools, churches and houses to give something back to their community.