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The winning ‘pirate’ is Liz Gill under that main of black-beard curls.

Thoughts from the DG - week 51

The changeover season is upon us.  It’s time to turn the page to a new chapter for those of us who have been in leadership roles this Rotary year. 

Having said that, the first two changeovers we attended (Guyra and the E-Club) have their presidents returning for another term, and with few changes to their boards.  The smaller the club, the more likely this is to happen. 

Changeover season is also a time to recognise people who have gone above and beyond to contribute to their club and community – Rotarian of the year awards, and Paul Harris Fellows to name a few. 

We’ve been in Tamworth for the past three days – the E-Club, Tamworth Sunrise and Tamworth First Light had their changeovers Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The E-Club event on Thursday night saw President, PDG John Barwick and President of Tamworth West, Richard Chaffey, surprise AG Dimity Betts with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award, under the guise of getting her there thinking she was to receive a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ for her tireless work in the cluster Drought Relief Project. 

They gave her the certificate, and then pulled out the big one to completely surprise and delight her.  I really loved being able to pin her PHF on this very worthy recipient – she has done a magnificent job in a very difficult year.  The E-Club is humming along well with their regular on line meetings, and they are very proud of the fact that they have been able to help so many other clubs with their projects.  They assisted with Tamworth West’s Motor Show; brought shelving from Sydney for the Tamworth Book Shed, and helped out more recently at the Coonamble Rodeo.  On May 11 they held an Emergency Services Appreciation Dinner in Port Macquarie where they presented a PHF to Police Superintendent Paul Fehon.

The Tamworth Sunrise event Friday night didn’t disappoint.  I was at their Changeover last year, so I knew to expect the ‘unexpected’ with this lively group. And what a nice surprise to find that my club’s former member, Renee Verrier, had joined this club when she and her husband Peter and young son Max moved to Tamworth.
The scene was set when not one, but three pull-up banners with life-size photo of ‘Hags’ (Paul Hagley, their new president) adorned the room.  Under the guise of ‘fun activity for all’ came the opportunity for each table to ‘build’ a ‘tall Paul’ from a box full of fun structural items at each table.  Engineering, building and many other skills were lent to this task. 

On the more serious side, secretary, Taylor Fletcher, received the Stephen George Memorial Award for Club Person of the Year; Tony Fitzsummons received the Richard Wise Memorial Award for Fine of the Year, and David Stevenson and Graeme McKenzie were made Paul Harris Fellows.  When it came to the ‘Handover’ itself, the two men Nic Hinwood and Paul Hagley, came out dressed as ‘The Men in Black’ and gave a rendition of one of the songs (I think). The club has grown to 60 members and their big focus is fun and fellowship, together with their well established projects.  A new project for them is one I really admire; they have established a Community Indigenous Team. They’ve had site visits to cultural sites, immersion in Naidoc Week, presentations from the Kamilaroi Dance Company and a close association with the Clontarf group at Oxley High.  It’s a new program for them and very exciting.

Tamworth First Light had a Pirate theme – what a swashbuckling lot they turned out to be! The young members in this club came up with this idea and had lots of fun in the process.  They had a ‘pin the feather on the pirate’ competition as well as a guessing the number of lollies in a jar. Secretary, Liz Gill, won the Best Dressed Pirate competition – she really looked the part.  Anne Jacobs won the Steve Burrows Club Person of the Year Award and Maria Lawrence was surprised with a Paul Harris Fellowship.  President John Worldon handed over to Barry Biffin, and they had a ‘Raising of the Mast’ skit to go with this as well.  A great night was had by all.

Glen Innes was next.  It was great to be able to welcome this club back into our Rotary District this year, so I wanted to make sure I was able to attend their changeover – their 81st in fact.  That’s a long proud history for this club.  They were also ‘home’ to three District Governors during those years – Gerry Digby 1950-51-52, Dick Fayle 1965-66 and John Tregurtha 2005-06. The first two were District 9650 Governors and the last was in 9640. The club’s President retired to the coast during the year, so their Vice-President, Dick Hartman, took over the reins and will continue this year as President.  Their satellite club, who meet for Breakfast fortnightly, has done a great job with youth programs. The club is also a great supporter of Days for Girls in Indonesia. Long-time member and Past President, Elton Squires said ‘farewell’ to the club in his toast to RI.  He and his wife are moving to Armidale, and will join the Armidale Club who coincidentally, co-sponsored the Glen Innes club when it was chartered all those years ago.  

Vale Hal Hobson in his 100th Year

Many of you would know Hal Hobson, a stalwart and long time member of the Rotary Club of Bellingen.  He passed away this week and I salute his long life and the contribution he made to his beloved Rotary Club in Bellingen. 

Hal was noted for his beautiful nature and wonderful smile.  He was not far off his hundreth birthday – a life well lived in Rotary service.  Vale, Hal, we will miss your smiling face!

An update from RI is below for you records. 

2017-2020 COUNCIL CYCLE 

Dear Rotarians,
The Council on Legislation (COL) met 14-18 April 2019 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The English revised constitutional documents, that incorporate all the enactments adopted by the COL, are now available. The following three documents have been updated:

They have been posted on the Governance documents page of My Rotary and language versions will be posted as they become available. The Report of Action, sent in May 2019, can also be found on the Councils page of My Rotary.

The revised documents will also be included in the 2019 Manual of Procedure, which will be ready for distribution by October 2019.  
If you have questions about policies adopted by the Council, please contact your Club and District Support representative.  

If you have questions about the 2019 Council or future Councils, please contact Council Services at

Have you booked for the District Changeover yet? 

Bookings need to be in by this week, and go to Jenny McGarry. 

Phone 0412 540 835  Direct Deposit details are:- Account name - Rotary International D9650 Inc. BSB 721000 Account 100097454 Reference : Surname C.Over

Changeover @ Tamworth First Light 

Above Right: A couple of fierce looking pirates added to the fun.
Above left: Pin the feather on the Pirate @ Tamworth First Light

Above: Marina Lawrence receives her PHF from President John Worldon of First Light

Changeover @ Tamworth Sunrise
Above: Building 'tall' Paul Hagley at Tamworth Sunrise
Above left:  Winners are grinners
Above Right:
  Another PHF from Nic
Above Right: Renee and Peter Verrier – old club friends from Armidale
Below: Incoming President, Paul Hagley with outgoing Nic Hinwood.
Our Partner’s Project deposit details
Direct Deposits:
Rotary International DG Partner’s A/c
BSB: 721000       a/c: 100143137
Please forward copy to
Cheques can be made to: DG Partner’s Project 2018-19
Please send cheques and ticket stubs to:
District 9650 Treasurer,                 
PO BOX 217                                             Armidale NSW 2350

I thank you most sincerely for your support. Dennis
'Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create a lasting change—across the globe, in our community and in ourselves.'

RI President

Barry Rassin

District Governor

Lorraine Coffey

District Secretary

Rob Anderson (PDG)

District Treasurer

Graeme Andrews

District Trainer and Finance Chairman

Neville Parsons (PDG)

Assistant Governors

Peter Paff Cluster 1

Peter Lawry Cluster 2

Trish Affleck-Mooney Cluster 3

Murray Difford Cluster 4

Carol Barnden Cluster 5

Dimity Betts Cluster 6

Aileen Bell Cluster 7

Bruce George Cluster 8

Neroli Bevan Cluster 9

P R Director

Brian Beesley (PDG)

Editor: Inspirator

Andrew Maughan

Foundation Director

Maurie Stack (PDG)

Membership Director

Diana Christian

Youth Director

Kate George

Community Director

Debbie Loveday

International Director

Reg Pierce

Vocational Director

David Mayne

Club Administration

Debbie Loveday

District Insurance Ofcer

Bianca Adimari

Your GTrain Team

Lorraine Coffey


Phil Hafey

Governor Elect

Debbie Loveday

Governor Nominee.

Please remember to send all Club Bulletins to the three members of your GTrain!

Copyright © 2019 Rotary District 9650, All rights reserved.

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