Changeover 2021

Changeover night was held via ZOOM tonight. Eighteen people were present for the ceremony where the office of President was handed over from Lindy Myers to Rick Van Brugge in what is now Rotary Balgowlah’s 47th year.



We were most honoured to have a number of special guests, James Griffin, MP - Member for Manly; Michael Regan, Mayor-Northern Beaches Council; Sarah Grattan, Counsellor Manly Ward - Northern Beaches Council and Johanna Johns -Rotary Assistant Governor Beaches (District 9685)

In addition to Rotarians we were joined by former Rotarian Ken Reed, Past President of the Club.


After opening the meeting, Lindy invited James Griffin to address us. James thanked the club for its support and many ways that we are helping the community - many people in our community were struggling at present due to Covid and necessary restrictions.



James also pointed out the Centenary celebrations were a wonderful recognition of the work that has been done over the last century. He offered his continuing support of the club and wished the new Rotary team for 2021/2022 every success.


Michael Regan said that many people were now fatigued and struggling in both business and many personal situations – especially the more vulnerable in our community. The council is assisting where possible, however it has only the capacity to assist in a finite number of ways.


Michael Regan at our Awards night last November

Michael offered council assistance to the club to continue to operate during these difficult times and encouraged to get the jab and check on friends and neighbours. Ignore the few naysayers and remain positive.


President’s Award

This award went to yours truly for helping and serving the club in a number of roles. Lindy outlined areas such as management of the Services team, organising the Awards night, editing the Club Blog and presenting all members with the allocation of Project funds and mentoring where required. Thank you, Lindy I am very honoured to have been chosen. Recognition must also go to many of the club members who also make so much of what we do possible.


Paul Harris Awards

Balgowlah Rotary over the years has awarded Paul Harris Fellowships in appreciation of his or her service to the local, national & international community or for their efforts and contribution to the Rotary movement.

Two Paul Harris fellows were awarded this year, representing recognition that the recipient’s conduct demonstrates a shared purpose to the objectives of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in honour of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary in 1905.


John O’ Brien for his dedication and achievements and upholding the Rotary ideal of ‘Service above Self’. John is a past president, Board member, publicity officer, official photographer, cluster member, and always willing to assist in any way. Recently John championed our successful IT grant with the center of Volunteering. John’s gaining of a PHF is heartily congratulated. 


John O'Brien passing the President Chain to Lindy last year.

Ian Grayburn Ian’s dedication and achievement to Balgowlah Rotary is well known. Lindy characterised Ian as the quiet achiever: a past president, current youth officer, provider of wine deals for fundraising and club events, instigator of Comedy for a Cause at MacKellar Girls Campus.  His talents as an initiator and ideas man culminating with this PHF award for his contribution to the club and to Rotary is widely applauded.


Ian presenting a RYPEN student with a certificate earlier this yaer

Joanna Johns congratulated Lindy on her drive and enthusiasm - especially the $20 thousand grant to stage an Australia Day event, despite a number of clubs in cluster pulling out from participating due to the many difficulties with staging any event due to Covid restrictions. The success of the vouchers for volunteers in partnership with Dee Why/Warringah and Upper Northern Beaches Rotary Clubs was highly commendable and proved win – win for all concerned.


Joanna present an Award at our Awards night in November 2020

 Lindy outlined the notable achievements of the club during only a few months of the year it was able to operate due to Covid closures, restrictions and lock- downs. The club not only survived but thrived. She thanked members for their resilience and dedication to various causes and willingness to work together during the difficult period; as well as learning new skills like ZOOM and sign painting.  Moreover, many activities that have kept our members connected.


Some achievements for the year included:

·      4 key teams (Service, Communication, Membership & Fundraising) structing how we work. It was successful in giving members the ability to work in an area of the club in which they like to engage.

·      It’s in the bag: In December we packed 123 bags of different shapes and sizes and fill them with hundreds of bathroom and sanitary item foe women in crisis. They then were donated to the drive managed by Share the Dignity.

·      Website: A new more modern website to exhibiting what we do, happen in the future and what we have achieved.

·      Blog: The newsletter telling Balgowlah Rotary’s story.

·      Membership: Although 3 members left during the year,  we were able to attract new members during the year due to the efforts of the membership team. Their efforts were rewarded with an award for small clubs at Rotary District changeover.

·      Fundraising: despite the pandemic, we held multiple fundraising events during the year, including our inaugural Cars n’ Clues Car Rally. (including making our own banners). Other events were Quiz night, marshalling at Northern Beaches Sun Run. Our biggest event the Golf Day & Dinner did finally happen but was initially delayed due to Covid (from September20 to March21), then heavy rain split the dates of the dinner (in March) from the Golf Day. (finally, in April). Despite all these changes it was a great success.

·      Projects: The thirty thousand dollars raised this year has supported our local community, international and youth projects.

·       Awards Night: A successful event held in October 2020 that recognised recipients in our local community with youth, small business, pride of workmanship and community service.

·      Youth: Many programs were curtailed with Covid but some brilliant workarounds resulted in an enthusiastic reception by both students and organisers.

·      Government Volunteering Grant: Our successful application from the office of Volunteers in January provided new computers, software and equipment to provide better audio/visual connection both live and using ZOOM.

·      Guest Speakers: Including, School of St Jude, Tanzania via ZOOM, talks on NB Tunnel, Special Olympics and Stroke Identification & Prevention.

·      Two Notices of Recognition in State Parliament: A major achievement for a small club and morale booster for the members. Thank you, James Griffin.

·      Publicity: Local magazines such as Peninsular living highlighted club activities with interesting stories and pictures about Balgowlah Rotary.

·      Minister for Fun: Members morale and wellbeing was so capably boosted by Sue Terry. Her ability to marshal members together with a wide variety of interesting activities including 7 walks, coffee meets, picnics during Covid and a live theatre event. Enjoyment with things Rotary and non-Rotary, plus keeping spirits up has greatly helped members during what has been a most frustrating and disjointed year.

·      Cluster: the success of the Australia Day vouchers scheme was highlighted earlier by Joanna Johns. Despite 3 clubs pulling out due to Covid restrictions, the remaining 3 made it happen. Great work to all who participated. The makeover at Biala hostel for Aboriginal students was most successful, the swimming pool and surrounding area, together a yard clean left it looking great and was greatly appreciated.

·      100 Year of Rotary in Australia: The civic reception at manly Town hall hosted by Northern Beaches council was greatly appreciated and the 6 clubs in the cluster appreciated this event and tank mayor Michael Regan for this kind gesture.

·      District Conference: Although via ZOOM, the high-quality speakers and good organisation made a most worthwhile Rotary on the club calendar. Moreover, everyone could attend with it being held using ZOOM.


(Note many of these stories are chronicled in this earlier post – What a Year!)


Lindy thanked the members for the opportunity to lead the club in 2020/21, it was a rewarding a, challenging time but the necessary changes and adaptability within the club and embraced by members made it all so worthwhile.


Induction of Rick Van Brugge as President 2021/22

Rick was formally handed over the role of President of Balgowlah Rotary for 2021/22 - the chain of office together with Presidential badge and lapel pin was presented (virtually).  Lindy congratulated Rick on the amount of work that he has already performed preparing the path of the club for the year ahead. Lindy on behalf of all present and those who were unable to attend, congratulated Rick on attaining the role of President and wished him a happy and rewarding years in office. Rick then was handed control of the meeting.


In his address Rick Van Brugge was honoured to part of Rotary and Balgowlah Rotary. The breath and scope of Rotary activities were very apparent at the 100-year anniversary in Australia and our club’s ability to be part of this was most pleasing.

Rick thanked Lindy for an outstanding job done under extremely difficult circumstances, got us all ZOOM qualified, tirelessly keeping many facets of the club projects and activities moving ahead and members engaged.


Rick then thanked Di Hart for introducing him to Rotary and then joked that the 3 amigos; Roger Gray, Tony Hill and Michael Mead got him into the gig of becoming President.



Rick elected President at club AGM last November

Rick’s theme for the coming year is “Back to the Future”. He discussed the planning workshop held in May to get major objectives established and key priories nominated for the coming year. After 47 years of hard work and dedication of so many members have placed the club into the position of a leading suburban Rotary club that despite it size, is a positive and respected contributor to the well-being of our community. Whilst we need to change and move with the times, learning from past activity and successes is also very valuable as guidance for future activities. Maintaining core Rotary values is a very important part of our conduct in the future just as much as continuing improvement.


Rick three core strategies for 2021/22 Rick increase our impact, increase our membership and improve our awareness. Increase our impact will be attained by members having closer connection to the charities that we support., so in addition to fundraising and presentation of funds closer working with the charity is desired. Leveraging connections with charities and other cluster clubs, and especially Rotaract will make this more effective.

To further the three strategic objectives, the four club committees are working on business plans that will be shared, debated and refined in conjunction members in the near future.


Other areas of focus will be mental health and expansion of youth activities. There, of course, will be impact on our activities with Covid in the months ahead, therefore, ensuring member engagement and enjoyment will be critical to keep the club operating, Rick explained that his role is not to make the key decisions – that was the purpose of the planning workshop, his task should be to help steer the club’s activities in the desired direction, assist in gaining the desired outcome and ensure that efforts run smoothly with a collocative approach.


Rick thanked both James Griffin and Michael Regan for their incredible support of the club over the yairs and looked forward this continuing into the future. The recognition of the club in State Parliament and the hosting of the 100 years of Rotary by Northern Beaches Council were very impactful for the club and our members. Such recognition is a great morale booster especially when trying to improve any distressing situation that are around us.


Rick then introduced the club officers for 2021/22 and acknowledged the confidence demonstrated by the members in nominating him President and thanked everyone for their attendance then closed the meeting.


President (for 2021/2022)           Rick van Brugge                                

President Elect (for 2022/2023)  TBA

Secretary                                        Lindy Myers

Treasurer                                        Paul Apps

Club Services Director                   Tony Hill

Public Officer                                  Paul Apps



Services Committee

·       Team Leader                                 Michael Mead

·       Youth Service                                Ian Grayburn & Robert Exner

·       International                                  Diana Hart & Alois Lechner

·       Foundation                                    John O’Brien

·       Community/Vocational                  Michael Mead/Roger Gray/Graham               

·       Minister of Fun                              Sue Terry

Membership Committee

·       Team Leader                                  Roger Gray

Fundraising Committee

·       Team Leader                                  Lindy Myers

Communications Committee

·       Team Leader                                 Rick van Brugge

·       Bally Barker Blog                          Michael Mead

·       Social Media                                 Rick van Brugge/Lindy Myers



Enthusiastic support from just off Freshie beach


















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