Brief History of Development


On 15 September, 1927, District 65 was established covering all of Australia, and the Rotary Clubs of Geelong (chartered 19 October, 1925) and Ballarat (15 December, 1925) were part of it. The District Governor, Fred Birks, was from the Rotary Club of Sydney, and held office for two years, 1927-28 and 1928-29. During this period, the Rotary Clubs of Mount Gambier, Horsham, Ararat & Warrnambool were chartered.


From 1930-31, a second district (76) was created, with our area remaining part of District 65. Successive DGs came from the Rotary Clubs of Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Ballarat (Alfred J Pittard), Melbourne (Angus Mitchell), Adelaide, Bendigo, and Hobart. The Rotary Clubs of Warracknabeal, Colac, Hamilton and Swan Hill were chartered.


Australiaís third district, 56, came with the 1938-1939 year, though District 65 remained for our area. Angus Mitchell was DG again in 1938-39, followed by Rotarians from Colac (Louis O C Bayer), Unley, Perth, Perth (same person), Hobart, Hobart (same person), and Warrnambool (Horace I Holmes). Not surprisingly, given that these were the years of World War 2, Portland was the only one of our current clubs chartered in this period.


For 1946-1947, a fourth District, 64, was formed, and Holmes continued on to become its first DG. He was followed by members of the Rotary Clubs of Perth, Perth (same person). 1949-1950 brought a complete re-organisation and re-numbering, with our area falling into District 33, its first DG being Reginald R Etherington of Mildura. Following District Governors came from Perth, Adelaide, Colac (Alan F Drayton), Ballarat (Leslie F North), Unley, Hamilton (John L Kneebone), and Horsham (Stewart F Brown).


Our ancestral path changed again in 1957-1958, with another re-organisation and re-numbering, our area being split between Districts 250 and 280. The history of our DGs and District numbers from this period on is set out on page 10 of this Directory.


The 1960ís were the major growth period, with fifteen of the present 61 Clubs being chartered in this era, followed by nine in the 1950ís, seven in the 1970ís and 2 more during the 2005-06 Rotary year.


(The dependence of this material on Seventy Five Years of Service by Paul Henningham is gratefully acknowledged.)