Summary 1997 - 1998


President................... Garth Zerbe Club Service.................. Neville Ferme

Secretary................... Alan Paterson Community Service....... Andy Hern

President Elect......... Geoff Stewart International.................. John Rowe

Vice President........... John Banfield Vocational...................... Bob Ward

Treasurer.................. Stephen Lynch


After the excitement and nervousness of starting in the new office of President had subsided, President Garth saw his club involved in one of the club’s most unusual project and adventure in the famous outback town of Birdsville. In combination with the Loxton Club, Bryant Chivell was instrumental in organising the Simpson Desert Sand Dragon Motorcycle Ride which included Rotarians from all parts of the world. About twelve of our members crossed the desert on motor bikes and support vehicles and were joined at Birdsville by about half of our club members, who flew there in light aircraft. There was a similar number of Rotarians from Loxton. All assembled at the Birdsville Hall to meet and listen to the World President, Australian Glen Kinross at a dinner in his honour. Our own DG, Peter Thomas and wife Bev were also there. Our Club contributed $2000 which boosted all funds raised to $10,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. President Garth had the privilege of handing Glen Kinross the cheque.

o The President’s Project was to underwrite, as a major sponsor, the Technology School Of The Future’s Outreach to the Pirie District. This was an outstanding success and thanks were expressed to Past President John Rowe for his part in the organisation.

o Past President Brian Richards prepared and presented a successful submission for the inaugural “Colin Brideson Club History Award” and the Shield was presented at the District Conference. In order to make the community at large more aware of our Club, a decision was made to do this through the Internet. Brian was also responsible for developing and installing our Club’s own Web Site at

o Pres. Garth and PP John Banfield are involved with the Millennium Steering Committee.

o Three students were selected for the 1999 Student Exchange Programme. One student was transferred to Peterborough and Lana Pearce and Bridget Leopold were chosen for departure in January 1999. Som Viriyachevakit completed her year with us and returned to Thailand. Television advertising was beneficial in our success in receiving more applicants this year. The District is going to organise TV Adverts for next year, following our success.

o Nicci Staritski returned form a very successful year in Syracuse as an Ambassadorial Scholar. She has returned to her job with the ABC here in Port Pirie. She graduated in April with a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism.

o Fiona Couzner, our Group Study Exchange Team Member enjoyed her visit to District 5230 in California.

o The Food Festival was put aside this year and support was given to the City Council’s Multi Cultural Festival. Funds of over $7000 were dispersed throughout the community this year.

o Six young students attended the Siemans Science School held in Adelaide

o An Intercity meeting was held at Port Broughton. Barry Wakelin, MHR was guest speaker. There was a good attendance from clubs involved.

o Paul Harris Awards were presented to worthy recipients Rotary Ann, Merle Frith and Rotarian Gordon Chivell. Andy Hern was awarded Rotarian of the Year.

o Social functions within the club included a Rotating Dinner and the Club Picnic was held at Mick & Joan Prest’s ideal Nelshaby property. The annual Bowls and Golf days were well supported as usual. Flowers were dispersed in hospital and Nursing Homes for Mothers Day.

o Membership:— There was a net gain of two members this year.


o The Port Pirie Music Club Choir hosted the annual Choral Festival of the South Australian Choral Association. Rotarians and their wonderful wives assisted with lunch for about 300 choristers, musicians and visitors.

o The Community Committee presented a cheque from Rotary to help fund the “Telefriend” program to help RSL “diggers” to keep in touch through conference telephone calls.

o This year we sold out of our 1997-98 Rotary Directories and our profit for the two years was just over $10,000. Preparations are already under way for the production of the 1999-2000 Directories for distribution in December 1998. The use of the Internet is hoped to help this project. Already complimentary comments have been received including some from overseas “surfers”. Many of our overseas past Exchange Students have been enjoying visiting Port Pirie on The Web, particularly when they see photographs of Pirie from the hyperlink to St Marks pages.

o Past President John Rowe was responsible for organising the inaugural visit by a number of Trainee Doctors to Port Pirie. The concept was started by an ex Port Pirie Doctor David Squirrel from the Flinders University, with the intention of giving future Doctors some experience of what to expect in a country practice. All Trainees were hosted in Rotary homes and the general consensus was that it was a very successful exercise and would be conducted again next year. They spent five days here in Port Pirie.

o There were nine 100% attendees. They were President Garth, Alan Williams, Warren Johns, Philip Johns, Ron Johns, Gordon Chivell, Owen Crocker, Graham Nichols and Don Hausler.

o Immediate Past President Peter Caddy was able to complete his President’s Project from his year when he was present at the dedication and opening of the new gates at the 2nd World War Memorial at the Port Pirie Oval.

o Past World Champion Snooker Champion Eddie Charlton had dinner with us prior to a demonstration game played at the BHAS Sports & Picnic Club. He also addressed our meeting about his experiences.

o The Simpson Desert Sand Dragon Motorcycle Ride to Birdsville combined with 5 plane loads of Pirie Rotarians, World President Glen Kinross and his wife Heather & overseas rider was one of the highlights of our Rotary year. There were over 120 people at the dinner in the Birdsville Hall. A few weeks after it was concluded Bryant Chivell was installed as President of the Australian Chapter of The International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians.