50 Years of Activities of the Ayr Rotary Club

The following is a brief history of the second Ayr Rotary Club and its achievements which started in 1955.

More detailed History is available in printed records with all Club Officials recorded for every year and some Directors reports.In April 1955, at the request of the then District Governor Staff, Betteridge, the Rotary Club of Townsville again sent representatives to Ayr to endeavour to re-establish a Rotary Club in Ayr and assisted by members of the original Rotary Club of Ayr: Bert Duggan, Les French and Dough Haigh, arranged an inaugural meeting for the 5th May, 1955, in the Council Chambers.

The first meeting of the second provisional Rotary Club of Ayr, then formed, met in the Queens Hotel on the 1st June, 1955. Charter No. 955 was granted to the Club on 30th June, 1955 and presented
by the then District Governor, Joe Griffen, on the 8th October, 1955 in the Methodist Hall, at a capacity meeting of Rotarians and guests. Our records of Activities and monies raised from 1955 to 1970 is very limited.

1955: Our Charter Members to start the Ayr Rotary Club were:

Pres. Nick Nichols, (Sugar Manufacture); Geoff Arnold (Finance, Saving Bank); Jack Batstone (Sugar Manufacturing – Engineering); Ron Brandon (Life Insurance); Secretary Jim Buik (Motion Pictures);
John Connor (Variety Store); Eric Culla (Dry Cleaning); Joe Cullinane (Automobile Retailing); Chas Dempsey (Pharmacy); Bert Duggan (Dry Goods Retailing); Adie Evans (Ambulance); Les French
(Optometry); Treasurer Chas Green (Iron and Steel Industry); Doug Haigh (Local Government); Bob McConnachie (Building Industry); Ken McKenzie (Secondary Schools); Basil Powell (Food Industry);
Stan Rennie (Painting and Decorating); Garney Robbins (Finance – Banking); Wilfred Tapiolas (Building Material); and Bill Vickers (Electrical Industry).



1955 – 1956Pres. Nick NicholsRaising Funds for Pensioners Cottage; Members 2121
1956 – 1975Pres. Jack BatstoneConstruction of the Pensioners Cottage21
1957 – 1958Pres. Chas DempseyConstruct the Scout Hut with the Ayr Scouts; Pensioners Cottage finished and opened on 8th November (3 years to complete)26
Chas Green1958 – 1959Pres. Chas. GreenTwo-Way Radio for Ambulance $3,000; Organised First Ayr Water Festival Ball and Garden Competition; Sponsored
Migrants; Home Hill Rotary Club Chartered
3,000 Pounds31
John Francis1959 – 1960Pres. John FrancisTransportation and erection of East Ayr Scout Hut from Pioneer Mill; Water Festival Ball organised by Ayr and Home Hill Rotary Clubs; Organised clean-up after Cyclone and started Cyclone Appeal. John moved to Townsville in December, 1973 and joined our founding club. John was appointed District Governor for 1982-1983. 28-31