The Rotary Club of Numurkah was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Shepparton and Chartered on 9th October 1957, under the direction of the District Governor, Les Taylor's special representative, Frank Runge.
Our first meeting was held in the old Methodist Hall on Friday July 5th 1957 and the charter was granted on October 9th and finally presented on December 6th 1957.
Early meetings centered around a pie and sauce dinner (although the sauce often arrived late). Problems arose for certain members who could not eat fish on Fridays.
There were frequent changes of venue, among them being the use of the old fire brigade hall and Presbyterian Church hall for regular weekly meetings.
Eventually meetings were changed to Monday night, because Friday was unsuitable for many business people. and the meeting place became the Town Hall Supper Room for many years before moving to the Shamrock Hotel, again for many years before moving to Tiffany's for several years, then the Numurkah Golf & Bowls Club.
Click on links to find names of Charter Members, Past Presidents, Past Secretaries & Treasurers, Paul Harris Fellows, Community & Vocational Award recipients and Exchange Students..
The club has a proud history of service to Numurkah and District.
Projects supported include Numurkah Hospital, Pioneer Lodge, Baala House, Swimming Pool, Rotary Train Park, Children Playground, Dental Clinic Numurkah Hospital, Numurkah Mob Memorial, Men's Shed, Numurkah Fire Brigade, Numurkah SES, Numurkah Town Band, Numurkah Historical Society, Numurkah Scouts and Guides, Special Development School, Town Hall piano, Town Square, Steam Locomotive K181, BBQ Rotunda in Rotary Park, Tractors in park, Signature Brick Memorial in Rotary Park, Secondary College scholarships, District Primary School Scholarships, Heated Hydrotherapy Pool, Numurkah Library, Novas, Showground development, Showground kitchen, Kinnairds wetland, Shelter Box Dinner, Tree Planting, Walking Track, Numurkah Mob Memorial, Soldier Settler Memorial, Community Bus, Defibrillator program.
Fundraising activities have included Oktoberfest, Balloon Races, Time Capsules, Sportsmen Night, Art & Craft Exhibition, 4WD Trips, BBQ at town functions, Debutante Balls, Pre-Melbourne Cup Ball, Scrap metal & battery drives, Calf project, Trade fairs, Clearing auctions and monster auctions, Open Garden Competition..
Oktoberfest conceived by Rotarian Sieg Seiter was highlighted by balls from 1977 to 1998 with Oktoberfest in the park in 1981, 1983 and 1985. The balls attracted over 650 each time and the day festival over 2000.
Balloon Races with over 2000 balloons released, were held in 1975, 76, 77 and 1978, with the winner being the balloon that had traveled the furthermost distance.
The Art & Craft Exhibition was initiated in 1981 by Rotarian Charles Thomson as a thankyou to the club and members who had provided transport for his dialysis treatment in Melbourne.
The Exhibition has continued annually since and has built a reputation as the one of the best art shows in country Victoria. Held over the long weekend in March the Exhibition has raised over $320,000 for local charities.
Lou Hamon steered the exhibition for 27 years as chair of the committee, before handing over to Chris Sutton in 2023.
A memorial to the "Numurkah Mob" was unveiled and dedicated in Memorial Park on September 7th 2014.
The memorial conceived and designed by Rotarian Sieg Seiter is designed to replicate the Burma Railway, which the mob worked on during their time as POW's.
The memorial will stand two metres tall, with the names and photos of the mob fixed to the monument.
The memorial was unveiled by the widows of the soldiers and dedicated by Major General David McLachlan, Victorian RSL State President.
Fourteen young men enlisted together, trained together, a further member transferred to be with the mob. Two were sent to Officer Training School, and a third transferred to the Field Ambulance Corps.
The mob fought on the Malay Peninsula, retreating with the forces to Singapore prior to the surrender to Japan.
They became prisoners of war in Changi Prison and for three and a half years were forced to endure cruel brutality, near starvation, tropical diseases and horrendous conditions in Changi Prison, where their bond of mateship and resolve to survive was tested to the extreme.
The mob were sent to camps along the construction of the Thailand-Burma Railway and in the docks and coal mines of Japan.
Unfortunately three of the mob lost their lives.
When Japan officially surrendered the remaining members of the Numurkah Mob were able to return home to their families and loved ones.
To a man, all of these gallant soldiers went on to be outstanding community minded citizens, supporting each other and their fellow soldiers by holding annual POW reunions in the town for 50 year.
The 4WD Trips, known as Environmental and Heritage Discovery Tour are organised annually for 4WD enthusiasts into the Victorian Alps. Starting in 2006 the trips attracts up to 20 vehicles and 30-40 participants, and it is keenly awaited each year.
March 2022 saw the unveiling of a Solder Settlers Memorial, a joint project with the RSL and Historical Society. The memorial is a display of five connected panels that cover all aspects of the Murray Valley World War II Soldier Settlement Scheme.
Community Bus Aged Care Bus fundraiser in conjunction with NCN Health was launched in March 2022. The club donated over $41,000 to the appeal which was strongly supported by the public enabling NCN Health to actually order two buses to replace their existing aged fleet.
A Defibrillator Project, funded by proceeds from the Art Show raffle, enabled the club to install two defibrillators outside the towns two pharmacies, available 24/7 to the public.