The History of the Club - chartered 2nd March 1942.

I move that we form a provisional Rotary Club and apply for a Charter.

This motion by Frank Abell, at a meeting on Dec. 3, 1941 chaired by President Frank Matthews of the Rotary Club of Devonport, was seconded by Charlie Guest and carried unanimously by the 26 Charter Members-elect who were present. This was the beginning of the Rotary Club of Burnie.

The Charter (No. 5480) was granted and formally received from a Past International Director of RI, Angus Mitchell, at the inaugural meeting of Burnie Rotary Club on May 25, 1942. This meeting was attended by about 100 people (see photo below). Angus subsequently served as RI President in 1948-49.

Burnie Charter presentation group
Members and guests are pictured at the Burnie Rotary Club's charter presentation night on May 25, 1942.
Charter President Len Harris (inset) and his wife Nancy are 6th and 7th from the left in the front row.

Formed during World War II, the club participated in sending food parcels to Britain, in flax gathering; salvage operations and also in plane spotting.

Another obligation saw club members welcoming arrivals on the twice-weekly Bass Strait passenger ferry when it berthed at Burnie at 6 a.m.
Two Rotarians would greet passengers and hand out gifts and other items.

One ramification of Australia being at war was that food rationing forced the club to be restricted to a maximum of twenty-five members.

In December 1942, club member T. M. Crisp accepted the position of Secretary of the club temporarily, as he said: “to enable us to find a successor.” In 1951, he was still in the job and he continued to ask that the temporary nature of his appointment be recognised!

Over the years, the Rotary Club of Burnie was also active in establishing the Inner Wheel Club of Burnie (1981) – several members of which have played influential roles in the Inner Wheel organisation in Australia – the Probus Club of Burnie (1983) and the Ladies Probus Club of Burnie (1991).

In 2020, a new club was formed in Burnie; Burnie West Rotary Club.

Three members of the Rotary Club of Burnie have been District Governors:

Jim Loughran [classification – Electrical Contracting] joined Burnie Rotary Club in 1959, was Club President in 1970/71 and District Governor in 1979/80.

Harold Ogilvie [classification – Agencies: Stock and Station] joined Burnie Rotary Club in 1976, was Club President in 1982/83 and District Governor in 1988/89.

Ken Moore [classification – Engineer Consulting] joined Burnie Rotary Club in 1987/88, was Club President in 2000/01 and District Governor in 2014/15.

The District Conference has been hosted four times by the Rotary Club of Burnie; in 1965 (Club President Alan Gray); in 1978 (Club President Paul Rollins); in 1986 (Club President Bruce Clark) and in 2015 (Club President Jim Forsyth).

Burnie Rotary Club Presidents

1942-43: Len Harris

1943-44: Charles Guest

1944-45: Jack Fidler

1945-46: Stan Gill

1946-47: Mac Crisp

1947-48: Ted Bovill

1948-49: Al Pease

1949-50: Keith Tattersall

1950-51: Lyn Stephens

1951-52: Milton Edison

1952-53: Reg Plummer

1953-54: Charles Williams

1954-55: Charles MacFarlane

1955-56: Harold Henderson

1956-57: Bob Gale

1957-58: Bert Winter

1958-59: Tas Lord

1959-60: Jack Hyland

1960-61: Len Tunbridge

1961-62: Allen Thome

1962-63: Guy Jones

1963-64: Arch McInnes

1964-65: Alan Gray

1965-66: Bill Davis

1966-67: Lindsay Wardlaw

1967-68: Tom Rudling

1968-69: Royce Neville

1969-70: Dick Sowter

1970-71: Jim Loughran

1971-72: Ken Webb

1972-73: Hugh Loane

1973-74: Lloyd Harris

1974-75: Max Williams

1975-76: Geoff Harris

1976-77: Basil Sproule

1977-78: Paul Rollins

1978-79: Charles Sargent

1979-80: David Balon

1980-81: Rex Collins

1981-82: Max Crawford

1982-83: Harold Ogilvie

1983-84: Ken Vincent

1984-85: John Pease

1985-86: Bruce Clark

1986-87: Geoff McLean

1987-88: Graeme Wood

1988-89: Ed Baron

1989-90: John Kay

1990-91: Gerald Loughran

1991-92: Roger Morrison

1992-93: Bruce Cameron

1993-94: Graeme Muir

1994-95: George Grant

1995-96: Allan Jamieson

1996-97: Paul Porter

1997-98: George Austin

1998-99: Nigel Harris

1999-00: George Austin + George Grant

2000-01: Ken Moore

2001-02: Colin Winter

2002:03: Mark Summers

2003-04: Robert Bentley

2004-05: David Bennett

2005-06: Bruce Keene

2006-07: Paul Kearney

2007-08: Paul Kearney

2008-09: Bruce Clark

2009-10: John Glen

2010-11: Craig Brooks

2011-12: David McCarthy

2012-13: Wayne Licht

2013-14: Barrie Crawford

2014-15: Jim Forsyth

2015-16: Stan French

2016-17: Murray O’Connor

2017-18: Nigel Morgan

2018-19: John Glen

2019-20: John Glen

2020-21: Themba Bulle