Our Beginnings

Rotary Templestowe Charter Night


The following is a speech on our humble beginnings, given by Graham Trainor at our 44th birthday celebration on 24 March 2021. We celebrated the occasion at Vibrante Restaurant in Templestowe Village, together with our sponsor club, Rotary Doncaster. Graham is a Charter member of Rotary Doncaster and enlightened us with how our club came into being (and what a great Charter Night we had!).

Templestowe Rotary Club Celebrates its 44th Anniversary of Rotary Service (1977 - 2021)

Guests, District Governor - Alma Reynolds, Presidents - Felix and Barry, accompanied by wives - Stella & Glenda.

Let’s go back to late 1975,

when the Rotary Club of Doncaster was in its 3rd year of Rotary service.

William Robbins, President of Rotary International asked the District Governors to examine the possibility of chartering new clubs in their own districts.

Ted Atkinson, Rotary Club of Box Hill, who formed our club in 1972 and then District Governor in 1976/77, suggested to Doncaster Rotary Club that it should form a new club. The board went into the whole matter of extending Rotary in the Doncaster and Templestowe area, questioning their own maturity and the problems they would have to face.

Doncaster Rotary Club decided to make a survey of the area and suggested P.P Ken Clark become DGSR to form a Rotary Club in Templestowe. The project went ahead and Doncaster ceded territory for the new club to draw its membership from.

At its board meeting on 23 November 1976 our club recommended that the territory bounded by the Yarra River, Koonung Creek, High Street, Lynwood Parade, Williamson Road, Fitzsimons Lane be ceded to form the Rotary Club of Templestowe.

Ceding of the Territory

It was decided our club will retain the right to admit from the territory, thus relinquished members whose business, executive duties or professional activities are of a scope to include the entire city. The adoption of this resolution was not to affect the status of any present member of our club.

All Doncaster members voted on 7th December 1976 unanimously to cede the Territory for the organisation of the new club – Rotary Club of Templestowe.

This was the culmination of 2 years hard work from Past Presidents Ken Clark, Alan Royston, John Hirst who all looked forward to broadening the name of Rotary in the city of Doncaster & Templestowe.

On April 21st 1977, Doncaster chartered the Rotary Club of Templestowe at a charter night held at Chaucer’s Reception Centre Canterbury. 21 men becoming foundation members of the new club from surrounding businesses.

Templestowe’s first President was Graham Norman, an accountant . Just the person you would want as your 1st President . He proved to be a fabulous asset to get the club up and running!

Today one charter member is still serving Templestowe Club, Peter Gurry. Over 44 years Peter and I have had many conversations on Rotary and enjoyed each one’s fellowship and company at district and club levels. Another fine Rotarian and great worker for the Templestowe Club and Rotary International.

Your club met on Wednesday evenings at the Templestowe Hotel in an alcove away from the main dining area. Doncaster Rotarians soon found that when “making up” there, they were treated not as visitors but felt part of the club .. and it continues today.

Our president in 1976/77 was Charter member Bill Tierney. He sends his apology tonight. Bill was our first District Governor in 1986/87. Bill is 94 this year and looking forward to our Club’s 50th anniversary in August 2022.

Bill’s opening speech on April 21st 1977 read:

“We welcome the Rotary Club of Templestowe to the family of World Wide Rotary International. We at Doncaster know the benefits and gains that can be achieved with the backing of all members in this service organisation that primarily of service to others above self”.

Someone had been heard to say prior to Templestowe’s Charter Night, that this will be the best charter night you will have been to…and it certainly lived up to that - it was a great night.

It had plenty of music, dancing, good fellowship, the formalities interspersed as they were – a most prestigious event.

I recall joining your club at a ladies night on June 15th 1977 at the Veneto Club in Bulleen. Guest speaker was Muff Crockford, husband of District Governor Geoff. Geoff at that time was the Chairman of the MMBW.

Membership fees were $66 and Refunds were not be granted.

Congratulations Templestowe not only for that 1st year, but the many years since for your continuous support to the community and Rotary International in general. Our close relationship and fellowship between clubs continues today with our monthly market on the 1st Sunday of each month at Doncaster Hill in MC Square Plaza, next to Manningham Civic Centre.

Written by Past President, Rotary Club Doncaster, Graeme Trainor.


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  • The Young Doctor’s @ The Sullivans both begin on air November
  • The Hamer Government was re-elected
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  • Following John Kerr's resignation, Sir Zelman Cowen became Government General


During 2022 - 23 the roatry Clubs of Templestowe and Manningham decided to meet jointly and discuss merging the two Clubs. The two Boards also strated meeting together and we worked through the details of a merger. Floowing a presentation to all members, each club had a Special General Meeting and we had a unanimous vote to merge. Consequently and following District approval we formally beacme the Rotary Club of Manningham City (Rotary Manningham City). Officially in RI records the original date of charter for the Rotary Club of Templestowe, April 21st 1977, is shown as the original date for our new club Manningham City.