R100 Project

The Centenary Countdown has begun

It’s a special time. Rotary in Australia and NZ celebrates the First 100 years of Service in 2021.

In 1921, four Rotary Clubs were created in Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington and Sydney. From there, Rotary and Rotaract clubs were created everywhere across Australia and NZ. We all share a centenary in 2021. We can come together and create a common legacy. Think about the impact we can make!  Each Club was asked to undertake a project to celebrate this milestone.

SITTING PRETTY ON THE CENTENARY SEAT

A Rotary Eastside Cluster Centenary Project

Rotary Australia and New Zealand Centennial celebrations aim to raise awareness of Rotary’s incredible work through gaining positive publicity, as well as boosting membership for Rotary clubs.

Each club was asked to create their own legacy project to propel the organisation into the next century. The Eastside Cluster of four clubs was not going to sit down on that job. From April 2020, the Balwyn, Camberwell, Canterbury, and North Balwyn clubs, with Boroondara Council and residents, decided to collaborate on the creation of a suitable commemorative piece as a Rotary100 initiative.

The perfect alternative to our initial thoughts of having a peace pole structure came in June 2020 when Sue Godfrey, Boroondara Council’s Senior Landscape Architect, invited the Cluster to fund a park bench as part of the Stage 2 reinvigoration of Balwyn Park, situated at the corner of Whitehorse Rd and Cherry Road, Balwyn. The initiative was to be completed within twelve months, in time for Centennial celebrations on 21st April 2021. 

It was a great day when the seat was installed on 12th August 2020, surrounded by builder’s safety fences whilst the work took place.   

Park users can now enjoy this comfortable, west-facing bench situated adjacent to a large shady gum tree and overlooking the parklands at the corner of Cherry Road. It’s well located on the largely pedestrian access road to the park and its new sporting facilities, and adjacent to street parking and public transport.

Finally, the inscription on the plaque required consensus from the Cluster clubs, Council By-laws, and Rotary standards. The final plaque was approved in October 2020 and after a few interruptions, it was installed on 4th February 2021. The final cost of the seat/plaque was $2,500, jointly funded by the Cluster Clubs. An acceptable amount in challenging times for each of the Cluster Clubs to contribute.

All Eastside Cluster Presidents and Club Members worked together harmoniously, contributing ideas, knowledge, and personal contacts to eventually get the job done.

This Rotary100 initiative is a Project that our Rotary Eastside Cluster Clubs are justly proud of.  Balwyn Park is used year-round, and the public can enjoy resting and ruminating on the Rotary bench and quietly say, thanks Rotary for the seat of contemplation.

Thank you to all involved from:

  • President Tim Reynolds Rotary Club of Balwyn
  • President Murray Anderson Rotary Club of Camberwell
  • President Tony Laycock Rotary Club of Canterbury
  • President Greg Cribbes – Rotary Club of North Balwyn
 This project is also listed on the Honour Board of Rotary Centenary Projects.