Club Meeting June 5th 2019 Committees 2019-20


Our Chairperson was Peter O’B who welcomed us all on a rather dull wintry morning. It felt much less chilly being greeted so cheerfully by Sossi and Tony with our individual taste in coffee.  He advised us that the tables were labeled with each committee and invited us to sit at the appropriate seating. He then invited Linda O’B to give us Invocation and Faye to present the Loyal, Royal Toast.  There were 2 apologies, one from Peter L who was in Queensland with Jade and an apology from Tim L who had Tony R to be acting Sergeant. Grant directed us closer to home to Alice Springs for our “International Toast”! We learnt heaps about the town situated roughly in Australia’s geographic centre. It is the third largest town in the Northern Territory and was named after Alice, Lady Todd, wife of the telegraph project manager, Sir Charles Todd. The other large towns are the Capital, Darwin, Palmerston, Katherine and McMinns Lagoon. Alice Springs is 1,200 km from Darwin, 1,300 from Adelaide, 2,000 km from Melbourne. When Grant talked of the center of Australia, he explained that there were 5 methods used to locate the center. 1) Centre of gravity method, 2) Furthest point from the coastline, 3) Median point which calculates of the midpoint between the extremes of latitude and longitude, 4) Johnston Geodetic Station 1965: By the Division of National Mapping was once the central reference point of surveys. 5) Lambert Gravitational Centre 1988: By the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia Bicentennial project. All this made more sense as Grant showed us on a map.  As mentioned Darwin is the capital of the Northern Tterritory which covers an area of 1,427,000 square km. The population is 247,000. From 1825 until 1863 the Northern territory was part of colonial new South Wales and from 1863 until 1911 it was part of South Australia under the administration of colonial South Australia. The overland telegraph was constructed between 1870 and 1872. On 1/1/1911 the Territory was separated from South Australia and transferred to federal control and was granted responsible government in 1978. Grant further explained with maps and more dates that in building the Overland Telegraph the first undersea cables were laid in 1850 and in1855 there was the first mention of connecting Australia to London. In 1860 surveys on the Australian mainland occur including Burke and Wills in Victoria and John Stuart in South Australia. Cable was laid from London to Bombay in1867 and the telegraph line of 3200km connecting Darwin with Port Augusta begins. Cable laid from Bombay to Singapore, then Darwin is done in 1872 and in 22/8/1872 the two lines are joined, making an undersea cable from London to Darwin complete! A site was first noted for the Alice Springs Telegraph Station because of a waterhole found by surveyor William Molls in 1871 and construction subsequently began. The Telegraph station operated for 60 years. It is hard to imagine an undersea cable stretching across the world for such an amazing distance. More history for Alice Springs which is 4kms south of the telegraph station in that gold was discovered 100m east of the station in 1899. In 1909 the population was made up of 20 Europeans. No mention of Indigenous population. The hospital was built in 1926 for 40 Europeans. The railway arrived in 1929 and a new post office was built in1932.  Grant asked us to be upstanding to Toast President Michael Potts and the club members of the Rotary Club of Alice Springs, District 950. The famous Henley on Todd River, called the Oldest and Craziest Event in the Territory is organized by the Members’ spouses of the club. Thank you Grant for taking us to club in our country. It was quite an interesting change. Pres Ian advised us that we had received a letter of thanks for our donation to Courage to Care. He also informed us of the Celebration to be held for the late PDG John Glenn. There was to be a contingent of members of BMC to attend. He also reminded us that our Changeover will be held at Woodlands on Saturday June 22nd. Prepayment is appreciated in order to simplify procedure. After a delicious dinner, the committee groups with their leaders entered into positive discussions remembering the strategic plans. The outcomes of these discussions should be shared with the club after preparations by the committee chairs. Acting Sergeant Tony announced in a serious tone that Thank G-D he was not always Sergeant and quickly continued to fine us all due to various races held on Saturday last. He changed the subject to Astrology stating that no-one could be so silly to “believe in that stuff”. Bulletin Reporter got fined on the premise that she really does as well as loving anything pink. Just for once the Sergeant got that right!! Much to everyone’s amusement. Pres Ian closed the meeting reminding us to BE THE INSPIRATION

Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)



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