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History of the Rotary Club of Coomera Valley- 30 June 1987

The Rotary Club of Coomera Valley was commenced in a similar way to the many clubs within District 9640.  The Gold Coast Hinterland was expanding fast during the 1980s with large properties being divided up into hobby farms for those who wanted the convenience and enjoyment of Gold Coast living but also wanted the privacy and seclusion of country living.  It was a time that development was thriving in the relatively new estate of Helensvale.  It was also a time that newly elected District Governors discussed the potential of the Gold Coast to house more clubs.  Existing clubs were asked to meet the challenge and charter new clubs.  Past President Merv Howe of the Nerang Rotary Club was approached by District Governor Les Wilkins in 1986-87 and encouraged to ‘have a go’.  Ultimately it was past District Governor Ron Burling and his chief assistant Lindsay Ruby  of the Nerang Club who encouraged arranged an interest meeting.  This was held on the 19 May 1987 at the Coomera Motor Inn. 
During May and June 1987 a recruitment drive was conducted in the Helensvale, Coomera, Oxenford, Pimpama and Hinterland areas to determine the interest and willingness of local residents to form a Rotary Club. The first interest meeting was held on the 19 May 1987.  The establishment of the club moved quickly after a group of 15 interested men met on the 9 June 1987 and decided to form a club which would be called the Rotary Club of Coomera Valley.  Of interest is that the name was agreed to with a majority of only one vote.  The club was nearly called the Rotary Club of Coomera. 
Ron Burling and Lindsay Ruby of the Nerang Club suggested several interested members would be ideal office bearers for the new club.  Ian Yarker (who would turn out to be one of our Districts most enthusiastic DGs) was nominated as the club’s first President.
The clubs first magazine was issued on 23 June 1987 and boasted a club membership of 25.  While the club did not have any women members it enjoyed hosting partners nights which the first being held on the 7 July 1987 only a week after it’s charter.  Members wives (the Rotary Annes) would always support club activities making them not only enjoyable but profitable.
The clubs first join meeting with it’s parent club Nerang was held on the 22 July 1987. Discussions were held in relation to the clubs big event - Charter night.  The Rotary Club of Coomera Valley was chartered on the 30 June 1987 with a huge celebratory dinner on the 1 August at Dreamworld.  President Ian Yarker accepted the clubs charter with 23 Charter members - three of whom are still with the Club today.  It would be remiss of me not to mention these members - Road Peachey (PHF), Archie Shaw(PHF) and Terry O’Shea (PHF).
Highlights of the following years:
1988-1989   The Clubs first Raft Race at the lake in Siganto Park was held.
1990-1991  Exchange Student Andrea Nethercote of Canada was welcomed to the club and the Club organized it’s first community ANZAC ceremony.
1991-1992  Exchange Student Hideki Yamamoto of Japan arrived and the club meetings moved to the Recreation Club at Sanctuary Cove.
1992-1993  Exchange Student Chris Frisk of  Sweden arrived.
1993-1994  Gayle Herd of South Africa arrived and ,Terry O’Shea and Rod Lane received the clubs first Paul Harris Fellows and the Helensvale and AB Interact Clubs where founded.  It was also the year our community  ANZAC Day ceremony included a March with 500 locals.
1994-1995  Exchange student Ezter Kroll of  Hungary arrived and  Geoff Munz became the first club GSE Team Leader traveling to Germany.
            1995-1996  Exchange student Thomas Wagner of  France arrived.
1996-1997  Exchange student Andri Wardhana of Indonesia arrived and a total of  15 new members were inducted in the space of 14 months.  The  Clubs first two females Kate Perkins and Justine Michel were inducted.
1997-1998  Exchange student Anna Zimmerman of  Germany arrived.
1998-1999  Exchange students Jorge Bitelli of Brazil and  Noora Kokko of  Finland arrived.  This is the first year two inbound exchange students were hosted by the club.
1999-2000  Exchange student Nutiya Nutsuri (Um) of  Thailand arrived.
2000-2001  Exchange student Delphine from  France arrived.  This was also the year that the  Nuemann Trust was established.  The trust saw financial support provided to the club from Mr Bruce Nuemann (Nucruch).  This year also saw the club support the establishment of a Community Youth Centre in the area.
2001-2002   Exchange student Ashley from Canada arrived.  This year also saw the establishment of the clubs 3rd Interact Club at Coomera Anglican College. Our 2002 outbound exchange student to Denmark was Lauren McElhinney.
2002-2003   Exchange student Caroline Llhoest of  Belgium arrived.
2003-2004   Exchange Student Rikard of Sweden arrived and this years ANZAC Day saw in excess of 2000 local residence march and participate in the ceremony.
2004-2005  Exchange student arrived –Anne from Denmark.  Club makes a huge commitment to the Oxenford and Coomera Community Youth Centre Inc with five of it's members on the eight member management committee.  The centre doors opened November. Club maintains several interact clubs including AB Paterson, St Stephens College. Golf Day still a major activity also ANZAC Day and Melbourne Cup Day at the Stanfords. Notable members who left the club including Terry O'Shea; Jim Venn, Justine Michele, James Cagney, Philip Graham, Chris Whitecross and Eric Lugthart
2005-2006   Inbound YEP student Lara Kleimeyer from Germany was hosted by our club and outbound student Nicola Baker went to Mexico. New Event in the annual calendar - Christmas Carols in Siganto Park organised by Frank Hunter
2006-2007  Inbound YEP student Paola Lopez Hernandez from Cancun, Mexico was hosted by our club and outbound student Ashleigh Luke went to Denmark. The club hosted a GSE from Austria- Odi, Markus, Daniela, Romana and Andrea.
2007 – 2008 Second time Presidency for Des Lacy who was also selected to lead the first GSE team from Australia to the Middle East. The first for the club included our first official Sergeant at Arms elected (Rod Harmer); the first time the club recycled a President; the first time the club had a GSE team member and GSE team leader chosen to participate in a district Group Study Exchange (GSE); first time in ten years we relocated our meeting venue.  The club welcomed Malcolm  Cummings as a new member along with Ian Mayfield and James Leverria.
2008 – 2009 YEP Inbound shared with Nerang- Carlo Scotini from Brazil and outbounders Anita Knight and Zeph The to Brazil. Strengthened Carols and made it an annual event.  Membership 25. Member Peter Davidson participated in Friendship exchange to District 1860 France.  Interact at Upper Coomera, AB Paterson and Saint Stephens College. Dilemmas Competition held at AB Paterson.
2009 – 2010  Coomera Hub Project lead by Archie Shaw- rebuild the old Baumann House at Upper Coomera for $100k.  House used by community groups and run by the Oxenford and Coomera Community Youth Centre.  Club disperses over $40,000 to the community.  Club purchases a bus for community use funded by Stocklands and contributions from CYC and Rotary.
2013 – 2014  Commencement of the establishment of the Oxenford Mens Shed.
2014 - 2015  Supported the inaugural "First night a the Proms" event and hosted  six recipients for the "Pride of Workmanship Awards" 
2015 - 2016 A year of excellent speakers including two multi-club nights at the Arundle Hills Country Club. Membership increased by 3 and we held our first Masquerade Ball.
Club Presidents
Founding Year    1987- 1988        Ian Yarker 
                        1988-1989          Rod Lane          
                        1989-1990          Brian Lanigan
                        1990-1991          Bill Dobbie – Raft Race
                        1991-1992          Terry O’Shea
                        1992-1993          Ian Pryor
                        1993-1994          Bruce Cameron
                        1994-1995          Peter George
                        1995-1996          Graeme Thurecht
                        1996-1997          Geoff Muntz
                        1997-1998          Rod Peachey
                        1998-1999          Jim Forsyth
                        1999-2000          Sherard Kingston
                        2000-2001          Peter Davidson
                        2001-2002          Des Lacy
                        2002-2003          Ken Burnett
                        2003-2004          Warren Edwards
                        2004-2005          Frank Downes
                        2005 - 2006        Rob Heggie
                        2006 - 2007        Frank Hunter
                        2007 - 2008        Des Lacy
                        2008 - 2009        Tony Lines
                        2009 - 2010        Jackie Murtagh
                        2010 - 2011        Rod Harmer
                        2011 - 2012        Rod Harmer       
                        2012 - 2013        Kevin Straw
                        2013 - 2014        Des Lacy
                        2014 - 2015        Christine Straw
                        2015 - 2016        Rick McElhinney
                        2016 - 2017        Loraine Pearce
                        2017 - 2018        Clive Onley
                        2018 - 2019        Rick McElhinney
For membership information please call 0403216664