The 2024-25 Rotary Club of Kingaroy Board … Michael Ryan, Bev Watter, Katharine Butcher, Mark Huston, Neil Black, Kerry Heit, Gus Napier and Ray Pitt

June 21, 2024

The Rotary Club of Kingaroy marked its 75th anniversary on Saturday with a special dinner at Kingaroy Town Hall for members, past Rotarians and invited guests.

The anniversary dinner also coincided with the club’s annual changeover ceremony, which saw incumbent Neil Black pass over the President’s chain to incoming leader Mark Huston.

It will be Mr Huston’s second term as club president, having previously served in 2009-10.

Tributes were also paid to former Area Governor Bryan Payne, whose funeral was held in Chinchilla earlier on the day.

The Kingaroy club was chartered on December 8, 1948, with John Nesbitt inducted as the first president.

District Governor Paul Roger said it was one of 44,000 Rotary clubs now operating around the world.

The Kingaroy club’s proud history and list of achievements over the past 75 years were shared from the podium by life member Lex Petersen, Geoff Hosking and Vince Evans.

These included raising a conservative $200,000 over the years for the Rotary Foundation’s international fight against polio and other priority programs.

Support for the local community has been even greater.

Recent projects include the donation of defibrillators to community groups, fundraising to support mental health initiatives, donations to sporting clubs and the Men’s Shed, running the RYDA road safety program, supporting the breakfast program at Kingaroy State School and sponsoring speech night awards.

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, South Burnett Mayor Kathy Duff and District Governor Paul Roger all praised the club’s achievements in the community.

Two Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded on the night:

Mark Huston presented a Fellowship to local photographer Denise Keelan who has been supporting the club’s fundraising efforts over the past four years by donating photographs for the club’s annual calendar. During this time, the club has raised close to $30,000 from the sale of its calendars.

Neil Black presented a Fellowship to club member Ray Pitt who had supported him throughout the year. Ray was last year also presented with a District award for his services to the club.

The Paul Harris Fellowship honours Rotary founder and Chicago lawyer Paul Harris who began the movement in 1905.

The recognition is the highest honour a club can bestow on a person and acknowledges outstanding service to the community.

District Governor Paul Roger, right, with outgoing Kingaroy Rotary president Neil Black, left, and recently inducted Kingaroy and Sunrise club presidents Mark Huston and Nicola Pitt

District Governor Paul Roger inducts Mark Huston as the 2024-25 president of the Rotary Club of Kingaroy … the collar of office was passed from Neil Black to Mr Huston

The latest member to join the club, Brian Tessmann and the longest-serving member, Lex Petersen, cut the cake
Jason and Deb Frecklington with retired Kingaroy solicitor and Rotarian Keith Murdoch

Incoming Rotary Satellite Club of Kingaroy Sunrise president Nicola Pitt with her husband Mark, the outgoing president

Margaret Huston and her husband, incoming Kingaroy Rotary president Mark
Visitors for the ceremony included Brisbane Rivercity Rotoract Club members Gareth Seeto and Sheyaan Manricks
Former Murgon Rotarian Babu Singh, who has moved back into the area, with South Burnett Mayor Kathy Duff and Rotarian  Sandy Hoffmann
Geoff Hosking, Lex Petersen and Vince Evans took turns at the podium to share the Kingaroy Club’s 75 years of involvement with the local community
Kat Butcher chaired the evening and kept the event running smoothly
Outgoing club president Neil Black with District Governor Paul Roger

Kingaroy Rotary members Ian Hall and Bev Watter

Cr Ros Heit and her husband, 2022-23 president Kerry
District Governor-elect Sue Mulvaney with incoming president Mark Huston and new Paul Harris Fellow Denise Keelan, centre
Sue Mulvaney with outgoing president Neil Black and Paul Harris Fellow Ray Pitt, centre
A certificate of appreciation was presented by Neil Black to club member Michael Ryan, from Harvey Norman Kingaroy which donated many raffle prizes to the club; certificates of appreciation were also created for South Burnett Care and South Burnett CTC
Judy Crawford and her team from JC Catering made sure everyone was kept well-fed on the night
It was a Rotary night, but that didn’t mean there weren’t a lot of Lions members present, too … Kingaroy Lions Club members were looking after the bar


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