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Club History

The First 25 Years 1978 - 2003

In the beginning

A special meeting was held on the 29th June, 1978 as a result of approaches by the late Adrian Nichols to the late Max Connors .

At this meeting it was unanimously resolved to form a Kiwanis Club in Mooroopna.

Edward (Ted) Davis was appointed acting chairman, Frank Kool, Secretary, Louis D'Amore, Treasurer and acting bulletin editor was Max Connors.

The next meeting was held at the Cricketers Arms Hotel on the 20th July, 1978 where a joining fee of $15.00 was established.

This meeting was followed by the first board meeting.

The organisation meeting for the Kiwanis Club of Mooroopna was held on the 17th August, 1978 at the Cricketers Arms Hotel. The meeting was guided by sponsor club Kiwanis Club of Shepparton members, Brian Dodgshun, Ken Muir and Adrian Nichols.

Almost immediately the club swung into action with community work and fundraising with a clean up at the Mooroopna cemetery, bike marking and arrangements for Christmas Tree cutting.

The Club celebrated its Charter on the 24th Nov, 1978 with 24 members.

The Charter was presented by the District of Australia Governor 1978 -79 Phillip C Hatchard. The Governor was assisted by Division One Lieutenant Governor, Brian Dodgshun

Club Meetings

Early club meetings were held at the Cricketers Arms Hotel and then at Peppers Restaurant. Whilst sticking very much to the required Kiwanis Dinner Meeting protocol, there was, from the very beginning, a relaxed and enjoyable approach to the business at hand. Meetings were always very entertaining and this remains the case today.

In the early days, club meeting entertainment could take the form of impromptu speaking where each member had to take a turn at speaking for a couple of minutes about the last word uttered by the previous speaker. This not only resulted in some weird and wonderful insights but also helped give Kiwanians the confidence to partake in debates about Kiwanis matters.

Peppers Restaurant came to a close and we had to find a new venue and after trying the Cricketers Arms again, we finally ended up at the Midland Motel.

These facilities were very good in that they gave us complete privacy and the ability to run our own bar facilities.

Many of the important decision were made at the Kiwanis Bar whilst rounding off an evening with a quiet Louis D'Amore Special (Port).

Unfortunately, the Midland was closed so that the area could be redeveloped and so we were on the move again. After a short time at the Royal Mail, the Chinese Restaurant (the old Peppers) and the Commercial Hotel we have finally settled at the Connection, now Makabys.

Over the years Kiwanis members have been entertained and enlightened by a continuing stream of guest speakers. These range from a local GP, members of parliament, a mousetrap collector, the Police Traffic Operations Group, to a visit by trainee nurses and their tutor to present a lecture on resuscitation and basic first aid.

At one meeting a surprise guest was Mr Bob Cameron from Idaho USA.

These programs were interspersed with more serious event such as the trial of Goldie Locks, an Italian Night with live entertainment and dancing,, BBQs in the park, a visit to the Pinelodge Pistol Range and our annual trips to Wahroongai for a Christmas Party with the residents.

Christmas in July has also been a feature of our annual meeting calendar and always makes for a bright and cheerful meeting.

The annual combined Mooroopna Service Clubs dinner has right from its inception received the support and involvement of our Club and one memorable program was a talk by an ASIO "Spook" arranged by Kiwanian Athel Chapman.

Of course, the annual Changeover Dinner is also a highlight of the Kiwanis Calendar. In earlier times much effort was put into the night and at times members participated in providing the entertainment for the evening. Of later years, the program has been changed to be held on a normal dinner meeting night.

Maybe the next 25 years will see the return of some good old home grown entertainment.


The social activities have always been one of the most joyful aspects of Mooroopna Kiwanis membership. Over the years the many social activities have built strong friendships and given the opportunity spend many hours in the company of really good people.

In a carryover from Apex days, an essential for Mooroopna Kiwanis was the annual "Fishing Trip." The first fishing trip was to the Howqua River near Jamison. The camp was set up on the Friday afternoon with a large fire built and a couple of tents pitched for shelter and sleeping. A bush dunny was constructed.

The catering took the form of a large pot of stew to which things were added so that it would last most of the weekend. Kiwanian Frank Kool was in charge of catering and when Kiwanian the late Bill Roberts tried to infer that because of his English background he could make better potato chips than the Dutch, this caused an argument that was resolved by a cook off. Frank won.

Trawool, just past Seymour was also the site for a number of fishing trip weekends.

Luckily, room does not allow for the exposure of many of the antics of other Kiwanians on these fishing trips but they were all good fun and fostered a strong mateship between club members.

With the arrival of female members in Kiwanis, the fishing trip evolved into a wine trip and the accommodation moved up a class or two. These were also very enjoyable with our first wine trip to Rutherglen being extremely memorable. We stayed at an old Rutherglen Hotel were the accommodation was just a room, a high double bed and nails in the wall to hang cloths on. A trip along an outside veranda was required to visit the toilets or shower.

This, added to the great homely atmosphere of the hotel dining and lounge rooms which had open fires to gather around and sing songs made for a very memorable stay. The weekend also featured visits to about twelve wineries and beautiful picnic lunches provided by the Hotel.

A trip to Avoca and the Moonambul Pub was also a great weekend followed by a couple of years to the Old Priory at Beechworth.

Of late, Bendigo has been the venue for some veru enjoyable weekends away and the Quest apartments are an extreme variation to the fishing trip camps at Howqua and Trawool.

Progressive Dinners have also been a regular feature for our Club and, in recent times, incorporated a car trial requiring partcipants to make observations along the way.

Our annual Christmas party meeting has always been a social occasion commencing with BBQ's in Ferrari Park with all the family attending. This format has progressed onto "Club Douglass" where members were entertained with music performed by Linda Trotter and Bill Atwood and complimented by some exotic dancers.

Trotter's Cove and Prix D'Amore have also been venues sought out for these special parties. Being a rural based club, camp fire cooking is also a highlight on the Club's social calendar. Once the weather cools off and fire hazards are reduced the camp ovens appear. Gathering the warmth of a large campfire, we all enjoy the hot food and informal chit chat.

Kiwanis Kairs

About 1992 the Kiwanis Club of Mooroopna received a request from the Mooroopna High school for a wheelchair required by a student who occasionally had need for a chair during School hours due to a specific illness he had.

This request was answered by the Club with a wheelchair that Member Lloyd Tremellan donated to the Club for this purpose.

Thus started an ongoing project with this Club spending over $2,000 on wheelchairs and other mobility aids. The Club has purchased three new chairs with another new chair donated to the club by the Waranga Summer Darts Association.

A number of good secondhand wheelchairs have been purchased by the club in our endeavor to meet the demand.

The Goulburn Valley Red Cross Society disbanded their medical aids part of the local operation and donated three wheelchairs along with walking frames and crutches.

The Club now has a wheelchair permanently based at the Mooroopna Secondary College and another at the Mooroopna Community House. We have had a wheelchair on loan in Geelong for over a year and two wheelchairs have holidayed in Queensland.

There is no cost for the use of our wheelchairs but donations from wheel chairs loans have more than covered the ongoing maintenance costs requirements.

The Club purchased a Howies Bike in 1993 which is a tricycle specially designed and built for children with Cerebral Palsy.

The child is strapped onto the bike and learns to pedal and control the bike.

This gives the child some mobility as well as increasing their coordination. This bike is now in use at the Special Developmental School now based at the new School facilities on Balaclava Road.

In the years of operation this project has benefited over 56 people with some of our wheelchairs in use by the same person for many years.


There have been many varied fundraising efforts conducted by the club over the years. As a result, the club has consistently raised between $10,000 and $12,000 each year . Together with special fundraising efforts for IDD and the Westside projects, the club has raised approximately $300,000 over the 25 years.

The cutting and selling of Christmas Trees was one of the very first fundraising efforts, a project which has stayed with the club right throughout its 25 year history

In 1980 the Club took on the job of wrecking a house and selling the secondhand materials and clearing the site. This raise over $1700.00, a fair sum for the times.

Another event has been the annual "Ham Slams". These were first conducted at the weekly Treasure and Trash Market held at the Shepparton Drive In Theatre and over the last few years they have been held at Shepparton Market Place. Lucky Envelopes commenced as a fundraiser for the club with our joint conduct of the Mooroopna New Years Eve Mardi Gras with Mooroopna Rotary.

Whilst, after a number of years, the running of the Mardi Gras was relinquished to the Rotary Club, Mooroopna Kiwanis Club has continued with the Lucky Envelope Stall on New Years Eve.

The Lucky Envelope Stall has also been run to assist Goulburn Valley Health to raise money at the Hospital Fair . The club continues to take its part in selling Rotary Club Car Raffle tickets each year November of each year and this, together with one or two street raffles boosts our annual fundraising efforts considerably

Over the years the club has ran a variety of other fundraisers.

The Club also staged two Shepparton Madisons at the Shepparton Velodrome. These efforts were very taxing and met with mixed success.

Other efforts have included Fashion Parades. These started in a rather small way at the Mooroopna Golf club and progressed on to being a rather large event which was held at the Ardmona Fruit Products Canteen.

There was never any problems getting male models from the Kiwanis members once the word got out that they had to change from one garments to another in the same area as the female models were changing. Kiwanian Sev was always first off the blocks.

Bush verse nights were also held. "While the Billy Boils" was a success as far as a show was concerned and attracted good artists thanks to the work of Kiwanians Keith Hocking and David Taylor, a couple of bush verse enthusiasts. However, it was difficult to attract a big enough crowd to make this into a major financial success and was discontinued after two shows.

In 1999 The Club undertook a project to raise funds for the Mooroopna Secondary College Performing Arts Centre, Westside. We decided to follow the earlier concept which had been so successful for the I.D.D. project in that we would produce a Shepparton Newspaper insert which would tell the story of Westside and some of the highlights of productions that had already been performed at the venue.

The booklet was well supported by local business and as a result raised $6,800.00 which was put towards the purchase of a grand piano at West Side.

All in all, the members of the Kiwanis Club of Mooroopna can be justly proud of their fundraising success over the past 25 years.

Young Children Priority One

In the early days of our club when we only had male members this portfolio always posed a problem. One of early projects was the clean up of area for a play area for a newly established Kindergarten and to this date our Club continues with a close relationship with the Mooroopna Kindergartens.

Another memorable event was the donation of a breast pump to the nursing mothers association, Shepparton. More recently our club took part in the Kiwanis International Never Shake a Baby Project and the flip side of the Immunisation Card pictured above continues to warn parents that they should never shake a baby. Each year, or when required, our club print 1000 immunisation cards upon which parents can record their child's immunisation data.

These are distributed through local health agencies.

The Calico Doll project successfully promoted by Kiwanis International trigerred of a frenzy of sewing and stuffing. These little dolls were then distributed to the hospitals in our district for use by medical staff to help describe to the child patient details of treatment they were about to receive and help allay their fears and give comfort. They were also convenient for the gathering of autographs and reminders of their stay in hospital.

A cry of help from the Devenish Primary School was heard by our club. One of their young students had previously suffered serious burns in a fire and accordingly could not play with her friends outside. The solution was to erect shade cloth over a play area so that she could then join her friends outside.

In 2001 the Club undertook to extend the Terrific Kids Program to the students in the rural schools around the district. Certificates have been awarded each school term to students at Ardmona, Tatura East and Toolamba Schools.

The Save the Children Fund Kindergarten Cubby House project saw the club members completely renovate this structure. Kiwanian Ted Davis took the opportunity to clean out his old paint tins and the final mixture was a murky greenish colour.

This prompted Maraget Taylor to recruit a group of local students to decorate the cubby and they did a fantastic job. (see center pages).

Heartkids Victoria has also been supported by the Club

Youth and Citizenship

The very first community project undertaken by the Club was Bike Marking at Mooroopna Primary School. Over the next few years this project was continued at Mooroopna Schools and at various sites in the main street of Mooroopna. As the full time manning of the Mooroopna Police Station came to an end and the bike marking records returned to Shepparton, the project has been discontinued in Mooroopna.

The Mooroopna Secondary College has worked with our club to present an Achievement Award to integrated disability special students at the college and on a number of occasions we have assisted students fund special projects and trips overseas.

Over a period of seven years the club supported a school camp for students at disadvantaged schools in suburban Melbourne. The Fruits of the Valley School Camp was a two day camp and consisted of visits to S.P.C., Varapodio's Coolstore and Packing, J Furphy and Sons steel fabricating , Dainton's rotary dairy at milking time, the heritage farm at Kialla and on the following day a visit to Tremellen's orchard for a ride through the orchard and a BBQ before the trip back to Melbourne.

The overnight stay was at Wahroongai Camp at Ardmona. Many Kiwanians assisted on the days and at the camp, however, Kiwanians Rod and Marg Taylor were the mainstay in the organisation of the camps.

It is hoped that as a result of these camps there are a number of people in the City which have a better understanding of country life.

Over the years the Club has undertaken many and varied community service projects.

Such activities included the relocation of the old horse trough from the main street to Ferrari Park. In 1980 the Club initiated efforts to have the Country Roads Board establishment a bike path between Mooroopna and Shepparton. In 1983 the Club sponsored the establishment of the Mooroopna Historical Society which has since been instrumental in preserving mush of the towns history.

1984 saw the club undertake the development of the lake surrounds at the Mooroopna Recreation Reserve. The value of this project was $25,000.00. A substantial sum in 1984.

In the same year the Club took up the task of making Christmas special in Mooroopna. The club offered a $200 prize for the best Christmas garden display and $50 for the best window display. 1984 also saw the start of Carols by Candlelight in Mooroopna. A project that continues to this day.

Throughout 1985 the club carried out a number of free hearing test clinics. This project was made possible with the support of Kiwanian John Bowers, a club member at the time. John was a qualified hearing tester.

In October, 1985 the club supported the Goulburn valley Hospital's Instensive Care Unit with a Colour TV and Video to assist nursing sisters explain to patients the nature of their various ailments.

As its contribution to the International Year of the Disabled Persons the club published a welfare Services Guide. The guide provided information to assist people to contact Welfare agencies as well as emergency numbers of the time.

Adult literacy was the target of a Tutor Reference and Resource Kit which the Club contributed to in 1991.

Hospice Care has always been supported by the Club and in 1991 the club undertook a three year $3000 funding commitment to the group.

The Club conducted a pleasant a pleasant afternoon in the Mooroopna Hospital gardens on Easter Sunday, 1992 as its part in the Back to Mooroopna celebrations.

In conjunction with the Shire of Rodney Disaster Plan, Kiwanian Athel Chapman organised a training night for volunteers who would be called upon to help in the case of an emergency evacuation. More than 20 people attended the session.

In December 1991 the Club was successful in its presentation of Mr Ian Frappell as a recipent of the Robert Connelly Award. The highest award for bravery awarded by Kiwanis International. This was the first Robert Connelly Award to be presented in Australia.

Tree planting has also featured with plantings around Kiwanis Lake and the Goulburn Cross area.

This account of the community work of the club deals only with the highlights of the many thousands of voluntary hours contributed by the members over the past 25 years.

In 1997 Kiwanis International undertook a major International Service Project to raise funding for the virtual elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders. A third of the World's population was at risk. The target was to raise $75 million American Dollars, which, through the facilities of UNICEF, would virtually eliminate this threat.

Every Kiwanis Club, world wide, was challenged to contribute to the effort and as part of its fundraising effort, the Kiwanis Club of Mooroopna undertook to produce a sixteen page booklet on I.D.D. for insertion in the Shepparton News.

Support was sort from local businesses to support the project by advertising in the booklet and, as usual, many of them were most obliging. The result was, that after all costs were met, the Club was able to contribute $6,800.00 towards the I.D.D. effort from this project alone.

East Timor Dairy

This project started with an article in the Country news about tropical tolerant calves going to slaughter.

The Kiwanis Club of Brighton member Kevin Wood saw the chance to use the calves to start the rebuild of the dairy at the catholic College at Los Palas, East Timor and so the project got started.

With the support of numerous clubs throughout the District of Australia and South Pacific the claves were raised. Dairy equipment was gathered and shipped to East Timor. Mooroopna Club members assisted by "buying" two calves, loading containers with equipment at Kyabram and Mooroopna

From a chance reading of a new article, Kiwanis Clubs have been able to assist nearly 1,000 children and family members in East Timor.