The First 25 Years 1978 -
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
There is no cost for the use of our
wheelchairs but donations from wheel chairs loans
have more than covered the ongoing maintenance
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.