Welcome to the Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong and  Endeavour Hills

Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. Becoming a Rotarian connects you with a diverse group who share your drive to give back.
 
Rotary News
29 November 2020
The City of Greater Dandenong typically replaces around four playgrounds per year.  In the past, the old playgrounds have often gone straight to landfill.  However, Melinda Bell, from the Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong and Endeavour Hills, and Gavin Roberts, from the Council, have teamed up to provide an “elegant solution”. Through Rotary’s Removal of Recycled Playgrounds (RORP) project, playgrounds are “harvested”, rejuvenated and sent to poorer countries, such as Sri Lanka, where they continue to bring joy to thousands of children.
 A team of hardworking Rotarians recently removed a playground from Memorial Drive, Noble Park. It has already been reconditioned and shipped off to its new home in Sri Lanka.
RORP is an initiative of Rotary Australia and, in its four years of operation, has already delivered over 40 playgrounds to needy communities abroad.  For local councils, the program allows them to significantly reduce their carbon footprint, by avoiding landfill, whilst fulfilling the responsibilities of their sustainability and waste policies.
With her first-hand knowledge of Sri Lanka, where she supports a local school, Melinda leaped at the chance to serve both Greater Dandenong and Third World countries, and to help the environment, through Rotary and RORP. Under her leadership, Rotary and Council will not only do that, but will also bring hours of healthy pleasure to many children in our part of the World.
Rotary has been in Australia for 100 years. Membership is open to everyone and the Greater Dandenong Club is always looking for new members to help in their work, both locally and internationally.  Information can be found on Facebook.
Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul P. Harris.
 
Paul Harris at age 3, around the time he moved to his grandparents’ home.
 
Harris was born on 19 April 1868 in Racine, Wisconsin, USA. At age 3, he moved to Wallingford, Vermont, where he grew up in the care of his paternal grandparents. He attended the University of Vermont and Princeton University and received his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1891.
 
In 1896, Harris settled in Chicago and opened a law practice. Four years later, he met fellow attorney Bob Frank for dinner on Chicago’s North Side. They walked around the area, stopping at shops along the way. Harris was impressed that Frank was friendly with many of the shopkeepers. He had not seen this kind of camaraderie among businessmen since moving to Chicago and wondered if there was a way to channel it, because it reminded him of growing up in Wallingford. 
 
“The thought persisted that I was experiencing only what had happened to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others in the great city. ... I was sure that there must be many other young men who had come from farms and small villages to establish themselves in Chicago. ... Why not bring them together? If others were longing for fellowship as I was, something would come of it.”
 
Jean and Paul Harris board a ship after visiting Rotary members in Bermuda, 1925.
Jean and Paul Harris board a ship after visiting Rotary members in Bermuda, 1925.
 
Harris eventually persuaded several business associates to discuss the idea of forming an organization for local professionals. On 23 February 1905, Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey gathered at Loehr’s office in downtown Chicago for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting.
 
In February 1907, Harris was elected the third president of the Rotary Club of Chicago. Toward the end of his presidency, he worked to expand Rotary beyond the city. Some club members resisted, not wanting to take on the additional financial burden. But Harris persisted, and by 1910, Rotary had expanded to several other major U.S. cities.
 
Harris recognized the need to form a national association with an executive board of directors. In August 1910, Rotarians held their first national convention in Chicago, where the 16 existing clubs unified as the National Association of Rotary Clubs (now Rotary International). The new association unanimously elected Harris as its president.
At the end of his second term as Rotary president, Harris resigned, citing ill health and the demands of his professional practice and personal life. He was elected president emeritus by convention action, a title he held until his death.
David Langworthy was born in Paddington 73 years ago. He and wife, Jean, have four sons, one daughter (all aged between 35 and 50) and 11 great grandchildren.
His father, whom he describes as “brutal”, was a Commander in the Navy. David left home at the age of 17 and his first job was as an accountant at Vic Rail. When he was 21, he and Jean married and he went into partnership in a printing business, which “didn’t work out”, so he went to Dandy Credit Co-op, where he met Bob Powell. He also met Vin Taranto, who introduced him to the 4-Way Test, and Kevin Bentley.
David was a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and had concerns about some aspects of the Credit Union management, so he put them to the Board, who rewarded him by promptly sacking him!
David was employed by Viscount Caravans as National Marketing Manager, with particular responsibility for NSW. He didn’t enjoy it. The glamour soon wore off and, after transferring to Victoria as State Manager, he realised that he had “different values”. He was introduced to Roy Smith, who had marriage problems and, in six months, the business closed. Then someone else introduced him to a bedding manufacturer and they set up an arrangement on a 50/50 basis, selling stock on consignment. Eventually, he took over the stock and started his own bedding business.
In 1989, a Recession came along and everything was liquidated. Then, with son Mark and Mario Spiteri, he set up Bev Marks, growing to 12 showrooms but, thanks to Covid 19 restrictions, 10 stores have had to be closed. They have an importing company and an accounting company tacked on to the main business. All his kids work in the business.
David joined Martin Pater in the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills on 27 August 1982, becoming President in 1996. He describes his experience as “an interesting journey”, enjoying the company of people “with the same values”.
In 1993, he had his first introduction to RI, manning the desk at the Melbourne Convention. Since then, he has been to 16 International Conventions and, at the Brisbane Convention, he was introduced to Shelta Box, becoming President of SB Australia in 1996 and 2016. David moved on to co-found Disaster Aid and help set up DA around the World.
David’s next project is in North Korea, where he hopes to set up a peace mission on the Korean Peninsula.
 Colin has been appointed the new Assistant Governor for Melbourne South East. I have known Colin for well over 20 years while working at HP. He is fully of energy, drive, dedication and experience and  l have no doubt that Colin will help and  guide our club and the cluster to greater height moving forward.
It is great to have AG Colin in our club .Please join me to congratulate Colin for his appointment and wishing him every success in his new role as the new Assistant Governor.
Kam Pow.
Born in 1946 as a “welcome home airman” baby, the first of three children, I lived for a short time in Prahran before the family moved into a new Housing Commission house in East Hampton.
I went to primary school at St Mary’s Hampton. In 1957, a few months before I was to start secondary school at De La Salle Malvern, my father, a man with a violent, alcoholic past, rewarded me by deserting us, leaving us in extreme poverty.
In 1965, I started my first job with a large Chartered Accounting firm, now known as PWC Coopers, where I worked as a Share Auditor, studying (not very conscientiously!) accountancy by night. In November of that year, I met Cheryl at the popular dance venue, 431, in St Kilda Road.
In 1968, I was called up for National Service. After a medical, which consisted mainly of a gentleman, to whom I was not the least attracted, grasping my balls and asking me to cough, something I didn’t even do in my most private moments, I boarded a bus for Puckapunyal, my home for 10 weeks. Due to a high-carb diet and a lot of physical exercise, I went from a 10 st 7lb weakling to an 11st 3lb weakling, with a high level of fitness! There, I saw a number of idiots made into men and the experience left me with a strong belief in National Service for everyone. We developed a tremendous “esprit de corps”.
I was proud to be an important part of a 4 x 400m relay-winning team.
I then moved to Balcombe for my corps training as an Operator Keyboard & Radio. I gained a typing speed of 45 wpm and could type direct from morse code to English, a skill now completely lost. There, I was part of the football team, training twice a week and playing twice a week, mid-week in a military comp and, on Saturdays, in the Nepean League, where we were beaten in the Grand Final by Red Hill, a team with a few professionals. It was my favourite sporting year.
I then moved to Simpson Barracks, Watsonia, currently in the news for several reasons. I also changed football clubs, going to my future brother in law’s club, Cheltenham Assumption. All round, this was a very enjoyable year, and not just because I broke my leg at football and was relieved from parade ground duties for over 10 weeks!
In 1970, I returned to PWC and married Cheryl. We produced four beautiful children who have each produced two children and we moved to Brandon Park. I moved into Audit and recommenced accountancy studies by night at the old Prahran CAE, eventually hauling myself over the line as a qualified accountant.
1971 was my first year of community service, joining the footy club committee. Apart from a year off, in 1972, I have been on a committee of some sort ever since.
In 1973, I moved from PWC to my brother in law’s Practice, D G Rees & Associates, in South Melbourne, where I quickly became a Partner, all in the “glory days” of the tax-deductible lunch!
In 1976, annoyed at the way football clubs ignored women, I founded a highly successful netball team within my Club, completely changing the culture of the Club for the better.
A year later, I founded the Waverley Advanced Gymnastics Club, to pick up higher level gymnasts discarded by the Community Centre. The Club has become one of the largest and most successful in Australia, producing Olympic and World Championships gymnasts, something I am very proud of, because it required a huge leap of faith and strong leadership.
In 1981, we moved to Wheelers Hill, our home for 27 years.
In 1991, I retired from football, at the age of 43, which proves you can play forever if you play at a low enough level! I continued to play cricket. In all, I played 500 games of football and 200 games of cricket, serving throughout on the respective committees.  I commenced flying lessons, the start of a 20 year love affair (with flying!) and flew my own aeroplane to such places as Lake Mungo, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, Flinders Ranges, Merimbula and all over Victoria and southern NSW.
Having experienced extreme poverty and family violence first hand, I had always had a desire that, when I was in a position to do so, I would give back to the community and people less fortunate than myself, so, when, in 1993 PP Garry Byrne asked me to join Rotary, it was an easy sale for him! I have been President twice and have been awarded a PHF and Sapphire, awards I value above all others. I have loved my time in Rotary. By 2022, I will have chalked up 51 years of involvement in one community organisation or another, the last 50 being continuous. It is a hackneyed phrase, but I have got out more than I have put in.
In February 1994, I parted company with my former Practice and started my own Practice in Carnegie. I was proud to be told by the ATO that my Practice was rated in the top 5% in Melbourne and I worked hard to keep up the standard.
In 2008, we moved to Sandhurst, where I jog and play golf regularly, and we love the environment and lifestyle. We have seen a fair bit of the World, my favourite countries being Norway, Scotland, SW England, the European rivers and South America.
We have also seen much of Australia, our favourites being Katherine Gorge, Kakadu, Kalbarri, Kata Juta and Litchfield, but there are many other amazing spots in our great country too.
There is much more to my life than this, but for that you will have to wait for the autobiography I am writing, with a provisional title of “A Cure For Insomnia”!
About Our Club

Greater Dandenong and Endeavour Hills

We meet In Person
Tuesdays
Dandenong Club
1579 Heatherton Road
Dandenong North, VIC 3175
Australia
1st & 3rd Tuesdays of month 6pm for 6.30pm start
Club Executives & Directors
President
Treasurer
President Elect
Secretary
Community Service
Vocational Services
International Service
New Generations
Rotary Foundation
Immediate Past President
Membership
Club Protection Officer
On to Conference