On Tuesday May 12th 2020 we sang “21 today, 21 today, we’ve got the key to the door (well we had a key but it didn’t fit the door!!!), never been 21 before….. That part was true!
 
With the #stayhome restrictions in place due to Covid-19 we had to get creative to find a way to celebrate our milestone. And celebrate we did.
 
Our resident cook baked cupcakes (thanks Brian), Helen helped I’m sure. Helen, Lynne and Bev delivered them to
members on the day of our party (thanks ladies).
 
Claire set up a Zoom meeting #party (she is a whizz…thanks Claire). Paul helped to put together a clip of birthday wishes sent to the club (very clever – thanks Paul).
 
We received a mountain of mail in the form of 21st birthday cards from past presidents, our Mayor, the Committee for Portland, the Rotary Club of Portland, members and friends.
 
Members and friends were invited to sign the key and guest book – kindly hosted by Patsy (thanks Patsy).
 
We sang (poorly) “Happy Birthday”, lit our candles, ate cake and made toasts (cheers!!!). We heard from all guests including members, friends, District Governor Elect Phil Beasley, Assistant Governor John Clue, President Erin Barker (Rotary Club of Portland), Past District Governor Rotarian Wayne Barrett and Gail Barrett, the Mayor of the Glenelg Shire Anita Rank and CEO of the Glenelg Shire Greg Burgoyne.
 
In lieu of dancing, singing and partying (which is what one does at a ‘normal’ 21st birthday party) we had an 18 question trivia quiz. We learned that:
  1. Our club was chartered on 12th May 1999.
  2. We originally met at the Gordon Hotel.
  3. There have been 20 different presidents over the 21 years as Marg has been the president twice.
  4. Some people were wearing something with the Rotary wheel on it – Marg was wearing all of her badges and pins – a large collection!
  5. Many of those present could name past presidents who are still members of our club.
  6. Many of those present could name past presidents who have left Portland.
  7. We currently have 26 active members.
  8. We have collected many different things for charity over the years – bras, corks, postage stamps, bread tags, spectacles and more.
  9. We have hosted several inbound Exchange Students and have supported as many outbound students.
  10. Mathilde Boisse-Despiaux was our first inbound students from France.
  11. Marg Perrett (AKA Wagner) was the Charter President and Gail Barrett was the Charter Secretary.
  12. Our club is part of District 9780 and Group 5.
  13. When we were chartered in May of 1999, the Rotary theme was “Follow Your Rotary Dreams” and this year the theme is “Rotary Connects”.
  14. Peter Lyons and Wayne Jones are the only two charter members who have had continuous membership of our club. Charter members Marg Wagner and Malcolm Alexander both left for a while and then rejoined our club.
  15. The Rotary Club of Portland was formed in 1942 and sponsored our club.
  16. We have contributed to a number of international projects over the 21 years.
  17. Our greatest fundraising tool is the coffee van (some would argue that it is our members)!
  18. The Charter Night celebration was help at the Portland Golf Club in May 1999.
I am proud of what our club has achieved and am excited for its future…I wonder what the club will look, sound and feel like in 21 years’ time?
 
Congratulations everyone and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
 
Marg Wagner
Charter President