Flashback: Sixty-six Rotary Clubs represented at Beachcomber Conference in Port Macquarie

Big adventure ahead: Bernard and Rhonda Fitzpatrick, before leaving to take up positions in Canada, 1970.

Big adventure ahead: Bernard and Rhonda Fitzpatrick, before leaving to take up positions in Canada, 1970.

The conference with a difference

Port Macquarie achieved another notable success; with a tremendously happy and inspiring conference for Rotarians throughout what is known as Rotary International District 267.

The district covers more than one-third of the area of the state, stretching west to Cobar from Newcastle and back to the coast at Kempsey.

There are 55 clubs in the district, and with members of other clubs present, a total of 66 clubs were represented.

Altogether 810 people registered for the conference and the huge number of 720 sat down to a hot dinner in the big marquee on the waterfront green on Saturday evening. This big occasion was officially termed "the district governor's reception and dinner" and Mr and Mrs Roger Dulhunty were a charming host and hostess.

Rainy weather early last week broke with one of those perfect days on Thursday, warm and sunny, and the excitements of weeks of planning became something more tangible as volunteers helped the people (Waldons) from Sydney erect the huge marquee in a perfect setting.

All welcome: The big tent erected on town green for Rotary's Beachcomber Conference, 1970. Photos supplied by Port Macquarie Museum.

All welcome: The big tent erected on town green for Rotary's Beachcomber Conference, 1970. Photos supplied by Port Macquarie Museum.

From the moment the tent started to go up the conference seemed assured of success. Too strong for the storms which rumbled, and rain on two occasions, was the enthusiasm that had been engendered, 720 people finding their way to "the big top" on Saturday night in the wet at 7pm.

Five hours later the governor's dinner was still singing merrily along. The womenfolk prepared and set the tables for the dinner.

Host club president Lloyd McNeil said yesterday that the wholehearted co-operation received from all members of Rotary and their Rotaryannes, and from other service clubs in the town has led to the conference being an outstanding success.

Travelling to Canada

Bernard and Rhonda Fitzpatrick, left Australia on February 27, to travel to Canada, via Singapore, Japan and Honolulu. Bernard, son of Charles Fitzpatrick of Lake Cathie, is a teacher and will take up employment in Toronto. Rhonda, daughter of Mr And Mrs Alec Lewis of Port Macquarie, may work as a nursing sister during the two to three years the couple intend spending in Canada.

More assistance for tourist industry

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Oxley Electorate Council of the Australian Country Party at the Port Macquarie RSL board room on Friday night, the MLA for Oxley, Bruce Cowan, said more government assistance should be given to the tourist industry.

Mr Cowan said $15 million had been spent inducing industry to move to the country areas; he felt similar assistance should be given to assisting the tourist industry.

He said if shire councils with a tourist resort in their area were given assistance in the provision of roads, sewerage, water, etc., then the councils could do more for the farmers in the back-blocks.

Mr Cowan said he would select a part of the coast, similar to what it proposed for industrial growth centres, and give extra assistance to its tourist industry.

This is the best way to decentralise people, he said. He felt the best location for such a scheme would be the coast between Port Macquarie and Forster.

This story Rotarians take over Town Green - 1970 first appeared on Port Macquarie News.

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