The launch of a Multicultural Food Fest was just one of many highlights for Deniliquin Rotary Club in the past year, as reported at the club’s annual changeover dinner last week.
Returned president Martin Wilmshurst said the festival was an exciting initiative for Rotary, and allowed the community to ‘‘get together and welcome newcomers’’.
The concept of a multicultural themed event was established in conjunction with Intereach in August last year.
‘‘With fantastic input from Jimmi Patel’s family, along with other groups in town arranged by Eric Sim, Deniliquin’s first Celebrating Cultures Food Fest took place — a personal highlight for me,’’ Mr Wilmshurst said.
The success of the event prompted Rotary to host another in April this year.
Mr Wilmshurst also reported on the club’s total donations to various local and international charities of more than $13,000.
‘‘For a small club such as ours, we must be, and are, proud to be able to donate outside of Deniliquin,’’ he said.
‘‘This reflects the dedication of Rotarians, and also the generosity of Deniliquin.’’
Rotary supported numerous local events, including the Ute Muster, Truck Show, Carols by Candlelight and the Australia Day breakfast.
A current major project for the group — alongside the Lions Club, Soroptimists, Deni RSL Club and Edward River Council — is the installation of a disabled access swing, known as a ‘Liberty Swing’, at the RSL Park.
In his report, Mr Wilmshurst said collaboration with other service clubs may grow as similar organisations both nationally and locally are ‘‘feeling the pinch’’.
‘‘The reality that we, and other clubs, have to face is that membership is a concern,’’ Mr Wilmshurst said.
This year’s Rotary Board of Directors include Ian McAtamney as secretary, Russell Begg as treasurer, Glen Warren as president elect and Garry Baker as vice president. Directors are Gerhard Schulz, Dianne Hand and David McPherson.