A Short History of the Rotary Club of Stuart Alice Springs

The Rotary Club of Stuart Alice Springs came into existence to overcome a problem being experienced by the Rotary Club of Alice Springs. That club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Mt. Isa was chartered in 1961. Simply put the nearest make up opportunities were 1500 kilometres away either north south or east of the club. It was decided to sponsor a new club in Alice Springs named after the original settlement in the Centre:- the Town of Stuart. So, sponsored by the Alice Club, the Rotary Club of Stuart, Alice Springs came into existence on 14 July 1970, Both clubs also transferred out of their existing district in Qld into District 950 in SA (now District 9500).

The original intention was for members to be admitted to each club based on which side of the Todd River they lived, (east or west) but this proved to be impracticable, and it became a matter of recruiting new members directly into one’s own club. Both Clubs maintained a fellowship with the American Community in Alice Springs to the extent that Stuart incorporated the NT and USA flags into its club banner.

Later, Stuart Club had the pleasure of sponsoring the Rotary Club of Alice Springs Mbantua which was chartered on 21 January 1985. Mbantua is the Arrernte name for Alice Springs.

The Club has been and still is involved in many community projects including the famous Henley on Todd dry river regatta. It has a fearsome reputation for its expertise in organising barbecues for all sorts of local charities including the very popular Old Timers fete. Its members have also served the local community in other facets of community life. Several of its members have served as aldermen on the local Town Council with one serving two terms as Mayor. Four members have won the coveted Centralian of the Year award for their community work. Many members are Paul Harris Fellows with two awarded sapphire pins for their contribution to Rotary and the community.

The Club however, is pretty laid back with a reputation for producing lairs and larrikins. Informality is a key note. The Club cheekily dubbed its founding father “Dad’s Army” because of age differences between the two. It has no hesitation in challenging visiting DGs on matters of policy. But overall it seeks to have fun and fellowship while carrying out good works.