Rotary Club of Sale

Brief histories of the “” Clubs

Rotary Club of Sale

Rotary International District 9820

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For more information see the booklet

Sixty Years of Service

The Rotary Club of Sale, 1928-1988,

by Peter Synan

The Rotary Club of Sale formed in 1928, its sponsor being the Rotary Club of Melbourne. At that time Sale, with an urban population of around 4000, was the largest town in the far-flung province of Gippsland, South East Victoria. The importance of Sale at the time of the formation of the Sale Rotary Club related directly to:

� Its status as a See town both for the Anglican and Catholic churches.

� Its schools, particularly its large boarding schools.

� Its hub position for transport systems including water carriage through the famous Gippsland Lakes.

� Its Gippsland Base Hospital.

� Its location adjacent to a rich dairying, grazing and crop growing district.

� Its manufacturing industries including foundry, flour mill, woollen mill and butter factory.

Sale’s town population has now grown to around 14,000. Its agriculture has been strengthened by irrigation, its manufacture enhanced by the offshore discovery of oil and natural gas in the nearby Gippsland Basin, its service sector expanded by a large Royal Australian Air Force training base at East Sale.

Membership of Rotary in Sale has reflected the population changes of the town. In turn, Rotary has contributed in a significant way to the shaping of the town’s amenities and to promoting its residents� wellbeing.

From a charter group of sixteen, the club had grown to over 70 members by the early 1970s. A second club, the Rotary Club of Sale Central, was formed in 1977-1978. In 2000, the combined strength of the two Sale Rotary Clubs had settled to around the seventy mark.

Sale Rotary’s inaugural president, Bishop George Cranswick, was also its main founder. As Bishop of Gippsland, Cranswick was well read, much travelled, and thoroughly acquainted with the ideals of Rotary. He encouraged real estate agent, Frank Chalmer, storekeeper Peter Jensen and others to recruit prospective Sale Rotarians.

Fittingly, successive Bishops of Gippsland have graced the Rotary Club of Sale over the decades, including Bishops Blackwood, Sheumack, and most recently, Arthur Jones.

Sale has had a strong tradition of sons of Rotarians and even a son-in-law, following into Rotary. Inaugural member W.C.(Bill) Leslie was followed by his son John. Hardware store proprietor Rex Castles was followed by sons Bruce and Brian. All three Castles were members when Rex was honoured as a Paul Harris Fellow in 1981. Founding vice president and second president R.M.(Bob) Rolland was followed by his son-in-law Rob Cowie.


Rob Cowie, himself a president of Sale Rotary, symbolised courage in the face of quite devastating adversity. An horrific car accident took the life of his wife Helen (nee Rolland) and left him severely crippled. Following rehabilitation, Rob returned to the club, retaining an interest in all things Rotary. His spirit inspired our whole Rotary family.

High achievers amongst Sale Rotarians include Doug Riding, Officer Commanding RAAF Base East Sale and later Deputy Chief of the Air Force; Neil McInnes, parliamentarian, pilot and Royal Humane Society recipient; Peter Ryan, MLA, solicitor and currently, leader of the National Party in Victoria; John Leslie, Mayor of Sale, advisor and benefactor to the arts in Victoria; Honorary member Dr. Clive Disher, a brigadier (retired list) who served in both world wars.

The Rotary Club of Sale has conferred Paul Harris Fellows on Rex Castles (1981), Cliff Gamlin (1982), Dr. Joe Crosbie (1983), Eric Frith (1984), Ted Peirce (1986), John Leslie OBE (1987), Bill Stephenson OBE (1988), Helen Cowie (1990), John Lewis (1992), Rob Cowie (1994), Bishop Colin Sheumack (1995), Don Ripper (1996), Noel Langley (1996), Max Morrison (1999), David Tulloch (1999).

The club’s records attest to allegiance to the four avenues of Rotary Service. Outstanding achievements include: � Promoting the spread of Rotary in Gippsland, notably through sponsoring Bairnsdale and Maffra Rotary Clubs.

� Sponsoring the Rotary Club of Sale Central.

� Establishing the Sale Apex Club.

� Forming both Mens and Ladies Probus Clubs in Sale.

� Establishing the Sale Elderly Citizens’ Village.

� Setting up a Life Education caravan for Gippsland primary schools (lead role).

� Achieving Rotary Reserve, Sale.

� Achieving the restoration of the Sale Powder Magazine.

� Promoting Rotary Youth Exchange.

A stand-out achievement has been the Sale Elderly Citizens’ Village. This project was officially opened by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. W. Wentworth (pictured) in 1972. Sale Rotarians have had a major managerial role at this village over the past thirty years.

Knowing the history of an organization is very important to assess what it is capable of and to determine what the future journey could be. Be it any company or organization, the history has a lot to tell us about the company itself. When you are investing in a particular stock, either through a trader or directly, using software like HBSwiss, you need to know about the history of the company to know better about the stock. This will ensure you make a wise investment choice.

Information provided by Peter Synan, 2002