Reflects on 50 years of service with Rotary

WHEN Bob Stockwell joined Granville Rotary in 1971, it was by invite only and only open to businessmen.

As he prepares to celebrate his 50th anniversary with the group tonight at his service felicitation dinner at Granville Diggers, Bob says there have been many changes since he joined Rotary as a 32-year-old.
“I had a joinery business in Granville and my bank manager invited me to join,” he said.
“It has always been a service organisation but in those days, we met once a week and it was always a great boys’ night out.
“Women weren’t permitted to join until 1989 and now since Covid, we only meet twice a month and our membership numbers have shrunk from 45 [when he joined] to about 18 or 19 with most aged in their 60s.”
Saying it’s been harder to attract younger members, Bob said people are either working and studying or busy raising their families.
“Everyone is very time poor these days and the demographic in Granville has changed considerably; it is multicultural these days and these groups tend to carry out good community works within their churches and don’t look for a service organisation to join,” he said.
With no plans to retire, Bob says he is proud of the work that Rotary Granville has achieved.
“We’ve supported a lot of aged care projects, provided disaster relief including purchasing Shelterboxes for the homeless, purchased prosthetic limbs for people in India and Sri Lanks, travelled to New Guinea and built a toilet and shower block for children at a Salvation Army Mission and are still distributing food hampers for local battlers among many other things,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute and feel honoured to have a made a difference.”