Past president of the Rotary Club of Taree Brian Hole has been recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
The presentation was made during the Taree club’s dinner to celebrate the presentation of the Rotary charter to the club 80 years ago.
Also in attendance were seven members of the Rotary Club of Okayama Chuo in Japan.
Brian joined the Rotary Club of Taree 40 years ago, in February 1978, with the interesting vocational classification of opal mining.
Twenty years ago, in 1997/98 Brian was the club’s president, a significant year for Brian as it was exactly 50 years since his father Frank Hole was the club president.
It was during Brian’s year as president the sister club agreement was signed between the Rotary Club of Taree and the Rotary Club of Okayama Chuo.
Sixteen members and wives travelled to Japan for 10 days to begin what has been a wonderful relationship that has fostered international understanding.
Since this relationship started there has been ongoing communications and there have been regular visits between clubs, culminating in welcoming seven of the club’s friends from Okayama to help celebrate 80 years since the charter was presented to the club by Rotary International.
The year Brian, who is a benefactor of the Rotary Foundation himself, was president, was also the club’s 60th birthday year, and more than 250 people attended the birthday celebration dinner held at the Taree RSL Club.
It was an active year for the club. Two days before the Pacific Highway bypass was opened to traffic, the club, together with the Rotary Club of Taree North and the Rotary Club of Taree on Manning, organised a walk from bridge to bridge on the new highway.
Many thousands of the community participated, to much acclaim for Rotary’s organising skills.
In 1948 the Taree club sponsored the chartering of the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie, and in 1998 Brian led 24 of members to help them celebrate their 50th anniversary of charter.
Also during his time as president, the club chartered the Probus Club of Taree on Manning with a membership of 90 and the Probus Club of Old Bar with 50 members, and Brian inducted six new members into the Rotary Club of Taree.
Two nurses from the Kokoda Memorial Hospital in Papua New Guinea were sponsored and hosted by our club for six weeks vocational training at the Base Hospital and Mayo Private Hospital.
The club also dispatched an X-ray machine, a defibrillator, dental chairs and hospital beds to the Kokoda Hospital.
The club hosted exchange student Anne Schmitz-Huebner from Germany and sponsored Kerin Murphy for her exchange to Thailand.
More than $6000 was raised towards the Taree Swim and Leisure Centre appeal; the club held a Youth Forum at the YMCA, and participated in the Business Week Program at Chatham High School.
Brian has always been quietly working to support the club.
Recently he brought to the club the concept of a courtesy pack of toiletries which are prepared by our members and given to people who are admitted to hospital in an emergency situation and therefore do not have the basic toiletry items needed.