Bruce takes the reins

By Benalla Ensign

The Rotary Club of Benalla officially named its new president Bruce Walker at a well-attended changeover dinner last Thursday.

Mr Walker takes over from outgoing president Sally Sykes, who he said should be ‘‘very proud’’ of her tenure.

‘‘I’m looking forward to the evening, I’m somewhere between excited and terrified, one or the other,’’ Bruce said.

‘‘I’ve been a member since 2013 and I’m very happy to be the new president of such an amazing club.’’

Ms Sykes said she had thoroughly enjoyed the past 12 months and that Mr Walker would be a great new president.

‘‘It’s been very good this year. We’ve raised quite a lot of money, which we can disperse to the community which is great,’’ Ms Sykes said.

‘‘It doesn’t feel like a year, it’s gone pretty quickly actually, but I’ve enjoyed my time as president.’’

To describe the club’s 2017-2018 fundraising results as ‘‘Quite a lot of money’’ is somewhat humble with more than $27500 raised and donated to a variety of good causes in and around Benalla.

Recipients of those donations include the Australian Heart Foundation, the Benalla Shorts Film Festival, the ever-popular Wall to Wall Festival, Tomorrow Today, St Vinnies and the Salvation Army, to mention a few.

‘‘We’re a good club, everyone chips in and helps which is really great,’’ Ms Sykes said.

‘‘When you really need someone they turn up and they come and help without fail.

‘‘I am proud of my year in charge. We’ve had a good year, we’ve had a lot of different things we’ve been involved in, a lot of cooperation from the members.

‘‘And we’ve had a great range of guest speakers, which has made it really, really good.

‘‘There’s so many people to thank that I can’t name them all, they’re just there when you need them, it just takes a quick phone call.’’

With big shoes to fill, Mr Walker has plans for his time in charge.

‘‘I’m excited about the coming year. I’m looking for a major local project to do,’’ Mr Walker said.

‘‘We’ve done international projects recently, but now I’m looking for something where we can both put money in and get hands on work done.

‘‘I want to get the members involved in actually doing something and be visible in the community doing it.

‘‘We do a lot of fundraising, but I’d like to see us do more hands-on work.

‘‘I have a couple of things I need to do more research on. I’ll be letting the Ensign know what those will be when I get that done.’’

The Rotary Club of Benalla is always happy to consider new members.

●If you are interested in joining you can phone new President Bruce Walker on 0427406102 or Sally Sykes who is taking over as the new club membership officer on 0438055321.