Bob was club secretary in 1979 when Bob
Templeman and I joined the club and it was only a couple of months later
that we both got a call from Bob asking us to nominate for the board. On my
part, I allowed my arm to be twisted thinking I had no chance of being
elected only to find out later that only the exact number of members
required for the board had been nominated. Not long afterwards he was
nominated to be governor in 1982-83 and he asked me to organise his
changeover and to be district conference secretary. This resulted in my
attending my first district conference at Gosford during Col Dodds's year .
Bob's district theme for his year was
"Australian Awareness" illustrated by a kangaroo above a boomerang. As a
result, when he did his official visit to RC of Moorebank, they served him a
meat pie with a sachet of tomato sauce. In keeping with his theme, on the
Saturday afternoon of his conference we visited Old Sydney Town for the
Vocational segment of the conference. While there a ceremonial flogging of
the governor and his conference secretary (me) took place, an event that
pleased everyone and did Bob's reputation no harm. David Croft was club
president in his year and Brian Hennell was his District Conference
chairman; an excellent choice.
I believe that Bob had been president of another club which I think was
Bondi Junction. He was the executive manager of the NSW Road Transport
Industry Committee Limited
I also learnt from Bob to be an efficient secretary. Whenever we had a
meeting Bob would hand out jobs for people to do. The next morning I would
get to the office and at about 9.30 would make my first call for Bob only to
learn that he had already done it himself. As a result, a race developed
between us to see who could get in first.
An amusing event occurred at the changeover at Canterbury racecourse.
Bob and his predecessor, Geoff Dubois, were not getting on too well at the
time because Bob had told Geoff that he would have to pay for his ticket.
Geoff arrived in an angry mood. The club treasurer, Gerry Whalan, was
supposed to be collecting the fees but he was late and Paul Lehmann filled
in for him. When Geoff approached the table at what was the end of his year
as governor, Paul asked "What's your name and what club are you from."
Geoff nearly exploded, threw his money on the table, said "If you don't know
now, you never will" and stormed off.
As a result I owe a great debt to Bob
for getting me involved in club affairs from an early date. Otherwise, I
may well have drifted away. I went on to make a career of Rotary.