The Rotary Club of Narrabri had 30,000 reasons to celebrate at its annual changeover dinner as it marked the completion of the club’s Brett’s Road to Recovery project.
Outgoing president Grahame Herbert presented a cheque for $30,000 to Brett Nolan to assist in the purchase of a modified vehicle.
Mr Nolan, who was injured after falling 12.5 metres through the roof of a hay shed at the start of last year, praised the support of Rotary and the wider Narrabri community.
“This town is outstanding for getting around people,” Mr Nolan said.
He received his vehicle, a modified Toyota Hilux, earlier this year and is enjoying his newfound freedom.
“It’s a massive relief,” Mr Nolan said of having the vehicle.
“Rotary’s donation goes a long way to paying for the vehicle.”
Mr Nolan said getting this form of independence made an enormous difference to his life.
Before having the vehicle, he was often seen around town in his handbike.
The handbike was limited in its distance as well as with weather.
Now, Mr Nolan has year-round freedom.
“I’m not one for sitting at home,” he said. “Having this vehicle allows me to go much further.”
In addition to giving Mr Nolanindependence, the vehicle also relieves pressure on his wife, Tanya.
Mrs Nolan has been by her husband’s side throughout the ordeal.
At the changeover dinner, Mr Herbert told the gathering of Rotarians and invited guests of the club’s fundraising success.
The club raised $15,000 toward the Brett’s Road to Recovery project which started in July 2020.
Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) provided a matching $15,000 grant to support the initiative.
Mr Herbert said the project ticked all the right boxes to be supported by RAWCS and funding from Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist Dick Smith.
Before presenting the cheque, Mr Herbert read Mr Nolan’s journey out to the gathering.
“It’s a story we all need to hear,” he said.
Before embarking on the fundraising drive, it was by sheer chance that Mr Herbert came across Mr Nolan in town and Mr Nolan explained the nature of his injuries.
“He has such a positive attitude about what the future has in store for him,” Mr Herbert said.
“He has a smile from ear to ear.”
The donation was Mr Herbert’s final duty as president before handing the club regalia to incoming president Darrell Tiemens.
Mr Tiemens then introduced his incoming board for the next Rotary year.
Honours were awarded as the Rotary Club of Narrabri celebrated the end of a spectacular year at its annual changeover dinner.
Husband-and-wife Rotary duo Grahame and Julie Herbert had their commitment to the club, and to the organisation in general, recognised with one of the best honours a Rotarian can receive – a Paul Harris Fellow.
The honour was announced by incoming president Darrell Tiemens and was a surprise for the pair.
Mr and Mrs Herbert’s children, Rhiannon and Lachlan, made the journey to see their parents receive the Rotary honour.
Introducing Mrs Herbert, Mr Tiemens said she was dedicated and had performed exceptionally hard work for the club.
A shocked Mrs Herbert said she enjoyed spending time with her Rotarian friends as well as contributing to the organisation’s good work.
The surprise continued as Mr Tiemens announced Mr Herbert’s honour.
“He has done a great deal of hard work in the last year for the club,” Mr Tiemens said.
He paid tribute to Mr Herbert as showing exceptional diligence.
Earlier in the night, Mr Herbert handed out club awards to hard working members.
The Dark Horse award, presented to a quiet achiever in the club, was awarded to Bruce Pyke.
Mr Herbert described Mr Pyke as being a person you could count on to get the job done.
He also praised Mr Pyke’s wisdom and support.
Mr Pyke said he tried to do good in the world and thanked the club for its support.
Rotarian of the Year was presented to Tricia Hadley, recognising her tremendous work in the club.
Mr Herbert said she was the backbone of a multitude of activities.
He praised Mrs Hadley’s can-do attitude.
“I love Rotary,” Mrs Hadley said after receiving the honour.
“I can’t think of a better organisation to be part of. I’m always here to help.”
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PAUL HARRIS FELLOWS: Julie and Grahame Herbert’s hard work with Rotary was recognised with one of the organisation’s highest honours – a Paul Harris Fellow. Mr Herbert is the outgoing president of the Rotary Club of Narrabri while Mrs Herbert served as president in the previous year. They were joined by children Rhiannon and Lachlan to celebrate the occasion.
ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR: Grahame Herbert named Tricia Hadley as the Rotarian of the Year.
QUIET ACHIEVER: Outgoing club president Grahame Herbert presents the Dark Horse award to Bruce Pyke.