On Wednesday 29 August, on a, sparkling, warm winter’s day, twenty-four Rostrum members and supporters gathered in friendship over lunch, to celebrate the official birth of the Walkerville Rostrum Club, Club 35 in the South Australian/Northern Territory Zone, with the affable Freeman Peter Martindale presiding.
The Walkerville Provisional Club meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at the Returned Servicemen’s League on Walkerville Terrace since the 5th April 2017, was being affiliated as the first lunch time Rostrum club to be founded in South Australia since Club 23 and Club 25 were started in 1979 and 1980. The provisional club had been established and nurtured by Freemen Peter Martindale, and Maureen and Patrick Bourke.
For one of the founding members, Freeman Patrick Bourke, there was a sense of déjà vu as he had been on the committee which started Club 23 of which he was the Foundation President, providing a link across the decades.
Founding Member John Pohl who had attended since the first meeting of the Provisional Club in April 2017 proposed a toast to Rostrum with wit and style, likening Rostrum to the additive, MSG. which improves flavour of food. It was, he said very appropriate to use the acronym for Rostrum, where it stood for Meeting, Speaking and Greeting. To improve the quality and flavour of our personal communication.
In responding, Freeman Heather Layton, the Provisional Club’s first Coach, recalled that she, like so many members, had joined Rostrum with a view to being a member for two years, giving herself time to acquire confidence and skills she wanted to develop for her work. Twenty years later, having succumbed to the camaraderie, entertainment and interest of Rostrum meetings she now looked to many more years of membership.
Zone President, Freeman Rod Ellis, presented its Charter to the club and inducted 13 of the 17 members, (four being unable to attend because of work and family commitments.) Then departing from the Agenda, the Zone President presented Freemen Peter, Maureen and Patrick with bronze medallions in recognition of their endeavours in establishing the club.
The official program ended with a formal toast to the new Club by Carmel Westbrook, who relived her delighted surprise at the friendliness that enveloped her when she tentatively came to a meeting for the first time as a visitor. Graham Webster replied to the toast emphasising the place that the club had already made for itself in the Walkerville community and how much the Club had to offer.
A number of visitors spontaneously rose to complement the Club, and wish it well, before Freeman Peter Martindale closed the meeting and invited all who could to enjoy each other’s company informally for a while before leaving.