The biggest event on the calendar of any Rotary Club is the Changeover Night, when the Rotary year officially comes to an end and the new President is celebrated.

For Rotary Northbridge, this event took place on Monday night when over fifty Rotarians and friends gathered at the Mount Lawley Golf Club to enjoy an excellent meal and to celebrate a successful year under outgoing President Jessica Brass.

For Jessica, it’s been an eventful year indeed – in May, she and her partner James welcomed their first child, Julia, who was also in attendance (and sleeping peacefully) on Monday night.

Our new President (our 34th) is Luke Bayley (pictured), who spoke to the gathering about his hopes for the new year.

As it happens, Luke and partner Jessica also welcomed their first child earlier in the year.  Daughter Phoebe was also in attendance at the dinner (but not quite as placid as Julia, unfortunately).

The new board was introduced as well.  Changes include Colin Ryniker as Treasurer and Merilyn Adamson as Club Service Director, while Jess Brass will take the traditional post-Presidency role of Membership Director.

Charlie Russo was announced as President-Elect for 2018-19.  Charlie is one of our three new members (including Merilyn Adamson and continuing Community Service Director Robyn Penny) who have joined our club with the demise of the Rotary Club of East Perth, and it is exciting to see all three now in senior positions in our club.

Also announced at the meeting were four very special awards.  The club awarded two new Paul Harris Fellows, Charlie Gullotti and Michael Rosario.  Both have been Presidents (Charlie in 2005/6, Michael in 2009/10) and have served the club with distinction; Charlie was the driving force behind the successful Dinner Dances, while Michael has served in a number of roles (including outgoing Club Service Director) and was also the organiser of our very successful Quiz Night in April this year.

The other two awards were a Rotary Northbridge first.  Our first-ever Paul Harris Sapphire Awards were conferred on Malcolm Evans and Malcolm Shalders for their many years of outstanding service to the club.  Each has served as President and in numerous other roles over the years.  Malcolm Evans was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting to receive his award, but we will celebrate his achievement at a future meeting.

These members have done an outstanding job for the club and, through it, the community.  They are excellent examples of the Rotary ethos of ‘service above self’.