The Perth Club, the first in Western Australia, received its Charter during 1927 and was followed by Fremantle during 1928. Subsequently the Perth Club was responsible for the formation of Clubs at Bunbury in 1939, Northam in 1946, Kalgoorlie-Boulder in 1947 and Victoria Park in 1948.  During 1949 Geraldton, Mt.Lawley, Swan Districts and Subiaco received their charter, all being in district 64, which consisted of parts of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.


The Perth Club, the first in Western Australia, received its Charter during 1927 and was followed by Fremantle during 1928. Subsequently the Perth Club was responsible for the formation of Clubs at Bunbury in 1939, Northam in 1946, Kalgoorlie-Boulder in 1947 and Victoria Park in 1948.  During 1949 Geraldton, Mt.Lawley, Swan Districts and Subiaco received their charter, all being in district 64, which consisted of parts of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
The inaugural meeting of the Subiaco Club was held at the West Australian Football Association rooms, at Subiaco, on Friday, March 18th 1947 at 8.00 p.m. Four members of the Perth Club were present and fourteen invitees and the decision to form a Rotary Club was unanimous. Arrangements were made to meet at the Football Association Rooms for lunch on Fridays, catering charge was set at 2/6, and annual membership fee was set at $4 and admission fee at $6.  Application was made to Rotary International for membership.  The Perth Club ceded suitable territory to the new club with the western boundary extending to the coast.
The Charter, admitting the Subiaco Club to membership, was dated 6th.  June and was officially presented to Charter President the late Dr. Hugh Burns by Dr. Gordon Hislop, President of district 64, at a Charter night held at the Masonic Hall, Broadway, Nedlands on Saturday August 13th.  Twenty members were inducted and regretfully all have now passed away.
Although President Hugh was advised by experienced members of the Perth Club to consolidate rather than be too active during the first year, this did not prevent the Club from presenting paintings donated by Rotarian Claude Hotchkin to the Subiaco State School. The Community Service Committee joined with the same Committee of the Perth Club to raise finance to provide motorised wheel chairs to indigent cripples. The Subiaco Club raised $500 and a chair was presented to a Mr. Ferguson of Henry St.
During 1949 President Hugh represented the Club at the District Conference held at Warnambool.  The district Conference of 1951 was held at Ballarat, and four members, Ron Whittler, Clarrie O’Keefe, Colin Anderson and Jack Shepherd represented Subiaco Club.  Ballarat Club bad been instrumental in promoting the first Innerwheel Club in Australia, and on their return enough interest was generated to form the first Innerwheel Club in Western Australia, the Innerwheel Club of Subiaco which received it's Charter on 23rd. of May 1951.
The Club is indebted to the late Clarrie O'Keefe who in his Presidential year, 1955 decided that the history of the Subiaco Rotary Club should recorded, and to the late Jack Shepherd who undertook the task of researching and recording the earlier years.
Reading through the history of the Subiaco Club, the record of the four avenues of service, Community, Vocational, International and Youth is to say the least, impressive.  The Families and Organizations assisted, overseas projects undertaken, contributions to Rotary Foundation and the efforts of Rotarians, working together to bring to a successful conclusion to many projects undertaken. This history examines three stages in the progress of the Club, the first from 1949 to 1960, the second from 1961 to 1979 and the latter years from 1980 until 1998.  Space dictates that only major events can be reported.
During the early years, although there were a number of resignations, membership gradually increased. Members were mostly in the same age group and all involved in business or professions centred around Rokeby Road and Hay Street.  A strong bond of comradeship existed, and many of the wives were active in Innerwheel, so that fund raising activities had a mostly social element such as theatre nights, car rallies, B.B.Q and river trips etc. The number of organisations asking for assistance was extensive and in one year assistance was given to Subiaco Scouts, Apex, Miss Crowning Glory, Braille Society, Darwin Rotary, Friends of the Royal Perth Hospital, Junior Chamber, Subiaco Youth Centre, Save the Children Fund, Paraquad Association, Rice Bowl Appeal and parcels were supplied to Pensioners at Christmas.
Also during this period the Club was involved in two special appeals.  The first was the Medical School Appeal, which was the brainchild of a member of the Perth Club.  The Rotary Club of Subiaco was very active and raised $560.  The Subiaco Council encouraged local bodies to make a special effort and $1 8000 was contributed to the appeal.  In association with the Rotary Club of West Perth the Rotary Club of Subiaco raised $2400 towards the cost of a bus to transport Spastic Children.  Additional activities, in association with the Subiaco Apex Club included, raising funds to build a fountain in the garden in front of the new Civic Centre.  Rotarians and Innerwheel members combined to refurbish and decorate a disused room at the rear of the old Council Chambers to be used as a rest room and meeting place for Senior Citizens.
A very large project undertaken at this time was the Road Safety Instruction Centre in Mt.Lawley. A grant of land was obtained and an appeal was lodged, and later when the project was handed to the National Safety Council $3902 had been raised.  State Treasury had contributed $2000, Lotteries Commission $6000 and various Companies had supplied materials to the value of $4600.
Migration from England was receiving considerable public support during this period.  The Club decided to sponsor an English Family named New.  On arrival they were found housing, and Mr. New, a Job.
In 1959 Subiaco Rotarian, the late Ted Ledger was inducted as District Governor, and Subiaco hosted the District Conference at the Civic Centre that year.  The Wembley Floreat area was surveyed with the object of forming a new Club, but decided that the area would not be suitable.  Residential qualification for membership was not acceptable at that time.
As we move into the middle period, it is noticeable that membership had been on the increase, and by the middle sixties peaked at 75 members before a gradual decline to sixty members in 1979.
Difficulties with the lunch venue saw a change in 1961 to the Subiaco Civic Centre where the Club remained until another move was made to Onslow Lodge during 1969.  It is interesting to note that during this period the cost of lunch increased to $2.80 and later to $3.20. Efforts were made to keep luncheons interesting and special events included sons and daughters day during May, Past President's day and a special lunch when secretaries were invited.  Wives and Rotaractors were always welcome.
The late Charles Cornish was the first member to be awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by the Club.  The presentation was made in the presence of Rotarians, wives and invited guests.
During 1969 the Floreat Wembley area was again surveyed, and as a residential qualification was now accepted by Rotary International, an interest meeting resulted in the formation of the rotary Club of Floreat and appropriate territory ceded to the new Club.
The increase in membership, some with practical skills and knowledge, and backed up by industrial establishments, enabled the Subiaco Club to become involved in more ambitious projects.  The Adventure playground at the Subiaco Civic Centre was the first, completed in spite of some original doubts on the part of the Subiaco Council.  The late Len Henderson, classification building, was able to co-opt an honorary Architect and obtain assistance from Bunnings with the timber.  Alan Hair made Alroh workshops available and with help of Roy Lugg and members the project was completed and opened in the presence of the Mayor, Rotarians and citizens.
The experience gained with the playground project encouraged the Club to take on other projects of a similar nature.  A Playground and exercise equipment in the grounds of Jolimont Primary School, an adventure park at the Subiaco Kindy and an exercise track in Rosalie Park. During 1967 finance was raised to fund construction of a swimming pool in the grounds of the Subiaco Primary School.
The Darwin earthquake occurred during this period and funds were donated to this appeal.
Service Clubs are of necessity always searching for additional fund raising projects.  For some years erecting temporary stands at the Subiaco Oval for the football finals was rewarding; that is until permanent structures were built.  An Annual Fair during Subiaco Week was successful firstly at Rosalie Park and Subiaco Oval but finally abandoned because of lack of support. A giant auction, involving Rotarians collecting unwanted items from homes and businesses, and holding an auction held in the gardens in front of the old Subiaco Council Chambers was conducted with great flair by Rotarian John Lenton.  This was a very successful event having all the appeal of a fair, with the members of Innerwheel conducting a stall selling cakes and other items of interest. Unfortunately after a few years it appeared that Rotarians had cleaned out all unwanted items and the auction was discontinued.
The International Committee was able to arrange for a Penang boy, with a hole in the heart, to receive treatment in Perth, and young Malaysian from Singapore was hosted, and arrangements made for him to be trained as a fitter. FAIM & IPAC received continuing support and funds were raised towards the building of International House at Murdoch University.
Helping to promote the interests of youth was always a priority; Rotary Exchange Students from Japan, South Africa, United States, Turkey and Zimbabwe have been hosted by the club whilst at the same time excellent outward bound students were in turn sponsored and supported.  Asian Students from Murdoch University were also entertained on a number of occasions.  The Club was instrumental in chartering the Rotaract Club of Subiaco, and providing continuing support.  The Club is very active and is the largest in District 9450.  The Interact Club, started as part of the ongoing educational program for year 11 students at Perth Modem School, unfortunately became a casualty of the number of competing activities.
Interest in matched Clubs from overseas, has at times provided a great deal of interest, and in the late seventies Subiaco was matched to the Rotary Club of Combatore in India. Correspondence led to the idea that an exchange be made with Australian Fauna and an Elephant.  The idea finally floundered due to complex Government regulations, which was perhaps fortunate because what the Club intended doing with the Elephant, was never decided.
During the third period, commencing about 1980 and continuing to the present, inevitably there were many changes.  Membership, sixty at the beginning gradually declined to 29 members, caused through loss of Classification, and inevitably in an older Club, the passing of some members.  The new Club of Subiaco North chartered in 1978, which shares the Subiaco area, is another reason for the decline.  The loss of heavy industry from the area, whose C.E.O's were often enthusiastic Rotarians, and the increase in small enterprises whose managers were too involved to fulfil the attendance requirements of Rotary was another.
During this period Rotary International decided to admit women to membership, and the Club, after some initial doubts, decided to accept female members. Four have been inducted; two remain and have made considerable contribution to the activities of the Club, one serving a very successful term as President.
The Club continued searching for practical methods of raising finance, and at the suggestion of the late Rotarian Joe Stokes, and after considerable research, the first Art Exhibition was held in the great hall at Perth Modem School, opening Friday night and through to Sunday.  This event was continued at various locations building strength and popularity until finally the Subiaco Rotary Art Exhibition at the Floreat Forum was established for one week each year. This was a very successful event and thanks to Alan Hair who made up stands to hang the paintings, relieving the Club of the necessity of depending on hiring.  Unfortunately new owners of the Forum had other uses for the space, Karrinyup shopping Centre was available for one year only and as alternative venues were unavailable, many years of goodwill established with the public and the Artists was lost.
To replace revenue from the Art Exhibition, at that time the most successful fundraiser in the history of the Club, interest turned to running a Swap Mart.  First tried with limited success opposite the markets located in Subiaco, it was transferred to Warwick Grove Shopping Centre and conducted in association with the Rotary Club of Scarborough Beach.  This venture, running since 1992, has proved to be our most successful avenue for raising funds and supplemented by some of the more traditional methods has enabled the Club to raise and distribute in excess of $25,000 annually.
Mention should be made of some of the more ambitious ventures.  During 1980 a decision was made to create a pocket park on disused land between the new Senior Citizens Centre and the Uniting Church. Once again the experience of Club members was available and with assistance of Norm Craven-Kelly and Humes to provide necessary concrete a very attractive park was created at a cost to the Club of $ 1 000 saving $2200 on the quoted price.  The Innerwheel Club of Subiaco provided funds for one seat.
The next year using the same methods an exercise track was constructed in the grounds of the Subiaco Primary School.
During 1996 $10,000 was contributed towards the cost of mosaic tiles in the Subiaco Post Office Square. The Park was a project of the City of Subiaco and depicted various activities in the City.
During July 1998 the meeting venue was again changed to the Victoria League in Shenton Park and the more popular evening meetings were continued.
The Club has promoted two very noteworthy projects; the first is the Infuso Feed Balloon Pump System.  This was a new, simple and cost effective way of treating malnutrition and dehydration, the major killer of children in developing countries.  The system, invented and developed by a Subiaco Gynaecologist Dr George O’Neill, has been trialed in the Perth Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the Maluti Adventist Hospital in Lesotho.  The Rotary Club of Subiaco sent Paediatric Gastroenterologist Dr. David Forbes to Africa where he found the results to be remarkable.  P.P. Norma Pryor arranged for and attended a stand promoting this project at the Rotary World Conference at Glasgow, Scotland.
The Community Tree Planting Program is the second.  For almost a decade the Rotary Club has been involves in a conservation program involved in the propagation, nurturing and planting of trees for our environment.  The initial association was between Jolimont Primary School, our Club and representatives of the Stirling Soil Conservation Association. A shade house was established at the school to grow seedlings of species and genus from the Stirling area.  This has since expanded to include Wooraloo Prison farm, Falcon Primary School and larger facilities at Jolimont Primary School. Each year 30-60 children are transported to Tambellup, in the South West, where activities include bush walking, farm inspections and sporting activities are combined with the planting of the trees.  To this day in excess of 40,000 trees have been planted with an average survival rate of 85%.  It is anticipated that this will be an ongoing Club project.
Over the years the Club has been a leading district supporter of the Rotary Foundation, donating in excess of $90,000 to help improve the lives of needy people around the world. At the same time within this program awarding 41 Paul Harris Fellows to worthy Rotarians and outstanding citizens.
The Club has always made every effort to cultivate a high degree of fellowship amongst members and to provide a welcoming atmosphere for visiting Rotarians and guests. Subiaco Rotary is justly proud of its continuing association with the Innerwheel Club of Subiaco and Subiaco Rotaract Club.
Rotarians and their ladies do enjoy a pleasant social life, and some events are readily recalled.  The Barbers Shop Quartet consisting of our members, John Lenton, Peter Howard and the two Rev gentlemen both unfortunately departed this life, Jack Pickerill and Don McCaskill who entertained us on Changeover nights Being led through the intricate steps–to-us of Greek dancing by Con and Marion Tsokos and John and Kay Kounis.
Singing Carols on Christmas nights at the Nedlands Yacht Club organised by Laurie O’Keefe and the many amusing incidents recalled by successive Sergeants at Arms.
It would not be possible in this history of the Club to record the many projects undertaken, and the many organisations and people who have benefited since the Rotary Club of Subiaco was chartered fifty years ago. Nor is it possible to pay tribute to the many Rotarians who have passed through the Club, and have unselfishly given their time and energy to further the objects of Rotary.  Fortunately each year the activities of the Club have been recorded in detail, and have been suitably presented in two volumes.
This History recalls the first fifty years of the Rotary Club of Subiaco with the hope that one day the second fifty years will be recorded.
Recorded by the late Rotarian Past President Bruce Illsley PHF