We were Chartered on the 26th February 1969 and started with 20 members, having been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bega.  The Club got off to a good start by one member (Arthur Kaine) volunteering to go to Papua New Guinea to set up a saw mill in Wabag.   Our Club formed part of Rotary District 971 and then became part of Rotary District 9710.
In 1971, it was determined that there was sufficient interest in Eden to form a Rotary Club there and again in 1990, the same level of interest was evident in Pambula. The Rotary Club of Merimbula proudly sponsored both these Rotary Clubs.
In 1972 the first Rotacarna (carnival) was staged to entertain our tourist visitors and to raise funds for various projects.  This continued to be a feature in early January, except in 1974 when a rodeo was tried as an alternative.  When cyclone "Tracy" devastated Darwin on Christmas morning 1974, the club set aside its activities for the forthcoming Rotacarna and directed its efforts to assistance and was able to send $3,000 towards the total of $424,800 raised by Australian Rotary Clubs.
Working in conjunction with the Fitzroy Club, Victoria "Operation Sunshine" provided a short holiday in Rotarians' homes for underprivileged families from that locality.  "Operation Fire Break" provided a similar service for several families whose homes were devasted by bush fires in Victoria.
In 1976, the Club also sponsored the establishment of a Rotoract Club.
During the early years, the Club provided, at many locations around Merimbula, seats for the weary or those who just wished to enjoy the view.
               Olivia's Playground, Ford Park
                                                                                        Merimbula Sunday Market

Since that time, our Club has initiated and paid for local projects such as:
  • Assistance in establishing a mobile blood bank
  • Two beds for children in the Pambula Hospital
  • Helped clear land for the erection of the first units of Bimbimbie Village
  • The acquisition of a merry-go-round, a train, barbecue, fryer and a roasting spit enabled the club to help other service clubs, societies, hospital, schools, etc. to raise funds for their requirements
  • A motorised rescue boat for the Pambula Life Saving Club
  • Various bus stop shelters for the convenience of school children
  • The purchase & erection of playground equipment at Pambula Beach
  • A sheltered area at Pambula Hospital to enable patients to sit in the open air and the sun
  • Wheel chair at Merimbula Airport
  • Two air conditioning units were provided for the Day Centre at Pambula Hospital
  • Medical equipment for hospitals
  • Participation in youth exchanges programmes to accommodate & sponsor students from around the globe
  • With the help of the Rotary Club of Pambula, the construction of a walkway/cycle track between Merimbula and Pambula Beach 
  • Assistance in establishing Meals on Wheels and the commencement of the Community Transport Service
  • Community carer's accommodation at S.E. Regional Hospital
  • Bowel care - a Rotary Community project commencing in 1990
  • The establishment of Rotary Park adjacent to Spencer Park, which was a natural progression from the construction of the walking track from there to Bar Beach
  • The improvement of Ford Park, including replacing the existing playground equipment with inclusive playground equipment, constructing concrete paths, providing BBQ shelters & planting shrubbery/trees. 
  • Building Benches and Seats at Ford Park
  • Long Point Lookout Development
  • From 2013 - 2019 we held the Mother's Day Classic Fun Run partnering with the Sapphire Coast Runners, a 5 km run or walk from Pambula to Spencer Park raising funds for Breast Cancer.
  • Purchase and fitting of a 65" Smart TV for the Sapphire Coast U3A Centre, Tura Beach
  • Our commitment to promoting community health spans the age range from Teen Clinic, to MHERV (Mens Health Educational Rotary Van)
  • Developing a Paths, Tracks and Bushwalks Map
  • Providing three defibrillators, one outside Woolworths at Tura Beach, one outside McDonald's, Merimbula and one inside the new Theatre at Twyford Hall, Merimbula
  • Support and sponsoring of hand sanitiser units,  in shopping centres and supermarkets from Bermagui to Eden.
  • After the bushfires of January 2020, our club has been involved in repairing bush fire damaged sites around our communities - Wonboyn Cemetery, Wandella, Quaama Cemetery, Tantawangalo Cemetery, Cobargo Cemetery.   In 2021, we have also built new Community Pavilions at Kiah and Cobargo Cemetery.
  • Installing Bird Boxes to provide new nesting sites where original habitats had been destroyed in bush fires
  • Helping to end Trachoma by making individual bags and filling with toiletries for each Child and sending to the Northern Territories
  • Donating Food Parcels to villagers in Bali who were starving as they had lost their income when nobody was allowed to travel during COVID.
During COVID we enjoyed the innovation of ZOOM presentations.  Our most notable guest speaker was the very inspirational Sarah Brown from the Purple House.  Purple House is an innovative Indigenous-owned and run health service operating from its base in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Now operating 18 remote clinics and a mobile dialysis unit called the Purple Truck. Purple House is getting patients back home so that families and culture can remain strong.  Sarah has a great story to tell, former Hesta Nurse of the Year, Northern Territory Business Person 2018, finalist in Australia’s Business Person of the Year. Sarah is the CEO of the Purple House and she is an accomplished artist having exhibitions in Australian capital cities and Singapore.
Sarah has been awarded an AM in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.  A donation was made to the Purple House organisation to enable them to continue with their remarkable work.
The Rotary Clubs of Merimbula, Bega and Pambula were the winners of the District 9710 Community Service Award in recognition of their bushfire relief and recovery projects to impacted families and communities on the Sapphire Coast. This was presented at the District 9710 Changeover on 1 July 2020. 
From 1 July 2020 District 9710 became part of a much larger Rotary District (about the size of England) and our 3 Clubs now form part of the new District 9705 which comprises 83 clubs and 2,300 members.
The Club’s main source of income is derived from a very successful and popular monthly market which is held on the 3rd Sunday of each month at Ford Park.
A cheque was presented to Marine Rescue from proceeds raised from the wishing wells at our September 2020 market.
A percentage of funds raised at our NYE 2020 Market were distributed to Marine Rescue to help in their "Let the Sun Shine" Project.
A percentage of our wishing well takings from our Sunday 17th January 2021 market are allocated to the Sapphire Community Pantry to help them expand into larger premises and create a social enterprise cafe.
During the summer and autumn months of 2021 we supported the Chamber of Commerce and the Merimbula Visitor Information Centre in operating Saturday morning Producers Markets in various locations in Merimbula Town.  The emphasis was on "Home Grown ' and 'Home Made' produce and products to encourage locals and visitors to come into the CBD and shop at both retail shops and market stalls. 
It was agreed by members to help Acrobats Brooke, Ashley and Monique to participate in the Senior State Acrobatic Championships and the Australian Gymnastics Championships.   To partake in these competitions is expensive with costs including leotard hire, accommodation, food and fuel, judge’s fees and competition entry fees amounting to over $700 for each of the girls, for each event. Club members were impressed with the team's commitment to 13 hours training a week and were very happy to give their support. 
Brooke, Ashley and Monique were delighted to accept a cheque for $2,160 from Sue, President of the Merimbula Rotary Club to help with their expenses to participate in these Acrobatic and Gymnastic Championships and we wish them every success in these significant competitions.
Sue Jellis, President of Rotary Club of Merimbula 2020-21, presented a cheque for $1,000 to Senior Constable Sarah Bancroft of the Far South Coast Police and Citizens Youth Club at a Bega training session for the Yuin Killer Whales Nation of Origin rugby league football teams. This donation will help support travel of the teams to participate in tournaments.  Unfortunately, due to COVID the tournaments have been postponed. 
Some of the team members with Senior Constable Sarah Bancroft and Sue Jellis, President 2020-21
     Planting Shrubs at Rotary Park Sept 21
Mock Interviews March 2022                                      Science Forum April 2022
  • Working with PCYC to distributing colouring books, balls and toys to children during COVID
  • Providing 'Escabags' to domestic violence victims
  • Purchase of two trailers for use by Blaze Aid to repair fences which had been destroyed in the bush fires then donating them to the RFS and converting them with large water tanks to be on standby at burn-off sites.
In March 2023 the 45th Australian Golfing Fellowship of Rotarians was held at the Tura Beach Country Club.  It was a very successful tournament with over 100 golfers attending the 4-day event.  There was a program organised for the non-golfers where they visited some of the beautiful locations of the Sapphire Coast.
The profit made from this event was the grand sum of $24,338.06.  These funds will be allocated to our All Accessible Playground Equipment Project at Spencer Park.
  New Artwork created by Merimbula Public School for Rotary Park
Work commenced at Spencer Park for our All Accessible Playground Equipment
Finished Carousel - looking very smart in it's Rotary colours
Concrete Path from Accessible parking bay to carousel and carousel in action at Spencer Park
Long Point Walking Trail Path, Merimbula
Our Club has funded improvement works to the Long Point Walking Trail.  Upgrades to the 200m path took 3 days to complete as work had to be done by a bob cat.  A huge improvement with a good road base laid and drainage enhanced. 
During the past 50 years, our membership has fluctuated between 35 to 40 members.  
Current President July 2023 - June 2024 - Martyn Witton