On August 3, 1954, The Examiner marked the foundation of an organisation that would go on to make a significant and lasting contribution to the community.
"Nearly 40 women, all wives of Launceston Rotary Club members, gathered at the Brisbane Hotel yesterday afternoon. They were there for a successful inaugural meeting of a club to be called the Inner Wheel Club of Launceston. This is the second of its kind to be formed in Tasmania - there is already one in Hobart. At yesterday's meeting members elected the following officers: President, Mrs. John L. Grove; secretary, Mrs. Andrew Smith; treasurer, Mrs. R. Thomas; vice-president, Mrs. A. P. Findlay".
The Hobart Inner Wheel Club provided invaluable assistance in the establishment of the new club.
The Charter Presentation Dinner was held on June 3, 1955 at the Launceston Hotel after being admitted to Membership of the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs on October 19, 1954 - Overseas Club No. 85.
The objects of Inner Wheel were to promote true friendship, encourage the ideals of personal service and foster international understanding
Over the years the Launceston Club stayed true to these objectives with many lasting friendships formed within the membership as well as throughout Tasmania, Australia and the world.
Some members attended conventions and the annual Australian Conferences.
In 1956, a tablecloth was donated to the club by Mrs R. L. Thomson on which Mrs R. Ward and Mrs Bevan Browne embroidered the Inner Wheel badge.
As a way of raising funds members paid a small donation and their signatures were also embroidered on the cloth.
In October 1985 the Inner Wheel Club of Launceston hosted the Annual Australian Conference with 619 attending the dinner in the Albert Hall.
This was the first to be held in Tasmania, and the small organising committee with the late Margaret Moore as Conference Secretary was highly commended.
The planting of flowers in the Inner Wheel colours of blue and gold by Launceston City Council's Parks Department added an attractive highlight to the event.
Across the decades, many organisations have benefited from the support and patronage of the Inner Wheel Club of Launceston.
Indeed it was a founding donor for the Spurr Wing, the Earl Arts Centre and the Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust, and Life Governorship was received from St. Giles Society in 1999, all vital community organisations in the life of the city.
In total over $200,000 has been donated to local, national and international projects during the past 66 years.
In 1979 the club provided a seat in the Quadrant Mall to acknowledge its 25th anniversary and following its 60th anniversary an additional seat was placed in City Park beside the pathway just below Victoria's Café.
In October 2019, the club celebrated its 65th Charter Anniversary with a luncheon, and then at the final meeting on June 17, 2020 memories were shared, none more so than by Annemarie Barth and Betty Piper, members for more than 50 years.
- Connect with the past through Launceston Historical Society - facebook.com/launcestonhistory