First responders honoured in Beckley Park by Rotarians

August 28, 2021 BY

Volunteers planting trees at Beckley Park in North Geelong Photo: SUPPLIED

COVID-19 first responders have embodied the spirit of ‘Service above Self’ throughout the pandemic, and they have been honoured by two of Geelong’s longest running Rotary Clubs for their efforts.

To mark 100 years of rotary service in Australia, 100 trees were planted at Beckley Park in North Geelong along with a plaque paying homage to the city’s COVID-19 first responders.

The plaque commemorates the centennial anniversary of Rotary International in Australia and New Zealand as of April 21, 2021.

It also acknowledges the spirit of “Service above Self” displayed by frontline responders during the COVID pandemic of 2020-21.

The value of ‘Service above Self’ is an important value for Rotarians according to Geelong Central club president Don Shields.

“We erected the plaque to celebrate the planting today of 100 trees for the 100th anniversary of Rotary in Australia, however we also wanted to acknowledge the frontline responders who have shown true dedication to our community,” Mr Shields said.

“We would like to think that in another 100 years, happy and healthy people will enjoy the park and be reminded of the bravery of the many who have worked so tirelessly over 2020-2021.

“These are ordinary people who go to work and invisibly do those jobs that keep our community going.

“They are mostly quiet achievers and Rotary salutes them all.”

All trees planted on the day were of indigenous origin and their planting was made possible through the City of Greater Geelong Council environment grants.

“We were extremely proud to be able to do this,” member Linda Carr said.

“In the community during COVID, people were becoming very disappointed and disillusioned.

“They don’t want to go out and sort of start to think about themselves, so I was very proud with the 20 people that attended to do this, even though it was an extremely windy day and things were flying all over the place.

“We had a great community day.”

The trees were planted by Rotarians and friends from the Corio Bay and Geelong Central clubs.

The plaque is attached to a rock amongst the trees.