Royal Darwin Show

Royal Darwin ShowOur first presence as a club at the show was in 1961 and we’ve been fund-raising at it every year since then. We have raised well over $1 million during that time to go towards projects within the community.

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THE ROYAL DARWIN SHOW: ROTARY CLUB OF DARWIN ‘NOT A CHOCOLATE’ WHEEL

Since 1962 the Club has run a major fundraiser at the Show which has become an iconic favourite of show-goers young and old – indeed we even featured in one radio station Show advertising as ‘those old blokes with the spinning wheel’. Over that time the event has raised well over $1.5million in today’s money. All of these funds have gone to projects of the Club to meet the needs of communities and particularly youth; locally, regionally and even internationally.
Requiring over 600 person-hours over the three days of the show, plus several more hours in preparation and clean-up, this event is our largest single commitment. Involving every member of the Club with support from partners, children, siblings, co-workers, other Rotary Club members and Interactors from the Darwin High School Interact Club, it also provides a great opportunity to work together and have some fun. Additionally, it is often the first experience of Darwin culture and climate for our International Youth Exchange student.

The Wheel has gone through many iterations over time, the original was handspun moving to electric-driven in the late 70’s. Similarly, our Show stand has evolved from a tin shed where the spruikers sat on the roof with the microphone, no shade, edge protection or safety gear: to the modern block construction with an indoor ladder, roof-top garden upstairs, three rooms downstairs and shade for show-goers taking a break and a punt on the wheel.
Our prizes have also changed; Club mythology suggests that in the first year the prizes did indeed feature chocolates, however even in July the Darwin climate is not exactly friendly to unrefrigerated chocolates, along with a range of other appliances; then for many years we provided cash prizes with bicycles (complete with stack hats) as the major prize; now, moving with the times, and while cash prizes remain the major prizes include electronic gizmos, power tools, and other appliances, with a lesser number of bicycles.

While the Show event requires a lot of effort and can be a long few days, it is also a great bonding experience for Club members and supports with much fun had, stories made and legends reinforced.

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