“People behind Badges” were the Orders of the day for PP Lois as Chair and the chosen tasks fell to PP Kel Cocking and Rotarian Merle Maunder.
PP Kel deferred to Rotarian Merle to open the batting and Merle acknowledged a Tomboy youth in Surrey Hills and source of concern to her father who was a Painter and Decorator and the proud owner of a white Cadillac.
Swinburne Technical School did its best but they parted company when Merle was 15 years old and whose then life’s ambition was nursing.But she qualified as a chiropodist and worked at Myer Emporium Ltd for the next 8 years. She recalled one patient who lost concentration during one session having experienced a terminal cardiac event but his nails were great.
Married in 1963, she and her husband moved to Warrnambool where he worked as a Mobil Representative following an earlier career as a Captain in the Merchant Navy.
In 1966, the family moved to Bairnsdale to take over a motel and then followed a series of appointments to manage various Travelodge sites. Being shot at and dealing with a resident who left “with the lot” were just part of the job.
Following the death of her husband, Merle started with Quest Apartments in 2000 where she has continued to the present
Merle joined Inner Wheel in 1978 and has held most senior positions at Club and District level and is currently the President of the Bundoora Inner Wheel Club.
Ron Dickson appeared on the scene in 2006. Merle is the proud mother of a son and daughter and has 10 grandchildren. She boasts a Tasmanian father and convict forbears (for alleged trivial charges which would not disqualify her good standing as a Rotarian).
Merle was inducted into the Rotary Club of Rosanna in 2014.