Posted by Julia Hassall
Rita Magnussen
Rita was 3 years old when she arrived in Australia from Germany. After a short stay in Victoria, the family settled at the Wacol Immigration Centre. Her father worked as a carpenter. They moved to a rental property with acreage at Oxley during which her father built their home at Sunnybank.
In her early teens, Rita skated in the amateur roller games; some events at Festival Hall in Brisbane. She was selected to join the professional roller games and had to move to Sydney. She was lucky and skilled enough to be picked to tour the USA and South East Asia with the Australian Kangaroos and Los Angeles Thunderbirds. Roller Games folded in late 1973 and Rita worked in Sydney for a while.
She moved to Orange in NSW where she stayed for 11 years. She had various jobs there. The most memorable was working as Secretary/Manager of the Orange Jockey Club, being the first female in administration in 105 years. She moved to the other side of the fence and took up horse training.
She had a fairly successful career in Orange but moved back to Queensland in October 1984 when her father was diagnosed with cancer. Rita set up stables in Ipswich. She went on a blind date and met her husband, Barry. She took a horse to Ballina which won by 5 lengths! Baz was hooked after that as well. How easy was it to back a 25-1 winner!!
While still training, they bought a corner store and had it for 11 years. It was sold in 2001. Barry and Rita moved to Minden and built stables there but downsized by reducing the number of horses. She got a job driving limousines and did that for 6 years.
When Barry was diagnosed with leukemia, the specialist recommended a cooler climate so they moved to Stanthorpe in 2016 where Barry has a sister and brother living at the time. Rita resumed driving limos as she got a part time job with John Cook’s Stanthorpe limos.  Barry passed away in 2018.
Gail Baxter supported her and helped her by getting her started with volunteering at the Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre, Meals on Wheels and the odd Rotary function.
She is joining Rotary because of our ongoing commitment to local communities as well as international activities including the fight to eradicate polio, malaria and helping 3rd world countries. She would like to be part of this.  
Helen and Norm Gale were welcomed back into the Rotary Club of Stanthorpe by outgoing President Jim Baxter and PDG Neil Maxwell.
Norm and Helen Gale
Both Norm and Helen have a business background which commenced in family businesses; Norm in building and joinery and Helen in a family guest house chain. Between them, they have experience in banking and book keeping, motel management, and book store and news agency businesses. All their family and business experiences, separately and together, have built a love of working with people.
Since he was 8 years old, Norm has been a member of the ‘Blues’ – Carlton Football Club. Whether they are winning or losing, his commitment to the Club has never wavered. Don’t start talking to Norm about Rugby League – the only real game is AFL! Norm also represented Queensland in RSL Bowls around Australia for many years.
Norm commenced his life of service as a teenager; church groups, sporting clubs, community service clubs have all benefitted from Norm’s commitment to help others. Helen has been the quiet supporter in sporting clubs and community groups as secretary, canteen worker, etc.
Norm is a proud Naval veteran; while his service was short due to family business commitments, he has always been a strong advocate of Navy and a member of returned servicemen organisations since his Navy days. Norm is the inaugural President (15 years) of the Naval Association of Australia Stanthorpe Sub-section and established TS Kookaburra – the Stanthorpe and District Naval Cadet Unit. Helen is always by his side; together they have raised over $30 000 from military memorabilia sales. These funds have supported many local youth groups. Norm was awarded a life membership in 2022 of the Naval Association of Australia.
Norm has been a Rotarian for over 30 years in Victoria and Queensland and a Rotary Club Past President. Until 1987, women could only be a Rotary Ann.   Helen was a Rotary Ann for many years. Their reintroduction to Rotary recently through the Rotary Club of Stanthorpe and the Rotary Club of the Granite Belt has provided them with fellowship and service opportunities in the area they love living in. Norm is a Paul Harris Fellow for his community service at the Chermside Rotary Club.
Norm and Helen are a pair… always together: always supporting each other. If you congratulate Norm about his achievements, he is modest; always saying that it has been Helen and him together. Helen has always supported what Norm is up to and worked by his side.
Thanks Ann Richardson