By Matt Male

A NEW deck will be built at the Wonthaggi Hospital to be enjoyed by staff and patients, thanks to a generous donation by the local community – including the late Dennis Ginn.
The Rotary Club of Wonthaggi last Wednesday handed over a cheque to Bass Coast Health for $22,500 – encompassing $10,000 from the Bass Coast Shire Council, $10,000 from the Rotary Club of Wonthaggi and $2500 from the Rotary International District Grants Program.
Dennis, who was extensively involved in Rotary locally, donated the money to the club to be passed on to any cause they saw fit.
Rotary Club of Wonthaggi president, Ray McCurry, said Dennis epitomised the Rotary motto ‘service above self’.
“And he did that not only in his personal life but also as a respected businessman and pioneer in the Australian cattle industry,” Ray said in front of the recently relocated wishing well at the hospital, which the Rotary Club of Wonthaggi donated in 1992.
Ray said it was particularly fitting as it was the centennial year for Rotary in Australia.
He also thanked club members Graeme Sprague, Ashley Lamers and Neville Goodwin for their tireless work behind the scenes, as well as the Bass Coast Shire Council, Rotary District 9820 and Rotary International.
“We have a long and much respected relationship with Bass Coast Health and the Wonthaggi Hospital,” Ray said.
“We hope that when this joint venture comes to fruition, it will bring peace and harmony not only to patients but also to the staff of this wonderful hospital for many years to come.”
Bass Coast Health chairman Don Paproth and CEO Jan Child extended their gratitude to Rotary and the council for the donation.
The large deck, near the café, will also be next to the recently relocated palm tree – where many locals took their wedding photos when it was out the front of the hospital.
The plans for the deck were signed off last Tuesday, Ms Child said, adding she hoped it would be completed by November.
All in attendance at Wednesday’s COVID-safe gathering wore hospital-issued face masks and face shields – which were created and donated by Mat Bowtell of Free 3D Hands on Phillip Island.
Ms Child said the face shields offered an extra layer of protection – but must be worn with a face mask – which helped people from contracting COVID-19 via the eyes.