Beaudesert hosts Rotary's 114th birthday celebration at The Centre

BEAUDESERT Rotary Club hosted visitors from near and far to celebrate Rotary's 114th birthday at The Centre Beaudesert on Saturday night.

The evening featured a three-course meal, musical entertainment by the Bamettes, plenty of laughs and a talk from Hugh Lunn, the award-winning journalist and author who received the official title of Queensland icon in 2009 along with Wally Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Powderfinger and the Great Barrier Reef.

Mr Lunn was also credited with coining the phrase, "There is no such thing as an ex-Queenslander… only lapsed Queenslanders” in November 1979 when he convinced Senator Ron McAuliffe that a rugby league State of Origin match between New South Wales and Queensland was achievable.

After being introduced to the stage by the evening's emcee John Mann, Mr Lunn congratulated Rotary for all their good works and went on to regale the audience with stories about his childhood and early career as a journalist, including a stint as foreign correspondent in Vietnam.

Speaking about his books on Australia's lost language, Mr Lunn lamented the "Americanisation" of common speech.

"Somewhere along the way, we lost our language," he said.

"American sit-coms stole it from us. I remember when a mobile was a thing you hung up to catch the wind, 'mooning' over a girl meant something nice and an 'outing' was a family picnic.

"We seem to have lost our Aussie words like dill, sook, goat and galah." 

Mr Lunn said in his first book on Australian language he described 27 alternatives to the oft-used term OMG, including the old Aussie favourite "Well, wouldn't that blow a hole in your nightie".

Describing the inspiration for Over the Top with Jim, his best-selling childhood memoir about growing up in 1950s Queensland, including his Catholic school experiences, Mr Lunn also shared a story of how he once went to a dance in Surfers Paradise and pretended he was the cousin of rock and roll legend Bill Haley.

"I received a letter from a rock singer recently, saying his brother-in-law in Southport had been telling everyone for the past 35 years that he had once met Bill Haley's cousin," he said.