Every Rotary club in the world has a banner that reflects the character and individuality of their club and their region. It is a tradition for a Rotarian visiting another club, anywhere in the world, to present the President with a banner from his or her home club. This is exchanged for a banner from the host club, establishing a physical and spiritual bond between the two Rotary clubs.
The Heirisson banner depicts Sub Lieutenant Francois Heirisson and the crew of a long boat rowing up the Swan River with the skyline of a modern Perth city in the background.
Heirisson was a young officer on the French ship le Naturaliste from the Nicolas Baudin scientific expedition (1801-1804) to survey the West Australian coast. At that time, a bar crossed the river’s entrance, at what is now Fremantle Harbour, and ships couldn’t sail into the river. (The remains of the bar can still be seen underneath Fremantle’s new Maritime Museum.)
So they came up river in their long-boat, as far as what is now Middle Swan near Gnangara Road. Heirisson was in charge of that boat. On the return journey they had to manhandle the boat over a series of mud flats which spanned the river at what is now the Causeway.
When the Causeway bridge was built, the mudflats (which had been named after Heirisson) were consolidated into an island.