President's Message

Dear Members and Friends,

Well, this week has been a milestone for our club. We have had our first BBQ and fundraiser since the 2020 Moomba BBQ about 14 months ago.
But before I go into that milestone first I have to mention the highlight of the last week and that was the induction of our newest member Kammy Leung.
Kammy with her Certificate and with a mentor, Ida Whiteman
It was a really nice meeting and a nice ceremony with her partner CL Fok there to support her. Of course, we did have a good attendance at the meeting, and as much as everyone did enjoy seeing the induction I have to admit most came in honour of me speaking about my 25 years in Rotary. We had quite a few guests including DG Philip Archer and 3 other Southbank RC members. Of course one was my own daughter Sally, their IPM as well as their current President Jasmin Dhillon and PE Jaqui O'Donohoe. my other daughter Melissa Schroeder was also there together with Martin & Dianne Taurins, Pauline Hanley, Herbson Singo, Don Mcqueen, and Janice Ince. Naturally, we had plenty of our own members as well. It is especially good to see our own member and PE, Sainab Sheikh back at her first meeting back since getting back to Australia.
In my speech, I did mention most of my club involvements even apart from Rotary and the next day realized I had forgotten my 15 years of Treasurer and Registrar of Maccabi  Athletics Club which resulted in me being made an honorary member. I could say I left it out due to me trying to be humble but I just forgot it.
When the night seemed to be ending on a pretty high note James Long took over as MC and got Don Mcqueen up to the rostrum and he transformed into his "Bush Balladeer" persona and gave us an amazing recitation of Clancy of the Overflow by Banjo Patterson. Quite an amazing performance with no prior notice at all.
Back to the BBQ, it might not have been as big as a Moomba BBQ but it was really great for us to rally the troops and get back into action, wear our Rotary gear and interact with the community face to face.
The event was actually part of a City of Melbourne Consultation process to get community feedback on various design options they have for expanding the existing Bedford Park. Naturally, everyone likes to have their parks to be bigger but when they look at the plans it is not so easy for the immediate neighbours when they realize that to achieve that they might lose 12 car spaces and the 2 way access to their residence turns into 1 way.
But back to the boat, it was as though we have been doing them every week. It went as smoothly as possible with so many members there to help out. James Long started the day off by getting his great trailer into shape and loading up a BBQ, tables, marquees and plenty more into  and delivering it all to the site. At the end of the day, he came back and took at all back again.
In between we had Larry and Susan, Judy and I, Sainab and Khalid, Manjula, Ted, Cheryl and our brand new member Kammy getting everything going.
I have to say with all the helpers we had I have never done less myself at one of our BBQ's but new member Kammy well and truly made up for whatever I didn't do.
Hopefully, our membership will continue to grow as apart from Josie that has shown interest, I had a call tonight from past member Mahad who would like to get back to the club and he is planning to attend the next meeting with another prospective member being a young professional lady.
One thing I haven't mentioned over the last couple of weeks is that our club had agreed to host an Ambassadorial Scholar from Japan and behind the scenes, I have probably been involved in over 20 emails or texts to try and master the My Rotary website to get all the backroom authorizations done. We hit a complete roadblock last week as Ida had been nominated as the mentor but every time she logged in to authorize the grant it would not show up for as it only showed the old one from when she was an Ambassadorial Scholar. We ended up having to get the whole process to be re-applied again with another member nominated as the primary contact. So it is now all systems go.
One last thing I would lime feedback from my own members, in particular, relates to Covid support to India.
Some members may recall that in our early days of running Zoom club meetings we were occasionally getting visited by Jayaraj and his wife Gayathiridevi Balaji who are both past presidents of the Rotary Club of Erode Cosmos in India. They have had 113 deaths in their immediate area just in the last month and they are raising funds for what is a very sad but necessary cause of body bags. They urgently need more of these bags and their cost in the order of about $AU15.00 each. I would think our club could afford to provide some assistance and if any other clubs would also like to contribute I have the details to transfer funds over to that rotary club who we can trust to handle everything on that end. I would appreciate some feedback at least from my members on this as they are in dire straits.
With the changing Covid environment we can't be sure what is going to happen in a week's time but at this stage, we aim to just follow the rules and those rules still allow us to continue with our in-person meetings so we still plan to proceed with our in-person meeting next week.
Meeting Details are:

Date Thu 03rd June 2021 at the Mercure Hotel with Sainab Sheikh speaking to us about her adventures over in Africa.

Please take note of other upcoming events that Judy and I have booked into:
27th June 2021 - District Changeover - Hyatt Place 12-00-2.00pm - $65.00/head
6th July 2021 - Southbank RC Changeover = Seafarer's Mission - 6.30 - 9.30pm - $60.00/head
There will be others that we will probably end up going to as well.
As well there is also the following:
So what's coming up in the district?
12th-17th June - International Convention - also Virtual
27th June 2021 - District Changeover - Hyatt Place 12-00-2.00pm
I can add that at our own Changeover District will be represented by DG Nominee, Amanda Wendt with Greg who will carry out the Induction Ceremony of our PE Sainab Sheikh

Have a Great Rotary Week!