President's Message

Dear Members and Friends,


Well because last week's report went out after our International Women's Day there isn't so much to report right now as I have already reported on our last great meeting.

Well, you'd think so wouldn't you? After all, it is only 6 days since the last report.

Well firstly, today was the funeral of Marj Hess. It is always very sad to have a "Rotary" funeral but Marj was a current member of our club and so much loved by our members.  Nearly all our members wanted to attend but due to the capacity of the church, the family asked that we restrict our club numbers to 5. So we were represented by Judy and me, Ted and Judy as well as past members Pauline Hanley and Maggie Goodge, and Rick. The whole ceremony certainly did Marj proud including a very well-presented booklet with this great photo of her with an icy pole on the cover.

A few of us continued on to the Brighton Yacht club after to have a chat.

I expect a few members would have followed the service on the Livestream provided by the Funeral director which was Frances Tobin Funerals By Women. Our members will know that they are the main sponsor of our club's main annual event being the Phonse Tobin Volunteer Awards. It is the first funeral I have attended where they have officiated and whilst they did an excellent job I wish it hadn't been for one of our own members.

On the weekend Sainab made contact with me again via Wattsapp. Her message was very sobering as follows:

"In Gedo region, Somalia including Beled Hawa, Garbaharey, Bardhere Luuq, Ceelwaq, and Dolow in between remote and rural areas people and animals are dying from a shortage of water

Another killer is the second wave Covid-19 pandemic in Somalia 

Specifically, in the Gedo region of Somalia such as Beled Hawa, Garbaharey are dying every minute. They don’t have ventilators.

We don’t go anywhere most of the time because even here is not good. On Wednesday Kenya Government announced that they are facing the third wave but I don’t know.

I wish if you could do something about it especially people need urgent need for water and food. Is there any way we could support it? I have talked to the local people who registered not for profit organisation in Gedo region Somalia and In Kenya so they have an office in Nairobi, Mandera and Beled Hawa so is there any grants you could join with them please so they could assist to provide water and food to the rural and remote areas in the region. I and the chair of the organisation will join the meeting if the network is Okay. Thanks, Sainab"

Don McQueen has got back to me and we now have a firm appointment to meet up with the Haileybury College, City Campus, Head of Campus, Caroline Merrick next Thursday morning. He has advised me it is at 9.39 am but I think I'll go at 9.30. The meeting is to work out plans for our club providing the school a Rotary Peace Pole.

Also, on Monday I had about a half-hour conversation with the Canberra Sunrise MUNA rep to discuss the possibility of them holding a virtual national MUNA this year. I basically gave them all the feedback I could about the one we ran in December and emailed them all the material I could. They were certainly very interested and so hopefully it will occur.

Last night, we had a fairly intimate Cluster meeting with just Marion and Jennie joining me and Kate to discuss club matters. The most significant matter to pass on to you is that the Melbourne Rotary Club is having a historic 100 year "Birthday Bash" lunch meeting on 21st April 2021. It is at the main Ballroom at the Sofitel Hotel in the city so it will be a really grand event with a packed agenda. More details to come.

I can also report that our District Conference will not require a huge commitment this year as it is a virtual one for 2hrs only between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm on Sat and Sun the 1st & 2nd of May. We will still try and organize club dinners and again more info to come later.

And with all that I actually missed a cross-cluster meeting on Saturday afternoon as I just mixed up the dates.

As I advised last week tomorrow we have a Zoom meeting at 7.30 pm and request that anyone intending to attend make a special effort to be on time as our Guest Speaker has to move on an 8.00 pm to another meeting.

Our Speaker is Giorgio Migliaccio from Destiny Rescue to give us another quick update on their progress on releasing young Asian girls/ladies from being trapped in prostitution in various Asian countries. Clearly, with almost no international travel they have different challenges but their work is still needed and it will be interesting to get an update so please log in to the link below next Thu 18th Mar at 7.30 pm.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 889 6582 2731

Passcode: 892137

Next week I again urge everyone to get back together again in person at the Mercure Hotel at 6.45 pm when we will be hosting our District Governor, Philip Archer.

This is likely to be the only opportunity members will get to see our DG live at our own meeting this rotary year so please join us and make it another good night.  We already have a few acceptances from non-members so I am hoping for another good turn out.

Have a Great Rotary Week!