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President's Message - Peter May
What is this thing they call ‘Rotary Fellowship’? Many say it is the primary reason they come to weekly meetings. A story from the disaster in Nepal last week, that I brought to members' attention at the start of our meeting, helps to illustrate the true meaning of this term for us. One of our members has family travelling in Nepal. They couldn't be contacted after the earthquake. After little sleep and constant worry, the media got hold of the situation and hounded the family here, in an attempt to sensationalise the story.
Having seen the tremendous support offered to other members in their time of need, our distraught member planned to come to Rotary last Monday, knowing that we are friends who really care for one another. This is what 'Rotary Fellowship' means in our Club. Something we should never take for granted. It makes us all stronger. We can all be very proud to be Rotarians in such a Club.
Another organisation, with a similar level of caring, is Rossbourne School. Rossbourne is a unique independent school whose purpose is to provide an educational facility for students who have difficulty progressing, adapting or coping with the demands, both educational and social, of mainstream education. Such students most often have a recognisable and identifiable learning disorder, and yet are normally ineligible for access to other special school settings.
Linden Hearn, Principal of Rossbourne was our Guest Speaker this last Monday. Linden engaged us all by starting with a short outline of what he believes about learning and social development, then opening it up to interactive discussions. His profound quote was, “Students don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I'm sure we all see this as a common trait in those teachers who made a real difference during our own education.
It certainly sounded like a wonderful school and what an awesome bloke to have at the helm. With only 130 students and class sizes of 12, Rossbourne students are given the opportunity to reach their full potential in a nurturing and caring environment.
Josh Fergeus is currently in the UK and has been able to confirm that our friends and sponsored students in Nepal are alive and relatively well, although none can yet return home. Our Club is sponsoring four Nepalese students to enable them to attend school this year. There is much devastation in their area and communication is difficult. Josh will keep in touch to let us know if there are any needs we can help to meet.
Despite some damp weather, 40 volunteers worked as marshals for the 100 year commemoration of ANZAC Day last Saturday. It was a long day for those of us who joined some 80,000 people for the dawn service. But the old diggers marched proudly and the descendants of the WW1 servicemen carried the medals of their forebears in memory of their sacrifice. It was very rewarding for our Rotary team to be able to support such a significant event.
Our partnership with Maling Road Business Association, Canterbury Girl Guides, Glen Iris Scout Group and Interchange Inner East was consolidated at a planning meeting this week. Five major events are being organised in Maling Road over the next twelve months that will bring families into the shopping strip and raise the profiles of our respective organisations.
Doug recently returned from his annual, mission planning visit to Manila. We will be returning to the Province of Masbate this October. Selection of the four, final-year Orthoptics students is underway from a very fine group of applicants. Our Club covers everything except spending money, for these Aussie students to gain the professional experience of their lifetime. In a short period they gain experiences they could never get in their field here in Australia. This will be our Club’s 19th Medical Mission to the Philippines. Gerry is planning to ship three containers of medical equipment from Donations in Kind, to arrive before we do.
Our Club Social Committee met this week to plan the next Changeover celebration on 29th June, for the new Rotary Year. On this night Nora Ley takes over as Club President and her new Club Board takes over the management of our Club. Please mark this date in your diaries, so you can keep this date free to join us.
Club Budget 2015-16
Nora will be meeting with her new Club Board after the District Assembly to make decisions regarding the 2015-16 budget. Draft budgets are in from all the committees, but if you need funds for a project in the year ahead and you have not yet spoken to your committee chairperson, you better be quick. This budget gets approved on 22nd June. This is an annual process and we do not have excess funds for projects outside of the approved committee budgets. If you have any good ideas, now is the time.
Glenallen School strives to be a world’s best practice specialist school, providing innovation and excellence in teaching and learning for students who have physical disabilities and/or health impairments. Our Club is supporting a school camp at the Rotary camp in Axedale next week. Whilst teachers will be running the program for their students, our Club members will be preparing meals for the teachers and helping wherever we can. Year 10 Carey student, Alexie Aitkin will be joining the Rotarians as part of his school’s Community Service program.
BusyFeet is an activity designed to create a special place for children aged 6 to 16 with disabilities by exploring their natural love of movement and music through dance. Conducted in a fun, safe environment where everyone feels special and is respected for their individual ability. One on one support is offered which helps build confidence and enjoyment through the movement of dance. Join us at our Club Meeting on Monday 11th May to learn more about this wonderful project that our Club plans to run in partnership with local community organisations in the year ahead.
Ten of our members are planning to attend the District Assembly on Sunday 17th May. Our club covers the $31 fee for those who attend. Whilst the afternoon programme is for Club presidents, secretaries and treasurers, the morning is packed with sessions about the five avenues of Rotary service, with a particular emphasis on the year ahead. Please let Nora know if you would like to join us.
ANZAC Commemoration Debate
Join us for an evening of fun as two teams of students from Camberwell High School battle it out in a debate about the ANZAC Commemoration. A great night for past youth participants to rejoin us, or anyone who would like to enjoy a stimulating debate along with a fine meal.
Model United Nations Assembly
Our Rotary District 9800 Model United Nations Assembly takes place over the weekend commencing 29th May. Our Club is keen to sponsor a school team of two Year 10 students to enter this competition. The best team of debaters is sponsored by Rotary to attend the national final in Canberra. You should contact Sue Clifford if you would like to be considered for sponsorship by our Club. Read this to learn more about MUNA.
I look forward to seeing you next Monday when our speaker will be Jazz Singer, Beverley Sheehan who is the sister of another well known singer, Judith Durham.