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President's Message - Peter May
Our members were treated to a wonderful story of love as we were taken from California, to London, to Wellington in New Zealand, then France, and finally to Melbourne. Susan Biggar and her husband, Darryl, have three amazing sons, Aidan, Oliver and Ellis who have enriched their lives considerably. Aiden and Oliver both have cystic fibrosis (CF), a common genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.
Susan's book, "The Upside of Down" is moving, inspiring and hilarious. We heard a few excerpts last Monday, and it is well worth a read.
It warms your heart to hear, "As our family took up running and sports with enthusiasm, I watched my sons skip their way into adolescence and surpass all expectations: competing in the state cross-country, track, swimming and surf lifesaving finals all in one year." Also, "Mum, I heard that Oliver and Aiden have some kind of medical condition that makes them run faster."
Sue was accompanied by Cale Wilkinson from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, based at the Royal Children's Hospital in Parkville. Cale told us of the real difference the Institute is making to child health through world-leading research and disease prevention. They do so many things, but Cale was with us to support Susan, who is raising funds and awareness of CF through the 65km for Cystic Fibrosis walk on 14th March. We are encouraged to join in this event or support Susan as her sponsor.
I ran a session about communication, one of my passions. It was good for our members to see some of the achievements we have made his year in setting up a database for contacts. We can all now rely on this information and keep it current as we develop our relationships with our partner organisations and those who support our Club. We have an excellent Facebook page, a website that is updated weekly and is viewed up to 5,000 times a week, with the major interest being in our Club Program, our Radio Show archive and our Aussie Pride Badge.
Five of us attended the Rotary Club of Melbourne's lunchtime Club meeting at the ZINC Restaurant, Federation Square last week. Michael Chong remarked, “I liked the way they inducted the new corporate member, and also the ‘reflection’. Pretty informal, yet it was still structured and well run.” It is something we all seem to take for granted, but as a Rotarian we are welcome to attend the Club meeting of any Rotary Club in the world. There is always something new to learn. From their guest speaker, we all took away the need to be more tolerant of others in our society.
As a follow up to Simon McKenzie-Nixon's presentation to our Club about Alzheimer's research, several members visited the Florey Institute this week. The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health is committed to improving our quality of life through brain research. This was a most interesting tour that was enjoyed by all those who attended.
A meeting with the Girl Guides this week set the foundations for a productive partnership between the Guides, the Scouts and our Rotary club. We plan to work together to raise awareness of our organisations in the local community and to work together on service projects. Initially we intend to support Interchange Inner East. This organisation is located in Canterbury and offers top quality, affordable specialist children’s and adolescent’s respite and recreation support to families in Melbourne’s Inner East.
On Friday 20th February Rotarians from our Club are working with local Rover Scouts to put on a Moonlight Cinema for the families, volunteers and host volunteers of Interchange Inner East. The Rovers are providing FREE ice creams and drinks and a sausage sizzle. Our Club is sponsor for the event, with income from the donation we received from the Maling Road Business Association as a result of the assistance our Club members provide each December to the Maling Road Kristkindl.
Our Club is invited to a joint meeting with the Rotary Club of Camberwell next Wednesday. Join us to hear a presentation from the Group Study Exchange team from Louisiana. As there is no meeting on Labor Day, Monday 9th March, our next normal Club meeting at Basscare is on Monday 16th March. So much is happening during the month ahead!
Please join us for an exclusive screening of "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" at the Palace Cinema, 231 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn. Our Rotary Cluster has booked the cinema to raise funds for End Polio Now. Everyone is invited to come along - this is not just for Rotarians. Our Club is making a donation of $2,000 to End Polio Now and the Gates Foundation puts in $2 for every dollar donated. The movie starts at 6:30pm, but tickets need to be purchased in advance. You can purchase tickets online, but ticket sales end at 9am on Wednesday 25th February. You are welcome to add a small donation when you purchase your ticket, but this is optional.
Those who would like to join us for dinner after the show at the Jazz Ria Malaysian Restaurant, 228 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn are very welcome to do so. There is a banquet for $30pp in our own room upstairs and it is BYO drinks. Please indicate with your online booking if you plan to join us for dinner, or notify Russell.
See you at the movies, if not before . . .