Please note, a much larger selection of photos from the evening are available here.
Our Club Changeover Night certainly made us feel that we ARE the Greatest Rotary Club in the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE! There were all the ingredients to make us think so, thanks to Linda O’B’s organisation and presentation of the tables decked orange, red and blue (the colours of the new theme) and to Tony and Sossi who attended our dietary needs and to the students and Chef Bradley who served us wine and the most delicious food ever! Chef Bradley at the end of the evening, as he introduced the students commented that in learning catering, it was taught to be able to attend to certain customer dietary needs. Usually it is in theory but this time it was for real and was a very meaningful experience.
Those members who could not be there missed out big-time. PP Greg O’Shea was our gracious host and welcomed our 70 guests and many by name. PE Ian gave us the Loyal Toast and Invocation. Tony Ryan presented us with a most eloquent Rotary International Toast treating us with a marvellous feast of language and vocabulary as only Tony can. He reminded us of “two germinal events which led to the creation of Rotary International” Firstly of the meeting in Room 711 in the Unity Building in Downtown Chicago. Present was Silvester Schiele , coal dealer, Gustavius Loehr , mining engineer, Hiram Shorey, merchant tailor and Paul Harris, lawyer. The second being the construction in 1907 of what was described as a comfort station! Coming to this conclusion with this inaugural project Rotary became the first service association. Now out of this first meeting, Rotary International has over a million members in more than 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries. To quote our own local RI President “we are a member-based organisation, a club based organisation, and a service-based; local, regional, international, community, professional, business people, working and retired active in every country in the world. PDG Malcome Chiverton thanked President Peter for the opportunity to respond. He congratulated us on our signature projects such as ‘Homelessness” and our vast array of community projects, our New Generations/Youth and Vocational service programs and that we capture the true spirit of Rotary “Service above Self”. He gave us a short history of the development of Rotary through the world and Australia and New Zealand beginning in 1921. He continued with our history telling us that the RC of Bentleigh was chartered on 21st January 1974 sponsored by RC Moorabbin and later joined RC Moorabbin Central to form the club as we know it the Rotary Club of Bentleigh Moorabbin Central. Charles Rener was a charter member of RC Bentleigh in 1974 and fortunately for us is still contributing in a large way in 2018. DG Malcome told us he was sure that we would once again “Make a Difference and Be the Inspiration” in their Community. The custom of RCBMC is to give the honour to present the Toast to Rotary International and to invite the current DG to respond which does not occur in the same way in a normal meeting. There is always detail given and therefore friends and new members learn about our great organisation.
Pres Peter’s outgoing reflective speech thanked all the members for bestowing him for the second time the honour of being President 2017/18. Amongst many things said he talked of volunteering and how wonderful it is to do and the rewards are measured every day. He acknowledged the representatives and councillors of the community from all the various groups and charities. In closing he announced that it was time to abdicate and hand over the role of President 2018/19 to Ian Ballantine.
DG Russell Gurney was invited to do the honour to induct Ian as President for RCBMC. He wished him well and trusted to have a rewarding year. He responded by saying he would wear the badge with pride and dignity and to wear it “wortherly” and to be able to successfully hand it on to his successor. He began by welcoming Rhonda hadley, Liz Pascarl, Neville Kruss, Tony Grusd to out Rotarian Family. He talked of our sponsoring of all out Rotary organisations. He made special mention of Peter Lewis for sponsoring a team for Interplast and to John and Margaret Mason in their special role of care in ROMAC. He announced the board so far for 2018/19. Peter Guttman, Larry Green , Ron Brownlees, Richard Wright, Linda and Peter O’Brien. PP Greg O’Shea will continue as Youth Protection Officer and the search for Secretary and Pres. Elect will be continued.
Linda then invited Helen (Ian’s Partner) to the Rostrum where she announced our Club’s Tradition to pin a Partners badge. All of the older members gasped with delight as this beautiful sapphire studded pin had been lost for many years and now found, Helen will be the proud bearer of it while supporting her partner Pres Ian. Pres Ian gave an impressive overhead presentation of all the work done with photos of the Directors and members of the teams that have contributed so willingly and will continue be working under the new banner claiming BE THE INSPIRATION. In talking of youth Pres Ian stressed that the young do care about the future and do want to make a difference and do have issues such as Climate Change and often feel that they are not considered. Interact (High School/Secondary college ages) and Rotaract (18-30 year age group) can offer many opportunities in education, volunteering and leadership skills. Youth do listen, must listen to them and be inspired.
After a sumptuous dinner and happy fellowship came the PAUL HARRIS FELLOWSHIP AWARDS and APPRECIATION CERTIFICATES. Recipients of certificates of appreciation went to Charles Agius, Peter Guttman, Jo Impey, Margaret Mason, John Mason and Helen Nodrum. While we do not look for recognition it is always a joy to be appreciated. Well Done. The suspense surrounding the recipients of the Paul Harris Award always has a captive Audience. The aim is to talk about his or her attributes and the reason for gaining the award is typically our Rotary Club’s way of presenting PHF. Linda gave a brief history as to what it is, what it is for and how the person is selected. Tony R, Alan, Richard, Ron and Peter O’B all did this very well. So our delight that Terry Kane received her PHF for her unselfish contribution to the club and in raising funds for Share A Dream in the Philippines, was unbounded, while Greg received his PHF for being such an enthusiastic President 2016/17 made us all very pleased. The four members who received PHF Sapphires were Ron Brownlees, Alan Kempton, Tim Lynch and Grant Perry. All these members are well deserving and we were once again thrilled that these hard working members were recognised. With the awards and recognition of members completed, Pres Ian had 4 more people he wished to recognise. Much to the absolute delight of Zilla (Bulletin Reporter) was once again given a bound copy of the year’s Bulletins most of which contain her writings for the weekly meetings and guest speakers. Karin received a copy for the Secretarial Files, PP Peter received his copy having his Weekly Presidential Thoughts and Ian for all his hard work as Bulletin Editor.
With all the business of Changeover done and dusted all that was needed to enjoy the last moments of fellowship and wish everyone a good week and that we meet at the Buckingham International for our first Breakfast with President Ian and BE THE INSPIRATION
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)