Tony R, our stand-in Sergeant brought us in order for the day, standing aside for Chairperson, John M. John read the first two stanzas of the poem written by Laurence Binyon which echoes the sentiment of ANZAC DAY. LEST WE FORGET. Paul gave us Invocation and Neville presented The Loyal, Royal Toast.
Grant took us over to the other side of the world to Sint Maarten which is on the island of Saint Martin. Saint Martin is an island in the West Indies and is part of the Lesser Antilles group which is made up of the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and Lucayan Archipelago (Bahama Archipelago). The Lesser Antilles Subduction Zone is a convergent plate boundary on the seafloor along the eastern margin of the lesser Antilles island archipelago. In this subduction zone, oceanic crust of the South American Plate is being subducted under the Caribbean Plate by accretions from the subduction zone which is divided into three groups: Leeward islands in the North, Leeward Antilles in the west and Windward Islands in the South. The Leeward Islands are a group of islands between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and refers to the Northern islands of the lesser Antilles chain. It extends from the Virgin Islands to Guadeloupe. Saint Martin is an island in the NE Caribbean Sea about 300km east of Puerto Rico. The area is 87 square km and the population is 78,000. The nearest islands are Anguilla (15 km) and Saint Barthelemy (30km). Saint Martin has ancient relics which date the first settlers to 3,500years ago. Native name for the island was “Soualiga” or “Island of Salt” after the salt pans. On the 11/11/1493 Christopher Columbus sighted and anchored at the island on the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours. In 1631 the Dutch built Fort Amsterdam om the island of Saint Martin and in 1633 the Spanish captured Saint Martin and built a fort at Point Blanche. The Spanish left the island as the Eighty Year’s War ended and they no longer needed a base in the Caribbean. The Dutch and the French returned and to avoid a war, they signed the Treaty of Concordia. The Treaty created a split of 60% to France and 40% to The Netherlands. The capital is Philipsburg, created in 1763, has an airport called the Princess Juliana International Airport named after Princess Juliana who visited in 1944. It was originally a U.S Airbase in 1942. The runway is one of the shortest in the world and one needs a passport to enter into it. Grant asked us to be upstanding to Toast President Denise Antrobus and the Members of the Rotary Club of St Maarten-Mid Isle, Sint Martin. The club has chartered an Interact Club and meets at Pineapple Pete, Simpson Bay at 7.00 pm. Thank you Grant. Once again you have introduced us to an exotic and interesting place with an active Rotary Club. We certainly enjoy hard work and clever overhead presentation.
Pres. Ian welcomed our guests Geoff and his Family, Jade and Vishal Mahajan and mentioned how great to see Aden. Pres.
Ian then called Vishal to the Stand. Dr. Vishal Mahajan was a member of the Rotary Club of Kilmore and is now taken up practice on Nepean Highway and resides in Bentleigh. We congratulated Vishal for being inducted into our club as our newest member. Pres Ian said we look forward to his participation in our club’s activities and that he should know that the Rotary pin is on loan for the duration of his membership into Rotary. Dr. Vishal responded by telling us that he would like to participate and would do his best for the club. The club was upstanding and welcomed him warmly into the club.
Our Speaker for the day was our Rotarian Behind the Badge, Helen Nodrum. Helen nee O’Grady told us that she was born in Sydney and lived in Harbord. When she was two and a half years old she had Respiratory Arrest and spent 8 weeks in hospital. This is a very long time for a toddler. Where she came from, there were only 2 choices of schools, Public school or Catholic School. She started in the Catholic School in 1959 and stayed there until 1969 and carried friendships through from that time on. Growing up the children and their parents were very close friends and di everything together. She has 2 brothers, Neil and Peter who are still her very best friends. Helen finished school at 16 and started work on 11th February 1971. There were only 3 pathways career-wise, to teach, to be a secretary or to nurse. She hated school so to be a teacher was not a good choice, so she chose nursing where she became dux of the college which she thought as funny due to her dislike of school. Helen explained that she went from a protected home life into the world. In 1979 she came to Melbourne and found that it was a fabulous job and had pleasure in moving around. Then Helen did a course in Stomal Therapy and gained a certificate that licensed her to advocate as a specialist nurse in this field. This opened her up her world to educational travel overseas and placed her in a most privileged position with her patients in her care. Moira’s children that she has been allowed to care for have shown her the qualities of resilience and strength and the fact that happiness comes from within and not from possessions and wealth we amass. This would have to be one take home message that Helen could give. Helen continued by showing us photos of her family and mentioned that although she is no longer married she would not change those 16 years and is still friends with her “ex”. She stressed that she is not a fringe member of anything she does and likes to be involved. Her work became her career. Helen is a passionate sports person, loves Carlton Football Club and is happy to wait through the club’s forming years. She also is a keen follower of The Manly Warringah League. She loves tennis and loves the competitive game and is a member of the Kings Park tennis club. She spoke of the sick children who have been in and her care and talked about the Cabrini Health Spare Cash Not-for-Profit where children were often taken home to spend a holiday and helped out in the Children’s Hospital Special Needs area. There were pictures of Children in Moira’s care and included the photos of the co-joined twins and their development and how they were very sick and suffered from severe malnutrition. We learnt how they were separated needing 4 separating operations. In closing this fascinating story of her life, Helen thanked Greg for bringing her into Rotary and how she felt part of the community. In conclusion Helen gave her DEFINATION OF SANITY, doing same things over and over again and expecting that will yield a different result. Her closing remark was if you are lucky to get into Nursing it opens so much in life. Thank you Helen for sharing so such much of your life and for your enthusiastic involvement in our club and for your wonderful presentation.
Acting Sergeant Tony standing for Sergeant Tim who had severe removal of skin cancer from his ear (poor Tim) found ways of collecting fines from us all explaining he was only doing what Tim wanted. Hmm? Pres. Ian thanked Helen saying how proud we were that we have her as a member and once again welcomed Vishal. He reminded us to BE THE INSPIRATION.
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)