Last week we had a touch of winter! It felt really chilly compared with the 39degree plus days that we had the week before. Having said that the members were very cheerful and positive and greeted our Chairperson/President, Pres. Ian with enthusiasm. Pres. Ian welcomed our only visitor, Guest Speaker, Greg King. Pres Ian called upon Alan to give us Invocation and Tony R to present the Loyal, Royal Toast and Grant to do his ever-interesting toast to an Overseas Rotary Club. So off to the West Indies we went! Jamaica is an island in the West Indies which is art of the Greater Antilles group. West Indies is made up of Great Antilles, Lesser Antilles and Lucayan Archipelago (Bahama Archipelago). The Greater Antilles are a group of islands in the western Caribbean Sea which consist of Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands which constitute nearly 90% of the land mass of the West Indies and over 90% of the population of the West Indies. Jamaica is the third- largest island of the Greater Antilles (11,000km2) and 145km south of Cuba and 191km west of Hispaniola. The first inhabitants came from islands to the east about 600AD and were known as the “Redware people” Around 800 CE, Arawakan-speaking Taino arrived. Christopher Columbus landed on the island during his second voyage on 14th May 1494. The First permanent settlement, the town of Sevilla la Nueva on the north coast was formed in 1509. In 1534 the Capital was moved to Spanish Town. In talking about Jamaica he informed us that the Spanish enslaved the Taino Indians, but most died from European diseases or from overwork. The first inhabitants came from east of Jamaica. The Spanish introduced the first African slaves. In 1654 Cromwell attacked Spanish possessions in the Caribbean and in 1655 the English invaded and took possession. Jamaica was one of the world’s leading sugar-exporting colonies in 1820-1824, with more than77,000tone annually. Independence came from Britain on 6th August 1962 but remained a constitutional monarchy. Kingston was founded in July 1692 as a place for survivors of the 1692 earthquake that destroyed Port Royal. It is the Capital and largest city (1872) with a population of 900,000. St. Andrew is a parish in the South of Kingston with a population of 16,000. Grant asked us to be upstanding to toast President Kemmehi Lozer and the Members of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew, Jamaica. The club was chartered 8th September 1966.The club has 40 members. It meets at Hotel Four Season on Tuesday 12.30 pm. Thank you Grant for once again giving us an insight of an International Club so far away.
Pres. Ian welcomed Margaret and John back from China where they celebrated Chinese New Year. He then called our newest member to the podium and presented her name Badge to her laughingly saying she had passed her probationary period!! He also reminded us of Conference and that the dinner was titled a “Touch of Red”. Helen advised us of Geoff Gartley’s initiative of the Urban Beach Camp which is part of Rotary Youth exchange and will be held on 15th -17th March. 20 students are expected and will stay at the Scout Hall on Brighton Beach. They are looking for helpers for activities such as volley ball and BBQ. She informed us that it is a fun weekend for all the exchange students. There will be a Welcome Back Dinner for the returning students and we will be pleased to hear of Aden’s adventures in Finland. We were again reminded of the International Women’s Day speaker Marcia Pinskier on 7th March. Jo informed us that she will be riding for MS on 31st March. This is a most worthy cause that certainly needs funds for research and help to modify vehicles. It is a 50 km ride to support people with this dilapidating illness. Good luck Jo for your effort.
Our Guest Speaker was Greg King who is the District 9810 District Vocational Service Chair. Over coffee before the meeting began, Greg told us the story of a boy who was seen on a beach looking at thousands of starfish that had been washed up onto the sand. He started to pick up the starfish one-by-one and threw them back into the sea. Upon being asked what he was doing he explained he was trying to save them. But, said the observer, it won’t make a difference as the boy continued to throw them back into the water. Oh, said the boy holding up one of the starfish, it makes a BIG difference to this one! This story represents the good that Rotary does in making a difference even in the smallest way. Greg began by saying “It’s wonderful to be visiting BMC as D9810 Vocational Chair. He further thanked Peter L for inviting to speak to us. He continued by telling us that it is a responsibility that he feels privileged to hold for 2 years under the guidance of DG Russel and DGE Shia. However, he thinks it will be a different role when his wife DGN Alma Reynold will take office in 20/21. He explained that Vocational Service is the essence of Rotary and has almost become the forgotten Avenue of Rotary and without Vocational Service Rotary would not be as we know it today. The Four Objects of Rotary are to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise. In particular, the second object pertains to his presence at the club to endorse and promote the “High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.” He loves speaking about Vocation and hopes in doing so we as club members will have a better understanding. Greg had copies of the “Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions” as adopted by the Rotary International Council on legislation in 1989. The declaration provides more specific guidelines for the high ethical standards called for THE OBJECT OF ROTARY. Pres Ian will scan this paper for us to read. The program was initiated through District 9800 more than a decade ago with or District now sharing with mentors. SHINE ON AWARDS (Recognition of outstanding service by persons with disabilities) and TERTIARY AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS (an excellent Vocational Service strategy to encourage achievements of students at local TAFE Colleges are 2 examples of programs encouraged by Vocation. Greg stressed that we should understand local business He talked of mentoring with Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria and that there is nothing wrong to talk about business. He suggested that we should invite local business owners to meet us at club meetings. Greg’s PASSION and ENTHUSIASM for what he does is very obvious and very infectious with a personality that totally lit up the room. He finished by stating that Leadership is by example and Vocational service calls every Rotarian to 1) Adhere to and promote high ethical standards in all business dealings 2) Recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations 3) Contribute their professional expertise and skills to societal challenges, problems and needs. It’s Rotarians Doing Business with Rotarians first and foremost in their research, consideration, practice and ultimately recommendations. Thank you Greg for your most interesting presentation and for coming to us from so far away. We certainly learnt much from you.
Sergeant Tim congratulated John M on receiving OAM and found plenty of reasons to extradite our gold coins to his special coffer. Pres Ian in closing reminded us that Aden will be talking about his trip and adventures in Finland and thanked Greg for his talk and thanked Grant for his interesting presentation. He wished us a good week and to BE THE INSPIRATION. Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)