Club Meeting January 15 2020 First Meeting for 2020


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WOW!! Thank you Alex and Eva for opening your Restaurant Champagne Charlize to us so we can meet while Cilantro (Holmesglen) is on holidays. Who would have thought that your cosy little restaurant would be SO Packed and that you had to carry in your outside tables and chairs to accommodate all of us! Your walls were elastic and Eva must have been run off her feet to feed us all with beautiful tasty breakfasts. A really big THANK YOU. Members missing were notable through their absence. The atmosphere was electric with laughter and chatter. Peter O’B was Chairperson and invited John M. to offer Invocation and Margaret M. the Loyal Royal Toast. Grant was not able to preset is with an International toast to an overseas club due to lack of overhead. We had important visitors who were Peter and Helen Brown who now reside in Fiji and represented the Rotary Club of Taveuni, Clemence, Loretta and her Mother Liz de Nitts from the Rotary Club of Albert Park. Loretta is our out-going Exchange Student bound for Finland. In fact, by the time this report is published she will already be settled in Orimaitilla which is close to Helsinki. Tim Moran brought his younger son Nathan who happily sat on his father’s knee throughout the meeting. Everybody was glad to be back.  President Geoff welcomed us profusely and announced it was such a treat to see so many of us.  This first meeting was a forum to offer opportunity to discuss issues that have arisen during the break, such as a motion for a donation to Balibo, Timor-Leste and the need to help the Bush-Fire Victims. Linda as Chairperson of the International Committee put forward a motion for the club to accept a 2 year proposal to build yet another school making it the fourth for the people in Timor Leste.  The motion is unusual because normally a club does not commit another year’s committee for a project ahead of time however while the builders are in Balibo and need the commitment of the finance before they start is tantamount, prolonging the decision could mean that the school will not happen. Linda further explained that the school will be built on a condemned sit due to the fact that when the Indonesians left Timor Leste, the premises in Ai-Asa were totally burnt to the ground and the building will provide a brand new primary school. Our Rotary Club of Bentleigh Moorabbin Central has been actively engaged in this project and is internationally known as the main support and for interesting other clubs such as Albert Park and Port Melbourne to join the work. Zilla as Past President 2008-9 together with past member Merv Ritter discovered the need when visiting former parliamentarian Rob Hudson. Zilla saw a photograph of what looked like a run-down and neglected kindergarten playground with a broken rusty slide and rubbish strewn on the ground. The grounds were on the site of the building where 5 Australian Journalists were sabotaged and murdered. As Zilla quoted “from acorns big oaks grow”. This little beginning now houses a Community Learning Centre, a Dental Centre, a Library, a Crèche and a Hotel to accommodate visitors. As mentioned the donation will rebuild a Fourth School and all the way through this project RCMBC has been involved and is known as THE Rotary Club. The motion was unanimously passed. Congratulations to a very forward thinking club.  The next subject on the agenda was to discuss how best to help the victims the most horrendous bush fires. To all of us in Australia it feels that the whole of our wonderful country is on fire and like everybody we would like to offer help where it is needed most. Tim M who has been in 2009 Bush Fire Case Project Manager and advised us that help needs to go in phases and to consider long term recovery. There were suggestions to offer the takings from the Market. It was agreed that perhaps we should wait to see where the need is really important. Another suggestion was to look for a particular therapeutic project such as the one we did previously in organizing picnic tables that were stained by the residents giving them a happier task with everybody chatting about their own disaster. To be certain that the donation goes directly to a Rotary club in the area where the need is. Neville mentioned for our information that the bush fire area was 4 times larger than the whole of the Melbourne Region. We were reminded that the bush fire season has barely begun and that CFA has needs as well. Ron talked of the mental issues that are a result of this terrible event. With all this discussion, Pres Geoff has suggested we should hold a special meeting to conduct a Brain Storm. This suggestion was met with great agreement. Changing the subject Helen, introduced and welcomed Loretta de Nitts and her mother Liz Loretta as mentioned, is our Youth Exchange Student and is going to Finland. Loretta is very excited and is interested to learn apart of other things that schools do not require uniforms. Her concern was that she possibly does not have enough clothes!! Rotarian Peter Brown and his wife thanked our club for our donation to their new club of Taveuni, Fiji. Peter will be at our next meeting on Wednesday 29th January to tell us about that club’s project. In closing the meeting Pres Geoff mentioned that Alex (Champagne Charlize) had donated a further $100 to our club. Alex donates 10% from every meal that club members enjoy when visiting his restaurant. Alex and Eva offer an extensive Hungarian menu and is totally delicious. Pres Geoff wished us a happy week and reminded us that ROTARY CONNECTS THE WORLD

Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)

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