How good it was to be back at Cilantro and to be greeted with wonderful coffee by Tony and Sossi. Happy Birthday Tony for the 20th January. We hope your year will be a great one! It was lovely to have the last two meetings at Champagne Charlese but as with most things it is always comfortable to be at “home”. Tony G was our very charming and efficient Chairperson. It was a huge gathering of at least 50 people that included partners, visiting Rotarians and friends and Guest Speaker Detective Inspector Andrew (Andy) Stamper and PP RC Boronia, Lance Deveson. Tony chose Pres. Ian to give us Invocation and Jo to present the Loyal Royal Toast. Being “home” gave us the opportunity to have Grant give us his presentation of an overseas Rotary Club.
He chose the Rotary Club of South Queesferry, Scotland. Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Scotland borders with England and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and Irish Sea. And those who were unaware Scotland includes more than 790 islands! The Kingdom of Scotland was an independent sovereign state in the early Middle Ages until 1707. The capital is Edinburgh. South Queensferry in in the county of West Lothian 16km west of Edinburgh. It has a population of 9,000. It was used as a crossing of the Firth of Forth for centuries as the capital was Dunfermline. The last crossing service was September 1964. Queensferry was named for queen Margaret in the 11th Century. Margaret became the second wife of Malcom lll of Scotland (1070) she was later known as “The Pearl of Scotland) and it was she who among many charitable works established a ferry across the river. Grant then switched from Scotland to talk about the Federation of Australia having been Australia Day a few days earlier on the 26th January. In 1867, Sir Henry Parkes, Colonial secretary of NSW proposed a Federal Council body. Parkes, as Premier of NSW again raised the issue in 1880. In the 1890s the idea of Federation gained popularity even including New Zealand and Fiji. In July 1900, The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (UK) was passed by the British parliament. Queen Victoria gave the Royal Assent on 9th July 1900. John Adrian Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun was appointed as the First Governor General and held that position from 1901-1902. He was born 25th September 1860 at Hopetoun House which is 3km west of South Queensferry, set in 100 acres of parkland the house construction was stared in 1699 and finished in1752! At the inauguration of the Australian Commonwealth Lord Hopetoun took the oath of office and read the Proclamation Declaring the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia made by Queen Victoria 1st September 1900. Sir Edmund Barton was sworn in as the Interim Prime Minister with an Interim Federal Ministry of 9 members, as federal elections were not held until 29th March 1901. Hence the wonderful connection between Queensferry and Australia! Grant asked us to be upstanding to toast President Alexander Mackenzie and the Members of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry of Scotland. The club was chartered on !4th July 1977 in District 1020 and has 39 members. Thank you Grant for your ever thoughtful, clever and interesting presentation.
Breakfast was a delicious plated service. Pres. Ian informed the guests and reminded us that the breakfast is served by the courtesy of the Holmesglen Training Restaurant and talked of Cilantro as a fantastic restaurant to dine in. One should book as it is very popular and the food is totally excellent. He further mentioned and congratulated Charles on entering his 45th year in Rotary and on John M receiving an OAM. The rosters were read and informed us that now that he “casual” market stalls are now $30 there is no need for gold coins in the market bag. For the benefit of our guests he also stated how proud we are of the Market and how the rosters sure with the help of RC Caulfield and eClub make certain that the market is efficiently manned. Pres. Ian then called Lance Deveson from Australian Rotary Health to the front to present a donation of $5,000. Lance told us that he was really here by default as he was “only” a committee member. Having said that he conveyed how pleased he was to receive the donation. District 9810 was the biggest donor to the cause and every $ received goes towards research such as Mental and Indigenous Health. It is always satisfying to be able to meet people who volunteer for the areas to which we donate.
Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper began his address to us by thanking us for the privilege to be asked to speak to us. He continued by saying he was happy to discuss the work that we do and that his facility is a very hard working one focused on getting the right resolution. Andrew said he was happy to talk about Missing Persons but we understood that details of cases cannot be revealed. The facility is brought into action where the police are convinced there are suspicious circumstances and assistance is provided. There are intricacies and public curiosity, with review and investigation of long term suspicions and the police provide skills and a capacity to help. He pointed out that there are some people who wish to disappear and to get results they work closely with forensics. Any person disappearing gets reported. Families never give up and even cold cases that are years old have families who are in constant contact. This makes the police mindful of families. There is basic tracking information and this emphasizes how much in touch we are in society that makes it difficult to disappear. The acronym DRACULA is a list to follow. Delay, Reporting person, Accounts access, Communication, Unusual to go missing, Links to go missing, Alibi/corroboration. Andrew said that the initial report is most important. He emphasized that ASSUME NOTHING, BELIEVE NO ONE, CHECK EVERYTHING, and SEARCH. History in the majority of cases involves someone close so the first person to look at is often family members. It is difficult to do and one needs to eliminate the close member. It is the same consideration as when looking for a murderer. The reason it is hard to disappear is 1) the amount of information provided through mobiles, the internet 2) Banking details. Every transaction leaves a trail and money transactions also leave trails whether it is through the actual bank or through purchases in retail or the supermarket. 3) The car today is a sophisticated computer and can give out information of when it was started, braked and the new cars have a satellite connection. Even on foot after getting rid of any of the above there is camera footage. Cameras on the street help solve crime. They give pictures of people and have infra-red for night pictures Safe city cameras help to solve crime and the city has cameras everywhere. He gave examples of people in England who have excellent face recognition and help to solve intricate crime. Today cars have Dash Cam which also can take pictures even for a few seconds. Sophistication means of close circuit TV which can create live footage. Continuing on with the theme of people who want to go missing and are successful say goodbye to family and nearest and dearest. It is a win if the person is found alive. Missing Persons Squad is a serious crime division. Andrew told us it was a privilege to be part of the squad. A question was asked as to how many people go missing in Victoria. Record keeping was not so good 50-60 years ago so an estimate of 1000. The work is emotionally draining. A crime scene is not as dangerous for the mental stability as the impact on families and from live victims. It is important to be able to talk about what has happened. There were important questions asked, such as can a person be charged without a body. If there is sufficient and beyond reasonable doubt the answer is yes, but the person cannot be paroled without giving good assistance. The other question was why does it take so much time between the committing of the crime and getting to court. There is immense pressure to catch the perpetrator and every detail of evidence has to be recorded before presenting to court. If this not done 100% the defense can dismiss the case. In concluding his presentation, Andrew said that change has to come where women are not treated and abused so badly that they are killed and the change rests with good men who will do more and be responsible for their behavior and their sons’ behavior. Thank you Detective Inspector for coming so early in the morning and imparting your work in such a calm and positive manner. We were a captive audience and believe we were privileged to have you with us.
As usual Sergeant Tim managed to empty us of our gold coins with comparisons of the Irish, the French and a history of Tennis. We all agreed that our Tennis Centre is the best in the world. In closing the meeting Pres. Ian thanked Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper for the increased Degree of Knowledge of what he does and that we should enjoy the week and BE THE INPIRATION
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)