Neville was our Chairperson for this chilly morning and invited Tony K to give us Invocation and Kevin to present us the Loyal Toast. He welcomed our Guest Speaker Martin Murley from Kids Under Cover, and then invited Grant to take us our journey to learn about another Rotary Club in a far off land.
This week were off to Belize which is a nation on the Eastern coast of Central America with the Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungles to the west. It borders Mexico and Guatemala. In 1500 BC Mayan’s settled the area where the ruins like Caracol, renowned for its towering pyramid can be visited. In 1506 Spanish conquistadors arrived and claimed the area for Spain. In 1638, English buccaneers arrived, harvesting logwood trees and attacking Spanish ships. Control of the area remained in dispute until 1798 when Britain defeated Spain at the Battle of St. George’s Cave. Control remained localised with the settlers. In 1836 British claimed the right to administer the region. 1n1862 it became a British Crown Colony governed from Jamaica and named British Honduras, and became self-governing in 1964. On June 1st 1973, the country was renamed Belize and was granted independence in 1981. The capitol is Belmopan and the largest city and its population is 388,000. A landmark sinkhole in the ocean called the Great Blue Hole is a tourist attraction in Belize. It is very blue and is famous as a scuba-diving site for its diversity of species. Orange Walk town is the 4th largest town in Belize and is the Capital of Orange Walk District and has a population of about 13,000. It is located on the West bank of New River. It is also known as “Sugar City” as all of Belize’s sugar cane is processed there. Other tourist activities includes fishing, surfing, mountain biking and golf with the advantage of 5 golf courses. Grant asked us to be upstanding to toast President Josue Carballo and the members of the Rotary Club of Orange Walk, Belize, District 4250, Chartered 28th August 1971 and boasts 16 members. Thank you Grant for once again presenting us another interesting and exciting international Rotary Club. We are all very pleased that we received a return letter of good wishes from the Rotary Club of Maketu in response to our toast to that club a few weeks ago. Grant, your work in this area is so appreciated.
Pres. Ian asked for apologies and Terry, John L, Charles A’s names were recognised. He also apologised to Neville, as not only is he our new secretary but was also Chairman. This makes life difficult as the secretary has the duties of dispersing the mail first thing in the morning so Pres Ian promised to leave him off cashier roster in future. We also wish John M, (hopping with crutches) well as he had a dour skiing accident and will need an operation to mend his leg. We were reminded that Kathy Monley, our AG will visit next week and hopes we all will be there to welcome her to our club. He went on to explain for the benefit of our new members that a “Cluster” is a sub group within a district and enables us to meet other clubs in our District. Pres. Ian further mentioned the fund raiser that is being run by the Interact Club at McKinnon Secondary College. This is their major annual fund raiser and we are asked to volunteer to help on the day. The date is Friday 17th August from 0900 t0 1800 in the school grounds and we should contact Peter G. (0408 314 017).
Now came the very important moment for a President and for our latest visitor Margaret Lucas to be inducted into our club as a Rotarian. Pres. Ian commented in introducing her to us Margaret came to us the day after she had retired. In reading the introduction and the fact that the Rotary badge was on “loan” during her time as a Rotarian should be worn at all times he gave her the Classification of Nursing. The club stood and welcomed her warmly. In response Margaret thanked us for inviting her and now as she was officially retired she could now help with activities and help to make a difference. Congratulations Margaret and welcome to the Rotary Club of Bentleigh Moorabbin Central.
Our Guest Speaker Martin Murley thanked us and thanked Peter L who had heard of him through Probis and thereby inviting him to speak to us. He gave homage to Ken Morgan the famous car dealer who was president of Variety a charity that helps Aussie kids with a whole range of support and who started Kids Under Cover in Kmart’s car park and tried to make a difference. Kids under Cover leads the way in innovative intervention supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged young people who are either already homeless or at risk of homelessness . Martin told us that most carers are Grandparents because the parents are not there due to alcohol or substance abuse. Through stories the public gets a better understanding of how Kids Under Cover works. Most carers live in Social Housing formally known as Housing Commission, which were built in the ‘50s and are very small concrete homes with no storage space. The people are significantly short of money and in the case of a 53 year old Grandmother who with her own grandchildren took on her three step-grandchildren due to no parental care, no food and no school. There was no space no privacy and thanks to a program that Kids Under Cover runs, they were provided with a “studio” that was constructed in the back yard. The studio provides more space, offers more sleeping facilities and also can provide a place to study. Having your own bed is so very important. Stories like this one helps to convey to the public what Kids under cover can do. The studio program comes as a flat pack and can be relocated and reused where necessary. They can be built with one or two bedrooms with a bathroom and provides stable accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness. To complement the Studio Program scholarships are provided to assist with financial costs associated with education or training and thereby keeping the young in the education system and connected to the community. “Education is the pathway out of poverty”. Funds need to be raised in order to be able to help financially. “DONATE YOUR CAR” is the hassle-free alternative to selling your unwanted car while helping young people at risk, Cars can be collected free of charge and taken to auction partner Manheim and proceeds from the sale go totally to Kids Under Cover. A fully tax deductable receipt goes to the donor. There are 120,000 homeless in Australia with 425 children under 25. Young people usually don’t fit the stereotype of homelessness. They are rarely seen sleeping on the city streets, camped out in tents, in a public park. Many couch surf with friends or extended family or cram into overcrowded accommodation. They may not be sleeping rough but they are no less homeless. Kids Under Cover has a vision where no young person in our community is homeless. The values are Empathy, Collaboration, Resilience, Engagement, and Integrity. Thank you Martin for sharing your amazing organisation’s work and for opening our eyes once more to other people’s hardships in the community. We were a captive audience and your presentation gave us much food for thought.
Sergeant Tim was once again in full flight, beginning his session with another “DRR” joke. He happily fined us all using every bit of “fake” news as an excuse to extract gold from us including Larry Green because the ginormous Iceberg was heading towards Greenland! Pres. Ian closed the meeting by once again congratulating Margaret on being a new Rotarian and by reminding us to be THE INSPIRATION
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)