This was our first meeting back “home” at Cilantro and the first meeting with Pres. Geoff. It was a dull winter’s morning but the atmosphere as usual was bright and cheerful with Sossie and Tony giving us our caffeine fix. Sergeant Tim was his inimitable very noisy self and finally brought the meeting to order so that Karin could take up her position of Chairperson. She invited Neville to give us Invocation and Zilla to present the Loyal, Royal Toast. As Grant had humungous computer problems, sadly there was not an International Club Toast. Pity, as we always enjoy the surprise of where Grant takes us to. Karin welcomed our guest speaker Janet Benalcazar and gave apologies from Kevin, Julie, Geoff Gartly, Terri, and Margaret L. Pres. Geoff announced that there were more presentations to be made. To the members who were not present on Changeover night. He called Ron, John L and Tony Fritzlaff (Cilantro Host) to come individually to the rostrum to receive their Certificate of Appreciation for their work; Ron as Treasurer/ Club Service, John L for International Service and work for Women’s International Day and Tony Fritzlaff (Cilantro Host) for his Support in Hospitality Service. Peter O’B had prepared a speech for Changeover night which he had not delivered, but was appropriate this morning telling us of a particular member who “had actively supported and served for a number of years as a much appreciated member, who could be relied to always and willingly support the club wherever a helping hand or volunteers were required and in particular supports programs that involve schools at both Primary and Secondary levels within the Glen Eira and Kingston vicinity”. With great pride Peter G was called to the rostrum to be presented with a Sapphire PHF for his Youth Portfolio. Congratulations for all men on their well-deserved recognition. Pres. Geoff welcomed Glenda Stahl back into the fold and on behalf of us all wished Peter L. a HAPPY BIRTHDAY MANY RETURNS OF THE DAY and GREAT YEAR AHEAD. Peter thanked us and said he now belonged to the “66” club together with Helen and Margaret L. Pres. Geoff continued by informing us we received a thank you letter from The Uniting Prahan for the money raised by Jade for the Back Pack Bags. This was a special program that Jade as an Exchange Student used to be able to obtain the back Pack Bags for the Homeless. The acknowledgement was greatly appreciated. Jade is on a flight on Saturday 6th July to return home to Brazil. We shall all miss her very much and wish her well in her life ahead. Janet Benalcazar is a senior Speech Pathologist at Calvary and came to talk about talking mats. Not so long ago our club gave a donation towards this project called Talking Mats. So… what is Talking Mats? “Talking Mats is a framework that provides better expression/output quality and longer responses. It is a Thinker and Listener model. It gives more control to the “Thinker”. The visual prompt and visual record is very helpful and helps to stay on topic. It helps with decision making”. The donation we made allowed 13 speech pathologists to train. There are 2 parts in this training scheme and they foster collaboration and work together especially in complex cases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Huntington Disease. The program was written by someone who cannot talk. Janet showed a video of how the talking mat works. It showed how symbols are placed on the mat and the person who cannot verbalize can make decisions as to Like, not sure or don’t like thereby allows clearer understanding. The symbols allow to look at the picture and to think about the answer. This allows to be used for everything and can be everything such as work, food likes, behavior and gives non-verbal opportunity. Outcomes show sense of freedom. There are workshops to teach how to uses the equipment. Technology progress can “bank voice” so it can be reproduced but the whole thing Janet said is beautifully lo-tec. Pathologists need to be trained to be able to have the full benefit of this costly method. Janet has two positions so besides working 3 days at Calvary she also works 2 days with dementia patients. Janet has a calm and cheerful outlook in life and we really appreciated her coming to us on such a wintry early morning to share her knowledge on this new and innovative learning tool. Thank you. Alan who organized “Bike Ed” thanked the members who were able to participate with the grade three primary students and read delightful responses from the children who were brimming in praise for the program. He told us he had 64 responses, mostly telling that they had learnt about traffic and that it had been a “fun experience”. Sergeant Tim is at it again fining us for the most obscure and silly reasons. He is enormous fun and laughter is the best medicine. As Pres. Geoff and Ron had to leave early on Council business PP Ian closed the meeting reminding us that we shall be meeting at Champagne Charlize and to remember the ROTARY CONNECTS THE WORLD.
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)