Club Meeting September 11 2019 Clemence Vandercruyssen


Jo Impey was chair and welcomed guests Michael Berry, Vicki Gartley and Rotary Youth Exchange student Clemence who was also the guest speaker for the meeting.

The International toast prepared and presented by Grant was to the Rotary Club of Armentieres in the noIanis sponsoring Clemence. It also sponsors an Interact club and a Rotaract club.

President Geoff then addressed the meeting and advised that there was a Board meeting the previous evening. The committee Chairs will present, to members, decisions made in due course.

President Geoff then reiterated what he wrote in the bulletin viz. that he would welcome suggestions re Fundraising.  He also spoke of the importance of letting the community  know of what we do. One method of doing this is via a Rotary Club citation and he would welcome thoughts on what had how this can be done.

A follow-up meeting of the market forum will be held on Thursday 26 Sept at  6pm in Cilantro, Holmesglen.

Alan Kempton confirmed that members on market duty will need to be on site by 6.15am.

Clemence then spoke on “My French Life”.

She said that frequent references to Bagutte, wine and cheese as cliches about France are true. She then showed a map comparing the size of France to Australia, and then shared photos and information  about the village she comes from and her family.

Logies, which is the village Clemence comes from, has a population of 1,500. It has a town hall, a shop and one restaurant. Clemence is the youngest in a family of 3 girls. Her 2 older sisters are in their early twenties and working.

The school she attended was 10 km from where she lives. School hours are from 7.45 am to 5pm. There is a lunch break of between 1-2 hours and the students are served a 3 course meal in the school cafeteria. In France, the main meal is lunch; in the evening, people only have something light to eat. Clemence says her hobbies are badminton and snow skiing and she was also in the scouts movement.

Clemence first learnt about about Rotary when her parents (who were then non-Rotarians) were approached regarding hosting a Youth Exchange student. Here father has since become a Rotarian and the family has hosted  several students to date. She then decided that she wanted the experience of being an exchange and started the  application process. This took 3 years before her arrival to join us at RCBMC.

When asked about what she regarded as highlights of her first 6 weeks in Melbourne were she listed the following:

  • Her 18th birthday dinner at the Sofitel with Peter Lewis and family,
  • Participation in a radio “talk back” session,
  • Going to a footy game with President Geoff and visiting the State library.

Clemence also told members that she has been learning English for 7 years and Spanish for 5 years. She fielded several questions from members.


Helen Nodrum then advised members that McKinnon Secondary College will be holding a Market Day in conjunction with the parent/teachers day.

She has arranged to have a stand to raise the Club’s profile as we sponsor the Interact club at the School. Helen will be at the school from 10am to 6pm and several members volunteered to assist.

The meeting concluded after the sergeants session.

Margaret Mason


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