Club Meeting September 4 2019 Mercy Ships


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Peter Guttmann was the chair for the day and welcomed the guest speaker Fay Veitch from Mercy Ships, and 3 members from the Rotary Club of Richmond who were exploring market options for their club.

The International Toast this week was to the Rotary Club of Puerto Montt Chile, South America. As usual, Grant presented a very comprehensive overview of the history, geography and current economy of the country.  Chile is a long narrow country on the west coast of South America. Besides this, it also encompasses 2300 island, Thursday Island being one of them. It was proclaimed a republic on 12th February 1818. Its present day economy consists of cattle, forestry, agriculture and especially salmon agriculture. There are 4 Rotary Districts and 56 Rotary Clubs in the country. The toast was to the Rotary Club of Puerto Montt, and to President Javier Herrera Portorelli and members.

President Geoff then informed members that there will be a follow-up meeting, on a date to be advised, regarding the market. He also advised that if members have issues they wish to raise to the Board, they Should do it through Neville Kruss, the secretary, who will include them in the agenda for Board meetings.

Fay Veitch of Mercy Ships then made her presentation. The idea of Mercy Ships started in 1962 when a young American named Don, went to the Bahamas to help, following the hurricane. He initiated the project and it took years of preparation and in 1978, the first Mercy Ship was launched. The current Mercy Ship is the 4th one in operation. Mercy Ships have provided medical services to countries such as Ghana, Senegal and Liberia on the west coast of Africa. The Mercy Ship normally spends 10 months at sea and 2 month in dry dock to be serviced and replenished. The ship is staffed totally by volunteers from many countries including Australia. The volunteers all pay their own way including paying $1000.00 per month for board on the ship.

Mercy Ships is financed primarily by churches and private charities from 40 different countries. Prior to visiting a country, a facility will be set up in the city to “funnel” potential patients for assessment and tests prior to going on board the ship for treatment. If there is no suitable facility, then a building will be construct for the purpose. This building will be gifted to the city after the Mercy Ship leaves. Field teams will provide follow-up and treatment after the Mercy Ship leaves. A video featuring volunteers on the ship was then shown. Fay told members that a second ship is in the process of being equipped at the cost of $6m and Australia’s allocation towards the fund-raising effort is $2m.

Proposals for voting by members: Two proposals, which have been presented to members in the Bulletin for the required period of time were presented to the members for voting.
1    Adolescent Recovery Centre (AR).  This is a proposal of $5,000 to support an Intensive   Program for one school term to address Early in Life Mental Health Tier 3 (adolescents between ages 12-17). The money will go towards sponsoring their outdoor adventure therapy part of the program.

2 Business Voice Project Pilot     The proposal is for $5,000 towards a pilot Program Business Voice Project for Oakleigh Secondary School. The aim is to provide training for students to explore real-world examples of careers and make them aware of the wide range of career opportunities.

Both proposals were unanimously supported.
Jo Impey invited all to the ‘Riding for the Disabled’ Open Day on 7th Sept.
Ron Brownlees advised members of onsite changes in market operations viz. use of sandbags, banking procedures and sending market report from the market office ipad using the ‘Flattened Copy’ option.

Margaret Mason

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