Last week, 13th June was the last breakfast meeting in Pres. Peter’s presidential year of 2017-18 and what a packed meeting it was. Packed because just about every member attended and there were most interesting guest speakers Rotarian Ron Brooks (UNICEF Foreign Coin Collection) Adrian Larkin and Bianca Joyce (Launch Housing), 2 motions to be presented and our two returning guests, Margaret Lucas and Martin Uttbridge. Our Chairperson was Larry who asked John M for the Loyal Toast and Neville for Invocation.
Grant took us to the Republic of Nicaragua. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, set between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and is known for its dramatic terrain of lakes, volcanoes and beaches. It is bordered by Honduras and Costa Rica. Human settlement began in 12,000BC. 1524 found Spanish settlements at Granada and Leon. The country became part of the First Mexican Empire then became an independent Republic in 1838. Leon was established in1524 on Lake Managua. In 1594-1610 an earthquake caused by the volcano Momotombo made it necessary for the town to be relocated 30km west. The ruins of the medieval town Leon Viejo are still to be seen at the base of the volcano. Managua is the capital and largest city in Nicaragua. Grant asked us to be upstanding to toast the President Sandra Lucia Zapata Vanegas and the Members of the Rotary Club of Metropolitano de Leon, Republic of Nicaragua. The club has 21 members and was chartered April 2012 and is in District 4240. They meet on Fridays 7.00 at the Hotel El Convento. Grant shared his excitement with us as we actually got a return International Toast from The RC Karaliene Luize, Lithuania. What a marvellous surprise for both clubs. Thank you Grant for your amazing geographical experience.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Peter G and Alan. We hope your on coming year to come will be filled with enjoyment fun and good health.
Out first guest speaker was the very fit and cheerful PP Ron Brooks of the RC Forest Hill. Ron is well known throughout our District for his bike riding prowess. He and his wife enjoy bike riding through other countries especially Europe. He began by telling that thanks to Helen he was able to come on behalf of the District 9810, to talk to us, not about his club, but his involvement in Foreign Coin collection for UNICEF. In 2114-15(DC Tony Monley’s year) district 9810 partnered with UNICEF to collect foreign coins and notes. Ron travels extensively and always found that he had a lot leftover coins and notes and asked if the district would mind if he collected his and other returned traveler’s leftover money. The answer was “Go for it”! In the last three years the district has sent off 300kg of coins and parcels of notes which has been valued at $9,124.When Ron first contacted UNICEF the Partnerships Manager said that “we see Rotary and UNICEF as a partnership as a perfect match. UNICEF works in over 190 countries for the rights and welfare of all children. It supports children’s health needs, clean water and sanitation, quality basic education and protection from violence, exploitation and HIV. It has the same ideals as Rotary. UNICEF partners with very few organisations, Qantas and CBA are together with Rotary the only ones. It is a no cost project to Rotary as the security pouches are transported to us free and the return is financed by GlobalXchange who are the major collectors of foreign coins and bank notes from banks around Australia. They even collect out of circulation coins and bank notes. Helen presented Ron with a very heavy looking bag that held moneys collected from members, her church and much to Charles A delight all the “wrong” coins from the market. 5kg equals $150. The money collected goes towards projects mentioned above to help children. Thank you Ron for coming to us so early in the morning and we should all make another concerted effort to look through our baggage, drawers and pockets in search of more coins that could be hiding.
Pres. Peter put the 2 motions to us to vote upon. Richard spoke to the motion for Marriott House that need finance to support Training Self Life Skills as many of the Marriott House participants have aging parents who no longer have the same energy to do daily chores. The life skills training will teach simple tasks such as bed making and laundry and other domestic work that most of us take for granted. The motion was passed unanimously. The second motion was for Calvary Health Care Bethlehem Talking Mats Program. Talking Mats is a specialised communication tool to enable people with expressive difficulties to communicate ideas. Tim Moran is familiar with this product. “CHCB” would utilise two Talking Mats courses each of which would have 8 people (4 Calvary clinicians and 4 community partners e.g. speech pathologists who share clients). This is a learning situation but also would give quality time with participants. Feedback would enable to ascertain the effectiveness of the training model and the impact on working relationships. This motion too was passed unanimously.
Adrian Larkin and Bianca Joyce are from Launch Housing Education First Foyer program. Since 2017 Launch Housing and the Brotherhood of St Lawrence have been running Youth Foyers. On any given night more than 6,000 young people in Victoria are experiencing homelessness. Of this number more than half are not involved in education or employment, so to help this issue the two partners opened 2 Education First Youth Foyers. Foyer is based on the French word meaning hearth. By providing affordable accommodation, education, training and employment Education First Youth foyers help young people to break the cycle of homelessness, create opportunities and lead independent and fulfilling lives. Each house has 40 people and participants have to be part of the education program. A person can live for 2 years in this system before being able to live and work independently. If a person ids not interested in the program they need to get help elsewhere. Employment and housing skills are offered as the aim is to break the housing commission living cycle. Social connection is developed and the aim is to achieve Certificate 3. The participants come from many backgrounds such as indigenous and refugee. Good living, confidence and social space is offered in a positive place so people learn to believe in themselves. There are people who have no work history, who have lived rough volunteer to join the program. They are taught hygiene and learn to live as a family which is a new experience. The Foyer are funded by Victorian State Government and are partnered by Philanthropy. There is help to get into private rental with philanthropic assistance. As a result of Education First Foyers there are 11 young people at university and others who have gained diplomas and are confidently preparing for life. Adrian and Bianca showed us videos of young people who live in the Foyers and who described their favourite things that were new experiences such as always having someone to talk to, being accepted and saying everyone has had unsuitable times in life but now can enjoy life. We certainly got a warm and fuzzy feeling watching the various stories and knowing that at least for some, life circumstances can change thanks to this section of Launch Housing Education First. Thank you Adrian and Bianca for sharing your very worthwhile work. While this meeting of the 13th June was Pres. Peter’s last meeting at the helm of BMC as President it was also the last morning that Sossi will be serving coffee to us with Tony. She is moving on at Holmesglen to learn more of what she hopes will add to her training in other facets of hospitality and becoming a paid member of staff. Well done Sossi. We will miss you. The other person whose last breakfast with us is Chef Andrew who is moving out of Wednesday morning Breakfast Chef to teach on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thank you for our truly yummy and creative breakfasts. We will miss you too. Of course we could not have a meeting without Sergeant Tim and his creative inimitable way of extracting money for fines especially fining all the girl members because Saudi Arabia has allowed the female population to gain their driving licence! Sergeant Tim you have been great fun and we are the “poorer” because of you. Of course all in a good cause. We thank Pres. Peter and the team for the hard work that has been accomplished and Good Luck for the new team under the leadership of PE Ian. ROTARY: MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)