Club Meeting Wednesday 8th November 2017 DG Visit and 2 New Members


Last Wednesday was a most exciting meeting with the welcoming of the DG Malcom Chiverton and wife Karen, and AG Ken Mirams and the proposed double induction. Geoff Gledhill was our Chairperson and he welcomed Tony Grusd, Neville Kruss and Rhonda Hadley. Geoff Gartley resplendent in Race Gear (after all it is the racing season) gave us Invocation and Paul F offered us the Royal/Loyal Toast. Grant always never fails to take us to Rotary Clubs which meet in unknown and exotic parts of the world. Hence we were “taken” to the Rotary Club of Baku International, Republic of Azerbaijan.  The club carries the title International because the members all have important International Positions as does the President who is the Trade Commissioner of the Greek Embassy in Baku which is a major producer of oil and heavy metals. The club is in District 2430 and was chartered in 7th March 2006. There are 36 members. Azerbaijan is a country in Caucases on the Caspian Sea. It is bordered by, Georgia. Russian Daghestan, Armenia Turkey and Iran. In 1828 the country was ceded to the Russian Empire from the Qajar Empire   The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim-oriented world. The country was incorporated in to the Soviet Union in 1920. In 1991 the country became known as the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is a major producer of oil and heavy metals. Grant invited us to toast President Dr. Vassilios Sitaras and the Members of the Rotary Club of Baku International. Pres. Peter made special mention of the 3 events that took place with our club offering volunteers for the Fun Run organized by Ron Brownlees for the raising of funds for against Domestic Violence, the assistance for the Toy Library lead by Peter L and the brave Jo Impey who rode from Albert Park to Frankston and back for Ride 4 Cancer Day. He then invited Tony Grusd to be the first inductee. Tony responded by telling us it was a good day to become a member with esteemed company and thanked Peter L who had introduced him. Tony felt that the Journey starts with the first step and felt confident that he should meet the requirements and give back to the community. Neville Kruss was our second Inductee for the da. He too was pleased to be able to become a member and thanked us for inviting him. His parents were Rotarians in a small town in South Africa and he always likes to mention that there was always a bond between Australia and South Africa and added there is always for him a love of Australia and Rotary. DG Malcom assisted with the induction. Jo in explaining her adventure to us told us that all the money raised goes straight to research. There were 1300 participants who either walked or rode and the event raised $1.3 million. She was excited to tell us that on the way back there was a large group of school children at Mordialloc. They were from McKinnon Secondary College where our club chartered an Interact Club. The excitement was shared. Jo also talked about ideas where the children could be involved in Rotary ideas. Well done Jo! DG Malcom in his opening address to us said how pleased he and Karen were to be on his official visit. He also thanked AG Ken Mirams for being available in accompanying them to this meeting. He remarked on how extremely active the club is and how involved we are in the Local and International communities and that we supported Rotary Foundation through giving and Polio Eradication. He mentioned our Signature projects by numbering them, 1) The Homelessness ProjectLaunch Housing for which a property was purchased 2) The Batibalavu District School Project which was partnered with the 5th& 6th Central Moorabbin Scout Group and RC Savusavu to build two playgrounds. Other international Projects are Shelter Boxes Australia, ROMAC, Interplast, Art Building Children’s Dreams, RAM, Marsh foundation, Seven Women Project, Medical Imaging with RC Nunawading, Bangladesh Co-Id and the MTO Wa Mbu Project. Dg Malcom felt especially pleased with our support of ROMAC and Interplast as they both treat burns patients. Our Bentleigh Sunday Market income enables us to raise funds “to do good in the world” and to support Youth Programs and a plethora of other events such as Ride for the disabled, Australian Rotary Health Primary schools, Movember Appeal, Sandringham Hospital and many more.  We also support other projects through New Generations, such as Model United Nations Assembly, Camp Awakenings, Youth Exchange and the newly charted Interact Club. There were many more projects that the club is involved with and through these programs young people are given the opportunity to learn new skill, allowing them to make new friends and often a sense of belonging and respect for others. Through the Second Avenue of Rotary Service, vocational Service the club continues to make a difference with The Fitted for Work Program, Holmesglen Hospitality, Cookery and Bakery Program and the distribution of the book “The Long Road from a broken Heart” to local Secondary Schools. We were thanked for our contributions to Annual Giving and to Polio Eradication and we are on the verge of eliminating this disease with only 12 reported cases of polio this year! DG Malcom felt he would personally like to thank Ian Ballantine for his work as District Photographer and Chris Mara for his work with the Interplast Committee. As a closing request we were re minded that the District Conference will be held in Bendigo on the 2nd -4th March with the theme Together Towards Tomorrow. He then introduced his wife Karen to tell us about her Project as the wife of the District Governor. Karen advised us that she was inspired by the Past DG’s Wife Allison Tolstrup whose work was for the schooling of Indigenous Children and to continue what she had started, The project is a school near Bungle Bungle which nurtures children from preschool to year 10 providing breakfast, morning tea and lunch. Karen is hoping to be able to fund an Aboriginal Education Worker with in the Purnululu Independent Aboriginal Community School. The aim is to try and keep children at school until year 10 and offering exchange programs with Richmond Transitional school for Indigenous children. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden has now been funded for two years which gives children and community members a great interest. Keeping children in school helps them to maintain a healthy outlook. We wish Karen luck and good wishes to achieve her projects goals. It was a most interesting morning and we were a captive audience. Pres. Peter thanked our visitors and in closing the meeting, reminded us that ROTARY: MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)


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