Isn’t it wonderful how during this desperate pandemic that we can meet through Zoom? With Ian opening the site earlier we can come in one-by-one and greet each other with smiles and happy faces. Gives us a purpose; and by 7:30, 23 out of 25 members and then Tony Fitzlapp joined us making 26 members attending our Rotary meeting. Ian informed us that his beautiful mother age 102 is in Aged Care but feels and hopes that everything is being done to confine to confine the disease and keeping her safe. Informal discussion was made regarding the new format of District information. The general thoughts were that we shall miss the District Directory and the easy way it guided us but the present form is user unfriendly. That is a pity.
Pres. Geoff (not in his car) felt that not much had happened during the week. He suggested that we could have more meetings so we can share thoughts and ideas which would be better than doing nothing. It is noticeable that people in the public eye are getting testy due to stress and we should give them ground. He reiterated that the District Directory replacement is disappointing and perhaps we need a separate meeting with perhaps somebody from District to come and teach us how to use it.
Helen introduced us to our Guest Speaker John Lissenburg, Secretary of the Friends of Karkarook Park. He describes himself as “A Jack-of-All-Trades”. He told us that he was born in India, lived in England and arrived in Australia in 1958. He became active in retirement and became involved with Karkarook Park. In preparing his presentation John would like to talk about the Park, Friends of the park and the Future. The park has a 15-hectare lake which is a great recreational facility. The Brighton Sea Scouts sail on the waters especially if it is too rough on the bay. The lake was originally a sand bar and was turned into a recreational lake stocked with fish. The serpentine ponds are a valuable piece of infrastructure for storm water management, with removal of gross pollutions and oil and nutrients. The lake also provides a retarding basin for 1 in a 100-year storm events. Karkarook Park was finalist in the 2005 Banksia Environmental Foundation Awards for Infrastructure and Services, and 2005 Victorian Department of Primary Industry Awards, Highly commended Industry Best Practice and Gold Award for Management of the Environment and Platinum Award for Excellence in sustainable development. John shoed us a slide of a “shed” where there is a collection of seeds and cutting and where propagation of local native plants is done. The public is encouraged to participate in Community planting Day, where the Friends of Karkarook Park educate and promote awareness. They also collaborate with Parks Victoria Rangers and assist with Water Watch and monitor native wild life populations. There are community days, which until the COVID 19, which met on the 3rd Saturday of the month. The committee would meet 4 times a year and a National Tree Day. There are many birds in the park which encourages many bird watchers. There was a bird-hide which burnt down and has to be rebuilt. There are campers in the park which is illegal and the emergency Beacon has been vandalized. John showed us photos of the damaged rotunda which together with other hazards that very badly need to be repaired. He mentioned that there is a back road where “hoons” race their cars through the park so the gate needs to be replaced. Community days enable weeds to be removed but COVID stops that at the present and the community could help by lobbying the government for adequate funding to enable the challenges to be met. John feels that it would be a 5-10yer project to clear all the weeds. It seemed that our beautiful parks need help from the public and the challenge to reinstate is put to the public. For those who have been to Karkarook park and to Braeside Park know how beautiful and how important these locations are to both the young and the old. John is inviting more “Friends” to take up the challenge to help keep this amazing asset operating. Thank you John Lissenburg for joining us and reawakening us to the park that is so close to us.
Welcome to Tony Fitzlaff. He informed us that there are still classes happening but it is difficult because the public cannot attend the lunches and the buffets that the students still need to do to complete their courses. Buffets as opposed to smorgasbord are served by people behind the counter and it is tricky due to COVID. It is so good to see you Tony. We certainly miss you and the coffee you serve us with Sossi. Helen challenged those who can knit saying it is better to do something practical than doing nothing and the products can be donated to our partner St. Kilda Mums. NO hats please! Jo said that focus was on local groups such as Marriott House and RDA. She also mentioned that she hoped we could do something together on Sunday. The bike ride is not practical but perhaps we could do Zoom on our mobiles. Ian has offered the same ID and Password as we do on Wednesday. For a laugh at 10:00am we could all tune in! We could all use a laugh. Acting-Sargent Tony R managed to fine us all matching us with horses winning at country meets. Amazing! Larry asked how did he remember all this “stuff” so far back in the year. The secret is out! Tony makes notes on this all the time for “just-case”. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDA O’B. We hope you have a pleasant day even though it is COVID crisis time. Let us hope next year we are free.
In closing the meeting, Pres. Geoff reminded us yet again to take care of ourselves and ROTARY OPENS OPPORTUNITIES
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)