Posted by Margaret Mason on Jul 07, 2021
This is the first meeting if the Rotary year 2021-2022 with Helen as President. John was chair for the meeting. Member and past President Linda O'Brien was our guest speaker.

The International toast was to President Michael Displaines and the Rotary club of Norfolk in Virginia, USA. It is in District 7600, and has 112 members and meets on Tuesdays at 12.15pm in Norfolk Scope, Norfolk.  Grant, as always, presented a detailed, informative and interesting history.
The first peoples settled around Norfolk, in the Appalachian mountains, 12,000 years ago. In 1607, the Commonwealths (comprising of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Virginia and Pennsylvania) were formed. Commonwealths mean public welfare and the common good. In 1609, Virginia started growing tobacco which saved its failing economy. It is now a state in the United States of America. Norfolk is at the junction of Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay, and is the military headquarters for the Atlantic fleet. The military headquarters is the current main industry.
The Rotary Club of Norfolk sponsors 2 Rotaract cubs and 2 Interact Clubs. It also runs the food bank for SE Virginia. Other projects include Clean The Bay Day and Tree Planting.
The speaker for the meeting was none other than our own Linda O’Brien who made a very interesting presentation on Albert Park. Linda grew up around the area and her presentation consisted of personal experience and observation as well as extensive research which was evident in the information, overheads and photographs shown. Linda took us through Albert Park Lake, commencing at the corner of Queen’s Road and Albert Road. She spoke about the history of MacRobertson Girl’s High School and the various occupants in the current buildings which is now part of the school, built in 1934 with the help of a substantial donation from Macpherson Robertson of chocolate fame. 
Linda then took us down Queens Road to a building called Monterey House, which housed the Australian, American and British code-breakers and code-readers during WWII. Then down memory lane to Canterbury Road where Albert Park Barracks were situated. Linda shared interesting anecdotes on the building, its activities and  occupants. The last stop was the Signal Depot/Drill Hall at 29A Albert Road Drive. The site of the buildings used for military purposes since 1885. It is now Heritage listed.
Congratulations to Linda for an interesting and nostalgic presentation which may members, who grew up in Melbourne can identify with.