Posted by Zilla Roth on Mar 24, 2021
Paul was our Chairperson on this very wet and dark Wednesday morning. At least we are not flooded like the long-suffering people in NSW. Thank goodness. Grant and John M presented us with the Invocation and the Loyal, Royal Toasts. Paul welcomed Suzette, Jo’s friend and colleague and our Guest Speaker Kim Ellis. Pres. Geoff greeted us all and mentioned his opening article in this week’s Bulletin Board dealing with the looking at the mixture of the club and the importance of needing a discussion and the talk of where the club is heading in the future.
Kim Ellis comes from Hobart, Tasmania and has worked with Paul for many years after 25 years in the Army He is strong in Praise of his friend and told us that Paul is the “Best Manager ever”. After he left the Airports where he was CEO of BAC Airports, he became Chief Executive of Centennial Parklands in 2011 before his role was expanded to include the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kim is now Director of the Australian Antarctic Division. He explained that after his first trip to Antarctica in 1979, which he described as life changing. Antarctica was a shaping activity and after having been there, he visited Africa where he met his wife and is still his wife today! Antarctica is a very large continent with mountains taller than Mount Everest, being covered with 10 ks of ice. The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements collectively known as the Antarctic Treaty System, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth’s only continent without native human population. The treaty was signed in 1961. Australia administers 42% of 6 million square km. The Antarctic Treaty states that the primary purpose is to “ensure in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene of object of international discord”. Kim is “Mayor” of Antarctica and sits on many decision-making committees. He talked of the hardships of being there but also mentioned that the many stations have “comfort” living even though it is very, very cold, with temperatures of minus 4 to minus 5 degrees in summer and minus 30 to minus 50 degrees in winter. He talked of many stations such as Casey, Macquarie Island which belongs to Tasmania and where it rains 262 days of the year, Mawson Station, which was established in 1950, and is the most beautiful station on Antarctica and the longest continuously operating station of the Antarctic Circle. Davis Station is ice-free and one is looking to build a double steel runway there. Most of us would have thought the whole continent is covered by ice, but apparently not. There are 70 permanent research stations across the continent which represent 29 countries. Everybody mixes and with the variety of countries, Kim says that people are made welcome from the various stations, whether from China, Italy, South Korea, USA, Russia or India and many more. Kim told us that one of the important researches tells us about the weather patterns by drilling long tubes through the ice. The gases, which develop between layers in air bubbles, show 150 years history of weather. Health of the people in Antarctica is very important and there is a strong doctor system. Plumbers, electricians and carpenters are trained to become “doctors” and through technology in Hobart are guided to be able to conduct medical assistance. Life is very hard and people do die. We were shown many photographs of the buildings and the hardwearing machinery. Every activity is determined by the weather. Australia has responsibility for Search and Rescue and to monitor all activities such as fisheries. The Antarctica Treaty is an enduring policy. Kim‘s presentation was captivating and we were certainly glued to our seats. Although Kim spoke for at least an hour and time not run out we would have been happy to hear more. We know how time-poor you are and we certainly appreciated your being with us and thank Paul for inviting you on this very wet and miserable morning. Thank you. We would like to wish Tony R and Tim M a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND A GREAT YEAR AHEAD. Saturday 27th March is the beginning of the 8-day festival of Passover and we wish the Jewish members a happy and peaceful time with family and friends. Jo reminded us of the social gathering at the Sonder Bar, Centre Rd, Bentleigh on Friday 26th March. As time was running out for this amazing meeting closed reminding us that ROTARY OPENS DOORS.