President Helen was our chairperson for today’s club meeting at Cilantro and commenced the meeting with an Acknowledgement to Country. Helen welcomed our guest speaker, PDG Tony Monley, from the R.C. of Manningham, and visitors – Anna Mouradian, and Gary - Karin’s partner.  Tony Ryan joined the meeting via Zoom.  Glenda Stahel conducted invocation and Tim Lynch conducted the Royal Toast.
Grant Perry conducted the club international toast to President Florence Roch Dehorter and members of the Rotary Club of Pointe-Noire in the Republic of The Congo, located in the western coast of Central Africa, bordering Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Angolan enclave of Cabinda.    The area’s earliest inhabitants were forest peoples (pygmies).   The first Europeans arrived in 1484 with the Portuguese, Dutch and English establishing trading posts and logging camps. A slave trade existed with 12.5 million slaves sold between 1500-1867.  A treaty was signed in 1880 with the French protectorate.  The Republic of the Congo became part of the French Equatorial Africa in 1910, which was subsequently dissolved in 1958, and became an independent nation on 15 August 1960.  Oil was discovered offshore in 1980 and makes up about 90% of the country’s exports.  It became a member of OPEC in 2018.  Pointe-Noire is the second largest city in the Republic of the Congo – the name means Black Point.  It was established in 1883 as a fishing village, has a current population of 1,300, 000, and is the centre of the oil industry.  It is also the centre of the fishing industry, which is often in conflict with the oil industry.  The club was inaugurated on 12 August 1958 as part of D9150 and meets weekly on Monday evenings at Le Burgundy Restaurant.
Club Announcements:
    D9810 District Assembly - PE Margaret Mason advises this year’s District Assembly is being conducted from 22/5 – 29/5 and is open to all members (new and existing) to participate. It is particularly beneficial for club officers and committee chairs to attend.  Attendees need to register online and sessions will be conducted via Zoom.
    Youth Committee – Julie Reid announced the Face speaking competition for year 10 students was held at Firbank Grammar last week with another session planned for next week.  The final will be held on 8 June commencing 6.30pm for 7pm. Julie comments the topics covered have been diverse and of a very high standard.  Club members are invited to attend – contact Julie for further details.   Students from private schools have been the main participants, however there are plans to invite public schools to participate next year.
President Report – President Helen
    Marriott House: The board approved a donation of $14,900 at last night’s board meeting for Marriott House to purchase sensory equipment.  We shall also apply for a grant – however, the donation will stand regardless of whether the grant is successful.  The board sees this as an opportunity to re-new our longstanding partnership with Marriott House.
    Danny Frawley Centre: Elise Facer-Childs , last week’s guest speaker from the Danny Frawley Centre, has invited club members to tour the facilities at the Danny Frawley Centre on 1 June 2022, and look for opportunities to be involved with the centre
    South Caulfield Community Garden: Club members are invited to attend the South Caulfield Community Garden on Tuesday 31/5 for morning tea, and the official presentation of the club’s donation for development of the verge garden and training program
    MUNA – Model of United Nations Assembly: MUNA will recommence at Parliament House this year – local schools will be contacted and invited to participate
    D9810 Changeover: The district changeover will be on Saturday 25/6 at Southern Golf Club, Keysborough  - all members are invited to attend.
Guest Speaker – PDG Tony Monley
    PDG Tony Monley was our guest speaker today to promote next year’s Rotary International Convention that will be held in Melbourne 27-31 May 2023.  Tony explained the convention is held annually usually in May/June in a different location each year – this year’s convention being held in Houston, USA. Tony is the District representative for next year’s RI convention and is head of the RI convention organizing committee responsible for administering the smooth operation of the convention.  The committee is budgeting for 17,000 up to 25,000 delegates  with financial support of $13Million coming from RI, USA, and $5 Million from our local State Government, and the support of the local hotel and hospitality industry.  Two main venues will be used with plenary sessions in the morning in the Rod Laver Arena and breakout sessions in the afternoon in the Melbourne Convention Centre.  As part of a huge logistical exercise, public transport will be used to transport delegates between the two venues.   Evening events for conference delegates are also planned.  Signature evening events include:  Friday – AFL football game, Saturday – Melbourne Museum, Monday – Streets of Melbourne at South Wharf or Home/Club hosted dinner, and, Tuesday – Flemington Racecourse Melbourne Cup dinner or Home/Club hosted dinner.  Clubs are invited to conduct club hosted dinners for visiting delegates – either hosted by a club on its own, or in collaboration with other clubs.  Clubs are requested to advise Tony Monley if wishing to participate.  A Rotary House of Friendship will be held during the convention and is open for clubs and local organisations to showcase their projects, products or services – it is anticipated 50% of the exhibitors will be for commercial purposes, and 50% for projects and Not for Profit organisations.  Exhibitors will be screened for suitability.  The House of Friendship will be open during the convention for delegates to visit, and will open to the general public on Saturday.  A touring company has been engaged to arrange pre and post-convention tours.  The RI convention organizing committee is responsible for promoting the convention and will have 15 people attending this year’s convention in Houston, USA.  600 local volunteers will be required to assist / direct visiting delegates in and around Melbourne during the convention.  Volunteers will receive training, and will work on a roster system – it is envisaged volunteers will participate in only one rostered session during the convention.  Registrations to attend next year’s convention open online 4 June 2022 with an early bird registration rate of $US 425, increasing to $US 475 on 9 June, $US 575 on 15 December, and $US 675 from 15 March 2023.  President Helen suggested volunteers let the club know if planning to register as a volunteer – we may be able to work as a team.  Registration for volunteers will open in June 2022.
President Helen closed the meeting – reminding club members next week’s meeting is an evening meeting at Cilantro. A two course dinner will be provided for $25. Faye Kirkwood from the R.C. Caulfield will be our guest speaker to talk about the important role of bees in our lives, and will commemorate World Bee Day which was on 20th May.