Graeme's message, 9 October 2014

Rotarians and Friends,

October is Vocational Service month and our club had a great start with the presentation of the Evan Phillips award.

This award commemorates a member of the Rotary Club of Footscray who served the club for 41 years and his achievements are recorded later in the Bulletin. At the time of his sudden death in February 2010 it was resolved to arrange an award in his memory. Fred Maddern saw an opportunity for supporting an apprentice and used his links with Skilling Australia to develop a scholarship to support a local apprentice. The Board set aside $2500 for the scholarship and after the applications were considered and interviews conducted, Billy Papadopoulos was selected as the inaugural recipient of the scholarship.

Billy who lives in Seddon, is in the second year of his apprenticeship in the automotive industry. He works at Brighton and his formal tuition is at Kangan TAFE. We were pleased to have Billy’s parents Helen and Paul attend our meeting for the presentation and also Paul Brookes from Skilling Australia. It was fitting that members of Evan Phillips’ family were present and daughters Judy and Jenni were involved in the presentation. 

This award will be of great assistance to Billy and subsequent scholarship winners. We appreciate the cooperation of Skilling Australia in developing this award.

Our speaker Isabella Argyropoulos added to the Vocational theme. Isabella was a member of the GSE team to Germany earlier this year. GSE funded by Foundation, is an opportunity for young professionals to gain vocational and personal development by visiting a Rotary District in another country.

Sadly we learnt of the passing of Norm Gillespie on September 30th at the age of 91. Another loyal servant of our club Norm was President in 1973-74 and Paul Harris Fellow 1985-86. During his year as President ten new members were inducted and ladies became involved by attending the DG’s visit and a special ladies dinner. The family death notice stated “An inspirational and humble man who lived his life with simplicity, dignity and respect”. These sentiments were echoed by Wal McCulloch in his brief tribute during our meeting.

After a year of various medical problems we were delighted to welcome Carol and Danny Castano to our meeting. I am grateful to Carol for providing photos and documents regarding Evan Phillips and assisting with the short presentation highlighting his Rotary life.

Have a good week