Graeme's Message, 4 December 2014

Dear Rotarians and Friends,

It is hard to believe that December is upon us and we are all very busy and involved in many commitments in the lead up to Christmas. Where possible most of us take time to catch up with family at Christmas.

Rotary has designated December as ‘Family of Rotary’ month. It is an opportunity for us to consider the relationships our club has with organisations and as individuals to reflect on our extended ‘family’.

No better example of our extended family are the students participating in our Exchange program who become part of the club for twelve months. Some continue to keep in contact and it was a pleasant surprise to have Agatha Leite visit us last week. She returned to Brazil earlier this year and has come back to spend time with her school friends. 

Recently Darcy caught up with two past Exchange Students whilst in Paris: Nathalia Sabat (08/09) from Brazil is now studying in Grenoble and Louise Dreuillet (09/10) from France studying in Bordeaux. We welcome Alfonso each week to our meeting and enjoy his company. This week we will meet our outgoing Exchange Student for 2016, Edward Lim at our meeting.

In keeping with the family theme, arrangements have been made for the Footscray Probus Club to join us at our meeting on December 11th. As mentioned two weeks ago, when reflecting on the life of Bob McNish, it was as a result of his idea that our club was instrumental in the formation of Footscray Probus. The first meeting was held in March 1988 with 11 Foundation Members and Bob was elected President. The links continue with a number of Rotarians also members of Probus, and we look forward to meeting with them.

In October we awarded the Evan Phillips’ Scholarship and were delighted to have members of Evan’s family present and contribute to the evening as members of the extended family of the Rotary Club of Footscray.

The Bike Shed has certainly become an integral part of the ‘family of our club’. It has provided a focus for service, fellowship and for some of our volunteers an opportunity for vocational service.

There are many ways the family of Rotary is expressed and experienced. Our weekly meetings bring us together sharing our experiences in work and recreation. Like any family there are differing views and interests. but we have a common aspiration for ‘service above self’.