Graeme's message, 10 July 2014

Dear Rotarians and friends,

This week we extend a warm welcome to District Governor Murray Verso and Irene as they make their official visit to our club. This is an important event on the club calendar and we look forward to the occasion.

Murray, a member of the Williamstown club, is well known to many of our members. Both Murray and Irene have been in medical practice in Williamstown for 37 years.

In 1981 Murray joined Rotary and since that time he has served as Club President on two occasions and served on numerous committees and led the District 9800 Group Study Exchange team to India in 2012. Apart from his work for Rotary, Murray has been involved in the AMA and served on Trinity Grammar’s School Council for 27 years.

As you know we farewelled Marlene at last weeks meeting and she left on Monday evening very proud that Germany had won the World Cup earlier in the day. She was delighted with the gift from the club – kangaroo and koala Pandora charms.

This week we welcome Alphonso Sopelana from Pampolona in Spain. This is the first occasion that our club has hosted a Spanish student and we look forward to the year ahead and perhaps even learning a few Spanish words. His first hosts, the Lobaza family continue their tremendous commitment to this avenue of Rotary service.

Last week was NAIDOC week — a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and society. We acknowledge that Footscray was for thousands of years the meeting place of the lands of the Yalukit-willan, the Marin-balluk and the Wurundjeri peoples. The Maribrynong River provided fertile plains to sustain the populations. “Maribrynong” is derived from local Aboriginal language: Mirring-gnai-birrnong (refers to the ringtail possum) or Mirring-quai-birnong (refers to an edible Yam).

As most of you will be aware, the Muslim community are currently observing a very important part of their religious year, Ramadan. Through the month of July, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset and will celebrate Eid (breaking of the fast) on July 29th. We think of our members PP Ejanul Haque and Jama Farah during this time. 

The 2014-15 Board met for the first time on Monday and following considerable discussion the budget was approved for the year. An important aspect of these discussions was the imperative to maintain our sound financial status by holding a number of fund raising activities. Ron Hunt and his team have been busy planning a series of events and activities and we look forward to members supporting these efforts.

Best wishes