Angus' Message, 1 October 2015

Dear Rotarians & Friends,

Welcome to the Grand Final Week and a Friday public holiday. It is a beautiful Monday morning and I am sitting on the balcony of The Royal Motor Yacht Club of Victoria enjoying the magnificent views of the boats, yachts, and Melbourne skyline and penning my weekly newsletter.

The last week has been a busy one for me, not only with our normal weekly meeting, I also attended the Gateway Cluster meeting. I had two very successful auctions on Saturday and I can tell you that my ‘neck of the woods’ is booming and I wish Bill Hogg was back in business enjoying the buzz of business rather than being in bed.

It was brought to my attention today that there is a page on Facebook called ‘Humans of New York’ which is a compilation of people and their stories. Brandon Stanton, the man who created and runs this page, is currently touring Europe interviewing Syrian refugees and getting their stories out there. One story caught the attention of my young staff member, as it is the story of a Syrian man who was smuggled out of the country and lived through fear and tragedy only to almost give up hope completely until he was taken in and given food, clothing and shelter by a man by the name of Fritz Hummel, a Rotarian, who took him to his local Rotary Club, which worked together to get this man on his feet. He now has a better life and has just been granted Austrian citizenship. This is just another story of how Rotary, no matter where in the world, dedicates itself to helping others. If you want to read the full 6 part inspirational story you can do so either on the Humans of New York Facebook page or website.

At our Thursday meeting it was great to see Allan Warrener back on board after a very serious operation and he is bouncing back with his vitality and his new book hot off the press ‘Peak Performance Enjoyment and Well Being’. It is about enriching your life, achieving your objectives, and elevating the mind/brain/body function to its highest potential. Allan has always been an inspiration to me and his warm smile and greeting handshake will always be a great bonus I’ve enjoyed since joining Rotary.

Our guest speaker, Ken Burbridge, gave us a very insightful history of what is now the University of Victoria, from its humble beginnings of a trade school that then became The Footscray Institute of Technology and then a University. It has, during its lifespan, had some very visionary leaders including Doug Mills who was a Footscray Rotarian and a President in 1975. Ken was telling me of the time our Club had over 100 members and I would believe there were local businessmen who could not get into the Club in those earlier years. With vision and dedication we can improve our membership and I need everyone’s help in achieving this.

At our cluster meeting , our fellow Rotarians are very focussed on making 20th October doable for a seminar night project called ‘Keep the Kids Alive’ – an adolescent mental health and drug awareness program. It will be held at St Bernard’s College, 41 Rosehill Road Essendon from 7pm to 9:30pm. If you know anyone that could be interested please contact me on 0418 336 021 and I will book you in.

Lawrence Atley is having his hip operation so don’t forget to give him a call and wish him your thoughts. He will appreciate the gesture.

Have a great week and we’ll look forward to life after footy madness.

Your President,

Angus Scott-Walker