Graeme's Message, 5 February 2015

Dear Rotarians and friends,

Rotary activity is getting back into full swing for 2015 with many District and Cluster events on the horizon. (see notices in Bulletin). Our Club is hosting an important District function on February 21st on behalf of the Rotary Foundation Alumni of District 9800 at which we also celebrate the 110th Anniversary of Rotary International. Please support this event. On International Women’s Day, Thursday March 5th , “Woman in Rotary” will be holding a breakfast event at Crown “Palladium”. Kerry Kornhauser spoke at our club last week promoting the occasion. From March 12-14th, the District Conference will be held in Hobart and there will be a strong Footscray presence. 

Rotary International President-elect K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran, a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka has announced the theme for the 2015-16 Rotary year - “Be a gift to the world”. At the incoming District Governors’ conference, Ravindran encouraged Rotarians to use their talents, expertise, and leadership to benefit others. He also reflected on the success of the Polio eradication program stating "A future without polio is a gift that we have promised to the children of the world. And indeed it is a gift that we will give". 

February is “World Understanding Month” and RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-1993) stated, ’... a chance for every club to pause, plan and promote the Fourth Avenue of Service - Rotary’s continued quest for goodwill, peace and understanding among people of the world.” Many of Rotary’s programs at International, District and Club level address these aims. We are hopefully about to embark on a project of goodwill addressing dental health to an Ethiopian school thanks to the expertise of Jamie Robertson and support from the local Ethiopian community. 

Last Thursday we came to an understanding of the plight of members in our local community who are reliant on the service of Foodbank. Our speaker Lindsey Ritchie gave us an insight into the magnitude of the problem and it is pleasing that our club has supported Foodbank in the last twelve months.

We have received good news from The Maribyrnong City Council with confirmation that our club can continue with the Bike Shed at Mills Close until the end of May 2015. I encourage you all to get involved and offer to be on the roster of Rotarians supporting this project.

It was wonderful to see Eugene Spanagaro at our meeting last Thursday after several months of poor health. Welcome back Eugene.