Remembrance Day meeting was well attended and the presentation from Peter Stephenson proved educational and thought provoking (see separate report). It was also great to have Anousha, Gowri and Kevin in attendance as they get to know us and Rotary a little better.

The Board met the following Tuesday evening, for what proved to be the longest meeting your Directors have invested time in for quite a few years (almost 3 hours) and it was worth it with significant initiatives and commitments to current and future projects.

Wednesday evening, I attended ‘A Celebration of the Rotary Foundation’ dinner convened at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, which provided a number of Rotary ‘firsts’ –1.It started on time; 2.There were no raffles; 3.It was a packed house, probably 200 attendees; 4.The speakers stayed well within their allotted time frame AND 5.Best of all it finished on time -to the minute! The highlight of the evening was the quality of the speakers. I was particularly impressed by Mark Balla from Box Hill Central, better known in RI circles as “The Toilet Warrior”, if you are not familiar with the global success of his project just Google it.

Equally, if not more impressive was the address provided by RI Past President Ravi Ravindran who after entertaining the assembled crowd with stories on cricket (his other all-consuming passion) provided considerable detail on the overwhelming success and global standing of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation in the delivery of service to both individuals and communities both large and small, due in no small part by the ongoing growth and size (clout) of Foundation’s Balance Sheet.

Charity Navigator, an organisation which rates global charities, with over 9,000 reviewed and rated on financial and structural security, lowest % of dollars lost to ‘management’, global performance against charter, etc. etc. has consistently (I think over the past 9 years) rated Foundation at 4 Stars AND Foundation has also been given 100 out of 100 points for integrity, ethics, honest corporate performance etc.

The above is not meant to distract from the other couple of presentations:Prof. Rob Helm, Chairman, Peace Fellow Committee D9800 and a follow up presentation regarding Lucienne Heyworth, a recipient of the Peace Fellowship, who was subsequently awarded a ‘People of Action’ Award (1 of only 6 globally) on United Nations Rotary Day for the generation and delivery of humanitarian projects.

Our D9790 DG Brian Peters presented on The Children First Foundation and Farm in Kilmore – however his presentation was overshadowed somewhat by the projected overhead identifying him as BRAIN Peters –and therefore introduced as an intelligent Rotarian – got a good laugh though! So very pleased I attended, along with Rotarians from Districts 9800, 9810, 9790 and others,on our table there were Rotarians from Wangaratta, Mount Beauty, Deniliquin, Strathmore and Greenvale, such a good cross section from our district and really engaged individuals.

See you Monday, Noel