It being the annual visit by the District Governor her place as the guest speaker was introduced in fine fashion by Mick Henrys.
Helen Ryan is from Nelson Bay Club and used her time to good advantage to explain her role and the year’s directional message from the RI President about Rotary Making a Difference in our lives and the communities we serve. As she said she will visit all 49 clubs in the district during her term and used the recently visited Narromine club in the far west as an example of the way they make a difference. Although small they have calculated they make a community contribution of over $100,000 each year in cash and kind with their activities. This results in a reverse contribution and assistance from the local council and business community towards the activities they undertake and a real difference to the community.
She likened our PCYC project to the same theme and congratulated the club on the things we had achieved that have lived up to the Making a Difference theme. She spoke about the mission of the District executive this year.
The three goals this year were in line with those of the RI President, being Helping the Clubs, Promote the club image and Build on Rotary’s Humanitarian Work. She left a sign which can be displayed at Rotary community events to invite interest and discussion from the community in Rotary.
Ian Risley as the current RI President had formed this theme with the memories of his early Rotary days in Melbourne where, in the months after the Chernobyl nuclear accident his club had taken in children evacuated from the area and housed them. It was a humanitarian effort and contributed to their broken and disrupted lives in a manner that made a difference, albeit small to their lives and the community to which they eventually returned.
There is also a humanitarian goal apart from the ongoing effort on polio in Ian Risley’s programme and that is the eradication of Tracoma which ashamedly is more prevalent in Australia than anywhere else in the world in our own indigenous communities. This has been taken up by the Rotary Club of Melbourne. Not forgetting the environment he also would like to see a tree planted for every Rotarian before the end of April when his term concludes. Ruth our exchange student from Holland has jumped on board this theme and is investigating a project at her host school which will be foundation material if she can pull it off. As is the tradition the DG’s partner has a project as well and Mike has chosen our own Rotary Endowment Fund. Damn fine choice was the undercurrent from the members present. Wayne Shoesmith capably thanked Helen and Mike for their presentations and for the time they have taken to visit our club.