Welcome to the first Narooma Rotary Beacon for the 2017/18 Rotary Year. The Rotary Theme for this year is ‘Rotary Making A Difference’. The challenge for us as small Club is to make a difference locally, nationally and internationally.
Locally we make a difference by supporting local organisations such as the surf life saving club, volunteer rescue and the rural fire service, without our support these organisations would find it much harder to operate effectively in our community. We have made a difference through the provision of defibrillators in key locations around the town, just think if a difibrillator we have purchased saves one life we have made a huge difference to that person and their family. Our various youth projects expand opportunities for our young people, opening their eyes to the broader world and the opportunities that are available to them, and perhaps even making a difference nationally and internationally.
Nationally we hope to make a difference this year by supporting Australian Rotary Health, especially the fight to shine a light on mental health.
Internationally we will continue to make a difference by supporting our charity ‘The Rotary Foundation’, especially the fight to eradicate polio from the world, we are so close to meeting our goal, however, the last efforts are the hardest, what a difference Rotary has already made saving thousands of lives through massive vaccination programs, just think of the difference we will make when polio is eradicated from the world.
Last Thursday night’s Changeover was a great success, thank you to the team who organised the event making sure that everything went smoothly.
As Narooma Rotarians we must acknowledge Bob Antill’s outstanding leadership of our Club. Bob stepped in earlier this year when Michael was no longer able to continue in the role, he carried out his duties with dedication and consideration. Bob has been ably assisted by Merinda who has helped out behind the scenes as well as front and centre, keeping us entertained with her wonderful voice, innovative guest appearances as our speaker and engaging smile. As I said on Thursday night Bob and Merinda have been the glue that has held the Club together in recent years, thank you to both of you for your service to Narooma Rotary, I hope you enjoy this year in a slightly slower lane.
This week we have our first ‘Rotarians Present’ nights. Thank you to Rolf for agreeing to be the first cab off the rank. We will meet at 6:00pm at Rolf’s Patisserie following Rolf’s presentation we will move to the Golf Club for dinner.
The Week that was
Our changeover last Thursday was really enjoyable and a wonderful time to reflect on what ended up being quite an extraordinary year.
Michael started the year as President with great enthusiasm but stepped down in February partly to focus on his preparations for walking the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia to raise funds for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and for a school in the Kenyan village of Rangi.
Bob Antill stepped back into the president’s role as well as continuing as treasurer and Assistant Governor. President Bob referred to Bob Antill and Merinda as ‘the glue that has held the Club together for many years’ with good reason.
Bob Antill reflected on the year’s impressive achievements, outlined in more detail in the Changeover Bulletin. While we are all well aware of them, it’s only when you reflect on what we achieved through the year that the extent of everyone’s’ dedication and hard work really sinks in.
Among those achievements were launching two very successful community events – the Renewable Energy Expo and the Busking Festival. The Renewable Energy Expo received the prestigious Rotary District 9710 Community Service Award in Canberra the previous weekend, which Bob passed on to Frank as the instigator and coordinator at the Changeover.
Bob also presented Frank with the Club’s Rotarian of the Year Award recognising his work with our web page and assisting other clubs with there’s, taking over and simplifying the marking out of the markets, and his initiative with the Renewable Energy Expo.
Bob Antill paid tribute to Michael O’Connor’s initiative at the Changeover. He raised $6,000 towards the worldwide polio eradication campaign and $6,000 for the Rangi school, a cause dear to Michael.
His substantial contributions were recognised by the Club by making him a Paul Harris Fellow, awarded to him at a special afternoon at Charmaine’s place last Saturday.
Also amazing on reflection, our club gave over $54,000 last year to local, national and international communities, funds raised from Narooma Markets, Michael and other initiatives.
Special mention was made of 12 defibrillators for the Eurobodalla Shire, purchased with the proceeds from the Moruya Races last December organised by Narooma, Batemans Bay and Moruya Rotary Clubs in conjunction with Moruya Jockey Club. Bob Antill presented the final of
our allocation of four to Phil Constable for Mitre 10.
Now we are into a new year under President Bob Aston and it too is shaping up to be a big but fun year under the new Rotary International theme ‘Making a Difference’.