What a great presentation from Pete Gordon last week. His information about electric vehicles was most enlightening. I was really impressed with the way we engaged using Zoom. It does go to show that Zoom meetings are an effective way to interact in our changed world and may even provide opportunities to hook up with guest speakers from many parts of the world, not just our local community. Thank you to Frank and Ange for organising the event.
There will also be a Board meeting at the Golf Club commencing at 5:00pm on Thursday. I encourage all members who are not on the Board to attend if they wish.
Have a great week everyone.
5pm Board Meeting at Narooma Golf Club
6pm: We are back at the Golf Club for a face-to- face dinner meeting. Our guest speaker is Martin Dunk. Martin is the coordinator of BlazeAid at Cobargo. Martin left university in 2011 and has lived in several different countries including France, Austria, Canada while working for the UK’s largest ski tour operator managing teams of people providing services to customers. After returning to the UK, Martin started looking for the next adventure and decided Australia was the place to be. He had been living in Sydney on the Northern Beaches and working in Surry Hills when COVID hit. To stay and extend his visa and Martin needed to participate in regional work and that’s how he found BlazeAid. He will tell us a little about BlazeAid and what they do, and how volunteers make it all happen.
Please let Rod know by Tuesday afternoon if you will/will not be attending or bringing guests. We need accurate numbers for the Golf Club.
Out and About
ROMAC’s wonderful work featured
Great story recently about some of the wonderful work Rotary does in the Canberra Times and ABC. It was about a baby Vincent Toto from the Solomon Islands whose oesophagus was not connected to his stomach. He had a gastrostomy tube put in when in the Solomon Islands so he could get fluids and nutrients but he needed more substantial medical care.
Rotary stepped in through the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC) programme to provide that care. ROMAC has saved dozens of Pacific Islanders by bringing sick babies and children to Canberra for critical care, which is donated by the hospital and the ACT government under a memorandum of understanding. Not all states and territories yet have that.
Vincent came to Australia in July 2019 when only two months old. He underwent three significant surgeries, dozens of gastroscopies and ended up in the neonatal intensive care unit on a few occasions. After 16 months of treatment in Canberra, he became well enough to eat.
Vincent and his mother Cosinta Matesonia stayed with retired nurse and Rotarian Sandra Goldstraw when not in hospital. Mrs Goldstraw, a most remarkable woman, has housed, fed and clothed 23 Pacific Islander children, including Vincent, over the past 15 years. Vincent’s Mum was most appreciative of everyone who helped them especially the doctor, the hospital and Rotary, “without their help Vincent would have died”. They have now returned to the Solomon Islands.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant this programme has had to be halted, yet there are about 200 children waiting to come over for what is often life-saving surgery; some will die before they can have surgery.
Covid restrictions affect Moruya race kiosk
Business at Moruya Rotary’s Kiosk operation at the Melbourne Cup Race meeting at Moruya Jockey Club last week was very quiet because “as usual the members and guests brought along their picnic baskets and there was no public presence”. The Moruya bulletin reports “chips, pies and hamburgers were not on the menu or the minds of the great majority”. Fortunately their coffers were topped up income derived from the food vouchers handed out to the race course staff and most people associated with putting the day on. Peter Smith reported, “At the end of the day we can be happy that we have made a small but meaningful contribution to the local economy. We have spent money with local businesses, we have supported the Jockey Club with one of their major events of the year and by donating a substantial amount of bread and rolls to the women’s refuge we have assisted those living in the most difficult of circumstances.”
Interesting too that Moruya is also looking for someone to put up their hand to be President for 2021-2022.
We will ‘Zoom’ with District Governor Dr Michael Moore AM.
Our District 9705 is huge with a lot of ground to cover. Michael says he has enjoyed meeting many clubs over the past five months, sometimes face to face, sometimes by Zoom. In the New Year he and his wife Helen hope to meet those Rotarians he has met via Zoom actually in person (in a Covid safe way of course). Hopefully that will include us. He said in the last District newsletter that as he moves from club to club, he notes that many are using the changed year to look for opportunities to do things in different ways. Zoom meetings being one very good example.