Last week Michael O’Connor spoke to us about his trek; Laurelle will report in more detail later in this edition of the Beacon. However, I am amazed and impressed that largely through the efforts of one member more than $12,000 has been raised for two worthy charities. Thank you, Michael. You have and are making a difference.
Ruby Christmas, the Club’s successful Global Youth Exchange applicant has decided not to take up the offer. While it was disappointing to hear of Ruby’s decision she has made it for all the right reasons. Ruby is a fine young person and a wonderful ambassador for young people in the Narooma community and I wish her well. I am sure that we will hear great things about her in the future.
As I mentioned at a previous meeting, the Club will host an event to thank the Narooma Busking Competition sponsors and supporters on Thursday 31 August at the Golf Club. This will be our opportunity to show our appreciation and hopefully lock in support for the 2018 competition.
Planning is also well underway for our second Renewal Energy Expo on Saturday 25 November and will follow a similar format to last year. Great exhibitors and outstanding speakers are now being finalised. Please keep this date free as we will need the support of all members to make the Expo a great success as well as the market the following day.
I came across an interesting article in the latest edition of the Rotary Weekly about Rotary Community Corps. Click here to find out more. It is another great example of Rotary Making a Difference.
Have a great week.
The Week that Was
It was good to see a few more partners at last week’s meeting to hear Michael talk about walking the Bibbulmun Track and everything associated with this marathon effort, including the amazing generosity of so many people along the way. He particularly mentioned his great appreciation of Charmaine and Bob Antill’s support from the outset.
His preparation included training under coach Murphy. He didn’t keep records but estimated he walked over 2,500km before he went, his pack initially stuffed with bricks progressing to sacks of rice. Another part of his preparation was the huge amount of work preparing and dehydrating his meals with the added complication of his food allergies.
Meanwhile Donna and his son Christopher did a risk assessment of this undertaking… Michael still went.
He started at Albany. The photos along the Track were impressive; the track itself goes through 20 national parks and is quite overgrown in places.
His pack weighed a whopping 22kg. He got rid of a lot of his expensive gear along the way, replacing it with lighter, cheaper gear. He slept each night in a basic shelter located every 18-25km; sometimes he put his tent up inside to stop mosquitoes.
‘The worst part of the walk was the smell of my own perspiration,’ he said. Along the way he became ‘geographically misplaced’ a few times because track markers were either missing due to bushfires or difficult to see, the lens in his glasses broke, the zipper on his sleeping bag broke, and he twisted his ankle, but still he pushed on.
When he injured his shoulder and his foot continued to be a problem (having walked on it for about 100km), he decided it was time to pull out when he had the chance. He had walked more than half way, about 560km.
What we all came to appreciate, if we hadn’t already, was the huge physical, mental and emotional effort Michael’s undertaking involved. He also succeeded in raising over $12,000 for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and for a school in the Kenyan village of Rangi, two projects dear to his heart.
President Bob thanked Michael (and Murphy), acknowledging the immensity of his achievement.
The wheel followed with a large number of prizes including many ‘sugar fixes’, too many prizes to list.
Lift the Lid on Mental Health
Australian Rotary Health (ARH) has recently introduced a new three-year fundraising campaign called Lift the Lid on Mental Illness. Funds raised will go towards more research focusing on preventing mental illness, particularly in our young people.
ARH chairman elect Greg Ross reminds us that mental illness is the greatest health challenge facing our society today. He encourages Rotarians and the wider community to get involved during Mental Health Month in October, particularly focussing on World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10 October. That’s when we’re encouraged to celebrate Hat Day by holding an event, wearing a hat and raising funds.
The ARH Board has suggested other possible way to help raise funds, such as involving local coffee shops and Bunnings Warehouses, all of which we will no doubt explore. Our RI Director Noel Trevaskis urges us all to get involved with ‘this great initiative’.
All donations are tax deductible. Australian Rotary Health is one of the largest private funders of mental health research in Australia.
Subs are due: Just a gentle reminder for those still to pay their subs. Our treasurer is keen to sign off on this task.
We’re looking forward to the safe return of our many absent members who are either overseas or in warmer climes. Be good to have them with us again.