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October News – 20 October 2013

While President Marc has been busy touring the rivers of Europe the club has had a jam packed month and I apologise in advance for the length of this report.

November will see a change of location for the club’s weekly meetings, which will now be held at Phamish at 30 The Esplanade St Kilda. Many thanks to Nicole and the team for being willing hosts for the club at such short notice. As a result of this change the weekly meal price will increase to $28 but will still include a meal and a glass of wine. We would also like to thank Melbourne Wine Room for being our hosts throughout the year; it has been a great location and we are thrilled to see the venue booked up during the Christmas season.

Our fabulous team of volunteers

Our fabulous team of volunteers

On October 5th the club hosted its second PNG Highlands Mother/Baby Pack packing day. Our special thanks go to all of the volunteers who helped out on the day including St Kilda Mums, Highlands Foundation and members from the Rotary Clubs of Chadstone/East Malvern, Prahran, Williamstown & St Kilda. In addition to this the event was sponsored by Il Fornaio who provided a fantastic lunch for volunteers and St Kilda Sports Club who hosted the event in their newly renovated hall. A thank you to Rotary’s Donations in Kinds and St Stephen’s Op Shop in Gardenvale for contributing items for the packs. We really appreciate all contributors to these working bees; without every one of you they could not occur. In this case together we have assisted in an activity which works towards trying to reduce the mortality rate of babies and mothers in PNG.

The Rotary Club also made a donation of BBQ supplies to Ardoch Foundation to assist with their 25th birthday celebrations. The donation allowed Ardoch to feed their volunteers during the day and also achieve a bit of fundraising for their organisation.

October also saw some fantastic speakers at the club including –

Raoul Shemer from the Australian Volunteer Coastguard. Raoul gave a fascinating account of his work as a volunteer Coastguard for over 30 years. I will have to check but I believe next year will be his fortieth year of service. Raoul had lots of tales about rescue missions; and the plans they have for updating their base at St Kilda Marina.

AG Bronwyn Stephens attended our club on the 22nd October and provided an update on a variety of projects in Cambodia

Example of Cambodian street flooding; what Bronwyn showed us was worse than this!

including our own project. Unfortunately there has been an issue with the delivery of the school materials to our school outside of Siem Reap due to some heavy flooding. Bronwyn showed us a video of the street she needed to turn down for delivery of our books which was effectively a cascade of water. The club will now have to work out a way to deliver the materials for the children of the school as the start of the Cambodian school year was last month.

At the same meeting our friend and local Doctor Natasha Rabbidge attended the club to provide an updated report on the children attending St Kilda Primary School without any food for lunch. Because of the open zoning of the school and the transitional nature of commission housing and crisis accommodation some children are attending the school from an extremely low socio-economic background. As a result they are attending school often with no breakfast and no lunch. Currently the teachers at the school are working out ways to accommodate this issue. However a more structured system is required; and unfortunately I believe we will see more of this in the coming years. This issue has really affected and shocked club members who have attended club meetings on this issue. I am extremely proud to inform you that at our AGM we committed $750 towards the lunch club project for St Kilda Primary School. In addition to this I have also added a Paypal Donation button to the website in the hope that we will attract further donations for this project which requires $3,000 to feed these children over 4 entire school terms.

Finally the AGM was held on the 29th October. At this meeting the club committed – $2,000 to Rotary Club of Melbourne South’s Global Grant project for Cambodia, $1,000 to St Kilda Park Primary’s Community Garden, $750 to St Kilda Primary’s lunch club and $1,500 to Rotary Foundation. The club also committed $15 per member towards the NSW Bushfires as per the request tabled by Rotary District.

Our board was nominated for the 2014/15 year with the position of President still vacant; any applicants are most welcome!



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