Ho Ho Ho! The special Xmas in July lunch held annually for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren was held for the fifth year at the Showgrounds. A well deserved day out for the many grandparents who are sole carers of their grandchildren and many thanks to the volunteers from Moonah, Glenorchy and Claremont clubs. A fabulous lunch was again provided by Glenview Nursing Home and the many gifts brought by Santa were donated by Toyworld. The children were entertained with face painting and a very clever Balloon Lady. Most families took the opportunity to have a professional portrait photo taken and a many thanks to the Hobart Photographic Society. A special thanks to the Hon Elise Archer MP and Josh Willy MLC for making time in their busy schedules to attend. President Wal did a great job as MC and sent everyone home with a smile and anticipation for next years event.
After completing his second year as Club President John Green was able to hand over the reigns to President Elect Wally van Schie with the acknowledgement that the club was in a sound position financially and club membership was stable at 17 members. We have increased our Friends of Rotary support with Warrick Hobart being welcomed at the Changeover Lunch last Tuesday. The frequent Bbq’s are continuing to raise funds and our newest fundraiser the Festival of Wheels is gearing up for it’s second year on Sunday November 5th at Tolosa Park. It is already on track (love the puns) to be bigger and better with the net funds raised once again being donated to the Menzies Centre for Men’s Health Research. Other donations this year were District Disaster Relief for the floods in Tasmania ($2000), Rotary Foundation ($1000), Rotary Against Malaria ($500), RSPCA($250 Special Bbq), Raise Cambodia ($250) and Street Swags ($1193). Financial support was also given for the Youth Projects RYDA, RYPEN and MUNA. Wally, inducted by our new District Governor Tony Colman, addressed the members with his ideas and hopes for the coming year. With an enthusiastic team of Directors for 17/18 the club will continue with the Rotary objectives to raise money for both local and overseas projects along with a focus on also having fun whilst we embrace the new theme of Rotary Making a Difference. Congratulations Wally. Here’s to a great Rotary year ahead!
Last week we welcomed Leslie McKay from the Tasmanian branch of The Smith Family who gave us an overview of the work done by this wonderful organisation. Started in 1922 by three business friends to help families in need The Smith Family’s mission is to create opportunities for young Australians by providing long term support for their participation in education. This support enables disadvantaged children to complete school which will hopefully result in a better life with chance of work and better health outcomes. In 2015-16 they supported 127,424 children, young people, parents,carers and community professionals. Close to 5000 of these were in Tasmania including 166 from Aboriginal and Torres Island backgrounds. There are 33,000 Learning for Life scholarships (Australia wide) including 700 in Tasmania and the Smith Family partners with 18 schools. The results of the Learning for Life programs are constantly monitored and show a 90% success rate. Revenue comes from donations, corporate support and bequests, government funding and from recycling and second hand stores. With only 560 paid employers over 2000 volunteers enable The Smith Family to continue their valuable work. Muriel thanked Leslie and I am sure we will hear more about The Smith Family in Tasmania.
Once again a chilly morning didn’t deter members from showing up for duty at Cornelian Bay on Sunday morning in preparation for the 45th City to Casino Family Fun Run. It is the second oldest Fun Run in Australia staring in 1973 with 199 participants. Starting the 11kms at the Showgrounds, 7 kms at Cornelian Bay and 2.5 at Sandy Bay it is a great opportunity for the serious and not so serious runners/walkers and has evolved into a major annual event with hundreds of participants. Thanks to Muriel, Glenyse, Kate, Andrea, David, Michael, Barry, John and Warrick.
A big thank you to Senator Lisa Singh for giving her valuable time to share with us her experience as an Australian Representative to the United Nations. Along with the Liberal Representative Senator Corey Bernardi from South Australia, Lisa was the first Tasmanian and the first woman selected to spent three months in New York from September to December attending numerous official events and also presenting a statement on our resolve to confront the challenge of climate change. A visit to UNICEF provided her with the knowledge that the vast amounts of small foreign change donated on International Flights does indeed be put to good use. Lisa also commented on the support we receive from our Pacific neighbours at the U.N. particularly Fiji and resolves to get more support from the Australian Government for these countries and especially womens’ health issues. We enjoyed hearing of her numerous other experiences and members will be able to read the comprehensive report she has compiled and printed herself despite not being required as a government representative to report on her visit.
Last week we had an eye-opening presentation from a former R.A.F. navigator who flew during the Cold War. Joining the R.A.A.F in 1973 he later transferred to the R.A.F. and became part of the U.K. Air Defence watching the USSR flights from Northern parts of Russia on their flight paths to Spain and Cuba. The R.A.F. helicoptor pilots played a large and dangerous role in protecting the shipping lanes and in any of the war zones such as the Falklands War they would be used as targets to deflect the ICBN missiles. The detailed and often amusing presentation gave members an insight into the lives of theses heroes who still today continue to endanger their lives to keep our country safe. Thanks to Wally for inviting Greg to speak to us.