Posted by Karin Soster on Aug 30, 2023
Tony Ryan was chairperson for today’s evening meeting at Cilantro – a wonderful evening with club members, partners and guests.  Made all the more enjoyable with a 3 course meal prepared by budding Cordon Bleu chef students in the final dinner for their course.  The food was delicious.  Tim L performed invocation, and Larry performed the loyal toast.

  • Rotary Regionalisation Webinar – Pres Ron attended a webinar on Rotary Regionalisation.  He will provide further information to club members, however, there are joint programs for clubs to participate.  Ron will put out suggestions for club members to provide feedback. 
  • Club meetings – Wednesdays 20/9 and 27/9.  Cilantro will not be available for these two meetings and Pres. Ron is seeking alternative venues.  It appears The Deck in Brighton will be available for one of the meetings for breakfast (to be confirmed), and the other meeting may be a social evening meeting.  Pres Ron will advise further.  The same will happen at the end of the year when Cilantro closes for holidays.
GUEST SPEAKER – David Baird – 50 Years with the Rich and Famous
David was invited by club  member Tim Lynch to chat about his extraordinary career as chauffeur extraordinaire and friend to the Rich and Famous over the past 50 years.  David came armed with photos, stories, pamphlets, books, posters, theatre programs, tickets, and the start of a chronological book of names, dates, places full of well-known names – the rich and famous who have graced our shores over the years. David has quite a collection stored in a 20 foot shipping container full of memorabilia that he is slowly sorting and collating.  One of his first clients was Graham Kennedy who wanted a ride in the red Rolls Royce David was driving at the time – the start of a long association.  In addition to knowing all the roads to navigate people here, there and everywhere,  David also got his pilot’s licence and flew people around, he purchased a bus company for touring, and knows the in and outs and the secrets for securing accommodation at short notice.  David had a great video clip of chauffeuring a young Cliff Richard, and photos of Abba dating back to the 70s.  He shared some wonderful stories and photos of people we only get to read about – these included Deborah Kerr (she was gorgeous) who stayed at The Windsor Grand Hotel in 1979,  Mike Brady, Andrew Peacock (attended his wedding in 1983), Mike Willesee, Robert Sangster when he won the Melbourne Cup with Beldale Ball in 1980 (shared photo holding the cup), David Cassidy, golfer Jack Nicklaus and his family in 1989, Leo Schofield (who arranged for David to stay at Bronte House in Sydney during the Sydney Festival), Seeker’s star Judith Durham, Channel 9 newsreader Eric Pearce (a gentleman and a favourite), Lindsay Fox (arranged a special ‘Fox’ pass for David at the Avalon Air Show), Bette Midler (flying her to Philip Island), and finishing with a very entertaining story about Kerrie Packer and his plane (became a friend ever since).  These were just a handful of names and stories, of which he has many.   Of all his memorabilia one of his favourites was presented to him by Eric Pearce – a Channel 9 studio pass made up for the resident cat – Marmalade – readers may recall occasional references to Marmalade during Channel 9  hey days of Graham Kennedy and Eric Pearce.   David thanked Grant for crafting the slide show that was presented.  Thank you David for your fabulous talk -  we could have gone on and on except for Chairperson Tony’s ‘time is up’ bell!
The Market Roster for 3/9 was announced – based on the newly released roster draft issued by Peter last week.  
Tim M announced and invited any interested members to join in the Online Rotary Alumni meeting scheduled for Thursday 31/8 – and ways to reconnect with Alumni members.
MEETING CLOSE – Pres. Ron closed the meeting with our current theme “Create Hope in the World’.