Posted by Karin Soster on Feb 28, 2024
Larry Green was our chairperson for today’s club meeting at Cilantro, and called upon Alan Kempton to perform invocation and the Toast to Rotary and Australia.   Charles, Neville and Karin joined the meeting via Zoom.  Visitors included Kevin Siergesma, and Kevin Egan. 
Ron attended the District Presidents Meeting last Friday where the make-up of club groups were announced under the new Regionalisation program.   A few surprises in store.  Our club appears to be the most northern club geographically, and captures clubs down by the bay as far as Frankston.   
The first club group meeting is scheduled for Friday 1/3 – Ron and Tim will attend.
Ron referenced the letter received from the State General Manager for Coles Victoria regarding the issue around car parking, and communication with the Coles manager at Bentleigh.   Ron emailed a copy of the letter to all club members on Sunday 25/2.  The Bentleigh Coles manager has been advised to not approach Rotary club members around car parking, and that Coles will take up any car parking issues with the council directly – and for the council to communicate with our club if required.  
GUEST SPEAKER – Barry Oliver – member behind the badge
It is always great to hear where our club members have come from as was today’s presentation from Barry Oliver with his interesting and varied life.  Barry was well prepared with a slide presentation to chronicle his life.  Barry was born in Yarram, Gippsland and is the eldest of 6 children to parents who wanted to be farmers.  At the age of 2 the family moved to Irrewarra, near Colac, and took over a Soldier Settlement Farm.  And as children brought up the country often do, and being resourceful, Barry learned to drive tractors and cars whilst still at kindergarten. He attended Irrewarra Primary School, then Colac High School before relocating to Waverley High School – the contrast was huge where previously at Colac everyone knows everyone else in the school, the students in Waverley tended to stay in groups  -  though ever affable, Barry made friends that transcended the various groups.  Study at RMIT followed to study Applied Science in Metallurgy, and Business Studies in Accounting. However, Barry dropped out of RMIT to return to the farm in Colac, then got a job in Oil & Gas Exploration at Western District, Portland and  Broken Hill.    Following this time, Barry took up a position with the Government where he stayed for the next 25 years working in various government agencies – Corporate Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Credit Unions/Building Societies, Business Names, APRA – Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, and the Industry Commission.   Barry then went out on his own, taking positions in various financial institutions working as a financial advisor, trust and insurance product manager, compliance officer, or finance and banking services manager in the following companies / fields – National Mutual/AXA, Challenger Bank, AWB – Australian Wheat Board, Superannuation Trustee, Worker’s Compensation, and Insurance Broking.  Barry married in 1986, to Sonia who is a mid-wife at Cabrini, and is the proud father of 3 children.  Barry was in the Army Reserve for 23 years.  Other interests are scouting (Barry is a troop leader 9th Caulfield Scout Group in Murrumbeena), cooking (Barry has over 2,000 cookbooks and is the proud owner/chef of an outdoor wood fired pizza oven that he built in the backyard with his sons), gardening,  and more recently farming chestnuts where he has a chestnut tree plantation in Gippsland.    He was also a football (soccer) coach for 7 years to a team who became the Under 14D Champions in the East Region Juniors in 2008 in the Football (Soccer) Federation of Victoria.    Thank you Barry – we thoroughly enjoyed your presentation, and hope your Rotary journey is equally as interesting and fulfilling. 
ROSTERS – The rosters for next week’s market and meeting were announced.
MEETING CLOSE – President Ron closed the meeting with this year’s theme – Create Hope in the World.