Posted by Karin Soster on Jun 29, 2022
This week’s club meeting was the last for this current  Rotary year, and marked Helen’s last meeting as club president with her year drawing to a close.
Incoming President Elect, Peter Nolan, was our chairperson today.  Neville K performed the Invocation, and Larry Green conducted the loyal toast.  Glenda and Charles R joined the meeting via Zoom.
Club International Toast – Grant
    Grant conducted the Club International Toast to President Walter Hubers and the Rotary Club of Almere in the Netherlands.  Geographically, the Netherlands is unusual in that 26% of the land and 21% of the population is below sea level, and only about 50% of the land is over 1 metre above sea level.  Much of the land is flat with its highest point at 323 metres – to put this in perspective, Mt Dandenong is 633 metres. Its lowest point is 7 metres below sea level.  17% of the area is reclaimed land.  Peoples lived in the area 2000 – 800BC.  The Roman Empire conquered the land in 57AD, followed by the Germanic tribes in 400AD, the French under the Duke of Burgundy in 1384.  Through marriages and lines of heritage, eventually, the land came under the control of the Habsburg Empire in 1506.  The House of Hapsburg divided into Austrian and Spanish branches, with the Netherlands under control of the Spanish branch. The Dutch revolt against the Spanish Hapsburgs in 1568 was the commencement of The Eighty Year War that ended in 1648.  The Dutch declared their independence within the period in 1581. The French invaded in 1795, and Napoleon 1 appointed his brother Louis as King of the Netherlands in 1806. This was short lived – Napoleon and the French were defeated and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (that included Belgium) was established in 1813 – Belgium subsequently broke away from the kingdom in 1830.   Back to the present – the reclamation of land in the Netherlands dates back to the 14th Century, however much of modern reclamation of land has been done since 1918.  Almere is as planned city and located in reclaimed land in the province of Flevoland – 22km east of Amsterdam.   Its first house was completed in 1976.  It has a population of 208,000, is mostly residential with little industry, and is known as a commuter town.  The Rotary Club of Almere is involved in projects that include thanking healthcare workers with a distribution of bouquets and tulips, maintenance in Del Uylpark  that is part of the urban forests in Almere and more recently a working bee in the park’s petting zoo.  The club was involved in a Stop Plastic Waste event in early June – an educational event seeking solutions to overcome our world of plastic. The club was chartered 27 June 1983, has 33 members and meets weekly on Tuesday evening in a lovely location at a venue called Restaurant View.    Thank you Grant for these very informative presentations – not only do we get to learn about other Rotary clubs and what they do, we also receive a history lesson and learn lots.  It is always very interesting.  
President Announcements – Helen
    Graham Chad - It was disappointing to hear Graham has resigned from the club, but understandable as he is relocating to Wodonga where he has family
    Group Emails to club members – there are two ways for issuing emails to all club members – either forward the email to Secretary Neville to issue, or alternatively logon and issue it via Club Runner.  Ian provided a demonstration for accessing club information on Club Runner, and invited club members to reach out to him if needing any assistance.
    Club Statistics – With news of the current government census making the news, John Mason provided the following data about our own club with comparison statistics since 2016: Membership in 2016 was 38 compared to 33 today.  61.9 was the average age for members in 2016, whereas today it is 67.2.   12.2 years was the average length of service in 2016, and is 14.8 years today. Female membership in 2016 was 27%, and is 36% today.
    Bent Street Carpark - Glen Eira Council is conducting a meeting this evening to discuss the future of the proposed refurbishment of the Bent Street carpark.  President Helen, Ron B and Peter O’B plan to attend.
    Mordialloc Rotary Club Changeover – President Helen will attend their Changeover event which will be held over Zoom.
    South African student seeking sponsorship – our club was approached to sponsor a student from South Africa, however, the student’s details have been passed to another organisation for consideration.
    Moorabbin Rotary Club Changeover – will be held on 5th July at The Buckingham
    Next week’s club meeting will be held at Marriott Support Services – 56 Keys Road, Cheltenham for 7.30am.  Refer details below.   
Some Unfinished Business:
    Lapel pins - Peter Nolan presented the President and Past President lapel pins to incoming President Margaret Mason and Past President Helen Nodrum
    PHF certificates - President Helen presented the official PHF certificate to Secretary Neville Kruss and there is one for Geoff Gledhill.
    Certificates of Appreciation - President Helen presented Certificates of Appreciation to the following club members in recognition of their service to Rotary and the club during the past 12 months:  Ron Brownlees, Alan Kempton, Margaret Lucas, Tim Lynch, John Mason, Peter Nolan, Linda O’Brien, Karin Soster, Faye Weeks.
New Member Induction – Anna Mouradian
    President Helen had the very pleasant duty of inducting our newest club member Anna Mouradian.  Anna is a former Rotarian from the RC of Balwyn, however, after a 2 year stay in Armenia, she returned to Melbourne and took up residence in the bayside area of Melbourne.  Her classification is Medical Science.  Anna provided a very gracious response and thanked the club for inviting her to join, and cited a lovely phrase ‘fragrance stays on the hand that gives the rose’  
Marriott Support Services - Linda O’Brien
    Next week’s club meeting will be held at Marriott Support Services at 56 Keys Road, Cheltenham for 7.30am start.   A continental breakfast will be provided for $15.  Following the breakfast members will be provided with a tour of the facilities and an opportunity to see what is carried out at the premises.  Members need to enter the property and continue down the ‘roadway’ – Marriott Support Services is on the right and towards the end of the property. Parking is available at the premise.  
Rosters – the rosters for market and the next meeting were announced
Sergeant Session – Sergeant John Mason
    John demonstrated the ‘Ned Kelly’ head wear he wore to the District Conference dinner adding the reason our club didn’t win the prize for the best costume was because they couldn’t see our Covid mask!  Ron B was fined for his ‘empty chair’ at the Changeover dinner.  Secretary Neville was fined for having birds in his freezer, Grant was fined for not mentioning Rotterdam during the international club toast as Rotterdam is the busiest port in the Netherlands.  You wont get a headache if you heed the warning on the Codral box and ‘stay away from children’.  No-one at the meeting was able to recite the Objects of Rotary without referring to the written words.  Waves Swim Centre demonstrated its commitment to social distancing with a sign - there will be no water in lanes 1,3,5 & 7!
In closing the meeting, President Helen thanked everyone for the much welcomed support she received during her year as president adding she started out as a novice, has learnt a lot during the year, and her experience as president has deepened her understanding and appreciation of Rotary.