Posted by Karin Soster on May 03, 2023
Sam chaired today’s meeting at Cilantro, with Helen conducting Invocation, and Peter O – the Loyal Toast.  Neville joined via Zoom, and a surprise visit from former member Max Trist.
Today’s International Club Toast was to President  Virgie Albaera of the Rotary Club of South Davao located on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.  Homo Sapiens arrived around 55,000 years ago.  More recent history shows Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in 1521 and claimed the islands for Spain.  The control of the Philippines remained with Spain under various administrations, initially in Mexico City, then moving to Madrid when Napoleon Bonaparte installed his brother Joseph as the King of Spain in 1808.  However, Spain’s control came to an end following the destruction of the cruiser USS Maine in Havana harbour starting the Spanish-American war beginning with the battle of Manila Bay.  The Philippines declared independence in 1898.  Japan invaded and occupied the Philippines in 1942, and retained control until 17 August 1945. Philippine independence was restored in 1946 under the Treaty of Manila.   Projects of the R.C. South Davao include eye checks performed in conjunction with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and distribution of free reading glasses.  The club also conducts medical and dental missions performed by volunteer doctors and dentists.  The club works in partnership with Share Me a Dream Foundation (Australia) for the distribution of basic essentials to the Missionaries of Charity Home for sick and malnourished children.  Slides showing the club’s projects included pics of our own Terry Kane volunteering through her association with Share Me a Dream (Australia).
President Virgie Albaera will visit our club on Wednesday 24 May during her visit to Melbourne for the RI International Convention.
President Glenda welcomed everyone, including Neville and Max Trist via Zoom, and Franz    today’s guest speaker
Glenda reminded everyone of the following upcoming events and meetings:
Monday 8 May – A special board meeting to discuss succession planning and club strategy  (this meeting has since been cancelled)
Wednesday 17 May – Evening club meeting at Cilantro with guest speaker
Thursday 25 May – Marriott Support Services 50th Anniversary Ball
Monday 29 May – BMC Club Hosting event for Rotary International Convention at Royal Brighton Yacht Club
GUEST SPEAKER – Franz Madlener – Arco Bar
Franz from Arco Bar, Moorabbin was our guest speaker today and had an extraordinary tale to tell how his new fledgling business was able to survive the downturn in business following Covid lockdown.  Franz and his wife, Brooke, purchased Arco bar approximately 6 years ago, and business was humming along until the Victorian Premier announced Victoria was going into lockdown at 4pm on 29 March 2020.  Panic struck, with thoughts about how to keep the business running and remain financial.  Arco Bar is in a business park with the closest residential address approximately 1 km away.  2 out of 3 businesses within the business park closed.   A strategy used was to introduce all meals at one price $12.50,  be open all day from 7am – 8pm, and have free delivery.     Through social media, this was picked up by the younger generation, and helped to keep the business going.  However, during times of adversity sometimes there is a silver lining.   Even a patch of poor publicity can attract attention as Franz found, following a series of events occurring on social media.  The poor publicity drew attention to the business to the degree it became a newsworthy event in the daily news, and conversely, this actually attracted and brought in business.  Following this episode, Arco Bar’s Facebook  and social media following increased exponentially and helped put the business on the map.  This was an extraordinary tale and demonstrated how the power of social media can change the course of direction. 
Marriott Support Services 50th Anniversary Ball – Peter O.   Linda O’Brien is taking numbers for this event.  Items for a silent auction are also being sought - please advise Linda if you have any items to donate.
Bayspeak Competition – Julie.   BMC is hosting the first heat on Tuesday 9/5 at 7pm at Firbank Girls Grammar, with Julie as Master of Ceremonies.  Other heats will be held on 16/5, 23/5 with the final on 7/6.  Refer the club website for details.  Interested club members are very welcome to attend.
Empty cardboard rolls for District changeover – Peter O.   Linda is seeking empty cardboard rolls from used paper hand towels  -  if everyone could remember to put these aside and pass to Linda. 
Mahjong social evening – the next evening to play Mahjong is Thur 4/5 at The Healey at 7pm
ROSTERS – The rosters for upcoming Bentleigh market and next week’s club meeting were announced.
BMC Club Dinner for Rotary International Convention – Greg.    The dinner will be held at Royal Brighton Yacht Club on Monday 29/5.  Greg is anticipating 50 international guests and 30 club members.  The 2 guest speakers are Alistair Murray and George Shaw with Sailing as the theme.  Greg needs two volunteers to act as hosts for collecting the international guests from Jeff’s shed for the evening – interested club members are asked to follow up with Greg.   An invitation to the dinner will be issued soon.
Next Week’s Club Meeting  - Sherine Bloom from Applied Learning Awards will be our guest speaker for next week.