Posted by Karin Soster
Julie Reid was our chairperson for today’s club meeting at Cilantro.  Tim L performed invocation and Helen performed the loyal toast.  Julie welcomed our guest speaker Daniela Markovic. Peter N and Karin joined the meeting via Zoom.
  • This week our club toasted President Gwladys Epalley Ebenye epse Bassong and club members the Rotary Club of Douala Mangroves in the Republic of Cameroon – a country on the coast in West Central Africa with a population of 29 million – the capital being Yaounde.  The area first had human occupation 30,000 years ago, and in the dense forested areas 7,000 years ago.  Portuguese sailors first arrived at the mouth of Wouri River in 1472 and named it Rio dos Camaroes (Shrimp River) due to the abundance of shrimp, from which the English name of Cameroon is derived.  European trade commenced with the coastal peoples, and European exploration was slow due to the prevalence of Malaria, but this changed when quinine became available in the 1870s.  In 1884, German explorer and administrator Gustav Nachtigal signed an agreement with the Duala leaders and established a German protectorate named Kamerun.  In 1911, France ceded approx. 300,000 km2 to Kamerun (named Neukamerun).  In 1919 after WW1, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory split into French Cameroun and British Cameroon. On 1/1/1960, France granted French Cameroun independence.  Following a plebiscite on 11/2/1961, people in the  north voted for union with Nigeria.  People in the south voted to join Cameroon.  On 1/10/1961, British Southern Cameroons joined with the former French Cameroun to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.  West Cameroun retained a separate state government – however in 1972, the two federations were replaced by a unitary state called the United Republic of Cameroon, with French and English as the official languages.  Douala is the largest city in Cameroon and the economic capital largely through immigration.  Douala also has Central Africa’s major international airport, and its largest port handing major exports in oil, cocoa, coffee, timber, metals and fruits.  The Rotary Club of Douala has a current project in connection with the local Lions club to provide school kits and food to underprivileged students.  The club meets every Thursday evening at Hotel Sawa.   Thank you Grant for another great presentation on the history of different parts of our world.
PRESIDENT REPORT – President Margaret
  • Happy birthday wishes to Larry who will celebrate a birthday tomorrow – 13/10
  • 5 Bayside Rotary clubs have joined together to hold a concert to support Ukraine.  Further details will be available in the club bulletin.
  • Secretary Neville is experiencing health issues – best wishes Neville for a speedy recovery
  • Marriott House – Linda
    - The team from Men’s Shed attended Marriott House yesterday and built raised garden beds as part of a Community project.  Linda provided lunch and after a cheer from the team, was shooed off – they indicated they could look after themselves!  The garden beds are the first step in the project with further work in the garden to be carried out. 
  • District Conference – Linda
    - Linda reminded everyone of the District Conference in Canberra in March next year and to register now if wishing to take advantage of the discounted registration rate.  Also let her know if attending for inclusion in the Friday night club dinner.
  • RSL Club Social night – Jo
    - Jo reminded everyone of the club social night on Thursday 20/10 at RSL Cheltenham, and to let her know if planning to attend.  Details are in the club bulletin
  • Proposed club social event – Jo
    - Jo checked for club interest for a social event on the Go Boats on Yarra for late November, like the event held last year. 
  • Scott – Ron’s son
    - Ron provided an update on his son, Scott, who will be discharged from hospital later today following an unfortunate reaction to a tooth extraction  -  good to hear he is on the mend
  • Community Safety Day – Ron
    - Ron advised of a burglary on Monday night after the Community Safety Day event at Glen Eira town hall.  The police attended very quickly, and advise they are aware of the burglars who have been operating within the bayside area for some time.
  • Club Evening Meeting Wed 26/10 – Greg
    - Greg reminded everyone of the club evening meeting on Wed 26/10 and to let him know if planning to attend for catering purposes.  Partners and friends are welcome to attend – please check the bulletin for details and registration.
  • Club Nominating Committee – Greg
    - Greg is heading up this year’s club nominating committee for the AGM in November.    Please look out for his email.
  • Club Evening Meeting Wed 30/11 – Tim L
    - Tim advised of a special guest speaker, a professor, he has invited to address the club at the evening meeting on Wednesday 30/11.  Details will be available in the bulletin.
GUEST SPEAKER – Daniela Markovic – Community Information & Support, Victoria
  • Daniela Markovic is the Glen Eira branch coordinator for Community Information & Support, Victoria and who provide free advisory services to the local community.  Daniela distributed a handout leaflet that provided an outline of their services and statistics for the past financial year.  The Glen Eira branch is supported with a team of 25 volunteers to provide free information, advocacy and referral service on housing, health, personal issues, families and education, with referrals made to appropriate government or community services and other not for profit organisations.  Support services include emergency relief consisting of food, food vouchers, assistance with travel cards, essential medications, household bills, education expenses, and No Interest Loans.    The average age of people seeking help is 40 – 64. Statistics show 82% of people are on Centrelink payments, many have disability or mental health issues and 37% have an overseas background.   Low interest loan schemes are available for up to $2,000 with repayments over a 18 month period.  Daniela outlined a snapshot of support in the past year which had an emphasis on providing emergency relief for housing and food.  This year, their service has assisted 1900 people – 45% of whom were new clients, with the main services being to provide assistance for rental relief, mortgage repayment and utility payments. Other areas include assistance with medical expenses in meeting the cost of filling scripts, providing food parcels and food vouchers, and more recently a pet rescue service has been added and assisting clients experiencing family violence.  Their services are short staffed, underfunded and in need of funds to provide services to meet the demand.  The branch provides reports to local MPs to provide a picture of the current status of social issues within their local area – most are interested and very receptive.
    - a club donation of $2,000 was presented to Daniela for use to support victims of family violence.
MEETING CLOSE – President Margaret
  • Margaret thanked Daniela for her very informative talk, and closed the meeting with this year’s Rotary theme – Engage Rotary.