Posted by Ian Ballantine on Sep 23, 2020
Happy Birthday Helen, Ian’s Partner. By 7:30 there were already 23 participants who included Sossi, Tony Fitzlapp, Rotarian Merv from RC Caulfield and our Tim M who is not able to join us often due to his children’s commitment. Pres. Geoff welcomed us all and made mention that we were having a very, very busy day due to our meeting, 7;30 in the morning and then again 7:30 in the evening.
Pres. Geoff continued that while there was no single activity it is good to have outside activity. He talked of the Strategy Meeting conducted by Kevin and Helen diversity of impact by the members instead of a committee and therefore there is a sense of ownership especially when presented to the whole club. Pres. Geoff in mentioning COVID and the overseas spikes that we should not expect too much in a change that might happen on Sunday but if we keep our expectations low we would not be disappointed. He further thanked us for our in-put with Ambassador Fifield who was delighted with the meeting. Ian told us that he hoped to record what had been said on U-tube. Unfortunately, Gareth Andrews who was meant to be our Guest Speaker was unable to attend. We were invited for members who would like to share news could address us.
Tony Grusd thanked the members who had responded to the Indigenous meeting and he said if all the committee would share their thoughts decisions could be made. Kevin who is putting our thoughts together on the Strategic Plan informed us that we were at a stage where the Business plan could be placed on 1 page and has been sent to the participants and therefore could be sent to all members emphasizing that it is not just a committee but a whole member process. By this time of the morning we were 33 participants.
Past Member Merv, now PP. Merv of the Rotary Club of Caulfield was invite to give us an up-date of his club. He informed us that they too, were embracing Zoom which was the saving grace of Rotary through-out the world. He told us of his club’s project of Save the Wall. While the proposition was put to the Council, it was Go-Fund-Me rallied and certainly exceeded all expectation, o the quandary of finding finance was solved. The club is looking at a plan to “Exit Isolation” and looking at ‘Better than Normal” by setting goals for a better way of raising funds especially as there are no more sausage sizzles which was the mainstay. The club is looking at a hybrid meeting. The membership is mostly made up of “OBE” which makes up 110-115%. The club was contacted by a girl in Uganda who tunes in regularly and is joined by other clubs from there, which is very liberating. Zoom allows people to join in on meetings who otherwise cannot. We conveyed our best wishes to Pres.Ian of RC Caulfield. Geoff Gartly reminded us of our evening meeting and confirmed that Dilhan of Dilmah tea has confirmed that he will talk to us and we should bring our cups of tea. Ron told us that the Market Committee has a plan on COVID safety and that the Government is funding a program at Tafe Colleges.
Tony from Cilantro has no news to share and is hoping that the restaurant might be able to open but not until November, possibly. Classes will still have to run. In talking of restaurants and following what Mitch Fifield said about New York opening their cafes and restaurants outside seating, this same idea here has to be approved by Councils. If it is worth for businesses to reopen, one has to work with Road Authorities. The weather in Melbourne could create an obstacle as it is so unreliable.
Peter L suggested as we had the time that Tim L our real estate person might give us some insight of what is happening in is world. Tim explained that COVID-19 meant that Real Estate agents cannot talk to people and there were no inspections. It was possible to have virtual inspections and there have been some sales as a result of this. He talked of the rental problems and that many tenants cannot pay rent but at the same time cannot be evicted. Commercial rents had been cut by 50% and this situation will probably be extended until December to March. Ian offered that one cannot really afford to lose tenants because when life “returns” there would be a lot of properties will be empty and he felt better to retain the tenant to survive. Tim continued saying we need to face the prospect that only a percentage will survive. He explained there were differences between commercial and residential properties and all looks different on balance sheets. The whole scenario is a night mare. There were businesses that started just as lockdown began, especially those in hospitality and beauty. He talked of concession from councils, of the slowing down of the market in Victoria and land taxes, rates and stamp duty. Our club has 2 councilors and both Ron and Pres. Geoff informed us how Kingston was doing its best to support all business in the area. One might mention at this point that Ron has been a Councillor for Moorabbin and Kingston since 1982. This is a long time and this will be the first time that he has not stood for election. We hope that Ron will enjoy retirement and our Rotary Club will enjoy his work and participation with us.
Tim changed hats to be Sergeant Tim. He talked of football (of course) and ably fined all of us who were supporters of the top 8. Sergeant Tim gave us historical dates and wondered why and how Tom Hanks got back into Australia with seemingly no quarantine… and did we know that it was the 75th anniversary of the United Nations? On this happy note, Pres Geoff closed the meeting with see you all tonight at 7:30 for our exciting gathering with Dilhan Fernando from Dilmah Tea. We should remember to use our comfort pack that Helen delivered to all of so we can enjoy the evening meeting with a cup of Dilmah tea.
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)