Some of our best speakers are our own members and Geoff and Kay Widmer certainly reinforced that comment.  They have joined as Family Members. 
Geoff and Kay answered an invitation to be involved with Rotary. They are both recently retired from busy and fulfilling careers and the timing was perfect. As Geoff said: "We were looking for something to do together and Rotary was the right fit". At last Tuesday's meeting they shared with us their stories. They were looking for ways to give back to the community having been lucky to have been born in Melbourne. Their presentation was a joint effort with both providing insights into their previous careers, their families and their experiences travelling here in Australia and overseas. Both of them have already been great supporters of the Boroondara Farmers Market and look forward to more shifts.
How often do we hear "How do we get new members?"  And the response is: "just ask somebody". Thanks to a great initiative from Membership Chair, Elizabeth, the club did just that. Geogg and Kay responded to a  membership drive which generated considerable interest in Rotary and the Rotary Club of Glenferrie in particular.
Both Kay and Geoff grew up in Melbourne and married in 1974 and now live in Hawthorn. They have three adult children - all married with children. Kay is a qualified physiotherapist and obtained her Diploma at Melbourne University. Geoff took his undergraduate studies at Monash. Geoff had obtained his MBA at Queens in Ontario and after they were married, they returned to Canada where Kay studied for her Physiotherapy degree in Alberta and where Geoff was employed in the energy industry. As they were both keen skiers and enjoyed outdoor activities, Alberta was a great place to live. Kay in particular was so successful on skis that she represented Australia as a ski champion (we should learn a bit more about this experience).
On returning to Australia with their first child, Kay and Geoff lived in Adelaide and then came back to Melbourne where they raised their family and continued in their chosen careers: Geoff in the business world and Kay practicing physiotherapy mainly with Neurological injuries and then in Aged Care. They are keen travellers and regaled our members with the many trips they did for business and pleasure - like all of us waiting for when we can travel again. After leaving the corporate environment, Geoff established his boutique consultancy with the assistance of a local secretarial service in Hawthorn and served on many committees advising a number of resources industries. He was invited to act as the Honorary Consul for Columbia (he had been a lover of South America and the Spanish language), a role that he has just recently relinquished.
When Geoff asked our members how many had visited Columbia, not many hands went up. He commented that Australians overall have very little knowledge of the country and most of it is unfortunately negative - drug cartels, violence, etc. His love for the country and its people was obvious and Glenferrie members learned a lot more about the country and South America in general. The Q&A session was evidence of the interest in their experiences and Geoff agreed that he would be happy to share more stories from their perspective in person (when and if we can ever meet to face again).
Welcome Kay and Geoff Widmer to Glenferrie and we look forward to your contributions to our community and our projects and for more of your stories. Pictures below of the Widmers in Columbia.