Posted by Mark Ellis AM
OMG – Oh my God – I am the Pres!!!
After many years of ducking this great responsibility, I felt it selfish not to do my bit for the club that I have grown fond of over the 12 to 13 years that I have been a member.  I am in awe of the past presidents and how they handled their year with wisdom and energy.  We have had teachers, businesspeople, board chair and such who are used to dealing with large amounts of people at once.  So now, you have a doctor and surgeon, used to dealing with one on one.
However, our profession is used to making on the spot health decisions amidst the pressure of operating and consulting based on years of experience.  I will be in trouble knowing very little about economics and accounting.  I am confident that the club has such a good expertise here that the treasury will remain intact!  Also, since I have long hours at work, I often resort to email after hours.  When consulting my mobile is always on silent.  I will try to be available but might just “have to get back to you.” 
We live in interesting times with the Covid-19 virus and our reaction to it will go down in the history books. Our club will be judged on how it handled the situation.  The past President Thelma has been a guiding light.  We had the Bushfires situation in our summer.  You cannot help being proud of the effort conducted by Don Heath to provide aid to the stricken farmers.  Now with a total shutdown we are into teleconferencing.  I guess the only good thing to come out of it is that I miss out in having to conduct a changeover dinner in person!
My theme if we need one for our club, is I want us all to be proud of being a Rotarian.  Glenferrie Rotary is a Humanitarian Service Club full of volunteers of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  That makes for a terrific mixture of ideas and approaches to dealing within our community.  We are members of this club since we want to be and to have an avenue to be able to assist the community.  There is strength in numbers for a team approach and there is the banner of Rotary under which to give us a pathway to achieve our aims.  We have diverse interesting projects from our new Vietnamese project to the great community projects presently conducting.
We must not forget the Rotary 6 areas of focus and the Rotary Foundation; which we should be proud to say we are involved.
1.  Promoting Peace
2. Fighting Disease
3. Providing clean water
4. Saving mothers and children
5. Supporting education
6. Growing local communities
And now a newly 7th. Environment
We must remember to inspire and empower ourselves and others to adopt high ethics and integrity by the use of the 4-way test.
  1. Is it TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Our administration has been strong with Richard Blakeman spending an enormous amount of time in getting Clubrunner up and running.  Please visit this site as well as My Rotary site. I wish I had looked at My Rotary when I first joined since there is a large amount of useful information in that site.
I must thank Richard and Don Moore for running with the Centennial Project.  In April 2021, the first meeting for Rotary was conducted in Melbourne 100 years ago. There has been great pressure to come up with a project for the centennial year.  The playground project is born out of our club’s expertise, which we should be proud of and support.  Your work reflected well on me and our club to be able to stand up at the PET session in February and state we had a Centennial project well into its planning and development stage. 
When the COVID blanket lifts we will be involved with the celebrations.  I would encourage all present members to maintain membership and be involved in the celebrations to come.  (After this “drought” – We will need to celebrate just being lucky to be here!)
This year there are many newcomers to the committee.  I thank all for putting up their hands, some still not fully aware of what they are getting themselves into!  I thank all who have spent many years on the committee including Don Moore, Don Heath, Carol and John Suriano to mention a few.  Also, to thank the Farmer’s market committee headed by Rob Winspear and Ian Salek for their dedicated work.  These 2 Rotarians now filling the shoes of our Boroondara personality John Hudson.  The revenue feeds our programs and makes our club financially better off than so many others.  I also appreciate and thank those who have decided to stay on and oversee what I get up to.  This is our centenary year and the excitement should build for a unique year.
I would like to thank my family especially Janet for her support over the years and of this year coming.  As many know, she manages the family and I am just a worker.  I hope my family through my actions will either join Rotary in the future or pursue a humanitarian role in life to always consider people less better off than us.  Janet, Madeleine and Thomas, my children, have already worked with me in Maliana, East Timor. Janet many times in Sumba.
On a final note, I want you all to have fun and enjoy the fellowship that being a Rotarian in a strong club brings.  Finances may be an issue with the loss of revenue from the Farmer’s Market, but we can stand straight and be resilient like the true Aussies we all are.
Thank you – I will look forward to seeing you all physically soon.
Dr Mark F Ellis AM
President Glenferrie Rotary 2020-1