Posted by Mark Ellis AM
I was pondering on the quoted words from John Cleese the other day -
“We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately, spend most of their time in the closed mode... We must return to the open mode, because in that mode we are the most aware, most receptive, most creative, and therefore at our most intelligent.”
That is the way Rotarians have to be open and flexible.  I have used the work “flexible” a lot recently as we bow to the uncertainties that zoom meetings and a diminishing budget is doing to our club.  We are having good attendances to our meetings.  Also, I am impressed how some of our club members are coming up with ideas and implementing them to the best of their abilities.  I ask all members to think of how we can improve the situation.  Especially with the Rotary 100 year Old Project, we can start to ponder on what extra projects we can devise, since in a way this project can be the lead into additional projects.  This was outlined in my letter sent to all club members 2 weeks ago asking to start thinking!!
Terrific that our Market is back in action.  Thanks to the efforts of Ian Salek and Rob Winspear.  Our “flexible” budget can be reproduced once our poor treasurer, Thelma, can nut out where we are heading.  Also thinking beyond COVID is how will we conduct our meetings?  Maybe we can consider outdoor meetings?  I am hoping that we may be able to hold a “Christmas party in the park” on Tuesday Dec 15th (instead of the Wine and Cheese) complete with carols and picnic hampers.  This all depends on how the isolation rules are going in December.
“Lift the Lid”, our fundraiser for Rotary Australia Health is on this Tuesday.  Elizabeth Dumonic has done an amazing job whipping people up and esp. from the Chinese community to support Mental Health, which is the main focus of RAH.  I have nearly 100 selfies to present each with a donation attached (often more than the $5.00 asked for).  Thank you to the small amount of club members and other Rotarians who have joined in by sending a selfie.  Our expert fashion ladies, Lynette Spencer and Helena Wimpole will be there to judge Best Hat and Best Comic Hat.
From the Board Meeting held last Monday,
  1. Mentor Check List – One of the Strategic Action Plan goals was to implement better management of the new members.  In the past, a Mentor Check List was devised.  It was voted on to implement this list and followup via the membership committee for every new member joining us from now on.  The idea was the that mentor would go through this list with the new member to ensure the new member was engaged and their experience nurtured in the first 2 years.  Club runner has the form.
  2. Community Services – Lyn Kneale has asked for and voted on a 6 month monthly $150 donation to the Salvation Army to cover a shortfall of monthly staples for the needy especially in Covid times.  Her team would purchase these staples at a discount from IGA stores and deliver to the   
  3.  Community Services – Lyn Kneale has asked for and voted in a one off donation to Pinchapoo, which offers access to individual Personal Care Packs.  Amazing what people get up to in order to fill gaps in our community’s needs
  4. AGM – Nov 24th will be the AGM.  I have created a slight confusion in running for President again and there will be motions to formalise the nominations for the upcoming committee for the next Rotary year.  Most of the committee is staying on but I will be after a new Youth Board member to run this exciting area of focus.
  5. International Service – Mark Howlett is busy in negotiations to dismantle and convey to overseas playgrounds the discarded swings etc. from the Yarra Bank Reserve project.
  6. Youth Services – We were successful in our applicant Isabella Moffat going to the 2020 National Youth Service Forum.  Matt Fitton is also working on the MUNA project, which is “virtual” this year, being in touch with the Auburn High School.  Virtual teaching and away form school learning is making implementation difficult.