Posted by Mark Ellis AM

 “Never was so much done by so few for the greater good”  With apologies to Winston Churchill on his wartime speech on 20 August 1940.  However, when I think back to our Australia Day effort, I think of this line.  I was against the Australia Day Cluster event for the one reason that it was on a long weekend and most of our members were justifiably on vocation including myself on a week’s leave.  I thank those who did get back to whether able, away or sick. 

However, I couldn’t let our club miss a brilliant opportunity to publicise ourselves to the community.  All Riverside (Kew and Hawthorn) and Eastside (Balwyn, North Balwyn, Canterbury and Camberwell) were all involved, and we would be left out if not participating.  I know that I had to put up with a reasonable amount of my angst and protest about this event from various members with differing views on our participation.  We are non-political organisation and one of the world’s renown volunteer service, so I was proud of those few who could make it happen for our club.  Pity the day was so awful with the morning rain.  However, I really enjoyed catching up with so many Rotarians from our Super Cluster and some other civilians who ventured into the park.

I thank David Fallick for taking the reins to take the pressure off me.  Our expertise in this adventure was our immense knowledge on how to run a market and be involved with the council.  When I first come involved in December it was immediately obvious that there was no expertise in dealing with a market type atmosphere and I thank Ian Salek and Rod Winspear for all their help with advice to the Australia Day Committee of the 2 Clusters (so called Super Cluster).  We also loaned our Farmer’s Market equipment for the event to cut costs.  I must thank Teresa Liu, Peter Moore, Rob Hogan, Mithzay Pomenta, Carol Benson, Rod Smith, Eliz Dumonic, Richard Blakeman and Mark Howlett (on leave from Rye – thanks Donna)  and Ted Baillieu for volunteering to assist make our club a “presence”.  Ian Salek was magnificent in his “Hard Aussie Quiz”.  His optimism helped me through dark patches in the last 2 months. 
Richard spent a whole day on a video to represent our club.  I was nearly in tears when it is visually documented actually what our club has achieved.  I have asked Richard to present it again at our club esp. for new members to see.  My accountant has often told me to take time off and review where I am – Well this video is a good example for us to contemplate our achievements.
I sent out that email with the misspelling, pleading for volunteers, I do apologise for my poor typing skills – can I blame spell check?  Cheryl has always been great in ratifying my problems and hence the reference to her.  This was mistaken by some our members as a jibe, but Cheryl is tops in her trade and can take a joke.  I did note those criticisers were non volunteers for the day.  
Club Meetings – We are back from February 9th and to start the rest of our year off, why not have a BBQ party?  Please sign in and pay prior to the event, so watch for the invitation.  John Hudson and Lynette Spencer are busy organising a lovely night.  I actually get to address you on a non-threatening atmosphere that shows Kooyong at its best.  Hopefully sunglasses will be the major requirement!!
David Fallick and John Hudson have been busy with lining up an exciting year for us.  We have our Councillor Wes Gault (Glenferrie Ward Councillor) and his partner Jane, addressing us in our normal meeting on Feb 23rd.  We have asked Wes to outline his ideas for the future.
Farmer’s Market – The fortnightly market starts in February.  Please note there has been a call for volunteers for the extra Saturday morning.  Note also, that the roster has been paired down, since we from our new experience don’t require as many people to “man” the market.  Please support Ian and Rob’s endeavours.  They have a future in mind for our market and we should follow their lead.
Attendance Survey -  To start 2021, we have a chance to formalise how we gather.  Meetings are a very formal term, but in reality, our club gathers in fellowship and enjoy social interaction and discuss how to engage more in the community both local and internationally.  The Board decided that at a forum to be held in February, we would survey you early in 2021 to gauge how members feel we should gather.  Face meetings / how many a month / and whether zoom can be incorporated.  Just watch the Bulletin for updates.
Rotary Leadership Course – This is a good opportunity for experienced Rotarians, new members and indeed people interested in finding out more about Rotary.  Club members who have done the course strongly recommend it.  Rotary is interested in building Leaders and this is a good example of its commitment to provide an educated assistance to our future men and women, who will be the leaders in our club and in our community.  In the past the club has had to sponsor our interested members, but since it is online, there is no charge but only 25 spaces.  Please look at the Bulletin for further information.
Board Meeting – I am aiming to run the Board Meeting on Feb 8th Monday, so Board members, please note this date.  We will meet for nostalgia on Zoom  (LOL).
Well, I am looking forward to a face to face meeting.  Please be kind, since I will be a novice to the New World Order.  As James Humes (author and former American presidential speechwriter) stated – “Every time you have to speak, you are auditioning for leadership”.  So maybe I might make it?