Posted by Mark Ellis AM

 “All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey” – Maybe that is “California Dreaming” but we today start Autumn.  Where has the summer gone!!  Being inside and masked up probably let summer slip by.  The good news was that bushfires that ravaged our state weren’t as bad and since it was not too hot, we were able to wear those face masks quite comfortably.
Other good news is that we have finally met at a general gathering last Tuesday, where I got the chance to play as President.  We were honoured to have our local councillor and spouse, Wes and Jane Gault, join our gathering, where he presented his ambitions and ideals.  This was a terrific way to begin our “back to normal” routine hopefully for the final few months of this Rotary Year.  Details of that night will be further in the Bulletin.

So, what is news this week?
Salvo Bread Roster – Chris Raw has taken over as acting Community Director for this Rotary Year and I am after a new Director for the coming year.  So far, most people I have approached are a bit bashful to say the least.  This is a marvellous area of Rotary focus as it is a direct link into our community with already many engaging ongoing enterprises.  Please assist Chris by volunteering for the bread roster. To volunteer: 
Simon Messenger arranged for a donation of an impact driver from Bunnings Hawthorn , complete with batteries and charger, just in time for the Nettleton Park Playground!
Bunnings Donation – We thank Bunnings Hawthorn for donating a power impact drill, which will assist our Playground Dismantling team.  Also, a great thanks to Simon Messenger, who is an interested attender to our meetings but has proven his worth by sourcing and arranging this donation.
Playground Dismantling effort – And the donation was just timely to assist. Thanks to our International team and others from our club for the incredible club effort Thursday and Friday with the removal of the playground at Nettleton Park Glen Iris. Thanks to Ian Salek, Jerzy Ordega, Alex Marshall, David Fallick, Rod Smith and Robert Hogan.  Also, Murray Anderson, Andrew Hunter and Vijay Susarla from RC Camberwell, and four members of the Rotaract e-Club of Melbourne.  Whenever I take things apart, I never seem to put back in the same way.  Always hate finding an extra nut or bolt left over.  I have been reassured there is developed a fool proof method of re-assembling  for once overseas!!!
Board Meeting – Due tomorrow night March 2nd – Unfortunately on zoom for convenience. Hopefully, I will be able to report on what we are up to.  We are starting to get a bit busier now our gatherings are face to face.
General Meetings (Gatherings) – Why not call them gatherings, since that is what we do.  We gather in Rotary Fellowship.  However, there is an extra Tuesday in March.  There has been a call to drop that day (March 30th).  Not as easy as that since we are obliged to Kooyong Tennis Club and our constitution to have a meeting.  The Board will discuss what to do.  
Forum night – On the gathering for March 9th, the much touted Attendance Survey will be conducted as well as business around how we conduct the meetings.  We have a few other issues to update the rank and file and so will be a good gathering to attend.
Clean up Australia  - You should by now have received an email asking for volunteers about “Clean up Australia”.  It is now March 14th (Sunday) at Paterson Reserve.  Please volunteer.   
Unfortunately, the Ballarat Cycle Classic has been postponed and now being run on the same day, so I might be “cleaned up” in another way since I will be enduring the classic 100 km ride, which I participate in every year.
Membership night – I want to set March 23rd for a membership night.  Elizabeth has been busy getting new members interested and we really need to support our membership committee.  More information later.  I would encourage and expect everyone to bring a potential member along to this meeting.  The video, which Richard Blakeman prepared for our Australia Day Celebrations is to be shown as it is a fantastic showcase of our work.
So, see you at the next gathering on March 9th.