Posted by Mark Ellis AM
On June 1st, we conducted our last Board meeting for this year including the new members of the Board for next year.  There have been a few changes since I detailed the new committee at our Annual General Meeting last November.  I am very happy with the line up.

As James Hillman, the American Psychologist once wrote “We need a fresh way of looking at the importance of our lives.”   We can view this comment that a new Board will assist our club with new fresh ideas and out of lockdown, we may be able to achieve more for the community than this year ending.

So, at the Board Meeting, all the areas of focus were able to update very much like at the Forum night a couple of weeks ago – can you remember face to face meetings and their impact!!!

Some points in particular;

Club Service – Till the end of June, we will continue to use the present Humanitix system for meeting bookings.  There is work being done to see if we can incorporate Club Runner’s billing system, but please look out for developments.

John Hudson is standing down for next year and Rod Smith is taking over as Club Director.  I personally thank John for helping me so much this year.  David Fallick, luckily for our club, will continue on as program director.  Thanks to John Suriano and the others for continuing under Rod’s reign.

Membership – Elizabeth and her team have been busy.  I was hoping to induct 4 members on this Tuesday – Isaiah Lahai, Jo Bertoli and our first family members Geoff and Kaye Widmer.  I am really excited that people of this calibre want to join us.  Pity, I had the present DG Philip Archer lined up, but he will come on a zoom meeting on the June 8th.  

Hopefully, we can have a face to face induction at our meeting on June 15!   I am very pleased to note that Jane Gilchrist is re-joining our club having recently retired from full time employment,  Jane has been working at the Farmer’s Market as a friend of Rotary, but it is so nice to have her re-join our ranks, since she is “doer”.  

A heads up for October 5th and the “Lift the Lid” event is going to be conducted by Elizabeth’s committee again as our annual commitment to mental health.  It is “her baby” and I hope and expect many of our members to be involved.  Watch the Bulletin.

Community – The Board thanked Chris Raw for her work as Director, helping us out when Lyn Kneale required Leave of Absence (LOA).  Alex Marshall is taking over in July and already he is coming up with a tree planting program, to add to their portfolio.  This sounds like a good hands on event.  We look forward to another impressive year with a vibrant committee.

International – We are lucky to have Mark Howlett staying on as Director.  There are some more developments in our Vietnam project run in conjunction with well respected North Balwyn Rotarian, Rowan McClean and the Overseas Children Program.  This is to whether we sponsor some children in our selected province of Vo Tanh.  Again, this is for the new year to discuss.  Rowan tells me he will be at our Changeover so go meet him if interested in the Vietnam project.  I really hope we can get to visit there one day.

Youth - I am happy to announce that Andrea Kimler is taking on this directorship and wants to combine it with her Environment portfolio.  Her ideas are exciting.  She is developing a great committee including our President Elect Teresa Liu.  Matt Fitton had a difficult year and we thank his efforts.  Lucky for him, his business is very busy.

Hawthorn Men’s Shed – There has been much going on here, but it is becoming obvious the nature of this shed is now becoming more of a facility for UA.  Our club donated an impressive amount of money to do it up as a men’s shed, including a District Grant and as per the MOU.  We are making enquiries to whether we can recover some of this money and maybe try to sponsor a new men’s shed for Hawthorn/Glenferrie.

Thanks for Peter Harries keeping us informed and for Peter Moore for following this up.  We are lucky that Peter is a lawyer and understands all these issues.

Club Runner – A point raised is that not all our club members are comfortable and understand our Club Runner web structure.  I find it a terrific asset but you have to play with the system to understand it.  The Board felt that we need to get Richard Blakeman to give new updates and in particular ensure the new members understand it.  We note IT background  amongst our new members, so we hope that they may be able to learn and in the long run assist Richard.  Also, don’t forget to look at My Rotary which has many tools to assist especially for the new Board Members joining us.

Farmers’ Market Roster – More must be done to assist the Hogan’s rostering.  We are a rich club and able to finance and achieve so much only because of the revenue from the FM.  The Board noted that there was always a rush at the last moment to fill vacancies, putting a strain on the Hogans’ goodwill.  Also, volunteers not turning up or bothering to get a replacement can be an issue.

Apart from alerting members to please fill in their duties, we discussed various ways so that there is an even share of the volunteering.  In the past, you were assigned 3 duties per term.  With the club runner rostering system, it is left up to you to put your name down.  This is assuming you know how to use Club Runner or just forgetting.  There is going to be more alerts per Bulletin and links to remind yourself to roster.  Please assist and don’t leave it up to a few.  

One immediate benefit to me personally was that I got to talk one on one with many other members and friends over the many hours I have spent at the market.  They in turn put up with my music and conversation!!!

Leave of Absence (LOA– note not LOL!)  – Was granted to Carol Benson and we hope to see her back in a couple of months’ time.  BTW Please note that in our By Laws, a club member needs to apply for LOA if they are going to be away more than 3 weeks.  It is a simple process of letting the President or Secretary know and we can table it at the next Board meeting.  This is important since our club takes a good interest in our members and will follow up if we note a long absence.

Foundation Rotary 100 Year Project.  

We only have dates set for some of these activities

  1. 1.    The Opening Ceremony for the playground   – August 8th.
  2. 2.    The Business Breakfast – Sept sometime yet to be decided 
  3. 3.    End Polio Walk – Cheryl Pisterman – October- sometime yet to be decided

Richard Blakeman is valiantly trying to tie it all together and will need your help.  So please watch out for news in the Bulletins coming.

Changeover – Mark down the Changeover date June 22nd at Kooyong at the usual 6.30 for 7.00 pm.  Please mark in your diaries.  Invitations have been sent out.  I am hoping see many of you front up, please.

President Mark