Simon Messenger delivered his Member Behind the Badge talk at the club meeting on April 27th, thoroughly captivating his audience with a tale of overcoming early adversity to triumph in life. Simon hails from England, the historic ancient Roman city of Exeter in Devon in fact. His early family life was challenging, but Simon displayed initiative and a willingness to 'have a go' even at that young age, holding a number of jobs to earn pocket money. His first full time job was in banking with Lloyds Bank in Torquay, and from that start came a career that involved a period with the RAF as an Officer Cadet, a sales role with a Shell subsidiary and then back to the financial services sector with London & Manchester in the Pensions Department. But there was more to come. Much more.
Meeting Chairman PP Robert Winspear with Simon Messenger. 'Member Behind the Badge'.
A chance meeting in Boston, Massachusetts and a subsequent catch up in the UK with a representative from AXA Australia resulted in a job offer, bringing him to Australia where Simon's varied career led to roles with the NSW Fire Brigade, Superpartners, MLC, UniSuper (a very good fund says Simon), API/Priceline, NAB, Colonial First State, the Victorian Government and Tennis Australia. Throughout all this Simon carried with him a love of Lotus cars, still built in England in the fine old tradition of wonderful British sports cars. In fact, they have just announced the name of their final petrol-engined car; Lotus Emira.
Simon's arrival in Australia led to his meeting his now wife, Nicole Gatto, who is an experienced audiologist. Together they have a daughter, Ruby, now 12. Their three year old border terrier is named Pirate, because he has a black 'patch' around one eye (but no parrot). No doubt inspired by his own difficult childhood, Simon, Nicole and Ruby sponsor a young boy through The Smith Family.
Simon has been owner/builder in the redevelopment of four properties. He and Nicole are now the owners of a small business, hearingworks, at 91Cotham Road, Cotham Village, Kew.
And Simon's message? What did we learn from Simon's talk? We saw how he has been willing to take opportunities when they present themselves, his preparedness to have-a-go and try new things, take risks, his focus on doing the job well and, from all that we heard, how life can and does reward enterprise.
We look forward to meeting Nicole and Ruby soon, Simon and welcome you all wholeheartedly to your new life in Rotary. 
The Winner of the Monthly Raffle
The winner of the monthly raffle for April was a jubilant Peter Moore. Congrats Peter! We shared in your sense of joy. Winners are Grinners!