President's Message
Ian Ross
member photo
As we get ever closer to Sunday 28 March 2021 all elements of the Willetton Rotary Community Fair (WRCF) 2021 coming together well thanks to the very considerable efforts of the Fair Committee and many others. I'm particularly excited about our Silent Auction for which Frank Murgia (ably assisted by his wife, Gillian, and Kevin Baruffi) has assembled an impressive array of items with an equally impressive retail value of around $25,000 on which the public can bid and from which with just a little bit of luck, we'll be able to derive a good income for our Club's Good Works. Frank, Greg Hamilton and Steve Genoni are pictured below with just some of the "goodies" To view the complete list and consider what you might like to bid on Click Here
While we've been beavering away with the Fair others have been celebrating the Centenary Of Rotay in Australia and New Zealand. The region comprises twenty six Rotary Districts and over 1000 Rotary Clubs all of which have been invited to participate in the Rotary100DownUnder celebrations. There's much to celebrate in reaching this grand old age and a commemorative R100 baton (pictured at right) has been made  to be passed from one District to the next….it was at the Joint District Conference held from  5-7 March 2021 at Optus Stadium. Special projects include: 
  • A Rotary Australia project to end the eye disease, Trachoma, most prevalent amongst our indigenous population; 
  • 100 schools are being invited by 100 Rotary Clubs to visit the Rotary Peace Bell in Canberra and to plant 100 poles with messages of peace on them;
  • And from our Joint District Conference the proceeds will be donated to the Rotary Foundation and Lifeline.
We are doing catch up with this Bulletin, the last was published way back on 12  January 2021. As you'll see from the fact that we've published two toasts to other Rotary Clubs with more to come in the next edition. After each toast we send a letter to the toasted Club and until recently we haven't heard back from any So it was very pleasing to receive a reply from the Rotary Club Of East Aukland which Leigh Thorp toasted at our meeting on 8 February 2021. To read their reply click on the link below Leigh's toast at right. 
We've also had some interesting speakers including Steve Dyer who immigrated to Australia 35 years ago.
Growing up Steve’s main hobbies were drawing and sketching and he won a fully paid scholarship to attend Art School as a teenager (one of only two such scholarships available in the UK). His interest in art continues to this day and in recent years he has won awards for his painting. Steve's topic was ArtyFacts  and he used the many a varied images produced by artists over the centuries to trace the history of art.                Sadly we have no images to share.
It is fair to say that our next speaker, Erin Hegarty (pictured below), shares Steve Dyer's passion and holds a degree in the creative and performing arts to prove it. She was however at the meeting to tell us about Mama Respond International a new Australian charity that functions in Kitengela, Kenya, to connect students with special needs to available medical resources and seeks to alleviate curable disabilities and treat lifelong disabilities to promote equal educational opportunities.

The organisation had its  beginnings back in 2013 when Erin volunteered to work (unofficially) as a teacher in Kitengela, Kenya at Noonkopir Township Primary School but quickly realised that she was better suited to tackling the big issue of overcrowded classrooms and so began the "Building a Better Future" program mobilising locals to build new classrooms, seeking sponsorship from friends and family in Australia and approaching Kenyan churches, businesses and government departments for financial and material support. In 2020 after several return visits Erin set up Mama Respond International. She chose the name to recognise the pivotal role that Kenyan mothers play n all aspects of family life. We'll provide Erin's presentation in a future issue.  

To enjoy our Club Joker's Jokes delivered in style by Raffle Master Stuart Diggins  Click here.

To view the CLUB MEETING DUTY ROSTER for next week and beyond Click here.

The Rotary Club of Nairobi, Kenya. was chartered in 1930 and is 90 years old. Located in District 9212 it is the oldest Rotary Club in Central and East Africa.  The Club’s vision is to remain the leading Rotary Club in Kenya and beyond, where dynamic members enjoy bringing great benefit to their community. The clubs current President for the Rotary Year 2020/2021 is Ritesh Barot and Vice President Amb. Dr Josephine Ojiambo. 

Due to the COVID -19 situation the club is currently meeting online only (Zoom) every Thursday at 1pm. On-going and ‘signature’ projects for the club include the Kenya Rural Blindness Eradication, Rally for the Disabled (Sunshine Rally) and ‘Sleeping Children Around the World’. Since 1991 the club (in collaboration with a Canadian charity) has distributed over 100,000 bed kits to children under the age of 12 years in various schools across the country. Each bed kit contains a mattress, blanket, sleeping pyjamas, a school bag and stationery. The club’s Facebook page has biographies of members, there are numerous senior business and regional leaders in the club. 


Tonight we toast the Rotary Club of Auckland East, NZ. Why New Zealand? – My daughter still has $8k worth of flight tickets tied up thanks to COVID. Auckland East meets at Tamaki Yacht Club, Mission Bay on Monday nights at 5.30pm under the Presidency of Kay Flower. They were chartered in 1967 and are in District 9920. Community projects that the club has been involved in include:
  • Assisting the Salvation Army make food deliveries to needy families during the COVID lockdown
  • Supporting RYLA
  • Model United Nations Assembly for school pupils who debate on 5 topics to the model United Nations Assembly run by the students in a debate format
  • Support the St Heliers School Fair
  • Major sponsor of the new Driver Training Vehicle at Tamaki College
  • Harvesting windblown trees for firewood project
  • There was no detail of an international project however support of Polio eradication was mentioned.
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