The year in review 2015-16
As I said in my speech last year, I took on the President’s role with some trepidation as I was/am aware of the importance and esteem that is attached to this job. I am not sure that I have met people’s expectations - I know I have raised a few eyebrows implementing a few changes but we have had an interesting and full program and considerable achievements along the way.
Whereas in the past members priorities were family and work and then Rotary – now we also have to factor in holidays and this has made a huge impact on our attendance and productivity. This was/is something we now have to accommodate in our planning. As I said last year, we do have to respect, accept and celebrate the level of participation a member or friend can offer. When in Geelong our members do work very hard and the small change to our meeting schedule – one meeting free week per month is an acknowledgement of the dedication and commitment members make. Our meeting free week, was an outcome of our Club Visioning process and I do want to thank PDG’s Cathy and Jane for leading us through this process.
The challenge of changing priorities is not unique to our Club and it is pleasing that Geelong Rotary Clubs are now working together on a number of projects. Together we can make a much bigger impact. We contributed to the Barwon Health Patient Transport project. We supported the Ride the Bellarine – End Polio Now project with both money and volunteers.
Unfortunately, the vexed problem of membership hasn’t been solved and we finish the year smaller than we started. It is wonderful however, to be able to induct 2 new members into our Club tonight.
Our fundraising has again been very successful our 2 main sources – the dinner auction and BBQ’s.
As a consequence we have been able to distribute in excess of   $34000 to very worthy local and overseas causes. I am not going to list them all but …..We were the major donor enabling a special chair to be purchased for a child at Grovedale PS suffering cerebral palsy. We have made donations to Mt Duneed PS. Samaritan House, Pedal for Prostrate and many others. We continue to support young people to participate in RYLA, Sci and Engineering Challenge, Youth Exchange and NYSF. We have made donations to Rotary Foundation, Interplast and ROMAC. Following the Fiji cyclone we donated to RAWCS and Shelterbox.
At our board meeting last week we also approved a donation to the cause which PDG Jane Cox and now Gaye Lamont have been advocating. Gaye would you please come forward and accept our donation to Australian Rotary Health – Indigenous Scholars program.
This year marked the end of a successful project with the RC of Pokhara-Fishtail. It was great that Paul and Leon were able to travel to Nepal for the handover of the water project to the Janesewa Sanskrit Secondary School.  We did not have much to do with the project following the completion of the grant application and we are indebted to the members of the Pokhara-Fishtail RC and especially project manager Binod Koirala for their supervision of the project.
A significant project undertaken this year was the chartering of the Grovedale/Marshall Probus Club which is now a growing and active group.
Thank you to all members of the Club for their participation this year.  Each and every one makes their contribution in small ways by taking a turn on the BBQ roster, cycle marshalling, collecting auction goods to assuming bigger roles eg Director on the Board, program, attendance officer, maintaining the bar, preparing the blue book. As I said last year, I continue to be in awe of the generosity of time, actions and money of all our members and friends.
And now I hand over to Bill! I have enjoyed the opportunity to be fully involved in Rotary for the year but am looking forward to transferring to him the pres.grovedalerotary@gmail .com email address and also joining the exodus of members heading north for a few weeks. Good luck Bill and Devi. I wish you a satisfying and successful year.
As is traditional, I would like to make some special presentations to recognise particular contributions of some people within the Club.
Last year, our successful dinner auction was ‘double handedly’ organised by Paul and Rhonda Desbrowe-Annear. The rest of us did help by collecting goods and services to be auctioned and setting up on the day – but the work load shouldered by Paul and Rhonda was enormous. Paul and Rhonda are currently enjoying the warmth of Bali but when they return I will present them with PHF Sapphire 2 and Sapphire 1 In recognition of their efforts in arranging the dinner auction.
Another member who makes a very significant contribution to our Club is treasurer Ken Wright. I think this was his 10th year as Treasurer. However, I think that his extra Rotary commitment should also be acknowledged. As our Treasurer, Ken found himself treasurer of the Grovedale/Marshall Probus Club during the formation stages. Ken has been our Youth exchange counsellor for a number of years – and is currently ‘in charge of’ Bella Cooke in Germany and was counsellor for Lily who applied for Youth Exchange this year.  Ken is also treasurer of the Bowelscan committee and I know that this also is a significant time commitment.  Ken is also a ‘grey nomad’ and is travelling in NSW. When he returns I would also like to recognise Ken’s efforts with a PHF Sapphire.
Another very significant project which was brought to fruition in November last year was the Gifting Program. This was an initiative of Pam Hook and she designed and had printed, the cards and brochures which enable donations to be made to Rotary Foundation or other Rotary causes eg Shelterbox in lieu of flowers (funerals) or  presents (Christmas and birthdays). This project took nearly 3 years to develop and I would like to congratulate Pam on her efforts by presenting her with PHF Sapphire.
I urge all members and friends of the Club to remember the gifting program when contemplating Christmas and birthday presents for those ‘who have everything’ or in remembrance of a person who may have died.
Lastly, the Barry Rogers Rotarian of the Year Award goes to the person, I believe to be the hardest working member of the Club – Bob Arnup. Bob has organised 11 Aldi BBQ’s and 5(?) Bunnings BBQs – from sorting out the rosters, purchasing the sausages and onions, organising the equipment to being ‘on deck’ for hours every BBQ… and no matter how tired he feels, he cheerfully works on! The other role which Bob assumes reliably every week, is that of Club photographer. Thank you Bob for the huge contribution which you have made to fundraising and PR.