People with a purpose

Broadly Speaking 30 January 2018

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What a joy it was today to welcome back two of our former Exchange Students, Marjaana Salminen from Finland who was here in 2007/2008 when Hugh Wheeler was President and Signe Soderlund who was with us when Tom Seddon was President in 2013/2014.   Both girls spoke briefly about what they have been doing since they left us and they are both delightful;   so articulate and confident.  They thanked our Club for giving them the start to do what they are doing now.    They completely justified our faith in the Rotary Exchange Student Program as they are a credit to themselves, their families and our Club.

It was also our pleasure to welcome Ian Shelton and Sue Wheeler who were  amongst their host families.   Members of the Club who had hosted them also joined us for lunch to renew acquaintance.

As well, we welcomed other guests including Kaye Lehmann who was a Rotarian in Horsham and has now relocated to Bendigo and Richard formerly from Swan Hill. 


Our Guest Speaker this week, introduced by Chairman Lin Kalms, was our own member, Graeme Clarke.   Obviously very proud of his family, Graeme spoke, in his inimitable way, about his life.  He showed some photographs of himself and his wife Sue when they were very young – including a beautiful shot of their wedding on 18th Februry, 1972.  Prior to settling in Bendigo, he moved around, initially living in Diamond Creek before moving to Bamawm Extension to go dairy farming in October, 1980.   They had a baptism of fire enjoying only 1 good year, then a drought followed by a price crash.  However, they doubled the number of cows and tripled the output and then sold out in 1990. 

Sue had seen a need and established the Rochester Child Care Centre by then – despite Council misgivings.

Graeme then joined Hannaford Seed Master Services and handled from Mildura to Griffith and everything south area–  he commented 'that it was a bit like putting out bushfire with bare feet to start'.   Several moves later saw him purchase the Light Switch here in Bendigo in 2005 which is where you will still find him.  

As always – a most enlightening and interesting insight into the life of one of our own members.   Thank you Graeme.


Larrie, Bob and I visited the Royal Children's Hospital last Thursday to meet with the Shrestha family and their Social Worker to get a better understanding of how Rotary may help them.   They were delighted to see us, but all show the strain of their situation.   Little Brishti was pale and tired after undergoing the last treatment available to her,  but was excited to receive a gift of a soft toy from Margaret Paulson.  They are now waiting on the results which will not come through for another 5 weeks.    The Hospital can offer no further treatment and she will be released from RCH very soon.    Please, continue to keep them in your thoughts.   They are so grateful for our love and support and they need it. 


Libby  gave us the results of the very successful 2017 Swap Meet.   The profits were divided by 11 – between 6 Rotary Clubs, the Car Club, CFA Junortoun, Riding for Disabled helped by Mandurang South Pony Club, Lifeline and the Special Development School, Kangaroo Flat.    Each Club gave $2,600 to the recipients – a very worthwhile effort.   Thanks to all our members who assisted, with special thanks to Libby our representative on the organising Committee, and Lin Kalms who was Treasurer – a mammoth effort from both these ladies over three days.....commencing at 4.00 am.


Frank advised that we have collected 6140 exercise books to send to East Timor – a record collection – together with pens, pencils and erasers  far too numerous to count.    What a great effort.   Well done everyone.


Congratulations to Tom Dobeli, Wayne Smith, Garry Gunnell, John Flood, John Gallagher and all those who have been involved in upgrading the kitchen at Camp Getaway.  What a wonderful result from all that work – it looks fabulous.  


THE GREAT PENNA BREAKFAST – Sunday, 25th February – Watch this Space. 



Word of the week was 'shivviness' – describing the uncomfortable feeling of wearing new underwear.



Calendar of Events:


February 6th – Our Guest Speaker will be Peter Kennedy from the Bendigo Weekly, introduced by Chairman Glenn Reilly, with Wayne Smith as Sergeant.


February 13th-  Our Lawn Bowls Night at Bendigo East Bowling Club – a wonderful social occasion for our whole Rotary family.   If you haven't booked your spot, please contact Daryl Watts.


February 20th – Our Speaker, Jacob Pearson, will tell of his experience at RYLA – and we will also distribute the funds raised at the Carols by Candlelight to the Uniting Christmas Appeal.   Michael and Lisa Pearson will be joint Chairmen and Sergeant, Greg Galloway.


February 25th  The Great Penna Breakfast


February 27th – A PARTNER'S NIGHT MEETING.  Chairman Peter Hyett will introduce Farokh Irani – well known eye specialist.    Sergeant is Greg Galloway.

Until next Tuesday when I hope to welcome you all – 'May the sun shine warm upon your face and the wind be always at your back'.       


…And.....we all know just how very 'warm' the sun has been shining on our faces

in the past few weeks!      



President Valerie.  

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