A call was sent out to our D9820 clubs for funding so work could start. I have never been so proud as when I saw how our clubs responded to that call.
 
Since then the committee members, Janne and myself have been involved with support to East Gippslanders affected by the fires. EGRFC Chair Pearl Findlay-James along with her committee have been doing a stunning job on our behalf for our East Gippsland residents.
 
This is an overview of the financials for the EGRFC, which I think is illuminating. In addition to what is here are 3 pending global grants that PDG Janne has been working on for the new Rotary year.
 
To clarify, Emergency Fund covers personal assistance, firewood, community equipment, fuel cards, machinery, shipping containers and water. Farm & Stock covers fencing assistance, Bulka bags, fencing materials, fodder, freight, lick blocks, and pet food.
 
These figures don’t put a value on DIK items and warm clothing distributed. With PDG Janne, we have travelled up and down to Mallacoota 3 times now to provide support and assist toward their recovery.
 
COVID-19 Pandemic
 
This is without question the largest disrupter to us over the past year and is clearly going to continue in DGE Mark’s year as well. Many of our District projects had to be suspended until COVID-19 has run its course. For details on these, an update was included in the March Issue of Froggie’s ChainMail. This was so frustrating as in many cases much work had already been put in.
 
Our Conference had to be cancelled which was a huge personal disappointment given the calibre of the presenters and speakers we had put together. I am proud though, that in D9820 we were on the front foot providing advice to our clubs on how to respond to and manage COVID-19. I am proud that we had the courage to make the call cancelling conference. I am proud of the way D9820 clubs have adapted to and adopted Zoom (or other platform) online meetings. Our District Changeover is planned to be a Hybrid – limited to 20 people face to face with all others needing to join over Zoom.
 
All of us have had to adapt. Almost all of us have done so.
 
There are many to thank
 
Many have contributed to the successes of the year. I especially want to recognise Froggie’s ChainMail Editor Sam McCurdy here from the Rotary Club of Berwick. Thank you, Sam, for your patience, for your tolerance of my pernickety proof reading and for being a genuinely great guy to work with. Thank you also for the way you have been able to get the best out of the ClubRunner programme allowing stories to be shared across Newsletter and home page on the website.
 
Big thank you too to our other retiring members of the District Team for their service to us: District Secretary Jane Moore, District Trainer as well as Constitution, Enactment, Resolutions and By Laws PDG Merv Williams, District Protection Officer PDG Brian Norris, Webmaster David Button, Finance Chair PDG Don Ripper, Assistant Governors Geoff Young (Melbourne South East), Steve Daly (Peninsula), and Peter Dell (Gippsland West), District Rotaract Representatives Chris Nelson and Tom Hill.
 
Thank you to District team members continuing on with DGE Mark for your service to District and to your clubs, and finally to this year’s club presidents and your club members for always making me feel so welcome and for the inspiring way you have adapted to this most unusual year. We have all truly 'broken the chains'.
 
The countdown is nearly complete.
 
Best wishes to all
 
Froggie