Posted by Bill Degnan, District Governor
District Merger with District 9810 to form new District 9815
The applications for the District Governor for the new combined District 9815 have closed.  Interviews were held on Sat 28th May before a panel of twelve from the two merging districts 9810 & 9820.  Unfortunately, no candidate was chosen, so we will be consulting with the staff of RISSPO in Sydney as to how we move forward.
Although we have inducted new members at many of the clubs  our membership numbers continue to fall.  District membership numbers at the end of May are 1,093 (a drop of 39 members).  This is below the number in the RI constitution of 1,100 to remain as a District.  
Rotary Club of Langwarrin – 40th Anniversary
Judy & I celebrated with the Langwarrin Rotary Club for their 40th Anniversary. The evening was held at the Settlers Run Golf Club.  An award was made  to Peter Haberle for his 40 years of service with the Club.  Peter responded with some of his memories of the life of the Club.
Environment Boat Cruise – Western Port Bay
Following on from our conference in February, where one of our speakers, Vic Grosjean had spoken about the importance of Mangroves to keep the oceans healthy, President Elect, Dick Cox from Somerville-Tyabb Club arranged a boat trip on Western Port Bay.  We saw first-hand the impact of the degradation of the sea grasses and mangroves were having on the water and shores of Western Post Bay.  Dick managed to arrange for Vic Grosjean, Past Rotary International President Ian Riseley, Zone 8 ESRAG member Ted Waghorne as well as many scientific experts to speak about the degradation in the Bay.  I also learned that the Bay and surrounding peninsula are part of a UNESCO Biosphere project.
Jeff Harvey – 50 years of service with Hastings Western Port Club
Judy & I attended a celebration of Jeff Harvey’s 50 years of service with the Hastings Western Port Club.  I presented a Citation on behalf of Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta and Jeff was awarded a certificate of 50 years of service by DGE Paul Mee.  Peter Rawlings spoke of Jeff’s connections to many organisations on the peninsula.  The Club awarded Jeff a Triple Ruby Paul Harris Fellow for his service.
Rotary Club of Maffra – 75th Anniversary
Judy & I enjoyed a luncheon with the Maffra Rotary Club at Duart Homestead in Maffra to celebrate 75 years of service to the community.  There was plenty of memorabilia and photo albums on display.  Long standing member Neil Wishart gave a talk on his recollections of club life and assisted President Veronica Dwyer and President Elect Mark Saddington in cutting the cake.  Neil will have served in Rotary for 50 years next November.
What have I planned this month?
I have completed my official DG visits to the 47 clubs.  28 of the visits were by zoom so I will continue to revisit clubs in person where we were not previously able to physically meet because of Covid-19 restrictions.  I will attend 15 changeovers.  Unfortunately, there are seven clubs holding their changeovers on Wednesday 29 June.  Sorry, I can’t be everywhere.
I will take on the role of District International Services Chair next year, and I feel privileged to lead the committee in continuing to facilitate projects in the surrounding communities in which we serve.