Deja vu
Hello everyone. Well, here we are again. We started the year in a lockdown situation and guess what, we are back in a lockdown.
 
This is my last newsletter as District Governor. It has been a real honour and privilege to be the leader of our great District. It has certainly been an interesting year and it has thrown up some unique challenges. I am proud to say that our District has been a shining light and has achieved some amazing results. We have risen to the challenge we have shown how adaptable we can be.
 
Did you know we celebrated a 100-year birthday online? We had many club milestone celebrations online, we participated in online fund rising events, trivia nights, music nights, training events, The International convention online. Paul Harris presentations were made online, induction of new members online. We did it all.
 
I can honestly say, in November last year, I had the best chicken dinner at a Rotary meeting!!  It was the first face-2-face club visit – thank you Leongatha it was great.
 
We learnt to do things in a challenging time, our District training activities have been amazing. How many great speakers have our clubs had? In the past we looked at local for club speakers, now we look global. How good is that?
 
Finally, as the year progressed we started to get out and do more, see more, we attended fun runs, a time capsule internment, a Foundation dinner, many 100 year celebration events both lunch and dinner. We were having a great time. In fact, we were invited to attend a conference at District 9640, Queensland. It was a great privilege to be invited and participate in many activities. Including attending the launch of a satellite club, launching with 23 members! It was also fantastic to see our very own District Governor Nominee Designate Linda Humphries being presented with a Paul Harris sapphire pin for Australian wide Rotary R100 Baton. District Governor Andy and District Governor Nominee Designate Dave commented that the Rotary Baton project helped to showcase their District and helped to promote their major project “Rotary says NO to Domestic Violence".
 
Many great things have been achieved and many more will be. Thank you for your support in so many ways in making the Rotary year 2020/2021 truly one of Rotary opens opportunities.
 
It has been interesting over the past months watching how thing have unfolded both here and overseas. Everyone is experiencing COVID in a different way. We will beat this, but it will take time and patience.
As Rotarians we must be immensely proud of our organisation, right at the beginning, we injected money into research for finding a vaccine. We have had World Health Organisation call on us to help show them how we tracing when we are immunising people against polio. Many Rotary clubs around the globe are working in their communities in many ways giving support to those that need it most.
 
During this our 4th lockdown, we need to look after and support each, perhaps more this time than last. We have tasted freedom, we have relished being back together, we have started to do great things in our communities. But that has been abruptly stopped. We must maintain contact with our members and our communities.
 
We must remember, at all times, follow the guidance of the State and Federal Governments.  More information can be found at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/  and https://www.health.gov.au/
 
Last year I introduced the fireside chats as a way of connecting with each other across the District, the last scheduled fireside chat is on Monday 7th, lets all join together and laugh and reminisce the past year of fireside chats.
<Click here to join >  Meeting ID: 850 3660 4996   Passcode: 027268
 
Let's finish the year off with a bang, I will have my last bag of clinkers, I will have to choose between a glass of red and a single malt….. what will it be?
 
If the lockdown continues, I will have a fireside chat once a week until 30th June, the night will be at random.
 
Please everyone, look after yourself, look after your family and look after your community, in a COVID safe and in accordance with rules and regulations as they stand.
 
Mark