The Rotary Club of The Hills-Kellyville Monday 16 December 2012 Weekly Bulletin Issue 5 No.24 th
Program for Club Meeting Monday 16th December 2013
Inside this issue
Duty Roster tonight:
President Rob’s Message
Members’ News Last Week’s Meeting Bourke Visit
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE Rotary Four-Way Test
Toast to Overseas Club
Of the things we think say or do: Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? Tonight we toast the Rotary Club of Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, New Zealand - District 9920
Last Meeting: 9th December 2013
Next Meeting: 13th January 2014
Laura Seif – Youth Exchange Report
Apologies Suresh Prasad; Wilf van Emmerik; Allan Walker; and Bruce PIke
Home Meeting at Keith and Lyn Stapley’s Glenhope 113, Castle Hill Road, West Pennant Hills
2|Page President’s Message Hello fellow Rotarians, It was so nice to see so many ladies and friends come along to Laura’s farewell speech to the Club. Laura has certainly matured in the 12 months she has been in Australia. Special thanks go to Bobby, her Counsellor, and Jim and Vivian for making Laura so welcome in their home. Christmas Tree Sales to date have been most successful, thanks to the efforts of Keith and the many members who assisted in the preparation and tree sales. Toni and Rod hosted a wonderful club Christmas Party. The food and company was great. Thank you both for opening your home for us. Reminder this is our last meeting for 2013. First meeting for 2014 is at Glenhope, January 13. Catering will be serviced by the Inner Wheel Club of Baulkham Hills. President Rob.
Although there are no Anniversaries this week - we have lots of Birthdays before our next meeting - our very best wishes to Carol Jones (17th December) ; Keith Stapley (22nd December); Col Davis (4thJanuary) ;and Thomas Cann (11th January). Hope you all enjoy your Birthdays. The Editor would like to wish you all the Happiest of Christmas’. Enjoy your break with your families and come back rested, ready to start all over again. 2014 is going to be a big one for Rotary with the International Convention being held in Sydney. I hope it will also be a happy and healthy year for each and every one of you. There will be one more issue this year which will be a collation of photos for the year.
Last Meeting – Monday 9th December - Reported by Bobby Redman President Rob opened the meeting, welcoming all Members and the many partners who had come along to farewell Laura Seif. Special guests who were also welcomed included, Christine Zec, representing the District Youth Exchange Committee; Amanda Firkin representing Rotaract; Terrence Kwan (outgoing Youth Exchange Student) and his family (supporting Terrence and also one of Laura’s host families); one of Laura’s schoolfriends Eleanor; Dani Mitchell and Greg & Annette Rieper, who had come along to say goodbye to everyone at the Club before heading off to Urunga to start their new life, tomorrow. President Rob thanked Greg for all his work for Rotary over the past 20 years. Apologies were given (for details refer front page of this issue). President Rob shared his special family news that his daughter Anna announced her engagement yesterday. He went on to remind everyone that the Christmas party is on Saturday at Rod and Toni Tilden’s house. He also wished the group heading up to Bourke the next day, all the best from the Club. President Rob spoke about the success of the Christmas with Rotary event and in addition to all the people that he had thanked in his President’s address, Rob asked Ian to pass the Club’s thanks a long to his friend Alan who had kindly provided the piano for Ambre Hammond to play, as well as looking after the sound system on the night. Secretary, Wilf van Emmerik, was an apology for the evening so there was no Secretary’s report. Treasurer, Keith Stapley, reviewed the first weekend of Christmas Tree sales, reporting that 310 trees had been sold, a total income for the weekend of $20, 235. Keith reported that in spite of some challenges, the trees had generally been good. He thanked all the volunteers for their efforts and also thanked Thomas for providing the containers and transport to pick up the trees from the Lithgow area, together with the cranes to assist in unloading them. President Rob added his thanks to Keith’s with a special thanks to Keith for all the work that he has put into organising the trees, sites, signs and everything else that makes the fund-raiser such a success. Club Service Director, Ray Campbell, said that he had nothing to add for his report, but asked the members to put their hands together for a special round of applause for Keith’s role in the Christmas Trees sales. Community Service Directors , Graeme Rohan and Rod Tilden. Graeme reported on Christmas with Rotary, saying that it was a great success despite declining numbers and some challenges with a late bus. He said that the entertainment was fantastic and that the audience clearly loved Ambre. There was plenty of food, with a bit left-over. Graeme thanked all the volunteers for their support, mentioning the Rotarians who helped to set up; the ladies who made mountains of sandwiches and Gordon for rostering the buses. Rod said that everything was organised for the Christmas party and referred Members to the invitation in the Bulletin for details. Gordon Scoble said that the Stockland’s Mall Giving Tree was going particularly well, this year, and because of the number of gifts, some were already being distributed. He also reported that when he returned the key after the Christmas with Rotary event, he had booked the Harvey Lowe Pavilion again for next year, but pointed out that we may need to seek out an alternative venue, because of the development of the North West Railway, through the site. Membership Director, Penny Hill, welcomed all the partners and guests, thanking them for making it a special night for Laura. PR Director, Bobby Redman, reported that both local newspapers had met their agreement to advertise our Christmas Trees sales and that both the sales and Gordon report of the Rotary Giving Tree at Stockland’s Mall, had appeared in the papers and on the Hills News website
4|Page Bobby also reminded everyone that this is the last week to be able to gain the early bird price for the Rotary International Convention in June.. International Director and Rotary Foundation Chair, Alan Jones, reported that the figures for Bollyhills were being finalised and looked like coming in at around the expected $13,000. The AMA were transferring their $50,000 this week and the Host Club were also depositing their money this week. Alfa had requested that we hold their money that they were currently raising for the latest Philippines typhoon. Vocational Director, Ian Pearce, said that he had now received two nominations for the Pride of Workmanship awards night and was looking forward to receiving more. Youth Director, Jim Sifonios, said that an invitation had been received to attend the Youth Exchange student (YES) incoming and returning students’ dinner on the 7th February, as well as one for the RYLA dinner. Jim said that although next week was an informal evening, he would like to discuss the Australia Day flag raising ceremony, given that the Club is not returning until the 13 th January and that the first meeting is a home meeting. At this point Jim and President Rob invited Terrence Kwan out to introduce himself to the Club and receive his YES blazer. Terrence said that he lived at home with his parents and elder brother Jonathon, a previous youth exchange student and was just finishing year 12 at St Aloysius’ College at Milson’s Point. He said that he was looking forward to travelling to Chile and would be leaving on the 2nd February. He thanked the Club for their sponsorship, and planned to make the most of his time in Chile, where he was hoping to make lots of new friend, learn to speak the language and where he was expecting to have a lot of fun. Christine Zec won the Christmas cake raffle.
Guest Speaker for the week was Laura Seif – Youth Exchange Student Laura said she had prepared a speech and a presentation. Unfortunately the system was having a bad day and so she was unable to show her pictures. Laura started off with a series of thank you messages: - Thanking the Club for their sponsorship; - She thanked her past and present host families for taking such good care of her (apologising for any inconveniences that she may have caused); - She thanked her Club Counsellor, Bobby Redman and her District Counsellor, Christine Zec for their support; - She thanked the Inner Wheel ladies for their support and friendship, and for taking her to “cool places”; - She thanked her school friends, saying that although only Eleanor had been able to come tonight, she had made many more friends here in Australia; she said that even if sometimes they were pretty weird, she was glad
5|Page that she had found them and looked forward to keeping in touch with them through SKYPE and Facebook. Laura then commenced her summary of her experience as a Youth Exchange Student. She said that she had wanted to do this, since she was 12 years old. She said that many of her friends had been to Germany, but she knew that she wanted to come to Sydney. Laura spoke about how competitive it was to obtain the sponsorship in Brazil, where she had to complete with many applicants, completing an exam on English, Maths, logic and Rotary Knowledge. Laura said she remembered how hard it had been to say goodbye to everyone; some who had been her friends since Kindergarten. She said now she now realised that it might be even harder to say goodbye to friends that she had only made over a relatively short time, but who she might never see again. Laura remembered crying with all her family as they saw her off in Brazil….and then crying when she arrived here on the 28th January, realising that her bags had not arrived with her (she also noted that the $100 compensation for the delay, helped to dry her tears ) In talking about the highlights of her year Laura remembered attending Warrah and helping Savi Babu with her class of special children, whilst she was waiting for clearance to start school. She thanked Savi for having her and Bobby for organising it. Laura spoke about her first host family, the Kwans, where she developed a good friendship with her two elder host brothers. She spoke her trips in these early days – up to the Blue Mountains with the family; to the Hunter Valley; into the City, attending Tropfest with Bobby and her friends and up to the Central Coats getting to know Bobby’s family. Laura spoke about the Safari in May. She said in spite of being very tiring, she had a great time, getting to see so much of Australia. At her next host family, the Harvey’s, she had two younger host sisters, aged 6 and 9, who were very cute and highly energetic. She said she had a good time with the family who took her into town and to heaps of BBQs and family parties. Laura’s final host family, Jim and Viv, had been very good to her and she said that she felt that she had developed a very strong friendship with them and their family. Here she had a host sister, Carlie and brother, Damien and a host niece. She spoke about attending a Giants’ football game and a soccer game between Costa Rica and Australia. Laura reported that she had experienced a first time event yesterday when she managed to get on a wake board for a whole 10 seconds…..reportedly “the most glorious 10 seconds of (her) life!!!!!!!!”
6|Page Whilst Jim and Viv were away in America, Laura went to stay with Christine and Milan, where she travelled quite a great deal in a relatively short time, getting to Canberra and Nelsons Bay. Laura says that she feels that she is very different to how she was before leaving her – saying that she thought she was much more independent and less impatient. She says that she has finally realised just how much her parents do for you. She said that she also realised that you often don’t really value something until you lose it…saying how much she was looking forward to the much maligned bean sauce that her mother makes for her. She was also looking forward to seeing her sister, with whom she used to fight before coming away, but now couldn’t wait to see. Laura spoke about the level of multiculturalism in Australia saying that instead of just getting to know one culture, as you would in many countries, in coming to Australia to get to know many cultures. She said that she appreciated how easy it was to get everywhere here in Sydney; especially now she was the “bus queen”. Laura said that she had experienced an “awesome time” in Sydney and said that we were all welcome to come and visit her in Brazil. She also added that she hoped the Club would consider hosting another Youth Exchange Student, saying that she knew that some Rotarians thought they were too old too be host parents, but in her experience, staying with Jim and Viv (who of course are not old!!!!) was an amazing experience and one that any exchange student would enjoy. Christine Zec thanked the Club for hosting Laura and for putting such a complete program together for her. She also thanked them for sponsoring Terrence Kwan. She indicated that there were some changes to Rotary Youth Exchange, coming through the government, meaning that post year 12 students may no longer be able to be part of the exchange. Club Calendar December
Final Meeting – social night No meeting Home Meeting – hosted by Keith and Lyn Stapley @ Glenhope
A final message to Laura from her Club Counsellor, who recognises the challenges faced by the Youth Exchange Students, at times
Note: Apologies must be in to PP Ray Campbell by 12pm on Mondays so numbers can be confirmed for dinner.
Dan Murphy Roster 21st December 2013 Michael Griscti and Wilf van Emmerik