Rotary Club of Horsham East

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Report for 2008-2009

Another highly successful year in Rotary has passed and it was indeed an honour to me to be the figurehead of our wonderful club.

The success of the Rotary Club of Horsham East is due to the commitment of its members. The willingness to take on a position or assist with a project has ensured we remain vibrant and relevant in a world that is full of busy people. They say if you need something done, ask a busy person. This is indeed true, for everyone in our club is busy with their own lives, yet they are available to assist in ensuring Rotary projects are done well.

Sometimes I had people apologise for not being able to assist with a specific project. I believe you donít need to apologise. As a volunteer the community benefits from any contribution you make no matter how great or small. So thankyou to everyone who helps in any way in our community.

I would like to thank all Board members of the Rotary Club of Horsham East for their ongoing dedication to making programs come to fruition: Wendy James, Tanya Barnes, Brian Thomas, Peter Sturrock, Gary Harper, Phil Proctor, Jim Lonsdale, John Nunn, Bruce Van Every, Neil May & Debbie Delahunty.

I also thank Louise Brennan for getting the Bulletin out to all members each week. This is a big job and one that keeps us informed about what is happening, where we need to be and who is doing what.

There have been a few highlights this year that are worthy of special mention at this time. This by no means takes away from the many other projects that you will read about in the individual reports contained within this document.

A big thankyou to Lyall Wheaton. With great organization Lyall has arranged many catering opportunities. With his band of willing helpers, catering has been a major fundraiser for us. Sometimes Lyall has received a short time to organise things, or minimal information, yet every time he has been able to turn a profit from a barbeque or other catering job.

The Wimmera Art Show was again a huge success. The Art Show Committee was lead by Terry Harris, who went about targeting members to take responsibility for specific jobs to make the weekend go smoothly. The Art Show partnered with the Horsham Spring Garden Festival to provide a joint entry ticket to both events, which were held on the same weekend. Given the name ArtíníGarden weekend, the joint ticket enabled people to visit both events over the weekend for a minimal cost.

The Leaves of Love Memorial Garden, a combined services club project was officially opened. Many hours of work went into setting up this special area where people may sit and reflect on the loss of a child. It is indeed a credit to all community members and Rotarians who were involved in seeing this great project come to completion.

Our commitment to youth exchange continued with inbound exchange student Kevin Altmann joining us from Switzerland. This year we sponsored two outbound exchange students. Ashleigh Freckleton is currently in Switzerland and Lucy James is currently in Denmark.

A new program for our club was the primary school speaking competition, a wonderful initiative of Youth Director John Nunn. A student from each of the five primary schools in Horsham spoke on a subject of interest to them. It was special to hear such very young people stand in front of our club of over sixty members and speak well for the given period of time. Congratulations must go to them all.

The Combined Probus Club of Horsham was set up and had over fifty members on its books at the first meeting, proof of the success of Probus in our community.

In February the Horsham area was devastated by a raging bushfire. With eleven houses destroyed and many others affected, Rotarians were keen to assist. Members assisted over several weekends in cleaning up property and cooking barbeques for volunteers. The willingness of Rotarians to get in and get dirty to help those in need was obvious to the community in the number of members who took part in working bees.

It was with sadness that two of our longer serving members were farewelled this year: Past President and Paul Harris Fellow Alan Ubergang passed away in April.
Past President, Paul Harris Fellow and The Four Avenues of Service Award recipient Bob Mibus passed away in May. Bob received the Four Avenues of Service Award in November, the highest award Rotary can bestow on one of its members. Signed by Rotary International President DK Lee, the citation was the first received by a member of our club and all members agreed it was fitting that it be awarded to Bob, particularly with his family present. (See cover photo).

The biggest highlight of our year was seeing Cambodiaís Sunrise Childrenís Village co-founder Geraldine Cox attend our meeting in May. Rotarian Bob Mibus set his sights on bringing Geraldine to Horsham and his perseverance paid off. Two hundred people attended a special dinner and were enthralled to hear about the conditions that orphan children have to endure to survive in Cambodia.
With much support from those attending and a special donation from Geoff Handbury, Geraldine was overwhelmed to go away with enough money to make an impact on her orphan children. Bob, who passed away just days before the dinner, would have been very pleased with the result of his efforts to make a difference to children in an underprivileged country.

Special thanks for my successful year must go to two very important people.
Firstly to our Treasurer Tanya Barnes. Tanya has been diligent in ensuring our finances are taken care of and reported accurately. It is an enormous task with huge amounts of money going through our books. Thank you Tanya.

But of course everyone knows a good president has a good secretary behind them. Wendy James has done a wonderful job in taking care of the daily administration of our club. Her commitment to ensuring records are kept and business is attended to promptly is appreciated by all our members, but particularly myself. Thank you Wendy for a job very well done.

I would like to wish Peter Sturrock all the best for his year as President of this dynamic and vibrant club. I look forward to the coming year under Peterís leadership.

Gillian Vanderwaal
President, 2008-09


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