From the President's Desk

Hi Everyone, 

Once I took the first bite of the Spicy Shrimp Ball, all the worries of the last two months and the preparations for the Charter Celebration melted away.  The guests were arriving; handshaking started, getting of drinks and then the chatting and laughing began.

All the concerns about the first forum using the website and us realising that the software just wasn't built for that live interaction.  Then the following week after organising a Corporate Skype account and also realising that probably wasn't the easiest form of communication for so many people either.  Although it was great that we had Roy from Vietnam; Wendy from NT and Kristen from Germany join the conversation as well as a few more that were local.  The dropping in and out made it difficult to keep the conversation running smoothly.

The tree planting at St. Stephens College was the first formal event of the afternoon.  To acknowledge the Club's Floral emblem the tree was chosen with the e-Club firmly in mind, Elaeocarpus Eumundi, it is commonly known as the Eumundi or Smooth Leafed Quandong.

With the Interactors of St Stephens serving us amazing food and the Southport Rotaractors plying us with alcohol we moved into the auditorium.  Chris Joscelyne as MC had us all laughing and smiling as he took us through the welcome of special guests and other Rotary Club Members and Friends who had come to wish us well.  In fact we had pages of fabulous people that came and made our Charter Function a huge success and I thank each and every one of them.  

We had members watch the proceedings through Skype and our website where it was transmitted for all members that couldn't make it to the function.

We were privileged to hear Jordyn Yarker's song that she wrote after visiting New Hope Cambodia entitled "Never Gonna Walk Away".  For those of you that missed it, you can take a look at - well worth a listen, and an excellent charity!

Our guest speaker was e-Club member Stuart Robert MP Shadow Minister for Defense Science, Technology and Personnel.  Fitting in really well with the e-Club ethos and using his iPad instead of notes, he put the rest of us to shame.

Graham Jones did a reflection on the formation of the Club and went on to do my official induction as Charter President; Past Presidents Neil McPherson and Phil Fairweather representing sponsoring Ashmore and Hope Island Rotary Clubs joined Graham in presenting the Charter.  I was then proud to introduce my Board Members; I then inducted the Charter Members including the ones joining us on Skype; lovely partner gifts were given of small trees and Sandra Doumany was then called to induct the new members that have joined since July 1, 2012. Honorary Members were also inducted into the Club; Past District Governor Graham and Marion Jones; District Governor Sandra Doumany; Past District Governor Heather Yarker as District Extension Chair and I cut the e-cake and the presentation of the Rotary "Dummy" for being the newest Club to the District, thank you Fassifern Valley!

Thank you to the all the Clubs for their recorded messages of Congratulations as well as gifts of goodwill and banners from the Clubs that joined us for the afternoon.

The final official part of the evening was the raffle which caused a few laughs especially when my wife Ingrid who was helping with the raffle had the first winning ticket, she soon lost that position and Jordyn Yarker was nominated to take over.


Well, that's where I thought the official program finished but to my surprise Phil Fairweather and Jim Elmslie from Hope Island RC presented me with a Paul Harris Fellowship. I couldn't have been more gobsmacked if I tried, I was even lost for words and that doesn't happen very often.  Thank you Hope Island.

I am so impressed with all our Members of the e-Club and the fabulous effort by all to make our Charter Function the best it could be.  Coffee and cake was served and it was lovely chatting until the evening came to a close with our many Rotary friends.

In other news:

Ause-Safare    "Having Fun with Rotarians"
All attending the Charter function were gob-smacked to see the e-Club is embarking on an AWESOME community project, a safari through the centre of Australia for overseas, Australian Rotarians and their friends.  Organisers are working with Rotary Clubs in remote towns to provide fellowship and entertainment when we arrive and highlights will be attending the Henley on Todd Regatta, staying at remote cattle and camel stations, seeing spectacular country, and even having a meal in the desert at Ayres Rock.  As you are aware there is a lot to organise so we are doing it properly, having the first safari in 2014.  Organisers are working towards a cost of $100 per vehicle (2 people) per day plus your fuel.  Everyone is invited and we are accepting No Obligation Expressions of Interest from today (email the secretary for forms).  Such information provided early will assist organisers with preparations.  It is only when you register with your deposit your attendance is considered official.   Our website has a dedicated area for this venture (in-between Home and Make-Ups) and it will be progressively updated as information is confirmed.  A dedicated Forum Group will also be established and ongoing Newsletters sent to everyone who requests an Expression of Interest and/or registers   

Fee Structure
The Board has agreed to assist with payment of our statutory dues, we need to get our fees in quicker, therefore we ask everyone to please assist with quarterly fee payment for Active Membership.  As an incentive, the Board agreed to offer a discount of one month's fees to those who pay annually in advance, a saving of $35.  Active New Generation membership can remain as monthly payments

Rotary Down Under Magazine
The Board has agreed this publication is our official publication