At the International Assembly for then District Governors Elect in San Diego in January this year (2017), our District 9800 Governor Peter Frueh took the initiative to invite the upcoming District Governor of District 3232 in Chennai India, Radhakrishnan Srinivasan to visit Melbourne along with his fellow District Rotarians for a Friendship Exchange.
District Governor Peter asked International Service Chair Ian Salek to organise an event to welcome them to Melbourne and at the same time liaise mainly with District 9800 Rotarians.
And so it transpired that on Monday 13th November, 88 Rotarians including partners from District 3232 in Chennai India visited the MCG along with 20 Australian based Rotarians from Districts 9800, 9820 and 9685. Rotarians and MCG Tour Guides Michael Berry, Wayne Worladge and Ian Salek took visitors for a tour of the Stadium followed by a specially arranged Dinner within the famous Long Room itself.
With a Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Tasmania still in progress on their arrival and historic cricket memorabilia sighted on the Tour, including a photo of Sir Donald Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar, it would be fair to say our Indian Rotarian guests were enamoured with the venue.
Speeches by District Governor Peter Frueh and District Governor Radhakrishnan Srinivasan spoke of the internationality and great friendships created in Rotary. Importantly Haran Ramachandran the Sydney based Rotarian from District 9685 who helped coordinate the Indian visit encouraged discussion on ‘Sister Club’ arrangements. To that effect the Rotary Clubs of Chadstone-East Malvern and North Melbourne commenced meaningful discussions. Banners were exchanged by both District Governors. The Rotary Club of Melbourne has subsequently exchanged banners. District 3232 has the capability and could well partner Rotary projects being considered by District 9800 Clubs.
The District 3232 Rotarians went on to visit the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island and then Sydney. Nevertheless with their love of cricket and the friendships formed in Melbourne it would be expected that this part of their Tour remains indelibly printed on their minds. It is hoped that the visit augurs well for future useful contact.
District Governor Peter Frueh suggests that if there are any District Clubs out there who might want to become involved with District 3232 in Chennai India , or in particular with a return friendship visit (of lesser scale) to Chennai in late 2018 or early 2019 they should e-mail Ian Salek at firstname.lastname@example.org