By Tony Thomas, Rotary Club of Central Melbourne.
About 275 guests from 31 Rotary Clubs filled the 17th Floor RACV dining room on November 21st for the Annual Paul Harris breakfast.
It was the 25th annual event and raised more than $11,000 net for the Rotary Foundation.
The guest roll was well up on the 194 in 2015 ($8500 raised) and 209 last year ($8000).
District Governor Peter Frueh said the district had admitted nearly 800 new Rotarians in the past three years, meaning that a third of current Rotarians are recent arrivals.
District Foundation Director and Past District Governor Dennis Shore presented certificates to the Rotary Clubs of Camberwell, Glenferrie, Melbourne, Southbank and Williamstown for donating at least USD1500 to Polio eradication. Camberwell Rotary Club was the highest giver per member and Rotary Central Melbourne was runner-up.
Dennis said Foundation had immunised 2.5billion children and cut the annual death rate from Polio from the previous rate of 300,000 just 30 years ago to 14 this year. “We will not rest until polio joins smallpox as the only extinct disease viruses,” he said.
The Rotary Foundation has been a champion of peace, supporting the establishment of the United Nations where 49 Rotarians were delegates, advisers and consultants. Rotary conceived and wrote the charter for UNESCO, and five Rotarians have served as UN Assembly President. To date 1200 Rotary Peace Fellows have been trained, including 30 from D9800.
Millions in the third world enjoy clean water, health care (especially for mothers and babies) and education via the Foundation.
This year’s guest speaker was Daniel Flynn, co-founder of Thankyou, a reverse consumerism company that has invested all its profit of $5.5m to date in humanitarian work in 20 countries. Daniel gave a spell-binding account of challenges muscling his own-brand bottled water into a market dominated by retail giants.